Numbness in hands



J

Joel Roth

Guest
I'm beginning to feel some numbness in my hands during/after rides, both on my road bike and
mountain bike.

Any suggestions? I don't have aero-bars. Do they help significantly?

Thanks.

joel
 
D

David Kerber

Guest
In article <[email protected]>,
[email protected] says...
> I'm beginning to feel some numbness in my hands during/after rides, both on my road bike and
> mountain bike.
>
> Any suggestions? I don't have aero-bars. Do they help significantly?

That's one of the reasons I like aero bars, though you often can't spend much time on them
(depending no the roads you ride). How much do you move your hands around to different positions?
That's usually the quickest, easiest way to help this problem, though it's often tough on a MTB.

How high are your bars compared to your seat height? Often raising the bars so they are level with
or slightly above the seat helps this a lot by taking some of the weight off your hands.

The above suggestions don't cost anything to try; if you can spend a little money, a shorter stem
will often help this problem when simple adjustments won't. I got a stem just 10mm shorter, and it
made a huge difference in how my hands felt after a long ride, with the bar height exactly the same.

--
Remove the ns_ from if replying by e-mail (but keep posts in the newsgroups if possible).
 
C

Claire Petersky

Guest
"joel roth" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> I'm beginning to feel some numbness in my hands during/after rides, both on my road bike and
> mountain bike.
>
> Any suggestions? I don't have aero-bars. Do they help significantly?

If you get numbness in your third, fourth and fifth fingers, this is ulnar nerve neuropathy,
commonly called "handlebar palsy". I started to have problems with this two years ago when training
for a double century.

After talking to my doctor, and reading about it (put ulnar nerve or handlebar palsy in a search
engine) and working to counteract it, here's what I recommend:

o Make sure you have your wrists positioned properly: you always want your wrists straight and
your elbows bent. (When I did water aerobics we called this "Barbie arms" after the 11.5 inch
fashion doll -- you want to have a loose feeling in your arms, not a stiff one.) Especially check
yourself when you're riding with your hands on the tops of your drop bars. It's especially
important to have this sort of loose feeling in your arms when riding over bumps -- I know this
from riding on the road and going over potholes -- it would especially true if you're doing more
technical mountain biking.

o Make sure your bikes fit well. Typical fit problems that can lead you to lean on your hands with
the wrists bent include: pointing the nose of your saddle down too much, having the seat too high,
or having too long of a stem.

o Make sure you have lots of gel in your gloves. The Trico gel gloves have been the best. Every time
I've used a bad set of gloves for a while the numbness returns.

o Change your hand position frequently. Aerobars could help with this I suppose, but just changing
from being in the drops, tops, and hoods help. If your mountain bike doesn't have bar ends, maybe
putting some on would help because you'd have additional hand positions.

My doctor also recommended not riding for 6 weeks. I think I lasted two days.

--
Warm Regards,

Claire Petersky
Please replace earthlink for mouse-potato and .net for .com

Home of the meditative cyclist:
http://home.earthlink.net/~cpetersky/Welcome.htm
Email me re: the new Tiferet CD (http://www.tiferet.net)
 
S

S o r n i

Guest
joel roth wrote:
> I'm beginning to feel some numbness in my hands during/after rides, both on my road bike and
> mountain bike.
>
> Any suggestions? I don't have aero-bars. Do they help significantly?

In addition to Claire's outstanding advice, make a concious effort to ease the "death grip"
on the bar.

Also, with your mountain bike, rotate the brake levers so your wrists are comfortably straight (as
opposed to bent either up or down excessively).

Finally, relax your shoulders! Tightness there causes fatigue elsewhere,
IME.

Bill "jacked up my ulnar nerves when first started mtb-ing" S.
 
L

Luigi de Guzman

Guest
On Wed, 03 Mar 2004 17:58:06 GMT, "S o r n i"
<[email protected]> wrote:

>joel roth wrote:
>> I'm beginning to feel some numbness in my hands during/after rides, both on my road bike and
>> mountain bike.
>>
>> Any suggestions? I don't have aero-bars. Do they help significantly?
>
>In addition to Claire's outstanding advice, make a concious effort to ease the "death grip"
>on the bar.
>

Amen. Relax, relax, relax, relax.

I find that my father, who hasn't ridden a bicycle in maybe two of my lifetimes, has a hard time
relaxing his viselike grip on the bars, no matter how much I tell him to. I guess this sort of thing
only happens with confidence. There seems to be a threshold that you cross: one minute you're
scared, the next minute your'e posting up out of the saddle and just letting the bike roll over the
bumps rather than hanging on for dear life and getting hammered.

-Luigi
 
R

Rick Onanian

Guest
On Wed, 03 Mar 2004 09:02:17 -0600, joel roth
<[email protected]> wrote:
>I'm beginning to feel some numbness in my hands during/after rides, both on my road bike and
>mountain bike.

The two replies I've read have already covered most of what I have to say, except on stem length.
They both suggest a too-long stem could cause it. I must add that a too-short stem would also cause
it.

A too-short stem may require your arms to push your body back, not unlike how a saddle pointed down
would also. A too-long stem, OTOH, leaves your body depending on your hands to carry too much
weight. Either one can cause hand pain/numbness.

>Any suggestions? I don't have aero-bars. Do they help significantly?

Yes. Even if you can't stay in them for long, they allow you to use a completely different set of
muscles to support your body, giving the usual muscles a _complete_ much-needed rest.
--
Rick Onanian
 
J

Just zis Guy

Guest
On Wed, 03 Mar 2004 09:02:17 -0600, joel roth
<[email protected]> wrote in message
<[email protected]>:

>I'm beginning to feel some numbness in my hands during/after rides, both on my road bike and
>mountain bike. Any suggestions?

The Dark Side is calling. Wind resistance is futile! The Dark Side is more powerful than UCI...

--
Guy
===
May contain traces of irony. Contents liable to settle after posting.
http://chapmancentral.demon.co.uk

88% of helmet statistics are made up, 65% of them at Washington University
 
L

Luigi de Guzman

Guest
On Wed, 03 Mar 2004 20:37:27 +0000, "Just zis Guy, you know?"
<[email protected]> wrote:

>On Wed, 03 Mar 2004 09:02:17 -0600, joel roth <[email protected]> wrote in
>message <[email protected]>:
>
>>I'm beginning to feel some numbness in my hands during/after rides, both on my road bike and
>>mountain bike. Any suggestions?
>
>The Dark Side is calling. Wind resistance is futile! The Dark Side is more powerful than UCI...

...but not more powerful than the bank balance.

-Luigi
 
M

Mike

Guest
> How high are your bars compared to your seat height? Often raising the bars so they are level with
> or slightly above the seat helps this a lot by taking some of the weight off your hands.

I second this advice - I had alot of problems with hand numbness even when riding on my trainer. I
measured the drop between seat and bars and found it to be 2.5" (more of a race fit). I changed it
to 0.5" and it has made a world of difference. Mike
 
T

Tom Sherman

Guest
Just zis Guy, you know? wrote:

> On Wed, 03 Mar 2004 09:02:17 -0600, joel roth <[email protected]> wrote in
> message <[email protected]>:
>
>>I'm beginning to feel some numbness in my hands during/after rides, both on my road bike and
>>mountain bike. Any suggestions?
>
> The Dark Side is calling. Wind resistance is futile! The Dark Side is more powerful than UCI...

Guy,

It is rude to mention the "R-word" around suffering upright riders. ;)

Tom Sherman - Quad Cities (Illinois Side)