Extreme Pain in Fingers- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Extreme Pain in Fingers

    Okay, a little background. For some time I would always brake with my middle finger, not sure where I picked that up and why. I have finally heeded the advice of my buddies and switched to index finger braking. I do feel a lot more in control. Only problem is now I encounter extreme pain on my finger that is closest to the pinkie. My brakes are pushed in away from the grips. Not sure if this will just take time to work in or something I need to adjust bar wise. Thx in advance.
    Bender to AZDog: I'm not the best person to give advice on not riding!

  2. #2
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    ride with your middle finger if its comfortable, moto guys do it.

    Otherwise, start playing with your brakes - bring em in a bit, the less stretched your hands are, the easier braking will be and the less fatigued your hands will become.

  3. #3
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    play about with your brake lever position, do your brakes have adjustable bite point and lever reach. also try moving the lever position on the bar. just experiment to see what works for you.
    another thing worth onsidering if none of this works could be grips. although this usually causes pain in the back of the hands.

  4. #4
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    def play with the lever reach. sounds as if it's out too far. if it felt fine with the middle finger, you must be reaching further with the index.

  5. #5
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    Move your levers towards your stem so that when you reach to use them your index finger is in the nice little bend at the end of the lever. Then bring the lever blades closer to the grip using the reach adjuster. The less you need to reach with your finger to use them the less effort it is and it is way more comfortable. This might feel odd at first but it will be great after a few runs.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by azdog
    ...switched to index finger braking...

    ...now I encounter extreme pain on my finger that is closest to the pinkie. ...
    The muscles that control the ring finger and pinky are not the same that control the middle finger, the thumb or index finger. It is also a different nerve as well. Sounds more like the slight change you needed in hand position/grip has changed, causing you to use different muscles to grip the bar. Also, the angle of your wrist and hand on the grip my have changed where the pressure sits just enough to effect the finger.

    Could also be from a crash you recently had?

    Changing lever reach might help but also try moving the lever up or down to change the angle at which your hand is resting on the grips when braking.

  7. #7
    meow meow
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    just in case you overlooked the obvious, do you have a death grip on the bars?

  8. #8
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    drink more
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by SHIVER ME TIMBERS
    drink more
    Lol. That's what I did at Keystone! Went for a longish xc ride yesterday to get more time with hand positioning and it seems like something that might just take time to get used to. I did have a crash where I jacked my left ring finger but the pain was even in both hands. Thanks for all the advice.
    Bender to AZDog: I'm not the best person to give advice on not riding!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by azdog
    Lol. That's what I did at Keystone! Went for a longish xc ride yesterday to get more time with hand positioning and it seems like something that might just take time to get used to. I did have a crash where I jacked my left ring finger but the pain was even in both hands. Thanks for all the advice.
    Maybe it's related to your "love life," or the lack there of and not biking at all

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by azdog
    Okay, a little background. For some time I would always brake with my middle finger, not sure where I picked that up and why. I have finally heeded the advice of my buddies and switched to index finger braking. I do feel a lot more in control. Only problem is now I encounter extreme pain on my finger that is closest to the pinkie. My brakes are pushed in away from the grips. Not sure if this will just take time to work in or something I need to adjust bar wise. Thx in advance.


    Last year I had finger and hand pain so bad that I had to stop often when riding. I was miserable. I have no hand pump at all this year and I changed three things.

    1. I upgraded to Saint Brakes from BB7s and adjusted my brake lever reach. I found that if I adjust the reach on my brake levers so that the lever rides in VERY CLOSE to the grip, this lets me ride with my hand in a more closed relaxed position. If your brake lever reach is adjusted far away from the grip then your hand has to ride in a more open position that to me feels like it puts more stress on my hand and the fingers that are holding onto the grip.
    2. I switched from fat grips to smaller diameter grips. I have small hands and found that smaller grips allow my to ride with my hand in a more closed position and not stretched open as they were when I had larger grips.
    3. I went from 7 inches of travel in the front to 8. I don't know how much this really helped but it couldn't have hurt.

    I think that 1 and 2 made the big difference for me. Everyone is different, I know people who swear by large grips and don't like small grips.

  12. #12
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    Biznatch just man up and quit yer crying!!!! Oh plus it doesn't help your hand when you are always on your brakes you hair gel horrre. If you don't use the brakes then your hand won't hurt.........duh...................

  13. #13
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    Maybe rotate your bars a bit to take some stress off since you changed your braking fingers/technique...but definitely ride more and realize that downhilling, heck mountain biking in general, is a somewhat painful sport. Just the way it is...
    This won't hurt a bit...

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pau11y
    Maybe it's related to your "love life," or the lack there of and not biking at all

  15. #15
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    I just recently just rotated my brakes up and stopped braking in high speed rock gardens and that seems to help get rid of some cramping

  16. #16
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    2008 I had major hand pain just like you described. 2009 it went away. It was back for a while in 2010 until I changed a few things. I will echo what others said and add a few things:

    -Bring your levers closer to your bars
    -Try different size grips
    -Different width bars
    -Rotating the brake position about the bar
    -Rotating the bars themselves to change the angle your writs are at

    I run my levers close to my bars, run the bars flat (I took a level and rotated them until they were parallel with the ground), put on bigger grips and run the brakes rotated up a little higher on the bar than before.

    My hand pain has gone down a great deal but its still there.
    You have just been mentally Rick Roll'd. Yup you're thinking about it right now aren't you? Don't fight it.

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