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Hand pain

Old 07-02-20, 02:19 PM
  #1  
INOX NYC
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Hand pain

Hello all. I'm 60, been riding
​​​​pain free for all of my life. Lately on any ride over 10-15 miles I get a lot of pain and tingling in my hands. I'm riding single speed with drops. Any advice?

Last edited by INOX NYC; 07-02-20 at 05:08 PM.
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Old 07-02-20, 04:49 PM
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Skullo
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Could be carpal tunnel syndrome.Often the hand cramps also and bothers one at night.I had it for twenty five years before it got real bad.Raising bars can help. If it persists best to get a real diagnoses.
Best to get a release surgery. I total destroyed my left wrist cartilage
and now I canít ride a road bike more than ten miles.Go see a hand specialist at a sports clinic.If just carpal tunnel you will be right back on bike very soon.
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Old 07-02-20, 05:37 PM
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Have you made any changes to the bike lately?

A while back I adjusted my brake levers in a bit and my wrists started hurting on longer rides. My wife asked me if I'd made any changes to the bike, and it took me a bit to remember that I had made that minor adjustment. Her response was "move them back".

Last edited by Wileyrat; 07-02-20 at 05:48 PM.
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Old 07-03-20, 03:53 AM
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Are your core/trunk muscles up to the task of supporting your body in a riding position? If not, your hands are supporting more weight than they should.
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Old 07-03-20, 08:01 AM
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Cyclists Palsy

Classic signs of Cyclists Palsy, a version of carpal tunnel syndrome. https://www.physio-pedia.com/Cyclist%27s_palsy. Mine came from years of cycling and motorcycle riding.

You can ignore it but it only gets worse with time. I gave up on road bikes, including a very fine vintage Motobecane Le Champion, and moved on to recumbents with underseat steering 20 years ago. That worked. Eventually it began to interfere with normal off-bike activities. After more than a year of hassling with the health couldn't-care-less system I finally got my insurer to agree to carpal tunnel release surgery. That was a year ago. I still don't ride road bikes because the other hand has it to a lesser degree but now I can ride my recumbent trike with no discomfort.
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Old 07-03-20, 10:16 AM
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Change hand position frequently, stand up on pedals more. I find riding on the drops is best when seated for hand numbness issues.
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Old 07-03-20, 11:11 AM
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Same bike you've been riding pain-free for years?
The Numb Hands post: Numb Hands
Could be something to do with a neck vertebra.- seems most likely. So: Riding Position Discovery
Hand exercises I've used: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Exercises
I've resolved some hand issues by always sleeping with my hands squashed flat under my pillow.
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Old 07-03-20, 03:41 PM
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Bahnzo
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Originally Posted by nomadmax View Post
Are your core/trunk muscles up to the task of supporting your body in a riding position? If not, your hands are supporting more weight than they should.
I think this is what you should look at first. It seems to me cyclists tend to think we need to be bent over more than is what's comfortable for us. I know, because I was one. Once I started bringing my handlebars up to a more comfortable position, a lot of things changed including the numbness in my hands. But I also got faster and was able to ride longer as well. So before doctors and surgeries, simply bring your bars up and see what that does.
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Old 07-04-20, 05:35 AM
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retiredguru
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I'm 63, and this started happening to me a few years ago. If none of the simple and obvious suggestions here work, it's going to be medically addressed. Re: Carbonfiberboy 's comment, I am one of those lucky ones with a couple of degenerative discs in the neck, between C5 and C7, causing a constant pinching of the C6 nerve. This causes a number of problems for me off the bike. On the bike my hands can begin to tingle and go extremely numb in less than a half mile into a ride, more so on the left side, constantly demanding I remove the hand(s) and bend it/them in toward the forearm until the numbness goes away. And it does--like new again. More often than not, it comes back in short time. Investigate the simple and obvious mentioned here, then consider seeing a specialist. If it isn't carpal tunnel, Cyclists Palsy, the neck vertebrae could be the next place to check.

Last edited by retiredguru; 07-05-20 at 05:17 AM.
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Old 07-06-20, 06:37 AM
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I ended up adding these to my bars and it helped a lot. I also cut about an inch and a half off the width of my bars and, after a lot of very small adjustments, got the palm swells on my grips where they support not hurt my hands. Not perfect but I also added a pair of padded fingerless gloves to the mix all in an effort to postpone a medical/surgical requirement.
Good luck, Frank.

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Old 07-06-20, 06:48 AM
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INOX NYC
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Originally Posted by INOX NYC View Post
Hello all. I'm 60, been riding
​​​​pain free for all of my life. Lately on any ride over 10-15 miles I get a lot of pain and tingling in my hands. I'm riding single speed with drops. Any advice?
Thanks. A lot of good advice. Definitely have to work on my core and experiment with handlebar changes.
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Old 07-06-20, 09:01 PM
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fietsbob 
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Padded palm gloves?
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Old 07-06-20, 09:36 PM
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Originally Posted by INOX NYC View Post
Hello all. I'm 60, been riding
​​​​pain free for all of my life. Lately on any ride over 10-15 miles I get a lot of pain and tingling in my hands. I'm riding single speed with drops. Any advice?
I have had 12 hand operations over the years starting at 26, today I’m 52. Dupuytrens contractor due to my Viking blood. I was in there with the carpel tunnel women and it is no joke it is painful. What worked for me as for as cycling is buy a good pair of gloves. Learn how to ride with minimal pressure on the hands like riding hand free which isn’t that hard. Especially when riding over a rough surface. And the worse part is to take is easy My weak point. Don’t over do even if you wanna .. when I said hand free I only mean when rough terrain isn’t present otherwise keep an easy grip. Hand problems are not fun so many nerves in our hands but over come and have fun riding bikes

Last edited by Hondo Gravel; 07-08-20 at 05:19 PM.
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Old 07-06-20, 10:05 PM
  #14  
79pmooney
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I started having similar sounding hand issues in my 60s. Right hand more than my left. Measured up my best bike, the main culprit. Oops! Right brake lever was higher than the left. Lowered the left a little and the right to line up with it and rode. Both hands were better but still some issue. Also I noticed now the drops were an issue also. I rotated the bars down so the levers came down also. Much better.

I now ride with the flats of th edrops horizontal or even past on all my bikes and the lever tops also horizontal. Seems my hands much prefer to have my thumbs pointed forward, little fingers pulled back. Sounds odd and my bikes look 1950s racing retro but my hands don't have issues either riding or after. (And this is riding with real weight on my hands.)

Edit: A practice which I make standard on any bike setup that might also help the OP here - pull the tape off your handlebars and use just enough electrical tape to keep cables in place. Ride, bringing all the wrenches to adjust brake levers, stem height and handlebar rotation, (Beforehand, mark your brake lever location with tape or magic marker. Hold a yardstick to you handlebar flat and put a piece of tape on the seatstay or seatpost where the yardstick hits.

Now, stop anytime and tweak the bars and levers and take notes on what you did and how it feels. You may find that what helps is not obvious (like my rotation of bars and levers to more extreme (and by all I've read) less comfortable forward and down.

Ben

Last edited by 79pmooney; 07-06-20 at 10:15 PM.
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Old 07-07-20, 08:05 AM
  #15  
BlazingPedals
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I originally got into recumbents because of hand pain. With a 'bent, there's no pressure on the hands. Although I still grip the bars, it's a slight pulling force not a resting-some-of-your-weight force. You can keep trying STUFF to make yourself more comfortable, which may or may not work. There used to be a sequence posted on usenet for dealing with hand discomfort. Excuse me for mangling it, but it went something like:
1. Cello bar tape works great!
2. Cork/padded tape is more comfy
3. foam pipe insulation wrapped in foam tape - much better
4. Aw, just get a recumbent.
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Old 07-07-20, 10:05 AM
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I've had a problem with my ulnar nerve for years. I get pain mostly in the pinkie of the left hand, rarely up the side of the other. The thing is I'm fine while riding, it is at any time before or after I feel it. In fact I feel it right now as I type on my computer.
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Old 07-09-20, 03:38 PM
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This can also be due to the saddle being positioned too far forward which results in increased weight on your hands and wrists. If you can't ride comfortably while holding a regular riding position with virtually no weight on your hands then your saddle is probably too far forward. If you move the saddle backwards to adjust this then you'll probably need to get a shorter stem to compensate for the longer reach to the bars.
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Old 07-13-20, 11:59 AM
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How about aeros? Anyone try them to deal with hand pain?
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Old 07-13-20, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by INOX NYC View Post
Hello all. I'm 60, been riding
​​​​pain free for all of my life. Lately on any ride over 10-15 miles I get a lot of pain and tingling in my hands. I'm riding single speed with drops. Any advice?
I have found that it does not take much difference to generate some tingling in my hands. A very slight rotation in the bars can cause it or different gloves. It seems like too much padding in my gloves can do it. Or conversely, bar tape that used to provide some padding is worn out or gloves are worn out.

Fizik makes some very nice padded bar tape. I like it a lot.

And conversely, some riders do not use any bar tape or wear gloves because it causes hand pain.

TL;DR. Experiment with different bar tape, gloves or no gloves and handlebar positions.
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Old 07-13-20, 01:04 PM
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Thick spots

On my old bars I overwrapped an area where my Palm sits and for a bit of relief.
I put some new risers on and they are helping, I may invest in some ergonomic grips to see if that gives some additional help too.
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Old 07-16-20, 02:14 PM
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headwind15
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Use a level, make sure that your seat is not pointed down. A down tilted seat is a hand killer.
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