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The Unaffiliated
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been riding very rough terrain lately. Rock gardens and baby heads for miles.

Anyway, my hands have been achy, sometimes for a couple days after long rides. They haven't been numb or falling asleep, but my joints hurt. Especially the knuckles where my pinkies and ring fingers attach to my hand (between the metacarpals and proximal phalanges). It feels like what I imagine arthritis feels like.

I've been working hard to not grip my bars too tight, but I having to keep my weight back and the constant jarring makes it important to have a decently tight grip.

I do have big/long hands, but my grips are fairly thick and have decent cushion.

Anybody dealt with this and have a fix?
 

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The Unaffiliated
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
nitropiro said:
http://reviews.mtbr.com/blog/simple-pleasures-gnar-bar/

these might help, but split clamp users beware,
Whoa. I would love to demo those. Even without hand pain the claimed benefits would be nice.

I'll remember those and swing through Bend when I am in Oregon this summer. I wonder if they will produce other widths and rises.
 

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Any neck stiffness or pain? I have issues with my neck sometimes and when I do it causes my hands to ache. The pinky and ring fingers are tied into the ulnar nerve and any impingement of the nerves up-stream could definitley be the root-cause of your issues. Just a different perspective, but possibly could be causing your troubles.
 

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I found that my back and hand hurt less after I started to use an adjustable seat post with a remote lever (I use AMP, happy with it so far). Proper extension on climbs, and less need to slide back and hang onto handlebars on descends.
 

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I dig trails!
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Try slowing down the rebound in the fork.

I used to have a port orifice rebound damped fork so I had to run it pretty fast and got achy finger joints on occasion, with the 2010 shim damped rebound Lyric I can run the rebound slower, and have not had the achy joints.

Brake lever position can contribute as well. Fingers off the grip seemed to be a vibration "end point"

P
 

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I'm surprised that no one has mentioned trying a carbon handle bar. These bars provide better damping over Alu bars and can be more comfortable overall. I've got a pair of FSA Gravity DH carbon bars (710mm) and they are awesome. They can be cut too if the width is too much for you.

Padded gloves like the Endura Full Montys can really help out too.
 

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Proper suspension setup will make a huge difference, so try adjusting your suspension to be softer (less pressure in air forks/shocks, less compression damping, might also have to play with fore/aft distribution, softening the shock to take pressure off the front wheel).

I have found Easton handlebars to have excellent vibration damping, which makes a significant difference in hand fatigue. I prefer the aluminum Havoc bar, but the Monkeylite XC or DH in carbon offers even more damping.

For large hands, the ODI Rogue or Oury lock-on grips are excellent. I run the Rogue BMX extra-wide version.

Lastly, pain in the pinky and ring fingers usually comes from squeezing too much with them, because your index finger is on the brake lever. Try to keep all your fingers on the grip as often as possible (if you MUST keep a finger on the brake lever, just do it for one hand, and switch often). This makes a huge difference, as you don't have to squeeze nearly as hard and you spread the load over all your fingers.
 

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chameleoneel said:
I think Ergon grip would be a good option even without numbness problems. I love mine.
I ran the Ergons for a week or so, hated them. Always felt like I couldn't get my hand around them when the trail got rough. Some shops will have a demo pair so you can try them out, it's probably worth calling around before you throw down on the hefty price tag.

I'm running lock on Ourys and I have larger hands. It's a good combo because they seem to have a nice soft feel to them.
 

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zebrahum said:
I ran the Ergons for a week or so, hated them. Always felt like I couldn't get my hand around them when the trail got rough.
Well, I don't think the point of the Ergons is to be able to "get around them". Rather, your hand mostly lays on top and presses into/against them and the support is spread out over the extra surface area and the grip curves down and away to the outer edge to alleviate pinching on the outer edge of your hand. You've really got to play with the angle of the "wing".

Once I dialed in the positioning of the wing, I can't go back to normal grips.
 

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I just skimmed through the posts so if i missed something sorry but i am suggesting to change your grips. I think that your grips are soft and making it harder to hold on to and or a combanation of both your gloves and grips could to it too.
 

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chameleoneel said:
Well, I don't think the point of the Ergons is to be able to "get around them". Rather, your hand mostly lays on top and presses into/against them and the support is spread out over the extra surface area and the grip curves down and away to the outer edge to alleviate pinching on the outer edge of your hand. You've really got to play with the angle of the "wing".

Once I dialed in the positioning of the wing, I can't go back to normal grips.
I agree, the point is to lay on them, I was just trying to say that without a full wrap of my hands around the grip that I didn't feel very secure through rock gardens and technical sections. I know they're really well liked by some people, I just wouldn't have wanted to pay $40 or $90 to end up hating them because I couldn't try them first.
 

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If you can't wrap....or having a hard time wrapping your hands around our grips, chances are you are running too large of a grip. For all mountain biking applications I always push people towards the small size....regardless of hand size. This would be for XC, DH, and/or FR.

Jeff K
Ergon USA
 

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thrasher_s said:
It feels like what I imagine arthritis feels like.?
I get this same problem with my hands. The best I can describe it is swinging a baseball bat at a concrete wall and feeling the bat reverbate in your hands into your knuckles. Just like the knuckles hurt in a jingly way.

It was awful in years past especially on rocks but I have lessened it by swapping to different components.

Oury Grips- nice big and cushy helped in comfort, grip and eased the cramping.

Newer fork- swapping to a higher travel air fork reduced the impact on my hands big time.

Higher volume 2.4 tires- reduced impact feedback from harder surfaces.

Last year I only had one or two rides which I was aching as you described mostly my most aggressive rides on hardpack.

This winter I have further changed the bike.

Installed a wider Monkeylite Carbon bar- I'm hoping this will reduce the reverb and vibration while the wider bar will allow me to further relax slacken my grip on the bars.

Installed a shorter stem- I'm hoping this will change my riding position to a more upright weight over the midsection bias and reduce some of the weight I used to carry on my hands.
 
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