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Incorrect fit causing hand pain?

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Incorrect fit causing hand pain?


Old 07-17-18, 07:08 PM
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Unhappy Incorrect fit causing hand pain?

Hello, I'm new to the forum and drop bars and any kind of bikes using them and picked up my first such bike, a used Motobecane Grand Touring, for $275 a few weeks ago. I've noticed it is not the most comfortable bike and I initially thought it was something I had to get used to but haven't yet. I get pain in the palms of my hands when using the same position for just a couple minutes. It was particularly bad when riding the hoods because my hands would slide down into the brakes and cause pain between my thumb and index finger. It was also kind of difficult to squeeze my brakes from there. I talked to someone at a bike shop today and he suggested rotating the bar back so there is a flatter surface leading up to the hoods but this puts the drops in an awkward position. The guy said it's difficult to fix that problem with old bikes because of how the hoods were designed to be pointy and less ergonomic but there must be some way to fix this rather than just buying a newer bike! I also have foam grips on my bars, could this be contributing to the problem? When I go over bumps and cracks in the road there are certain pressure points on my palm that get pain and numbness shooting up them. Another piece of info I might add, the frame is 59 cm I believe and fits just under my crotch, so maybe a bit too big for me. Any help would be much appreciated! I tried to add pictures but apparently I can't until I post more.
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Old 07-17-18, 08:18 PM
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Yes. Switch out your current brake levers for a set of Tektro brake levers: https://www.worldwidecyclery.com/pro...et-black-black
You can buy them many places, this was just the first on google.

As you can see, they are modern and inexpensive, though they are a good product. I have a pair on one of my bikes which has bar-end shifters.

Bar shape also makes a difference because the brake hoods need to blend with the bar to some extent.

More reading:
Drop Bar Hand Positions: an Introduction

Another problem can be too much weight on the hands which can be caused by the saddle being too far forward. In which case, moving it back can help. Moving the saddle back also increases reach which many people aren't used to. But see the photos in the Numb Hands post. As long as you don't have more reach than that, you're OK.
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Old 07-18-18, 03:38 PM
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Numb heads are typically caused by a combination of excessive reach and stack (height). If your current vintage handlebars are probably 25.4 dia with 100mm (they might even be 110 or 120) reach you can try these modern-style compact bars by Uno that measure 25.4 x 70mm. They'll decrease your reach at least by 3cm. Then you might lower your quill stem all the way and try that position with these compact bars. https://www.ebay.com/itm/UNO-alu-Roa...-EK_R5hFzoB6Rw

The vintage brake hoods are also pretty narrow and uncomfortable too, as Carbonfiberboy indicates. Compact bars and new brake levers to modernize your cockpit might be good idea. Think shorter reach and lower bars. Vintage bikes have enormously tall head tubes which easily creates excessive stack. On my vintage bike I ended up getting a quill stem 1-1/8" adapter with a -25 degree stem in combination with 31.8 dia compact style bars. You could also accomplish the same thing with a Nitto Jaguar (track) stem using the 25.4 Uno bars.
https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2380057.m570.l1311.R2.TR2.TRC0.A0.H0.Xnitto+jag.TRS0&_nkw=nitto+jaguar+ste m&_sacat=0

Here's a good stem calculator you can use to contemplate different stem and handlebar combinations http://www.yojimg.net/bike/web_tools/stem.php

What is your height? 59cm vintage frames would fit someone 6ft / 183cm-ish.

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Old 07-19-18, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Clem von Jones View Post
What is your height? 59cm vintage frames would fit someone 6ft / 183cm-ish.
Thanks for the info but I went in to the local community bike shop yesterday and they told me it was simply too big. I'm a bit taller than 5'10" so apparently I should be looking for a 54-56 cm frame.
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Old 07-19-18, 02:50 PM
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The frame size has absolutely 100% no chance of having anything remotely to do with serious hand pain. The number one culprit of creating hand pressure/ hand pain, by a huge margin is having the seat tilted down. Having the seat down is a serious hand killer.
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Old 07-19-18, 02:53 PM
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^^ yes. I'm 5' 8" and ride 54-56cm. Maybe 59 not too large for you. Try moving your saddle back to rear more...
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Old 07-19-18, 07:41 PM
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BITD, the recommendation was 9"-10" less than your leg length, measured by, for example, jamming a book into your crotch while standing with a wall behind you - mark the top of the book, and that mark to the floor is your leg length. The 1"-2" was for prevention of pain and injury incase you had to stop very short and came down hard on the TT.

I'm 5' 7", with legs slightly shorter than average, and I could easily ride a 56. I rode a 58 for a while, and I dumped it only because I came down on the TT hard - but at least some people here scoff at that possibility.

I suspect the 59 is OK for you, though perhaps slightly big. Sizing now has people on bikes that seem very small to me for a given body size.

What have you been riding? If you haven't been riding, is carpal tunnel syndrome a possibility?.
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Old 07-20-18, 01:26 PM
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My first guess would be the saddle is too far forward and/or not level. Setting it back a couple millimeters should help shift your weight more rearward to take pressure off your hands.
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