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  1. #1
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    A few newbie questions

    I am a serious newbie to riding. I'm 54 and purchased my first bike about 4 months ago. I'm riding a Trek 7.1 hybrid bike.

    1. I've worked my way up to 1 and 2 hour rides. I find that after a while my right hand starts to tingle and will sort of get numb. I wear some mountain biking gloves but the padding on them is obviously not helping. Right now I try changing the position of my hand as often as possible. Any suggestions to keep my hand from getting numb? I've seen in other posts that this is not an uncommon problem.

    2. I get the impression that my cheek bones are supposed to be positioned on the widest part of the saddle. I find myself always sliding more towards the front. Should the front of the saddle be adjusted up to keep my butt in place better?

    3. Now for the really bad questions. Remember I've only been on the bike for a couple of months. I've encountered my first couple of flats. Thankfully I had stopped off at the bike shop for a quick tutorial on how to get the tire/tube off. Even though I carry a spare I thought the best idea was to patch the existing tube until it didn't last any longer. My first patch job was with a self sticking patch. It went flat again a few days later and I replaced the tube. A week later the other tire ended up with a hole. Now for my newbie questions. Do you patch a tube empty, partially full or quite full? I picked up a different patch kit that uses a separate tube of glue. These patches are sandwiched between a piece of paper and some clear plastic. The patch itself is an orange circle with a smaller black circle in the middle. The patch instructions were not very clear. As much as I'm embarrassed to ask, which side of the patch is applied to the tube? I applied the orange side and it seems to be holding. In retrospect I wondered if the black should have been applied and the orange peeled away.

    All advice is appreciated.

  2. #2
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rekclaw View Post
    I am a serious newbie to riding. I'm 54 and purchased my first bike about 4 months ago. I'm riding a Trek 7.1 hybrid bike.

    1. I've worked my way up to 1 and 2 hour rides. I find that after a while my right hand starts to tingle and will sort of get numb. I wear some mountain biking gloves but the padding on them is obviously not helping. Right now I try changing the position of my hand as often as possible. Any suggestions to keep my hand from getting numb? I've seen in other posts that this is not an uncommon problem.
    Not an uncommon problem, as you say. It may be related to your saddle problem. If you are sliding forward on your saddle you may be putting too much weight on your hands. On that, more later.

    Changing hand positions is a good idea. You could invest in some bar ends that will give you a greater variety of hand positions - any bike shop will be able to advise you. the variety of hand positions available is one reason many people like drop-bar bikes.

    2. I get the impression that my cheek bones are supposed to be positioned on the widest part of the saddle. I find myself always sliding more towards the front. Should the front of the saddle be adjusted up to keep my butt in place better?
    Very likely. I tend to have my saddles either dead level or fractionally (very fractionally, it's barely visible) nose-up. You certainly do not want the nose of your saddle to be bearing your weight, because that puts a lot of painful and potentially damaging pressure on your soft tissue, blood vessels, nerves etc. (Incidentally, we normally expect our cheekbones to be on our faces. Sit bones are the ones on the widest part of your saddle)

    But (and this is where the hand pressure comes in) it is also possible that your bike is imperfectly set up and the reach - the distance from the tip of the saddle to the bars - is too long for you. if so, you'll naturally creep forward in an attempt to find a comfortable position, and probably put more weight on your hands as a result. Try moving the saddle forward - not far, just a few millimetres at a time - and see if you can find a more comfortable position. A combination of this and checking the saddle tilt should sort things out.

    3. Now for the really bad questions. Remember I've only been on the bike for a couple of months. I've encountered my first couple of flats. Thankfully I had stopped off at the bike shop for a quick tutorial on how to get the tire/tube off. Even though I carry a spare I thought the best idea was to patch the existing tube until it didn't last any longer. My first patch job was with a self sticking patch. It went flat again a few days later and I replaced the tube. A week later the other tire ended up with a hole. Now for my newbie questions. Do you patch a tube empty, partially full or quite full? I picked up a different patch kit that uses a separate tube of glue. These patches are sandwiched between a piece of paper and some clear plastic. The patch itself is an orange circle with a smaller black circle in the middle. The patch instructions were not very clear. As much as I'm embarrassed to ask, which side of the patch is applied to the tube? I applied the orange side and it seems to be holding. In retrospect I wondered if the black should have been applied and the orange peeled away.

    All advice is appreciated.
    Patch kits vary. From your description I''m guessing the orange surface of the patch was quite shiny, while the black surface was more like the texture of the tube itself? You did the right thing. Remove all packaging (paper and clear plastic). Apply the rubber solution to the tube, not the patch. Allow to dry for three or four minutes, then apply the patch, (orange side down, in your case). The tube should be patched empty of air. A properly patched tube should be as durable as a new one. The self-sealing patches are not, however. They should last a lot more than a few days, but they will eventually fail.

    The quickest thing to do when out on the road is simply replace the tube with a new one, then carry out the repair at your leisure when you get home. However, make sure you check that whatever caused the puncture is not still lurking in the tyre - carefully run your fingers round the inside - or your new tube will just puncture straight away. And inflate your tyres to the stated pressure. If they're too soft you risk "pinch flats" where you hit an obstruction and the tube gets nipped between the tyre and the rim.

    Happy cycling.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  3. #3
    Senior Member ofgit's Avatar
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    Could be that your bar is too low or your saddle is already too far forward or both. Alternating hand positions during a ride is useful.
    Old Fat Guy In Tights.

  4. #4
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    A] on straight bars I like Ergon Grips better than round ones ..

    B] saddle should be level so your hips stay on it.

    C] you dont have to leave the bike as it shipped to the store . stems and saddles and handlebars for examples, are interchangeable parts

    they can be substituted for others to tailor the fit to suit You.

  5. #5
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    On the right hand tingling and numb.

    This, too, is my first summer riding and I've hand a problem all summer with my right arm and hand going numb and becoming painful not just on the bike.

    I just discovered in the past couple of days that if I message the base of my neck on the right side that the numbness immediately goes away.

    My point is that the problem may not be at your hands. Mine, I believe, is at the base of my neck.

  6. #6
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Be sure not to hold the bars tight. Your hands should be open, fingers flexible, wrist not bent, palms just resting on the bars. This is the most common cause of tingly and numb hands.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  7. #7
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    There's a lot of helpful information here.

    I'd add that you need to get your saddle position corrected first. First get the saddle height to where your legs are almost, but not quite fully straight when you are seated and the pedal is at the bottom. Make sure that you are not stretching to fully stoke the pedal on each side, and that you are not rocking your hips while pedaling. If the seat is too low, my knees and calves will ache on long rides. After you get the height right, you can work on basic positioning of the seat fore and aft. With the forward crankarm parallel to the ground, the ball of your knee should be over the pedal axle. This should take care of you gradually moving forward on the seat during a ride.

    Small adjustments over time. After you get the seat position, you can work on the reach to the handlebars, and the handlebar height.

    If you aren't wearing bike specific gloves with gel inserts, get some, and use them.

  8. #8
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Sit bones, not cheek bones. (Ischial tuberosities.)
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

  9. #9
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    Good point. I have carpel tunnel.I notice that I have a "death grip" on my handle bars. I did just order some new gloves made for carpel tunnel. Hopefully they will help. I try to move my hands and also try to "shake them out".

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
    Sit bones, not cheek bones. (Ischial tuberosities.)
    +1 I also find this works best

  11. #11
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    Patches have a peel-away layer which can be aluminum foil or plastic to protect the sticky side of the patch. You remove that layer just before applying the patch to the tube. It is easier to do the patching at home so I too carry a spare tube.

    I have found an easy way to prepare the tube before applying the glue and then the patch. I take a cotton Q-tip wetted with solvent (paint thinner, Coleman fuel, or carburetor cleaner) and use it to clean the area around the hole. It removes anything that would interfere with the bonding of the patch and you don't need to roughen the area. I apply rubber cement, allow it to dry, and then add the patch. I then use my hobby vise to compress the patch against the tube. Patch failures using this technique are very rare.

    If you go to an office supply store you can buy a 4 ounce plastic bottle of Elmer's brand rubber cement for under $3. It has a brush built into the cap for easy glue application. In my hot climate you are never sure a tube of glue will still be liquid. Once they are pierced, they don't last very long. The bottle works fine and stays liquid for years. If it does happen to dry out a little, you can add Coleman fuel to re-liquify the contents.

  12. #12
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Those instant patch thingies are for getting you home where you can patch it the right way. Likewise, a frame pump is also a road expedient -- it doesn't replace a real floor pump that you should have at home.

  13. #13
    The Left Coast, USA FrenchFit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rekclaw View Post
    I am a serious newbie to riding. I'm 54 and purchased my first bike about 4 months ago. I'm riding a Trek 7.1 hybrid bike.

    1. I've worked my way up to 1 and 2 hour rides. I find that after a while my right hand starts to tingle and will sort of get numb. I wear some mountain biking gloves but the padding on them is obviously not helping. Right now I try changing the position of my hand as often as possible. Any suggestions to keep my hand from getting numb? I've seen in other posts that this is not an uncommon problem.

    2. I get the impression that my cheek bones are supposed to be positioned on the widest part of the saddle. I find myself always sliding more towards the front. Should the front of the saddle be adjusted up to keep my butt in place better?

    3. Now for the really bad questions. Remember I've only been on the bike for a couple of months. I've encountered my first couple of flats. Thankfully I had stopped off at the bike shop for a quick tutorial on how to get the tire/tube off. Even though I carry a spare I thought the best idea was to patch the existing tube until it didn't last any longer. My first patch job was with a self sticking patch. It went flat again a few days later and I replaced the tube. A week later the other tire ended up with a hole. Now for my newbie questions. Do you patch a tube empty, partially full or quite full? I picked up a different patch kit that uses a separate tube of glue. These patches are sandwiched between a piece of paper and some clear plastic. The patch itself is an orange circle with a smaller black circle in the middle. The patch instructions were not very clear. As much as I'm embarrassed to ask, which side of the patch is applied to the tube? I applied the orange side and it seems to be holding. In retrospect I wondered if the black should have been applied and the orange peeled away.

    All advice is appreciated.
    1. Hand tingling is usually an indication of poor bike fitness or a bad fit generally. But, the ergo grips recommended can improve things in the short term. Over time, and as you adjust your fit, that problem should go away.

    2. As said, you don't ride on your cheek bones, you ride on the bones & tissue at the bottom of your pelvis, look up Sitz bones. Because you probably have more a mommie saddle on your hybrid a good fit is going to hard to come bye, they are more like hemorrhoid donuts then a good fit for long rides.

    3/ Patching on the go never really worked for me, it's a temporary fix. I change tubes, repair the puncture at home. Sand hole area, wipe with alcohol, apply the round orange/black patch with the smooth side down ONCE THE GLUE HAS DRIED (5 minutes), leave the cellophane on, cure under light pressure for 24 hrs. The patch will vulcanize with the tire, last forever.
    Last edited by FrenchFit; 08-10-14 at 10:24 PM.

  14. #14
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    I have always had hand tingling. I think it is my personal physiology, not fit related (that's just for me, but take it for what it's worth).

    For patching I have always used the rema "tip top". I used to carry spares but no more. It's just an opportunity to sit and relax for a couple minutes. Step one is to find the hole, and step two is to figure out why there is a hole. Having done that I pull enough tube to get at it (or maybe the whole thing if finding the leak is an issue) sit down and rough the area over the hole with the sandpaper in the rema kit. If I had to inflate the tube to find the hole, I just release the pressure at the valve, without worrying about how much air is left in the tube (typically not much). Work on the glue (enough so the whole area under the patch is wet, but not globs of it). I only have ever had to use the small (round) patches. Only use the big if I run out of the small. Where I am it's 80 degree F, so I wait about 5 min for the glue to dry (might take longer in a cold climate). I peel off the foil but leave the clear plastic (on top) and stick it on. Use the holder for my plastic tire irons to kind of kneed it a couple times, then give it a couple minutes before I replace and pump up. Only time I have had a problem is not waiting enough for the glue to dry before putting on the patch, and then not waiting after putting the patch on. So not so good if you are in a hurry, but I ride solo so like the break (get a couple "need any helps" from passers-by and wave them along).

    scott s.
    .

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