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Old 08-20-12, 09:34 AM   #1
flippant
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Grip fatigue on tour?

Hey all,

I'm currently doing a tour of the west coast (Portland - San Diego), and am currently 1,200mi into it. I've had knee issues (iliotobial band friction syndrome) that I am now thankfully over, after having bought a foam roller.

One remaining niggle, though, is my grip strength.

After about three days on tour, I noticed I had little tremors and twitches in my fingers. That was due to me putting pressure on the central base of the hand when riding, so I stopped that and the tremors and twitches went away quickly.

However, I've got some pretty massive grip fatigue. It's not affecting my riding in any way, but my thumb/index finger pinching grip is very weak. I can't eat with chopsticks, hold a wine glass by the stem in the normal way or any action that requires pinching (writing is ok, however).

There's no pain, tingling, numbness or anything of that sort going on.

I ride with padded gloves most of the time, but take them off just for variation at other times.

I had my bike professionally fitted, and while they wanted to lower the stem a little bit (the saddle is more or less level with the top handlebars), everything else should be ok.

This is my bike:


Any ideas?
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Old 08-20-12, 10:54 AM   #2
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You might try raising your handlebars a bit. And focus on dropping your shoulders and bending your elbows while you ride. Relax your upper body.

One stretch I do to regain feeling in my fingers if they go numb on a long ride is to sit bolt upright, then put one hand/arm behind my back in an "L" shape. Vertical part of the "L" is my upper arm beside my body, horizontal part of the "L" is my forearm resting across my back at about waist level. Within seconds, the feeling returns to my hand. Then I repeat with the other arm. That might help your situation a bit too.
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Old 08-20-12, 11:16 AM   #3
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Maybe you need to trust the steering you get from the saddle, more

and lighten the grip you may have in the handlebars,
from one that may be too much ..
It's not like holding onto a hammer (that you need to not fly out of your hand)


i fitted on a half grab-on set on the upper, curve,
but with aero levers and cable there I have used a set and a half of
padded tape , and used split in half of 1 on the tops ,
and then a whole piece of padded tape wrapped over the partial section.

Last edited by fietsbob; 08-20-12 at 01:42 PM.
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Old 08-20-12, 12:48 PM   #4
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Lower the bar, the more pressure on the hands. When I rode an upright, the bars, at saddle height, were wrapped in pipe insulation foam. Much more ergonomically correct than skinny bars. Also used aerobars for another comfortable riding position. Solved all the hand pressure problems. Wish I could have solved the saddle problems.
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Old 08-20-12, 07:14 PM   #5
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Aerobars, like these:

http://www.profile-design.com/profil...airstryke.html

I nearly gave up touring in the early 1990s due to hand problems. I starting using Airstrykes in 1994. They saved my touring "career" by giving me a riding position that requires no gripping. On the road, I rely on them for up to 50% of a typical day.

Just don't use aerobars in traffic, or any time you might need quick access to your brake levers!!!
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Old 08-20-12, 07:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acantor View Post
Aerobars, like these:

http://www.profile-design.com/profil...airstryke.html

I nearly gave up touring in the early 1990s due to hand problems. I starting using Airstrykes in 1994. They saved my touring "career" by giving me a riding position that requires no gripping. On the road, I rely on them for up to 50% of a typical day.

Just don't use aerobars in traffic, or any time you might need quick access to your brake levers!!!
Exactly. Same model I used. Same results.
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Old 08-20-12, 07:55 PM   #7
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Lots of good advice here as well as some very good links

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...s-when-touring

z
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Old 08-21-12, 09:38 PM   #8
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Try shifting your grip. I wouldnt get the twitches, but the musculature in my hands began to change ever so slightly the couple months after buying wheels (no car only pedals).


I've been a pianist most of my life so i have an intimate relationship with my hands. I started to drop my shoulders as mentioned in an above post. This helped a lot with my torso & breathe patterns. Then I began to grab side grips on the outsides of my bars, underhand grips, & grips in between certain fingers. I also stretch out my pinky fingers to just above my break levers while my thumb is pointing towards the stem. These little tricks have helped my hand fatigue greatly. p.s. I dont use any gloves unless its cold.

Last edited by Thaddeus088; 08-21-12 at 09:40 PM. Reason: clarification derp
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