Forum home Road cycling forum Road beginners

Tingleing and numb hands

jockyfoostjockyfoost Posts: 63
edited August 2007 in Road beginners
Sorry if this has already been covered but i couldn't find anything when i looked it up.
I have recently developed a problem where after about 10 miles my hands begin to develop pins and needles and then start to go numb. I can relieve this by taking my hands (one at a time) of the bars and shaking life back into them.
Thought i maybe had to much weight on my hands but i've adjusted the saddle back and forth and i now feel to be in quite a balanced position.
Could it be to much pressure in the area between my thumb and forefinger?
Any ideas? :?


  • Hi
    As you lean forward your weight ransfers to the bars through your hands. This constant pressure will give you the symptoms you describe.
    Good bar tape and gloves/mitts will help. The vibration also has an effect and carbon fork/handlebars should also help.
    Now you know about it, prevent it before it happens by changing hand position frequently.

  • baudmanbaudman Posts: 757
    Did you get a cycle-fit? (When you bought your bike, did they measure you and how well your bike fit you... hang plumb-bobs from your knees etc?)

    It could be that your bike is too long for you, so you are leaning forward too far.

    Also, how long have you been riding. Your core muscles in your back develop, as do your legs, and both working together will relieve some pressure from your hands.

    But, as Peter suggests, good gloves and bar tape helps too, as does changing hand positions. But 10 miles isn't far... so I'm thinking your bike may be the wrong size.
    Commute - MASI Souville3 | Road/CX - MASI Speciale CX | Family - 80s ugly | Utility - Cargobike
  • ASC1951ASC1951 Posts: 992
    For me it was a muscle imbalance in my forearms. The physio gave me some exercises, lifting a 16oz tin between my thumb and little finger, with my forearm flat on the arm of a chair. Those cured it in a couple of weeks.

    Your problem may be something quite different, of course.
  • carlstonecarlstone Posts: 602
    I have the same problem but mine starts after just 3 miles. I have tried everything but i have quite bad circulation so I just put up with it.
  • GussioGussio Posts: 2,452
    I used to suffer similar numbness. Now used Specialized BG gloves with a little gel pad to protect the ulnar (I think that is what it is called) nerve. Problem solved.

    If you have drop handlebars, or flats with bar ends, regular changing of hand position might help.
  • knedlickyknedlicky Posts: 3,097
    jockyfoost wrote:
    Could it be to much pressure in the area between my thumb and forefinger?
    Gussio wrote:
    I used to suffer similar numbness. Now used Specialized BG gloves with a little gel pad to protect the ulnar (I think that is what it is called) nerve. Problem solved.
    Tingling in the ring finger and the little finger is due to pressure on the ulna nerve. Jockyfrost implies his problem on the other side of the hand, which means it's more likely constriction of the carpal tunnel putting pressure on the middle nerve.

    Padding in gloves, or increasing the wrapped diameter of the handlebars (or bigger diameter grips on a town bike or MTB) all help.

    Also, the hand shouldn't be turned in too drastically compared to its natural position, i.e. roughly slightly outwards from exact alignment with the forearm. To prevent this happening is why the grip areas on handlebars on town bikes aren't dead straight like on MTBs but turned about 15 degrees.
    On drop handlebars, if yours are really too wide for you, don't ride with hands at the outer limits of the handlebars and at the same time your elbows tucked in, because then you force your hands to turn in from the ideal alignment with the foream.
  • passoutpassout Posts: 4,425
    Tape/grip width & handlebar width probably. What the last bloke said sounded convincing to me!
    'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.
  • Thank you knedlicky and everyone else. I have a road bike first of all and i do tend to ride with my hands turned in as you pointed out. I'll try to alter this at the weekend and hope it helps.
    Thank you for all suggestions.
  • I get similar problems with my hands due to breaking my right hand twice in the same place and badly injuring my left wrist a few years back, they both ache really badly when riding for any period of time. The way i found around it was to wear my hand wraps which usually used during sparring, underneath my gloves when riding, the extra support really helps and i haven't had any problems since. Could be worth a try? They only cost around a fiver.
  • geocyclegeocycle Posts: 202
    This is a tricky problem as there are so many variables to consider. This poll completed by about 250 people in Crazyguy contains a lot of (non-scientific) useful advice but unfortunately much is contradictory. ... poll_id=27
  • Thanks Geocycle, some good points made there. I may also try raising my bars a bit. I've had about 95mm difference between the saddle height and the top of the bars. Maybe this has been to much? :?
Sign In or Register to comment.