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Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

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Old 08-30-08, 03:36 PM   #1
patepluma
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Hands going numb..?

Hello. I'm relatively new to biking, (I rode lots as a teenager, but not at all for 15 years now), the last 3 months or so, I've been riding a Fuji Cross Comp, and here's my issue: My hands go numb - especially my right, but after 8/10 miles or so, they give me problems. I'll just shake them out - one at a time and they're fine again, but it's a consistent problem - every time I ride. I've tried rotating the handlebar so my hands are a little higher, but that makes no difference. I've been told to try a carbon handlebar, but thought I'd check with you guys for any suggestions first. Thanks. Also, how much should I spend for a carbon handlebar? And for a carbon seatpost? One more thing - is 165g on the light side for a saddle? Thanks guys.
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Old 08-30-08, 03:46 PM   #2
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Are your arms locked? You want some bend in your elbows and a decently loose grip on the bars most of the time.
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Old 08-30-08, 04:50 PM   #3
atai
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methinks you put too much weight on your hands. try go for a professional bike fitting
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Old 08-30-08, 05:01 PM   #4
DeweyJuice
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I had a little trouble with hand numbness and some elbow pain. I got fitted, got some specialized gloves with the gel in the palm and now I rarely have issues. I also change my hand position from time to time and stand up occasionally.
I'm not up on the carbon pieces. Do you want them for comfort or to make you ride lighter?
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Old 08-30-08, 06:51 PM   #5
patepluma
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...

both
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Old 08-30-08, 07:26 PM   #6
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You really shouldn't be putting much weight at all on your hands. It could be a number of things having to do with fit; check out Sheldon Brown's write-up on bike sizing and fit. It could also be you need to work on your core-strength.
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Old 08-30-08, 08:03 PM   #7
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I just bought the Specialized gel gloves and they relieved pressure on the ulnar nerve, which was causing pain and numbness in my pinkie and ring fingers. That worked, and now I can tell my wrists are also hurting from carrying too much of my weight. Now I am going to a shorter stem to solve that problem. Then I'll be able to decide if the Avocet saddle my bike came with fits well.
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Old 08-30-08, 08:27 PM   #8
hooligan99
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whats your seat to bar drop? when i started riding i had 4 inches of drop. i went for a pro fitand we reduced that to 3 and set up some core exercises. so many riders go for the pro look of their bikes and have extreme drops
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Old 08-30-08, 08:49 PM   #9
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I think the advice to switch to carbon bars is idiotic.

You are either putting too much weight on your hands, or your hands and arms are too tense, so it could be an issue of fit, or just experience. Are you grabbing the bars at the same place the whole time? The point of drop bars is you have at least four places to hold, tops, ramps, hoods, and drops.
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Old 08-31-08, 08:52 AM   #10
patepluma
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..

If I have 3 to 4 inches of drop between the seat and the bar, how can I possibly not have a lot of pressure on my hands? I've been trying to rotate and raise the bar, so it would be about even with the saddle...
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Old 08-31-08, 09:02 AM   #11
muteseh
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Read this: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/frame-sizing.html#frontback
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Old 08-31-08, 09:05 AM   #12
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You shouldn't be rotating your drops. I keep imagining bums riding around with their bar-ends skyward.
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Old 08-31-08, 09:50 AM   #13
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Get fit. It is one of the rare bike purchases that is actually worth the money you spend on it.

If you're not going to do that... I also agree with the advice not to rotate your bars to try and find a better fit. If you feel like the bars need to be higher, move all the steer tube spacers underneath your stem, and flip it so that the angle is pointing up. If that's still not high enough, consider buying a stem with more rise. These can be had for as little as $25 from Dimension. Also, make sure your reach is not too far out in front. If you consistently find yourself riding the tops of your bars, this could very well be the case. This would require you to go to a shorter stem. Whatever you do, don't slide the saddle around trying to shorten your reach. The position of the saddle has to do with where it places you in relation to the pedals, and you shouldn't move it forward and backward trying to get less or more reach.

Good luck.
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Old 08-31-08, 10:39 AM   #14
patepluma
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....

On the other hand, the adjustment range on the saddle is there for some reason...What's the rule on how forward or aft I should be in relation to the pedals? I bought the bike used, so I really have no idea. I'm 5"10, and it's a 54. Thanks all.
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Old 08-31-08, 11:00 AM   #15
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The oft-cited rule for saddle fore-aft position is knee over pedal spindle (KOPS) which simply means that with the cranks at 9 and 3 o'clock, you should be able to drop a plumb line from your kneecap through the ball of your foot and the pedal spindle. Many people disagree, and there are internet treatises available as to why (some are linked in the Sheldon Brown page in a previous post). I feel that it's a good starting position, and have found that slightly behind KOPS works best for me.

Saddle height should be such that you have a 15-20 degree bend in your leg with the pedal at the bottom of the stroke. If you find yourself rocking back and forth, especially at high RPM, your saddle may be too high.

These things are hard to figure out by yourself, since you can't really watch yourself pedal from the side (unless you've got a very large mirror, like a glassy building), and you get poor results from trying to do this statically (i.e. not actually riding the bike). Have a friend help you, or even better, get a professional to help you.

To further complicate things, fore-aft position changes as you change saddle height. Be careful.
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Old 08-31-08, 12:06 PM   #16
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+1 to getting a competent fitting. It can be hard, though, to know a priori whether or not the shop knows what it is doing. Tell them your situation, ask some questions, and if they seem to be responding to your needs in a responsible fashion, that is a good sign.

You also might consider just posting a photo of your current bike setup.
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Old 08-31-08, 06:53 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flargle View Post
+1 to getting a competent fitting. It can be hard, though, to know a priori whether or not the shop knows what it is doing. Tell them your situation, ask some questions, and if they seem to be responding to your needs in a responsible fashion, that is a good sign.

You also might consider just posting a photo of your current bike setup.

This is good advice. If you post your location as well, members might be able to recommend a shop they know is competent.
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Old 09-01-08, 07:04 AM   #18
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...

in/around Charlotte, NC.
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