Fingers going numb

Discussion in 'Commuting and Road Safety' started by Scoffin, Jul 22, 2004.

  1. Scoffin

    Scoffin New Member

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    I just got back into biking about a month ago and things are coming along nicely. I commute 7.5 miles to work and take a 20 mile trip back home at night. I ride a Felt S91 with a flat handle bar. Problem I'm having is that my fingers are going numb about 10-12 miles into my trip home. I purchased padded gloves, but still have this problem. What's my next step? Different grips? Is it possible that my seat height is not correct. I do seem to put a lot of weight forward on my hands, but for my legs and pedals, I'm at a good height.
     
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  2. TrekDedicated

    TrekDedicated New Member

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    I'm sure this isn't the problem.... But what is the weather like?
     
  3. Scoffin

    Scoffin New Member

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    Normal Iowa summer weather. 92 degrees with 90% humidity or 80 degrees with 20 % humidity. I bought gloves which did help a little, but on the longer rides I still feel it in my finger tips.
     
  4. TrekDedicated

    TrekDedicated New Member

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    hmmmm, have your tried stretching your fingers/arms before you ride?
     
  5. spinerguy

    spinerguy New Member

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    Sounds like you know the answer already.
    There's a small difference between a good height and a proper height.

    Play w height one millimeter at a time (1/4" can make a big difference) may also consider a spacer on the front. ;)
     
  6. Scoffin

    Scoffin New Member

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    Can you give me a good idea of proper seat height? Right now if I straddled my frame, my feet will touch flat on the ground. No way would my feet ever touch with my butt still on the seat. I tried to get the seat height to a position where my legs were almost straight at the bottom of the pedal cycle. That is the position I have read on other sites is the proper set-up.

    I've also added some side handles to my straight bar, so I have another position to switch my hands to. Although they will take some getting use to. I just about crashed this morning when I turned and forgot I didn't have brake handles over there. Good thing it was just me and the curb and not a 2000 lb cage coming my way. Won't make that mistake again. Although I did have a good heart rate after that.

    I've had my bike now for right around a month and average riding it to work 3 times per week. Just wanted to brag some quick stats. Started out at 200 pounds, now down to 192. My 7.5 mile trip to work took around 30 minutes 30 seconds, and now I'm making it in 28:04. Average speed has gone from 14.1 to 16.3. I have around 340 miles on the bike and normally ride a total of 27 miles per day when I do ride it. I would ride it 5 days per week, but have had some appointments that I needed to drive in for. Once you get use to riding in, you feel bad when you have to drive in. It just isn't the same..
     
  7. spinerguy

    spinerguy New Member

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    Most experts (which I'm not) would agree that you need at least a leg flexion of 30 degrees. I personally like my seat in the max height safe possible since I found out after lengthy miles that it does keep you gravity center a little on the back off my hands but under any circumstances never allow your legs to get an almost fully extended because the stress exerted at the bottom of the cycle will tear down your knees.

    I'd say make millimetric adjustments go for a 30 miler & see how you feel, another 1/8" up/down another ride.

    mhhh.. 27 miles sounds like an enticing commuting;)
     
  8. Scoffin

    Scoffin New Member

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    Thanks, I'll give that a shot. I actually only have a 7.5 mile commute, but I take the scenic route home (20 miles total going home). Commute/Exercise. I actually ride the extra 13 miles to avoid the 2 hills I come down on my way to work. The long route is much flatter. It's amazing what a person will do to avoid a hill or two.
     
  9. spam

    spam New Member

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    I use 2 peices of gray, plastic, hot water pipe insulation, about 4 inches long. and tape it over the bars where I grip. Wrist pain and finger numbness gone. The rig lasts about 6 weeks. Very simple and cheap solution.
     
  10. ignatius22

    ignatius22 New Member

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    I have the same problem. I recently raised my seat in order to see what happens, but haven't ridden it yet with the adjustment. Another thing to look at is the pitch of your seat. If the nose is pitched down, there is a chance the angle is throwing more of your weight onto the handlebars.

    There are some good books available at the bookstore with plenty of pictures showing the proper posture for riding as well as seat height.

    Lastly, I read somewhere that padded gloves can increase the numbing if it cuts off circulation to the nerves in the middle of your palm. I am convinced though that it all goes back to posture. When riding, your hands should be parallel with the angle of your arms; avoid making a drastic angle with your wrist that causes your hands to go upwards, thus leaning more of your weight onto your palms.
     
  11. I comute over 11 miiles one way and have the same flat bar type arrangement with bar ends and the same problem with numb hands. I changed my grips to a fatter gel type, but it didn't seem to help much. Now I'm thinking that my gloves may be too tight and that's causing the problems with the hands. Next time I ride I may try it with no gloves to see if that's it. I had a problem with numb feet until I solved that by loosening my shoe laces. :)
     
  12. dbcycle

    dbcycle New Member

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    i would wear gloves padded gloves. Usually the numbness you get in your hands is from a nerve getting pinched further up your arm. i had some bad nerve compression when I got my new bike this year because the seat was a little too far forward and my stem was too long. if you ever find yourself riding with your arms locked out or too much of your weight on the front of the bike, your going to get numb hands. your handle bars are there to guide you not to hold you. i took my bike back to the shop and sat in the trainer for 2 hours. I got a shorter stem, got the proper seat height and angle, and avoided riding until I was completely healed.

    Now that the bike fits perfect and is dialed in, I get no numbess.

    i would definitely recommend avoiding the bike until your hands feel 100%. You can do some serious damage if you keep riding. And take the bike into a shop where a proffesional can look at your position on your bike on a trainer. Your hands will feel better and you'll have more pedaling power-
     
  13. Hooben

    Hooben New Member

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    My pointer finger is still a little numb from this mornings ride. I'm going to blame it on the new tight glove that I had on. I also was gripping the hoods too tight. I need to relax the death grip a little bit. Changing positions from the drops to the hoods should also help a bit. Tomorrow morning, no gloves and hopefully better results.
     
  14. dbcycle

    dbcycle New Member

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  15. Rode with no gloves today and it seemed to help, but didn't completely alleviate the problem. However, I also violated my own rule of only changing one thing at a time and raised my seat a little bit. The seat felt too high today, so tomorrow the seat comes back down and the gloves stay off.

    Good info, Db. For me it's not a big problem. I just shake my hands out and flex them when I feel my fingers start to numb. Clears things right up, but it is irritating and a problem I can correct.:)
     
  16. jo s-mann

    jo s-mann New Member

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    What about your neck - it is tense, or are your shoulders tense? Maybe do some yoga/stretching back exercises? I get pins and needles when I am cycling and I know I tense my shoulders (my commute is a battle between me and the other cars!)
     
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