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Recently did a short endurance race - 5.5 hrs all on single track. Ride a hardtail 29er with hydraulic discs and REBA. For several days after the race, my fingers twitched involuntarily, my hands hurt, and I had almost no hand strength. Was wondering if anyone else had experienced this before and knows a cause/cure?
 

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Mr. Papagiorgio said:
Recently did a short endurance race - 5.5 hrs all on single track. Ride a hardtail 29er with hydraulic discs and REBA. For several days after the race, my fingers twitched involuntarily, my hands hurt, and I had almost no hand strength. Was wondering if anyone else had experienced this before and knows a cause/cure?
That's an unusual amount of pain for a 5.5 hour race. Is this way out of what you've done in recent history?

Narrow bars can cause hand/forearm issues. Of course, Ergons are great too, designed for just this reason.

Did you have that Reba set up plush or stiff? That can make a big difference. There are some great reba threads on the suspension fork forum.
 

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Mr. Papagiorgio said:
Recently did a short endurance race - 5.5 hrs all on single track. Ride a hardtail 29er with hydraulic discs and REBA. For several days after the race, my fingers twitched involuntarily, my hands hurt, and I had almost no hand strength. Was wondering if anyone else had experienced this before and knows a cause/cure?
I agree that does seem like a short race for those kinds of issues. You must have really been bashing your hands hard!

Did you have lack of strength in your entire hand, or only for specific things. For example, could you do a pull-up OK, but have trouble clipping your finger nails? (Pulling vs. pinching) Any tingliness? If so, in which fingers?

I experienced some bad hand issues a couple years ago - no strength in thumb / forefinger "pinch", some tingles in pinky and ring finger. They persisted for upwards of 3 months, and were eventually diagnosed as ulnar nerve damage. The ulnar nerve runs through the palm of your hand, and is the motor-control nerve for thumb/index/middle finger and the sensory nerve for ring/pinky finger.

Finally, Ergons aren't the cure-all, end-all, though they may help you. They actually exacerbated my condition - distributing the pressure felt great initially, but after a short time, I discovered that it was distributing the pressure even more on my Ulnar nerve area. I've recently put them back on to experiment with more positions, so we'll see...
 

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Another option to the Ergon's is to bar tape over your existing grips. Adds extra padding you can also adjust the thickness to the sixe of your hands. I used to get hand cramps all the time because standard grips were to small of a diameter for the size of my hands. No issues since I've started taping them.

You can also pick what ever colour you like. Oh did I mention that this also costs about 1/5 th the price of Ergons
 

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Mr P... A couple of things... First and Foremost: Ergon Grips Rock and are worth their weight in Gold for this type of stuff... Second... Hand Pain comes from a number of things... One could be height of Saddle or Bars in comparison causing you to lean too far over and put too much weight on the bars causing more pressure / irritation... Second... All heights may be fine but if your seat is tilted forward even in the slightest amount that could cause more pressure as well... Some times to look at a saddle it may seem level and it may not be... Try tilting it back a bit and see how it feels... And what the hell, while I'm at it... The seat could be too far back too which would cause you to reach for the bars causing the same thing... Beware of those dissing Ergons like they are some type of fad... They are only those who are close minded and haven't used them in the first place... If Trials, and Stunts are your deal I wouldn't recommend Ergons... Endurance, it's a no brainer... Peace Brotha and good luck...
 

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Mr. Papagiorgio said:
Recently did a short endurance race - 5.5 hrs all on single track. Ride a hardtail 29er with hydraulic discs and REBA. For several days after the race, my fingers twitched involuntarily, my hands hurt, and I had almost no hand strength. Was wondering if anyone else had experienced this before and knows a cause/cure?
Another ergon grip fan here. I also use bar ends so I can change hand positions whenever possible.
 

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How much higher is your seat than your handlebars? Agree with everyone else, but only one or two posts about seat height vs handlebar height, and I want to emphasize that. Ergon will only help so much if you are riding in the 'old XC race-style' where handlebars are 3" lower than seat. Even 'even' is considered too low for many people these days.
 

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Jeff K. - what do you ride for the seat hieght vs handlebar height in endurance races, and when training (mtn bike enduro training)? Do you know what Dave W rides at as well (same team, right)? I know the trends, but it would be interesting to know what you guys do at your level. I ask because I know for speed the 'handlebars three lower than seat' is the *fastest*, but not necessarily something actual people can actually do for many hrs.
 

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LightMiner said:
Jeff K. - what do you ride for the seat hieght vs handlebar height in endurance races, and when training (mtn bike enduro training)? Do you know what Dave W rides at as well (same team, right)? I know the trends, but it would be interesting to know what you guys do at your level. I ask because I know for speed the 'handlebars three lower than seat' is the *fastest*, but not necessarily something actual people can actually do for many hrs.
I would say that my saddle height to h'bar height is pretty standard. I tend to run my set up a bit more upright for comfort....but that is personal. Wiens tends to be the same way.

My bikes are fitted to me via the Wobblenaught fit. This sets the set height and stem length. H'bar height is purely personal.

Here is a visual...
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As others have mentioned 'weight' is key.

I too love my Ergon's!! But I solved this same problem 'before' I discovered Ergon grips by adjusting my 'fit' to get a more upright position and hence much of the constant weight off my hands and forearms. I am no fit expert but I think some 'obvious' things to look for is the amount of 'bend' at your elbows and 'lean' in your back. Check out the pictures Jeff K. posted, look at the 'balanced' position over the pedals, the modest amount of 'lean' in the back and the relaxed 'bend' in the elbows. I am guessing here but I bet he can 'lift' his hands off his grips with out 'falling' forward, ie very little weight on the forarms and hands. Wish I looked this good on my bike.

So fit first!
And 100% Ergon's second imo

oh and PS, I am using regular grips while I wait for a new pair of Ergon's and hate the regular grips, I can see I will never go back to a regular style grip

pss: of course all comments assume you do not have some particular 'individual' physical problem or issue
 

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KERKOVEJ said:
I would say that my saddle height to h'bar height is pretty standard. I tend to run my set up a bit more upright for comfort....but that is personal. Wiens tends to be the same way.
Thanks for the info!

For those of us making the transition between having seats higher than handlebars, let me ask a technique question. I rented a bike with handlebars 2" above seat doing extensive fitting with the shop guy, as I do very long rides he wanted me to try this, and overall it was fine, but I got to some tough hills that are in the 28 - 35 degree area. Usually with my old bike with very very low handlebars I drop my elbows as much as I can and pull with my arms as well as push with the legs sometimes standing sometimes not (standing can unweight rear wheel) to generate enough power to get up such steep climbs. And this is, of course, at the edge of what can be done with traction - this is about as steep as non Hans Rey folks can bike (and he hops more than pedals - almost a different sport).

Okay - so now I'm in the upright position and I pull on the handlebar and the front wheel comes up. I didn't successfully figure out how to do those sections and had to walk them. I came close by literally putting my nose on the headset - that worked pretty well, but still, even in that position, pulling on the handlebars pulled the front tire up.

Do you just have stronger legs and don't generally pull on the handlebars with great force, or is there a technique I'm not familiar with, or how overall would you comment on this? Do you put your nose in your headset? Otherwise I'm very happy with the 1 - 2.5" higher handlebars position and am about to get a bike set up in this way - but climbing extremely steep sections has me confused.

(Some may not believe the angle I'm talking about but I brought a compass with clinometer and measured. If anyone wants to see the trail, its bottom half of Timberview in Corte de Madera. The sections that are that steep are about 100 - 300 feet long each and there are 5 or 8 or so of them separated by short (50 feet?) flat sections. I could clear all the sections in one go on my old bike (vintage Zaskar with low handlebars) when in my best shape.)
 
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