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Thread: numb hands

  1. #1
    LDB
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    numb hands

    I plan to raise my bars an inch or two to see if that helps. As is my hands go numb after a mile or two. Anyway, other than raising the stem what other things are good for eliminating numb hands?
    1974 Raleigh International, 2013 Specialized Crossroads, 195x Hercules 3 spd
    My hero was the tortoise not the hare. One mailbox at a time.

  2. #2
    Must... ride... more... Phil_gretz's Avatar
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    LDB,
    You'll have to provide more descriptive information. On which bike, the International or the Crossroads? One is a drop bar steel road bike, the other is an upright "fitness" recreational bike. How would you describe those first one or two miles in your ride, in terms of effort, comfort, positioning?

    Also, how is the fit on the bike in question, generally? Did a bike shop set it up for you? Where do you put your hands and how do you hold (or rest on) the bar?

    Numb hands result from pressure on specific nerves, but the reasons why can differ: improper fit, wrong hand position, gripping too tightly, need to better engage the core muscles, etc.

    Also, there have been excellent threads written on this subject over the past few years.

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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    more weight shifted onto your Backside, sitting up More Does take it off your hands..

    Ala, more saddle set back and stem shorter.+ higher bars ..

    but sitting up more increases the air resistance , to make it more work pushing yourself through it.


    Wide surface bar grips, like Ergon makes , spread the pressure out , Vs a round bar grip.

    Drop bars , its a whole different game .. I can't say , sight unseen.

    Go to your LBS, they can see you.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 04-09-13 at 01:55 PM.

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    LDB
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    It's on the Crossroads. I ride with my hands out near the ends so my palms are partially on the ergo part of the grip, so that a larger area of my hand is supported on the grip. I'm a tortoise rider not a hare so I don't have a death grip on the bars, at least I don't believe I do. The shop didn't do any sort of fitting. I raised the seat an inch or two to get a comfortable height for my leg length. I haven't raised the bar a corresponding amount yet and suspect that may be the majority of the problem.

    I did a search for "numb hands" and it told me my term was too common and wouldn't be searched. I'm working my way backward through sections and expect to come across prior discussion but thought I'd ask too. Hope that's ok.

    Thanks for the replies and help so far.
    1974 Raleigh International, 2013 Specialized Crossroads, 195x Hercules 3 spd
    My hero was the tortoise not the hare. One mailbox at a time.

  5. #5
    Mmm hm! agent pombero's Avatar
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    Ergon grips ftw!

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    Junior Member EricSteven5's Avatar
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    If you are on straight bars, the Cane Creek Ergo II bar ends cured my occasional numbing of the hands.. I absolutely love the hand position they offer, and they're wrapped in really nice grippy rubber.

    http://www.amazon.com/Cane-Creek-Erg.../dp/B001KS1XAC
    Last edited by EricSteven5; 04-09-13 at 03:45 PM.

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    I had ergo-type grips on my Cannondale Adventure but still had hand problems. I ordered some Ergon GP3 and I was scrupulous about setting the angle, and the problem went away. The bar ends which are part of the grips works great allowing me to use a different hand position.

  8. #8
    LDB
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    I raised the bar about 2 inches and that made a huge difference.
    1974 Raleigh International, 2013 Specialized Crossroads, 195x Hercules 3 spd
    My hero was the tortoise not the hare. One mailbox at a time.

  9. #9
    Must... ride... more... Phil_gretz's Avatar
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    I use Ergon GP-3 grips on my mountain bike, and they do make a tremendous difference in hand fatigue on longer rides. And I used to get numbness from time to time on my straight bar MTB.

    Raising the stem may help you, but so will achieving a better body posture. It's easier on a drop-bar road bike, because the rider's position is lower and more horizontal.

    But think of it this way - when a race jockey rides, his weight isn't supported by the saddle, neither is it on his hands, it's in the stirrups. A bike rider will naturally support his weight across the three contact points: saddle, hands, and feet. The more power you're putting in at the feet, the less you'll need to be supported by the saddle or hands. The better your weight is balanced over the crankset, the less your body will naturally "fall forward" onto your hands. The better your hand pressure is distributed and not concentrated on those nerves, the less numbness you'll experience.

    So, your solution may be a combination of handlebar height relative to the saddle as well as improved hand grips with better distribution. But you'll also benefit from learning to use your core muscles to "unweight" your hands as you ride periodically. Think of how young piano students are taught to raise their hands above the keyboard as they play, not being permitted to have their hands droop down and rest on the keyboard. Teachers would hold a ruler beneath the wrists and slap upward each time the student "slouched" down onto the keyboard. Eventually, they learned to use their arm/shoulder/core muscles to hold their hands up, and this improved their playing. (Don't ask me how I know this, but my experience is common.)

    Lastly, have a bike shop or knowledgeable friend look at your bike fit. There may be an issue on forward/back placement of the saddle and handlebars relative to the cranks. That can be determined while observing you on the bike.

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    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    It depends on a lot of things, but in my case, I found less/no padding to be better than lots of padding. My hands are fine with regular bar tape and no gloves, whereas gloves with excessive padding causes numbness.

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