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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello. I've been wrestling with numb hands for a while. Happens on my motorcycle, and been happening on my mountain bike. I've just started riding trails again after many years off, and now it's to the point where I will have to give up riding anything bumpy since I can't feel/hold onto the damn bar. Very frustrating.
When I ride my city bike I can move my hands around enough and keep a very loose grip so that it doesn't happen, but as soon as I give a full hand grip for some bumps, the numbness starts kicking in after about a minute. It will disappear after about 30 seconds of release. No pins and needles.

On the mountain bike, during the slow technical sections I'm fine, but when the speed picks up over 20kph on the rocks and roots, (A LOT here), necessitating a good grip, I have to slow down after about 1-2 minutes.

I've tried everything. Several different pairs of gloves and grips, and I've noticed that it's the best with NO gloves at all (but not gone). Padded gloves makes it much worse. I try to keep the lightest grip possible given the conditions.

Anyone have any suggestions or specific products? At my wits end here.

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, I saw after the fact that there were many already, and some other suggestions for me to read through..

My bars just happen to be even with my seat height, I don't think I'm bent over too far, but I'll try nosing the seat up a little bit.
 

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Hello. I've been wrestling with numb hands for a while. Happens on my motorcycle, and been happening on my mountain bike. I've just started riding trails again after many years off, and now it's to the point where I will have to give up riding anything bumpy since I can't feel/hold onto the damn bar. Very frustrating.
When I ride my city bike I can move my hands around enough and keep a very loose grip so that it doesn't happen, but as soon as I give a full hand grip for some bumps, the numbness starts kicking in after about a minute. It will disappear after about 30 seconds of release. No pins and needles.

On the mountain bike, during the slow technical sections I'm fine, but when the speed picks up over 20kph on the rocks and roots, (A LOT here), necessitating a good grip, I have to slow down after about 1-2 minutes.

I've tried everything. Several different pairs of gloves and grips, and I've noticed that it's the best with NO gloves at all (but not gone). Padded gloves makes it much worse. I try to keep the lightest grip possible given the conditions.

Anyone have any suggestions or specific products? At my wits end here.

Thanks.
You may be like me...carpal tunnel. Finally got myself checked and it was confirmed, both wrists. My motorcycle makes my hands go numb almost immediately. My MTB it happens when I don't move around a lot, like on flat single-track. I will be waiting for winter before I get my surgery, don't want to miss the summer riding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Anyone here had any experience with "Qwi" gloves? Apparently specifically designed for numbness. Will probably end up running me about 75 bucks here in Canada to get them however. What I might try is wrapping my grips with thin cut handlebar tape, to make two built up rings around the grips a little under palm width apart.
 

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If your seat is even with your bars you're definitely putting weight in your hands. How old is your bike? New geo these days make me feel like way more weight is on my legs than I used to have on my hands


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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
38 special eh? I wouldn't get it if I wasn't old and sad. ;)

Bike is a 2014 RM 990.
I only have one 5mm ring I can move under the stem. Worth a shot, but I don't feel like the weight on my hands is excessive. I can float enough. Seems to be related to squeezing.

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Guessing you are gripping too tight on descents due to improper setup or form......if you don't have numbness or pain on regular flat rides your setup is probably ok, but if you are getting it on rough steep terrain it is likely that you aren't as loose on the grip as you think which is typically because of improper weight distribution / form or riding stuff that causes you to death grip unconsciously....if you can relax and stay where it feels like the grip is actually pushing up on your hands at times (proper weighting) in the gnar then you are indeed loose and can rip it....it might be a structural issue for a doctor to figure out.....but I'd bet its from not riding loose and getting a death grip going in the rough stuff.....

Just guessing on my part of course....
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hey, thing is it IS the flats. Problem is the long, fast, rough rock and root tightly weaved sections of singletrack. Enough to blur your vision and guard the front wheel front from snapping sideways hard. Climbs and descents are fine. Sortof... since I'm an out of shape wus.

It could be I'm not as loose as I'd like, but been riding for a lot of years and I'd like to think I know the flow. Maybe not.

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Ok, interesting...the fast rough flats.

Why does the front wheel want to snap hard sideways? From tight corners, massive gnar, roots, rocks? Or from too much weight on it, death grip, concern/geeling it will lose traction, etc?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It might be because it's new terrain to me. It's just simply fricken rough. 3-6" rock shards every foot, with a root in there too. Every foot. It's called the South March Highlands, near Ottawa. Slower rock gardens are fine but I really might be tightening up too much at speed because I'm out of practice. It's non stop tight line picking on the singletrack.

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I think you are identifying the issues:

1. Feels like front tire is going to snap hard sideways
2. New terrain that you aren't familiar with
3. Rough terrain that you aren't used to

I would suggest riding it at a slower pace with a focus on relaxing....your feeling of snapping sideways with the wheel suggests you are not comfortable or relaxed mentally...which will tighten up hands on grips.

Riding new or rougher terrain requires even more relaxation. Ride with someone leading and helping with good line choices or discover those yourself prior to letting loose .....also, it may be something to ease into. It never hurts to be honest with yourself and your skillset and taking a step back sometimes lets us evaluate / progress at the right speed before going all out and over our head....
 

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-Get your tire pressure dialed. Oddly if the pressure is low enough i don't trust the front end and will tense up.
-Experiment with bar roll. Mine are much more rolled forward than typical; pinkies go to sleep otherwise
-remember to only touch the brakes for slowing down, not maintaining speed. holding those fingers tight is fatiguing.
-remember to carry your weight with your feet. Your upper body should float free over the bike.
-Fork tune. $$$ forks handle high speeds better, but a well tuned fork with fresh bath oil is MUCH more effective
-glove pads are the enemy. Ergon GAs are alright if you want goofy ergo crap.
-brake bite point/free stroke/bite can make a huge difference in brake power and fatigue. Larger rotors can help, as can tuning reach/stroke.
 

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EAT MORE GRIME
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.
..
...
this used to happen to me

and I found a way to fix it in-ride

and sometimes it fixes it for the whole ride....
sometimes I do this three times on one ride....

[I don't need to do it anymore nowadays]


FIX while riding

take one hand and firmly grasp the other forearm and squeeze the living crap out of it and hold it for 10 seconds (while riding of course when it's safe to do so)

let go

do the other arm

maybe do this twice

should feel the 'forearm hand' flush and numbness melt away immediately after letting go of forearm
 

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Undoing the straps on your gloves helps me from time to time. I hardly ever velcro them at all anymore. Should just cut them off.
 

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I just put new saddles and wider bars on our tandem MTB. I eyeballed the installation, then my daughter and I went for a ride to test it out. OUCH-O-RAMA!

I had both saddles just slightly nose-down and we BOTH had numb hands in about 20 minutes.
We have never had numb hands.

It's a 1997 tandem so it has old geo. The top tube is not real long and the captains bars are below the saddle, even with moderate rise bars and a moderate rise stem. Once I had the saddle properly leveled, I adopted a more natural, relaxed position - even though my hands were still more weighted than on my single. I was also riding with my elbows bent, and not using an undue amount of core to sit up. We were out for nearly 3 hours on easy paths, but with stops, and we were both pretty comfortable. Just saying that a small adjustment made a significant difference.

Maybe something like that will help you, unless you have some genuine carpal tunnel problems.
Good luck!

-F
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Bike is a new Rocky Vertex RSL 990 29er. Sid rl something shocks. Yeah, now I'm one of the guys I used to make fun of as a young minimum wage racer. That guy with a pony and can't ride it.
Thanks for the suggestions everyone. Funny you mentioned the seat Fleas, I realized I'm about 50 lbs heavier than when I last rode and raced as a teen 20 years ago. Playing around today, I realized I could NOT float at all above the bars of either of my bikes without sliding forward and off the seat. Seats were approx level, which is how I was used to having it. I was holding myself from sliding forward with my hands. Brought nose up about 5 degrees and it helped a lot. Will be focusing now on core and losing weight. Man, getting old blows.

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