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Thread: Numb hands

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    Senior Member Plow13's Avatar
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    Numb hands

    I was riding with a low seat post. It was really bothering my calves. I got my seat height to a proper level. My legs feel much better but now I am having an issue with my hands going numb. Do you generally raise or lower handlebar height to relieve hand pressure
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    You can raise the bar. Some say that helps.

    But the only thing that has worked for me is getting my weight further behind the pedals by moving the saddle rearward.
    Leaves less weight on your hands.
    Stand up and then crouch in a rider's position. Feel how the weight moves rearward?
    It is the only thing that has worked for me.

    I read it in a fit article on Peter White Cvcles website.

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    Senior Member catonec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lungimsam View Post
    .... getting my weight further behind the pedals by moving the saddle rearward....
    +1
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    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plow13 View Post
    I was riding with a low seat post. It was really bothering my calves. I got my seat height to a proper level. My legs feel much better but now I am having an issue with my hands going numb. Do you generally raise or lower handlebar height to relieve hand pressure
    As other has pointed out, moving the handlebars up should work for you. As far as getting the fit you had before, moving the bars up by as much as you moved up your seat should work. As far as moving the seat forwards or back, I can't speak to either.

    I found that on a road bike, I couldn't get the bars high enough to solve numb hands, although I found that aerobars did allow me to ride without that problem.

    One last comment: I'm assuming that you can find a comfortable position for your hands as you used to have one before. If, however, you can't, it may be time to consider moving to the dark side. Recumbent bicycles avoid a lot of the standard pressure points that make diamond frame bicycles uncomfortable for some.

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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    More than one place to hold the handlebars , and just hanging your arm down
    so blood flow is better, and pressure is off nerves for a while..

  7. #7
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    When I finally broke down and got a professional fit for my bike I had the fitter explain to me what they were looking for. Ignoring all the laser lines and other measuring devices they used he told me they were looking and making a triangle between my hands, head/sholders, and sit bones. Once the seat hight was correctd for the kind of riding I told them I wanted to do they had to replace my stem to move my hands back and my head and sholders back and making that triangle. In some cases flipping the stem and raising the bars do the same thing as can moving the saddle back. However you also have to look at your saddle tilt. Nose down and there will be more pressure on your hands. Nose up and the pressure tends to move to the sit bones, as long as it isn't up enough to bother other parts of your body.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lungimsam View Post
    You can raise the bar. Some say that helps.

    But the only thing that has worked for me is getting my weight further behind the pedals by moving the saddle rearward.
    Leaves less weight on your hands.
    Stand up and then crouch in a rider's position. Feel how the weight moves rearward?
    It is the only thing that has worked for me.

    I read it in a fit article on Peter White Cvcles website.
    And here it is:

    http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/fitting.htm

    Too much weight on your hands? Move the saddle back, and probably down just a bit if you want to keep the same distance from the pedals. Then adjust your bar position to obtain the hip angle you want. To keep the same hip angle you'll have to move the bars up and back towards the saddle.

    If your hands are numb for other reasons - padded gloves might help. IMO the ones Spenco makes are the best, and all PsOS with the moniker "gel" are fighting for the worst.

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    What are your riding? My hands get numb on straight bars pretty quickly but I'm fine with drop bars.

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    I have always found that padded gloves exacerbate hand numbness.

    The one common cause that nobody has mentioned is saddle angle - if your saddle is pointed at all nose-down, your weight will slide forward and cause excess pressure on your hands. Most saddles are best adjusted level or slightly nose up.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LarDasse74 View Post
    I have always found that padded gloves exacerbate hand numbness.

    The one common cause that nobody has mentioned is saddle angle - if your saddle is pointed at all nose-down, your weight will slide forward and cause excess pressure on your hands. Most saddles are best adjusted level or slightly nose up.
    well saddle tilt was mentioned about an hour ago...
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
    well saddle tilt was mentioned about an hour ago...
    I would have noticed that if the comment had come from a reputable poster

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    Senior Member howsteepisit's Avatar
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    As far as looking for a triangle - any three points not falling on a line define a triangle. Was the fitter looking for an equilateral triange with the base parallel to the ground?
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    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    Ergon grips reduced the amount of numbness considerably for me.

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    Senior Member rydabent's Avatar
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    Of course I may get some grief here by you might be a good candidate for a recumbent. On a bent pain and numbness is a thing of the past.

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    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LarDasse74 View Post
    I would have noticed that if the comment had come from a reputable poster
    Now I am crushed, I will have to rededicate myself to becoming more reputable. But then I do have a reputation.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

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    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by howsteepisit View Post
    As far as looking for a triangle - any three points not falling on a line define a triangle. Was the fitter looking for an equilateral triange with the base parallel to the ground?
    I think he was. Something about getting the weight even between the hands and the sit bones.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

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    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    People say that moving the seat back helps, with the crouch and balance reasoning. It's always been puzzling to me because everyone can't be wrong about this, but the reasoning is wrong! We don't normally crouch above the seat while riding - we sit on the saddle. The weight distribution is different from crouching. The points of contact is different. One has relatively little to do with the other as far as weight distribution goes. Sitting down and moving your hands forward, you'll get more weight on your hands. There is a contradiction here, physical reality versus the conventional wisdom.

    Here's what I think. It's not a matter of how much weight is on the hands. The difference there is: the angle of your hands and wrists, and the shift in force direction on the pedals. Setting back lowers the angle, possibly engendering a position which relieves pressure on the ulnar nerve in the hand. The force vector on the pedals, transmitted through the legs to your hips, is shifted more to the top so that the pedal stroke pushes you more back and up relative to a forward position. This would have the effect of lower cyclical pressure on your hands. IF my surmises are correct it fosters a different way of looking at it. Saddle position is part of it, and hand position, and hood or bar shape, but also reach and technique. Saddle to bar drop however would be of much less consequence.

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    If I tilt my seat up more it causes my weight to sit further back on my sit bones and gets me off my hands. Might try it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
    I think he was. Something about getting the weight even between the hands and the sit bones.
    That assumes the rider has a weight distribution, arm length, and spine length such that an equilateral triangle is even possible to set up and then accomplishes that goal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
    People say that moving the seat back helps, with the crouch and balance reasoning. It's always been puzzling to me because everyone can't be wrong about this, but the reasoning is wrong! We don't normally crouch above the seat while riding - we sit on the saddle.
    ....
    Really?

    You don't push on your pedals? How's your bike move then?

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    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by achoo View Post
    Really?

    You don't push on your pedals? How's your bike move then?
    I don't exert force equal to my weight for extended periods. Neither do you, achoo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
    I don't exert force equal to my weight for extended periods. Neither do you, achoo.
    Riiight.

    It's always been puzzling to me because everyone can't be wrong about this, but the reasoning is wrong!
    YOU are correct about the way to change weight distribution, and EVERYONE ELSE is wrong.

    Uh huh. Suuure.

  24. #24
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by achoo View Post
    Riiight.



    YOU are correct about the way to change weight distribution, and EVERYONE ELSE is wrong.

    Uh huh. Suuure.
    I didn't mean to be so short with you, my apologies.

    I am correct in the basic physical mechanics, and everything I wrote there relates to commonly recommended recipes for numb hands. So I do dispute that I am disagreeing with "everyone". Just a better, more realistic explanation of why some things work.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by achoo View Post
    That assumes the rider has a weight distribution, arm length, and spine length such that an equilateral triangle is even possible to set up and then accomplishes that goal.
    It only assumes that if you have too much weight on your hands that it can help to move the mass back to increase the weight on the seat. It works in many applications like forklifts even. There is a range of balance to be sure but moving you head and shoulders forward will increase the weight on the hands. For generations we have discovered that while a nose down tilt on a saddle may relieve Perineum pressure on some riders a bit more will also cause stress on you wrists. There are other solutions t be sure. Increased core strength works as well. It allows one to move forward as a sprinter does but use the core to hold us up and off of the hands. Still at some point depending on ones fitness if the head and shoulders are too far forward the hands and wrists have to support more weight. On any given bike if all you do is raise the bars and it moves the head and shoulders back, lower the saddle and it moves the head and shoulders back, tilt the nose up and it moves the head and shoulders back, move the saddle back and yes ti loved the head and shoulders back. Even if you shorten the stem it pushes the head and shoulders back. Reverse the process and everything moves forward. It doesn't have to be a triangle but it has worked for me.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

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