1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
mtn. biking 101
2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 33
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    76

    numb hands -- weight and setup issue?

    After riding for about 3 months now, I treated myself to a new MB. I was more or less 'fitted' this time (basically just seat adjustment) and I notice after two rides I'm having the same issue I had previously: during a lot of the ride my hands are numb.

    I think this is from putting too much weight on the front handlebars? On someone's suggestion, I put a level on the seat, and indeed it's level - not tipped towards the bars. But should I tilt it slightly back?

    I also wonder if there's a measurement that's not quite right, and I'm either too close or too far from the handlebars. I have pretty long arms and legs, and don't seem to ride as comfortably upright as I'd like. Thx!

  2. #2
    Happy Trails
    Reputation: Scott In MD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    944

    numb hands -- weight and setup issue?

    How much lower are your grips than your saddle? Try laying a 4' carpenter's level (or an eyeball leveled yardstick) from your saddle to your grips, and check the amount of drop.

    For me, raising the handlebar with a 20mm Easton riser bar and switching to Ergon grips eliminated hand pain. I recommend against tilting the seat up. I run -2 degree down(to the front) slope on my saddle, and dead level on my saddle to handlebar grips.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mitzikatzi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    1,811
    There has been a couple of "bike fit" threads recently.
    The best way is to go to a shop that knows about bike fit and get them to help you.
    Try moving your seat backwards a little.
    Duct tape iz like teh Force. It has a Lite side and a Dark side and it holdz the Universe together.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    71
    Quote Originally Posted by boo radley View Post
    After riding for about 3 months now, I treated myself to a new MB. I was more or less 'fitted' this time (basically just seat adjustment) and I notice after two rides I'm having the same issue I had previously: during a lot of the ride my hands are numb.

    I think this is from putting too much weight on the front handlebars? On someone's suggestion, I put a level on the seat, and indeed it's level - not tipped towards the bars. But should I tilt it slightly back?

    I also wonder if there's a measurement that's not quite right, and I'm either too close or too far from the handlebars. I have pretty long arms and legs, and don't seem to ride as comfortably upright as I'd like. Thx!

    Being a noob myself other things to check are brake levers. If they are not in line with your arm angle it causes you to have your wrists bent back. Another thing is try to relax your grip a bit and avoid locking your elbows.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    76
    Thx all -- I did have 4' level, and the seat is *slightly* higher than the stem. As the seat feels just slightly too high, I'll adjust and this should leave me level.

    Second, I replaced the stock Giant seat with the WTB PureV off my old bike, which I prefer, so this gave me a chance to slide the seat back on the rails by 1.5cm or so. (This isn't related, but it's a mystery how the 'tilt' works. I see angle markings but the hardware that clamps to the seat rails only has a single hex screw...

    I'll give it ride and see. Some of this could be not relaxing, and I'll check the brake lever angles. I had a cheap pair of Forte "Ergo" clone grips on my old bike but they would twist on the bar and drive me crazy. The more expensive grips look like they'll stay in place.

  6. #6
    I Tried Them ALL... Moderator
    Reputation: Zachariah's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    4,317
    Saddle tilt nose-down often leads to numb hands, as the upper body weight is all bearing down on the palms. Level it or even slightly nose-up, no more than 2-3mm north.
    "The mind will quit....well before the body does"

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation: albertdc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    434
    I had nice rubber grips and would feel hand fatigues. I changed to these inexpensive thick foam grips and find that they are WAY more comfortable than any rubber grip I've ever tried - they absorb chatter and I like the thicker grip feel as well.

    Bontrager Race X Lite Handlebar Grip - Mountain - Grips & Bar Tape - Accessories -Trek Store

  8. #8
    I Tried Them ALL... Moderator
    Reputation: Zachariah's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    4,317
    Quote Originally Posted by albertdc View Post
    I had nice rubber grips and would feel hand fatigues. I changed to these inexpensive thick foam grips and find that they are WAY more comfortable than any rubber grip I've ever tried - they absorb chatter and I like the thicker grip feel as well.

    Bontrager Race X Lite Handlebar Grip - Mountain - Grips & Bar Tape - Accessories -Trek Store
    Yeah, those are nice, light grips - until they start spinning on the bars a season later. Install them using hair spray....
    "The mind will quit....well before the body does"

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    197
    IMO back sweep is the problem. I switched out a 9* handlebar with a 6* handlebar. Problem fixed.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: MSU Alum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    1,062
    Do you always have this problem, or only after long downhill sections?

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    148
    (This isn't related, but it's a mystery how the 'tilt' works. I see angle markings but the hardware that clamps to the seat rails only has a single hex screw...
    That one screw controls both the fore and aft of the seat and the tilt. If you loosen the screw enough you can adjust the tilt. There are two mating surfaces under there with teeth in a semi-circular pattern. Just be easy on it because its easy to move it way more than you intended to. Just one tooth adjustment can make a big difference. BTW I was having the same issue, tilted my seat back one tooth, and problem solved.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Jams_805's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    142
    Quote Originally Posted by Zachariah View Post
    Yeah, those are nice, light grips - until they start spinning on the bars a season later. Install them using hair spray....
    Back when I rode Freestyle MX we always used to shoot spray paint into the grip and then slide it on. never comes loose. u have to slice it down the middle or heat it up good to remove em
    Rockhopper 29er

    -FSA Carbon handlebars, stem, & seatpost
    -2011 Rockshox Reba
    -Stan's Flow Wheelset
    -Ergon Grips

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    371
    Numb hands, leaning on bars to much putting weight on hands. Your hands should be light, your weight needs to be in your feet, in your hips.

  14. #14
    I Tried Them ALL... Moderator
    Reputation: Zachariah's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    4,317
    Quote Originally Posted by Jams_805 View Post
    Back when I rode Freestyle MX we always used to shoot spray paint into the grip and then slide it on. never comes loose. u have to slice it down the middle or heat it up good to remove em
    I'll use a good rubber glue...before I use spray paint!
    "The mind will quit....well before the body does"

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    375
    Hold your weight with your core/stomach, instead of holding all your weight with your wrists/hands/bars.

  16. #16
    I Tried Them ALL... Moderator
    Reputation: Zachariah's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    4,317
    Quote Originally Posted by iscariot View Post
    Hold your weight with your core/stomach, instead of holding all your weight with your wrists/hands/bars.
    Not that easy, when your saddle slides your entire body over the bars. The majority of weight-bearing should be handled by your strongest body parts....the legs and feet.
    "The mind will quit....well before the body does"

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    375

    Re: numb hands -- weight and setup issue?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zachariah View Post
    Not that easy, when your saddle slides your entire body over the bars. The majority of weight-bearing should be handled by your strongest body parts....the legs and feet.
    If your saddle is making you slide forward, then you don't have it set up properly.

    Weight in the feet/legs only when descending/standing.

    Core is key to climbing. Relax your hips and sitbones into the saddle, and open the width between your knees a bit. Support your weight with your core and have light feet and hands. It will feel like your legs are spinning freely beneath your stabilized core. This also almost immediately gives you a smoother and more efficient pedal stroke.

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    76
    I did a ride this weekend, after making a couple adjustments:
    1) rotated the brakes so they're more inline with my wrists
    2) slid the seat almost as far back as I could (and made sure it was level).

    Things are 'better.' I do notice I have a death grip on the bars from time to time, which is contributing, and I'm making an effort to really use my legs/core to center and stabilize my weight. So I'd say the problem has gone from a 4/5 to a 2.5/5, where 5 is the worst.

    I'm still not 100% convinced that my fit is perfect. I feel as if I'd like the handlebars raised. Ignorant question -- how is this accomplished? Through a spacer? Stem?

  19. #19
    MTB B'dos
    Reputation: LyNx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    17,594
    As someone who's go to saddle is also the WTB PureV, I can tell you this, you don't want it level if you put a level on it, toss the level What you want level is the part that your arse actually resides on, i.e. your sit bones sit on - in other words the back of the saddle is what should be level, forget about where the nose is. If you look at my setup you'd think that the nose on my setup is too high, but if you just look at the tail you realise that that is level and that's what matters, that is what either lets you sit neutrally or rotates your hips forward and puts pressure on your shoulders/arms..
    Quote Originally Posted by boo radley View Post
    After riding for about 3 months now, I treated myself to a new MB. I was more or less 'fitted' this time (basically just seat adjustment) and I notice after two rides I'm having the same issue I had previously: during a lot of the ride my hands are numb.

    I think this is from putting too much weight on the front handlebars? On someone's suggestion, I put a level on the seat, and indeed it's level - not tipped towards the bars. But should I tilt it slightly back?
    Quote Originally Posted by boo radley View Post
    Thx all -- I did have 4' level, and the seat is *slightly* higher than the stem. As the seat feels just slightly too high, I'll adjust and this should leave me level.

    Second, I replaced the stock Giant seat with the WTB PureV off my old bike, which I prefer, so this gave me a chance to slide the seat back on the rails by 1.5cm or so. (This isn't related, but it's a mystery how the 'tilt' works. I see angle markings but the hardware that clamps to the seat rails only has a single hex screw....
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??
    MTB Barbados
    My Phantom pics

  20. #20
    I Tried Them ALL... Moderator
    Reputation: Zachariah's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    4,317
    Quote Originally Posted by boo radley View Post
    I did a ride this weekend, after making a couple adjustments:
    1) rotated the brakes so they're more inline with my wrists
    2) slid the seat almost as far back as I could (and made sure it was level).

    Things are 'better.' I do notice I have a death grip on the bars from time to time, which is contributing, and I'm making an effort to really use my legs/core to center and stabilize my weight. So I'd say the problem has gone from a 4/5 to a 2.5/5, where 5 is the worst.

    I'm still not 100% convinced that my fit is perfect. I feel as if I'd like the handlebars raised. Ignorant question -- how is this accomplished? Through a spacer? Stem?
    1)Your brake levers should never hang down vertically, from the bars. Looking at your bike sideways and your grip end is the "clock" let's say; Your brake lever angle should be at the 4 O'clock position.
    2)Why did you slide your saddle all the way back? This tells me your bike may be too small. Your seatpost should be smack dab in the center of your saddle rails, between both rail bends.

    There should be NO REASON to have a death grip on the bars.....EVER. If you carry enough speed - there is nothing out on the trail that will rip the bars from your grasp and make you crash. Your chances of crashing is higher, by simply not going fast enough. Speed and momentum is YOUR FRIEND....not the other way around. Watch all the videos of Downhillers flying though jumps and berms, and I guarantee you they ALL have a relaxed, loose grip on their bars. Tense-up and your chances of crashing goes thru the roof!

    I am 100% certain your fit is NOT perfect. Please take your bike to a shop and have them conduct a fitting. A poor-fitting bike, is the #1 reason why many get discouraged and quit this fine sport. The LBS will know exactly how to bring your comfort level back to you....even if it includes getting a different bike. Remember -

    COMFORT=CONFIDENCE
    CONFIDENCE=SKILL
    SKILL=FUN
    "The mind will quit....well before the body does"

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation: J.B. Weld's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    2,313
    Quote Originally Posted by Zachariah View Post
    Your seatpost should be smack dab in the center of your saddle rails, between both rail bends.

    You have doled out some good advice but I don't understand this ^ one. Seat tube angles are different, femur lengths are different, seat rails are for adjusting. I agree that centered may be a good starting point for the average person but all my saddles seem to end up jammed all the way back.

  22. #22
    B.Ike
    Reputation: ElwoodT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    869
    OP, have you tried rotating your bars? you can adjust reach and sweep (a little) this way.

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    76
    I just now did try rotating my bars, and it felt better with a bit of upsweep. They were set to 0 degrees. Now they're +2 (or something 2). I also readjusted my brakes so again they're inline with my wrists -- like 4 o'clock as Z. said (but I'd already done that).

    Confirmed my seat is level: the WTB ProV does have funny profile, like a sideways "S", but if anything, the part that I sit on is now tilted backwards. We'll see -- too rainy now to ride. I also bumped up the seat height a tad.

    Starting to think this is mostly user error and I need to work on lightening my grip.

    @Z, I think this bike fits me well. I just need to tweak and learn.

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    495
    I have always had some hand numbness off and on during long rides, quite a few years and miles since the late 80s, on lots of different bikes, I think a lot of riders get that. Sometimes I'll ride no hands on a level section, sit up straight and shake my hands. I grab ends of the grips on most easy climbs (like having old style bar-ends), I find the alternate position helps. I know I'm in the minority, but I still like the old Grab-On mt-1 foam grips, I have pretty long fingers, I like those in all conditions. I use hairspray to put those on, Grab-on used to make a 'lube&glue' pack that would come with grips, that worked great. I haven't used it on foam grips, but after lots and lots of reading about different ways to put grips on, I read about using automotive starting fluid. I've used it on many smooth inside grips, the grip slides on, and then after a few minutes locks up tight, it works really great unless the grip is really loose fitting, and you don't have to wait overnight for it to dry. There's no glue involved, so the grips can be removed without destroying them.

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    495
    Oh, and 3 months is not a super long time for your body to adapt to the bike. Like somebody said above you will probably loosen up as you continue to get more comfortable.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. numb hands
    By cdeno0001 in forum Beginner's Corner
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 06-09-2013, 03:27 PM
  2. Numb hands
    By mountainmatt in forum Rider Down, injuries and recovery
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 01-07-2013, 08:51 PM
  3. Hands do numb while riding
    By stygz1 in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 23
    Last Post: 03-29-2012, 11:43 AM
  4. Numb hands...why?
    By hokie rdr in forum Bike and Frame discussion
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 08-16-2011, 02:56 PM
  5. hands going numb?
    By IIIDOUMAIII in forum Beginner's Corner
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 03-30-2011, 08:53 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •