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Hand/wrist numbness related to size fit?

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Hand/wrist numbness related to size fit?

Old 03-28-21, 07:02 PM
  #1  
brucedelta
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Hand/wrist numbness related to size fit?

I am looking at buying a Trek FX 4 disk but have not found any to even look at much less a test ride. I am 6'2" with a 30 inseam in pants, so Trek suggests a large for me, but I am borderline between L and XL. A 30" inseam means my legs are on the short side for my height. I am also close to 300#, but let's assume I will be 250 by ridding time as I have recently lost a lot and will continue the trend.

I am visiting FL and decided to rent a bike for a few days. The shop is a Trek dealer but all they had for rental was an XL Verve 1, no large although maybe they will have one back in when I return this tomorrow. They also did not have an FX to be seen and I could not locate one at any shops in the area. The guys at this shop indicated that the FX is a little "smaller/more aggressive" than the Verve I was riding and they thought I would need an XL in an FX. I have a hold on a large FX4D that should arrive in an LBS this week. So I am trying to decide what will be right for me. Obviously, with the current availability, I would like to make this FX large work. So the question is how to tell what will fit without anything to see/try?

I rode the Verve 21 miles today and about 14 miles on each of the prior days. I have noticed my hands/wrists got fairly numb. So how does one eliminate this pain, I tried shaking my hands out as I went today but had to stop every 30 or so minutes to shake out my hands. Should I be concerned about this for fit? Does the L vs XL decision play into this and would an XL Verve indicate an XL FX is appropriate?

Another data point is I rode a Cannondale Quick XL at an LBS and it seemed to fit well, but it was only a 20 min or so ride. They also sell the Sirrus which I am interested in an X4 and based on the Cannondale he recommended an XL. He also had a sold X4 large at the shop that I could not ride but standing over it he thought it seemed tight as the reach was a little small and I agree it was likely that I would think the Xl was better. he thinks he has an XL Sirrus X4 coming in this week also, so maybe that would be a better choice than the FX if it is available. On both the Cannondale and Specialized sit the size guide says XL for me.

All of the brands list many sizing numbers but frankly, I am not sure what to pay attention to so I would appreciate advice on how to compare them. I also have a 1998 Cannondale H300 that I can ride, but I am not sure of the size. I found the bike brochure on the vintagecannondale website so I guess I could try to measure and determine what I am riding. I have noticed the hand/wrist numbness on the Cannondale but not nearly as bad as I had today on the Verve, as I never needed to stop to shake out my hands.

How do I figure out what size to buy when a comparison is not available easily. For some reason, I kind of have my heart set on the FX, but I have never seen any FX model in person. What started me on this journey is starting to use a Peloton last year and I have never noticed hand numbness on that and I do 90 min rides regularly.

Thanks for any help you can offer.
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Old 03-28-21, 08:49 PM
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First, I'm no expert on bike fit, but I've learned that there are certain principles and guidelines which apply to some large-ish groups of people.

The height of the saddle relative to the handlebars will impact the percentage of your upper body weight you're putting on your hands. A more aero position puts more weight on your hands and causes numbness in your hands. A more upright position puts less pressure on your hands and more weight on your butt. -- Side note: some saddles are more comfortable for certain people, but not necessarily for you. -- Then there is also the position of the saddle over the seat post, more forward or more rearward, to accommodate the knees' so called "preferred" position over the pedal spindle when the crank is horizontal. Next, you'll want to consider the length of the stem, as well as the rise, giving you a nice distance to stretch out over the bars, if you want that. Ditto the type of handlebars, with flair, sweep, rise and other variables.

Those are general considerations I have observed. The more you think about the kind of position you find comfortable, the less money you will spend on new parts to dial in the custom fit for your particular dimensions and riding preferences. Good luck.
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Old 03-28-21, 11:56 PM
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Seat setback is generally set to unweight the upper body, taking pressure off your hands. If the seat is too far forward, you will have too much weight on your hands. Forget KOPS, read this: https://www.stevehoggbikefitting.com...or-road-bikes/
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Old 03-29-21, 04:45 AM
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Might want to check out the "Clydesdale" section of the forum.
https://www.bikeforums.net/clydesdal...-200-lb-91-kg/
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Old 03-29-21, 08:26 AM
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I'm first going to annoy the flat bar crowd. Flat bars have no place on a bike except for off-road and BMX were you constantly have to yank the weight off the front wheel..... entirely my opinion though.

They don't put your hands in a decent position to let your wrists and the rest of your body joints and linkages to absorb the bumps and motions of a normal ride for longer periods of time. Swept back bars like on the old cruisers and early roadsters will be a better option. Drop bars or almost any other type bar with multiple hand positions will be even better. But, for those that do only short rides... flat bars are no problem.

As for pressure on your wrists, you have to find your balance point on the saddle at the power you normally put into the pedals. For me that usually means a saddle further forward than most. Mainly because I ride just below my max sustained power for the entire ride whether 1 hour or 4 hours.

If you are going to be just leisurely riding then that will have your saddle further back and possibly needing a post with more setback if you are on a road bike geometry frame that has been "hybridized". Never understood what it was a hybrid of. Road and off road deserve their own bikes. Never the two should mix.... but I digress and just cause many to foam at the mouth with angst toward me!

A better bike for leisurely riding is a cruiser. It has a more sloping seat tube than a road bike. So the saddle by design winds up being in that way set back position that leisurely riders on a road bike or hybrid bike try to get. Look at the Trek Electras if you do want a leisurely ride. Or if you want a comfortable ride for longer energetic rides, then look at a road bike or gravel bike/cross bike.

If you are going to ride this bike at a high level of output, then reach is key for your balance. I'd try a smaller frame as well as a bigger frame. Change up your hand positions while riding as best as you can. After the purchase, you can get little add-ons to give you a different grip position. But then.... why get a flat bar?
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Old 03-29-21, 03:53 PM
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I've had 2 problems that led to numbness. First was/is too much weight on my hands due to core weakness. Hand, arms, and shoulder ill suffer if one's core is too weak to hold one's upper half up. You can ride yourself into shape (slow but fun and relatively easy) or do core strengthening exercises (faster, less fun IMO) to solve that problem, if you have it.

Second was carpal tunnel syndrome. You need a specialized doc to diagnose CTS.
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Old 03-29-21, 04:05 PM
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Today I went to the shop to return the bike. I went early enough to ride the Palm Beach Lake trail, which is very lovely and flat. The shop had a large Verve and I swapped for that bike so I rode about 10 miles with it. The Large bike was much better for me with no hand numbness experienced. I was in a much more upright position with a larger % of my weight on the seat, so overall a much more comfortable ride. I agree the problem is my lack of core strength, but that is why I am riding to start with.
I hope the large FX4 is similar enough to the Verne to work as well, but at least now I know what comfort should feel like.
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Old 03-31-21, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by brucedelta View Post
Today I went to the shop to return the bike. I went early enough to ride the Palm Beach Lake trail, which is very lovely and flat. The shop had a large Verve and I swapped for that bike so I rode about 10 miles with it. The Large bike was much better for me with no hand numbness experienced. I was in a much more upright position with a larger % of my weight on the seat, so overall a much more comfortable ride. I agree the problem is my lack of core strength, but that is why I am riding to start with.
I hope the large FX4 is similar enough to the Verne to work as well, but at least now I know what comfort should feel like.
Glad you have something more comfortable. Now, about core strength. Go back and read the link I posted earlier. The reason for setting the seat setback properly, is to unweight the upper body, so you are not having to use your postural muscles to keep yourself in position. In other words, you do not have to enlist your core muscles as much to keep yourself up, thereby not wasting energy there, leaving your energy to be used to pedal, making you more efficient, at the same time it helps prevent the issue you were having.

https://www.stevehoggbikefitting.com...or-road-bikes/
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Old 04-02-21, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by brucedelta View Post
I was in a much more upright position with a larger % of my weight on the seat, so overall a much more comfortable ride.
That's better than having all your weight on your hands, but that's still not the best way to go. You want most of your weight supported by your legs. When you are pedaling hard and pushing down hard on your pedals, you naturally take the weight off your butt and hands. But when you are coasting along and not pedaling- make it a habit to straighten one leg and stand on that pedal.
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Old 04-02-21, 02:05 PM
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I used to have numb hands when I first began cycling. In my case, I found small differences in the angle that the hands meet the bars was important. I would first make sure you have the stem length correct. Then, small differences in how much the bars are rotated up or down are important. If the bar position is wrong, nerves might be pinched. Messing with all the variables can seem overwhelming but once you have it right, you realize it was a matter of knowing where to look. Core strength works into it also but a strong core is a longer term project.
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Old 04-03-21, 10:53 AM
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I went to a Trek store this week and they have some kind of sizing computer in the store that takes your picture and then it recommended an LG bike. I rode both an FX4 LG and XL FX3. In truth, I did not notice a huge difference between them and I think I could have been comfortable on either. The feel was much less different than I had between the Lg & XL Verve and seemed more comfortable than either of those. If I look at the specs the reach is the same on both sizes and the standover was the most noticeable difference and the LG was more comfortable with the XL putting me on tippy toes and still being high. The LG FX4 had seat in the upper half of its extension range but nowhere near the limit, so all seemed fine with that bike and is the model I wanted to start with. I would have been looking at 2022 for an XL FX4 and the LG was ready for me to take home I pulled the trigger and am now officially the proud owner of an FX4. It was the end of the day and I skipped doing a lot of outfitting, opting only for a couple of simple bottle cages and a Duotrap Bluetooth/Ant sensor since it seemed easier to have them put it on. I ordered a pair of Shimano SPD/Flat pedals to put on since I am used to clipping in on the Peloton and want to be able to do it on this bike. It has been cold and rainy here so I only took it out for a quick 35-minute ride the other day, I wanted to go further and could have physically but my hands were freezing cold and I decided there was no sense being uncomfortable when I had a nice Peloton to ride in the comfort of home.
I am not sure I am using the correct words, but I believe the problem was the weight on my hands and I think I am now succeeding in putting my weight on a good point of balance like discussed in the Hogg blog. My position on the FX4 feels similar to my Peloton riding position.
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Old 04-03-21, 12:06 PM
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Most of us can ride a size bigger or smaller. I've ridden bikes for years that by everyone else, including the saleswoman was too big for me. I was happy and that's what matters. As my riding amount and my fitness changed my desire for bikes of a different size changed.

Perhaps if I'd listened to that saleswoman 42 years ago, I'd be more concerned about everyone having one and only one perfectly sized bike. But I'm not. Just trust yourself and choose. Get some experience and use that for your next bike. Don't wait over 30 years to get another bike like I did.
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