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Hands go numb while riding, any help?

Old 07-31-12, 01:32 PM
  #1  
Capinporcupine
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Hands go numb while riding, any help?

So every so often while I'm on a ride my hands will go partially numb, where i can barely feel everything on the pinky/ring finger half, from the tips of my fingers to the pads below them. Any help on what causes this? It's very random and gloves don't tend to help.
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Old 07-31-12, 01:41 PM
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Sounds like you're pinching a nerve. Dunno what type of bars you got, but if they are flat, look into getting some Ergon grips and some bar ends if you don't already have them. If you have drops, you may want to raise/rotate them towards you a bit, or possibly take another look at how wide your bars are in relation to your shoulders.
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Old 07-31-12, 04:49 PM
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I have had the same symptoms before, not from riding a bike though. After having an intramuscular EMG (not fun), it was discovered that I had a pinch ulna nerve at the elbow. Ulna nerve problems seem to be problem with a lot of bicyclers. Check https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guyon%27s_canal_syndrome

Some gloves are made to help protect this nerve. Since no gloves seem to help you, you might be twisting your wrist putting pressure on the nerve. Try keeping your hand inline with your arm. Ergon grips were made to prevent you from twisting the wrist, they might help. I see a lot of Ergon type grips on bikes, but they are not positioned correctly to prevent the wrist from twisting. The flat area of the grips is not for a bigger platform, it is to prevent the cyclist from bending the wrist. Set them up so that your hand will stay inline with the arm.

You might also have too much pressure on your hands, try moving the saddle back to prevent this.
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Old 07-31-12, 05:47 PM
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Numbness in the pinky and ring finger is usually associated with ulnar nerve compression.

Keep your wrists straight, and don't "cock" them regardless of whether you have flat or drop bars.

Add bar ends to your flat bars to give you an alternate (neutral) hand position.
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Old 07-31-12, 06:57 PM
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Possibly time for new gloves. Move your hands to different positions should help out too. Just every few mins move from the drops to the hoods or vice versa.
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Old 07-31-12, 07:14 PM
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lots of ideas here, if none of these seem to help, can you post pics from the side, one of just the bike, one of you on it? Also shot from above and down on the bars.
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Old 07-31-12, 08:50 PM
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Angle the nose of the saddle up just a degree or two. You're leaning down onto your hands instead of back onto your rear end.
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Old 07-31-12, 09:12 PM
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Hello...

Go here and scroll down to post #7

https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...905-Numb-Hands
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Old 08-01-12, 06:41 PM
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Raising the handlebars higher gets weight off of hands too which may help.
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Old 08-02-12, 06:01 AM
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I had this when I positioned my fingers on the bars instead of the squishy bit of my hands (near my wrists) which resulted in me bending my wrists at some stupid angle. Worth thinking about too IMHO.
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Old 08-02-12, 06:44 AM
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If everything else fails, post again and I'll suggest what I suspect is a 100% solution. You might not like hearing it, however, because it's an "R" word.
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Old 08-02-12, 09:02 AM
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Shake it off ! take a hand off the bars and let the pressure release..
setup.. more setback of the saddle shifts weight off arms.
and raise higher (different?) bars, shorter stem..
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Old 08-02-12, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Shake it off ! take a hand off the bars and let the pressure release..
setup.. more setback of the saddle shifts weight off arms.
and raise higher (different?) bars, shorter stem..
Surprised it took 12 posts for someone to mention saddle fore/aft position. You don't want to move your saddle if it is indeed in the correct position, but check to make sure it is correct. Generally, if the saddle is far back enough, and tilted correctly (which has been mentioned above), your center of gravity will be far back enough to take most of the weight off your hands.

FWIW: Any kind of additional padding should wait till you resolve any fit issues. Padding might mask some of the symptoms, but won't fix the underlying cause. Personally, I get more discomfort from too much padding, which surprised me when I finally figured it out a long time ago.
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Old 08-03-12, 11:23 AM
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The reasons for numb hands detailed here............ https://www.hughston.com/hha/a_15_3_2.htm
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Old 08-03-12, 02:14 PM
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Move your hands around the bars often. I find it happens to me when I'm in the same position on the handlebars for a long period of time.

Go the drops, then in the hoods, then on the tops of the bars and so on. Just don't stay in one place for an extended period of time.
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Old 08-03-12, 02:36 PM
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I have the same thing happen to me on the flat bars on my Trek. I just sit up, take the numb hand off the handlebar, shake it around a bit, let it recover and ride on.

I'm curious to see if I continue to have numbness in my hands once I get on the Fuji I just bought (drop bars). I'm looking forward to having more hand positions.
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Old 08-03-12, 02:43 PM
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Moving my hands around a lot helps greatly, but I also find that taking a B-6 supplement daily seems to help. It's supposed to aid in getting more blood flowing in the area.
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Old 08-06-12, 06:50 AM
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Thanks guys, I'm going to try just riding with a straighter wrist position and see how that works. I never really pay attention to that stuff so I feel like that's what's going on. Thanks again!
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Old 08-06-12, 01:47 PM
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It's caused by having your saddle too far forward and sometimes from having your bars too close and too high. All three adjustments seem counterintuitive which is why so many people have this problem. It's also a riding position problem. You gotta tilt your pelvis forward instead of bending your back. Keep your back straight but tilt your pelvis forward, and to do this correctly your have to have adequate saddle setback, reach, and bar drop.

Read his excellent thread on cycling posture but bear in mind the Cobb videos are extreme. Also this thread lacks content about saddle setback. https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...tion-Discovery

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Old 08-07-12, 05:40 AM
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I never did find a solution on an upright bike. After 3 years of trying, I'm riding with a recumbent for my longer rides. No more saddle or wrist problems.
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Old 08-07-12, 07:46 AM
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Gloves and bar ends solved my numbness problems. It's a relatively inexpensive fix, too.
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Old 08-12-12, 01:06 PM
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Just changing your wrist position is unlikely to help much, the saddle setback and tilt is really your best, first and cheapest option. if you ride with no hands you should feel balanced, front to back on your saddle, any tendency to slide forward will stress your hands. The other adjustment is less intuitive. If your center of gravity (like most people's) is near the bottom bracket, as you move your butt back you actually counterbalance your front half, reducing hand pressure. Once you've tried all this it might be time to raise the bar height, via a new stem/bar/bar-ends.
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Old 08-19-12, 02:33 AM
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Originally Posted by lungimsam View Post
Raising the handlebars higher gets weight off of hands too which may help.
Yup, raising the handlebars can really help. I started have a lot of trouble after switching to our tandem. I went back and rode my single with no pain, and realized the bars were 1 to 2 inches higher. I just dropped the tandem off to get a stem extender installed. (Not a simple process due to having to replace the cables)
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Old 08-19-12, 06:50 AM
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I had a similar problem with my utility bike's flat handle bars. After a couple of miles, my hands would go numb. I rotated the handlebars just a few degrees and problem solved. I also tend to wear the thickest padding on gloves I can find.
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