Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Fitting Your Bike
Reload this Page >

Numb hands - a few ideas I want input on

Notices
Fitting Your Bike Are you confused about how you should fit a bike to your particular body dimensions? Have you been reading, found the terms Merxx or French Fit, and donít know what you need? Every style of riding is different- in how you fit the bike to you, and the sizing of the bike itself. Itís more than just measuring your height, reach and inseam. With the help of Bike Fitting, youíll be able to find the right fit for your frame size, style of riding, and your particular dimensions. Here yaí goÖ..the location for everything fit related.

Numb hands - a few ideas I want input on

Old 04-17-22, 08:34 PM
  #1  
spencertimm
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2022
Posts: 5
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Numb hands - a few ideas I want input on

Hi all -

Iím seriously getting back into cycling after being on a mountain bike for a year and a half or so. I have a 58 cm Giant TCR with an 80 cm 6 degree (down) stem. I noticed today that, on one of my longer rides, my hands began to go numb. While on the ride I tried scooting the seat back and that didnít help much plus it increased my reach uncomfortably. So, here are a few ideas I have to fix this:

1. Get a new bike. Iíve been thinking about this for a while, because I seem to better fit a slightly smaller frame. I am 6í 2Ē with a 34.5 inch inseam, so I have a relatively short torso. The TCR is a race geometry so it has a relatively low stack and long reach, hence the 80 mm stem. Iíve been looking at a Defy in size 56, which has a nearly identical stack to the 58 cm TCR but about 10 mm shorter reach.

2. Move seat backward and just deal with the longer reach since I donít want to use a shorter stem.

3. Angle handlebars down, assuming that the numbness is related to too much bend in my wrists.

4. Wait for my core strength to improve after more riding/training which might start to take weight off my hands.

Any input is appreciated!
spencertimm is offline  
Likes For spencertimm:
Old 04-18-22, 08:46 AM
  #2  
Iride01 
Plz hurry Dec 22!
 
Iride01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 11,933

Bikes: Tarmac Disc Comp Di2 - 2020

Mentioned: 43 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4890 Post(s)
Liked 3,408 Times in 2,362 Posts
Keeping a good bend in the elbow really helps. Also I recently started finding that rotating my forearms so that my elbows point outward a little bit also helps. Not sure why, but I don't have to keep as much elbow bend when I do this. But it's not natural for me so I have to work at it to maintain the elbows out. And going to the drops quite a bit and changing hand position helps.

Though some will laugh, push ups and other exercise to strengthen my upper body and waist seem to help now that I'm over 60 yo and not as active doing everything else as I once was.

Also less padding on gloves seems to help too. But with everything else changing for me, it's hard to say if any one thing is particularly the most helpful.
Iride01 is offline  
Old 04-18-22, 11:13 AM
  #3  
phughes
Senior Member
 
phughes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 2,628
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 834 Post(s)
Liked 937 Times in 540 Posts
Originally Posted by spencertimm View Post
Hi all -

Iím seriously getting back into cycling after being on a mountain bike for a year and a half or so. I have a 58 cm Giant TCR with an 80 cm 6 degree (down) stem. I noticed today that, on one of my longer rides, my hands began to go numb. While on the ride I tried scooting the seat back and that didnít help much plus it increased my reach uncomfortably. So, here are a few ideas I have to fix this:

1. Get a new bike. Iíve been thinking about this for a while, because I seem to better fit a slightly smaller frame. I am 6í 2Ē with a 34.5 inch inseam, so I have a relatively short torso. The TCR is a race geometry so it has a relatively low stack and long reach, hence the 80 mm stem. Iíve been looking at a Defy in size 56, which has a nearly identical stack to the 58 cm TCR but about 10 mm shorter reach.

2. Move seat backward and just deal with the longer reach since I donít want to use a shorter stem.

3. Angle handlebars down, assuming that the numbness is related to too much bend in my wrists.

4. Wait for my core strength to improve after more riding/training which might start to take weight off my hands.

Any input is appreciated!
Move the seat back to where you can take your hands off the bars while pedaling at a moderate effort, then use a shorter stem to get the reach where you need it. You desire to not use a shorter stem has no merit. You need the bike to fit. If you leave it where it is, you will end up with injuries.

By all means, set the angle of the bars so that you do not have bent wrists.

Take a look at this article, and then look at his other info on bike fit. Whatever you do, put whatever misconceptions you have regarding stem length aside, and use the stem that actually makes the bike fit you.

https://www.stevehoggbikefitting.com...or-road-bikes/
phughes is offline  
Old 04-18-22, 11:34 AM
  #4  
tomato coupe
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 3,827

Bikes: Colnago, Van Dessel, Factor, Cervelo, Ritchey

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2432 Post(s)
Liked 4,270 Times in 1,734 Posts
Originally Posted by spencertimm View Post
So, here are a few ideas I have to fix this:

1. Get a new bike.
No reason to go any further ...
tomato coupe is offline  
Likes For tomato coupe:
Old 04-18-22, 02:29 PM
  #5  
VegasTriker
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Sin City, Nevada
Posts: 2,732

Bikes: Catrike 700, Greenspeed GTO trike, , Linear LWB recumbent, Haluzak Horizon SWB recumbent, Balance 450 MTB, Cannondale SM800 Beast of the East

Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 490 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 188 Times in 146 Posts
The symptoms you describe are typical of "cyclists palsy" https://www.physio-pedia.com/Cyclist%27s_palsy. This is one of many online descriptions of the problem and suggestions on how to deal with it. Be aware that the symptoms get worse as you age especially if you are an avid rider and do not deal with it effectively. I got my case because I was both a long-time cyclist and motorcycle enthusiast. About 20 years ago I switched to riding recumbent bikes where there is little pressure on the palm of my hand and stopped riding motorcycles. In spite of that the symptoms got worse until my left hand was numb much of the time even without riding. Finally after horsing around with the ridiculous medical system we have here in the US I got authorization for carpal tunnel surgery on my left hand. Relief was immediate. The bill, paid entirely by my insurance policies, was $10K. I can again ride regular bikes for a reasonable distance but am careful to not overdo it and cause the problem to reoccur.
VegasTriker is offline  
Likes For VegasTriker:
Old 04-18-22, 06:37 PM
  #6  
headwind15
Bikeable
 
headwind15's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 317
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 164 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 101 Times in 70 Posts
As a bike store owner for over 12 years, I can tell you that a 58 cm road bike for someone 6'-2" is small. (more of a size for someone 5-11" or 6') The head tube is short, your handlebars are likely low (compared to your seat). Measure the top of the seat to the ground, do the same for your handlebars, and subtract the difference. Another possibility is if your seat is tilted down more than 4mm/ 1/8",having a downward tilted seat can be a hand killer.
headwind15 is offline  
Old 04-19-22, 09:06 AM
  #7  
Iride01 
Plz hurry Dec 22!
 
Iride01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 11,933

Bikes: Tarmac Disc Comp Di2 - 2020

Mentioned: 43 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4890 Post(s)
Liked 3,408 Times in 2,362 Posts
I'd disagree with going to a larger frame unless the OP wants to be more stretched out with arms extended. On old style and very oversize bikes for my 5' 11" and 34.5" inseam, that approach worked well to make me comfortable on a 25" (64 cm) Schwinn Varsity. However on newer style geometry and my own personal desire for a low and more aero position I'm finding that smaller frame sizes seem better.

Though one does have to prefer that larger saddle to bar drop that a smaller frame will give. If that isn't desired, then a different model bike with a higher stack in a smaller size might be the thing to look for. So if I was to go a size smaller from my 56 cm Tarmac, then I might consider a 54 cm Specialized Roubaix which will put my bar drop from saddle about the same as it is currently on my Tarmac.

I'm wondering what year bike the OP has since for quite a few years Giant has given the size of their TCR in letter sizes. And on their geometry charts they don't give a measurement that would let us easily equate to the 58 cm size they are stating.
Iride01 is offline  
Old 04-20-22, 07:49 AM
  #8  
Bald Paul
Senior Member
 
Bald Paul's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Upstate SC
Posts: 1,078
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 510 Post(s)
Liked 1,004 Times in 463 Posts
Obviously, a proper fitted frameset is the way to go, but....
two things have helped me. I have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, so numb hands were an issue even on short rides. I got a set of drop bars with a 12 degree flare - No.7 12F Drop Bar | Whisky Parts Co and they helped my wrist position. I also started wearing fingerless weightlifting gloves with wrist straps Amazon.com : skott Evo 2 Weightlifting Gloves with Integrated Wrist Wrap Support-Double Stitching for Extra Durability-Get Ripped with The Best Body Building Fitness and Exercise Accessories : Sports & Outdoors
My fingers may still go numb, but now it only happens after hours of riding.
Your results may vary.
Bald Paul is offline  
Old 04-20-22, 10:48 AM
  #9  
Carbonfiberboy 
just another gosling
 
Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 18,666

Bikes: CoMo Speedster 2003, Trek 5200, CAAD 9, Fred 2004

Mentioned: 113 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3480 Post(s)
Liked 1,473 Times in 1,071 Posts
Well, there's always the Numb Hands post.

Yes, move the saddle so that you are in better balance, as above in post 3, though do not adjust reach with saddle position. Get saddle position first, then adjust reach with the stem. Longer reach reduces hand pressure as long as torso angle is not changed. That's because hand pressure generates a torque about the hip joint. Thus for the same torque, more reach = less force, plus more reach is a better shock absorber.

Whether one has the upper body and arm musculature to support even light hand pressure is another story. Pushups every morning is what I do and therefore a great idea. Elbows out is not good. Try to keep your forearms pointed fore-and-aft. Less wind resistance - it does make a difference. Your arms will get used to it if they haven't already.

Glove padding is individual, though in general look for gloves which advertise having ulnar nerve relief. However hand position makes more difference than gloves. Note the reach, hand and arm positions in the Numb Hands comment. Look like those folks. In particular, note the hand positions in the bottom 2 photos, see how the top of the hand is almost vertical. One can ride like that forever. However in the bottom photo, see how the wrists are bent unnaturally. One can fix that and improve aero by rotating the hoods so they point slightly inward. You'll like that.

I posted a bike fit primer here: https://www.bikeforums.net/21296948-post3.html
Adjust your current bike in that fashion and ride it for a few 100 miles before deciding you need a different bike.
__________________
Results matter
Carbonfiberboy is offline  
Old 04-20-22, 07:25 PM
  #10  
Road Fan
Senior Member
 
Road Fan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 16,270

Bikes: 1980 Masi, 1984 Mondonico, 1984 Trek 610, 1980 Woodrup Giro, 2005 Mondonico Futura Leggera ELOS, 1967 PX10E, 1971 Peugeot UO-8

Mentioned: 43 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1595 Post(s)
Liked 500 Times in 377 Posts
Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
No reason to go any further ...
Actually there are good reasons to consider more deeply - the new bike might be no better. Its fitter might be as clueless as most of us, and never read any of Steve Hogg's work, or others. Ultimately it's "Let teh Buyer Beware!"

I would bet most "fitters" really have not much experience, and will take every new customer back to the standardized fitting they are trained to provide, on the theory the now in pain customer will come back asking for "treatment:" a fix. Now Mr. New Fitter has an opportunity to experiment on the in-pain customer.

But I fervently hope fitters currently in practice have become better than that.
Road Fan is offline  
Likes For Road Fan:
Old 04-21-22, 09:29 AM
  #11  
qwaalodge
Banned.
 
Join Date: Jan 2022
Location: Kingdom of Qwaa
Posts: 307
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 211 Post(s)
Liked 78 Times in 61 Posts
Getting the reach as short as possible will actually reduce load on your hands --- it's OK as long as your knees don't bang on the handlebar when making tight turns both sitted or pedaling while standing on the pedals.

The reason is deathly simple, as you move your arms closer to you, the farther back your upper body CoG moves. Noting that the upperbody CoG also accounts for arm position. The farther back the upperbody CoG is, the easier it becomes for your core muscles to support your upperbody weight. The better the core muscles can support the upper body, the less load will be on your hands.

Additionally, the farther back you move your hands, the easier to curve your lowerback. It further moves your upperbody CoG even more to the back and curving you lowerback, rotates the pelvis into more upright position without increasing frontal drag (does not increase aero drag).

I did this with the balance method and the result for a low-miler rider like me is incredible. I was able to do 3 hour non-stop rides from my usual 30 minute rides without getting numb hands nor soreness anywhere. The only problem I encountered with super short reach is the setup made it harder to pedal out of the saddle in steep gradients. So it does have disadvantages. If you pedal out of the saddle a lot, it will be terrible. But if you're the type of rider who prefers to sit all the way, then it will be great.
qwaalodge is offline  
Old 04-21-22, 09:49 AM
  #12  
tomato coupe
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 3,827

Bikes: Colnago, Van Dessel, Factor, Cervelo, Ritchey

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2432 Post(s)
Liked 4,270 Times in 1,734 Posts
Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
Actually there are good reasons to consider more deeply - the new bike might be no better. Its fitter might be as clueless as most of us, and never read any of Steve Hogg's work, or others. Ultimately it's "Let teh Buyer Beware!"

I would bet most "fitters" really have not much experience, and will take every new customer back to the standardized fitting they are trained to provide, on the theory the now in pain customer will come back asking for "treatment:" a fix. Now Mr. New Fitter has an opportunity to experiment on the in-pain customer.

But I fervently hope fitters currently in practice have become better than that.
Humor, apparently, is dead.
tomato coupe is offline  
Likes For tomato coupe:
Old 04-21-22, 10:53 AM
  #13  
blacknbluebikes 
Senior Member
 
blacknbluebikes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: NJ, USA
Posts: 1,007

Bikes: two blacks, a blue and a white.

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 343 Post(s)
Liked 547 Times in 273 Posts
Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
Humor, apparently, is dead.
Deafness is not deadness <grin>
blacknbluebikes is offline  
Old 04-21-22, 11:05 AM
  #14  
phughes
Senior Member
 
phughes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 2,628
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 834 Post(s)
Liked 937 Times in 540 Posts
Originally Posted by blacknbluebikes View Post
Deafness is not deadness <grin>
What?
phughes is offline  
Likes For phughes:
Old 04-23-22, 07:30 PM
  #15  
spencertimm
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2022
Posts: 5
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
I'd disagree with going to a larger frame unless the OP wants to be more stretched out with arms extended. On old style and very oversize bikes for my 5' 11" and 34.5" inseam, that approach worked well to make me comfortable on a 25" (64 cm) Schwinn Varsity. However on newer style geometry and my own personal desire for a low and more aero position I'm finding that smaller frame sizes seem better.

Though one does have to prefer that larger saddle to bar drop that a smaller frame will give. If that isn't desired, then a different model bike with a higher stack in a smaller size might be the thing to look for. So if I was to go a size smaller from my 56 cm Tarmac, then I might consider a 54 cm Specialized Roubaix which will put my bar drop from saddle about the same as it is currently on my Tarmac.

I'm wondering what year bike the OP has since for quite a few years Giant has given the size of their TCR in letter sizes. And on their geometry charts they don't give a measurement that would let us easily equate to the 58 cm size they are stating.
Hi there - your inseam to height ratio is even more extreme than mine! My TCR is a 2020, so large is effectively a 58 cm. How have you set up the 56 cm tarmac? I have often wondered that if I want to stick with ďraceĒ geometry, perhaps going a size smaller would make a big difference.
spencertimm is offline  
Old 04-24-22, 12:58 PM
  #16  
Iride01 
Plz hurry Dec 22!
 
Iride01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 11,933

Bikes: Tarmac Disc Comp Di2 - 2020

Mentioned: 43 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4890 Post(s)
Liked 3,408 Times in 2,362 Posts
Originally Posted by spencertimm View Post
How have you set up the 56 cm tarmac? I have often wondered that if I want to stick with “race” geometry, perhaps going a size smaller would make a big difference.
First thing I did to the Tarmac was have them put 165 mm cranks on it as soon as they took it out of the box. Then later I changed the 100 mm stem to a 70 mm stem and then also put 38 cm wide bars on it from the original 42 cm bars.

Saddle is 109% of my inseam from the top of the pedal furthest away from where I sit on the saddle. And I have about a 5.5" (13.97 cm) drop from saddle to bars. While I might could go a another 10 mm lower on the bars, a size 54 Tarmac drops the stack 21 mm from a 56.

So that is why I feel for a smaller frame, I'd probably have to change to a Roubaix which in a proper size for me would be a relaxed fit. But sizing down to less than the recommended size it would be my preferred somewhat aggressive fit and I'd be able to keep the same 5.5" saddle to bar drop if I ran it with no spacers under the stem.

So if you want to try a smaller size than is recommended, then just realize that you'll have more saddle to bar drop in the same model bike. And if you don't want to be lower than what your current bike gives you, then you need to look for a different model with more frame stack. Or enjoy the look of ridiculously high stems with lots of spacers below them and weirdly angled stems.

IMO, for aesthetics on a road bike, stems should be somewhat parallel to the ground. Or maybe match the slope of the top tube.

Last edited by Iride01; 04-25-22 at 10:54 AM.
Iride01 is offline  
Old 04-24-22, 02:42 PM
  #17  
GhostRider62
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Posts: 3,006
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1767 Post(s)
Liked 1,457 Times in 924 Posts
Try riding without gloves. Flat top aero bars really help me as does Red**** Softstop shock stem. A little lower pressure also helps
GhostRider62 is offline  
Old 04-25-22, 07:39 AM
  #18  
Gym123456
Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2021
Posts: 53
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 21 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 7 Times in 5 Posts
Originally Posted by spencertimm View Post
Hi all -

Iím seriously getting back into cycling after being on a mountain bike for a year and a half or so. I have a 58 cm Giant TCR with an 80 cm 6 degree (down) stem. I noticed today that, on one of my longer rides, my hands began to go numb. While on the ride I tried scooting the seat back and that didnít help much plus it increased my reach uncomfortably. So, here are a few ideas I have to fix this:
Since I screwed up my knee last June, I haven't been able to ride much, so my core strength isn't good. Over the Winter, which is another reason I didn't ride, I cleaned & lubed my Giant MTB, changed the crankset because the OEM was worn and put the handlebar from my other bike on because I had converted it ('84 Trek 400) to hybrid. I had bar ends on it and they went back on after changing the grip shifters, along with paddle grips.

My hands would become numb before I was able to change my hand position and on my first ride this year, they were fine. I have some Arthritis in my right wrist, so I need to make sure to not crush it too badly.
Gym123456 is offline  
Old 04-26-22, 07:27 AM
  #19  
beng1
Full Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 330
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 368 Post(s)
Liked 163 Times in 80 Posts
I am 6'3 and have always worn pants with 34-35" inseam, when younger 36" inseam. I rode a bike with a 25" frame for a long time, but recently have been riding a bike with a smaller frame that is about 23.5 or 24". I like the smaller bike because I can put the bars lower and have my elbows straighter, and there is less angle when I am down on the drops trying to be "aero". I am even building a bike that has a sort of "time trial" or "funny bike" frame, a long seat tube for my long legs, a shorter length to the steering head, and a short steering tube so I can straighten my arms out even more and my shoulders will be closer to the steering tube. I get numb hands, and have had problems with carpal tunnel aching and pain in the past. During a ride I will sit up with my hands off the bars periodically and shake my arms and hands, and if I am not trying to "race" I will change hand positions every so often too. I try to find narrow handlebars. I have also been doing some weight training and pushups. I am in my 60s and I have weighed over 200 pounds for a long time, usually between 210-220 unless I go crazy with the miles then I have gotten down to 200 or a bit less in the past.
beng1 is offline  
Old 04-27-22, 10:35 PM
  #20  
ofajen
Cheerfully low end
 
ofajen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 1,584
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 497 Post(s)
Liked 806 Times in 513 Posts
Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Well, there's always the Numb Hands post.
Thanks for this. I just recently decided to try drop bars again on my Schwinn SS road frame and was using non-aero levers, but getting a fair amount of pain in my hands.

This linked thread has inspired me to give the TRL levers a second go, since they give a more modern setup and allow these hand positions that non-aero levers donít. Havenít had ride time since I made the swap on the bike, but Iím hoping for a pain free ride.

Otto
ofajen is offline  

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


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2022 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.