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numb fingers while riding(9 posts)

numb fingers while ridingshiner1132
Aug 4, 2001 9:02 PM
I'm new to the sport of cycling, and my fingers are always going numb when I ride. It doesn't happen until about a half hour into a ride, and I like to ride for about two hours or so, but I'd like to find a way to prevent it from happening. I was wondering if this means that I am putting too much pressure agains the handle bars (how can I fix that), or if there is something else you can do? Or, is it just part of biking? Thanks.
re: numb fingers while ridingAvanti Guy
Aug 4, 2001 9:10 PM
Well if your like me an your in Australia, the numbness might be from riding when its cold and freezing :)...
If not though it probably has to do with your saddle tilt, check your riding position, you may be relying on your hands to hold you up instead of putting weight on the saddle...
positioning???Ti
Aug 4, 2001 9:26 PM
My fingers get numb on my road but not on my mtn. I personally think it's a positioning thing (but I'm only speculating). I usually notice it after three hours+ and when I've had my hands on the horns. I never notice it when I'm riding with my hands horizontal on the bars (I never ride in the drops). I think it's gradually cutting off the blood to my fingers.
Move your hands morespookyload
Aug 5, 2001 12:32 AM
There is a nerve that runs through your hand. Put enough pressure on it and it will go numb. If you have your seat adjusted right, and you are still having a problem, Try different gloves with more padding, or maybe even less padding. Too much padding can put pressure on the nerve too. Move your hands on the bars more often too. There are dozens of hand positions on the handlebar, try to use lots of them during the ride thereby putting pressure on different parts of your hands. And as a last resort, you can try carbon road bars. I know they are bloody expensive, but the carbon absorbs the high frequency road shock very well. These are the tiny bumps you never feel, but your body, moreover your nerve system does. The carbon will soak these up prolonging your ride, just like in a carbon frame or fork.
Which fingers?Spoke Wrench
Aug 5, 2001 6:27 AM
There are actually two different issues that cause this problem.

If your thumb through ring finger are numb, that's a carpal tunnel problem. Try to reduce the pressure on the center of your wrist. One way to do this is to find a pair of cycling gloves that have a groove in the padding down the center. That will relieve any pressure on the medial nerve.

If your ring and little fingers are numb, that's due to impingement of another nerve. Work on reducing pressure on the outside of your hand.

Another thing you might try is a little higher handlebar position.

Just using lots of padding over the whole hand doesn't work. The padding just compresses at the pressure points and assures that you have pressure against the nerves. Not a good thing!

Good luck.
Don't ignore it ...bianchi boy
Aug 5, 2001 7:26 AM
The numbness is a sign of nerve irritation and could cause damage if you don't correct what's causing the problem. As one who has battled the finger numbness problem for a while, here are some options that may solve your problem:

1. Get some good quality gloves with adequate padding. I prefer Pearl Izumi gel lite, which aren't cheap, but worth it. Specialized Body Geometry work for lots of folks but not enough padding for me.

2. Wrap your bars with some good shock-absorbing tape, cork or good quality foam. You can even double wrap the bars if you need more padding, but wrap the tape tight if you do that.

3. Raise your handlebars. Personally, I feel this is one of the biggest reasons why many cyclists have numbness problems. Many new bikes are set up with handlebars way too low because they look racier that way. If the bars are too low for proper weight distribution, you will place too much pressure on your hands. Unfortunately, with the threadless forks/stems being installed on most new bikes, it is not always a simple matter raising the bars. If the bike shop didn't cut the fork steerer tube too short, you can add more spacers between the headset and stem. If they did cut it too short, you can buy (or swap for) a new stem with 90 degree or positive rise. You might also consider the length (reach) of your stem. If it is too long, your elbows will lock and can irritate nerves as well. If this is the case, your elbows will probably be sore after a long ride.

4. Examine your riding style. You may be keeping your hands in one position too long. Try shifting your hands around to different spots while you ride -- drops, tops of the hoods, and tops of the bars. You also may be gripping the bars to tightly. A light grip is best.

5. If all else fails, get a professional bike fitting done at a shop that sells Serottas or has some other kind of fit system. They can examine your position, determine proper seat and top tube length, and recommend the proper height, length and rise for your stem. Cost is usually about $50 and well worth it, in my view.
forgot one...CF dude
Aug 6, 2001 7:49 AM
buy a new carbon fork, stem, bars, and headset
shimano vs campy ergo...keith m.
Aug 5, 2001 8:34 AM
when I used shimano sti shifters, my hands would go numb. something about the shape of them just put extra pressure in between my thumb and forefinger. now I use campy ergo shifters and not once have I had numbness. probably just the shape of my hand, but it's a definite difference.
re: numb fingers while ridingVelocipedio
Aug 5, 2001 2:17 PM
It may be your hand position; it may be the design of your glocves. It may be how you put your gloves ON.

Check to see if your gloves are too tight. Start by loosening the wrist closure for your rides. If that doesn't work, try a slightly larger glove.