Hands going numb during a trail ride

TrailSeeker

Active Member
Region
USA
Hi Guys,

As many of you know - I am new to biking still. I went to the trail today and noticed my left hand fingers go numb even with bar ends (I use the Ergon GP3). My wrist dont hurt and Ive tilted the handlebar grips a little downward to get some ergonomics. But I still have 3 or 4 of my fingers go numb pretty often on my left hand (right hand is perfectly fine).

Any ideas what I can do to solve this?

I should mention I might raise my handlebar up more by using another spacer (Ill have to take it to my LBS for that). Also, I have an adjustable stem so I can mess with the angle on that i bit, but the grips are angled downwards and it pretty much eliminated all my wrist pain from before. I'm just left now with tingling numb fingers :p

Thanks for your help everyone!
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove Pennsylvania
Hi Guys,

As many of you know - I am new to biking still. I went to the trail today and noticed my left hand fingers go numb even with bar ends (I use the Ergon GP3). My wrist dont hurt and Ive tilted the handlebar grips a little downward to get some ergonomics. But I still have 3 or 4 of my fingers go numb pretty often on my left hand (right hand is perfectly fine).

Any ideas what I can do to solve this?

I should mention I might raise my handlebar up more by using another spacer (Ill have to take it to my LBS for that). Also, I have an adjustable stem so I can mess with the angle on that i bit, but the grips are angled downwards and it pretty much eliminated all my wrist pain from before. I'm just left now with tingling numb fingers :p

Thanks for your help everyone!
Fingerless gloves, I assume ? What bike ?
 

Sierratim

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Nevada City, CA & Paradise Valley, AZ
I find that I needed to rotate my Ergon GP3's upward until my wrist and forearm were more or less inline. This eliminated the numbness I would experience.

This thread has 90 posts re these grips;
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
My thought = too much weight on your hands. Raising the handlebars helps. That and the grips. The kind that support the meaty part of your hand near your wrist, set so that part of your hand helps support your weight as well (usually near horizontal). Made a very noticeable difference for the wife and I.

Something like this:

or maybe this:
 

TrailSeeker

Active Member
Region
USA
Hey guys, thank you all for your responses. I forgot to mention I was not wearing any gloves so that might help some.

I think it was my first 3 fingers starting with the index finger. Now that you ask though, it's hard to remember which part. I want to say it was the whole finger because I engender constantly shaking my hand or dropping it to get the blood flow back. It was probably more intense towards the far end/ peripheral part but I felt it all over including around the first knuckle (palm side. Don't know what to call this). Also thankfully there were no color changes. Just pins and needles/ tingly sensation that got worse with time.

This was on my allant+ 7s. The seat is low and the handlebar is now around 25 degrees forward and up with a spacer for height (I think I should add another spacer on the stem still as well)
 

TrailSeeker

Active Member
Region
USA
I find that I needed to rotate my Ergon GP3's upward until my wrist and forearm were more or less inline. This eliminated the numbness I would experience.

This thread has 90 posts re these grips;
Thanks! I'll check this out
 

DavidRvR

Member
Region
USA
Carpel tunnel and or Neck problem... Angle of Handle bars/ Seat and stem position probably need to be adjusted to Take the pressure off your neck. Try different angles

I had it when I drove/ Sat and or rode my bike.. Had surgery 4 or 5 weeks ago to fix the discs and it has slowed down .. 5 or 6 times I would wake up and shake my hands ...Now they are doing much better.. They blamed it on Carpel tunnel and did the nerve test to "Confirm" but they couldnt explain how both hands started at the same time.. Plus I dont do anything repetitive t show for it.. Nerve test just shows its a problem but doesnt locate the exact problem.
 
Last edited:

Jimbo08

Active Member
If hands have no real pressure on them then Sweep angle of bars can be something else to explore for proper fit. SQLabs bars are good ones to investigate. I purchased Baramind bars for my wife's Como upon Stefan's recommendation. I am fortunate to have no issues with 'sleepy' hands, but my wife, who has broken both wrists, can get the numbness happening.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
I experience left hand numbness on long ride segments with intensive pedalling. As David mentioned before, it might be carpal or neck issue. In my case, it is probably related to my neck, and I found no solution for that.
 

PDoz

Well-Known Member
Hey guys, thank you all for your responses. I forgot to mention I was not wearing any gloves so that might help some.

I think it was my first 3 fingers starting with the index finger. Now that you ask though, it's hard to remember which part. I want to say it was the whole finger because I engender constantly shaking my hand or dropping it to get the blood flow back. It was probably more intense towards the far end/ peripheral part but I felt it all over including around the first knuckle (palm side. Don't know what to call this). Also thankfully there were no color changes. Just pins and needles/ tingly sensation that got worse with time.

This was on my allant+ 7s. The seat is low and the handlebar is now around 25 degrees forward and up with a spacer for height (I think I should add another spacer on the stem still as well)

Carpel tunnel will be thumb, index middle, and half of the ring finger - made worse by having your wrist tilted back +/- pressure at the base of your palm - so adjusting bars / levers to encourage riding limp wristed will help.

Next ride, pinch your fingers to check
 

ElevenAD

Well-Known Member
Happens to me every ride, its worse on my bike with straight bars because of the increased downward pressure, i have tried a bunch of different grips but none seem to really help.
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
I've been fighting hand & wrist numbness ever since I started biking. Over the years, I've experimented with a variety of preventative measures. I finally found a combination of products that all but eliminate the problem for me.

1 - Padded gel gloves.
2 - 3" stem riser
3 - Ergonomic grips (I use Satellite Elites from Bontrager).
4 - Jones H bars with a 2.5" rise and 30 degree backsweep.
5 - By far the most effective was the Redshift Shockstop suspension stem with 30 degree rise. (I use the lightest elastomer).

There are many different causes for hand & wrist discomfort. Obviously, this my personal approach and keep in mind, it may not work for everyone.
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
I had almost exactly the same problem except the numbness and tingling would start with my pinky and ring finger and then the whole hand. I was not able to solve it with grips along. I ended up getting a Surly Terminal handlebar on my R&M Delite Mountain. It has a more swept back grip than most at 34 degrees. There are others like the Molokai and Jones handlebar that accomplish the same thing. The Jones is nice as it has the extra bar in front for mounting accessories.
I would get the numbness in both hands, but mostly left, after a half hour or so of riding and then have to ride one handed, shaking out the numbed hand till circulation was restored and then doing the same thing for the other hand, every 15 minutes or so for the balance of the ride.

The swept back bar reduced the problem by at least 70%. It now take closer to an hour of riding and then recurs every 3/4 hour or so, maybe 2 or three times per ride rather than 6 or 7. Ergon makes a grip designed for more swept back handlebars to complete the solutions.

20210912_062312.jpg
 

TrailSeeker

Active Member
Region
USA
I would get the numbness in both hands, but mostly left, after a half hour or so of riding and then have to ride one handed, shaking out the numbed hand till circulation was restored and then doing the same thing for the other hand, every 15 minutes or so for the balance of the ride.
I relate 100%. That's what it's like for me too. And it used to be both hands as well but has been only my left hand after raising the stem. It's still aggrevating having to shake it out so often.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
Agree on the swept back handlebars as well. WAY more natural (comfortable) than the straight bars many bikes come with. Took me a while to figure that out, but these are what I used on my latest bike (54 degrees). These feel natural/just right.


The downside to these particular bars is the center/larger OD section. They're plenty wide for the clamp, but if you have a center mounted display, you may need to be a little creative mounting it.
 

Mike TowpathTraveler

Well-Known Member
As you can see, advice for issues you are experiencing will have people offering advice with solutions that work for THEM! And there is no wrong or right answer; all of it will be sound advice. So with that in mind, let me offer some advice that works for me!

Haibike Full FatSix, stock everything right out of the box. But like all bicylists, that did not remain status quo for very long. First up was a change of grips and bar ends. Having used the Ergon GP5 bar ends on another bike, I found those hard nylon plastic bar end grips and bar ends were causing me numbness. Then, I found these items: Cane Creek Ergon Control Bar End Grips: Link-https://canecreek.com/product/ergo-control-bar-ends/ Made of a generous layer of soft, kraton rubber, these grips absorbed most road shock the suspension fork did not dampen. They were so popular with the MTB crowd, that they (including me) wrote to CC, asking to bring back the grips that CC had stopped production on. They are small to fit in the palm of your hand and wide enough to allow you many different hand positions that help alleviate single spot pressure point pain after miles in the saddle. This is an important consideration; that of moving your hands to different positions based on comfort, riding conditions and plain old relief of singular pressure points on the handlebar and grip. Once you try kraton rubber, you will never understand why the Ergon hard nylon grips were so popular with so many folks. And you will never go back.

Next up were Ergons GA2 Fat handlebar grip. These, like the Cane Creeks, are made of soft Kraton rubber and they are sized a wee bit bigger then their other GA2's. This allows a nice grip in your hand and the rubber that softens the road vibes. Link-https://www.ergonbike.com/en/product-details.html?anr=42410289&s=ga&a=griffe#info

The H-Bike features a relatively small rise on the handlebar ends. I wanted more that would allow me a more upright sitting position versus the semi-crouched racing position so many modern MTB bikes have these days. I settled on the Spank Spoon 60mm handlebar rise. With bike supplies short due to covid, it may be troublesome finding a bar like this, but look around, they are out there. Again, it gave me a more upright position, which took alot of weight off my hands. Something to think about. Now, if you are the type that goes charging down mountain side cliffs, a riser bar that puts your weight higher up on the frame may not be for you. But for a cruiser or flat dirt trail rider, a riser of some kind might be your ticket to lounge chair comfort in the saddle.

Post Script: To go to the supplied links, you will just need to highlight and right-click the link and then "Go to"...... Just wanted to point that out as I am not too computer literate! :)

100_4504.JPG

Spank Spoon 60mm riser handlebar.

100_2126.JPG

Cane Creek Ergo Control Bar End Grips & Ergon GA2 Fat Handle Bar Grips mounted on the stock, OEM Haibike handlebar.
 

Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
A Demented Corner of the North Cascades
Just a couple of things to try:
  1. Make sure your elbows are slightly bent and not locked.
  2. Try riding on a straight and level section of road at a comfortable speed. When you are doing so keep your hands on the handlebars but keep them as loose as possible, with no weight supported by your arms. In this situation your entire body weight is supported by your core and through the saddle and pedals. Practice doing this whenever you can and try to pay attention to the feeling. This will get you used to having minimal body weight supported on your arms.
  3. Try lowering your seat post a bit and see if that changes anything. If it does I'd suggest raising the bars a similar amount.