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Sore Palms - What is the cause?

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Road Cycling It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle. -- Ernest Hemingway

Sore Palms - What is the cause?

Old 06-05-20, 11:37 AM
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Mdgooding
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Sore Palms - What is the cause?

Hi All - I am relatively new to road cycling, and after a ride yesterday, woke up to find that the base of my thumb is sore. For example, when I rotate my thumb around its sore around that fleshy/pad region on on my left hand..maybe even more so the joint or a nerve, not sure. But I cant figure out what might have caused this. I am sure it will get better in a couple days. I find its much more comfortable when I apply most of the pressure on my hands to the outside portion (ie the pad area under my pinkey/ringfinger) vs putting pressure on the thumb side so I typically stay in that type of position...so cant figure out why i've hurt my thumb.

Thoughts? Hood grip suggestions?
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Old 06-05-20, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Mdgooding View Post
Hi All - I am relatively new to road cycling, and after a ride yesterday, woke up to find that the base of my thumb is sore. For example, when I rotate my thumb around its sore around that fleshy/pad region on on my left hand..maybe even more so the joint or a nerve, not sure. But I cant figure out what might have caused this. I am sure it will get better in a couple days. I find its much more comfortable when I apply most of the pressure on my hands to the outside portion (ie the pad area under my pinkey/ringfinger) vs putting pressure on the thumb side so I typically stay in that type of position...so cant figure out why i've hurt my thumb.

Thoughts? Hood grip suggestions?
What bike/bars?
https://www.bikeforums.net/road-cycl...l#post12953035
https://lovelybike.blogspot.com/2012/...roduction.html
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Old 06-05-20, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Mdgooding View Post
Hi All - I am relatively new to road cycling, and after a ride yesterday, woke up to find that the base of my thumb is sore. For example, when I rotate my thumb around its sore around that fleshy/pad region on on my left hand..maybe even more so the joint or a nerve, not sure. But I cant figure out what might have caused this. I am sure it will get better in a couple days. I find its much more comfortable when I apply most of the pressure on my hands to the outside portion (ie the pad area under my pinkey/ringfinger) vs putting pressure on the thumb side so I typically stay in that type of position...so cant figure out why i've hurt my thumb.

Thoughts? Hood grip suggestions?
A few suggestions - first, thicker padded gloves. Maybe you're putting too much weight on your hands - might be indicative of a poor bike fit - if an overlong cockpit (too long top tube or stem) is pulling you too far forward, you'll be resting too much weight on your hands. Some core exercises - your core (should) hold you up, so you're not resting the full weight of your torso on your hands. Vary your hand position on the bars - I usually switch between the hoods and bar tops every few minutes or as needed
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Old 06-05-20, 12:02 PM
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Has your vision been affected?
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Old 06-05-20, 12:04 PM
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Without any history about you, it will be difficult to give advise, but I can say from my experience that your issue may not be bicycle related. I have been a cyclist for over forty years and recently had hand/ thumb surgery where the doctor had to remove a bone in my thumb joint. My issue came from supper heavy use of the thumb to the point that it wore away the joint to the point where it was arthritic/ (bone on bone). I can not blame the bike.
One thing that helped to continue cycling was to ride off the saddle without grasping with the thumb. Check your saddle tilt. A downward tilted seat increases pressure on the hands.
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Old 06-05-20, 12:18 PM
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No numbness or writs pain. Just my thumb joint/pad area mainly.
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Old 06-05-20, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Litespud View Post
A few suggestions - first, thicker padded gloves. Maybe you're putting too much weight on your hands - might be indicative of a poor bike fit - if an overlong cockpit (too long top tube or stem) is pulling you too far forward, you'll be resting too much weight on your hands. Some core exercises - your core (should) hold you up, so you're not resting the full weight of your torso on your hands. Vary your hand position on the bars - I usually switch between the hoods and bar tops every few minutes or as needed
Bike size if anything is on the smaller side, but I do not mind the compact feel. Saddle is positioned back where my knee is just slightly behind the pedal axle. It is possible that raising the bars until I used to the more aggressive position may help.
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Old 06-05-20, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by MoAlpha View Post
Has your vision been affected?
Odd question...no I have fine vision. 19/20
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Old 06-05-20, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Brian25 View Post
Without any history about you, it will be difficult to give advise, but I can say from my experience that your issue may not be bicycle related. I have been a cyclist for over forty years and recently had hand/ thumb surgery where the doctor had to remove a bone in my thumb joint. My issue came from supper heavy use of the thumb to the point that it wore away the joint to the point where it was arthritic/ (bone on bone). I can not blame the bike.
One thing that helped to continue cycling was to ride off the saddle without grasping with the thumb. Check your saddle tilt. A downward tilted seat increases pressure on the hands.
Interesting. It is possible that I hurt it some other way, but just did not notice until today after yesterday's ride.
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Old 06-05-20, 12:29 PM
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Thicker bar tape. Do you ride with your hands on the softer hoods?

If you're experiencing numbness in your hands when riding, it's time for a fit.
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Old 06-05-20, 12:44 PM
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thumb issue

Originally Posted by Mdgooding View Post
Interesting. It is possible that I hurt it some other way, but just did not notice until today after yesterday's ride.
I believe that you are in the best position to determine that.
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Old 06-05-20, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Mdgooding View Post
Bike size if anything is on the smaller side, but I do not mind the compact feel. Saddle is positioned back where my knee is just slightly behind the pedal axle. It is possible that raising the bars until I used to the more aggressive position may help.
It might - it'll cost nothing to try. If it alleviates the pain, you might, as you say, be able to ride yourself into a lower more aggressive position over time. Consider the gloves and varying hand position also, though.
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Old 06-05-20, 01:35 PM
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Long downhills at 7-10% grade and hanging on rim brakes on the brifter tops will do that to me. You squeeze them between your thumb base and the remaining four fingers. Switching to disc brakes and the much lighter pulls needed has made it a problem of the past for me. Also, on downhills get into the habit of leveling your cranks with the outside (depending on the next upcoming turn) crank forward - then try to hold your weight back with that forward foot to offload it from your hands and bars. It will likely require scooting back slightly on the saddle, and on the steepest sections (15-20%) getting behind it altogether. (This isn't as awkward as it sounds since on dowhills the bike rotates forward around the cranks, but it's also why you easily get a ton of weight on your hands.)
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Old 06-05-20, 01:42 PM
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My first thought is that your fit is off, putting too much weight on your arms and hands. Odd that it would only be around the thumb, unless the way you're holding the bars is doing it?

If you start changing the fit to address this, wait until a couple days after the pain goes away completely to ride. It's much easier to inflame something that's already hurting than when you're at 100% and you don't want to think you've got the wrong answer when you don't.
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Old 06-05-20, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by MoAlpha View Post
Has your vision been affected?

/thread
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Old 06-05-20, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Mdgooding View Post
Odd question...no I have fine vision. 19/20
I... wow.

Also, isn't the first number always 20?
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Old 06-08-20, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Mdgooding View Post
Hi All - I am relatively new to road cycling, and after a ride yesterday, woke up to find that the base of my thumb is sore. For example, when I rotate my thumb around its sore around that fleshy/pad region on on my left hand..maybe even more so the joint or a nerve, not sure. But I cant figure out what might have caused this. I am sure it will get better in a couple days. I find its much more comfortable when I apply most of the pressure on my hands to the outside portion (ie the pad area under my pinkey/ringfinger) vs putting pressure on the thumb side so I typically stay in that type of position...so cant figure out why i've hurt my thumb.

Thoughts? Hood grip suggestions?
Do you get this from riding in the drops on on the hoods or both? Some anatomic bars, with the bump, are not as comfortable as you might think. How often do you rotate hand positions while riding? Did you change anything else on your bike?
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Old 06-08-20, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Mdgooding View Post
Hi All - I am relatively new to road cycling, and after a ride yesterday, woke up to find that the base of my thumb is sore. For example, when I rotate my thumb around its sore around that fleshy/pad region on on my left hand..maybe even more so the joint or a nerve, not sure. But I cant figure out what might have caused this. I am sure it will get better in a couple days. I find its much more comfortable when I apply most of the pressure on my hands to the outside portion (ie the pad area under my pinkey/ringfinger) vs putting pressure on the thumb side so I typically stay in that type of position...so cant figure out why i've hurt my thumb.

Thoughts? Hood grip suggestions?
gout?
athritis?
poor positioning?
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Old 06-08-20, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Mdgooding View Post
Hi All - I am relatively new to road cycling, and after a ride yesterday, woke up to find that the base of my thumb is sore. For example, when I rotate my thumb around its sore around that fleshy/pad region on on my left hand..maybe even more so the joint or a nerve, not sure. But I cant figure out what might have caused this. I am sure it will get better in a couple days. I find its much more comfortable when I apply most of the pressure on my hands to the outside portion (ie the pad area under my pinkey/ringfinger) vs putting pressure on the thumb side so I typically stay in that type of position...so cant figure out why i've hurt my thumb.

Thoughts? Hood grip suggestions?
You need to chance your hand position more often. Ride on the drops, ride on the tops, ride hands-free (if you are safe doing so) every so often. I get the same pain in my hands when riding on the hoods for extended periods, but it only happens during the summer because my hands sweat and slide forward on the hood, so that there is constant pressure between my thumb and forefinger. Solution is to either wear gloves (don't like that in the summer) or switch to the drops.
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Old 06-08-20, 01:58 PM
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Did OP check to see if there is any hair growing in said sore palms? Someone already asked if vision had been affected. Just ruling out another cause.
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Old 06-08-20, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Dan333SP View Post
You need to chance your hand position more often. Ride on the drops, ride on the tops, ride hands-free (if you are safe doing so) every so often. I get the same pain in my hands when riding on the hoods for extended periods, but it only happens during the summer because my hands sweat and slide forward on the hood, so that there is constant pressure between my thumb and forefinger. Solution is to either wear gloves (don't like that in the summer) or switch to the drops.
Moving the hands around frequently helps keep the hands from getting sore or numb. Try more padding, either with thicker bar tape or more heavily padded gloves, but don't be surprised it this makes it worse. It almost sounds like the left hand is in an awkward position. If it is the ergonomics that are off no amount of padding will help. You may need to move the brake levers on the bar a help alleviate the pain. We had a customer at one shop that needed his right lever 2 cm further back than the left to help with some hand/wrist issue. Looked funny as can be but it worked for him.


I'm another cyclist whose hands sweat heavily. I found that with gloves I need a death-grip on the bars just to not slide forward. Tried different gloves and found that heavily padded gloves would give me strange pains and hot spots on the hands. What I've found that does help did work is riding gloveless with very tacky bar tape. The tape that worked the best was Fizik Endurance 2.5mm Tacky Touch but since Fizik changed their bar tape lineup I've been in search of another tacky tape that lasts the whole season. Lizard Skins DSP 2.5 is wonderfully tacky but starts to shred after about 2 months of use. I have some Zipp Service Course tape on now and it's starting to show some wear after a couple months of use. The search continues...
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Old 06-08-20, 04:29 PM
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In my experience, its most likely holding the bars incorrectly or putting too much weight on your hands due to either bike fit or core issues. But start with proper hand placement.

your hands should bear the most/all weight in the same places your hands would bear weight if you were doing a push-up. You should NOT be placing any weight in the webs or areas between your fingers. There are a lot of nerves there that can be irritated.

You should also not be bearing weight on the actual fingers by, say, hooking your hands over the hoods and bearing the weight on your thumbs.

Hopefully that makes sense. Once you hold the bars correctly you likely wont even need any padding in your gloves.

Heres an article that may help:
https://thedocandtheyogi.com/news/20...eruse-injuries

Last edited by JohnJ80; 06-08-20 at 04:32 PM.
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Old 06-08-20, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Mdgooding View Post
Odd question...no I have fine vision. 19/20
Trust him. Hes a doctor.
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