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Handlebar palsy

Old 06-26-08, 12:04 AM
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Handlebar palsy

5 days off of my week trip and my right hand (non-dominent hand) is still numb, is there anyone out there that suffers from the same condition and figured out ways to prevent it?
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Old 06-26-08, 02:06 AM
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Good gloves with gel pads, good grips, and a pair of these:

Cane Creek Ergos
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Old 06-26-08, 02:07 AM
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Sorry - just occurred to me that you might be using a road bike c/w drops.
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Old 06-26-08, 02:30 AM
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Used to get this a while back, some minor adjustments to fit sorted it, I think tilting the bars up a little was the biggie. Oh, lost a ton of weight too, maybe that helped.
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Old 06-26-08, 03:23 AM
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jack nicolas the great golfer had a simple cure for this drop your arm to your side let it swing extend fingers as in stretch hold for a few seconds repeat a couple times works every time hopefully it will work for you.
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Old 06-26-08, 04:43 AM
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It's possible you might have a pre-existing problem that you might not have known you had, so after 5 days of this, you should see your doctor about it.

That being said, this is not a normal thing to have. Are you riding a bike that has a flat bar (the entire history of cycle touring has proven this is not a good idea!)? Are you moving your hands around on purpose (which you should do every 10 minutes or so)?

Are you properly-balanced fore-and-aft on your bike? I ask, because it sure sounds like you could be putting too much weight on your hands.
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Old 06-26-08, 05:23 AM
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Frequent change of hand positions, good bike position, and good gloves help. Be sure to bend your elbows and not grip the bars. Fingers should be draped over the bars in a relaxed position.

Folks will often say to raise the bars, but I doubt that is usually the answer. Still you can experiment with that. Bars can be low or high and still have more or less weight on the hands. The two people that I know that had the most trouble with this on tour both had a more upright posture on the bike.

If all else fails some folks have said aero bars helped them. Also invariably the recumbent guys will pop up and say that a bent is the answer.
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Old 06-26-08, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
Folks will often say to raise the bars, but I doubt that is usually the answer. Still you can experiment with that. Bars can be low or high and still have more or less weight on the hands. The two people that I know that had the most trouble with this on tour both had a more upright posture on the bike.
Very true, sometimes in is bar height relative to the saddle but I find very often that it is issues with fore/aft saddle position and saddle tilt. A saddle that is tilted to far forward will cause you to slide and use your hands to brace yourself. if you are to far back you will tend to lean your weight to far forward so on and so forth. I really like peter whites take on fit. https://www.peterwhitecycles.com/fitting.htm I don't don't follow everything cause some of it didn't work for me, but I think was personal variance not a failure of the system.
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Old 06-26-08, 11:10 AM
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I've experienced it. It comes down to one thing: consistent pressure on the ulnar nerve, which runs through the fleshy part of the hand. Saddle tilt should be considered. Handlebar height relative to saddle height, distance from saddle to bars also should be looked into. You might consider playing with an adjustable stem until you get things right.

I find gel pad gloves to make things worse. But I love the gel capsules that go on under the bar tape. Since you're posting in the touring forum, I think we can assume that you're not racing. If your bars are below your saddle height, you're probably best to consider making changes there first.
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Old 06-26-08, 01:44 PM
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Aero bars are the best option for getting all of the weight off of your hands. Of course there are a lot of padding options for whatever bar that you are using, and gel gloves, and larger diameter bars, etc. It is all a balancing act, your body weight has to go somewhere: onto the saddle, onto the bars, or onto the pedals. All of the options just distribute the weight differently. Wish there was a magic way to get all of the weight onto the pedals all of the time.
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Old 06-26-08, 08:49 PM
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i do have a set of aero bars and i move hand positions all the time, maybe its the vibrations and i might try shorting up my stem, i do find myself sliding in my saddle so maybe that's my problem. Thanks for the advice.
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Old 06-26-08, 10:55 PM
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my mom had the same problem. so i got her a set of these puppys:




nitto albatross. cant beat 'em.

they put you in a very upright position taking all the weight off your hands. the weight does end up being on your saddle but thats why brooks makes nice wide comfy models like the b68.
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Old 06-29-08, 03:47 PM
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I have a similar problem. Today I placed Dr. Scholls gel heel cushions inside my gloves. They seem to give great relief while I am recovering. Time off the bike should help, but I don't want to re injure the ulner nerve when I do ride. Might be worth a try!
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