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Hands Falling Asleep

Old 12-29-16, 11:33 AM
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BelgianAlien
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Hands Falling Asleep

Does anyone else have issues with their hands tingling, or even falling asleep, during longer rides?
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Old 12-29-16, 11:35 AM
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Sometimes when I ride strait bar bikes.
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Old 12-29-16, 11:38 AM
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My friend's wife has the problem after 10 minutes. She bends her wrists backwards, always.

My same core muscle lecture - always ride with elbows bent and wrists straight.
Keep your neck and shoulders relaxed and support yourself with core muscles.
I also prefer non-padded gloves because they improve circulation.

On my upright with Ahearne Map bars, it took about 200 mi to get the tilt just right to completely relax my hands.
But since then, I've been out 88 mi on the bike without any circulation pinch anywhere.


Last edited by bulldog1935; 12-29-16 at 01:52 PM.
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Old 12-29-16, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by bulldog1935 View Post
My friend's wife has the problem after 10 minutes. She bends her wrists backwards, always.

My same core muscle lecture - always ride with elbows bent and wrists straight.
Keep your neck and shoulders relaxed and support yourself with core muscles.
I also prefer non-padded gloves because they improve circulation.

On my upright with Ahearne Map bars, it took about 200 mi to get the tilt just right to completely relax my hands.
But since then, I've been out 88 mi on the bike without any circulation pinch anywhere.

This.

Also some bar/tape combos simply require gloves. Also helps to have alternate hand positions (like on a drop bar)
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Old 12-29-16, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. 66 View Post
Sometimes when I ride strait bar bikes.
was thinking the same thing, but couldn't remember if I would call it exactly that specifically or just discomfort
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Old 12-29-16, 12:31 PM
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I guess that everyone gets this problem to some degree. I ride both drop bars and flat bars and the drop bars hurt my hands more. I use ergon grips on the flat bars and that helps. Also, I change how I grip the bike and where the pressure points are.
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Old 12-29-16, 12:32 PM
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60,000 miles and never had it.
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Old 12-29-16, 12:43 PM
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used to have this issue but then I STOPPED wearing gloves and never had any discomfort or tingling again. it depends a lot on your body, setup, gloves/bars/bar tape combo. try out different positions
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Old 12-29-16, 01:08 PM
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actually, it depends on the nerve path from your brain to your fingers, and anything you do to pinch that path results in loss of feeling and function.

I have two injured neck vertebrae from sitting at a stoplight and watching in my rear view mirror as I was hit from behind - 25 y ago.
when it gets aggravated, I lose all feeling in my hand as well as the ability to write.
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Old 12-29-16, 01:28 PM
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Take one hand off the handlebars to restore any compressed nerves and circulation .. Then The Other ..
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Old 12-29-16, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by BelgianAlien View Post
Does anyone else have issues with their hands tingling, or even falling asleep, during longer rides?
If I ride a bike with anything but drop bars, I do.

With drop bars, I don't.

When I used to do 40 mile rides on my hybrid, my hands would be numb/tingly for two days afterward.

Then I got a drop bar/road bike, regularly ride 40-60 miles, occasional centuries and never had hand issues again.

Recently, I bought a cruiser to put around on and within 10 miles I'm feeling the tingling again. And my wrists will be achy for a couple of hours afterward.

I enjoy switching it up and riding the cruiser, but I try to limit my cruiser rides to sub 10 miles. Drop bar bikes for anything beyond that.

Last edited by Jarrett2; 12-29-16 at 01:43 PM.
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Old 12-29-16, 01:42 PM
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Pour coffee over both 1/2 hour before riding.

As mentioned above, hand/arm alignment is usually the issue.

Hold your arm out in front you and note how your relaxed hand is aligned with the arm. Holding the wrist bent either backward or to wither side can pinch the nerves in the carpal tunnel, or restrict circulation, and lead to the tingling or "falling asleep" effects you describe.

So, now look at your position on the bike. If your hand and arm aren't aligned naturally, rotate the bars up or down to find a more natural alignment in your normal grip position. Test it this way by riding a few days before considering it final, then you can move the brake levers and rotate the bar to get the most utility in the most positions.

BTW- I'm hearing more of this issue these days, and suspect that it's because many people are riding the brake hoods and gripping the lever body. If you're one of those, and like riding the hoods, consider relaxing and hanging your hands over supported my the thumb arch, with the fingers extending forward rather than wrapped around the lever body. This is a relaxed grip, and secure because gravity keeps your hands positioned.
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Old 12-29-16, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by ypsetihw View Post
used to have this issue but then I STOPPED wearing gloves and never had any discomfort or tingling again. it depends a lot on your body, setup, gloves/bars/bar tape combo. try out different positions
This was my experience as well. After I switched from a padded glove to no gloves the tingling went away. In the winter I use a non-padded glove just to keep my fingers warm and in the summer I go sans gloves. It's counter-intuitive but for some reason it worked for me.
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Old 12-29-16, 02:39 PM
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I do get a little tingling in the hands at times, (never wrist pain) but it never lasts long. Releasing grip and shaking them out now and then keeps it to a minimum. Tipping the saddle up a teense helped me too. I've done 75 miles on flat bars with Ergon grips and one hand position with no problems. I also notice that the more effort I exert on the pedals, the less weight on my hands.


Drop bars are much worse for me... can't even go a few miles without pain. No thanks.
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Old 12-29-16, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by RushFan2112 View Post
This was my experience as well. After I switched from a padded glove to no gloves the tingling went away. In the winter I use a non-padded glove just to keep my fingers warm and in the summer I go sans gloves. It's counter-intuitive but for some reason it worked for me.

Extra padding can encourage some to tighten up their grip in an effort to maintain control. It's best for circulation to maintain a light grip. I too prefer non padded gloves.
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Old 12-29-16, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by bulldog1935 View Post
actually, it depends on the nerve path from your brain to your fingers, and anything you do to pinch that path results in loss of feeling and function.

I have two injured neck vertebrae from sitting at a stoplight and watching in my rear view mirror as I was hit from behind - 25 y ago.
when it gets aggravated, I lose all feeling in my hand as well as the ability to write.
Bummer. I have the same thing in the lower back from being rear-ended on a motorcycle decades ago. It's a nerve thing alright, no easy fix, probably the best thing OP could do is stop and relieve the pressure while shaking his hands to promote circulation. In the workplace this practice of leaving a desk or machine at regular intervals is commonplace but of course as cyclists we wouldn't DREAM of busting up a ride. I wouldn't anyway
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Old 12-29-16, 04:02 PM
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honestly, it hasn't acted up in 15 years. Last time, I was laying a flagstone walkway in front of my house.
Good posture and circulation is the key.
Riding just the way I ride helps it.
If I was leaning on the bars, riding in my neck and shoulders, it would be aggravated.

I ride 3 different bike positions - upright, semi-upright (moustache cockpit) and drop-bar road bike.
The 3 use different mixes of core muscles and leg muscles.
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Old 12-29-16, 11:12 PM
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I had a lot of discomfort/achiness in my hands/wrists while riding my flat bar bike, but no tingling or anything. I don't get any pain or tingling on my drop bar bike though.
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Old 12-30-16, 01:57 AM
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I suffered from this for quite a while when I started riding drop barred bikes about 4 years ago. I think it's caused by having too much weight on your hands. Part of it is posture, when you're new there's a natural urge to get your saddle back so you're all stretched out and 'pro' looking. This puts extra weight on the hands and, together with being new and thus having a weak core, causes dead hands and/or pins and needles. If you correct your bike fit and start to strengthen your core, the problem eventually fades away.
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Old 12-30-16, 02:32 AM
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double wrap the handlebars
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Old 12-30-16, 08:09 AM
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Awesome responses and suggestions, thanks! I'll start with the easy ones: no gloves (or non-padded ones), paying closer attention posture and pressure on my hands, then see where I go from there.


Much appreciated, folks!
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Old 12-30-16, 09:06 AM
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I ask everybody to give me Giro Zero gloves for Christmas, because I sweat through them in the summer.
You want a glove to have a place to land other than your bare palms should you tumble.
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Old 12-30-16, 09:18 AM
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I hate when my hand falls asleep during a ride. Just means my hand will be up all night, bugging me.

Seriously, even when I ride my recumbent, on a few occasions, my hands fall asleep. Just taking my hand off the bar, shaking it about for a few seconds is all I need to get the hand back to normal.

It's a little worse on my road bike. But same thing. Remove hand off bar and shake.

I'll have to try to the non-padded gloves trick.
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Old 12-30-16, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
Drop bars are much worse for me... can't even go a few miles without pain. No thanks.
interesting, i am the exact opposite - I can't think of anything LESS comfortable than flat bars. to each their own!
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Old 12-30-16, 10:25 AM
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mine do. They also do that when holding on to a push mower for a long time.
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