Outer hand pain. Bar issue?
Not sure where to post this, but I guess it seems to be a 'beginner' issue.
Been a 26" rider for a while, but picked up a 29er around the end of summer. Not sure if I'm still just getting used to these wide/flat bars, but I start to get some pain in the outer part of my hands when I go on longer rides.
I question it being a possible issue related to my bars because I find myself moving my hands inward when I get to smooth/slow areas that don't warrant a firm grip... to the point where my hands are over the brake lever & shifter clamps. This seems to take a little bit of the discomfort away.
Bars are a stock width 690mm, on a 21" bike if that seems wide. I use grips that I've always liked, and have a slightly padded glove too. I understand individual rider geometry can have a lot to do with this.. just wondering if there might be some general ideas out there.
I have bad carpal tunnel numbness in my hands and I have experienced similar problems (not necessary identical) while riding my bike.
Originally Posted by goalieman24
1. Make sure you're not putting too much of your weight on the front end. As a beginner, your core strength may be lacking so there's a tendency to do this.
2. Try out Ergon egronomic grips (I an extra set if you're interested - PM me). The shape helps relieve some of the stress on your hands.
3. Consider a more upright riding position (this is related to #1). Try out a shorter stem with a higher angle. This will somewhat reduce the load on your hands. I recommend an 80mm or shorter adjustable stem for the time being so you can experiment with different stem angles. You can always change this out to a proper stem with a matching angle later.
4. If #3 shows some success, you can also team it up with a riser bar. Your current handlebar is plenty wide and is already helping. If you get a riser bar with 1"-2" rise it will help a lot.
5. Adjust your seat forward. If need be go get a seatpost with 0 offset.
6. As you ride, try to build upper strength in your body. This will help you in the long run with the problems.
I've done almost all these steps and I can now ride over an hour without any pain/numbness in my hands. It's very important that you take care of this because it may lead to long term nerve damage.
Narrower bars and relax your grip.
Try a bar with more sweep. A bar that is too straight will bend your wrists and for me, i get a pressure point on the outer part of my palm. Just ordered some on-one fleegle pros. They are the same width as my current bars and the extra sweep should help to avoid the odd wrist bend i get on a bar with only a couple deg of sweep.
I injured my left wrist several years ago and I was having similar issues. I ended up going from 5 degree rear sweep to 9 degree, put on some Ergon grips, and a carbon bar. I didn't change the rise or stem, and bar width stayed the same. It totally got rid of all pain and now I can ride for hours without any trouble.
I want to add, I thought the entire concept of something as stiff as carbon fiber dampening vibration was just a lot of bunk. I am now a believer because I can definitely feel a difference between aluminum bars versus carbon. These are relatively cheap bars and I went into the experiment thinking they wouldn't have any effect, so it isn't like I spent $100+ and wanted to believe the bars were magic to justify the expense.
Main Ride: '03 Cannondale Jekyll 600
Other bikes in the stable: '11 Pugsley, '97 C'dale F700, '97 Uber V conversion