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Numb hands/fingers and weak muscles(9 posts)

Numb hands/fingers and weak musclesElizabethM
Jul 20, 2001 4:59 AM
I am a relatively new rider (5 months and 1200 miles) and am experiencing numb hands and absolutely no fine motor skills after long rides. This lasts up to 3-4 days... Anybody else in this boat? Any fixes?
Similar experience with numbnessBrian C.
Jul 20, 2001 5:36 AM
My left pinky finger (only) feels numb for a couple days after a long ride. It's at the point now where I don't pay attention to it anymore. No problem with fine motor skills, though.
Trust you're wearing padded gloves. Wish I could offer a quick fix.
Wonder if there's an RSI issue here.
Hope it resolves itself for you.
Fine Motor Skills?Mabero
Jul 20, 2001 5:52 AM
Are you wearing gloves?

Also I am not sure what you mean by fine motor skills...are you meaning you aren't developing motor skills affliated with riding or do you mean when you get off the bike you have hard time walking, writing, eye hand coordination. If it's the latter are you drinking enough water?

How long are your long rides in comparison to your daily rides (what percentage is your long ride to the total mileage for a given week)?
If its a high percentage (like 75) and you are doing one long ride for a week then it could be that your body is just not accustommed to riding that long.

I'm sorry this isn't much help but I need more details about your riding regime, what your drinking, and especially details on to what happens and when (during ride, after ride, day after, etc)

re: Numb hands/fingers and weak musclesKristin
Jul 20, 2001 6:05 AM
I'm a new rider too (3 months now) and having a problem with weak arm & shoulder muscles. I also have very tight, knotted trapazoid (shoulder) muscles. I saw a sports doctor/cyclist who told me (along with board members here) that its not uncommon to experience this in your first season. Your bodies getting used to a whole new position. My Dr. told me to focus on spinning faster and keeping my shoulders relaxed and down...i.e. not as much weight on my arms. In my case, I suspect that the drop to my bars (4 inches) is too much for me just yet, and my seat is should be angled farther back. So I'm making some changes this weekend. Here's a link to a post that talks about how much seat to handlebar drop you should have: Good Luck! Kristin
Three thoughts.......Len J
Jul 20, 2001 6:50 AM
1.)Try specialized gloves. They have a specific pad which protects the (Ulna) nerve in your hand from compression, I'm not sure I've named the correct nerve but this nerve is the root of most hand & finger numbness.

2.)Change hand positions frequently. I only get numbness when I get into one position & hold it to long. In the beginning this is harder to do than it would seem because you are trying to get used to any position, let alone several, but it is a good riding habit to get into. Switch from the tops (of the bars) to the hoods (top of brake hoods) to the drops (lowwer part of handlebars) to the top curves, etc etc . You will notice a difference in your numbness almost immediately.

3.)Relax. Relax. Relax. IMHO more muscle strain in the arms shoulders and neck comes from tension than from being in a new position. I see many (especially new) riders who seem to have a "death grip" on the bars, whose shoulders are all scrunched up (I've even heard of riders with tense feet & toes :)). Tension does not allow as much blood flow to the muscles as is necessary and creates soreness. Try to concentrate on periodically checking to see if you are tense or relaxed in your upper body.

Good luck
Len has a point thereBrian C.
Jul 20, 2001 7:10 AM
My feet/toes used to get numb till I learned to relax them.
That ain't right.bill
Jul 20, 2001 7:31 AM
For starters, you almost certainly are placing too much weight on your hands. You should spread your weight among your five contact points with the bike, two arms, two legs, one butt. I've heard no more than about 30% of weight on your arms, but sometimes I have almost no weight on my arms. Loosen up; with your upper body loose, all sorts of other aspects of handling and pedaling fall into place. Also, move your hands around. Also, be conscious of whether you are gripping the bars lightly with your hands (proper) versus resting your wrists on the hoods or bars, with all of your weight really on your wrists, which traps the nerves.
Other than that, get thee to a doctor. Three or four days of numbness is not good.
re: Numb hands/fingers and weak musclesmackgoo
Jul 20, 2001 9:49 AM
I'm with Bill. Your either supporting your upper body with your arms, which you shouldn't do, really shouldn't have any weight on your arms "idealy", but being in the real world we all will support our bodies on occassion. If your not supporting your body then there may be something physicaly happening that you should get remedied.
handlebar heightbianchi boy
Jul 20, 2001 10:15 AM
Try raising your handlebars so they are closer to the level of your saddle. Many new bikes these days are set up with bars much too low for comfort and proper weight distribution. With bars too low, your weight shifts toward the front, placing too much weight on your hands. If you have a threaded (quill) stem, it's very simple to raise the bars. However, if you have a threadless fork/stem, you may need to add spacers or get a new stem with more rise. Check with your bike shop about this and they'll recommend the best way.

I would try to get this problem figured out, if I were you, because you could be causing nerve damage to your hands. I had a similar problem, and it's taken a while to clear up.