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Gloves and Hand Numbness - Part: Umpteenth Time

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Gloves and Hand Numbness - Part: Umpteenth Time

Old 06-19-16, 08:44 AM
  #1  
one4smoke
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Gloves and Hand Numbness - Part: Umpteenth Time

So I've continuously had an issue with hand numbness (especially the left) since I got back into cycling a couple of years ago. Had bike fitted and adjusted, stem replaced, and have tried numerous gloves. The ones that minimized the numbness the best was Louis Garneau Men's 12c Air Gel Cycling Gloves. I originally purchased them in XL, but since then have lost a lot of weight and now find a Large fits a bit better. I've looked for these in this size lately, and they are virtually impossible to find. Especially in the color (ginger) I'm wanting. So I decided to give the Pearl Izumi Elite Gel Gloves a try after hearing good things about them. The pads were so pronounced and firm, that I was skeptical, but purchased them anyway. I wore them on a 30 mile ride, and both my hands stayed numb for days afterwards! Absolutely terrible.

To me, it seems like the thicker the padding, the MORE pressure it puts on those sensitive nerve points. Is tighter fitting better, or is a looser fit more comfortable and puts less pressure on the nerves?

Are there any particular brands and models that you have found that minimizes or (pray-tell) completely rids one of hand numbness? I'm gonna keep trying different ones until I find some that is at least equal to the LG's, but definitely will take any advice. I've considered other LG models, but the newer ones doesn't seem to get very good reviews unfortunately.
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Old 06-19-16, 08:47 AM
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I only wear gloves for protection if I crash.

Loosen your grip on your bars.
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Old 06-19-16, 08:53 AM
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... Like doing the Hokey Pokey,... take your Right hand off , and shake it all about , repeat with your Left.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZinb6rVozc



Q: Saddle level? Bars not too low or far a reach?
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Old 06-19-16, 08:59 AM
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I like the Giro Bravo Gel, size large. I have 4 pair in Black/yellow, Red/black, blue/white, and hi lighter yellow. I have used other brands Trek/Bontrager, Nashbar, and a few others with varying degrees of success, but when I want to be comfortable, I found myself reaching for my old Giro gloves. So I keep the others as loaners for out of town guests and stick exclusively with the Giros.

All that said, my hands don't go numb when riding, ever. You might want to try a different handlebar. Maybe try something that puts your hands and wrists in a neutral position.

Last edited by MRT2; 06-19-16 at 09:06 AM.
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Old 06-19-16, 09:07 AM
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I have two pair of Louis Garneau: one with very thick and firm padding, one with no padding, actually quite thin. Both fit much tighter than what I usually purchase locally (got them on-line). I don't get much numbness, more like lightning bolts up the arm after a few hours. With both the LG I get less of this than with any of my many Pearl Izumi, maybe because they are tight. Padding seems to make no difference at all if it is done well, but if done poorly makes things much worse.

What has helped me more than gloves is keeping my wrist straight, alternating between weight on the thumb side and outer side of my palm, never in the middle. Handlebar shape makes a big difference in keeping my wrist straight, my favorite being the Maes Parallel. And FINALLY finding a comfortable saddle reduces the load on my hands.
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Old 06-19-16, 09:28 AM
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I used to have some that had no padding at all in the middle - only over the thumb and base of the little finger. They were marketed as carpal tunnel gloves but I don't remember the brand name.

I do have a 100% solution to your problem but you might not be ready to hear it. It's the "R" word. Recumbent.
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Old 06-19-16, 10:18 AM
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Been there done that. I ended up padding my bars with pipe insulation and wear cotton work gloves with the fingers cut off. Did it for all 3 bikes.. Straight bar bike included.
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Old 06-19-16, 10:58 AM
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Zookki gloves, mostly for protection in a fall. Good value for the money. Made in the same place as many of the gloves.

That being said, other poster's advice on hand position, fit, etc.
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Old 06-19-16, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
I only wear gloves for protection if I crash.

Loosen your grip on your bars.
Yeah, I have progressively gotten better about that along with proper posture on the saddle. Less arched back, with my seat moved back on the saddle to give what feels like (but is actually straight) a "u" arch instead of the actual "n" arch.

I've also tried various different grips(Ergon, etc...) as well, but gloves seem to have more of an affect than anything. When they are bad, like the Pearl Azumi, they are really bad.
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Old 06-19-16, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by one4smoke View Post
Yeah, I have progressively gotten better about that along with proper posture on the saddle. Less arched back, with my seat moved back on the saddle to give what feels like (but is actually straight) a "u" arch instead of the actual "n" arch.

I've also tried various different grips(Ergon, etc...) as well, but gloves seem to have more of an affect than anything. When they are bad, like the Pearl Azumi, they are really bad.
What about changing bars? I would bet it is the flat bar that is the major culprit.
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Old 06-19-16, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Q: Saddle level? Bars not too low or far a reach?
I have been "properly fitted" for it, and the stem was replaced with a shorter one, because my reach was too long. Then, I had another "professional fitter" to tell me the opposite was true. That if I was putting too much pressure on my hands, I actually need a longer stem with a farther reach.

So, who knows??
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Old 06-19-16, 12:25 PM
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Someone already mentioned to loosen your grip on the bars. You shouldn't be putting your body weight on the bars regardless of what style bike you are riding. That being said, have you tried the Specialized BG Gel gloves. They have excellent cushioning for when you do need to put some weight on the bars.
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Old 06-19-16, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by one4smoke View Post
To me, it seems like the thicker the padding, the MORE pressure it puts on those sensitive nerve points. Is tighter fitting better, or is a looser fit more comfortable and puts less pressure on the nerves?
This is the theory as to why Brooks saddles are more comfortable despite having no padding at all. It definitely seems to be the case.
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Old 06-19-16, 12:36 PM
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Have you seen this https://www.bikeforums.net/road-cycli...umb-hands.html ? If not, I urge you to read it. I now ride without gloves ... I'm pretty slow, so my risk of falling should be low, though.
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Old 06-19-16, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
What about changing bars? I would bet it is the flat bar that is the major culprit.
I think that's what I'd try next. Probably something with more back sweep. A trekking bar is another option--many hand positions available on that type of bar, but I don't know if those are available in 31.8 clamp size, so it would probably need to be shimmed.


https://www.amazon.com/FSA-Metropoli...59588&sr=1-193

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Old 06-19-16, 02:29 PM
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Think about folding tires run below max pressure as the next move. This will go a long way towards eliminating road buzz from getting to the bars in the first place. Padded gloves won't do the job on pavement buzz. bk
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Old 06-19-16, 03:32 PM
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I got a pair of Garneau Biogel RX gloves about a month ago, $15 or thereabouts. Very comfy on the base of the palms and thumb joint where I'd been having pain for a couple of months. I'm riding a hybrid with slightly downswept rather than flat bars, and ergo grips. No idea how these gloves would fare with drops.

The little bit of padding didn't seem like it would matter, but they're definitely more comfy than the unpadded Bontrager Thermal RXL gloves I wore over the winter (those Bontrager gloves are very good otherwise, and warm enough for Texas winters, but lack any padding). I'd fallen a couple of times in March and while the Bontrager gloves protected my hands from scrapes, I bruised my wrists and thumb joints and those ached for several weeks with every ride. But the aching stopped within a few rides using the Garneau Biogel gloves, so that little bit of padding helped in my case.

Medium size was right for me for fingerless gloves -- I have skinny hands with long fingers and usually need large for full-finger gloves, although they're a loose fit across the hand. But the Garneaus fit perfectly. Comfy in hot weather too -- it uses a micro-weave fabric on the non-contact backs and middle of the palms, along with the leather-like padding over the gel pads and wear points.

Only downside is I don't expect them to last more than a year. They may surprise me but to be realistic lightweight gloves like this using a combo of leatherette and micro-mesh fabric probably won't last as long as some gloves.
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Old 06-19-16, 04:07 PM
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Padded gloves are like padded road saddles, imo. An attempt to compensate for something being not right.
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Old 06-19-16, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by ltxi View Post
Padded gloves are like padded road saddles, imo. An attempt to compensate for something being not right.
+1.
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Old 06-19-16, 08:35 PM
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I also suffer from hand numbess in my left hand. The solution for me was a pair of anti vibration gloves that is used by people running impact tools for long periods of time. I got them from the safety director of a factory I used to work. They worked wonders for me.
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Old 06-19-16, 08:40 PM
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When I was riding flat bar bikes, I had some fairly mild numbness issues at times, and found Ergon grips helpful.
My riding now is 100% recumbent and any old gloves will do. Or even no gloves, unless it's cold outside.
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Old 06-20-16, 12:46 AM
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Try riding barehanded. You may like it.
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Old 06-20-16, 08:48 AM
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Biggest thing that helped me was simply learning to hold more of my weight up with my core, instead of putting all the weight on my hands on the bars. Even now, I can tell if I am slacking in this regard when a bit of tingling starts, lifting myself up usually stops it immediately.
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Old 06-20-16, 09:22 AM
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You should be ok with NO gloves whatsoever.

Two things that helped me.

Avoid putting weight on the area below the thumb. Keep your weight on the area below your pinky instead (that part of the pad, not directly below your pinky -- like draw a line from where your thumb connects and your pinkey connects, right there is the pad you want your weight on.

Also a proper fit that allows parallel forearms is essential. Just get aero maybe for a minute every 5-10 minutes or so. Stand up to finish hills. Change it up.
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Old 06-20-16, 10:23 AM
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Gloves are for protection in a fall.

Looks like the "pros" don't set up bikes correctly all the time.....Surprise! Surprise! One size doesn't fit all.

Handlebars too low or too far out...or both...You should be able to let go of the handlebars and stay in that position,whatever that is......The stronger your core,the lower the bars can be.Otherwise your hands are carrying your upper body weight.

There should be little body weight on your hands.

Last edited by Booger1; 06-20-16 at 10:31 AM.
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