Index finger numbness progressing to needles and pins on palm

M1ts0s

New Member
Hi all, I've been riding my bike for about a month now and I experience right hand index finger numbness and lately a feeling of needles and pins on my palm. I use ergonomic grips that came with my Cube ebike. I ride in an upward position and I begun using gel gloves lately. Still, the problem persists. Truth is I haven't used a bike in 20 years and started commuting for an hour and a half daily. Any ideas, tips or solutions will be greatly appreciated.
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
I had symptoms similar to yours which were helped with simple adjustments. Gel gloves are a must for me but proper seat height & angle along with handlebar height & angle made a big difference as well. It took some trial & error to get the best settings dialed in.

Everyone is different but in my case, lowering the seat about an inch reduced hand discomfort by shifting the weight distribution. I did sacrifice some pedaling efficiency but with an e-bike, the loss is compensated by the motor. I also replaced the handlebars with ones that were swept back a few degrees more than the OEM. These two changes made the biggest difference. Of course these changes won't work for everyone but they're worth trying.

I also experienced right hand cramping caused by an old motorcycle injury. Even limited twisting of the throttle causes partial hand numbness. I'm not sure if your bike has one but this simple thumb throttle product solved the issue for me:


In any case, welcome to the forum! Hopefully, others will chime in with their suggestions.
 

Rick53

Active Member
Hi all, I've been riding my bike for about a month now and I experience right hand index finger numbness and lately a feeling of needles and pins on my palm. I use ergonomic grips that came with my Cube ebike. I ride in an upward position and I begun using gel gloves lately. Still, the problem persists. Truth is I haven't used a bike in 20 years and started commuting for an hour and a half daily. Any ideas, tips or solutions will be greatly appreciated.
20 years ??? You answered your own question : You are stretching a tendon which is pinching the nerve : Try stretching exercises : Maybe rotate your grips one way or another : Maybe you are just over doing it : could also be start of carpel tunnel : Like I said rotate the grips so you have a slightly shorter reach : 20 years ago means you likely shrunk some : Seriously
 

Handlebars

Active Member
It may be related to bumpiness and vibration which can be reduced by relaxing your grip and using some padding. I used truck window insulating weather stripping wound around the grips and made a conscious effort to relax my grip and since then haven't experienced that tingling effect much.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
My thought was to get some weight off of my hands by setting the bike up for a more upright riding position. That seems to have worked, but it didn't help the issue I have with a sore butt any! I have to get off for a few minutes every 5 miles or so. I've read that can be a seat issue, but I'm using one of the bigger Cloud 9 seats already. Fact I'm a big guy (6'1"/310) probably isn't helping anything either. -Al
 

Handlebars

Active Member
I had that thought as well. I pulled the adjustable stem and bars on my Spark City bike way back toward me like a chopper bike to take the weight off my hands in the more upright position. Also the bars are the swept back type, so the angle is very natural for wrists and for grip. Additionally, I ordered the small frame model so that I could put feet on the ground flat. With lower seat position and pulled back higher bars, more upright sitting is enabled.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
I spend a lot of time contributing a good % of the bikes energy requirements. Mostly riding in PAS 1. Point being, no big exercise nut by any shape of the imagination, but I do like to get proper leg extension and value that. I can touch the ground reliably, but even at 6'1" no chance of being flat footed here.
 

Handlebars

Active Member
I absolutely hate not getting leg extension. 32" inseam measurement. With the seat pulled back all the way, and the Suntour suspension seat post (which puts the seat even further back) and sitting where the seat padding is( the back of the seat), and the frame lending a slight pedals-forward position, I get good leg extension.
 

trainman

Member
I've been riding motorcycles both street and off road for 50 years and never had any of those hand problems, now I have an ebike I guess it's down hill from here, just waiting for the pain to start.
 

Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
There are a bunch of things that can be going on here.

The core problem here is most likely that too much of your body weight is being supported by your arms. Most of the time if you are riding in an efficient and upright position you want most of your body weight on the bike to be supported by your legs, and most of the remainder to be supported by the saddle. A tiny bit left over can be supported by your arms, but ideally that should be almost negligible. If you can develop better core strength and balance you can mitigate this problem.

The other thing you can do is consider adjusting your saddle. Having your saddle adjusted too high or too low may force you to support more of your body weight on your arms. Also, if your saddle is tilted forward that may slide your whole carcass forward and force your arms to carry too much of the load.

If you are getting a sore butt the first thing you should try is raising the saddle height, which will force your legs to support more of your body weight and relieve the pressure on your ass.

Note that I refer to a "saddle" rather than a "seat" because you in no circumstances want to support all of your weight on your behind. You are not "sitting" on your bike, you are "riding".

My observation is that the vast majority of cyclists, especially inexperienced cyclists, have their saddle adjusted too low.

A lot of bike shops, some physical therapists, and even some chiropractors can help you with bike fit. Before you go buying different grips or saddles it is wise to consult with a bike fit specialist. Honestly most saddles and most grips work fine for most people in most circumstances.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Agree with many of your points, but it would seem to me like if you are set for proper leg extension, your seat height should be pretty close, no?
 

Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
Agree with many of your points, but it would seem to me like if you are set for proper leg extension, your seat height should be pretty close, no?
Probably, but this is also one case where consulting someone who knows what they are doing can make an enormous difference in how much you enjoy riding your bike. From your comments above about only being able to ride five miles without a break, I'd suspect something is just not right. I can't know what that is and honestly lack the experience and expertise to help you directly, but I do know enough to know that you should talk to someone about how your bike is set up.

Tiny differences in bike geometry beyond saddle height, in particular the angle of the saddle and the relative (forward or back) position of the saddle can make all the difference between a bike being a torture device and you being able to ride all day.

An expensive and fancy new saddle might help you, but chances are your existing saddle will work fine if it is properly adjusted. Yes, that fancy new saddle might work better when it is properly adjusted as well, but just putting a different saddle on isn't likely to make a huge difference by itself.
 

JRA

Well-Known Member
I agree with mr. coffee, get a bike fit done. Probably will turn out to be a faster and cheaper overall solution, rather than hunting an pecking around for the solution via buying things that "might" work or have for others.
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
Go to a chiropractor or physical therapist. You may find it is another joint, or even you neck causing the issue. This forum is great for advice, but fairly certain medical issues is not a major expertise here. Watch, a doctor will pop up with a counterpoint to my comment! LOL
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
I figure my weight (310) and age (69) were my biggest issues. I have tried several different seats (or saddles if you prefer) with no real difference. All result in a sore butt after a short period. So now wondering if my sore butt is so unique where I should consult an expert. Anyone else out there about my weight and age suffering the same sore butt issue? Say guys 250 lbs and up? I don't think comments from anyone lighter will be real relevant.

Noteworthy maybe, is that I have gone through a "custom by expert" bike set up in the past (a Trek dealer/cross country racer), though admitedly that was quite a few years back. Same result, had a sore butt then too!
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Say guys 250 lbs and up?
236# here. I got used to the slight pain in the butt but my saddles and seat posts are just good. "You have to have a hard ass to ride distances" as my 73-yo friend, and avid acoustic bike rider uses to say. However, the pain in hands, wrists and arms is my experience, too.

Even if I set up both my bikes as good as I could, the aches remain. I simply lean on the handlebars too hard, and my large stomach is guilty for that.

P.S. @AHicks, are your cycling shorts or bibs padded?
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Hard ass (iron butt!) required for sure! I had a very similar experience trying to ride longer distances on motorcycles (from pretty basic to full on touring bikes).

No, not wearing padded shorts - yet! My riding is all recreational, and generally done on a moments notice. I just swing a leg over and go as I generally do most of my riding right from the house. We do occasionally load the bikes up for some destination riding, and that's a situation where if I had a pair of riding pants, I would take a minute to change into them. That sounds like it might help some, but going back to the motorcycle experience, I've had some pretty comfy seats under my butt (including some custom), yet STILL need to get off occasionally to get the blood going back there again! -Al