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Becca713
09-14-2006, 08:31 PM
Need some help here:

I took a 2.5 hour road ride this past Saturday, and ever since my wrists have been really sore. Yesterday I noticed that my right wrist in particular was starting to feel odd and I didn't want to apply pressure to anything with my right hand. Today both of my hands are feeling numb and tingly. Could all of this be a result of my ride on Saturday? I don't usually ride my road bike, and nothing else in my regular fitness or daily routines has really changed this week.

Any thoughts? Should I see a doctor???

tdeckert
09-14-2006, 08:57 PM
Becca,

Did you have your bike setup done by a pro at a bike shop? I'd have the bike fit checked first to see if there is an issue there. And if not, see your doctor to have carpal tunnel ruled out. I have it in both wrists, but it is controlled with wearing wrist braces at night (that's when it get worse).

When riding, I try to change hand positions frequently. If it gets really bad, sometimes I'll rest one hand behind my back to take the pressure off and give it a break.

Good luck.

T

Becca713
09-14-2006, 09:17 PM
Becca,

Did you have your bike setup done by a pro at a bike shop? I'd have the bike fit checked first to see if there is an issue there. And if not, see your doctor to have carpal tunnel ruled out. I have it in both wrists, but it is controlled with wearing wrist braces at night (that's when it get worse).

When riding, I try to change hand positions frequently. If it gets really bad, sometimes I'll rest one hand behind my back to take the pressure off and give it a break.

Good luck.

T

Hmmm...I got my road bike used from a friend of mine, and yeah, I took it over to a LBS and they said it seemed to fit me alright. I have another LBS that I can take it over to this weekend to get re-checked. This past weekend I felt pretty comfortable with my hands on the top of the handlebars, but riding on the drops or brake hoods was NOT comfortable at all, so I was pretty much on the tops of the handlebars the whole ride. Is that how it's supposed to be?

Thanks T!

Becca

MADMAX
09-14-2006, 09:27 PM
It is extremly important to change hand positions. It is possible you are leaning to far forward. With your hands on the bars next the stem you should not be able to see the axle of the front wheel. You can adjust the stem length to achieve this position. maybe raising the bars slightly would help also. The width of the bars should also match the width of your shoulders.

:) MAX

raptor
09-14-2006, 09:38 PM
My road bike position puts too much of my weight on my hands. I know this because they often bug me with numbness when I ride it. That works as it's my signal to shake and/or move them.

As a computer professional for decades, I'm all over carpal tunnel syndrome. If your wrists are bent for any length of time it seems to invite CTS. On your bike & at your keyboard, keep your wrists naturally straight. And yes, that's very hard to do on a road bike.

I believe (no studies to cite but it makes sense) that training the muscles of your forearms will help you deal with or avoid CTS.

And of course you should see a doctor if the problem doesn't clear up soon.

Lynn

kszspin
09-14-2006, 09:47 PM
I believe (no studies to cite but it makes sense) that training the muscles of your forearms will help you deal with or avoid CTS.


Lynn, unless you have hard studies to cite that training the muscles of your forearms will help you with CTS, then I would not engage in that type training! :rolleyes:

Pink
09-14-2006, 09:59 PM
I believe (no studies to cite but it makes sense) that training the muscles of your forearms will help you deal with or avoid CTS.Lynn

Lynn, I'm currently back in therapy for my bum arm...we are currently working on strengthening my forearm to help support my pathetic wrist.

ACinNJ
09-14-2006, 10:02 PM
I have 1 simple cue for CTS at the desk....keep the elbow even with the wrist. I put a return on the side of my desk so my arm has a place to rest.

amybatt
09-17-2006, 03:19 PM
If you do a Google or Yahoo search for "handlebar palsy" you will see that this is similar to, but not the same as, carpal tunnel. You are pressing on various parts and nerves of your hand by maintaining one hand position on the handlebars. I was diagnosed with this last winter and told to use gel or padded gloves both indoors and out. It's not correctable (since you are basically crushing nerves) and will get progressively worse if you don't do something about it now. You have to be careful too because the ulnar nerve (which was my problem) runs up your arm to your trapezius and can give you all sorts of related back issues as well.

markdmiller
09-18-2006, 12:10 PM
I, too, purchased a used bike several months ago. I'm having finger numbness and waking-up at night with stiff elbows. Apparently, my bike doesn't fit my body type. I have a long torso. I'm forced to stretch. Not only does it have a tendency to lock my elbows, but forces me to ride toward the tip of the saddle.:eek: I had my handlebar stem replaced, but it's still too long. Shaking-out my hands and routinely changing handbar positions provides some relief.

When I purchase my new bike next riding season, I will be measured from head to toe. That's for sure.

MADMAX
09-18-2006, 12:24 PM
I also forgot double wrapping the handle bars with tape is a trick the pros use like Paris to Roubiax. They have to race over extremely rough cobble stone sections. Yes bike fit is important the last thing we do is have the person sit on the bike with their hands on the top of the bars and look for the front axle. The handle bars should hide the axle. This is the final process in the fit.

:) MAX

markdmiller
09-18-2006, 01:08 PM
Yes bike fit is important the last thing we do is have the person sit on the bike with their hands on the top of the bars and look for the front axle. The handle bars should hide the axle. This is the final process in the fit.

:) MAX

Next time on my bike, I'll perform this check. If it doesn't hide the axle, what does that tell us. Shorter Stem??

Legspeed
09-18-2006, 02:17 PM
That depends. If the axle can be seen "above" the bars, it's a longer stem. If the axle is seen "below", you need a shorter stem.

markdmiller
09-18-2006, 02:30 PM
That depends. If the axle can be seen "above" the bars, it's a longer stem. If the axle is seen "below", you need a shorter stem.

Mr Legs,

That seems simple enough. I'll follow your guidelines. Thanks.

Legspeed
09-18-2006, 02:40 PM
Another thing to consider for a more comfortable ride is your tire size. There's a huge difference in the amount of road vibration from a 700x21 versus a 700x25. In general, the fatter the tire, the cushier the ride.

markdmiller
09-18-2006, 03:04 PM
Mr Legs,

I didn't know that either. Thanks for another tip. I can't wait to get home and apply these guidelines.

raptor
09-18-2006, 11:38 PM
Another thing to consider for a more comfortable ride is your tire size. There's a huge difference in the amount of road vibration from a 700x21 versus a 700x25. In general, the fatter the tire, the cushier the ride.

Keep in mind that you could ride a full-suspension mountain bike with piezo-electric predictive hydraulic dampening, and if it doesn't fit, you're still going to have problems.

Lynn

markdmiller
09-19-2006, 07:21 AM
Can numb hands be related to riding tense? While I'm hammering the road, I forget to relax my upper body and drop the shoulders. Or, is that just JGSI talk?

dane_mill
09-19-2006, 06:12 PM
Can numb hands be related to riding tense? While I'm hammering the road, I forget to relax my upper body and drop the shoulders. Or, is that just JGSI talk?

Yes, riding tense will not help.

I find periodically rolling my shoulders and stretching them down helps.
(just like JGSI talk)

Good core strength (Abs and back) help support the body reducing the amount of weight upon the hands.

We also have to remember the helmet puts a lot of stress on the neck. While the helmet may not seem that heavy.... carrying it around on the noggin (head) for an extended period of time, the weight takes its toll.
I find that escpecially early in the season.

Tight neck and shoulder muscles put pressure on the nerve system and restrict blood flow to the hands (and arms).

These are my experiences.

Of course, as mentioned in previous posts, a good bike fit is key.

Cheers


Peter

Todd S
09-19-2006, 06:35 PM
Can numb hands be related to riding tense? While I'm hammering the road, I forget to relax my upper body and drop the shoulders. Or, is that just JGSI talk?

While 'hammering', you're probably putting more force to the pedals on the downstroke and applying that force with greater frequency than you are when riding at lower power outputs. This means the proportion of the weight of your upper body being supported by your hands and arms should be at a minimum.

For what it's worth, the only times I remember numb hands being a problem was during recovery from heart surgery when my cardiac output was substantially compromised. During that time, I was spending a lot of time on rollers, too, which meant I wasn't shifting riding positions very much for extended periods of time.

raptor
09-19-2006, 11:09 PM
While 'hammering', you're probably putting more force to the pedals on the downstroke and applying that force with greater frequency than you are when riding at lower power outputs. This means the proportion of the weight of your upper body being supported by your hands and arms should be at a minimum.


Depends on the rider. When hammering, I'm low and aerodynamic. The extra force on the pedals doesn't amount to much of a counterweight to my upper body. So I flatten out, stay quiet, and a lot of weight goes on my hands. If I don't remember to change my arm/hand position, I get trouble. I've got the classic racing bike geometry that squeezes me onto the smallest frame that fits the motor part of my body. If I ever get a custom frame, I'll probably get a long top tube.

Lynn

markdmiller
09-20-2006, 10:05 AM
I rode last night and had fewer problems with my pinky and ring finger going numb. As always, I shake my hands-out periodically. I switched hand positions and stayed conscious of grip tightness. After the ride, my elbows did not feel as tired or sore. I checked my stem length using the "Can I see you front axle test." So, that checks out. The slightly shorter stem seems to be the right stem. However, I still feel like I'm stretching to far forward and listing toward the tip of the saddle.

As I previously mentioned, when I get a new bike, I'll get measured from head to toe. A friend of mine told me to check out Independent Fabrications. She is very pleased with her bike. Has not had to make one adjustment since purchase.

MADMAX
09-20-2006, 10:38 AM
There is only one adjustment left and that is to raise the nose of the seat very slightly and I mean very slightly this will take some weight off of your hands.

:) MAX

markdmiller
09-20-2006, 12:19 PM
There is only one adjustment left and that is to raise the nose of the seat very slightly and I mean very slightly this will take some weight off of your hands.

:) MAX


Actually, I had thought of that in the past but thanks for reminding me. I will make that micro-adjustment.

Todd S
09-20-2006, 01:35 PM
There is only one adjustment left and that is to raise the nose of the seat very slightly and I mean very slightly this will take some weight off of your hands.

:) MAX

A level will come in handy if you want to get your saddle adjusted properly.

markdmiller
09-20-2006, 02:10 PM
A level will come in handy if you want to get your saddle adjusted properly.

Hmmm. So I should check for level first in case the saddle is already tipped upward.