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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 08-08-13, 11:26 PM   #1
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Numb toes and fatigued arms.

Hello, all. Getting a late start on summer riding and been doing short rides (curse having friends who are starting!), only about 5 miles a day currently with a couple stops along the way. Anyhow, I'm running into the problem on those short rides of my arms getting really tired, and sometimes my left arm going to sleep, and my feet feeling really cramped and occasionally my toes going numb. Would riding on too low of handlebars cause the arm problems? I have the stem maxed out (riding a vintage schwinn with the original quill stem, so my options for raising it seem a little more limited) and my seat still feels fairly low sometimes. Also, I'm riding toe clips (always loose on the short rides) in my running shoes. Is the shoe flex causing me the cramping issues? Thanks in advance for any input. I posted here because I feel like a lot of it is from being a bigger rider. (6' 320lbs)
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Old 08-11-13, 03:14 PM   #2
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I am surprised that this has no reply's. It sounds like you have answered you own questions in the areas that are bothering you. maybe make some adjustments if you can but i guess the best bet would be too go to your LBS and have them do a fitting session to correct the problems. when i first got back too riding i had a really bad fitting bike and i was hurting all over. Went and bought a new bike that fits me and bamm, problems were solved.
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Old 08-11-13, 08:04 PM   #3
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for stem you can get some pretty tall quill stems... here is an example

or I know somone sells a tall quill stem adapter so you would move to a high rise type 1 1/8" stem
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Old 08-13-13, 05:02 PM   #4
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Well, this is not "expert" advice, just my personal experience.

Let me start off by saying that I did purchase my road bike from a bike shop and I did have them fit me to the bike.

At first, I did not having of the arm/toe issues that you are having. I had been riding my mtn bike for about a year on the road, and the transition was very smooth. I went from struggling to finish 15-17 miles on the mtn bike to breezing through 20 miles the first I rode the road bike.

I first started to notice the arm/toe issues that you are talking about once I started increasing my ride time/distance. I went from 20mi to 30mi and I would have arm fatigue/numbness in my ring/pinky fingers. Also, my 2 smaller toes would become numb, as well.

For me, it was more of a conditioning problem than it was a bike fit problem. Eventually, I could do a 50mi ride and have no numbness, etc. 2 wks ago, I rode for the first time in about 6mos, and, once again, at about mile 11, my toes were numb and so were my fingers.

I know I kinda rambled on, but I hope it made some sense to you.
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Old 08-13-13, 07:45 PM   #5
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This may or may not apply, but I thought I would toss it out there. Certain medical conditions such as diabetes and hypothyroidism can cause circulation issues. In turn creating lack of blood flow and numbness. Also nerve compression, especially in the neck and low back area, which will typically happen after the body is warmed up and blood flow has increased can cause numbness in the extremeties.
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Old 08-14-13, 07:14 PM   #6
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Nitto has some tall stems, they may help. I have always found running shoes to be the worst for cycling. my toes went to sleep. I use cycling specific shoes that have a stiff sole. these distribute the pressure across the whole foot.
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