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Biking through tingling toes?

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Biking through tingling toes?

Old 09-23-23, 06:48 AM
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Biking through tingling toes?

So like a month ago I'm on a bike ride about an hour and a half in and my toes start tingling real bad. I decide to head home and get a few meters from my house and walk my bike I'm in so much pain.
I couldn't figure out why. I just did a ~20 hour bike ride and had no problems. Same bike, same shoes.
I do some research and everything says poor fitting shoes. I buy some new shoes, go on a ride, same tingling. Then I do some more research and a lot of people are saying poor fitting bike, which again is weird because, it's a new bike, but I just did this long ride with no problem.
I head out for a longer ride and then it hits me that I raised/adjusted the seat after my long ride. I wasn't thinking saddle height would cause tingling toes.
So I adjust my saddle and it's much better, but not perfect. Now I still have just a little tingling toes, but it's enough to work through.
So that's my question: how bad is it to just cycle through a little tingling toes for the rest of my life. Eventually I read that it's like nerve damage that's causing it. Your seat isn't set up right so you've got some weird pressure on some part of your spine or something.
On the one hand, I don't want to have nerve damage. On the other hand, I'd like to continue riding my bike and I'm not sure there's much more adjusting I can do to my saddle height. It's already pretty low, and it's back where it was on my long ride.
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Old 09-23-23, 08:42 AM
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First thing I'd try is lowering my seat more and seeing if the tingling went away. If yes, probably the tingling was caused by the seat putting pressure on those nerves that go to your toes. (I'd also note whether the lowered seat was better or worse for the rest of the bike's fit, my comfort and performance while I'm there. I, like many started racing with my seat too high. It came down a bunch over my racing years, first upon the rather pointed advice of the club's vets, than as I saw that everything got better as I lowered it.) But let's say your seat height is now right but lowering it further relieves your toes. OK, that seat is the issue. Find one that doesn't affect your toes. (A bike shop with a good return policy or even better, a "seat library" can be worth every penny above web prices for finding that critical element.)
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Old 09-23-23, 09:16 AM
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Nerves, especially in the extremities, can get irritated easily, and most often take quite some time to settle down; even if irritation hasn't done any damage.
New, old bike no difference - the rider position and posture must be adjusted to suit the rider.
There are a Bazillion threads here on BF and the general interweb on 'Fitting your bike'; all depending on you, the kind of bike and how you wish to ride.
Too high a seat, too low a seat, all can bring problems. And problems don;t magically disappear, even though you've made adjustments...
give it time, make adjustments in small steps - unless you're starting from a point which is Way Out of Line.
Ride On
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Old 09-23-23, 09:26 AM
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You may have a Morton's Neuroma. These are more common than people think. You could go see a podiatrist about that.

But also there a variety of things for tingling feet that I have tried that I think helps. 1) work on your foot flexibility in a yoga class or even just stretching and strengthening them while barefooted. 2) massage your feet and scrub them thoroughly. 3) Make sure that you wear really good socks that do not compress the ball of your food or the metatarsal heads in any way.

You say your shoes are new, can you share what cycling shoes and what insoles you are using?
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Old 09-23-23, 11:04 AM
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I use to get a tingling then numb and painful feeling about the metatarsals of my foot at about the 35-45 mile mark into rides. It seemed like my foot was swelling a little and likely was some edema or something. Making sure I drank plenty of water at that point in the ride seemed to help and it'd go away after 5 or 10 more painful miles. A little later I started using socks that were fairly thin and provided some compression for my foot and I haven't been bothered with that since. Swiftwick is my current choice for socks, Specialized has some that look like them too.

Might not be your issue though, If your foot is noticeably swollen after riding, you probably should get it looked into by a medical professional. If it's just your shoes are too snug in the toe box, then thinner socks if you are wearing thick socks. And realize that some brands of cycling shoes run wider or narrower than others. So you have to find out which makes the width you need. Some brands make both wide and narrow widths, but they are few and far between and maybe not in all models and sizes of shoe.
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Old 09-23-23, 11:10 AM
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I would also look at your footwear maybe something wider especially at the toe box will help and maybe potentially some compression socks could help as well as you might have some circulation issues.
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Old 09-23-23, 01:14 PM
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A couple things that have helped me with this: loosen the laces slightly, and/or use an insole with arch/metatarsal support.
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Old 09-23-23, 03:37 PM
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Whatever you do, do NOT ignore tingling toes since it is a sign of irritated nerves. If it goes too long, repeatedly, you risk losing some sensation. I know first-hand.
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Old 09-24-23, 06:15 AM
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This MAY help. Are you in clips or clipless? If in clips - ride clipless and see if the tingling still occurs. I had similar problem - shimano sandals with SPD clips, long distance rides. I unclipped and the tingling disappeared. I believe the tingling disappeared because I was no longer putting pressure on the same part of my foot over long distances. Some may argue the "real problem" was my clip-pedal position was wrong and needed adjusting. I tried that and it made no difference. Now....I ride unclipped the majority of the time and only clip in (turn the pedal over) when going up long hills. Hope this works for you.
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Old 09-24-23, 06:51 AM
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Irritated nerves is what's telling you there's something not quite right; in your toes it's 'down there' where things can see a lot of pressure when cycling. Best not pushed to the background then left ignored.

That lowering your seat helped some makes me think it may not simply be nerve pressure, rather decreased in circulation with an inappropriate-for-your-physique seat on this new ride?

I like the concept of a 'seat library' run by a vendor but have yet to encounter one.
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Old 09-24-23, 07:01 AM
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Yea, I was going to say saddle may be wrong fit for you. Does it help when you stand up on the pedals for a bit? Tingling reduce? I've had a saddle in the past that seemed to compress a nerve that resulted in this.
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