Numbness in hands

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by DayDreamer10036, Sep 25, 2005.

  1. DayDreamer10036

    DayDreamer10036 New Member

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    I just got a bike and took it out for a 30 mile ride and had a problem with my hands going numb about 20 miles into the ride. It has been about 45 minutes since I stopped riding and I still feel numb in my hands. Is this something that happens to beginners? What was I doing wrong so I can make this funny feeling go away?
     
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  2. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    There are three things you can do to alleviate this annoying problem. First, you may be gripping your bars too tightly. Your grip should be very light, basically just enough to provide upper body stability unless the road is rough. Sometimes I don't even wrap my fingers all the way around the bar or brake levers, but just sort of rest the "V" between my thumb and first finger on the hoods. Second, you can try gel gloves. Personally, I like the Pearl Izumi Gel-Lite gloves. They provide a bit of cushion without losing much feel. Third (and this is the only expensive solution), you can get carbon bars. Carbon offers some vibration damping effect as well as being lightweight. But, most of them are in the $180-250 price range. Good luck.
     
  3. kaikane

    kaikane New Member

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    May also be that his seat is set too high?
     
  4. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    Thus putting too much of his upper body weight on his hands? I could see that. But, if I had to make bet, I would put my money on a "death grip" on the bars, thus cutting off circulation.
     
  5. FrankBattle

    FrankBattle New Member

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    I've seen too many beginners get the seat position wrong (mostly too high); they all complain about numbness in the hands. Not saying it couldn't be anything else, but it's free to check this one out.
     
  6. meandmybike

    meandmybike New Member

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    http://www.cyclefitcentre.com/further reading.htm
     
  7. DayDreamer10036

    DayDreamer10036 New Member

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    I just got my bike from someone on Ebay and took it to a local bike shop to get tuned up and to have them help me adjust everything for my body and they were surprisingly unwilling to help. I bought a computer thing to check my speed and distance and asked them to help me adjust the handlebars and seat and they told me it looked fine and to play with it to see what felt best. I am wondering if the seat is too high and sort of felt that it was, but no one would help. I guess I will try lowering and getting some gloves and trying not to grip too tight. It is now the next day and my right hand is still numb and it's driving me crazy. Thanks for your help!
     
  8. FrankBattle

    FrankBattle New Member

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    Take the time with this, it's a start: Fit Calculator
     
  9. dhk

    dhk New Member

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    Lot's of good advice here. The problem with the online fit calculators is that they tend to put everyone into a road race position. Great if you're an experienced rider who is thin and flexible with great core strength, not good if you're a middle-age guy carrying extra pounds who's just starting out.

    Actually, the attitude of your LBS isn't surprising at all. You bought a bike online to save money, and then brought it to someone who sells bikes for a living, and asked them to make it fit. Some LBS offer fitting services for a fee; you could probably find one with a "Fit Kit" to take measurements.

    Even if your fit is good, which would be unlikely, it's smart to do lots of shorter rides over a period of weeks until you get used to cycling. Would you run two hours in a new pair of running shoes you just got off ebay and expect not to hurt yourself?
     
  10. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    Maybe I missed the part where you said this was a road or mountain bike, but your hand position on the bars can cause numbness as well. If I put the bar-end right in the center of the base of my hand (in the center, near the wrist) then it puts a lot of pressure on the nerves and vessels where they enter my hand. That will cause numbness if I keep my hand in that position for any length of time. This problem is more prevalent on my mountain bike where I ride palm-down (ie, weight on palm), as opposed to my road bike where my hands move around more, but my palms typically face inward.

    Why don't you give us some more info about the type of bike and your position on it? Padded gloves, bar-ends, or just different grips might help if we're talking about a mountain bike (in addition to all the good advice you've gotten above).
     
  11. cbjesseeNH

    cbjesseeNH New Member

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    Fizik Bar Gel tape kit and Spenco Ironman Elite gloves can dull the vibrations too. I haven't tried Bontrager Buzzkill units - mixed reviews.


    But as said before, a professional bike fit (Fit Werx - www.fitwerx.com) did more for my on-bike comort than any parts & accessories to date.
     
  12. DayDreamer10036

    DayDreamer10036 New Member

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    It's a Giant OCR 3 road bike. I don't think it has any upgraded handlebars or anything. I have been doing spin class every day of the week for the last 2 and a half months so the 30 miles really wasn't difficult for me. The numbness in my hands is just driving me nuts and I wish it would hurry and go away. Thanks for all your help. I might try another local bike shop to help me out; I am willing to pay a fee to get my bike fit the way I need it.
     
  13. tourdelivermore

    tourdelivermore New Member

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    What is your seated position? Are you sitting on the sit bones in your butt, or, are you leaning on the soft tissue in the crotch?

    Little changes in posture can make a huge difference. Think of your pelvis as a rectangular box that remains vertical (weight nicely centered on the bones) that doesn't lean forward. Drop your shoulders down and relax your elbows. This takes the weight off your hands and relaxes your upper body.

    In controlled situations I ride in this position with out any active control of the bars...just rest my palms on the bars, no finger wrap. Looks like a relaxed TT position. This has relaxed my hands, arms, neck and back.

    Look at any of the pros from the side...emulate their position.
     
  14. g-brown

    g-brown New Member

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    Sounds like you may have a more serious issue than just a seat that's too high. I get numb hands when I rode long distances but when I sit up off the bars for a short the feeling quickly comes back. I also used to get numbness from my backpack being too tight on my shoulders when I commuted. However, it never lasted very long and never more than just a few minutes after a ride.
     
  15. DayDreamer10036

    DayDreamer10036 New Member

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    I am sitting back on my sit bones; I have that down pat from spin class. I think I will try the link above to see how to adjust my bike and really focus on not gripping the pedals too hard, maybe that was it. Thank so much!
     
  16. dhk

    dhk New Member

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    If you're gripping the pedals with your hands, that's definitely the problem!

    Sorry, couldn't pass that one up. Agree gripping the bars too hard could well be the cause. I've ridden with a couple of beginners who had the same problem due to excess pressure on the handlebars. It takes a few miles and rides to learn to relax and trust the bike do the steering for you. If you think about shifting your hand positions every minute or two, that might help as well.
     
  17. DayDreamer10036

    DayDreamer10036 New Member

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    That's what happens when you're watching TV, grading papers, and trying to post in a forum. Guess I am not the best multi-tasker. I will definately try not to grip the pedals :)
     
  18. pinoybiker

    pinoybiker New Member

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    Put your bike on a trainer, if you have one, and adjust your saddle height by say 1/4 " at a time. i would also try adjusting my saddle forward/backward 1/4" at a time to see which feels comfortable.

    I do a lot of adjustment on the trainer and would you believe that adjusting your saddle abt 1 cm could make a lot of difference. When i 1st bought my bike, my neck feels numbed after riding a few kilometers. I adjusted my sadle forward and the numbness is gone. same with the height.

    Hope this helps.
     
  19. Doctor Morbius

    Doctor Morbius New Member

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    Let's just hope you're not grading spelling papers! ;)
     
  20. Eldrack

    Eldrack New Member

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    Sounds like Ulnar neuropathy to me. Basically the pressure on the base of the hand puts pressure on the Ulnar nerve and makes your hand go numb.To solve get the following: Specialized body geometry gloves and possibly some specialized phat wrap bar tape with zertz inserts. Both are medically proven to help stop this condition.

    www.specialized.com for more details.
     
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