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Good Ideas But...(9 posts)

Good Ideas But...Mr Nick
Jun 30, 2003 12:49 PM
Everyone one gave me good tips on how to possibley help the pain in my hands. Unfortunately I have tried ever one already. The only thing I haven't done is actually put a flat bar on my bike to see what its like. I have read that there aren't as many hand position so they aren't as comfortable. But has anyone actually ridden flat bars for long rides on their road bikes. It just doesn't seem like all mtb and comfort bikes and commuter bikes would have flat or riser bars if they where so inferior. can someone with experience actually tell me why this is idea is a pure one, because at the moment it just seems like something that isn't cool, as opposed to something has has proven to be inferior over the long hall. Thanks.
Sorry about pure grammar, forgot to edit.Mr Nick
Jun 30, 2003 12:49 PM
Simple answerKerry Irons
Jun 30, 2003 4:13 PM
The golden rule for avoiding numb/sore hands & wrists is to change positions often. How many hand positions are available on flat bars? It's not rocket science.
Simple answerMr Nick
Jun 30, 2003 5:40 PM
If you have to change your hand position every minute how do you ever get into a groove? Also it isn't very conducive for riding through traffic and in areas were control is very key. For instance a good part of my ride requires that I am on my hoods becaue I have to be able to brake. What do I do in this case?
Have you seen a doctor?Kristin
Jun 30, 2003 11:17 PM
Sorry I missed your previous post, but if you've tried everything and its still happening then perhaps you should see a doctor about it. A bulged disc or pinched nerve, among other things, can cause hand and arm numbness. I used to ride a flat bar bike and had a problem with numbness. It would usually begin 30 minutes into a ride. I invested in a $40 pair of gloves that helped a ton--though I had to experiment before I found the right ones. Since I've switched to a road numbness. Have you asked your friends who ride flat bars for long, steady distances if they have numbness? I'll bet they do. Its goes with the territory and you usually either find a good pair of gloves or learn to live with it.
Jun 30, 2003 4:54 PM
I had a numb/tingly hand problem on a ride today and throughout the pain (or lack thereof) I kept trying to think of some way to alleviate the problem. I think gloves are a big deal. I'm riding some cheap Treks that work ok for MTB and short rides, but when it comes to the long haul they just don't have enough padding. Get something with lots of padding. It could also be your fork/frame. If you get too much shock transfered to your hands from the ground that can lead to a lack of nerve feeling (kind of like when you're mowing with a crappy push mower that vibrates a lot). My last suggestion is get the bike fit to you. In addition to the numb hands my elbows have a tendency to get really sore on long rides, usually 70+miles. I need to raise my stem up a bit and push it out, so maybe you just need a different cock pit for your ride. But I do agree with Kerry, the flatbar is your absolute last resort. Even with barends your hand positions are severely limited which most likely won't help your problem. Good luck.

Can't remember if you are the one who asked . . .Look381i
Jul 1, 2003 5:23 AM
and I responded before, but I have found three things to help, assuming good bike fit:

1. Loose (or no) wrist straps on gloves. Tight straps are the quickest way to numbness and tingles that I know.
2. Relaxed grip on hoods or bars, with bent elbows.
3. As everyone says, change positions often, even if only for a few seconds at a time.

Pacelines present a challenge when you are cranking full tilt boogie for long periods, but you can switch from hoods to drops to stay near brakes (which you should use infrequently if at all) and change your grip slightly in both positions. On hills try a light touch on the tops.
my experience in going from mtb to roadmaximum15
Jul 1, 2003 9:07 AM
The first few months were tough. I just couldn't get comfortable on the road bars, but mtb bars didn't bother me. With time, the problem went away. Maybe your problem is similar to getting used to cycling for a distance -- it takes a little while to get used to the saddle. Two things I have done since getting used to the road bike which have improved the comfort level even more are to move the hoods higher on the bars and tilt the saddle back some.
Straight Barssnapdragen
Jul 1, 2003 5:36 PM
I have flat bars on my bike, I don't think they will help with the numbness. With the flat bars, you rest on the part of your had where the ulnar (sp?) nerve is, that can cause some awful numbness. Also, riding with flat bars, your wrists are bent, that can be uncomfortable too. I think the only thing that saves me is I long curved bar ends. Gives me some variety in hand position.

I've been told that for some people, too much padding in the gloves can cause numbness too. It does for me. Specialzed has a BG glove with padding only where the ulnar nerve is, you might check them out. Currently I'm using Louis Garneau Ergo Air, they seem to work pretty well to.

I'll be changing my straight bars for drops this winter, so I can have more hand positions.