I've been singlespeeding for about 2-3 months now, and recently I've been experiencing pain in the joints of my fingers during rides. It's mostly my right hand, and worst on the first knuckle (from the hand) of my middle finger.
It only happens a fair ways into the ride, like halfway on a 2 hour XC ride. The pain is exacerbated by vibration, particularly while descending, while I have a very firm grip on the bar. A section with lots of rocks or roots is obviously worse than smooth trail.
As the stock fork was rigid steel (Kona Unit), I figured the pain was being caused by the shock and vibration from the rigid fork. I bought a Sid XX and put it on there, and just went for my first ride on it today. The pain was still there and not any less bad than before. I was, however, a lot faster descending thanks to the fork.
Now I suspect it's actually climbing that's causing my joints to hurt. This ride in particular has a steep fire road climb to start it off. Climbing this hill, I might only be pedaling 30-50 rpm, standing up mashing, for like 10 minutes. I don't weigh a whole lot myself, (135 lbs), but my bike and gear weigh about 40 lbs total. Climbing that hill was not easy, and because I'm fairly light, I have to hang onto (pull upwards) the bar with a lot of force.
I'm wondering if having to grasp the bar so tightly is what's causing my finger pain. Strangely, when riding, grabbing the bar to climb doesn't hurt as much as descending on rough trail.
I don't get this pain much at all on my FS bike. It has 30mm more travel, but more importantly, I don't stand up to climb, so I don't have to grasp the bar as hard.
Has anyone else had this sort of pain? My wrists and thumbs are fine and not hurting. I bought a Grip Master finger exerciser to try and improve my finger strength. For now I'm taking it easy and will be riding the FS bike until I can ride sans pain. I'm only 18 now so I would like the use of my fingers for a while.
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