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Old 07-29-07, 01:41 PM   #1
asian fury
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Numb hands

mountain biker crossover here and have experienced the all standard numbness that comes with cycling. i know how to keep the numb nuts and feet away, i can't seem to get rid of the of numb hands on the road bike. every time i switch hand positions, it seems to make it worse. i'm thinking of ditching my bars for these new "ergo bars" with the flatter seemingly comfort friendly grips. does anyone have a set of these? if so what's the feedback? what's a good price for a set? if anyone has any suggestions that involves me not spenging money that would be even better.
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Old 07-29-07, 01:49 PM   #2
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another mtb turned roadie here. after assuring i had a proper fit on my bike to begin with, as well as adjusting my posture and grip, i found HEAVEN in a pair of Specialized gloves (brand name, in case you're not aware) They have padding in just the right places to help decrease the pressure on your nerves in your hands. These gloves ($28) in conjunction with some Fizik Gel bar tape (its tape with gel stuff underneath it) has been the only thing that provided any noticeable difference for me. Good luck!
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Old 07-29-07, 01:51 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asian fury View Post
mountain biker crossover here and have experienced the all standard numbness that comes with cycling. i know how to keep the numb nuts and feet away, i can't seem to get rid of the of numb hands on the road bike. every time i switch hand positions, it seems to make it worse. i'm thinking of ditching my bars for these new "ergo bars" with the flatter seemingly comfort friendly grips. does anyone have a set of these? if so what's the feedback? what's a good price for a set? if anyone has any suggestions that involves me not spenging money that would be even better.
I also switched from MTB to road. I had the same problem for a while, and I found my problem was my seat was too high. For me what corrected the problem was having lower the seat, I would suggest lowering the seat much lower than you ride now,do it just one ride if their is no numbing problems solved, else go get fitted a your local LBS.
John

Last edited by octico; 07-29-07 at 02:47 PM.
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Old 07-29-07, 01:52 PM   #4
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Numb hands can be caused by a fitting problem, generally being too far forward on the bike. On my OCR2, if I move the the saddle forward a CM or two, it's enough to create this for me. Move it back and the numbness goes away. The problem is that moving backwards creates other issues for me! So, it's a battle to find the correct set up.

So, try your fore/aft adjustments first before spending the $$.

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Old 07-29-07, 01:53 PM   #5
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Get a bike fitting. The best money you'll ever spend in cycling.
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Old 07-29-07, 01:59 PM   #6
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Get a bike fitting. The best money you'll ever spend in cycling.
+1 ... it's the best investment you'll make for your bike.

I did put oh some Phat Bars on my handle bars .. nice little extra padding does wonders, no matter how much padding your gloves have.
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Old 07-29-07, 01:59 PM   #7
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How low are your bars in relation to the saddle? I used to run them 3-4 inches below the saddle. Now, in my old age, they are almost even. For me, this means an uncut steerer and an up angled stem.
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Old 07-29-07, 02:01 PM   #8
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Best to check fit before the numbness becomes permanent.

Last edited by roadfix; 07-29-07 at 02:10 PM.
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Old 07-29-07, 02:08 PM   #9
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I had the same problem and tracked it down to three things:
- Saddle was tilted too far forward - which was putting too much weight on my hands.
- My position was too far forward - stem was too long, or my saddle wasn't back far enough
- Handlebar was too low - I'm not like some here, max I can handle is 1-1/2" drop, I prefer 1"

Same stuff everyone else is saying. Get evaluated by a good fitter. Better components only go so far.
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Old 07-29-07, 04:35 PM   #10
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Bike fitting solved it for me, too. My weight was too far forward, putting it on my hands.
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Old 07-29-07, 05:58 PM   #11
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I ride FSA K-Wings, a flat topped Bar, I like them although they're not everyone's Cup of Tea, you have to get the flat oriented in the correct position to get maximum benefit which might throw your drop position out...
As others have pointed out, a Bike fit is the best answer, funnily enough, I've tried lots of Gloves and the best for me personally is no Gloves at all...I only wear long fingered ones in the Winter on cold mornings, otherwise, I go Gloveless...
Hope this helps....
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Old 07-29-07, 06:46 PM   #12
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Another mountain converted to road here. I don't have a problem with numb hands, I use Pearl Izumi gel lite gloves... however, I do have a problem with elbows. Seems unusual, but my inner elbows are in discomfort almost since I started riding my road bike. It's not when I'm on the bike... it's all the time. At first I thought it was because I was unused to riding the road bike with drop bars. I try to remember to shift hand positions but I do notice that I lock my elbows... anyone have any ideas as to what's going on?

OP, I didn't mean to hijack your thread... but this seems like a good place to ask the question.

Thanks
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Old 07-29-07, 06:53 PM   #13
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I used to have numbing issues then I switch to Midge bars and numbing no more. I also use the bars off road.
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Old 07-29-07, 07:22 PM   #14
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stem or seat height.

Check
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Old 07-29-07, 10:04 PM   #15
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so i guess i need to get fitted.

thanks everyone for the suggestions. maybe if i move my seat back this will help? compared with my mountain bike i feel stretched forwrd as it is. i'll give it a shot though. i will mess around with seat positions and if it is not fixed with that, i'll find a place to get fitted. thanks again.
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Old 07-29-07, 10:08 PM   #16
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I'm not a fit expert, but as I understand it, the saddle should be adjusted for optimal pedaling, and then the bar (both reach and height) for desired positioning. So messing with saddle position to solve a problem caused by a bar too far, too low, etc seems like the wrong approach to me.
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Old 07-29-07, 10:19 PM   #17
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thanks everyone for the suggestions. maybe if i move my seat back this will help? compared with my mountain bike i feel stretched forwrd as it is. i'll give it a shot though. i will mess around with seat positions and if it is not fixed with that, i'll find a place to get fitted. thanks again.

Make your adjustments very, very small. Just a touch will often do it.

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Old 07-29-07, 10:21 PM   #18
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damn you and your logic

Quote:
Originally Posted by jschen View Post
I'm not a fit expert, but as I understand it, the saddle should be adjusted for optimal pedaling, and then the bar (both reach and height) for desired positioning. So messing with saddle position to solve a problem caused by a bar too far, too low, etc seems like the wrong approach to me.
what you're saying makes sense. the only way to adjust the bars though is to get a new stem with more/less rise and that is shorter/longer? guess potentially having to buy a new stem is not too bad. how much is it for a decent stem? thanks for the advice.
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Old 07-30-07, 06:12 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by jschen View Post
I'm not a fit expert, but as I understand it, the saddle should be adjusted for optimal pedaling, and then the bar (both reach and height) for desired positioning. So messing with saddle position to solve a problem caused by a bar too far, too low, etc seems like the wrong approach to me.
This is correct. If you adjust your seat wrong, you can do knee damage.

Changing the angle of your saddle is the only thing you can do to help with your hands/shoulders/elbows.
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Old 07-30-07, 07:38 AM   #20
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what you're saying makes sense. the only way to adjust the bars though is to get a new stem with more/less rise and that is shorter/longer? guess potentially having to buy a new stem is not too bad. how much is it for a decent stem? thanks for the advice.
You might be able to borrow an adjustable stem to find your position, then buy the one that gives the same position. If your fork steerer is cut too low for the position you need, the best way to get the bars high enough is to buy a new fork. Can you post a picture of you on the bike? How much lower than the saddle is the top of the bar? Did anyone help you with the fit?

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Old 07-30-07, 08:34 AM   #21
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I'm not a fit expert, but as I understand it, the saddle should be adjusted for optimal pedaling, and then the bar (both reach and height) for desired positioning. So messing with saddle position to solve a problem caused by a bar too far, too low, etc seems like the wrong approach to me.
You're absolutely right, but that assumes the entire fit is optimal in the first place. I've been set up incorrectly before...
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Old 07-30-07, 01:22 PM   #22
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As others have said, bike fit is most important here. However, this may simply be a result in the different riding positions between a mtn bike a road bike. The position on a road bike is more forward. Many people coming from other types of bikes that are more upright will experience pain in their hands, back and shoulders because of how they are riding. Here are a few tips that should 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. A good trick is to keep your face/mouth relaxed. I know this sounds weird, but if your face is tense, it is usually a result of your whole upper body being tense.

(2) Keep a loose grip on your handle bars. White knuckled gripping will lead to lead to your hands and arms absorbing all the bumps on the road. A good trick is to wiggle your fingers now and again.

(3) When you ride, make sure to keep you arms slightly bent so that they absorb the road shock. This is most important. If your elbows are locked each vibrations on the bike will impact your hands. Think of your arms as a shock absorber. If they are bent at the elbow then you can cushion each blow.

(4) Watch your riding position. Make sure you do not “turtle” when you ride. Try consciously shrugging your shoulders every 10 minutes and make sure that you your neck is extending and your shoulders are relaxed and nice and square – not hunched forward.

(5) Look into getting a pair of cycling gloves with some padding in the lower palm area.

(6) Change hand position often. The great part about a road bike is that there are a number of different options of where to place your hands - in the brake hoods, in the drops, on the top of the bars near the stem. Change your position every few minutes; even slight changes in position will help prevent hand numbness.

Good luck.

Last edited by blue_nose; 07-30-07 at 02:19 PM.
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Old 07-30-07, 01:53 PM   #23
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(6) Change hand position often. The great part about a road bike is that there are a number of different options of where to place your hands - in the break hoods, in the drops, on the top of the bars near the stem. Change your position every few minutes; even slight changes in position will help prevent hand numbness.
Excellent advise in all 6 suggestions. This is perhaps my favorite, though, becuse so many new riders don't do this. And if they/you/we do, it alleviates all sorts of hand issues.
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Old 07-30-07, 01:56 PM   #24
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Hey Asian Fury - do you have a pic of your bike? All this advice is given, but then you could post a pic of your bike and the answer may be totally obvious...like a 27 degree downward angled 140mm stem or something silly.


No, M.E. and Joy...my mind wasn't in the gayutter when I typed that.
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Old 07-30-07, 01:58 PM   #25
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Also, if you're posting this so you can tell your wife/gf/S.O. that you NEED those handlebars, then by all means go for it.

However, I'd stay away from the ones with the finger indentations. Kinda dumb, and you don't want to be locked into what some handlebar fabrication machine thinks your hand position should be.

FSA makes cheap and expensive flat-top bars...they're called 'Wing' bars. I got the Aluminum Wing Pro for all of $20.
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