Hands going numb during a trail ride

john peck

Well-Known Member
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!
I make my own foam grips, & have learned to relax my hands a little more while riding instead
of a white knuckle death grip. I´d used foam grips b4 E, but put 4K on ergo after. They became
impossible at one point, so I went back to foam, far more comfortable..
 

TrailSeeker

Active Member
Region
USA
I make my own foam grips, & have learned to relax my hands a little more while riding instead
of a white knuckle death grip. I´d used foam grips b4 E, but put 4K on ergo after. They became
impossible at one point, so I went back to foam, far more comfortable..
I forgot to mention I got the cork based grips. Maybe I'll try putting on a foam grip and rotating them more upwards like some have suggested. In also looking at a bar raiser but one that isn't too much like a cruiser as mentioned by a bunch of you on the post thread.

I had a question has anyone tried the delta stem raiser and is that compatible with the redshirt suspension stem? It would require some cable work so I'd probably have to take it into my LBS since I'm not good at bike maintenance. Right now I have an adjustable stem but only with 1 spacer on the stem. I like the angle but it's forward and only about 25 degrees. I might be able to extend that but I don't know.

I looked on treks website but they don't sell many raiser handlebars except large cruiser ones. I'm looking at the ones you all have recommended now and might have to do that myself.
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
My hands go numb despite everything I've tried. MTB with straight bars was worse, but now with the cruiser bars left it is happening again. I sit straight up & put as little weight as possible on the hands. I use pool float tubes as hand grips, delays the inevitable a little. On excellent pavement I'll let go with one hand or the other for a while and wave & flex the loose hand to wake it up. Not on typical city streets here: all bike frames now have "quick" steering these days and will snap the front wheel sideways within a few inches of obstruction. I remember the days of totally stable 26" bikes, like my Mother's 1946 Firestone bike. I've talked to custom frame makers: no-one will even talk about changing the front fork trail (caster) to something stable. Standard trail, or drive a car instead of riding a bike.
The good side is, this numbness doesn't seem to damage my hands. I'm a piano player, and have no trouble with my hands when I'm off the bike.
 

mschwett

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
after making sure the bike fits you properly, i believe the only real long term solution to this is fitness and riding style. keeping as much weight on your feet as possible, then your butt, then your hands. relax your grip - the grip is to keep the bike balanced and steer, no need to squeeze. frequently stretch and flex your hand (make fists) when it's safe to go one handed. work on your core and leg strength to prevent "leaning" on the bars, which compresses the carpal tunnel at the base of your hand and will lead to numbness no matter what the grips are made of. in fact, squishy material may be even worse in some situations because of the way it distributes the pressure.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Is it possible that the upright riding position might make a part of the spine compressed with affecting some nerves adversely? I seem to experience similar issues as Indiana Joe.
 

ElevenAD

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.
i had already been considering a Jones H bar, i will for sure purchase one now.
 

PDoz

Well-Known Member
Is it possible that the upright riding position might make a part of the spine compressed with affecting some nerves adversely? I seem to experience similar issues as Indiana Joe.

Yes - for example if you have cervical outlet issues, the neurovascular bundle can get trapped by the muscles used to reach forward and upward to the bars. Alternatively, if you have an upright riding position but too much reach then you can slump your neck and cause lower cervical trapping .

Nothing beats a good history and examination by someone with a functional understanding of both anatomy and your activity.