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Discussion Starter #1
I wear gloves that are padded, move my hands a lot on long rides, why do the outside of my hands get numb" I'm conscious about trying to not put too much pressure. Sometimes the numbness lasts for half an hour after my ride. I even shake my hands at intersections, probably makes me look silly! Any help?
 

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I'm certainly no pro. but I've tried to take in as much info as possible when I recently purchased my first road bike and gear. I had to learn a lot in a short period of time. not entirely sure why it's mostly the pinky though. but here's my thoughts from what I've learned.

1) your gloves may be too small when i went to purchase gloves at my LBS I asked them about proper fit. I was told that you don't want them to be tight like a compression shirt or even really snug. there supposed to be slightly loose but not all sloppy and floppy. I asked why and they said the reason for slightly loose is because as you grip the bars especially in drop/race position you want them to be able to shift slightly without stretching and pulling too tight in between your fingers. I was told that can directly cause numbness.

2) You may have too tight a grip on the handlebars. I'm not sure of that's what you meant by pressure but gripping the bars too tight can cause stress/pain even numbness.

3) The last thing I can think of is seat adjustment. I watched a video on youtube how to fit a roadbike. granted I didn't take everything word for word but it did seem very informative and helpful. it also had seemed like it was put together by a bike shop tech. at least that's how it appeared. anyways try tilting your seat back 1 or 2 degrees or notches so the nose is higher and the tail of the seat is lower than its current position. you may be able to relieve some of your body weight off of your hands by doing this. which was stated is a known cause of numbness in the hands.
 

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Are you locking your arms. You will want some play so your arms absorb vibrations ad well as reduce pressure on the hands.

Handle bar angle may be at play.

Many here would say get fitted at your LBS. My shop let me walk in and fit me to my old bike for free.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I will try the seat adjustment....and I do believe sometimes I grip a bit too hard, depending on a hill or working up an incline. I'm so glad I posed this question...you are all so helpful!
 

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I've read that it can take awhile to find the perfect seat position. also when making adjustments to the seat never make large adjustments. never lower or raise your seat more 1cm at a time and get a good ride in before deciding to adjust again. as far as forward and backward I don't know if that can affect the numbness your experiencing. I do know and have read that seat angle can cause numbness so by angling your seat slightly back your taking a slight amount of weight of your hands. also if your not taking tools with you I'd recommend either purchasing a multi tool made for bikes or the specific tools you need for your bike. take whatever you need to adjust your seat with you so as you start riding if it still doesn't seem to help you can try another minor adjustment and see if that helps. if none of this helps it may be a good idea to go to you LBS and have a pro fit done. I've been slowly dialing in my bike it takes time especially if your new to road bikes like myself I will be paying to have a pro fit done as soon as I can afford it but in the mean time I've just been making adjustments to get me to a good comfort zone until I can get to my LBS.
 

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There's a few other things here that may or may not contribute. The angle/rotation of your handlebar may play a part; for my wife's hybrid I had to rotate her handlebars forward about 6 degrees to get her comfortable and reduce the amount of numbness in her hands along with using ergonomic grips.

I'd check your neck position as well; are you hunched forward which can impinge a nerve while your neck is craned up? If so, there are several fixes available if this is the case.


Let's start with the first (handlebars) and work from there. I'm willing to bet that if we put our collective heads together we'll solve this.
 

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Two skinny J's
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Ride with bent elbows, move your hands frequently. Do not not ride with a death grip, you hands should be lite on the bars. I have hit bumps in the road and almost crashed as at times my grip is so lite.

I think it happens to everyone and your tendency is to go buy heavy padded gel gloves but if your core strength( meaning you are leaning with all your weight on your hands and bars it's gonna happen) is low and you ride with locked elbows none of it will matter.

On longer rides when my shoulders and upper body get tired, I get lazy and put all that weight on the bars I can experience numb hands sometimes as well.

If it is your ulnar nerve you may want to see the doctor as well.


The main cause of hand numbness during or after cycling is nerve compression. The positioning of your hands puts pressure on your nerves in such a way that your normal sensations are interrupted. Usually, early signs of nerve compression are tingling, which then progresses to numbness in areas of your hand and fingers. The ulnar nerve runs through the center of your hand, and also controls the function of your pinky and ring fingers. Compression of your ulnar nerve is sometimes referred to as handlebar palsy. Carpal tunnel syndrome is another nerve-related injury that can create numbness during cycling, as the position of your wrist when you grasp the handlebars can cause the median nerves in the carpal tunnel to compress, and you can experience altered sensation in your thumb and forefingers as well as the palm of your hand due to cycling-related carpal tunnel syndrome.

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/378217-cycling-and-hand-numbness/#ixzz22Cc273Fw
 

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Deranged Touring Cyclist
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I've had great luck changing hand positions frequently. Also, stretching my hands one at a time against the bar - open your hand and fingers as wide as possible, then put your fingers on a horizontal portion of your bar and gently push forward, flexing mostly your wrist but the fingers, too. You don't have to push far or hard - just enough to feel the stretch a bit in your muscles and tendons. Be sure to plan for the pressure you exert on the bar unless you're somewhere you can swerve and wobble with impunity ;) I have had good luck doing this, but please be aware that I am NOT a doctor or any kind of expert. Your experience may vary.
 

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The numbness last up to 1/2 hour after the ride?

I agree with others, you're holding the bar too tight and your not changing hand positions at all, and your elbows are locked which means you're reaching to far to the bar. Once you get the fit resolved then get some cork handlebar tape and put Bontrager BzzzKill Harmonic Dampers as your bar end caps instead of the caps that came with the tape. You can also get a set of Bike Ribbon Gel Pads that go on the bar then the tape is applied over it.

But before you run out and buy crap get the fit dialed in. You can do that either by going to a LBS and hope they actually know how to do that without ripping you off. Or go on line and try to figure it out yourself at sites like this:

http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/fitting.htm
http://www.jimlangley.net/crank/bikefit.html

I'm all about being cheap, try the fit sites first and see if you can dial it in yourself. going to an LBS can be a hit and miss thing, if they miss you'll be missing money, if they hit you did good. Roughly 50% of people that go in for a fit come out worse! and all come out poorer!

You may be surprised that once you get the fit dialed in and change hand positions more frequently you may not need to buy all the crap I mentioned.
 

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If you raise your handlebars and/or shorten the reach with a shorter stem, you will sit more upright and put less weight on your hands.
 

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Two skinny J's
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. Once you get the fit resolved then get some cork handlebar tape and put Bontrager BzzzKill Harmonic Dampers as your bar end caps instead of the caps that came with the tape.
I don't like a lot of gimmicky stuff but I LOVE SOME Buzz Kill !!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
We did some adjustments and so far so good....did 15 miles today with no hand problems....yeah! Thanks for all the advice..its amazing how a little tweaking can do the trick!
 

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ldyvalerie said:
We did some adjustments and so far so good....did 15 miles today with no hand problems....yeah! Thanks for all the advice..its amazing how a little tweaking can do the trick!
That is good to hear, way to go. I was/am amazed how every little detail is connected. Each tweak effects multiple things about your setup. Just as our muscles are connected. Pretty neat really.
 
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