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  1. #1
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    Reputation: goalieman24's Avatar
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    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.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by goalieman24 View Post
    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.

    Suggestions:

    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.

    -S

  3. #3
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    Reputation: Bataivah's Avatar
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    Narrower bars and relax your grip.

  4. #4
    Ridin' Furry
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    Quote Originally Posted by shibiwan View Post
    I have bad carpal tunnel numbness in my hands and I have experienced similar problems (not necessary identical) while riding my bike.

    Suggestions:

    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.

    -S
    shibiwan summed it all up!

    I had problem with wrist pain. Was so bad at times my arms would get numb on long descents.

    What helped me was a bike fit at a bike shop. Turns out my seat was way too far back, so we moved the seat forward and put on some Ergon grips with a Riser handlebar. Now i can ride in comfort.

  5. #5
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
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    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.

  6. #6
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    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.

    Andy B.
    Main Ride: 2015 Trek Superfly FS 9.7 SL
    Other bikes in the stable: '11 Pugsley, '97 Uber V conversion

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