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  1. #1
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    Pain, tingling, numbness in hands & fingers, a clyde side-effect?

    I ride a 2008 Haro Escape with standard hand grips, but I had the foamy hand grips on an old diamondback outlook too. I seem to have a problem with hand and wrist pain.

    I use the XL Harbringer weight lifting gloves for better grip, they have leather palms and a perfectly molding flexible outer mesh.. in the stores the gloves I see are like spandex, thin and full of stitched on rubber and pleather that I cant feel gripping anything, at least not while new I guess.

    About 1 hour into riding I start getting tingling, 1.5 hours into the ride I start getting numbness.. and about 2.5 hours in I start getting real pain in the wrist. I ride my Haro in the proper position, seat high, and leaning way forward.. while the Outlook I rode almost like a comfort bike. I got pain in both cases, but on the Outlook it took longer. The more horizontal I get, the more the pain is pronounced it seems.

    Does anyone have any suggestions / solutions / tricks? .. I have not tried riding gloveless, or switching hand grips.. which actually feel slightly thin, and I often end up with my thumb not curving under, but instead straight and I'm giving like sideways thumbs up while riding... odd, right?

    Anyone out there with same problem? I'm a 6'2" (formerly 320, now 304 lb since I began riding again) Clyde. Could this simply be because I'm big?
    Last edited by The Red; 05-19-2009 at 09:33 PM.

  2. #2
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    Bike fit and Ergon Grips.

    Mix up hand positions a bit when you're riding.

    Ergon Grips

    Are your brakes and shifters lined up to minimize the bend in your wrist?

    Ergon Grips.
    Last edited by fireflock; 05-11-2009 at 08:55 PM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by fireflock
    Bike fit and Ergon Grips.

    Mix up hand positions a bit when you're riding.

    Ergon Grips

    Are you're brakes and shifters lined up to minimize the bend in your wrist?

    Ergon Grips.

    Looking into the Ergon grips now.. I'm going to adjust the shifters like you're suggesting, to minimize the bend. Probably just means I have to put them further down.

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    Which Ergon models are you referring to? I'm seeing EL and GP and some others.

  5. #5
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    Any of the models with the wide platforms

    http://www.ergon-bike.com/us/grips/i...kika3hke300g37

    GP1 is fine if you just want the grips. A model with the stubby bar ends will give you more hand positions to mix things up a bit.

    They come in 2 sizes, so you might want to get your hands on a pair (in person, vs ordering sight unseen) if you can.

    http://www.ergon-bike.com/us/grips/grip_selector.html

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by fireflock
    Any of the models with the wide platforms

    http://www.ergon-bike.com/us/grips/i...kika3hke300g37

    GP1 is fine if you just want the grips. A model with the stubby bar ends will give you more hand positions to mix things up a bit.

    They come in 2 sizes, so you might want to get your hands on a pair (in person, vs ordering sight unseen) if you can.

    http://www.ergon-bike.com/us/grips/grip_selector.html
    I'm torn... I do a good bit of wavy, hilly, bumpy, long trail riding (not a lot of technical xc), and long paved trails along the creek here, with intense wind resistance up, and intense wind assistance on the way down. A fair amount of climbing, but less descents (by geography, not choice).

    Do I go with GP1 or GC3 ?? this is killing me. I have short bar-ends on the bike thats too small for me that I used like an extension on the stem, allowing me to sit more forward, but the bike I have now I'm already in good riding position. And it feels like I'd over extend myself. But I do have that numbness and pain problem, so changing positions wholesale might be warranted, but for all I know the Ergon grip itself could solve the problem.

    arg.. I'm over-thinking this.

    Also, is there a difference between the GP1 and MP1 ? .. I cant seem to find one other than price.

  7. #7
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    This has to do with having too much weight on your hands for too long.

    A couple of ideas:
    1) Move to a more upright riding position. This will decrease weight on your hands, and you said yourself hand pain was less of a problem on your older, more upright bike. You might talk to someone at a local shop about a shorter, more upright stem. You might just put your seat down a little.
    2) Increased core strength. For me, when my core is stronger, I don't need to put as much weight on my hands...

  8. #8
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    I have had the same problem on a few different bikes. Here is what has worked for me.
    1. An adjustable height stem. Ritchey makes a good one.
    2. Riser bars.
    3. Platfom grips along with the matching molded bar ends.

    Try to get more weight off of the bars and onto the seat, As you lose more weight you will have to continue shifting the weight around.

  9. #9
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    I'm ordering the Gp1s.. It'll take about a week to get here.

    My LBS suggested a stem change too, but they didnt have one that fit =/ .. I've especially never seen an adjustable one.

    Riser bars, didnt even think about till you just said it. Should look into it.

  10. #10
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    This is also the first sign of carpal tunnel, get the problem fixed now and as a top priority

  11. #11
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    I mostly fixed it with ergon grips, i then totally fixed it with £750 suspension

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaveGiant
    This is also the first sign of carpal tunnel, get the problem fixed now and as a top priority
    You're scaring me dude! .. I use trackball mice for that reason.

    I've only gotten back into riding these past 2.5 months, I'm not sure why my left hand would have it, but I did fight for 4 years (Seido Karate) maybe its catching up with me, like my 2003 ACL reconstruction.

    I've been thinking of getting a brace for my knee while riding, it only feels slightly wobbly AFTER rides though, when I walk and suddenly stop, not during the ride.

  13. #13
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    My hands used to go numb a heck of a lot more often than yours, about every mile I had to stop and shake it out. I tried the Ergo's, the women's and the men's, a bit of improvement, but not much. Those are to me, kinda of a hard surface to grab, and I think that had something to do with it. Then I got wise to the pressure on my hands thing, replaced the Ergo's with Giant's $5 thick foam cruiser grips, put on a BBB high rise short stem, and got a Bontrager "Big Sweep" bar, which angles back more than most and was 7 1/2 oz lighter than my stock Giant bar!

    Now I only need to stop about every 3 miles. I am a bit more upright than most, but hey, now I can ride with a lot more comfort!

  14. #14
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    Like the previous posts have mentioned bike fit is the first place to look but what has also helped me a lot is specializeds body fit gloves which take pressure off the ulnar nerve. They usually have a cheap and expensive version of the same glove, its worth paying the extra as the padding is a lot better. I really notice the diference if i use gloves without ulnar nerve padding.

    http://www.specialized.com/gb/en/bc/...e.jsp?eid=1366

  15. #15
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    I was told by my LBS that for off-road biking I need to stay away from adjustable stems.

    My Ergon GP1s are almost here and I'm looking into what gloves to get to go with them.

  16. #16
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    Guess i had better add my .02c

    I'm 52 years old around 6'5" and about 240 lb ... not all of it is fat

    I had major pain numbness and tingling in the hands after only a few miles, tried Ergons without any other changes and it helped a little ... not but really

    SO ... i got wider bars 730cm, a very short steeply angled stem , lowered the seat a little and might have even moved it forward a little ... not much and i took the Ergons off.

    Much better my hands still tingle a little sometimes but a minutes rest sorts them out. I'm not planning to put the Ergons back on as i find the bar ends get in the way.

    Next thing i want to try is softer grips ... I already have nicely padded gloves

    Conclusion ... bike fit is the key

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by the old fool
    Guess i had better add my .02c

    I'm 52 years old around 6'5" and about 240 lb ... not all of it is fat

    I had major pain numbness and tingling in the hands after only a few miles, tried Ergons without any other changes and it helped a little ... not but really

    SO ... i got wider bars 730cm, a very short steeply angled stem , lowered the seat a little and might have even moved it forward a little ... not much and i took the Ergons off.

    Much better my hands still tingle a little sometimes but a minutes rest sorts them out. I'm not planning to put the Ergons back on as i find the bar ends get in the way.

    Next thing i want to try is softer grips ... I already have nicely padded gloves

    Conclusion ... bike fit is the key
    You see, I agree with this a lot. My wrists bend outward as well as downward when I'm riding. I wanted to get a wider bar, a lot, but my current bar and my shoulders seem to be aligned inch-wise (24.75 in).. does it make sense to get the wider bar anyways?

    I noticed your 73 cm (i presume that last 0 was a typo) is over 29in long. Does it hamper you in any way? .. and where can I get the right stem? my LBS didnt have the kind of threadless stem I needed, nor one that fit my handlebars themselves =/

  18. #18
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    730mm or 73cm yes they are big buggers but it lets me move around on the bike and also lets me breathe easier ...

    I ride in forest mostly and i pays not to assume you will fit between the trees... sometimes ouch ... but other wise i see no disadvantages, sure give lots of control

    My stem is a cheap one i think as it has no name on it ... just a little piece of aluminum

    Bars are Tomac Tenacious-D

    I'll look on the web tonight for a stem and let you know

    Cherers, Brian

  19. #19
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    Carple Tunnel release is the best fix if this persists after bike fit is complete.

    I had my right hand done this spring the tingling and numbness is GONE. Left had had moderate and it still tingles and I will have that done next spring.

    I would take the time to have a nerve test done if it is severe it will get worse and possibly bad enough where you will not be able to revearse it.

    It is not that bad of surgery I was in for about 20 minutes outpatient surgery.

    I will admit I thought the entire carple tunnel thing was a bunch of bull crap. But I am a real believer and it made a huge difference for me.

    Being Clydesdale has little to do with it.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by the old fool
    730mm or 73cm yes they are big buggers but it lets me move around on the bike and also lets me breathe easier ...

    I ride in forest mostly and i pays not to assume you will fit between the trees... sometimes ouch ... but other wise i see no disadvantages, sure give lots of control

    My stem is a cheap one i think as it has no name on it ... just a little piece of aluminum

    Bars are Tomac Tenacious-D

    I'll look on the web tonight for a stem and let you know

    Cherers, Brian
    Any help is deff appreciated. btw, I looked into getting those Tomac Tenacious-D bars, they sounded awesome, but they are no longer sold ... what do I do? ... I think wide bars would help me a lot.

    My bike is a stock 2008 Haro Escape Sport.. I'll need a threadless stem, and I have *no* idea what I'm doing, BUT if I order through my LBS (who like me) they will install for free

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramjet-SS
    Carple Tunnel release is the best fix if this persists after bike fit is complete.

    I had my right hand done this spring the tingling and numbness is GONE. Left had had moderate and it still tingles and I will have that done next spring.

    I would take the time to have a nerve test done if it is severe it will get worse and possibly bad enough where you will not be able to revearse it.

    It is not that bad of surgery I was in for about 20 minutes outpatient surgery.

    I will admit I thought the entire carple tunnel thing was a bunch of bull crap. But I am a real believer and it made a huge difference for me.

    Being Clydesdale has little to do with it.
    It only happens on the bike, not even at my comp. I'm going to get a couple fixes in and a better bike fit, then see if pain persists, or particularly, if it persists *after* riding.

  22. #22
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    gee wizz ... i had a look on the www and do you think i could find my junky little stem ...nope
    but it's about 50mm c/c and on a steep angle!

    Anyway it might not be exactly what YOU need Ask a few local bike shops if they have a fit kit, sort of torture device that allows essential bike fit measurements to be taken

    Tenacious -D .... No longer sold! damn i was lucky for once ...I have heard that carbon fiber bars can help with hand problems as they absorb some of the jarring from the trail. I would love to find out because they look so cool.

    Another thing i did was replace the 2.1 on the front with a 2.4 as that soaks a little of the hurt up too.

    My approach has not been all that scientific as you can see but it's working, sort of.

    The cure i would really like to try is a full suspension 29er ... custom built just for me


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  23. #23
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    http://www.mtbr.com/cat/controls/Han...84_123crx.aspx

    These have excellent reviews and are 710 mm wide ... close enough i reckon.
    DH bar so it should be tough!

  24. #24
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    I had a serious ride-related carpal tunnel problem a few years back, only when using my XC bike. Changed from a flat bar to a longer riser bar and put a spacer under it, and slightly altered the position of the shifters and brake levers, problem went away completely.

    The problem comes not only from weight resting on your hands, but from weight resting on a particular part of the hand. I'd suggest trying slight modifications in your cockpit until you find a position that keeps the weight in a spot that doesn't hurt.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by the old fool
    http://www.mtbr.com/cat/controls/Han...84_123crx.aspx

    These have excellent reviews and are 710 mm wide ... close enough i reckon.
    DH bar so it should be tough!
    They look awesome man, but I cant swallow the $129-$140 price tag .. I was thinking sub $50... like the ones you originally showed me, Tennacious-D, that sold for $15-$45..

    I cant seem to sort the handlebar reviews on mtbr by size, and I just keep clicking through the bars with the best reviewed ratings, and most of them dont even show the width!

  26. #26
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    I used to have your problem for years and have tried "pro fittings", Ergon grips, and doctor visits including Cortisone shots in my palms. None of this helped until I got the weight off my hands an onto my butt by getting my handlebars up and back.

    To get a good comfortable setup on the cheap that your local bike shop can order for you easily, get a Dimension 125 degree stem, or a Ritchey Comp 25 degree stem, in 70mm or 90mm length for 31.8 diameter handlebars. Then get an inexpensive downhill 31.8 clamp diameter MTB handlebar in a 40mm or 50mm rise (there are several choices here). Put this combo on your bike and you will move the weight off your hands and onto your seat. It will look a little goofy to the racer crowd, but your hands will not hurt as much and you will enjoy riding again.

    The stem should run you about $25-30 and you should be able to get a decent handlebar for $40-60.

    Tip when mounting the handlebar, most riser bars these days are made with an "upsweep". When you mount the bar, look at it from the side and make sure the "upsweep" is not pointing up. Rotate the bar so that the "upsweep" is rotated back and level with the ground.

  27. #27
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    Ok guys, looked around for long bars.. and I found a good one to try.. the BBB FreeBar .. its 690mm, and the only one after it was the Race Face Diabolus Handlebar @ 710mm, that cost more than 3x as much.

    Apparently backcountry.com is having a 50% off sale on this bar, so they cost me less than $20, and I bought enough stuff for free shipping after chatting with their people using their chat feature, it was like newegg chat, totally sweet, and the dude said its 24/7.

    The sucky part? .. no review of the BBB FreeBar on mtbr.com .. but check out the link here.

    Ergon GP1 grips should be in by tomorrow, the bar probably another 7 days, I'll keep ya'll informed. If both fail, its stem rising time like AntiLoc is suggesting.

  28. #28
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    Try the BBB BHS-25 stem in a 70mm length if need be. I searched and searched, and this is the shortest and highest I could find. Also, you should have gone for the Bontrager Big Sweep!

    I got mine at a LBS for about $35, and it is about 175g vs the Freebar's 374g.

  29. #29
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    i also have a set of tomac ten-D bars and love them. i got them about 6 years ago. on-one mary bars (or origin-8 space bars, same thing) feel nice too.

    one suggestion i have for your knees - i've had both acl's replaced and lots of scar tissue removal so i'm speaking from experience with lots of pain limiting my activity for a long time. if you are already pretty active and strong, do lunges. they help build up your hamstrings, which have a huge effect on stabilizing your knees. biking doesn't really strengthen hammies from what i understand (i don't want to start an argument about this, i could be wrong).

    bottom line, lunges helped me get over the hump with knee stability and i have gotten to the point of no pain after activity. if your knees aren't stable enough for lunges, start with the leg curl machine at the gym.

    good luck
    Mike



    Quote Originally Posted by The Red
    You're scaring me dude! .. I use trackball mice for that reason.

    I've only gotten back into riding these past 2.5 months, I'm not sure why my left hand would have it, but I did fight for 4 years (Seido Karate) maybe its catching up with me, like my 2003 ACL reconstruction.

    I've been thinking of getting a brace for my knee while riding, it only feels slightly wobbly AFTER rides though, when I walk and suddenly stop, not during the ride.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by agfrag
    Try the BBB BHS-25 stem in a 70mm length if need be. I searched and searched, and this is the shortest and highest I could find. Also, you should have gone for the Bontrager Big Sweep!

    I got mine at a LBS for about $35, and it is about 175g vs the Freebar's 374g.
    Looked up the big sweep.. all I can find is 640mm width. Which is identical to my current bar.

    Quote Originally Posted by popoff
    one suggestion i have for your knees - i've had both acl's replaced and lots of scar tissue removal so i'm speaking from experience with lots of pain limiting my activity for a long time. if you are already pretty active and strong, do lunges. they help build up your hamstrings, which have a huge effect on stabilizing your knees. biking doesn't really strengthen hammies from what i understand (i don't want to start an argument about this, i could be wrong).

    bottom line, lunges helped me get over the hump with knee stability and i have gotten to the point of no pain after activity. if your knees aren't stable enough for lunges, start with the leg curl machine at the gym.
    What scar tissue removal? .. never looked into it. The scar tissue under my stitches makes it painful for me to stand on my left knee, quite so.

    I am active and strong, and I have been doing lunges, but I had no idea thats what they were for. I do them to stretch my knees and add flexibility. They also feel pretty good. The specific hamstring workouts I have not been getting, till I just started my Reaction Cycling class at Bally's .. (same as spinning with a few things thrown in like riding while standing (aka hill climbing)) .. the trainer makes us do hamstring specific exercises after our cycling.

    And I tell you what... I did not sweat on the trails anywhere near as much as this cycling class.. its is like riding between two coal furnaces down into the gaping mouth of hell, past the tonsils of satan himself. I wore a t-shirt and an under-shirt... and I forgot to bring a towel (but not the water).. you can guess what happened... I was with 1 shirt pretty quick, using the other as a towel, and seriously weighed the mental trauma my hairy chest would produce on the rest of the class had I removed the 2nd shirt, vs my body running at past fever temp, cooking my brain in my skull.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Red
    What scar tissue removal? .. never looked into it. The scar tissue under my stitches makes it painful for me to stand on my left knee, quite so.
    i had some cartilage scarring removed about 6 months after my right acl surgery, then about 7 years after the left i had scar tissue removed from the sides of the grafted tendon. they called it a cyclops lesion, basically the grafted tendon was fraying on the sides and scarring into a nugget which caused painful binding in my left knee when doing things like walking down stairs slowly. its felt a world better since then, but it also isn't as good as before i tore it.

    one thing the last doctor told me is that the doctor who does the graft can set the length/tension on the acl graft during surgery and they err on the loose side to prevent the knee from binding. he also pointed out that the doctor who did my left acl didn't drill the hole for the graft in the best place (he could see on the xray).

    as for exercise, one last one that's supposed to help is leg extension with ankle pointed inward (crowfoot), then straight, then out to work the different parts of your quad, which also stabilizes you knee. i'm going to give this a shot in the next few weeks as i just found out about it.

    in general, from asking lots of orthopedic's and physical therapists you should be able to build up your leg muscles to do a significant portion of the stabilizing of your knee. trick is finding and keeping up with the right exercises. another is not overdoing it. once those muscles get tired, my knees start to take a beating, so incremental progress is key.

    Mike

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    Quote Originally Posted by popoff
    i had some cartilage scarring removed about 6 months after my right acl surgery, then about 7 years after the left i had scar tissue removed from the sides of the grafted tendon. they called it a cyclops lesion, basically the grafted tendon was fraying on the sides and scarring into a nugget which caused painful binding in my left knee when doing things like walking down stairs slowly. its felt a world better since then, but it also isn't as good as before i tore it.

    one thing the last doctor told me is that the doctor who does the graft can set the length/tension on the acl graft during surgery and they err on the loose side to prevent the knee from binding. he also pointed out that the doctor who did my left acl didn't drill the hole for the graft in the best place (he could see on the xray).

    as for exercise, one last one that's supposed to help is leg extension with ankle pointed inward (crowfoot), then straight, then out to work the different parts of your quad, which also stabilizes you knee. i'm going to give this a shot in the next few weeks as i just found out about it.

    in general, from asking lots of orthopedic's and physical therapists you should be able to build up your leg muscles to do a significant portion of the stabilizing of your knee. trick is finding and keeping up with the right exercises. another is not overdoing it. once those muscles get tired, my knees start to take a beating, so incremental progress is key.

    Mike
    No lockouts so far, and rarely any pain, although I do feel pressure changes like before a rain storm or when dropping or rising in altitude.

    I like to do leg stretches during my rest stop, just toss my foot on a high bench or bench back so it forms a 90 deg angle with my other leg, and then stretch forward to it. A very ballet-like exercise left over from my fighting years (seido karate) thats *the* key to raising a round-house to an opponent's chest level. I'm actually pretty flexible.

    Where my ACL reconstruction is a problem is that it freaks me out and people around me, when I squat and try to stand up, its makes a Rice Crispies sound that is LOUD. Snap, crackle, pop... no pain mind you, but the sound is scary and very audible.

    Anyhow, back on the bike thing, I'm picking it up from my LBS round 5:15 after work today, my grips are in and installed (just had em do it while I was having maintenance anyway). But after that I got my Reaction Cycling (advanced spinning) class, for an hour, hoping I will not be dead on my feet and go for a ride with the new grips afterward !

    My bar has shipped and will be here in a week... I'll keep you all informed on what works and what doesnt...

    An lbs employee suggested that I need to do exercises to strengthen my core to hold more weight on the saddle and off my arms, but I'm not sure which exercises are for the core other than ab work and maybe free weights... I wonder if theres something bike specific more than just the 5 minuet "hill climbing" we do in our reaction cycling class at Bally's, thats pretty rough for me..

  33. #33
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    Reporting in.. the GP1s are KICK ASS.

    Well... my wrists are 95%... however my middle and index fingers on both hands were totally numb (but painless!!) and I didnt notice till I had to brake and couldn't feel my fingers!.. that was exciting... especially since it was at night. I'm going to tweak with them on tomorrows ride.

    It was a really nice night ride though, almost all alone along a bike path, 13.3 miles along a creek and through pitch black woods... if it had been raining, it would have completed my spiritual experience... I love the rain.

    The suck?... I LOST MY EFFIN REAR BLINKY!! .. damn thing didnt hold on to my new saddle bag =/ .. oh well $5.. but I really liked that blinky

  34. #34
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    I also put my GP-1's on last night (as mentioned in another thread) and I really like them. No long ride test though. Just some short stuff around the house.

    I'm also going to try the mary bar (well the origin 8 space bar version). I emailed origin 8 and they said that the new, "off road"/heavy duty space bar will be available in about a month. In 31.8 so I won't have to change stems.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by super_fly
    I also put my GP-1's on last night (as mentioned in another thread) and I really like them. No long ride test though. Just some short stuff around the house.

    I'm also going to try the mary bar (well the origin 8 space bar version). I emailed origin 8 and they said that the new, "off road"/heavy duty space bar will be available in about a month. In 31.8 so I won't have to change stems.
    My BBB FreeBar arrives on may 28th, I'll put that on and see if I cant get more space to play with. I got the Large GP1s and I cant get my fingers to wrap around the handles.. maybe with the bigger bar I can.

    I ordered them though a small lbs and now cant return, but I think maybe I should have tried the small ones.

    Do you know if the GP1s intend for you to be able to get your thumbs under and around the handle? or are you suppose to ride with a thumbs up all the time?

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