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Uncomortably Numb(8 posts)

Uncomortably NumbKeri
Aug 25, 2001 3:15 AM
I am a newbie and just came back from my second bike ride. During todays and my last ride, my right hand went numb when in the drops. What do you guys think is causing this?
re: Uncomortably Numbfiltersweep
Aug 25, 2001 6:14 AM
I'm convinced it is NORMAL if you don't adjust your hand position and you've been riding for hours- however if you just went on a 40 minute ride, it is a setup issue. I might get flamed here, and I'm not a doctor, but this would consistantly happen to me driving my motorcycle or my mountainbike, it is likely a nerve issue (you could have pounded a nail through my pinky and I wouldn't have felt a thing)- and as far as I know there is nothing damaging about this.

I'd start by wearing gloves, and work on relaxing your grip (you don't need a death grip on the bars), and take a few breaks to stretch out your fingers. You might want to look at your bike setup, you might have too much of your weight on the bar rather than the saddle. Believe it or not, I've found road biking to be much more comfortable to my hands, back, and neck than mtn biking- but that is more attributable to setup.
Parallel problemKerry Irons
Aug 25, 2001 1:17 PM
At one point, I had numb hands for several months. I thought it was triggered by some really long rides (and it quite possibly was) but in fact it was mostly caused by how I was sleeping. I woke up one morning and realized that my hand was "sort of" numb because I had been sleeping on my arm. I changed my sleeping position a little bit, and in less than a week, my hand numbness when cycling was greatly reduced. Proper set up and moving your hands around are obviously important, but there can be other causes too.
re: Uncomortably NumbJon Billheimer
Aug 25, 2001 6:18 AM
There can be a number of causes: too much weight on your hands, improper reach to the bars, too much road vibration coming through to your hands, etc. First, are you wearing padded cycling gloves and is your handlebar well taped? Second, get an experienced cyclist or a good local bike shop to look at your fit and overall position on the bike. The details are a little too complicated to go into here, but would include proper fore and aft seat position, weight distribution on the bike, reach to the handlebars, and the seat/handlebar height differential. Also the angle of your wrists when you're in the drops. Good luck.
Reminds me of a Pink Floyd song (nm)tirider
Aug 25, 2001 8:28 AM
re: Uncomortably Numbharlett
Aug 25, 2001 10:35 AM
the next time you ride use the same positioning as you always have. Then think about your hands and FEEL where the pressure points are. Those points of pressure are probably what's causing it. You will then know what points to either avoid or not keep pressure on for too long a time.
Try thisDave Hickey
Aug 25, 2001 11:06 AM
First, shake your hands when you start to feel numbness. After you shake your hands, bend your arm at the elbow all the way so your hand is touching your shoulder. This is the most important step since bending your arm pumps blood into your hands. Whenever my hands start to go numb, I always use this method and the numbness goes away.
Handlebar height?bianchi boy
Aug 26, 2001 6:03 AM
Many bikes these days come set up with handlebars very low in relation to the seat height, or in other words, a very large drop. How much difference is there between the height of your saddle and your bars at the hoods? At the risk of sounding like a retro-grouch again, I am convinced that many cyclists would be more comfortable with their bars at most about 1" lower than the saddle, which is the way shops used to set up new bikes. When your bars are much lower than that, your weight balance shifts toward the front, increasing the pressure on your hands. You might also be riding too long in the drops, particularly for a newcomer. Many bikers (myself included) ride most of the time with their hands on the hoods and just use the drops for an occasional change in position or for more aerodynamics when descending hills. Also, if you don't wear gloves, you ought to buy a pair -- which will help relieve numbness and protect your hands in the event of a fall.