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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 01-07-12, 12:48 AM   #1
Vegun
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Can a skinny front tire cause numbness?

I got 3 bikes.

an Atlantis with drops, level with the seat
a Karate Monkey with risers about level

and a new Steamroller.
I've tried the stock Open bars which sit about 3 inches below the seat, I've tried a higher rise stem the got them a inch and half below and today I tried a riser the about leveled the situation and all set up are making my fingers buzzy or numb after an hour or so..
No such issues on my other tow steeds

My other two bikes have much fatter tires than the Steamroller's 27c stock tires.


I'd really like to keep them on for climbing speed, which this bike does oh so well.

and I really dont want to jack any bars up way high which would just mess up the climbing as well...



hep me!
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Old 01-07-12, 12:55 AM   #2
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because it's a road bike? Have you tried gloves and/or lizard skins? Both work well.
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Old 01-07-12, 01:00 AM   #3
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Numbness is probably coming from your bar setup/position.
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Old 01-07-12, 01:01 AM   #4
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I've solved the problem by leveling my saddle. Used to run with a pretty steep forward tilt but eased it back a bit and poof all is good. It helps cuz you're not pushing yourself back for the entire ride.

Also try lower pressure. I can run 80 psi w/o pinch flatting on 25s. I like to keep 90 in there, though. Weight 150.
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Old 01-07-12, 01:08 AM   #5
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nice gloves, level seat, Body Geometry grips


but hard skinny tires...


man, I really dont want to go "fat"..
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Old 01-07-12, 01:16 AM   #6
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You could always try running drops on the steamroller. Having different hand positions might help.

Kinda expensive to just try out, though.

Bar $25+
Brake levers $25+
Bar tape $7+
Stem $15+ (not always needed but if your reach is right with risers you'll probably want a shorter stem for drops)
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Old 01-07-12, 01:21 PM   #7
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I have never had that happen on my cream roller I use the stock stem and seatpost with about 1.50" risers. I'm always comfortable that's kinda weird even with the stock road drops I was comfortable.
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Old 01-07-12, 02:40 PM   #8
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maybe you get numbness because you're a vegan
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Old 01-07-12, 03:04 PM   #9
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To answer the question, a skinny tire will make the ride a little harsher. But 27c is really not that skinny. Tons of distance riders use 23c and skinnier with no numbness at all.

That said, it's something else. Try all different variations. If you're using gloves, try it with no gloves. Sometimes too much padding causes numbness. I get numbness from thick cinelli cork take and gloves. I've resorted to thinner tapes, such as fizik microtex.

Also, perhaps you should try and match your fit to bikes that you don't numbness from. Take some measurements and duplicate them on the surly.
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Old 01-07-12, 03:17 PM   #10
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Yeah I noticed early on with my older setups that many things can make the ride more comfortable/smoother.

I run 25c front and back and I feel like its a good mix between a bigger tire and a fast tire. The roads around here are brutal, and as long as you steer clear of the ****** potholes, you should be fine. Riding with padded gloves on the palms helped me a lot. I'm still tweaking saddle/seatpost and stem/bar setups, but try to get one position where most of your weight is on the saddle by adjusting the angle and raising your bars.

I love RB-021 pursuit bars because I have 4 hand positions and can ride comfortably in all but one, and moving hands around helps me.
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Old 01-07-12, 03:18 PM   #11
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=jMn7ymdb4q8'

Or get those.
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Old 01-07-12, 04:25 PM   #12
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Did you get it fitted at a shop?
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Old 01-07-12, 09:53 PM   #13
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Did you get it fitted at a shop?


nope.

If I were racing I'd be interested in what a racer thinks of my form.
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Old 01-07-12, 10:02 PM   #14
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Work your saddle fore/aft position and angle. Too forward and you rest a lot of weight on your hands and they can go numb after some time. Your hands shouldn't be going numb just because you dont wear gloves
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Old 01-07-12, 10:10 PM   #15
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nope.

If I were racing I'd be interested in what a racer thinks of my form.
get a proper fit.

when I was running RB21s on my bike I had hand and wrist numbness, even with gloves. there was just too much saddle to bar drop. I switched to road drops with hoods which lifted my hands up about an inch. hand numbness went away like that- and I haven't even wrapped my bars yet. furthermore, when switching to road drops with hoods, I dropped my front tire from 25c to 23c out of necessity.

I don't know if this will help you at all, but tire size is probably the least of your worries when dealing with hand numbness. get a proper fit. it's a much better way of spending money than taking the trial-and-error route. and unless you're actually racing, then I don't know how much you would want advice from a racer. your fit should reflect the kind of riding you actually do.
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Old 01-07-12, 10:20 PM   #16
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nope.

If I were racing I'd be interested in what a racer thinks of my form.
A good shop will be able to fit bikes for commuters, MTBers, MUPpets, etc, in addition to racers. You can sometimes get lucky trying all kinds of different stuff on your own. That's the way I did it. Took like 5 or 6 years tho.

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Your hands shouldn't be going numb just because you dont wear gloves
+1. I only wear gloves below 50
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Old 01-07-12, 11:04 PM   #17
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what?

no. nothing to do with tires. at all.

as you've heard: if you don't know what fits, find someone who does.
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Old 01-07-12, 11:09 PM   #18
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definitely not the tires... my roadie has 23's... never had numbness due to the tire size...

i get numbness with any kind of real padding... kinda strange, but with cork or gel bar tape my pinkies go numb after a short period of time riding... switched to cotton bar tape, no other changes, and I'm fine.... now all i use is cotton bartape... cheap as **** too...
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Old 01-07-12, 11:11 PM   #19
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Have you tried different body positioning on the steamroller? Sounds like you are a too far over you bars....
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Old 01-07-12, 11:13 PM   #20
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If I can get out tomorrow, I'll go gloveless and see what happens


Just can't imagine it's the bar seat relationship since a lot of variation is creating the same effect.
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Old 01-07-12, 11:13 PM   #21
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Have you tried different body positioning on the steamroller? Sounds like you are a too far over you bars....

Sure have.
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Old 01-07-12, 11:15 PM   #22
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definitely not the tires... my roadie has 23's... never had numbness due to the tire size...

i get numbness with any kind of real padding... kinda strange, but with cork or gel bar tape my pinkies go numb after a short period of time riding... switched to cotton bar tape, no other changes, and I'm fine.... now all i use is cotton bartape... cheap as **** too...


I spent my 20's riding 23s and 25s but now that I'm closing in on 50 I was suspect of these 27's.
Like I said in the OP, my other bikes have much more air/rubber
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Old 01-07-12, 11:18 PM   #23
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I've noticed numbness with gloves as well. My theory is that with enough padding, you don't think to keep moving your hands around as much as you would without padding.
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Old 01-07-12, 11:20 PM   #24
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oh, and thanks for all the comments folks, very nice!
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Old 01-07-12, 11:24 PM   #25
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you say the two comfortable bikes have bar/stem level, but in the same situation the surly doesn't agree?

there are really only three points of reference on a bike...hands, a$$, and feet. put 'em in the same place, and the body should feel about the same regardless of how the points are connected.

i'm going to assume that the saddle height is very similar across the three bikes, which means the bar height is as well (at least in your equal height test on the surly). hands = a$$, vertically?

So how does the reach compare? Increasing the reach will add weight to your hands (and remove it from your a$$).

Last edited by dookie; 01-07-12 at 11:29 PM.
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