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Numbness of fingertips while riding - Stem too long perhaps?(7 posts)

Numbness of fingertips while riding - Stem too long perhaps?mpj
Apr 23, 2003 3:39 PM
I experience some numbness of the fingertips on both hands quite often, when in the saddle, even for a short 10 - 15 mile ride. I was wondering if this could have something to do with my stem being too long, and perhaps too much of my body weight being shifted towards the front? Any input would be greatly appreciated. THANKS!
re: Numbness of fingertips while riding - Stem too long perhaps?grande
Apr 23, 2003 3:58 PM
What fingers are going numb specifically? It matters. I work as a therapist- work on hands all day- elbow to fingers. If you're not sure go for a ride and note exactly where the numbness is. Is it in your palm? Is at your pinky side or thumb side. Also how old are you. What do you do for work.
re: Numbness of fingertips while riding - Stem too long perhaps?mpj
Apr 23, 2003 5:09 PM
Not exactly sure as to what specific area of the fingers; it seems like the tips; although next time out I will make a note of it. I can tell you that I'm 39 years old, and have a very active job - I work in a freezer all day {9 hours} pulling orders by hand. Do my hands get cold? You betcha; especially when I'm in for about 4 hours straight {5 degrees below zero - constant temp} but I have gotten so used to it, that it does not bother me. Fingers are fine once they defrost, and I never experience numbness, apart from riding, in case you are wondering. Thanks, Marc
re: Numbness of fingertips while riding - Stem too long perhaps?stinkfoot247
Apr 23, 2003 6:16 PM
Man I get the same thing. Guy that replied above- does numbing mean anything bad?
I wouldnt worry about the cold...Here' s a testgrande
Apr 24, 2003 2:37 PM
The reason it matters which fingers are experiencing numbness is that 3 different nerves are responsible for sensation at the wrist and below. Its likely one of 2 things (nerves and compression of the nerve):

If you note its the thumb, index, middle and maybe the ring on the PALM SIDE only- its the Median nerve thats affected. Its commonly called carpal tunnel syndrome and is common men your age with what sounds like what you do for work. Auto mechanics, construction guys, basically guys w/ big strong hands.

Numbness may also happen (and is common in cyclists) at the the pinky and half of the ring finger at the palm side AND back side of the hand-Ulnar Nerve.

Here's test- Bend your hands at the wrist -palm side in toeard the front side of arm (the side w/ less hair). Bend it for at least 60-90 seconds and note exactly where it goes numb.

If you dont know what nerve is being pinched and where it will difficult to fix your problem.
Try a few things!the bull
Apr 23, 2003 7:28 PM
Shift more weight to rear.Level seat!If it is tilted down you weight will shift forward then you will try to push your self back.By doing this your hands take lots of pressure!Change hand positions.Move hands around to improve circulation.Top of bar and back to hoods.Are hoods in a good level postion.Post a pic and get some people to give you advice on handlebar set up.
Apr 24, 2003 8:33 AM
Although the spacer police might get you... haha, you may consider raising your stem, either by changing the degree rise of the stem, or adding spacers (if you havent cut down too far already).

Let me ask another thing... do you wear gloves? Some brands of gloves just dont work with me and often bunch in odd places, especially between the first finger and thumb and this caused some of the exact symptoms that you speak of. So, does it matter whether you have gloves on or off?

Im going to go out on a limb here and predict that you spend the majority of your time on top of your brake hoods. If your handlebars are too low, and you have a long torso (like me), you often will have, like others stated, more stress placed on your hands. Try this, begin your ride with your hands on placed on the flats a few inches out from where your stem holds the bar. Ride for a while, I would be willing to bet the same thing wont happen as it will likely force you to a more upright position with less stress on your hands. There have been multiple posts that indicate the proper positioning of your hands when you are on the hoods and last week I read a good rule of thumb... it should be like you are reaching out to shake someone's hand. If not, the angle might be a bit excessive and lead towards the more carpal tunnel-esque symptoms.

Just my two cents.

So sayeth the funk.