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numb left hand and index finger(8 posts)

numb left hand and index fingerRandyMH
Jul 30, 2001 11:21 AM
About 15 minutes into my ride my left hand starts to numb. I can usally shake it off. After my ride Sunday 2 hours my index finger stayed numb until today. I went back and read some of of the other post about numbness I'm sure it has to do with me supporting my weight with my arms and hands.
How can I change this habit?
i'm starting to think that the gloves don't matter so muchHaiku d'état
Jul 30, 2001 11:51 AM
...at least for me. i have two pair of specialized gloves that are pretty tight and seem to cause a little tingle. i also have two pair of the axo slip-on half-finger gloves that cost about $4 each, zero adjustable, zero padding. guess which ones are more comfortable for 4 hours in the saddle? the cheap ones. no binding or constricting, no restriction of movement, etc.

my experience here recently has almost got me convinced that, aside from a too-tight/poorly-fitting pair of gloves, the only thing that's really a consideration here is your position on the bike, and the amount of your upper body weight that's on your hands versus your butt and legs. in my normal JRA position, i can remove my hands from the bars and stay in the same position, the only change being the loss of contact with the bars. i'm mostly supporting myself with legs and butt, a little with lower back and abs, and very little to none with hands. before, i was leaning heavily on the palms and my hands were always numb, but only while on the bike.

also found awhile back that, after working right-handed mouse for the last several years, my right thumb and index finger were going numb and getting a tingle from time to time. i changed mouse hands (left now), and no problems on either. hmmmmmmm....
re: numb left hand and index fingerLen J
Jul 30, 2001 12:30 PM
Since no one else has responded, I will try.

Numb hands (as I understand it) are the result of pressure on the Ulna(I'm not sure the name is right) nerve which runs under the pad by your wrist the opposite side of your palm from your thumb. This pressure can be caused by several things:

1.)improper bike fit. If your Bike is not fit properly this could cause you to have too much weight on your hands causing nerve pressure(you should be able, if fit properly, to lift your hands off the bars without any stress on your back or abdomen)

2.)Not wearing gloves or not wearing gloves with the correct padding. Specialized has gloces with a special pad designed to protect the Nerves in your hand.

3.)Not changing positions on th bars enough. This usually results in numbness after longer than 15 minutes.

I would guess based on what you have described that your problem is #1 (maybe compounded by #2)

Hope this helps
gloves not required...C-40
Jul 30, 2001 1:34 PM
You shouldn't need to wear gloves to prevent hand numbness. I never wear gloves anymore. This problem can be caused by too much weight on the hands, which could be the result of weak abdominal and back muscles, or just from improper weight balance on the bike. The further back your butt goes, the less weight on your hands. If you're using a seatpost like a Thomson, with no set-back, this could be the problem. Can't see how anyone can get the saddle back enough with this post.

Improperly positioned brake levers can also cause discomfort or numbness. I see folks riding some pretty weird looking setups. I've found it critical to have some upward angle on the main portion of the hood, where the palm rests. Take a look at pro bikes on the tour. Most levers are positioned far up on the bars with a siginificant upward angle. With campy ergo levers, the shift cables can also cause discomfort. I've found that routing both cables on the front of the bar is best, but still requires strategically located, thin foam padding along the cables for optimum comfort.
i've been wearing them all this time in case of a wreckHaiku d'état
Jul 30, 2001 1:48 PM
was thinking a couple weeks back about how much more airflow i could get over the ol' digits without gloves. then, last weekend, in a fit of "tour fever", a newbie on the group ride came from behind with uncontrolled speed and lack of technique (or was it "highly developed technique"), locked bars with mine and ended up on top of me with his bike. i was glad to provide cushion for him and his steed with my knee and hip, both of which are still multi-colored (the bastid). the hands survived, but the gloves were full of splinter, glass and other fun stuff. i think i'll continue glove wearing regardless...and carrying my cellphone in my hydration pack. three strikes? ;-)
gloves not required...LC
Jul 30, 2001 6:39 PM
I feel naked without either a helmet or gloves. If your head or your hands touch moving concrete, it's going to hurt!
re: numb left hand and index fingerBananaGirl
Jul 30, 2001 7:15 PM
Yup, DITTO! I get the same thing... all I can say is keep switching your hand positions. Don't stay in the same one for more than 5-10 miles (vary this according to total riding distance). I don't think it has anything to do with the gloves (be smart, make sure they are not so tight that your fingers are screaming before you even make a fist). My index stays numb for 3-4 days after not switching positions... so take it from a numbnut that can still type! Move your hand position frequently!
looking at the + sideak
Jul 31, 2001 8:06 AM
a numb hand can be very rewarding. I've heard it called many things, but my favorite term is "the stranger" If you can manage one with a numb hand it's supposed to feel like you're getting it from a stranger. I've never tried (honest) but I've heard only good reviews from sources that would know. I think Howard Stern may have even mentioned it once or twice. Other terms include "The Invisible Lady, The Imaginary Whore, or The Parkinson's Special" Have fun, but be safe.