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Alleviating wrist pain.

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Alleviating wrist pain.

Old 07-14-22, 02:09 PM
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robertj298 
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Alleviating wrist pain.

At 68 years old my age is catching up on me. I've developed arthritis mostly from the shoulders
down to my wrists . What bothers me the most when riding is pain in the wrists. I usually ride on the hoods so
I don't know anything that might alleviate the pain. All my bikes are vintage road bikes. Any
suggestions?
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Old 07-14-22, 02:55 PM
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I've found that riding drop bars with some outward flare puts my wrists in a more ergonomic position and help with the pain. If you plop your arms on a desk or table in front of you, note that your hands want to bend in a bit. Looking at it from a C&V standpoint, Nitto B135 bars have a little flare. From a non-C&V standpoint, look at the host of gravel bars available that have varying amounts of flare. I no longer have any bikes that have zero-flare drop bars.
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Old 07-14-22, 03:36 PM
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I have an Idea: Switch to drop bars and bar-end shifters. Keep your hands on the hoods and don't move them around much. This can help. Keep your hands relaxed, and try to rotate them in circles. Again, keep the hands relaxed, and DON'T CLICK THE BRAKES. If you don't HAVE bar-ends, then look for old-style brake hoods for the levers. These were designed for bar-end shifters and have a larger gripping surface. And, of course, get a better fitting bike.
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Old 07-14-22, 03:41 PM
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Have you tried doing some flexing exercises, i do the ones that are for carpal tunnel syndrome.

worth a shot do at your won risk i'm not a doc.
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Old 07-14-22, 04:27 PM
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I'm much more comfortable with ergo bend bars that are flatter on top vs. "classic" bend.

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Old 07-14-22, 05:37 PM
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I would suggest altering your bicycle position to take some of the weight of holding up your body off of your wrists. This is done by raising the handlebars while correspondingly moving your saddle back. This will most likely involve getting a shorter stem too. You might need to find a bicycle fitter that understands how to get a "gentleman's" position for comfort rather than how to make you go faster. Your goal is to find (by moving your saddle back just far enough) where your body is balanced over the pedals. When you get to that point, it magically takes the weight off of your hands. Of course moving your saddle back requires you to shorten your reach to the handlebars at the same time.

In general without knowing anymore about your present position, you probably will want your handlebars up high enough so it is level with your saddle. This most likely requires you to ride as big a frame as you can possibly straddle. It might involve installing a Nitto Technomic stem that lets you raise the bars higher. You will probably also need a seat post with greater setback. Nitto makes those too. Ordinary seat posts have 20/25mm of setback while A Velo Orange or Nitto has more.

Classic era bicycles - particularly Italian bicycles - were designed for racing with steeper seat and head angles. What you need is a bicycle that has only a 72 or even less seat angle. This allows your saddle to be further back. With the result that it takes your weight off of your handlebars. Touring bikes and some classic British bikes had swallower angles more suited to getting the kind of position you require.

It isn't just older buys taking my framebuilding class that find they prefer a further back bicycle position. Young urban riders that keep their eyes focused down the road for any potential danger prefer a more upright position too that results in slacker seat and head tube angles. Racing style of bikes don't convert well to a more upright position.
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Old 07-14-22, 06:02 PM
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I'm dealing with this too. A couple things that seem to help me. I wear the classic Planet Bike crochet back gloves, and really tighten the velcro closure. Gives a little support. I sometimes ride on the top hooks of the bars, grasping the bars knuckles in thumbs out. Like this guy...

And I ride front tire at lower inflation like 60psi on a 27x1 1/4 tire. Gives some shock absorption. But I did get a pinch flat last weekend. Hydration too. Drink lots of water, on and off the bike.

Last edited by big chainring; 07-14-22 at 06:13 PM.
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Old 07-14-22, 06:32 PM
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Another thing you can try. When I get neck, shoulder stiffness while on the bike, as well as the wrist issues, I put one arm behind my back and bend and rotate toward the shoulder. Stretches out the shoulder and perhaps will give some relief to your wrists.

But yeah when you get that wrist, hand pain it can really zap your energy and desire to ride.
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Old 07-14-22, 07:22 PM
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It would help to see a picture of your bike and bar setup.
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Old 07-14-22, 07:38 PM
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Only you know how it feels. My carpel and radial tunnel causes numbness and pain unique to me. I like classic bends and I alternate between the hoods and sneaking around both the flats and outside bend. Even drops occasional.

You've got 4 years on me so I think you're doing great, find some bars you like.
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Old 07-14-22, 10:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Doug Fattic View Post
I would suggest altering your bicycle position to take some of the weight of holding up your body off of your wrists. This is done by raising the handlebars while correspondingly moving your saddle back. This will most likely involve getting a shorter stem too. You might need to find a bicycle fitter that understands how to get a "gentleman's" position for comfort rather than how to make you go faster. Your goal is to find (by moving your saddle back just far enough) where your body is balanced over the pedals. When you get to that point, it magically takes the weight off of your hands. Of course moving your saddle back requires you to shorten your reach to the handlebars at the same time.

In general without knowing anymore about your present position, you probably will want your handlebars up high enough so it is level with your saddle. This most likely requires you to ride as big a frame as you can possibly straddle. It might involve installing a Nitto Technomic stem that lets you raise the bars higher. You will probably also need a seat post with greater setback. Nitto makes those too. Ordinary seat posts have 20/25mm of setback while A Velo Orange or Nitto has more.

Classic era bicycles - particularly Italian bicycles - were designed for racing with steeper seat and head angles. What you need is a bicycle that has only a 72 or even less seat angle. This allows your saddle to be further back. With the result that it takes your weight off of your handlebars. Touring bikes and some classic British bikes had swallower angles more suited to getting the kind of position you require.

It isn't just older buys taking my framebuilding class that find they prefer a further back bicycle position. Young urban riders that keep their eyes focused down the road for any potential danger prefer a more upright position too that results in slacker seat and head tube angles. Racing style of bikes don't convert well to a more upright position.
Your advise made a pretty good improvement, I was only able to raise the bars a small amount. I did push my seat back quite a bit . I had it pushed forward thinking it would seat me in a more uprighr position. I also wore gloves which I hardly ever do

Last edited by robertj298; 07-15-22 at 10:19 AM.
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Old 07-14-22, 11:27 PM
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Originally Posted by robertj298 View Post
Your advise made a pretty good improvement, I was only able to raise the seat a small amount. I did push my seat back quite a bit . I had it pushed forward thinking it would seat me in a more uprighr position. I also wore gloves which I hardly ever do
Finding people's best cycling position for the kind of body they have and the kind of riding they will be doing and then building a frame around that position is what I do for a living. Well actually I don't build for customers anymore but I teach others how to do it (like I have been doing since the mid 70's). The process goes like this. After getting the saddle height right, the next job is to find your body's balance point by moving the saddle just back just far enough so that where you are sitting takes the weight of holding up your upper body off of your hands on the handlebars. That is why this part of the fitting process is so important. After that the next task is to find where the handlebars can be positioned for comfort. For most people old enough to collect social security, they will want the height of their bars near or at the height of their saddle. And their reach will be shorter than when they were younger and probably their back angle will be somewhere around 45 to 55 degrees. Of course this all depends on a person's extra weight and flexibility. Because we are all different, this is why this process is so specific to every person.

The main point I'm trying to make is that your 1st goal with uncomfortable wrists is to position yourself on the bike to take your weight off of your hands. Unfortunately this often can't be done by just adjusting the parts on your bicycle as it is now. It will probably require getting a shorter and taller stem, maybe even getting handlebars with reduced reach (like 70 instead of 100mm) and a seat post that lets you sit further back. And if you have a racing style of bicycle, it might not work at all. You need a different kind of frame to be the most comfortable. Many classic bicycles were designed to go fast and those don't work well for a more upright position as we age. A touring bike with shallower angles might do the trick.
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Old 07-14-22, 11:57 PM
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Carpal tunnel syndrome? That would probably cause numbness more than pain, but ...? Core strength? I have arthritis and had numbness cured by carpal tunnel releases. I also had pain due to excess weight on my arms/elbows/wrists/shoulders, and more core strength alleviated it. When I remember to hold myself up, that is.

I already had a Nitto Technomic stem, so my 'bars are higher than most.
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Old 07-15-22, 01:17 AM
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This is the positioning you seek.




And another layer literally to wrap another layer of cushy tape on the bars can help even more.
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Old 07-15-22, 02:23 PM
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Diclofenac/Voltaren
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Old 07-17-22, 07:33 PM
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I wear loose gloves, work my fingers into the equation because I ride a lot of 75-100 mile rides.
Indoors is more of an issue, without the wind to hold me up. Solved with a climbing block and Hover riser bar.

Watching the tour. I see they grip the hoods way up there.
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Old 07-19-22, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by USAZorro View Post
Diclofenac/Voltaren
I put that **** on everything! Back, shoulders, knees, thumbs, etc,
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