Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Hand numbness

Old 07-26-00, 12:57 PM
  #1  
merlinxl64
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I just rode across Pennsylvania in 3 days and spent about 23 hours in the saddle. I now have bilateral hand numbness, primarily in the last two fingers (ulnar nerve). I'd like to hear from anyone with similar problems, or with any experience with the Specialized Body Geometry gloves that supposedly are designed to alleviate this problem. It's been 3 weeks and I'm not better at all. Thanks.
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Old 07-28-00, 06:58 PM
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John E
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gloves alone won't solve the problem

Assuming you already do everything right, such as using padded handlebar tape and frequently changing the position of your hands on long rides, check your riding position. If your top tube or handlebar stem is too long, you can overload the ulnar tendon. You can also overload your wrists by setting your handlebars too low.

Today's aerodynamic "flat back, small frame" fashion is great for time trialing and sprinting, but long-distance touring calls for a taller frame and a more upright (back at, say, 45 degrees) position in the saddle.

I also recommend checking your local library for books on physical therapy, carpal tunnel syndrome, sports rehabilitation, etc. You may want to consult with a conservative (i.e., not knife-happy) orthopedist who specializes in hands and/or in sports medicine. You may have some nerve damage, but you should be able to recover with proper rest and rehabilitation. To avoid giving up cycling completely for awhile, you might want to try a mountain bike or a hybrid until your condition improves.
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Old 08-04-00, 12:42 PM
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merlinxl64
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hand numbness

John- thanks for the good advice. I am fairly well stretched out on my road bike and my hands can handle it over shorter distances. I may invest in a tourer with a more upright geometry for the next mega ride. As for now, I'm back into running for some cross training until my hands quiet down, and I'm remembering how much I used to love to run before biking took over. So every cloud has a silver lining, it seems.
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Old 08-06-00, 12:19 AM
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Ulnar nerve

I personally have a hybrid, but I was previously diagnosed with carpal tunnel in both hands, so it is big concern for me as well.

I was wondering about those gloves, but I have not tried them, yet.

However, I have used neoprene grip wraps from a company called Noj, a motorcycle accessory company. I took them off my motorcycles (2 sets) and wrapped both (one over the other) on each grip.

The benefits are two fold.

First, as there are now two layers of neoprene absorbing bumps and spreading the load from the nerve. Second, as the grip diameter is now greater, the hand does not have to clench as tight, allowing the tendons to be in a more relaxed position. This in turn will help prevent the tendons from becoming inflamed. Inflamed tendons put pressure on the radial and ulnar nerves, causing numbness, tingling, and soreness.

I definitely recommend the library. I have rented a book called "Conquering Carpal Tunnel", which gives various "micro-streching" excersises designed to allow your connective tissue to better cope with the rigors it is put through every day. You may be surprised about how much info is out there.

Good luck, and don't give up, and always get a second opinion on this stuff!!!

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Old 10-25-05, 12:16 PM
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I have the $25 Carbon BG gloves, I still get hand numbness. But they are much better then the $35 Pearl Izumi Gel Gloves(I never use them anymore only after 2 months). Theres much more padding to protect the Ulnar Never area in the BG glove. I notice after about 1 1/2 hours my right hand sometimes starts to get numb. Thats alot of riding in 3 days.
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Old 10-25-05, 12:30 PM
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I SWEAR by those gloves. I used to get that problem all the time, and I have been using them for over a year now, and had ZERO problems. I couldn't be more pleased. More importantly I've only worn out one pair in that time, they are very long lived. I just bought another pair yesterday becuase with only one pair, it wall too easy to find myself looking for ONE glove right before a ride.

I cannot recommend them highly enough and I dont pass that out often.
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