Know the rules The Paceline Forum Builder's Spotlight


Go Back   The Paceline Forum > Bike Fit

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08-26-2021, 10:59 AM
kvlin94 kvlin94 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2021
Posts: 15
Problem with numbness in hands

Hi Guys!

I am relatively new to cycling and I was hoping for some advice
I picked up a used bike that I've been riding, it is awesome but I think the stem may be too long

I get quite a bit of numbness in my hands when I am laid out, has anyone else experienced this? I have an experienced friend that says it might be related to the stem being too long but it's a really sweet carbon zipp stem and I'd be hesitant to part ways with it
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 08-26-2021, 11:31 AM
htwoopup htwoopup is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Mont Tremblant, QC & UES NYC
Posts: 284
It may be that your saddle is to far forward (which when you move it back might make the stem too long). It might be that your bars are too low or your saddle is tilted down too much or any one of a number of other things that is putting too much weight on your hands.

The first thing to do is make sure the saddle fore and aft is right. Here is a link to a simple way to get that set first. After that is set then you can adjust all of the other things like stem length and height etc.


http://kirkframeworks.com/2009/06/19/riding-tip-3/


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
__________________
Jon
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-26-2021, 11:35 AM
Clean39T's Avatar
Clean39T Clean39T is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 14,466
Quote:
Originally Posted by kvlin94 View Post
Hi Guys!

I am relatively new to cycling and I was hoping for some advice
I picked up a used bike that I've been riding, it is awesome but I think the stem may be too long

I get quite a bit of numbness in my hands when I am laid out, has anyone else experienced this? I have an experienced friend that says it might be related to the stem being too long but it's a really sweet carbon zipp stem and I'd be hesitant to part ways with it
Which part of your hand(s)? Is it right away or after a certain amount of time? Do you get the numbness in non-cycling life? Do you have a trainer and the ability to have someone take some side-angle pics of you on the bike?
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08-26-2021, 12:10 PM
kvlin94 kvlin94 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2021
Posts: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by htwoopup View Post
It may be that your saddle is to far forward (which when you move it back might make the stem too long). It might be that your bars are too low or your saddle is tilted down too much or any one of a number of other things that is putting too much weight on your hands.

The first thing to do is make sure the saddle fore and aft is right. Here is a link to a simple way to get that set first. After that is set then you can adjust all of the other things like stem length and height etc.


http://kirkframeworks.com/2009/06/19/riding-tip-3/


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I googled this and it's crazy how everything is contingent on each other, seems quite tough to diagnose

I have my saddle at the max distance away from the handle bars, that seemed to help a tiny bit, putting my hands further from the hoods and closer to my body helped a bit
I made the fore/aft neutral
I am also switching to a more flat saddle that should aid my more desired flat setup

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clean39T View Post
Which part of your hand(s)? Is it right away or after a certain amount of time? Do you get the numbness in non-cycling life? Do you have a trainer and the ability to have someone take some side-angle pics of you on the bike?
It starts from pinky up, eventually to the thumb
I have a feeling it's related to undue pressure on my wrists and maybe my shoulders
I fear I may have a bit of shoulder impingement from my previous competitive swimming life..
No trainer yet but I might be able to get a photo of me straight on, will update y'all

Thank you guys so much in advance for being so helpful!
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08-26-2021, 12:26 PM
David Kirk's Avatar
David Kirk David Kirk is online now
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Bozeman MT
Posts: 7,733
Any chance you can post a photo of you on the bike (in profile from the side) with your hands on the bars in the place it bothers you most?

dave
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-26-2021, 12:55 PM
Clean39T's Avatar
Clean39T Clean39T is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 14,466
Problem with numbness in hands

Quote:
Originally Posted by kvlin94 View Post

It starts from pinky up, eventually to the thumb

I have a feeling it's related to undue pressure on my wrists and maybe my shoulders

I fear I may have a bit of shoulder impingement from my previous competitive swimming life..

No trainer yet but I might be able to get a photo of me straight on, will update y'all



Thank you guys so much in advance for being so helpful!
Pinky and ring finger are generally ulnar nerve impingement related and thumb and pointer finger are generally radial nerve impingement related..

The tough thing is that tightness and compression in any of the nerve channels from your neck to your fingers can be the source of the issue, and short of getting an electrical test of your nerves (can't remember the name of the procedure), trial and error on changing position and other variables is probably your best bet.

One thing I've found is that having my hands cocked down at all - think of shaking a hand and rotating your hand forward and down - causes all sorts of problems with hand numbness, so I have to have a very flat transition from the shoulders/ramps of my handlebars to the hoods of the levers. I've found that padded gloves can actually make this worse since they elevate the hand a bit when in that position and cause the rotation when braking from the hoods or just holding on to the bars.

I've also found that the shape of bars makes a huge difference. Flat carbon bars with a flat should and approach to the hoods are so much better for me than round bars that I will probably never go back to riding round.

These bars spark joy:





Lastly, don't assume that having your saddle further forward/back or having more/less stack will solve your issues. We are complex individuals with complex issues and what works for some may not work for others.

Also lastly, don't forget to pay attention to your activities off the bike. Smartphone and/or keyboard use, or other activities, can prime you for a flare-up on the bike.

Last edited by Clean39T; 08-26-2021 at 01:01 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08-26-2021, 11:43 PM
Likes2ridefar Likes2ridefar is offline
learn to swim
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Old Town Scottsdale, AZ
Posts: 4,189
A few mm can make a significant difference.

I just got a new bike and spent a month dialing it in, and have a zillion miles of experience and have gone through many bikes and pro bike fits.

Saddle should typically be level to 1-2deg nose down. Use a level. Sliding the saddle back and forth is for fit not to accommodate your reach to handlebar.

Ideally dial in your saddle position ignoring the stem and reach to the bar.

Regarding the stem, a general way to get an idea on the proper length is while riding in your typical position and looking down past the handlebar to the front hub, the hub should ideally be not visible and hidden by the handlebar. If you are seeing it past the handlebar your stem may be too short, if the opposite then too long. Often you’ll see over a longer ride and conditioning is lacking you may start seeing the hub nicely in line but by the end it’s in front of the bar and you are uncomfortable.

Strengthen your core. That helps a lot. Always. I think yoga is a great way to get fit for the bike. I do 20-30 minutes every weekday as my break from WAH office.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-31-2021, 10:50 PM
kvlin94 kvlin94 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2021
Posts: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clean39T View Post
Pinky and ring finger are generally ulnar nerve impingement related and thumb and pointer finger are generally radial nerve impingement related..

The tough thing is that tightness and compression in any of the nerve channels from your neck to your fingers can be the source of the issue, and short of getting an electrical test of your nerves (can't remember the name of the procedure), trial and error on changing position and other variables is probably your best bet.

One thing I've found is that having my hands cocked down at all - think of shaking a hand and rotating your hand forward and down - causes all sorts of problems with hand numbness, so I have to have a very flat transition from the shoulders/ramps of my handlebars to the hoods of the levers. I've found that padded gloves can actually make this worse since they elevate the hand a bit when in that position and cause the rotation when braking from the hoods or just holding on to the bars.

I've also found that the shape of bars makes a huge difference. Flat carbon bars with a flat should and approach to the hoods are so much better for me than round bars that I will probably never go back to riding round.

These bars spark joy:





Lastly, don't assume that having your saddle further forward/back or having more/less stack will solve your issues. We are complex individuals with complex issues and what works for some may not work for others.

Also lastly, don't forget to pay attention to your activities off the bike. Smartphone and/or keyboard use, or other activities, can prime you for a flare-up on the bike.
Thank you so much for the valuable feedback, I think you were spot on with the cocked wrist position
I started putting my hands on top of the hoods in a more neutral position, not cocked and it's done wonders!

May have to look at one of those more flat transition bars that you mentioned to see if it can rid of my problem once and for all!
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 09-01-2021, 12:54 AM
Dead Man's Avatar
Dead Man Dead Man is offline
The B!
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 5,537
Someone put it to me like this, once upon a time - if your hands are numb, youve got too much weight on em. Gotta get that weight on your feet. One does this via saddle position, as everyones brought up - usually fore-aft.

Thinking about it like that has always been helpful for me in getting the whole of my ride position right.. hands are just for braking and shifting- you should be able to take your hands off the bars in any position on the saddle while pedaling

Just my thoughts and experience
__________________
where are we going, and why am i in this handbasket?
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:46 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.