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Thread: Hand/finger numbness/pain anyone?

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    Default Hand/finger numbness/pain anyone?

    After a few miles on my FS (on intermediate-level local trails... nothing crazy), my hands/fingers always get a little numb/tingly. It's hard for me to describe the sensation, but it's definitely uncomfortable. I try to keep my arms relaxed and my wrists neutral, but I must still be doing something wrong. I wear unpadded gloves. I'm on my 3rd set of grips (stock Santa Cruz grips -> ODI Rogue -> Ergon GA3). Thinking about trying ESI Extra Chunky grips next, but supposedly, they're not very durable.

    Anyway, before I try yet another grip, anyone have any advice for how I might be able to solve my hand/finger numbness issue? Either a technique thing or a particular grip/bar/component that worked for you? TIA!
     

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    Default Re: Hand/finger numbness/pain anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by xeladragon View Post
    After a few miles on my FS (on intermediate-level local trails... nothing crazy), my hands/fingers always get a little numb/tingly. It's hard for me to describe the sensation, but it's definitely uncomfortable. I try to keep my arms relaxed and my wrists neutral, but I must still be doing something wrong. I wear unpadded gloves. I'm on my 3rd set of grips (stock Santa Cruz grips -> ODI Rogue -> Ergon GA3). Thinking about trying ESI Extra Chunky grips next, but supposedly, they're not very durable.

    Anyway, before I try yet another grip, anyone have any advice for how I might be able to solve my hand/finger numbness issue? Either a technique thing or a particular grip/bar/component that worked for you? TIA!
    Does your handlebar have rise and/or sweep? Have you tried rotating the bars? Have you tried rotating the brakes and shifting pods? Those are the first things I would fiddle with.
     

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    Default Re: Hand/finger numbness/pain anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by murphy View Post
    Does your handlebar have rise and/or sweep? Have you tried rotating the bars? Have you tried rotating the brakes and shifting pods? Those are the first things I would fiddle with.
    This is where I'd check.

    Great article from SQ Labs here.

    handlebarusage.png
     

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    Default Re: Hand/finger numbness/pain anyone?

    I had this same trouble when I first started on the MTB. Felt like carpal tunnel. I read an unrelated article on bar width, and I cut my bars a little narrower not realizing that it would solve the hand numbness at the same time. My elbows are now just a little more out, like in the picture above. Almost no awkward feeling anymore, with exactly the same grips and everything, just a little narrower bars.

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    Default Re: Hand/finger numbness/pain anyone?

    Good info so far... thanks all. I think I might either need narrower bars or bars with more sweep. I think my hands currently fall into the "wrong" category according to the SQ Labs graphic.
     

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    Default Re: Hand/finger numbness/pain anyone?

    My index, middle and thumb used to constantly get numb and tingly. The SQ Lab bars helped a lot and also helped me setup my motorcycles better as well.
     

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    Default Re: Hand/finger numbness/pain anyone?

    I’ve always liked a little more sweep, with the bars rotated so there’s a little upsweep too. My current bars are Answer 20/20’s so that’s a lot of sweep. Love them.

    Check out the angle of the brake levers as suggested above.

    And the saddle position too. I find it’s necessary to run the saddle farther back (with an offset seatpost and/or a slacker seat angle) than is current fashion, for my legs to support my upper body more.
     

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    Default Re: Hand/finger numbness/pain anyone?

    I agree with Todd about sitting a little further behind the BB. It can reduce a lot of neck/shoulder/hand stress.
     

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    Default Re: Hand/finger numbness/pain anyone?

    Just FYI - the ESI grips are very slippery if they get sweaty. I don't like them for that reason.
     

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    Default Re: Hand/finger numbness/pain anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by WFSTEKL View Post
    I agree with Todd about sitting a little further behind the BB. It can reduce a lot of neck/shoulder/hand stress.
    That's easy for Todd to suggest. Have you seen the length of his femurs?
     

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    Default Re: Hand/finger numbness/pain anyone?

    Rotated my GA3 grips up (so that the flat part sits up a little higher) and brake levers down, and moved my saddle back about 5mm (can't go much further). We'll see how the next ride goes. If my hands still get numb/tingly, then I'll try a bar with more sweep next.

    jscottyk, which SQlab handlebars are you using? 12- or 16-degree sweep?
     

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    Default Re: Hand/finger numbness/pain anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by xeladragon View Post
    Rotated my GA3 grips up (so that the flat part sits up a little higher) and brake levers down, and moved my saddle back about 5mm (can't go much further). We'll see how the next ride goes. If my hands still get numb/tingly, then I'll try a bar with more sweep next.

    jscottyk, which SQlab handlebars are you using? 12- or 16-degree sweep?
    The 16 degree worked best for me.
     

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    Default Re: Hand/finger numbness/pain anyone?

    You could also try putting your thumbs on top of the bars on fire roads/smooth trails, where you won’t touch the brakes. That helps me a lot.

    Most people I know that have numbness issues are folks that are new to MTB and are death gripping the bars because of a lack of confidence. Trust the bike, you don’t have to hold on to it like it’s a cobra.
     

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    Default Re: Hand/finger numbness/pain anyone?

    Never had finger numbness on the MTB, but I struggle with wrist and shoulder pain from occupational issues. I just got a pair of the sq lab 70x bars in 12 degree and they are legit. I got a pair of their grips too but the grips fit too loose on their bars to be able to tighten at anything less than double recommended torque.

    Iíve been running the ergon ge1 factory grips since they came out and they have been my favorite.
     

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    Default Re: Hand/finger numbness/pain anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew View Post
    You could also try putting your thumbs on top of the bars on fire roads/smooth trails, where you wonít touch the brakes. That helps me a lot.
    I use TOGS and they look a little weird but work nicely in that hand position.

    Products | TOGS
     

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    Default Re: Hand/finger numbness/pain anyone?

    Update... 6mi ride today, and my hands felt pretty good afterwards. I was definitely more conscious of my hand positioning, tried to keep them relaxed, etc. Gonna keep riding with the current setup... we'll see how things go. The SQlab bars are definitely still on my radar though.
     

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    Default Re: Hand/finger numbness/pain anyone?

    Mine gets worse every decade or so. Think some of it is just old age creeping in. Also check your neck and shoulders. If you hunch your shoulders it probably get worse as well if you ride sort of chin up and neck bent.
     

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    Default Re: Hand/finger numbness/pain anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew View Post
    You could also try putting your thumbs on top of the bars on fire roads/smooth trails, where you won’t touch the brakes. That helps me a lot.
    My hands are a bit of a wreck and I do that a lot. On the 2X and 3X I used the shifter pods as hand rest and could even adjust speed with pinkies on the lever. Pretty comfy with the Ergon grips but will try others and see how I feel about them. Oury used to be my go-to and still aren't bad.

    The Togs look interesting. Be nice to be a little more secure from a sudden root/rut in the thumb-over position.
     

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    Default Re: Hand/finger numbness/pain anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by xeladragon View Post
    Update... 6mi ride today, and my hands felt pretty good afterwards. I was definitely more conscious of my hand positioning, tried to keep them relaxed, etc. Gonna keep riding with the current setup... we'll see how things go. The SQlab bars are definitely still on my radar though.
    You don't by chance have some steerer tube length left to experiment with?

    - Garro.
    Steve Garro, Coconino Cycles.
    Frames & Bicycles built to measure and Custom wheels
    Hecho en Flagstaff, Arizona desde 2003
    www.coconinocycles.com
    www.coconinocycles.blogspot.com

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