Hand and arm numbness

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by JoeHudson, Jul 7, 2004.

  1. JoeHudson

    JoeHudson New Member

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    I'm having problems with my hands and arms getting numb after about an hour of road riding, especially my right hand. I change up hand positions but it doesn't help. Last time I rode it was so bad I couldn't work the buttons on my cycle computer. I don't have that problem on my mountain bike. Seems like I saw an article a few months ago on seat and handlebar positioning to fix this problem. Did anyone else see the article or have any suggestions about how I can fix this?
     
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  2. gntlmn

    gntlmn New Member

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    If you wear gloves with the cutout fingers, like the pros use, this will help quite a bit. I just got a pair of these--Pearl Izumis. My hands still get numb now and again though. What I usually do is just try to vary my hand position. When they go numb one way, I move them for a while. I found myself putting them close to the handlebar stem yesterday for a while.

    I didn't read the seat positioning article you're talking about. But I did adjust my seat recently, and that really makes a big difference on your average speed if it's adjusted correctly after being off quite a bit. For sure you'll want to have the seat adjusted properly. A quick check on the front back position is to dangle a weighted thread from the bottom of your kneecap in the front to the pedal. It should dangle to the swivel on your pedal which is the part of the pedal that connects with the crank. If it doesn't, move the seat either forward or backward until it does. This is the position which enables maximum power in the downstroke of your spin. The rest of the spin will be a matter of practice to be optimized, but that's the way the seat needs to be. As for the other adjustments, I think the tilt up or down is something you need to experiment with, and the seat height is also important, but maybe someone else will post that. I'm not really sure about that one. I think the rule of thumb on the height is to have the heel of your foot able to extend naturally to the bottom of the pedal stroke without contorting your position and with a very small bend at the knee, almost none. But you better make sure on the height because I'm not sure. The front to back adjustment I'm sure about though.

    I bet you put more pressure on your hands on the road bike v. the mtn bike. This is due to the more supine position. If mine were worse, I might find the answer to the problem, but my numbness is not that bad. Mountain bikes are perhaps a bit more comfortable, but they sure are slower going down the road.
     
  3. JoeHudson

    JoeHudson New Member

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    Thanks for the info. Since I posted I talked to a guy who had the same problem. He rides with an orthopedic doctor who told him to change the angle of the handlebars, basically dropping them about 1 inch. My friend told him that he would have to reach too far if he did that (he's really short and I'm pretty tall), but he tried it and it worked. SOOO, I dropped the bars about an inch and am going to try it either this afternoon or this weekend. If that doesn't work I may look at going to a straight handlebar or something like I saw on a Bianchi. I do wear fingerless padded gloves but that hasn't helped much. I'll post the results. Thanks once again.
     
  4. Rockgrunt

    Rockgrunt New Member

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    I've read that gripping the bars tightly for extended periods will also cause numbness. Work on keeping your grip relaxed when cruising. I hope this helps.

    :)
     
  5. TechJD

    TechJD New Member

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    when I feel a little numbness start
    I just sit up and take my hands off the bars for a while ( make sure you can ride this way and try it for short distances till you can keep your ballance )
    as a teen I used to ride this way a lot
    as I just restarted riding ( much older now ) I had to build back up to bein able to do this
    not suggested for off road rideing :)
     
  6. Powerful Pete

    Powerful Pete New Member

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    Change hand positions often. Wear good quality riding gloves.

    Ensure that you are in a good position on the bike.

    You might even want to consider double-wrapping your handlebars with tape (a la Paris-Roubaix). I know several riders who swear by this.

    Go carefully with position changes - 2.5 cms drop in handlebar position in a single go may be a bit much!

    Hope things get better!
     
  7. spam

    spam New Member

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    I took some gray pipe insulating foam for hot water pipes (Ace or Lowes), cut off 2-5" lengths and placed them around the bar. Wrapped electrical tape arpound one end on each to hold them on. They work wonderfully. No more numbness or hand pain. So far they have lasted about 300 road miles.
     
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