Swollen brake fingers? What's my problem.



I've been riding my first road bike, and I'm noticing my middle
and index fingers feel stiff and a bit swollen. More so for
my middle fingers than index. But I'm curious if this is common?

Might I have my handlebars at a bad angle? Could reaching
to far for the brakes cause this? It is a slight reach,
but nothing that is uncomfortable.
Handlebars that are too far forward usually lead to sore neck and shoulder muscles, so I doubt if this is your problem.
Your problem could be that:
  • Your saddle angle may be wrong i.e. pointing downwards. This is forcing you to support your weight with your hands, causing pressure on the hands and fingers. Check that your saddle is level (use a builders level).
  • Your grip on the bars may be too tight, restricting blood flow. Don't lock your elbows when riding. Change your hand position and strech the fingers often while riding.
  • Your fingers may not be use to operating STI levers. Get yourself a squash or tennis ball (a stress ball also works) and strenghten your hands and fingers by squeezing the ball while you watch TV or browse the web.

Lastly, if you do decide to change your setup, do it in small increments once a week.

Let us know how it goes.
Yeah, it's only been a little over a week.  So I'm guessing that
I'm just not adjusted to the STI shifters yet.  I've been adjusting
the handlebars a little bit each time I go out to try to find a good
fit.  I think I've found a position that is comfortable.  I'm a fairly
avid rock climber, so I'm sure my grip is strong enough.  Not
worried now,  I was just curious if this problem is common among
new road bikers.  Hopefully, this is no big thing, and relaxes in
a week or two.  Thanks for your thoughts.

Similar threads