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Thread: Tired wrists

  1. #1
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    New question here. Tired wrists

    I've been riding all kinds of bicycles nearly 30 years, mainly commuting, and only just recently got my first "real" mountain bike. I did first 100km's without too many changes and then started to move things around to correct my position on the bike. I've now done nearly 300km's and there's something I haven't been able to sort out.

    My wrists feel tired after every ride. While I am riding wrists would like to roll "under" the handle bar, not stay straight or roll over. (It is not a case of weak wrists.) Maybe I have a bit too much weight on my wrists or handle bar is too far away?

    I just got back from a ride and also realized that, whenever I sit down on the saddle and just roll down the trail, I also tend to sit a bit "behind the saddle", not in the correct position. This also happens when I am commuting to/from the track. I just recently lowered my saddle a bit to get more room and felt more in control and also felt like having more power to pedal. Should I try to move my saddle back more or put it back up? Would moving saddle back add to my wrist issue?

    I also have difficulties lifting front wheel from the ground (manual and wheelie for example) and really have to concentrate and put a lot of power into it to be able do it so I have been thinking about getting a shorter stem. Current one is 90mm, 7 degrees and I was thinking about going for 60-70mm and 7+ degrees. Moving handlebar further back might help with wrists as well?

    Other than that I feel comfortable on bike and I think I am correctly balanced on the bike.

    Any ideas what should I try and would shorter stem help with the wrist issue?

    I ride all mountain (I think ). I have tried local bike shops but they don't have much info on the subject and are more into road bikes.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Ergon grips rotated to give your wrists support work for me. Then...
    A setback seat post or moving your seat back on its rails or both is a fit option, as well as a shorter stem for getting the right balance point for bike control on downhills and in fast turns.
    Last edited by eb1888; 06-25-2013 at 07:04 AM.

  3. #3
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    If you have been riding for 30 years you should have your optimum seat height pretty dialed in. I believe it's best to keep saddle heights consistent among a persons entire bike stable, though I do set my mountain bike seat about 1 cm lower than my road bike and slightly more set back.

    Don't mess with seat position to try and fix a wrist issue. Bar height, reach, and sweep can have major effects on comfort and control but I don't think you give enough info here for anyone to make any meaningful comments as far as what adjustments you should make.


    If you are riding all mountain style you'll probably want to get a dropper post.

  4. #4
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    Not a fan of Ergons with that wing for trails and there's an Ergon guy on here who says the same but seems some like em so?
    Think J.B.'s post is pretty spot on. Saddle to pedal fit/position for your legs comes first and everything else is built around that. Sometimes it only takes a couple of mm under the stem or couple deg of sweep, or slightly longer or shorter bars or stem to get it right. If you have riser bars you can rotate them for some adjustment.
    Make sure the brake levers are so that your wrist is pretty much straight when your fingers are on them.
    A stronger core will help too. Hyperextentions.
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  5. #5
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    Agree with JB and Meat, make sure that your knee over pedal spindle (KOPS) is set properly, then play with bar sweep and stem lenght.

    When you ride are your wrists straight or bent down? It might just be a problem with proper hand position, not a fan of ergo grips but they may help if that's the case.

  6. #6
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    Set your seat, and then work on stem length, and bar rise/angle of sweep ... IMO grips are the last thing, and really not a fix ... Your relationship to the bike comes before a pair of grips, and DDevil, and thus, JB and Meat have it right ... Hand position, hand position, hand position.
    Screw that up, and you're asking for wrist problems, eventually ... And stem/bar are the variables used to set hand position.

  7. #7
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    ^^I agree. I like ergons, but I wouldn't reccommend them over dialing in a better fitting cockpit. Good luck OP, I think you are pretty close.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for all replies. I should have maybe said that riding bicycles for nearly 30 years without much thought put into it. For me bicycle has always been a way to get from A to B. I would also ride my road bike as an exercise every time I got bored of running. I moved to a different country, left my bikes behind and just recently bought a mountain bike and now I am hooked.

    Riding again yesterday after reading all your replies I think my seat position is correct and I just can't reach the handlebar properly so I'll try with a shorter stem next week. I've tried rotating the handlebar back to get grips closer and it helped a bit but the handlebar then goes too low.

    Meat: Break lever position needed a bit adjusting so that might help as well.

    Thanks for all the posts. I'll let you know if the shorter stem helped.

  9. #9
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    Re: Tired wrists

    Just back from the first ride with a shorter stem. I switched from 90mm to 70mm and noticed a huge difference. No wrist issues after the ride. I also adjusted brake levers down a bit more which helped as well.

    I felt more comfortable and confident in general and after getting used to the new setup riding corners felt more natural. Very happy with the end result.

    It left me wondering what a 50mm stem would do..

    Thanks for all the help!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThaiMTB View Post
    Just back from the first ride with a shorter stem. I switched from 90mm to 70mm and noticed a huge difference. No wrist issues after the ride. I also adjusted brake levers down a bit more which helped as well.

    I felt more comfortable and confident in general and after getting used to the new setup riding corners felt more natural. Very happy with the end result.

    It left me wondering what a 50mm stem would do..

    Thanks for all the help!
    I'm a little late to the party but it's the brake lever angle that is doing the most good for you as opposed to the stem length.

    The stem length is probably taking a bit of weight off of the palms of your hands, which isn't a bad thing.

    The brake levers pointed down allow you to keep your wrists from bending during braking. The ideal set up for brake levers is such that you have a nice straight line from your arms right down to your finger tips on the brake levers. That way you don't have to bend your wrists in order to use the brakes. The less you have to bend your wrists the less your muscles have to compensate for not using your skeleton for support.

    A 50mm stem will make your bike handle faster but will almost certainly not affect your wrists unless you unknowingly change your lever angles to a better position when you change stems.
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  11. #11
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    Re: Tired wrists

    Thanks. Shorter stem definitely took some weight off from my wrists and helped, but like you mentioned, adjusting levers must have helped too. I was getting tired wrists even when riding on flat and not touching the breaks.

    I was more surprised of how much better the bike now handles. Of course this is not an universal solution to tired wrists or improving bike handling, but I hope this post will help someone else struggling with similar issues.

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