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Old 05-26-08, 05:52 PM   #1
bwgride
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Hand/wrist pain/numbness

I've suffered from hand/wrist pain and numbness for years and have tried various adaptations to help address that. For example, I use mountain bike handlebars (which are slightly above seat height) and I would use the largest grips I could find to help spread pressure over a wider area. I also use long L-shaped bar-ends; on those I would place another grip then wrap the entire bar-end with cork tape. I alternate hand positions between bar-ends and grips while riding.

Recently I bought a pair of Ergon GP1 large grips, which are linked below.



http://www.ergon-bike.com/us/grips/gp1.html

I've commuted with these for a two or three months now. My commute is 6 miles one way and usually by mile 3 my wrists would start hurting. With the Ergon grips, that pain only starts now when I spend lots of time on the bar-ends.

Today I rode 43 miles and can report no pain with my hands or wrists. In fact, I did not realize the lack of pain until I returned home and reflected on my ride. This was the first long ride I can remember without hand pain.

In short, if you suffer from hand/wrist pain, I recommend you give these grips a try. Be aware of the mounting instructions because these grips should be placed at a specific angle to provide the best fit.
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Old 05-26-08, 06:42 PM   #2
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Noted. I will get some soon. Thanks.
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Old 05-26-08, 06:46 PM   #3
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I bought these, but unfortunately, I chopped my handlebars just a little too narrow for them to work. One of these days I'll get around to buying new handlebars and chopping them a little less.

Glad to know they work, though...
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Old 05-27-08, 12:31 PM   #4
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I use these and find them excellent.

I have experimented with the angle and find it best for me with the rear platform from horizontal to slightly raised.

You can cut the inner end of the grip off to shorten them if required, I have done this on the right grip to let me use it alongside a Rohloff twistgrip.

I tried the model with a short bar end built in, but found it didn't suit me. I see from a cycle catalogue that some new models are on the way. The GC3 looks interesting for touring or longer rides as it has a full size bar end built in.

I don't have room for separate bar ends on my bars, so I will give the GC3s a try when they are in the shops here in the UK.
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Old 05-27-08, 12:54 PM   #5
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Guys could you please post a pic of these on your bike? Thanks!
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Old 05-27-08, 01:46 PM   #6
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Guys could you please post a pic of these on your bike? Thanks!
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Old 05-27-08, 02:07 PM   #7
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Following is a picture showing my right grip cut short and fitting by a Rohloff shifter.

Here is a link to see the new GC3.
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Old 05-27-08, 02:45 PM   #8
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Hello,

I had numbness on my hands on a long tour and then a fellow rider suggested I use gloves. It did the trick for me. After a few days of riding with gloves the numbness went away.

Luke
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Old 05-27-08, 07:04 PM   #9
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I have been using these for a while now and no more had problems.
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Old 05-27-08, 07:07 PM   #10
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Thanks for the pics. Using these grips where are the pressure points on your hands? Do they just spend the pressure over a larger area?
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Old 05-27-08, 08:46 PM   #11
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If you use mountain bike type handlebars, no wonder you have hand numbness. In my very arrogant but very certain opinion, straight or flat handlebars put your wrists in the absolute worse position for riding any steady distance, and on top of it, they don't give you the opportunity to keep moving your hands back and forth between a variety of useful positions as you're riding. If people stopped trying to reinvent the wheel, there wouldn't be any need for gimmicks like this.
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Old 05-27-08, 09:32 PM   #12
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If you use mountain bike type handlebars, no wonder you have hand numbness. In my very arrogant but very certain opinion, straight or flat handlebars put your wrists in the absolute worse position for riding any steady distance, and on top of it, they don't give you the opportunity to keep moving your hands back and forth between a variety of useful positions as you're riding. If people stopped trying to reinvent the wheel, there wouldn't be any need for gimmicks like this.
I've found road bars to be the most painful of all bars I have tried. When I had road bars, I never used the drops because they placed so much weight on my hands and wrist and pain occurred shortly thereafter use, and the other positions, besides being painful and narrow, I found to compromise braking strength. My current bars, which are posted above as an image, provide me with four different hand positions, which seems to be the number I frequently see advertised for road bars.
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Old 05-28-08, 01:41 AM   #13
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>My current bars, which are posted above as an image, provide me with four different hand positions, which seems to be the number I frequently see advertised for road bars.

What are the four for your bars? For me, drops have three very different positions: tops, hoods, drops. You could kind of count another two by counting the part between the tops and the hoods (I sometimes use it as it opens your hand up backwards), or the very bottom of the drops, just resting on the webbing - but neither is really useful for any serious use as you can't reach the brakes or gears from there.

Steve
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Old 05-28-08, 02:17 AM   #14
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bwg's bars aren't straight, they're more like moustache/north road bars with some additions, so I don't see why stevage would have an argument against them.

on bwg's bars I can see four positions
1. the end grips
2. the curved ends of the barends
3. the straights of the barends
4. in the crook of the main bar where the barends are attached

I have drops and i ride the corners all the time. it's not too hard to get your hands back in the right position if you're paying attention.
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Old 05-28-08, 02:48 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Longfemur View Post
If you use mountain bike type handlebars, no wonder you have hand numbness. In my very arrogant but very certain opinion, straight or flat handlebars put your wrists in the absolute worse position for riding any steady distance, and on top of it, they don't give you the opportunity to keep moving your hands back and forth between a variety of useful positions as you're riding. If people stopped trying to reinvent the wheel, there wouldn't be any need for gimmicks like this.
I have to agree and disagree. I also think that straight bars are not comfortable for long distance, but I don't think that drop bars are much better.

And............. I sure hope people don't stop trying to reinvent the wheel, if we didn't, we would still be in the stone age.
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Old 05-28-08, 02:57 AM   #16
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>I don't see why stevage would have an argument against them.

I don't have an argument against them. It'd be kind of dumb telling someone that the thing they use all the time doesn't work

Steve
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Old 05-28-08, 06:38 AM   #17
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What are the four for your bars?
Steve
Hxzero identified three I use. In order of use, these are the hand positions I favor:

1. Top/ends of bar-ends (curved area) - this stretches me most (without leaning me over extremely) and puts my hands at a comfortable angle (like 10-2 position on steering wheel)
2. Normal grip position
3. sides of bar-ends (straight section)
4. position with the the butt of my palm on top of the grip and my fingers on the side/end of the bar-end (this position stretches the muscles in my hands after gripping the bars for a long time)
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Old 05-28-08, 09:03 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Longfemur View Post
If you use mountain bike type handlebars, no wonder you have hand numbness. In my very arrogant but very certain opinion, straight or flat handlebars put your wrists in the absolute worse position for riding any steady distance, and on top of it, they don't give you the opportunity to keep moving your hands back and forth between a variety of useful positions as you're riding. If people stopped trying to reinvent the wheel, there wouldn't be any need for gimmicks like this.
Not wanting to diss a fellow Northerner, but I have to chime in here as well: "very arrogant but very certain opinion" sums up the rest of your post rather nicely! Why is it, I wonder, that what works for a given individual gets universalized so easily? You like/prefer drops, don't like flats -- great! Others don't -- great. For example, I just can't get on with drop bars, and prefer flats; I also use -- and love -- the Ergon grips. They too aren't perhaps for everyone, but they do what it says on the tin. As for being a 'gimmick', well -- I should think that from certain "arrogant but very certain" points of view, carbon fibre, brifters, disc brakes, etc. etc. are all "gimmicks", 'devices' not to be countenanced by the 'serious cyclist'
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Old 05-28-08, 11:47 AM   #19
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Not wanting to diss a fellow Northerner, but I have to chime in here as well: "very arrogant but very certain opinion" sums up the rest of your post rather nicely! Why is it, I wonder, that what works for a given individual gets universalized so easily? You like/prefer drops, don't like flats -- great! Others don't -- great. For example, I just can't get on with drop bars, and prefer flats; I also use -- and love -- the Ergon grips. They too aren't perhaps for everyone, but they do what it says on the tin. As for being a 'gimmick', well -- I should think that from certain "arrogant but very certain" points of view, carbon fibre, brifters, disc brakes, etc. etc. are all "gimmicks", 'devices' not to be countenanced by the 'serious cyclist'

I have to agree here - dogmatic statements about what is right or wrong - especially for someone else - are not terribly helpful and don't really contribute much to the discussion. The OP found something that works, and that's great. For the OP, especially.

I say "bravo" to Ergon for coming up with something like this. I may get myself a pair, since I occasionally experience numbness in my hands whether I use drops, straight, mustache or trekking bars. My problem is insufficient core strength, but I am working on that!
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Old 05-28-08, 12:06 PM   #20
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dogmatic statements about what is right or wrong - especially for someone else - are not terribly helpful and don't really contribute much to the discussion.
That is wrong.
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Old 05-28-08, 12:16 PM   #21
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I've had great results with the Ergon grips on my mountain bike. I'm currently looking for a solution for the drop bars on my touring bike. I'm still working up to those 60+ mile days.
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Old 05-29-08, 08:04 AM   #22
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I have been using these for a while now and no more had problems.

Interesting setup. How often do you use the barends that are mounted up by the bag?
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Old 05-29-08, 10:14 AM   #23
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That is wrong.
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Old 05-29-08, 10:51 AM   #24
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The OP posted in the Touring forum, and so my original reply and this one are within the context of touring, not just ordinary trips around the neighbourhood.

If you have hand numbness, it's because of any of the following:

1) You are just starting and you haven't yet developed the necessary physical fitness you need to ride a touring bike for long distances.

2) Your bike's handlebars don't allow you to vary your hand grip on the handlebars every once in a while as you are riding (experienced cyclists do this frequently).

3) You do have handlebars that allow you to vary your hand positions often, but you don't actually think of doing this.

4) Your bike fit is setup in a way that does not correspond to your actual riding style and intensity, thus putting way too much weight on your hands. You don't usually set up the saddle and handlebar positions on a touring bike the same way you would if you were time trialling or sprinting. You set it up for long distance endurance at a lesser riding intensity than would someone who is racing on the bike.

Gadgets and gimmicks don't solve the problem - they only contribute to it, or they help separate people from their money. Proper technique and a position that is good for you do solve the problem. All of a sudden, in the 21st century, it's like civilization has suddenly forgotten all it has learned about cycling the previous century. No matter what gadget you use to distribute the weight on your hands, it's still weight on your hands, and it will hurt or get numb if you don't move your hands around, and nothing will help if you have too much weight on them in the first place. The original mountain bikes weren't at all intended for touring or long distances. They were mostly intended for barreling down trails in the hills. Flat mountain bike handlebars are fine for that.

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