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Pain in hands after 15+ miles, do gloves make a difference?

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Pain in hands after 15+ miles, do gloves make a difference?

Old 09-18-15, 04:46 PM
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e30jean
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Pain in hands after 15+ miles, do gloves make a difference?

Hi,

I recently started cycling, first road bike. I am in mid 30s, 5'6 about 150lbs. I've purchased a fuji roubaix 1.0 from lbs and had them fit me. The problem I am having is hand pain or numbness after about 15 or so miles. I've tried adjusting my bar angle a few degrees up and it didn't make a difference. So I basically switch my hands from the hoods to the centers and drops etc and that removes some of the pain.

LBS said better gloves help, but I am being a little skeptical if that is the way to go or if it would make sense to pay for a professional fitting? The seat height, angle seems in the ballpark based on the recommendations online and LBS. I am just not sure what should the next step be, I would like eliminate the hand pain as I started riding 20,30 miles a few times a week and would like to go further.

I should also add, LBS did basic fitting when I purchased a bike there but it didn't seem very in depth or anything. For example they haven't done any handle bar adjustment, it was mostly seat height/position relative to pedals.

I am wondering if this is what I need to try - https://www.technicallytom.com/2015/0...up-to-the-bar/



Thanks!

Last edited by e30jean; 09-18-15 at 05:06 PM.
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Old 09-18-15, 05:28 PM
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I think he has some good advice in that article, thanks for the link. I also think that regardless of how you set up your bars, if you ride for 15 miles with your hands in one position (particularly with bent wrist or gripping the bars tightly), you are going to experience pain and numbness in the hands. I know I tend to plunk my hands down on the hoods and leave them there, even though I know darned well that I need to move them around. I also try, whenever possible depending on road conditions, to lightly rest my hands on the bars, rather than grip them. This is particularly easy to forget on long uphill grinds. IMO, we (at least I) tend to get really tight in the upper body while cycling. I really have to concentrate on staying loose and relaxed, don't hunch my shoulders, and keep my hands moving around on the bars.
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Old 09-18-15, 05:52 PM
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I wear gloves every ride every time. My gloves help reduce numbness and also come in handy for an unexpected spill. Usually the first thing to hit the ground on a spill in the hands and my gloves have saved my hands twice so far.

I only get numbness on longer rides like 15+ miles or so. I have mechanix impact gloves and they really absorb some of the shock. I remember doing a commute and forgot my gloves and within 10 minutes my hands were getting a little dumb.

Hand numbness has some to do with bike fit, but that's a different topic, but all in all, hands get numb on all bikes after time. Gloves give you some more cushion and a safety measure.
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Old 09-18-15, 07:09 PM
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Two things combine to give one hand pain:
How one holds the bars.
How much weight is on one's hands.

Look at this post for how to hold the bars: https://www.bikeforums.net/road-cycli...l#post12953035

For how to reduce weight on your hands, adjust the fore-and-aft position of your saddle so that, when pedaling at your normal cruising speed on the flat, you can briefly lift both hands off the bars without sliding forward on your saddle. This test assumes that the top of your saddle is level. See this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z04uoO7U_SA

You might also refer to this thread: https://www.bikeforums.net/road-cycli...discovery.html

It is true that gloves which are padded to protect the ulnar nerve in the hand are much more comfortable. I like Bontrager gloves for their padding.

Last edited by Carbonfiberboy; 09-18-15 at 07:20 PM.
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Old 09-21-15, 12:55 PM
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Thanks for the feedback ! I have been rotating my hands on the handle/hoods/drops and it does help. After reading this thread I've also tried the exercise of putting my hand behind my lower back while riding to stretch/have it rest there and that has helped a lot!

I went on my first 40 mile ride the other day and I think I need to either(or both) move the saddle back a little more and maybe raise the front of it up to see if that improves things further as well.
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Old 12-02-15, 01:52 PM
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I'm 6'4" and was getting pain in the hands after just a few minutes with or without gloves on my 58cm gravel bike. I knew I was putting too much weight on them. I opted for an adjustable stem that brought the bars closer and raised them. I've also tilted the bar back a little to distribute the weight over my whole hand and not just on the palm while on the hoods. Since I spend almost all the time on the hoods, I also ride no-handed when and where I can to relieve pressure on the hands. All of this has taken a very uncomfortable ride to something much more comfortable.
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Old 12-05-15, 04:58 PM
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Two things:

1. Saddle tilted towards top tube (declined angle of saddle): so you should consider leveling your saddle with a bubble indicator or some horizontal reference.
2. Saddle setback too less: you should increase setback (move saddle backwards) to reduce the weight your wrists are bearing.

Hope this helps.
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Old 12-11-15, 08:40 AM
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No expert here, but I will share my recent experience. I started commuting regularly summer of 2013. I was on my MTB with rubber grips. I also have those goofy bar extensions that I like to use when climbing. The also provide an additional set of locations for hand positions. despite several different gloves, grip change and wrapping the extensions with bar tape, my hands always end up getting numb after about 10 miles.

This years I started riding one of my road bikes that is much more stretched out when using the hoods. No pain! This is a really puzzling scenario set. I tend to set all my bikes up with dimensions of the saddle, bars set relative to the BB.

The biggest impact was changing from gloves with padding to a pair without! Better on both bikes!

https://www.universalcycles.com/shop...s.php?id=69049

I think strengthening your core can have a big impact too. When it gets stronger, you will need to readjust your saddle and maybe your cockpit configuration. I don't sit on the saddle as much anymore and feel the 3 points of weight distribution are a bit more even.

Your results may vary.
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Old 12-11-15, 09:00 AM
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Nope, gloves won't do it. You should move the saddle back to take weight off the hands, get a pro fit, get bigger lower pressure tires and carbon handlebars.

And after none of that works, place your hands slightly differently on the hoods because pressure on specific nerves is what causes the pain. Also work on your posture on the bike, since if that's wrong we get sore and tired especially in the back and core and that causes us to lean on our hands more.
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Old 12-11-15, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by d4devilx View Post
Two things:

1. Saddle tilted towards top tube (declined angle of saddle): so you should consider leveling your saddle with a bubble indicator or some horizontal reference.
2. Saddle setback too less: you should increase setback (move saddle backwards) to reduce the weight your wrists are bearing.

Hope this helps.
Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
Nope, gloves won't do it. You should move the saddle back to take weight off the hands, get a pro fit, get bigger lower pressure tires and carbon handlebars.

And after none of that works, place your hands slightly differently on the hoods because pressure on specific nerves is what causes the pain. Also work on your posture on the bike, since if that's wrong we get sore and tired especially in the back and core and that causes us to lean on our hands more.
I agree. Sliding forward on a tilted saddle and/or poor weight distribution on the saddle are responsible for 90% of hand issues.
Pay attention to if and how often you are having to adjust your position on the saddle. It should be infrequent. You should not have to push back against the bars to maintain your saddle position.

Core strength is important too. You should be able to lift your hands an inch above the bars without falling forward while riding down the road.

Last edited by andr0id; 12-11-15 at 09:32 AM.
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Old 12-11-15, 07:50 PM
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I wouldn't find a bit of hand numbness at 15 miles with a proper fit to be too much to deal with. Just shake it off?

Not a fan of padded gloves. I do wear unlined leather ones always but that be for other reasons.
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Old 12-12-15, 06:14 PM
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this time of year I wear warm gloves ..
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Old 12-12-15, 07:46 PM
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Somehow for me, I just found my "sweet spot" after a lot of riding.

Get on the bike, ride it for 10+ miles, see how it feels, make adjustments.

Get on the bike, ride it for 20+ miles, see how it feels, make adjustments.

Get on the bike... ride for ______ miles, see how it feels...

This kind of riding helped me determine the best saddle for me, my best stem length, angling of my cleats, and other nuances in hand position, etc.

Others may oppose that style, but I've found that way of "discovering" my bike an enjoyable experience. It's like courting her, until we're both one.
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Old 12-16-15, 08:33 PM
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To fix my hand numb problem, I'm looking for some foam pads that are sticky on one side. something about half the side of my palm right where my hand contacts the the handlebars. maybe .25 inch thick, relatively stiff foam. I looked at the stuff used for insulate windows and doors, but none was wide enough. still looking. might need to find some glue that is compatible with foam so i only need to find the right size foam.
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Old 12-16-15, 10:10 PM
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When I bought my bike I felt cramped when riding it (straight seat post and short stem) and both my hands hurt or went numb in just a few minutes. I changed out the post for a 25 mm set back I had and was able to get my knees over the pedals like I've seen recommended in fit guides and ordered a 120 x 15 degree stem. When I put it on with the seat set back right the bars were way too far forward, I was really stretched out and it then felt like more of my weight was on my hands. I next ordered a 100MM x 17 degree and it felt so much better. A couple a road side adjustments to the bar angle and seat it all came together and I have very little problems until I'm hours into a ride.

If a good fitting is an option, definitely go that way but if not, pick you up a cheap stem and go from there. I road for 4 hours Sunday and I think my hands were the only thing that didn't hurt. My big problem is left leg and foot hurting and then getting numb but that happen sitting at my desk or driving for long periods of time so I don't think that bike related.
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Old 12-16-15, 10:26 PM
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Originally Posted by e30jean View Post
....... I've tried adjusting my bar angle a few degrees up and it didn't make a difference.
Originally Posted by e30jean View Post
I think I need to either(or both) move the saddle back a little more and maybe raise the front of it up to see if that improves things further as well.
There are many, many, fine adjustments you can make to alter the fit of your bike. So many... That I'd say the odds of hitting on a good fit by trying this than that are pretty remote.

Watch a few YouTube videos on fitting a road bike. Then pick one that makes good sense (to you) and start your cleats and foot position... as it relates to saddle height and position.

After you fitted yourself properly read about and practice cycling form. If moving from the hoods to the tops occasionally helps your hands.... bending at the elbows might provide complete relief. Stick with the basics.
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Old 01-01-16, 10:42 AM
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Gloves do help. But as said, if the geometry isn't right nothing will fix the pain/ numbness. . I recently got a pair of pearl Izumi elite gloves. They are the best gloves I have ever had. . They have gel pads placed to protect the nerves in your hands and are very comfortable. I feel gloves are an essential part of riding kit mainly for safety, but also comfort.
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Old 01-01-16, 02:59 PM
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In the future, when seeking advice on body pain and fitment to the bike, include pics of the rider on the bike. Shot straight on from the side, front and back can be very helpful to those that would be of help to you.
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Old 02-08-16, 03:59 AM
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Check the angle of the saddle - should be horizontal. Other than that it sounds like the bar height is wrong and is too low for you.
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Old 02-10-16, 02:44 PM
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Serfas RX gloves helped me.
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Old 02-10-16, 04:07 PM
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I'm also not a fan of padded gloves, and my bike fitter specifically recommended not using them because he's found they are more frequently a cause of pain than relief from it because of how they concentrate pressure in small areas of the hands.
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Old 02-10-16, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by RandomEncounter View Post
I'm also not a fan of padded gloves, and my bike fitter specifically recommended not using them because he's found they are more frequently a cause of pain than relief from it because of how they concentrate pressure in small areas of the hands.
I would totally ignore that advice, having seen what ungloved hands can look like after a crash. Plus he's completely wrong, and if he's wrong about that, what else is he wrong about?
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Old 02-10-16, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
I would totally ignore that advice, having seen what ungloved hands can look like after a crash. Plus he's completely wrong, and if he's wrong about that, what else is he wrong about?
You can find and ride with unpadded gloves, which is what I do and what he recommended.
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