Pins & Needles

royceroyce Posts: 24
edited January 2013 in Road beginners
Hi all

Just did my first ride in probably 15 years. First time on a road bike and managed 10 miles.
Now this is probably a real beginners question, but
Is it normal to get bad pins and needles both in hands and feet?
I'm not the fittest person so this probably has a lot to do with it!

Many thanks
Roy

Posts

  • I got pins and needles in my hands to start with. Padded mitts and then padded gloves as it got colder made a big difference, but now I stretch them out quite frequently as I ride as well.

    Problem has mostly gone away.

    I haven't had pins and needles in my feet though. Are your shoes too small?
    Is the gorilla tired yet?
  • schweizschweiz Posts: 1,644
    No it's not 'normal' to get pins and needles. It's being caused by the fact that the blood supply is being restricted. Either you have too much weight on your arms or you're gripping the bars too tight. If it's the latter, it should be possible on a good road surface to just rest the hands on the tops or the hoods and not actually grip. The former is to do with bike fit and your fitness. As your core strength improves, your torso will carry it's own mass rather than carrying it all through your arms and backside. This is another reason why beginners tend to complain about having a sore backside too as they tend to plonk themselves on the saddle and carry less of their body mass with their core muscles or with their legs. The bike fit part could be that you are either too cramped up, or too stretched out.

    In your feet, it may also be that you've tied your shoes too tight.
  • royceroyce Posts: 24
    Thanks for the replies
    I definatly found myself leaning (supporting myself) on the handlebars a lot, tried not to so much on the second half of the ride. As for shoes, don't think they were too tight, but possibly not great for riding. I'm wearing a pair of walking type shoes, what would be best for cycling? Possibly a pair of light trainers?
    Thanks again
    Roy
  • schweizschweiz Posts: 1,644
    royce wrote:
    Thanks for the replies
    I definatly found myself leaning (supporting myself) on the handlebars a lot, tried not to so much on the second half of the ride.

    As long as there's not a problem with basic bike fit, then this will improve as your core strength improves
    royce wrote:
    I'm wearing a pair of walking type shoes, what would be best for cycling? Possibly a pair of light trainers?
    Roy
    Well the obvious answer is cycling shoes. They have a stiffer sole which as well as aiding power transfer stops the foot twisting and flexing in ways that it wasn't designed to. Walking shoes, while having a stiff sole tend to have higher ankle support. It may be pressure from here that is restricting blood flow? As a kid I cycled for years in 'football' trainers. The sole was stiffer than running shoes and being less bulky at the front (and made of artificial leather) they were easier to slide in and out of the toe clips.
  • royceroyce Posts: 24
    As long as there's not a problem with basic bike fit, then this will improve as your core strength improves

    It's a new bike and was "fitted" in the shop. I have to go back for them to replace a damaged part. So I'll ask them to double check.

    Well the obvious answer is cycling shoes. They have a stiffer sole which as well as aiding power transfer stops the foot twisting and flexing in ways that it wasn't designed to. Walking shoes, while having a stiff sole tend to have higher ankle support. It may be pressure from here that is restricting blood flow? As a kid I cycled for years in 'football' trainers. The sole was stiffer than running shoes and being less bulky at the front (and made of artificial leather) they were easier to slide in and out of the toe clips.[/quote]

    I'll have to look into something a little more suitable for cycling

    Many thanks for the replies

    Roy
  • tmgtmg Posts: 651
    I would say that padded gloves will help with the pins and needles problem

    Do a search on cyclist palsy:
    "Cyclists palsy, or sometimes called Handlebar palsy is a relatively common condition in road cyclists and mountain bikers. This palsy is a nerve injury at the wrist that causes persistent weakness and clumsiness of the hand and thumb. Individuals with this condition will notice difficulty with pinching and fine finger movements such as playing the piano or operating a computer keyboard. This condition can result from multi-day road cycling events or a single day of mountain biking."

    Tips to avoid placing excess stress on the Ulnar nerve:

    " Wear padded gloves and/or ride with padded handlebars to minimize the vibration forces on your wrist and hands.
    " Avoid direct pressure over the area of Guyons canal by distributing your weight evenly across your hands on the handlebars.
    " Have your seat height and position assessed by a professional to make sure it is customized to your body. This will help minimize the amount of weight you place on your wrists.
    " Select a proper choice of handlebar. The type of handlebar can also affect the amount of pressure you place through your wrists.
    " More specifically for mountain biking, it is important to have good shocks on the front forks of your bike. They help to absorb and dampen the repetitive vibrations and impact on your wrist while on rough terrain.
  • lotus49lotus49 Posts: 763
    Although my feet have been fine from the start, I did get pins and needles in my hands a bit at first just because I just wasn't used to supporting much weight on them for more than a minute at a time. They seem to have got used to it pretty quickly though.

    I wish I could say the same for my perineum though :( .
  • bails1310bails1310 Posts: 361
    Only my own experience and not suggesting this is your cause, but I used to get a lot of P&N on a previous bike that was too big for me.

    SInce dropped a size and have not suffered in any way since then - would agree with comments that some of the casuse is too much weight on hands.
    Kuota Kharma Race [Dry/Sunny]
    Raleigh Airlite 100 [Wet/Horrible]
  • PituophisPituophis Posts: 1,025
    bails1310 wrote:
    Only my own experience and not suggesting this is your cause, but I used to get a lot of P&N on a previous bike that was too big for me.

    SInce dropped a size and have not suffered in any way since then - would agree with comments that some of the casuse is too much weight on hands.

    As above, my first road bike was a second hand impulse buy, and I got really bad pins and needles.
    It came down to the fact that it was too big for me. A quick fix was a modern, more compact handle bar and a much shorter stem, which cured the problem on all but "longer" (for me) rides.
    I now have a much smaller frame and the problem seems to have disappeared completely!
  • MarkP80MarkP80 Posts: 444
    Maybe try flipping the stem to see if that helps?
    Boardman Road Comp - OK, I went to Halfords
    Tibia plateau fracture - the rehab continues!
  • royceroyce Posts: 24
    Hi All
    Thanks for the replies.
    I've got myself a pair of padded gloves (fingerless) which I'm wearing under my winter gloves.
    With these and concentrating on posture and trying not to put too much weight on my hands.
    This has helped a lot with the pins in my hands, still getting a bit, but much better.
    Hopefully this will keep getting better as my technique improves.

    As for the feet....
    I loosened the toe clip straps... :oops:
    I've also invested in a good pair of thermal socks as I think some of it was from the cold.

    Once agian thanks for the replies

    Roy
  • Mikey23Mikey23 Posts: 5,028
    Yes, gripping too tight and putting all your weight on your hands ... I had this a lot but it went away quite quickly. Remember to change your position and sometimes give your arms a rest and a shake
  • SmoggySteveSmoggySteve Posts: 2,984
    Sounds normal to me. If you get a tight chest and shooting pains up and down your left arm, its just cramp. Just means you need to push harder.

    BTW, If anything did happen to you with any of the above symptoms, Can I have your bike???
  • +1 to the sound advice above regarding using your core(stomach,hips +back) to support your weight.

    Also take advantage of the multiple hand positions that can be used on drop handlebars.I used to stick with my most comfortable hand position until it started to ache, then shuffle my hands around to relieve the pain.
    I then made an effort to adjust my hand positioning regularly to avoid the Ulnar nerve problems.The knock on effect of this was to develop a routine of using a range of body positions(upright/tucked and seated/out of the saddle). After a while,it becomes second nature.

    Someone once pointed out to me that you wouldn't drive from London to Manchester without altering your hands on your steering wheel or shuffling around a bit in your seat-the same principle apples to bike riding.
  • royceroyce Posts: 24
    Sounds normal to me. If you get a tight chest and shooting pains up and down your left arm, its just cramp. Just means you need to push harder.

    BTW, If anything did happen to you with any of the above symptoms, Can I have your bike???

    Hmm sounds legit!

    All yours if anything happens :lol:
  • SmoggySteveSmoggySteve Posts: 2,984
    Cool, I'm sure I can count on all the other posters on this thread as witnesses to this legally binding statement???
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