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Shooulder and hand issue.

Old 07-05-20, 01:12 PM
  #1  
kombiguy
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Shooulder and hand issue.

Iím having a problem with my bike. Or, more precisely, it is having a problem with me. When I go for a ride, somewhere around the 12 mile mark, I notice my left shoulder starts to hurt. Not muscular, but more in the bone. Or at least thatís how it feels to me.

Around the same time, I notice that my right hand begins to go numb, and I have to take it off the bar to let it become un-numb.

Is this a fitting issue? Am I sitting funny? Has anyone else had this peculiar pair of problems?
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Old 07-05-20, 01:39 PM
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I get that all the time. In my case spinal stenosis, just some nerve endings getting pinched in the upper part of my spine. It isn't really anything to worry about. I try to stretch a lot, chiropractors help, as does ibuprofen. But for the most part just live with it.

I bought a recumbent less than a year ago. this cleared up my neck issues like nothing else ever has. But now I'm going back to normal bikes again so imagine the numbness may return.

The cause of your numbness could be something else, just telling you what mine is from

Bet you $100 someone comes in and says you NEED a professional bike fit.
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Old 07-05-20, 01:54 PM
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ofajen
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Does your bike have straight bars? They can be hard on hands, at least in my experience.

Otto
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Old 07-05-20, 02:02 PM
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kombiguy
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Originally Posted by ofajen View Post
Does your bike have straight bars? They can be hard on hands, at least in my experience.

Otto
Nope. Regular drop bars.
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Old 07-05-20, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Pop N Wood View Post
I get that all the time. In my case spinal stenosis, just some nerve endings getting pinched in the upper part of my spine. It isn't really anything to worry about. I try to stretch a lot, chiropractors help, as does ibuprofen. But for the most part just live with it.

I bought a recumbent less than a year ago. this cleared up my neck issues like nothing else ever has. But now I'm going back to normal bikes again so imagine the numbness may return.

The cause of your numbness could be something else, just telling you what mine is from

Bet you $100 someone comes in and says you NEED a professional bike fit.
I'm hoping it's not that. I've already had two spine surgeries, I'd hate a third!
I'm going back to Tai Chi for the flexibility. Maybe that will help.
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Old 07-05-20, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Pop N Wood View Post
I get that all the time. In my case spinal stenosis, just some nerve endings getting pinched in the upper part of my spine. It isn't really anything to worry about. I try to stretch a lot, chiropractors help, as does ibuprofen. But for the most part just live with it.

I bought a recumbent less than a year ago. this cleared up my neck issues like nothing else ever has. But now I'm going back to normal bikes again so imagine the numbness may return.

The cause of your numbness could be something else, just telling you what mine is from

Bet you $100 someone comes in and says you NEED a professional bike fit.
Same here. I finally had my C6-7 fused last year and Iím a better place now. I also purchased a more comfortable gravel/adventure bike. Steel frame, Carbon fork 40mm tubeless tires. This bike significantly reduces vibration/road chatter over my old skinny tire alum8num road bike.
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Old 07-05-20, 07:50 PM
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If you are riding at less than about 18 MPH or you are feeling body weight on your hands rather than pulling up on the bars then you are likely putting too much unnatural pressure on your hands (particularly your ulnar nerve), shoulders, spine and pudendal nerve. You'd likely be much happier on an upright Dutch bike.

More: City Bikes | LocalMile

There's a reason that outside of the U.S. these are overwhelmingly the most popular bikes and why the only people you see riding w/ drop bars are competitive racers. Drop bar geometry works great if you are expending enough energy to be pulling up on the bars (or at least be balanced w/ little to no weight on your hands), otherwise you are wasting energy and causing yourself unnecessary joint pain.
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Old 07-05-20, 07:54 PM
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How often do you change hand position on the bars?
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Old 07-06-20, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Bmach View Post
How often do you change hand position on the bars?
I couldn't give you a time answer, but it seems frequent as I search for a more comfortable position.
Really, the odd thing is why my left hand gives me no problem, and why my right shoulder gives me no problem. If both hands, or both shoulders were problems, it would be easier to figure out.
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Old 07-06-20, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by CrankyOne View Post
If you are riding at less than about 18 MPH or you are feeling body weight on your hands rather than pulling up on the bars then you are likely putting too much unnatural pressure on your hands (particularly your ulnar nerve), shoulders, spine and pudendal nerve. You'd likely be much happier on an upright Dutch bike.

More: City Bikes | LocalMile

There's a reason that outside of the U.S. these are overwhelmingly the most popular bikes and why the only people you see riding w/ drop bars are competitive racers. Drop bar geometry works great if you are expending enough energy to be pulling up on the bars (or at least be balanced w/ little to no weight on your hands), otherwise you are wasting energy and causing yourself unnecessary joint pain.
I'm certainly no racer! I'm just a fat, old guy. I have thought about replacing the bars with touring or trekking bars, since I'll be touring on the bike.
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Old 07-06-20, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by kombiguy View Post
Nope. Regular drop bars.
As noted in a prior post, do you feel you are bearing significant weight in your hands? What is the height of your handlebar stem clamp relative to the height of where you ride on the saddle? Having the bars level or slightly above the saddle tends to shift weight from handlebars to saddle.

Otto
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Old 07-06-20, 09:41 AM
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It could be that for whatever anatomical reason your shoulder does not like to hold weight at that angle.

One way to try a different angle would be to get a different stem. Going shorter and higher is usually the first thing fitters try when there is hand or arm numbness.

You could also try handlebars of a different width, but that's less likely to make a difference and more expensive to switch.

If you have the chance to ride a different bike that fits you, but with different geometry, for 12+ miles, that might lend some insights and not require buying parts to experiment with.
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Old 07-06-20, 10:51 AM
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Even on flat bars it will always be better to be pulling on the bars.

Dead weight parked on the hands, weight in compression, will always cause problems if the ride is long enough. Weight in compression meets a bump and there’s a problem. Keep it all in tension and the load imposed by that bump just spreads around thru the whole system.

Keeping it all in tension works better when young. Gets harder when old. The injuries get worse when old too. Try pulling on the bars from time to time, even a few minutes a ride. Pretend for a few minutes you are a young guy on a bike and good things will happen
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Old 07-06-20, 10:25 PM
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I always have back/neck issues event hough im 5'9, 54cm is too big for me --- long legs but short body so i gotta lean over too much
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Old 07-07-20, 05:18 AM
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Originally Posted by 63rickert View Post
Even on flat bars it will always be better to be pulling on the bars.

Dead weight parked on the hands, weight in compression, will always cause problems if the ride is long enough. Weight in compression meets a bump and there’s a problem. Keep it all in tension and the load imposed by that bump just spreads around thru the whole system.

Keeping it all in tension works better when young. Gets harder when old. The injuries get worse when old too. Try pulling on the bars from time to time, even a few minutes a ride. Pretend for a few minutes you are a young guy on a bike and good things will happen
I'll try the different bike thing. Can't hurt, right?
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Old 07-07-20, 05:19 AM
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Originally Posted by 63rickert View Post
Even on flat bars it will always be better to be pulling on the bars.

Dead weight parked on the hands, weight in compression, will always cause problems if the ride is long enough. Weight in compression meets a bump and there’s a problem. Keep it all in tension and the load imposed by that bump just spreads around thru the whole system.

Keeping it all in tension works better when young. Gets harder when old. The injuries get worse when old too. Try pulling on the bars from time to time, even a few minutes a ride. Pretend for a few minutes you are a young guy on a bike and good things will happen
I'll give that a shot. Although, to be perfectly honest, I've been pretending to be a young guy for a little too long now. At least according to my wife.
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Old 07-07-20, 05:22 AM
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Originally Posted by ofajen View Post
As noted in a prior post, do you feel you are bearing significant weight in your hands? What is the height of your handlebar stem clamp relative to the height of where you ride on the saddle? Having the bars level or slightly above the saddle tends to shift weight from handlebars to saddle.

Otto
Top of the stem is even with the saddle. And that's as far up as I can have it. I may play with an adjustable stem, but I'm also thinking about trekking bars to get my hands up.
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Old 07-07-20, 06:32 AM
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Originally Posted by kombiguy View Post
I'm certainly no racer! I'm just a fat, old guy. I have thought about replacing the bars with touring or trekking bars, since I'll be touring on the bike.
The problem is not your bars, or in your hands. The more likely cause is in your spine, at the origins of your brachial nerves. This is somewhere between C5 and T1. Of course, you could also have tensing of muscles in your upper back that constrict the nerves as they make their way downward toward the arm. Look at these two first.
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Old 08-07-20, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by kombiguy View Post
I'm certainly no racer! I'm just a fat, old guy. I have thought about replacing the bars with touring or trekking bars, since I'll be touring on the bike.
It's more than just the bars.



A true dutch bike (Workcycles, Azor, Batavus, etc) aligns your rump, spine and neck the way they were designed to naturally function. Stresses are in the right places and not the wrong places. Energy is used more efficiently rather than wasted.
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Old 08-09-20, 04:32 PM
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Carpal tunnel syndrome? Holding your arm too straight?

Sorry you're experiencing this pain. I recommend including consulting with an MD or DO in your problem-solving plan.
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