Out of Saddle Climbing Numb Hands- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Out of Saddle Climbing Numb Hands

    Getting some painful numbness when I climb out of the saddle for more than a few minutes at a time, or do repeated short climbs and am in and out of the saddle.

    Jones Loop, ESI racer shaped grips, although it happened with the chunky grips too. Rigid Krampus.

    Same setup as I've been riding for the last year with the Rohloff. Only difference is I'm out of the saddle for longer, more intense efforts.

    Common? Do I need to HTFU, change my grips, or bar angle, reach, or... ?

  2. #2
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    if it happened with both types of grips (shaped and non) I would think that it is a bar angle issue. Standing is putting more pressure on a specific point of your hands. It could also be reach related if you are leaning on the bars more out of the saddle.

    i just finished chasing a numbness issue this summer. Finally got rid of my wide (800mm) bars that i swore by for years in these forums and went to an "alt" bar with more sweep. That did the trick for me.

  3. #3
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    Or it could be that you have a "death grip" on the bars........

  4. #4
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    Make sure you bars aren't rolled too far back. Standing puts you more over the top of them. May be putting your wrists in an awkward position. Also, I know people love them, but I tried the ESI chunkies and they gave me all kinds of hand pain after riding rigid with odi rogues for years. I went back to rogues. The ESI squishiness make me feel like I needed to grip the bars too hard. Not saying rogues are the solution, but grips may be your problem.
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  5. #5
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    Do not shrug off numb hands. Definitely not a HTFU scenario. Continuing to ride with numb hand CAN cause permanent nerve damage.

    I'd start with trying different grips and gloves. Some people like Ergons, some like round grips, some hands work with thick padded gloves, others none. Try a mix of those.

    I'm still working on pinpointing mine. Went to the doc a couple of weeks ago and he said other than doing a full on nerve pinch test, it will be a shot in the dark. As you probably know, the numbing is from irritating/pinching the ulnar nerve, which runs from your head to fingertips. It could be getting pinched where you rest your hands on the bars, your elbow, shoulder or neck.

    I asked the doc if I do get the testing done, what next? Well, answer was, nothing except surgery. I don't want to go that route (would rather give up cycling or live with nerve damage), but if they can isolate the affected area, maybe you could make adjustments to mitigate that as much as possible. Good luck.

    By the way, I've tried a good mix of the "remedies" above, but still have yet to find a good combo. I'm on Specialized BG thick padded gloves and Extra Chunky ESI grips. This was the best out of all others (for me).

  6. #6
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    Are you wearing a backpack? The straps, if they're too tight, can sometimes cause this.
    I see hills.

    I want to climb them.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiretracks View Post
    Or it could be that you have a "death grip" on the bars........

    Consciously trying not to do that. I can roll my fingers open and closed across my hand. So I do think that's it.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevob View Post
    Are you wearing a backpack? The straps, if they're too tight, can sometimes cause this.
    No backpack. When I do wear one its a wingnut hyper and I've worn it for 100s of miles at a time bikepacking - so that is dialed in. But I have my gear dialed to not need it.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by have2ride2day View Post
    Make sure you bars aren't rolled too far back. Standing puts you more over the top of them. May be putting your wrists in an awkward position. Also, I know people love them, but I tried the ESI chunkies and they gave me all kinds of hand pain after riding rigid with odi rogues for years. I went back to rogues. The ESI squishiness make me feel like I needed to grip the bars too hard. Not saying rogues are the solution, but grips may be your problem.
    I'm on the thin 'shaped' ESI grips now. I'll look at how the bars are angled. I have a set of ergons I can try.

  10. #10
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    Standing Pedaling

    Quote Originally Posted by bmike View Post
    Getting some painful numbness when I climb out of the saddle for more than a few minutes at a time, or do repeated short climbs and am in and out of the saddle.

    Jones Loop, ESI racer shaped grips, although it happened with the chunky grips too. Rigid Krampus.

    Same setup as I've been riding for the last year with the Rohloff. Only difference is I'm out of the saddle for longer, more intense efforts.

    Common? Do I need to HTFU, change my grips, or bar angle, reach, or... ?
    This may help. Flat or clipless debate aside, there is a lot that applies here to what you are asking.

    http://www.bikejames.com/strength/ev...ding-pedaling/

  11. #11
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    To the OP. This may help.

    http://www.bikejames.com/strength/ev...ding-pedaling/

    Also, are you riding more difficult trails and thus out of the saddle? I wonder if your grip is super tight.

    Standing and pedaling should allow you to use your bars as leverage and pull on them.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmike View Post
    No backpack. When I do wear one its a wingnut hyper and I've worn it for 100s of miles at a time bikepacking - so that is dialed in. But I have my gear dialed to not need it.
    Love my Wingnut Hyper!!

  13. #13
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    Try standing up straighter and take more weight off your hands.

  14. #14
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    I have made two posts trying to respond to this thread. Neither post has been approved for "viewing." I am not sure what the deal is.

    Anyway, go to James Wilson's website. Look at his information on standing climbing technique.
    Last edited by cjmoore; 09-06-2015 at 08:27 AM. Reason: none

  15. #15
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    Try this out. Regardless of the flat vs clipless debate, you may find some helpful things here for climbing.

    http://www.bikejames.com/strength/ev...ding-pedaling/

  16. #16
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    Rotated my Jones bars forward a couple of degrees. Wore thicker gloves. Climbed most of the ride today. No numbness to speak of. Descending was another story, hand fatigue from braking and muscling the bike around - but nothing went numb.

    Tomorrow I'll try with my usual, thin gloves.

    Thanks the web recomendation. Will look it up.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmike View Post
    Rotated my Jones bars forward a couple of degrees. Wore thicker gloves. Climbed most of the ride today. No numbness to speak of. Descending was another story, hand fatigue from braking and muscling the bike around - but nothing went numb.
    When I mentioned that I switched from wide to alt bars, I should have mentioned that it definitely took several rides to get the angle just right for both seated and standing. It seems that the 45degree sweep of the jones (42 for my space bars) is far more sensitive to small angle changes. I think that it was finally 1degree or so that made it comfortable in all positions

  18. #18
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    I've been happy with the cork Ergon's on my Jones bars. No hand issues seated or standing.

  19. #19
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    bmike,

    I've had problems with hand numbness when there is a 'pad' on the base of my gloves. It can be leather, or gel, or whatever. I now ride gloves with no padding and haven't had any problems. It could be the same or opposite for you, but gloves can make a difference.
    We don't need more to be thankful for; we just need to be more thankful.

  20. #20
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    It's also worth paying attention to brake lever position. This might account for your recent experience of ok climbing but uncomfortable descending.
    Where your levers are set can determine which part of your hand is subjected to the most pressure during extended or rocky descents.
    Try moving 1 brake lever inboard an inch on one of your regular rides and see if it illuminates the difference. It's a cheap, quick, easy, and reversible fix.

  21. #21
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    You need handlebars with multiple hand positions. Think carpal tunnel syndrome.

  22. #22
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    Might as well try some bar ends. I won't ride without them when trail riding. I have a bad wrist and also got hand numbness. Bar ends solved the problem. I have tried a bunch of different ones over the years and I really like the performance bike forte Kor bar ends.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by kalubi View Post
    You need handlebars with multiple hand positions. Think carpal tunnel syndrome.


    Good thing I'm running Jones bars.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bajamike View Post
    Might as well try some bar ends. I won't ride without them when trail riding. I have a bad wrist and also got hand numbness. Bar ends solved the problem. I have tried a bunch of different ones over the years and I really like the performance bike forte Kor bar ends.
    That would probably be awkward on the Jones loop bars.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bajamike View Post
    Might as well try some bar ends. I won't ride without them when trail riding. I have a bad wrist and also got hand numbness. Bar ends solved the problem. I have tried a bunch of different ones over the years and I really like the performance bike forte Kor bar ends.
    How wide of bars can these be run on for optimal comfort?

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by SS Hack View Post
    How wide of bars can these be run on for optimal comfort?
    That would likely depend greatly on your preference and body

  27. #27
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    I get the same thing only on my right wrist, i feel some pain on the outside (opposite of thumb) of my wrist. get it on multiple bikes with different bar setups. honestly havent found anything that helps. But what id recommend and what i plan to try soon is just going to a good massage therapist and/or chiropractor. even someone that specializes specifically in hands. massage/chiropractic has helped me cure so many other issues so i figure it could help with this as well.
    I hate listening to doctors, too many of them are so black and white, "you need surgery or just live with it" i was told that for another hand injury, and a shoulder injury, that i'd be living with the problem. but after a good chiropractor, massage, and physical therapy I have zero problems with either.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrsa101 View Post
    I get the same thing only on my right wrist, i feel some pain on the outside (opposite of thumb) of my wrist. get it on multiple bikes with different bar setups. honestly havent found anything that helps. But what id recommend and what i plan to try soon is just going to a good massage therapist and/or chiropractor. even someone that specializes specifically in hands. massage/chiropractic has helped me cure so many other issues so i figure it could help with this as well.
    I hate listening to doctors, too many of them are so black and white, "you need surgery or just live with it" i was told that for another hand injury, and a shoulder injury, that i'd be living with the problem. but after a good chiropractor, massage, and physical therapy I have zero problems with either.
    At 55, I've had several issues over the years where a conventional doc was ready to start cutting before they really got to the bottom of what the problem was. Invariably, I was able to get past the issues with various forms of massage, and other things like acupuncture (never been to a chiropractor though).
    One particular massage technique that has truly worked wonders for me over the last couple years on everything from knee pain, to back pain, to arms, shoulders, etc. is called myofascial release. In almost every case, my pain was caused by a combination of things, often coming from "upstream" or "downstream"--for example: achilles pain originating in overly-tight and locked up calf muscles, back pain actually being caused by out of whack and too-tight hips, or the most recent one--a painful elbow being largely caused by a jammed up forearm and tricep. I highly recommend trying someone who does myofascial release--they might get you sorted out too!

  29. #29
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    to close the loop on this:

    rotated bars - huge help
    went back to the extra chunky ESI grips - added to the comfort i already had with the bar change
    ditched the thick gloves and went with a thin leather glove (less bunching up in the palm...) - pretty much ideal now.

    thanks folks.

  30. #30
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    seems like this has been resolved but I had the same issue and figured out my gloves were not fitted properly. When I would sweat they would loosen up and bunch up. got medium as opposed to large and no more numbness.

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