Bars and Numbness- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Bars and Numbness

    I am riding a '08 Rockhopper Comp Disc 23" but the problem I keep having is after about 30 minutes of riding around my hands go numb. I've changed my seat to a WTB Power V and moved it from front to all the way back. Still going numb. New grips, ODI Rogues. Fox Sidewinders for gloves. No change. Re-angled the bar so the handles are more level versus rising up at the ends. Still nada. Should I get a straight bar, would that help? Or am I just too heavy, 290# and 6'5"? Many thanks for any advice.
    Last edited by Giant607; 06-12-2008 at 09:43 PM.

  2. #2
    I Tried Them ALL... SuperModerator
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    It's not any part of the bike at all. I ride carbon flat bars, and my hands still go numb. I finally asked my doctor what the problem was and he told me I am 65lbs overweight, suffer from high blood pressure, and the numbness is a direct result of poor circulation. In the bathroom- my legs get so numb after sitting on it for even 10 minutes.....I find it hard to stand. Chances are your blood is probably like molasses, your heart works too hard to pump blood to your large frame, and your weight just compounds the problem. Since then- I have lost over 50lbs(through diet & hill riding), and the numbness is not nearly as bad as before. Before, I would wake up at least three times a night, just to shake-out both my sleeping/numb hands. Not anymore. My doc said when I reach my ideal weight(ie: 15lbs more to go) the riding numbness should be totally gone. I also take an aspirin every day, to thin-out my syrupy blood.....and that helps too. When taking a hot shower- do your final rinse in super-cold water, that improves circulation also. The bottom line? You gotta lose some weight. I'm no doctor, but I have taken his advice....and it's worked for me. Extra pounds only increases the load on your body- and it's already dealing with alot by being big. Plus, having that excess gut fat is now proven the #1 cause of heart disease, diabetes, and congestive heart failure in the world. Good thing you're riding that bike.....keep on riding it!!!
    Last edited by Cayenne_Pepa; 06-12-2008 at 04:26 PM.

  3. #3
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    While my hand/arm problems weren't as bad as yours, I started using Ergon grips and love them. I put a set on my new bike and thought they were fine. Then I finished converting my old bike to a commuter and rode it with regular grips-YOW! The Ergons really give you a large platform for your upper body weight that goes on the bars and takes a lot of strain off the wrists.

    From what you describe, you might have irritated the nerves passing through the wrist tendons (more than just a carpal tunnel inflamation). Standard treatment is to avoid provocation and take your vitamin I (ibuprofen). Check with your health care provider if you continue to have problems.

  4. #4
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    Here is my take on it… I had the same problems 20-30 mins into the ride my wrists would numb up. I am 5’ 8” 278 now, I was about 310 last summer, 40 years old no high blood pressure… I only have a 28 inseam so my torso is very long… I was riding a med stump jumper & that is where the problem was. If you go with my stand over height heck I should be on a small but going with a large was the ticket for me. My LBS suggested that even though I was short the med was probably putting to much weight on my wrists so I went with a new large SC Heckler & problem solved. Now I also made sure I got a pair of good gloves that protect the nerves in my hand and I have learned not to give my grips a death grip when I am climbing… you should not be using you upper body to climb just relax this will also help your wrists. Make sure you are on the right size bike… you my need a longer stem or a new larger bike.

    Steve

  5. #5
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    One thing that worked for me was to get my weight off my hands and stop using the handle bar as a support point. If you're seating at a desk, sit back in your chair and rest your hands on the desk at about handle width. That's about as much weight as I put on my handle bars. I ride an AM/FR bike so it is a much more upright position than an XC bike, short stem (50mm) and riser bars. The handle bar is just below saddle height. I've found that by concentrating on supporting my weight through my feet and pedals rather than the handle bar and saddle I've reduced numbness in both areas and increased power delivered to the wheel.
    When I'm pedaling I'm trying to push hard enough to almost lift myself off the saddle and when I'm not pedaling, both feet are level and I'm supporting my weight with them. Again, back at your desk, position your feet under your chair in roughly level pedal positions, hands back to handle bar positions and push up. Don't stand, it should feel like your supporting more than half your weight through your feet, another 3/8th through your seat and that last 1/8th by your hands, more as stablizing your balance than holding you up. That's how I ride and I've not had numb hands in about 6 years.

    laters,

    Marz

  6. #6
    Re-friggin'-Lax!!!
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    Ergons

    6'5" 280lbs, used Ergons the last 2 years with no numbness issues, I used to get them all the time to the point of my last 2 fingers would just curl up and not move much... GP-1 model
    If necessity is the mother of invention, laziness is the deadbeat dad that knocked her up.

  7. #7
    The Notorious S.L.O
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    6'5", currently 238lbs, I have used bar ends since they were cool, , to provide multiple hand positions to combat the numbness. Put on a set of Ergons last year when I noticed issues on the longer downhill runs where hands on the grip are necessary.

    I have been as heavy as 287 4 years ago, but have run bar ends on each mtn bike since 1991 to help with the numbness.
    BT
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  8. #8
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    I will again agree....ERGONS

    I had the same problems as you, would ride 30 minutes and numb hands no matter how much weight i put on the bars or how I adjusted my grip or seating. I switched to ergons and now push out 60 miles on paved paths with no numbness.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giant607
    I am riding a '08 Rockhopper Comp Disc 23" but the problem I keep having is after about 30 minutes of riding around my hands go numb. I've changed my seat to a WTB Power V and moved it from front to all the way back. Still going numb. New grips, ODI Rogues. Fox Sidewinders for gloves. No change. Re-angled the bar so the handles are more level versus rising up at the ends. Still nada. Should I get a straight bar, would that help? Or am I just too heavy, 290# and 6'5"? Many thanks for any advice.

    Get a specialized pro set stem, allows you to adjust the stem height to +8 or +16 degrees. I did this last week +16 setting and went on my first ride, no hand pain whatsoever, its a miracle.

  10. #10
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    Thanks guys!! I got the Ergon GP-1s and rode for what seemed like forever Saturday since I didn't have to stop from numbness. Might have lost a few pounds too since I didn't have to stop, it kept my heart rate up. Again, many thanks!!!

  11. #11
    anyone else smell that?
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    can you guys share what angle you are putting your ergons to? i've tried multiple (including what the over abundant packaging recommends) to no avail. i have pretty big hands....but i'm wondering if i should have purchased myself the ladies model. i got some for the wife and th they feel pretty good to me......but i haven't ridden them just yet.
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  12. #12

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    My hands go numb because I clinch the grips so damn tight. I asked the LBS Guru what he thought and he said that I should try to work on "caging the grips" by keeping my hands around them, but with some airspace between my hand and the grip. He also said to rest my hands on the bars when I climb.

    I still get numb hands at the bottom of a long technical hill, but I've relaxed my grip overall and I've found I don't need to crush the grip to control the bars.

  13. #13
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    All y'all need to go unicycle that way you can rub arnica on your wrists uphill and down.

  14. #14
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    The guy at the LBS I was talking to about the Ergons (I don't use them but have considered them) said he uses the ladies size as well.], and he has big hands. The first few times I was riding 'expert' singletracks, I was gripping the handlebars WAY too tight which left not only my hands fatigued, but the top back of my shoulders were sore as well. Letting loose of the grips really helped.

    Glad the Ergons helped as well, I really enjoy the support you guys give here.
    'Get a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live.'
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  15. #15
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    ... and if we just ...

    I used to use a 23" straight bar and switched to a 27.5 riser bar and I have added control and my numb hands seems to be disappearing. A good pair of padded riding gloves helps.

    nuggets

  16. #16
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    I was at 299lbs a year ago and am somewhere in the high 260's today. A year ago, I had more issues with numbness than I do today. I do use a WTB Comfort V and Ergon grips which do help, but I think losing some weight helped too. I also notice a bit less numbness when I give a harder effort. Not sure why, but it seems to be consistent.

    Another thing that helps is to take advantage of even small level or short downhill sections to stand up and let some blood flow through that 'area'. I usually notice numbness in the hands and feet after the saddle discomfort kicks in and do feel they are connected.

  17. #17
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    You might want to try an Origin8 spacebar.(like the on one mary bar, but costs about $26) through J&B dist. and your local bike shop. You can see them at an ebay site who sells them.Put it in your google search.

  18. #18
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    Good job! bars and numbness

    There's no doubt that weight is an issue. God knows we don't need all that extra weight pressing on the nerves in the hands. That's one reason I suggest the wide bars and riding gloves. I too an trying to lose weight with the help of a nutritionist but she doesn't want me to lose more than 10-12 lbs a month. The bars and gloves can help while I lose the weight. As far as circulatory problems, it can occur in light weights as well . Keep on riding and the weight will come off.

    nuggets

  19. #19
    NormalNorm
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    What about your saddle to bars drop. The saddle should be close to the height of the bars.
    Also if your too cramped on the bike, it will also cause problems. Too much pressure forward on the hands.

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