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Numb Hands On One Bike, Not On The Other...

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Numb Hands On One Bike, Not On The Other...

Old 09-22-16, 09:56 AM
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LHawes
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Numb Hands On One Bike, Not On The Other...

I think might be easy for those who know about such things but I'm a bit baffled. I'm 63 years old, about 5'10"+ 180 lbs. and started riding again after about 5 years off. I purchased a new Giant ToughRoad size medium and loved the bike but had a problem with hand numbness.

I changed my grips to some Ergons and added some bar ends and was able to ease the numbness with a couple new hand positions but still fight it. Moving the seat back might have helped but not sure.

Now enter a new Mountain bike. It's a 2016 Trance 2 in a large and I took it out for a spin yesterday for the first time. I noticed the stock, hard, round, grips and thought, "Crap, those will have to go as they'll surely hammer my hands."

The first part of my ride was about 3 miles of road to get to the park. I locked out the suspension and I noticed how comfortable the bike was and my hands were strangely - not hurting at all and not numb. The riding position was better, somehow but I don't know how/why.

I measured top tube lengths and the Tough Road is about an inch shorter than the Trance and from stem to seat post is at least an inch short as well.

Is it that simple? Does the riding position on the ToughRoad need to be longer? Is it the height of the saddle stem?

I LOVE the Tough Road and thought I would just have to live with the hands I was given but there's something about the Trance that leaves my hands much more pain free.

Any help much appreciated.

Thank you in advance











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Old 09-22-16, 10:20 AM
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Well, firstly we have to link to the Numb Hands post.

Yeah, reach could easily have something to do with it. Move the saddle on the ToughRoad back an inch. See what that does. Looks like you have it as far forward as it goes.
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Old 09-22-16, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Well, firstly we have to link to the Numb Hands post.

Yeah, reach could easily have something to do with it. Move the saddle on the ToughRoad back an inch. See what that does. Looks like you have it as far forward as it goes.
Thanks for the reply. Been to the numb hands post and all over the web and found ways to make it better with the Tough Road. I was just surprised how much better the larger frame/longer reach felt but don't know if that's the culprit.

I could buy a longer stem or get straight bars to move my hands forward or even get a new saddle that somehow went back farther but don't want to fish around too much if there's something obvious about the set up differences.

Saddle is all the way back on the Tough Road and isn't the saddle position a very important part of fitting a bike? Shouldn't it be in a position that places your knees directly over the pedals (or some other formula?) - See quote below.

I'm obviously thrashing here and hope i don't sound like I know what I'm talking about and greatly appreciate your help.

"Contrary to popular belief, the longer your reach to the bars, the less weight you have on your hands. Imagine if you had your hands fully forward and horizontal, there'd be hardly any weight on them at all. However, your seat should be positioned for optimum leg-angle and extension, NOT for reach to the bars. If you need longer reach to the bars, get a longer stem, do not slide your seat back (that can introduce all sorts of knee problems):

Maybe it is as simple as a longer stem?
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Old 09-22-16, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by LHawes View Post
Thanks for the reply. Been to the numb hands post and all over the web and found ways to make it better with the Tough Road. I was just surprised how much better the larger frame/longer reach felt but don't know if that's the culprit.

I could buy a longer stem or get straight bars to move my hands forward or even get a new saddle that somehow went back farther but don't want to fish around too much if there's something obvious about the set up differences.

Saddle is all the way back on the Tough Road and isn't the saddle position a very important part of fitting a bike? Shouldn't it be in a position that places your knees directly over the pedals (or some other formula?) - See quote below.

I'm obviously thrashing here and hope i don't sound like I know what I'm talking about and greatly appreciate your help.

"Contrary to popular belief, the longer your reach to the bars, the less weight you have on your hands. Imagine if you had your hands fully forward and horizontal, there'd be hardly any weight on them at all. However, your seat should be positioned for optimum leg-angle and extension, NOT for reach to the bars. If you need longer reach to the bars, get a longer stem, do not slide your seat back (that can introduce all sorts of knee problems):

Maybe it is as simple as a longer stem?
For now, try swapping saddles. Brooks are notoriously difficult to get in the right position. Velo Orange sells a special seatpost with more setback for Brooks.

No, there's no special relationship between knees and pedals. There's a general positioning aid, KOPS, which gets folks in a good starting position, but mostly saddle position for non-racers is about balance.

Your quote is partially correct: saddle fore-and-aft position is about balance and hip angle. Saddle height is about proper leg extension and knee angle. Moving the saddle back would be a good test to see if it helped.
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Old 09-22-16, 02:30 PM
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Thanks. I just put a 110mm stem on to replace the 80mm stock stem and took it for a quick spin and it feels much better but didn't ride long enough to test hand fatigue. I've got a 25 - 30 mile ride planned for this weekend and will further test. The Giant has a special 'D' post that is hard to replace but I'l try that next if the new stem doesn't help but again it feels quite good.
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Old 09-22-16, 08:02 PM
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SEAT TILT having your seat tilted down is a hand killer. Use a small level to see how much your seat is tilted down try some variations to find what helps.
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Old 09-26-16, 09:40 AM
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Went on a 28 mile ride yesterday to try the new stem and also tilted the seat up to see what that would do and have some mixed results. The tilted seat (it was almost perfectly level before changing the angle) was very hard on the jewels but my hands seemed better. At the half way point I re-leveled the seat which was much more comfortable but I think it was worse for my hands but it was hard to tell definitively because I had been riding a long time by then.

I also discovered I really do not like the Brooks - at all. I have a new mountain bike with a 'skinny' that I find, surprisingly to me, much more comfortable.

So no real data I can point to. I think I like the longer stem but did it help my hands? Not sure. Was the unrideable back tilt of the seat that helped? Not sure.

I'm now shopping for a new seat, that much I know, and will probably keep the longer stem and just see of my hands adapt.
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