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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Drop Bar Adjustments?

    Been riding my Ridley X-BOW cross bike for a couple of months now and after about 1.5-2 hours in my left arm/wrist goes numb. I know I'm putting too much pressure on my handlebars so something needs adjusted. It's hard to use the brakes/hoods because they feel so far forward and the width of the bars seem "off". My hands just haven't found a comfortable position. Not sure if I need a shorter stem or move forward my saddle. My right side is fine, but my left side really struggles with hand positions.

    After doing some reading I checked out hand positions and seeing if I locked my elbow which I do for stabilization. My left wrist has hard time dealing with the hoods as well. The last ride went better as I tried to keep everything more relaxed from looking at hand positions on the internet.

    What I really miss are my Woodchipper bars from my Fargo. I just feel cramped on road bars. Cow Bells have a smaller flare but don't which length to get.

    I crashed in December and landed on my elbow and wrist causing some nerve pain for a couple of months. I'm sure part of the pain is from that injury. It took 2 months before I could put any weight on my wrist and elbow. If it's injury related, any way of fixing the bars/hoods/shifters to compensate for that?

    When I called about a fitting, the lady said it 120 dollars of which I don't have and hate to play the "buying new stuff and hope it works" game. I've had several fittings over the years none of which were helpful as I was told conflicting information which never seemed to help.

    Thanks for any help or advice. I'm not against fittings. I'd just have to save up for one and then have money to change out parts.

  2. #2
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    My suggestions:

    10mm shorter stem, MAYBE a degree or two more rise.

    An extra layer of bar tape on the left side ONLY. Take it back off when your arm fully heals.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Uggh. It is the injury as last night while typing my post I had my hand leaned up against the base of the desk and it started going numb. Anything that would help to keep the nerve from compressing while riding? I do have gloves, but they aren't helping. Different tape? More? Reach as in shortening the stem?

    Problem with a new stem is that I'd have to order a stem as my LBS doesn't just have one they can put on and let me try. That's where I'd hate to play the swap and shop with parts until I get it right.

    Love my Ridley as it's the best fitting bike I've owned.

  4. #4
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    Like I said, an extra layer of bar tape on the left side only will give some extra padding. Also, a shorter stem will take a little more stress off your arms, since you won't be stretched out as much.

    Since the Ridley website is "so helpful", I can only guess at the stem length; the picture gives me the impression that it's 120mm. Price Point has a 110mm stem for $13+shipping. (I'm also guessing the bar/stem is 31.8 -- check your bar, does it have a BIG bulge where it fits in the stem?)

    I don't know what kind of gloves you have, but Specialized makes (or used to, I tend to ignore them for my own purposes) a Body Geometry glove that had special padding ARRANGEMENT in the glove to max out the comfort and minimize the pressure.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Talked to my LBS. He really wasn't interested in selling/ordering me a stem and he didn't have anything to try out. Rest of the LBS are over an hour away. Stem length appears to be 110-112 when I did a measurement. If the measurement starts from the center bolt, it's 110.

    Yup. It has a bulge..31.8 according to 4ZA's site.

    Going through the website now. Some nice prices.

  6. #6
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    done the elbow against the nose of the saddle test? how far is the tip of your fingers behind the bars?

  7. #7
    Senior Member Will Goes Boing's Avatar
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    Your problem is that you're locking your elbows when you're riding combined with putting all of the weight on your hands. Go to a shop and have them explain to you in person how to ride properly.

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