Severe hand pain when cycling



guyofthetiger

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Nov 14, 2012
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Hi,

I have recently fallen in love with road cycling and I am eager to pursue this passion, however, ever since I first rode a road bike, I have been plagued with an extremely painful sensation in my hands and fingers even after riding for only a minute, I assumed that this was just something that I would have to get used to, but even after several months, the pain has not gone away.
I have read countless forums, webpages etc. regarding 'solutions' for hand pain and I have tried them all; Flipping the stem, changing the angle of the handlebars, using thick gloves, using thin gloves, changing the saddle position/tilt, but to no avail.

Does anyone have any suggestions as I feel that I need to solve this problem for my passion for cycling to continue.

By the way, I am 6 ft (183cm) and I ride a 60cm B'twin Triban 3

Thanks,

Guy
 

alienator

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Jun 10, 2004
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Do you have a picture of you on the bike? Seeing your position on the bike may provide an answer.
 

dominikk85

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Oct 29, 2012
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Maybe it's your position?

most weight should be on the saddle and not the hands. the hands should be more pulling on the handlebar than holding the body up. if you have half your weight on the hands no amount of padding will help you much.
 

guyofthetiger

New Member
Nov 14, 2012
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It does feel like there is a lot of weight on my hands. How should I go about shifting more weight to the saddle?

PS - I will post a picture of my riding position sometime tomorrow
 

oldbobcat

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Aug 31, 2003
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Originally Posted by guyofthetiger .

It does feel like there is a lot of weight on my hands. How should I go about shifting more weight to the saddle?

PS - I will post a picture of my riding position sometime tomorrow
Loosen the clamp bolts that attach the saddle to the seat post and slide it back. This is also a good time to make sure the saddle is level.

After sliding it back, lower it a bit, too. This accounts for the increase in the legs' horizontal reach to the pedals.
 

Dave Pace

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Aug 3, 2012
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Really for being 6'3" you should be on a 58 not a 60. I'm 6'3" and a 58 is perfect. This means that you are putting to much weight on your hands/wrists. Your weight should be on the saddle. Being so far forward like that will hurt and also this puts you in a Dangerous position as you have a high chance to flip when crashing.
 

jpr95

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Oct 11, 2010
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Originally Posted by Dave Pace .

Really for being 6'3" you should be on a 58 not a 60. I'm 6'3" and a 58 is perfect. This means that you are putting to much weight on your hands/wrists. Your weight should be on the saddle. Being so far forward like that will hurt and also this puts you in a Dangerous position as you have a high chance to flip when crashing.
I sort of disagree. For one, the OP said he was 6 ft (not 6'3"). I'm also 6 ft even, and I ride a 56cm bike by choice. I could easily fit on a 58, and I suspect I could also make a 60 work based on how long my seatpost is, how far back the seat is set, and how long of a stem I use (130mm). I would agree that a 58cm frame would probably be better for him than a 60cm frame, but he has a lot of adjustment options to explore before he gives up on the frame.
 

guyofthetiger

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Nov 14, 2012
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I have used several calculators on the internet which suggested that about 59/60 cm for frame size was about right, I only had choice between a 60cm and a 57cm frame size anyway
 

guyofthetiger

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Nov 14, 2012
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The reason I went for the 60cm frame size is that I have long legs for my height, my inseam length relative to my height fits a 60cm bike quite well. (any smaller and I feel that my legs would be too cramped, due to the shorter crank arm length)
 

alienator

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Jun 10, 2004
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oldbobcat said:
Loosen the clamp bolts that attach the saddle to the seat post and slide it back. This is also a good time to make sure the saddle is level. After sliding it back, lower it a bit, too. This accounts for the increase in the legs' horizontal reach to the pedals.
From your pictures, it looks as if oldbobcat has the advice to follow. Nothing looks horrible in your fit, but the saddle doesn't to be off very much either in fore/aft position or in angle to cause a problem with your hands. Also be sure to ride with relaxed, bent elbows, as noted by jhuskey. Holding your arms straight and/or quasi-rigid can provide abuse for your hands, shoulders, and elbows, especially during a long day in the saddle.
 

guyofthetiger

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Nov 14, 2012
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I have tried moving the saddle all the way back and the pain is just as prominent, I have a feeling that the problem lies in my posture and riding form. dominikk85 says that my hands should be pulling on the handlebars if anything, instead of supporting my body weight.
Should I be consciously leaning backwards to remove pressure from my hands? As I have already mentioned, I am new to road cycling, so any advice on correct posture/form would be greatly appreciated.
 

Dave Pace

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Aug 3, 2012
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Originally Posted by jpr95 .


I sort of disagree. For one, the OP said he was 6 ft (not 6'3"). I'm also 6 ft even, and I ride a 56cm bike by choice. I could easily fit on a 58, and I suspect I could also make a 60 work based on how long my seatpost is, how far back the seat is set, and how long of a stem I use (130mm). I would agree that a 58cm frame would probably be better for him than a 60cm frame, but he has a lot of adjustment options to explore before he gives up on the frame.
oh Im not saying he should give up on the frame. that is not my intent. He has it now he has to work with it.

What he should really do is take him and the bike to the LBS and have them fit him to that bike. While old bobcat may be right I would think that all the advice we give may be right or wrong. we do not want to hurt him more if he is already hurt.
 

danfoz

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Apr 12, 2011
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Originally Posted by jpr95 .


I could easily fit on a 58, and I suspect I could also make a 60 work based on how long my seatpost is, how far back the seat is set, and how long of a stem I use (130mm).
Exactly, there is a lot of variation by swapping out stems and saddle height/fore-aft adjustments. I'm 5'9 and rode a 56cm bike for the first two years I raced. Sure it was too big but with a short stem and the deep drop Cinellli 66's it worked out just fine. I have also gotten a 52cm to work as well.

There are many changes that can be made before scrapping the frame, and I doubt a different frame is going to remedy this particular problem.
 

oldbobcat

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Aug 31, 2003
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Originally Posted by guyofthetiger .

Here are some pictures of my riding position, hope it helps.

Overall fit of the frame looks very good, and saddle setback doesn't appear to be a problem. The wrist angle on the drops doesn't bother me because most riders spend so little time there and the a lot of the "anatomic" bars make it really difficult to get comfortable down there. But I wouldn't rule out a different handlebar after working out some of the other stuff first.

Guy, just to test our impressions on setback, do this. From the hands-on-the-hoods neutral position, raise your upper body to full vertical without using your hands. If you can do that, good.

Also, Guy, your arms look really long relative to your overall height. Is that true? Also, does the pain in your hands seem to come from pressure or possibly from a nerve pinch somewhere further up the arm, like the shoulder or elbow?
 

WillemJM

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Sep 28, 2012
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The picture may be misleading, but to me the frame looks really small and the seat position way too low.

In terms of riding, think of the handle bars as a place to rest your hands only, not to lean on or hold onto and work on supporting your upper body with your back muscles, if your position on the bike is right and you power to the pedals, this should kind of happen naturaly.
 

oldbobcat

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Aug 31, 2003
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Originally Posted by WillemJM .

The picture may be misleading, but to me the frame looks really small and the seat position way too low.
The size may be misleading because of the sloping top tube, but you might be right about the saddle height. Ordinarily, a 60 cm frame would be on the large side for a 183 cm rider. The B'twin web site doesn't have geometry charts, though. And none of that addresses the painful hands problem.

I am struck by the humped back and the upper body's appearance of being draped all over the bike. If there were no problems, I'd say right off the top, raise the saddle, extend that back a bit, and let's see where the hands want to go so we can pick out a stem.

But the hand pain has me puzzled. I want to find out for sure whether it's from pressure or nerves. I'm favoring nerves because it doesn't look like he's carrying much on his hands. I suspect that it's tightness in the arms and shoulders that's pinching off a nerve. I used to get numb hands and fingers, but it went away with stretching exercises and better posture. I guess I could have also cured it with a shorter stem, but I was stubborn. Guy's position isn't all that low or forward so a shorter stem would just set him up taller and with more weight rearward.

But yeah, the saddle does look low. Guy, are you reading any of this?
 

ambal

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Oct 15, 2010
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Originally Posted by WillemJM .

The picture may be misleading, but to me the frame looks really small and the seat position way too low.
The frame does look a little on the small side, though that could be due to the elevated camera angle.