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Tingling fingers and toes....(8 posts)

Tingling fingers and toes....WCC
Apr 17, 2001 6:27 AM
I have noticed that after about 10-15 miles of riding that my fingers and toes tingle somewhat, almost a numb sensation. I belive the cause of the fingers may be my gloves. It seems like the webbing of the glove between the thumb and index finger gets pushed up(towards wrist)and cuts off circulation somewhat. IS this a common problem? Is it because I am using cheap gloves? Are they too big? I could ride without gloves, but I want them mainly for protection during a crash.

I am having the same sensation in my toes. My shoes are definitely not too tight. I am using Speedplay pedals, diadora shoes. Any suggestions.
re: Tingling fingers and toes....must_pedal_harder
Apr 17, 2001 8:04 AM
My hands get numb whenever I wear any kind of padded glove, I usually just ignore it or move my hands to a diffrent position for a sec in the hoods or something.

As for toes, on occasion my feet will get numb (using Shimano SPD-R shoes) but again, I usually just igore it.

There are so many little aches and pains that I'm sure lots of other people get during riding, unless you truly think it's a big prob just take your mind off of it and keep riding :)
have had this problem three times/ways...Haiku d'état
Apr 17, 2001 9:45 AM
first, old/bad gloves; PI 1/4 finger, don't remember the name of that model, but they were terry on the palm-side and lycra on the back-side. padded, yes, and went all over the place (grand canyon, sedona, etc.) before they were retired, so it was a sentimental thing...but new/decent gloves make a world of difference. i'm rotating between four 1/4 finger pairs now: 2 axo and 2 specialized. no related problems.

second, tight shoes/no wiggle room. you've already eliminated this, right? so, skip on to the next one. otherwise, i also had this problem over the winter, after buying the neoprene booties that split the first time i put 'em on, then riding with plastic baggies in my shoes the rest of the winter. two pairs of socks? forget it. numb-toe city. if i skip it and wear only one pair of socks and no plastic baggies, then my toes are numb from the wind! all related problems subsided as the weather became warmer and the wind less brutal.

third, medication...i'm recently on blood pressure meds as a proactive treatment for severe/chronic migraines, and they tend to make me a bit dizzy/lightheaded when standing up too quick (no joke), and have some numbness on the bike (only on the bike) in my fingers and toes. these problems seem to have gone away with frequent on-bike stretching, position changes and standing/getting out of the saddle.

good luck.
The two causes ...Humma Hah
Apr 17, 2001 12:27 PM
... I find that two things cause tingling. One is improper circulation, caused by continuous pressure or something too tight, as you've been mentioning.

The other is low blood sugar. When my arms start to tingle, that's a warning that a bonk is in my future if I don't get some carbs in me soon. If I let things go a little longer, I get a "detached" sensation, like my head is sort of looking down at my body but not really attached. Shortly thereafter, my coordination will go kaput.
Nice Description...Brian B.
Apr 17, 2001 6:45 PM
That's a hell of a good description of low blood sugar symptoms... though if you've gone as far as the "detached" feeling, you really should stop and eat something... hypoglycemia makes for really hard biking.

I occasionaly get tingly fingers, but just moving my hands around clears it up. It usually happens when I've been "leaning" on the bars too much, and not using the rest of my body to stay evenly weighted.

-Brian B.
Yeah, but boy does it burn fat ...Humma Hah
Apr 18, 2001 1:20 PM
... Since I'm interested in weight loss, I've been trying to determine how little calorie intake I can get by with. On mid-length training rides, I'll sometimes deliberately tiptoe up to the edge and peek over. I'll typically have a load of gels and some snacks in my pack, which I can use to ward off a true bonk.

On centuries, or even organized 50-milers, I try to stay well-fueled and able to hammer continuously.

I grand-mal bonked once many years ago (almost passed out, vision tunneled). That was after running myself down to fumes at a fat-burning pace for 130 miles. I stopped, took a couple of sugary drinks, and my blood pressure plummeted as the sugar entered my system (my gut sprang back to life and my legs demanded all the sugar they could get).

Recently, my only two near-bonks were triggered by coughing spells that sapped all my strength. I believe these were triggered by eating the wrong things during the ride.
Tiptoe up to the edge...Brian B.
Apr 18, 2001 7:28 PM
Hmmm- for me, tiptoe-ing up to the edge is flirting with disaster. I have had some "personal pancreas issues" since I was 13 that really require me to maintain some good caloric intake while pedaling away madly. So luckily, I don't seem to bonk too much, and if I do, I've always got glucose tablets and cliff bars in the pack.

-Brian B.
This could be a number of things, and it's probably somebill
Apr 18, 2001 6:47 AM
combination of them. With due respect to my brethren, while I can IMAGINE gloves being so tight that they cut off circulation, I don't really believe you actually would choose to don said gloves. You and O.J. I'll bet it's hand position, weight distribution, and simply failing to change hand position enough. You should focus on whether you're gripping too hard or unnaturally, and anyone gets numb in one position after awhile. You've got to move things around. I also believe that most of my current problems on the bike (bike handling issues, numbness issues, stiffness issues) I trace to my upper body's being too tight. Keeping it all loose works a lot better for so many reasons, including, much to my surprise, ease in handling. With the bike loose beneath me, I have found that I turn easier and that my cadence and pedaling are smoother, with more of my body involved in transmitting energy through the pedals. Some of this is ongoing research, you understand.
As for toes, your cleat position can be off. If the cleat is too forward, you may be putting too much pressure forward, and vice versa. If the cleat is rotated at a bad angle (more critical, in my view, than fore and aft positioning), you could be angling your foot leaving untoward pressure on the sides of your feet (the proper angle doesn't necessarily follow your foot's longitudinal axis, because your feet may not line up squarely off the end of your legs). You also could be using too much pressure on only part of your stroke, so that, for example, you're not taking full advantage of the upstroke. Advice that worked for me was to imagine an egg under the ball of your foot and keep the pressure as even as possible and no harder than necessary. You also just may have bad shoes or need inserts, which also helped me a lot. I actually sometimes have found that numbness develops because my shoes are NOT tightened down enough. Don't ask me why, there.