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  1. #1
    DLH
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    Hand & Feet Numbness.

    I am having some hand and feet numbness and I am looking for answers. It is mainly my right hand and foot, I have tried different saddles, I have had my position checked, and I have tried different insoles and different socks. Today I went for a short 8 mile ride on my mountain bike with some guys at work during lunch and I noticed I was starting to get it on my mountain bike also. My mountain bike is completely different then my road bike, different pedals, different shoes, different saddle, more upright position. What is the deal? Am I pinching a nerve bundle somewhere? Anyone have a similar experience? What did you find fixed it?

  2. #2
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    Feet: make sure you keep your shoes loose enough to allow for swelling.

    Hands: might have something to do with bike fit - which is placing too much upper body weight on your arms.

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    Pain on only one side of your body is often due to poor fit. Some people's bodies are noticably asymmetrical, so you cannot set up both sides of your bike the same. Maybe you need to adjust one cleat or pedal different from the other. The change could be as simple as the angle of your cleat. Or you may need some shims or wedges. Fixing your balance on your shoes may fix your upper body problems as well. These kinds of issues are difficult to figure out on your own. A good pro fitter can help.

  4. #4
    DLH
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    As I stated, I went to the LBS a couple of weeks ago and had my fit checked. He checked everything and seemed shocked that almost everything was spot on. The only things that he said he might try was the specialized insoles (which I bought) and a wedge in the right shoe because my right knee was off a little in my spin. The last thing was to possibly bring up my stem angle a tad bit, my seat to bars was I think around 2.5". He was not overly concerned about this since my flexibility is good and reposition on the bars frequently. I also do not tighten my shoes alot and I thought about changing the angle of the cleat just recently, so I will try that next.

  5. #5
    Senior Member howsteepisit's Avatar
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    What kind of shape are you gloves in? That can make a real difference in hand numbness. I just went througha period of foot numbness and burning. It seems that my new mt bike shoes are really foot killers. I switched back to my road shoes and pedals (touring bike) and no more problem.
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  6. #6
    xc AND road WoodyUpstate's Avatar
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    I suggest checking your cleat placement, especially on the foot that's going numb. See if its fore-aft position on the shoe is the same as the "good" foot. If it is looks okay, time to start making small adjustments.

    I had the same problem this spring after switching pedals - painfully numb feet. I ended up having to move my cleats forward on the shoe. Bingo.

    This may not be your solution, but if your bike fit is okay and your shoes are loose enough, adjusting your cleats is worth a try.

    Numb hands usually means you're not moving your hands around enough on the bar.

  7. #7
    Scottish Canuck in the US blue_nose's Avatar
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    Bike fit is most important here. Some good advice above. Here are some other basic suggestions that may help:

    (1) When riding, keep your upper body relaxed. If your upper body is tense when you are riding it can lead to pain and discomfort with longer rides.

    (2) When you ride, make sure to keep you arms slightly bent so that they absorb the road shock. If your elbows are locked the vibrations will shoot right up your arms and can cause hand, back, neck and shoulder discomfort.

    (3) Gloves can contribute to the problem of hand numbness as well. Personal preference comes in to play here, as I find my hands get numb if I wear gloves that are too thick or padded. Others swear by gloves with gel pads that help absorb shock.

    (4) Post ride, make sure to stretch your palms and the arch of your feet.

    (5) Moving the cleat back a little bit toward the arch of your foot can ease discomfort.

    (6) + 1 on making sure that your shoes are not too tight. This is especially true for the straps near your toes.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnny99
    Some people's bodies are noticably asymmetrical, so you cannot set up both sides of your bike the same.
    Is that mainly a cleat position issue?

    On every bike fit I’ve seen, they spend 100% of the time viewing the rotation from the crank side only.

  9. #9
    DLH
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    I flipped my stem this past week (so it was more level than raised) to see if it made any of my numbness better or worse (my guess before hand would have been worse). About 23 miles into the ride my right hand was really getting numb and I had been moving around the bars and even shaking it occasionally and there was no relief. At that point I removed my gloves and went gloveless the rest of the ride and the numbness subsided. I do not think my gloves are to tight, they are the lycra thinly padded black Nike gloves like I have seen Lance wearing in some photos. I guess I may have to remain gloveless or try some different ones. Probably will need to try some others due to the amount that I sweat.

    Now if I can figure out the foot numbness. I do not think going shoeless will work.

  10. #10
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    Foot numbness has an easy cure:

    - skate board shoes with a thick rubber sole, a half size larger than your "normal shoes

    - two socks on each foot

    - add a cushion insole to the shoes if the shoes have a thin insole

    - BMX pedals, with the widest, longest support platform you can find

    - shift your feet forward half an inch and back half an inch every ten minutes or so



    Numb hands are more difficult to cure:

    - raise the bars so that your hands are as high as the top of your saddle

    - gel tape on a road bike or gel grips on a mountain bike

    - gloves with gel pads (get the largest, loosest fitting gel gloves you can find)

    - keep the hands as relaxed and loose as possible, and change hand positions every few minutes
    Last edited by alanbikehouston; 05-25-06 at 12:46 PM.

  11. #11
    Scum, Freezebag! Mo'Phat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alanbikehouston
    Foot numbness has an easy cure:

    - skate board shoes with a thick rubber sole, a half size larger than your "normal shoes

    - two socks on each foot

    - add a cushion insole to the shoes if the shoes have a thin insole

    - BMX pedals, with the widest, longest support platform you can find

    - shift your feet forward half an inch and back half an inch every ten minutes or so
    Curious, because you've been giving this advice in other threads...but has anybody done this? Gone from a nice, clipless setup to BMX platforms on their road bike? I know that I'll never do it...let alone ride in my B/W Checkered Vans...let alone wear two socks on each foot.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mo'Phat
    Curious, because you've been giving this advice in other threads...but has anybody done this? Gone from a nice, clipless setup to BMX platforms on their road bike? I know that I'll never do it...let alone ride in my B/W Checkered Vans...let alone wear two socks on each foot.
    How difficult is it to try something new? It would take you about fifteen minutes to switch pedals, and find out how they feel, rather than guessing. LeMond lost training time because of problems with his feet caused by racing shoes and racing pedal. So did Armstrong. So have most cyclists who ride 300 days or 350 days a year with racing pedals. Placing all of the stress of pedaling on a stamp-sized portion of the foot is a flawed concept from the git-go. Greatly magnified stress on the feet. And, knee problems are just a surgeon's knife away.

    Who rides with BMX style pedals and thick soled shoes? Well, here in Houston, that is a popular solution with many of the Memorial Park mountain bike riders (who are on some trails where you can end up off your bike more than you are on your bike). And, it is popular with veteran downtown messengers who learn what really works and what doesn't the hard way...the school of hard knocks. You can always spot the "first year" messenger by his racing shoes and racing pedals. Most of the vets know better.

  13. #13
    DLH
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    Quote Originally Posted by vampares
    I favor my right side because I have to reach for my shifter and consisously balance my grip. I don't have any numbness but it would explain the hand/foot thing. The vertibrate aren't even the same for the hand and foot so you can rule out a pinched nerve. How comfortable are you riding?
    Other than my feet and hands I am pretty comfortable.

  14. #14
    Senior Member daver42's Avatar
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    When coasting, you may be putting too much weight on your right foot. Distribute your weight on both pedals by keeping the cranks horizontal (pedals at 3 and 9 o'clock position) when coasting. For the numbness in your hands, keep your hands and arms relaxed and switch hands positions often.
    Last edited by daver42; 05-25-06 at 02:16 PM.

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