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.
Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: Numb Toes?

  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    11

    Numb Toes?

    So we finally had a few days of decent weather here in Edmonton over the weekend, naturally I took full advantage and rode up a storm. However, yesterday after riding approximately 20 Kilometers of just regular bike trail I noticed that my big toe as well as my second toe on my left foot was experiencing a slight numbness. This numbness seemed to disappear after I flexed my toes a few times in quick succession but returned after a few moments. While the sensation was not painful, I could not help but feel a little concerned that it may be the first symptom of a larger problem.

    My first instinct tells me that it may have something to do with my seat height/fit, as I am finding that my stock seat is not as comfortable as I would hope. However, given my lack of knowledge, I figured it would best to differ to those with more experience.
    Any thoughts on the matter?

  2. #2
    Wrench
    Reputation: FNFAL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    723
    May be more of a shoe thing. Check shoe fit before bike fit. Are you running clipless?

    I will say, though, that after the second day of Tour Divide I could not feel any of my toes. I still have about half my feeling in my big toes. I think they are starting to creep back to life, though.

  3. #3
    JRA
    Reputation: BigRuckus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    240
    Although there are many, many combinations of things that can cause temporary numbness or palsy, it usually results from something external putting pressure on a body part causing a nerve response or constriction of the blood supply to a body part. If its your toes, it can be as simple as your shoes are too tight.
    --If you must choose between two evils, pick the one you've never tried before.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    11
    I had not actually given much thought to my shoes being the cause of the problem ironically enough, but they definitely could be a contributing factor. I haven't made the plunge to clip less just yet, I don't have enough experience on a bike to not kill myself riding with them, plus I spent to my budget on my bike and helmet so I'm holding off on upgrades for the time being.

    Originally, I had been using my running shoes, however, since they have extra plastic support pads along the arch of the soles to prevent overpronation, I found them to "slippery" on my petals. Since then, I just use an old pair of Superstars for my rides and if anything they're about a half size to big. Maybe all the rubber on the soles and toes of the shoes are flexing inward as I petal, creating a pressure point on my toes and impending blood-flow that way?

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    113
    I just had the same problem on a ride yesterday...not sure what's causing it in my case either, but my bet was the shoes because I just converted over to clipless & it seemed logical. Mine didn't get bad until I was doing a long & very fast downhill stretch, which leads me to believe I was shifting my weight forward & jamming my toes up in the relatively narrow tips of the shoe. Did yours get worse during any particular terrain, or just kind of kick in after 20K? Maybe if your shoes are too big your feet are sliding forward in them too & your toes are getting wedged against the front 'til they go numb? Totally a guess...

  6. #6
    Some Dude
    Reputation: ccs1676's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    239
    Just converted to clipless as well. I was getting a little numbing effect going on during a ride the other day.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    711
    My toes get numb, especially when I ride hard without breaks. If you have a health plan that covers podiatrists, go see one. There are lots of causes and you could spend a lot of $$ trying to fix the wrong cause. The podiatrist can look at x-rays, etc. Here are a few things I have learned that may be causing the problem.

    - The first thing my podiatrist told me is to change my saddle. He said it is possible that a nerve in you butt is getting pinched and is numbing the toes. This didn't help in my case (but it might in others).
    - Make sure your shoes aren't too tight and cutting off circulation.
    - He said that as you age, the padding in your feet gets thinner and doesn't offer as much protection to the nerves (great!)
    - In my case, he took an x-ray and said that 2 bones are very close together and are likely pinching a nerve. He ordered me custom insoles that are designed to try to keep those bones apart. They definitely help, but haven't stopped the problem.
    - He told me to take 1 B complex vitamin in the am and 1 in the pm. Apparently it helps nerve growth and regeneration. He also precribed anti-inflamatories which I didn't take.
    - Other people who have had the problem recommended stiff-soled bike shoes, so the pressure is spread out. I bought carbon-soled shoes several years ago when I first started having the problem and I'm not sure that they helped (my other shoes were fairly stiff), but they sure are nice and light.
    - My diabetic friend with this problem swears by carbon-soled shoes and custom insoles.
    - My podiatrist indicated that I shouldn't expect the problem to stop. It may, but it may be like eyesight problems where the glasses help a lot, but they can never make 50-year-old eyes the same as when you were 15 years old.

    If you go the custom insole route and are contemplating getting new shoes, get the insoles first, then try on the shoes with the custom insoles. I need to go a size up with the custom insoles I got.

    I am also trying to get better at spinning (like a roadie) and mashing less on the pedals on the flats to reduce the pressure and the cause of the problem.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    11
    Thanks for all the advice, I was previously debating going to a podiatrist due to my runners knee, but after I made the switch to biking it became less of a priority. Looks like I'll be making an appointment after all.
    I do think I'll switch out my seat sooner rather than later to improve the comfort of my rides, even it if won't necessarily fix the problem with my toes.

  9. #9
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    12,309
    I think having clipless pedal shoes with stiff soles, fancy insoles, and not too much tension on the buckles is a winning combination for me.

    But I already have a saddle I like.

    If you don't want to do clipless, you probably also don't want racing shoes - they're really designed to go with clipless pedal systems and suck for every other possible application. So here's something else to try - really big flat pedals, if you're still on the resin test-ride pedals, or a small cage pedal.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: ghettocop's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    1,351
    I initially got the toe numbness when I first switched to clipless. I was sliding down into the toe while descending. The solution was as simple as really tightening up the top strap (or ratchet) on high end shoes. Shoes now stay in place, and the ultra stiff shank of race-type shoes are indespensible when it comes to transfering power. I realize you are not riding clipless, so try tightening the top of your current riding shoe fairly tight without limiting mobility, or circulation. A high quality saddle can make all the diffference as well....good luck!

  11. #11
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    12,309
    One of the big advantages, for me, of fancy insoles in my cycling shoes and ski boots is not having to attack the closures as hard to keep everything secure.

    I get weird foot stuff if I have to buckle things too tight.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

Similar Threads

  1. My Toes Get Numb!!!
    By historeeteacher in forum XC Racing and Training
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 04-07-2009, 07:02 AM
  2. My Toes Get Numb!!!
    By historeeteacher in forum Endurance XC Racing
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 04-07-2009, 05:52 AM
  3. Numb toes
    By fastalkintn in forum XC Racing and Training
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 08-10-2006, 01:41 PM
  4. Toes going numb?
    By johnnychimpo in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 11-16-2005, 11:22 AM
  5. Why are my toes going numb
    By 24601 in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 11-01-2004, 05:45 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
  •