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  1. #1
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    Hand and finger pain

    Had my longest ride on the trail yesterday. Last third of the ride, my fingers really began to ache. Primarily, it's the middle and ring fingers on each hand. It was bad enough that I was wincing when going over rough stuff and avoiding it as much as I can. They're still hurting today.

    I figure it's two things. Either my grips (Salsa Backcountry lock on) aren't working for me, or I'm gripping my bars way too hard. I'm still a beginner, so I figure it's more of the later. But I'm curious to see if anyone here has had similar issues and to find out if different grips are called for. I'm 6'3" and have fairly large hands, usually size XL gloves. I noticed that the Ergon grips have a large size with an increased grip diameter and might give those a shot.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    I've tried the gs whatever Ergons and after much adjustments just do not like em for trails. For trails I think ga series is the way to go and if I remember correct there was an Ergon guy on here who said that that's what Ergon recommends too. But it seems some do like them.
    Think the number one cause of hand discomfort is not having the brake levers adjusted so that when your fingers are on them your wrist is pretty much straight.
    Could also be a bad bike set up, fit or adjustment. And I'm sure you'll hear more core strength will help. Don't forget hyperextentions.
    Maybe some bar ends? Maybe a bike fitting? Maybe some bars with more or less sweep than you have now? Maybe rotate your bars? Don't forget to re-adjust levers.
    Try holding the bars, but not a death grip, instead of leaning on them.
    Fwiw odi rogue are my faves.
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  3. #3
    local trails rider
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    The "death grip" is a common reason for sore hands.
    That said, there are many other possibilities, as theMeat says. Bigger grips or more padded gloves might suit people with large hands. My hands are not large, and I cannot stand padded gloves.

    On brake levers: many have their levers pointing too much down. Usually the best angle is where the wrist can be straight when the rider is in the "attack position": out of the saddle, knees and elbows bent, weight a little towards the rear.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  4. #4
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    Didn't actually say that Pertime, but I agree.
    Thicker, dual density grips give you more grip surface and spread out the impact area more = yum
    Padding on gloves or too much of it cause me to grab harder = yuck. Especially with fingerless.
    Round and round we go

  5. #5
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    IME, the most common problem is that the grips are in the wrong place. Too high, too low, too far, too close, I don't know. Put them where you'd like your hands to be. That may mean a new stem. It can take some messing around; I like to buy stems from a used bike shop in my city for this sort of experiment.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  6. #6
    local trails rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by theMeat View Post
    Didn't actually say that Pertime,
    mmm, you did list many possibilities ...
    ... anyway, making a diagnosis online can be hard. Sometimes people seem to think that when ONE thing fixed their problems, the SAME thing will fix similar issues for everybody else too. Better be open for many possibilities.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  7. #7
    B.Ike
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    I used ergons for a few years, and while I like them, I think they just mask fit problems. A suggestion that may or may not work: rotate your bars a hair closer so that the sweep is more pronounced.
    Gloves should fit good. I too wear xl/xxl and ill fitting gloves can lead to sore fingers (test this out by riding w/out them when your fingers go numb/get sore).
    I would also explore weather you'd benefit from getting your grips a little higher by placing spacers under the stem or going with a high rise bar.

    Before I learned to mimic my cockpit from bike to bike, I would take a long time (250 miles) before I got the fit just right.

  8. #8
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    I get this pain at about 15 - 20 miles of riding. There has been no solution for me as of yet.
    I think its just a mountain bike limit, i have tried the ergos, the foams and a few generics.
    Nothing made a difference, i changed bars, stems, adusted sag, uber cleaned fork seals and used many types of oils. I re checked my geometry all over the bike.

    Nothing had an effect. Its distance pain. Thats your body saying stop.

    I dont think its going to be much of a difference what you do. You are leaning on your hands. Its going to get sore no matter what you do.

    Its physical stress as far as i can tell, its the bodies limit.

  9. #9
    B.Ike
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    ^^I have to disagree. If you have prior injuries, that's one thing, but I wouldn't give up on tracking down the cause of the pain. There are a lot of variables that don't show up as problematic untill the 2hr mark (this is my experience), but I've been able to adjust away all pain.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjs1231 View Post
    You are leaning on your hands. Its going to get sore no matter what you do.
    I'd have to agree with that disagree there "Wood turner", and i'll raise you one. If your leaning on your hands that could be the only problem. Aside from maybe tire psi taking some vibration/shock out or into things, just about all other factors have been brought up except technique/riding style.
    Rider takes some of the shock into muscles and joints. So ride elbows and knees bent. Some ankle, core, back, shoulders all get into it. The rougher the stuff the more important this is.
    Then there's a faster, rougher, and/or longer than what you're used to that can for instance put more oh sh!t death grip stuff in front of you quicker.
    But this is all speculation over the internet and we know little about op or his bike fit.
    Round and round we go

  11. #11
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    Right.

    About 2 hours in is when both hands start to ache. They ache on the outer parts of my palms. I ride a xc bike for now. I feel its all the preasure on my hands, im 6"2 so i picked up some answer protaper w 2 in riser and a dj short stem but still get the pain preasure feeling right at about two hours, weird you pegged it.

  12. #12
    Ergon Bike
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    Quote Originally Posted by Love Commander View Post
    I noticed that the Ergon grips have a large size with an increased grip diameter and might give those a shot.
    Highly suggest not get the Large size for mtbing, especially if you are dealing with hand cramping issues. Go with the Small version of which ever model you may decide on. For mountain biking would go with GS1-Small. If the GS1 is out of your budget, look at the GP1-Small

    As others noted, pay attention to bike fit as well as brake lever / shifter reach. You should not have to move your hands to break or shift. The shifters and brake levers will be adjusted after you get the bike fitted and grips adjusted.

    Jeff K
    Ergon USA

  13. #13
    B.Ike
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjs1231 View Post
    Right.

    About 2 hours in is when both hands start to ache. They ache on the outer parts of my palms. I ride a xc bike for now. I feel its all the preasure on my hands, im 6"2 so i picked up some answer protaper w 2 in riser and a dj short stem but still get the pain preasure feeling right at about two hours, weird you pegged it.
    I'd bet your stem is too short.
    I have a narrow window on stem length with any given bar. 10mm to long and I get neck pain and 10 too short I get hand pain.

  14. #14
    Downhill fan
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    I agree with the lever adjustments, bar sweep and stem suggestions. I am also going to throw another one in that helped me make this prob go away...lose the bar death grip and when less technical (easier going) terrain comes up I slide my thumbs up over the top of the grips (instead of around the grips) and it helps relax my hands a lot! Don't ride into technical stuff like this hahaha.
    Last edited by #Cyclelife; 01-29-2013 at 07:21 PM.
    I'm thinking about shreddin' it up right now!
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  15. #15
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    I forgot to mention this was the first ride on a new set of bars. 17 sweep vs. 9 (I believe). It helped compared to previous rides, mostly with some wrist discomfort.

    I also checked my brake lever and shifter positions last night and ended up rotating them up a bit. Wrists weren't completely straight when I was in my normal riding position. Thanks for that suggestion, wouldn't have occurred to me. I'll see how that feels this weekend.

    So that's the first thing I'm going to try. I'm also going to try to be more conscious about the death grip. At the moment, I'm convinced that's 90% of my problem. Ring fingers are still tender, feeling like they're a bit bruised. If I'm still having a problem, I have a pretty wide selection of stem lengths I've collected and will start adjusting that.

    Thanks for all the helpful replies, all. And thanks to Ergon for the recommendation on grip size!

  16. #16
    see me rollin, they hatin
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    sounds like an inconvenient problem to have with a name like "love commander"

    i get the pins and needles after long rides. switched to ergons and got a different problem on another part of my hand. the only thing that helped me was time. i just got more used to / stronger over time. my upper body was like a jelly fish before i started riding.
    fap

  17. #17
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    take a pocket tool with you on your next ride and try rotating the bars. If the bars have any rise than rotating them can increase/decrease reach some, as well as change sweep.
    cool beans.
    Round and round we go

  18. #18
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    What's the group think about Specialized Body Geometry gloves for outer palm pain and numbness?
    Will trade for some chicken.

  19. #19
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    I have Ergons on both of my bikes due to hand pain and finger pain. I also wear the Specialized body geometry gloves, at least when the weather allows. Hand issues solved for me.YMMV.
    2013 Specialized Carbon Camber Pro 29er (Warranty frame and other stuff round two)
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