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Old 02-03-02, 02:02 PM   #1
PapeteeBooh
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Advice

Hi,

I have long commute lately (frequently two hours a day). Unfortunately I hurt my left hand. As D*alex I think pointed out to me once in a similar post, I have a natural tendency to lock my elbow _ I fight the habit but it still happens - when riding and this is really a bad habits because my wrists and hands take all shocks (and roads are in bad shape around here). At any rate, it does not look like anything very serious (a pulled muscle or something), I'll go to a kinesytherapist next week.

My question is this: if this does not get any better, I am thinking that perhaps I should ride - at least for a few months - a suspension MTB that would make for a smoother ride than my current touring bike. I have an old steel-frame road B that rides smoothly but it is not great under the snow.

A local pawn shop sells a Nishiki with front and rear suspension (though the suspension looks pretty cheap) for $200. I don't know the specific. From the ourside, the bike seems in good shape but not a recent model. Are these any good at all? Is it worth it? Any other advice? Does suspension make much difference?
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Old 02-03-02, 03:01 PM   #2
John E
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Sorry about your pain! Be careful, because hand/wrist injuries can become debilitating, if not treated properly.

Have you tried: 1) padded gloves; 2) padded handlebar wrap; 3) raising your handlebar stem; 4) a shorter-reach stem; 5) altering your hand position frequently when riding; 6) wider, lower-pressure tyres?

I experience LESS hand numbness/pain/etc on my road bikes than on my mountain bike, presumably because of the greater variety of hand positions accommodated by drop bars.

You need to try to determine whether your problems arise from position and pressure on your hands or from road vibration.
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Old 02-03-02, 03:11 PM   #3
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Yes, it makes a difference, with front suspension your wrist have to take less shocks than with a rigid bike.

I did ride a rigid MTB for two years, but i switched it for a full suspension because of backpain.
I noticed that i could ride longer and my arms where not as tired as they used to be!

Because your a commuter, i think rear suspension is not worth investing, because its only efficient on off road tracks.
Only the high end MTB`s have enough technology to block the "pumping" of the rear shock

But it`s a good plan to look for front suspension, i don`t know much about this brand, but i`m sure other members can tell more you about it.

My only suggestion is to invest in some descent front suspension or front suspension bike and get something good instead of low end fully!

Good luck and hope you can ride without trouble,
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Old 02-03-02, 03:31 PM   #4
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If you feel a tendancy to ride with locked joints, then your riding position is wrong, and no amount of technical add-ons will correct that.
1. Make sure your pedal-saddle orientation is good for you.
2. Bring your bars higher and closer.
3. If riding drops, consider a narrower bar. Too wide bars result in a triangulated position, where locked elbows are ineviatable. With narrower than normal bars, your arms appear bowed out at the elbows, and cannot lock up.
4. If on drops, tilt your brake levers onwards for a more neutral wrist position.

Often raising your bars results in a more comfortable position and a lower back.
If you find you need a really short stem to achieve comfort, then you need a shorter bike.
I ride a pretty short position, but find it impossible to lock my elbows.

If you can send a picture of you riding, taken from the side, maybe we could help.

see
http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/fitting.htm
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Old 02-04-02, 12:39 AM   #5
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I used to have these problems once. It is important to move your arms about a bit every so often to maintain proper blood flow. I also ride with my elbows slightly bent so that they can absorb the impact from bumps in the road that I might be unable to avoid.
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Old 02-04-02, 02:19 AM   #6
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MichaleW may very well be on the right track in regards to poor saddle position!!!!!!!

You may be putting pressure on your hands/arms and holding your arms striaght, to keep from sliding forward on the saddle. Are you riding with your saddle "nose down"?
If so set it to a LEVEL position, ( or very slightly "nose up"), to keep from sliding forward on the saddle, many experts actually will use a carpenter's level to get the proper angle . It is VERY IMPORTANT to have your saddle LEVEL, it will prevent the injuries you are now getting! You will need to learn how to ride in, ( adjust to) this position. You may need to consciously tilt you hips back a bit until you get used to the new position.
Very often the need to ride with a "nose low" saddle is a symptom of a "too high" saddle height!!!!
One of the first things a good coach will do when he gets a new team, especially juniors and novice racers, is check the positions of his riders, I know of no coach who will allow his riders to ride "nose down".
Once you get your saddle level you will also need to learn how to hold yourself up with the muscles of your trunk, after you do that you will be able to ride with only the weight of your hands and forearms on your bars, AS YOU SHOULD!!!
Stretch you low back, glutes and hamstrings so you can ride in a lower position, this will help you ride with arms bent and the lower positon will give you more power as your glutes are more efficient in the lower position.

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Old 02-04-02, 03:18 AM   #7
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I'd try the other suggestions before getting another bike (although on the other hand whoever owned too many bikes ?). If you do go for a MTB, stick to front suspension only and not too much travel, or you might have problems on the hill climbs with bobbing.

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Old 02-06-02, 03:11 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the helpful suggestions.

UNfortunately, as it turns out I have now bad tendonitis and it is imperative that I let my hands/wrist rest for a while The bummer is that
although I can easily get to work by bus, there are many other places I need to get to and that will be difficult.

Looks like I might need to get hold of one of these fossil fuel beast for a month or so
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Old 02-07-02, 03:39 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by PapeteeBooh
Thanks for all the helpful suggestions.

UNfortunately, as it turns out I have now bad tendonitis and it is imperative that I let my hands/wrist rest for a while The bummer is that
although I can easily get to work by bus, there are many other places I need to get to and that will be difficult.

Looks like I might need to get hold of one of these fossil fuel beast for a month or so
Hope you recover soon

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Old 02-07-02, 10:37 AM   #10
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now, does anybody have experience of tendonitis treatment? I hear homeopathy (which generally I am rather suspicious about) is very efficient.
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Old 02-07-02, 11:02 AM   #11
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I had tendonitis near my shoulder and had deep heat IR applied, which helped.
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Old 02-07-02, 02:12 PM   #12
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Sorry to hear about your problem.

Have you checked your ergonomic positioning throughout your day?

Mabey this all started with a poor workstation at work.

Let's try to clear the bike of all wrong doing.

What ever you do, please take the doctors recommendations seriously. Problems like these can haunt you for the rest of your life.
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Old 02-08-02, 06:59 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by John E
I experience LESS hand numbness/pain/etc on my road bikes than on my mountain bike, presumably because of the greater variety of hand positions accommodated by drop bars.
This seems to be true for me, as well. In fact, I don't like the position of my wrists on flat handlebars for any length of time. I find that my drop bars allow me to position my wrists so that they are turned more like they are when my arms are hanging at my sides, as in walking. I also agree that as little weight as possible should be resting on the hands/wrists and that proper riding position in general makes a great deal of difference.

Sometimes, little aches and pains that start out minor can grow into more troublesome ones in the long run, especially for someone who rides as much as you do, P.B. That's why I try to avoid some of the "comfort bike" solutions you sometimes see.
They might make a newbie comfortable for a little while, but in the long run, these measures create more problems than they solve. I agree that most injuries are created/avoided by changes in riding position, sometimes even very tiny changes.

I hope you get that problem solved soon, P.B.

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Old 02-08-02, 07:08 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Pete Clark

I find that my drop bars allow me to position my wrists so that they are turned more like they are when my arms are hanging at my sides, as in walking.

:thumbup:
I agree, a neutral wrist-set is important. It is very subtle points like that which most fitting guides miss.
Even with drop bars there are a variety of sizes and styles. Some are designed to be aerodynamic, others such as 3TTT Morphe are touring drops, with a smaller diam drop, and more curves on the tops for comfortable riding.
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Old 02-08-02, 10:54 AM   #15
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Short-term, can you rent or borrow a recumbent? Seems like that would take the pressure off your wrists and still allow you to cycle. And it would be much cheaper than buying a car.

Just brainstorming options here
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Old 02-08-02, 11:00 AM   #16
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Short-term, can you rent or borrow a recumbent? Seems like that would take the pressure off your wrists and still allow you to cycle. And it would be much cheaper than buying a car.

Just brainstorming options here
it is not a bad idea although I am a concerned by their lack of visibility (I go on some main roads) and by some hills I have on my journey
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