Does anyone else have a problem with your toes and fingertips going numb? It seems that when I get 5 - 6 miles into a ride, I start battling with them going numb. It doesn't have anything to do with the weather.
Your toes could be... shoes too tight.. wrong position on pedal cleats (too far forward generally).. your hands, well.. you're putting too much pressure on them somehow. Either you're reaching forward too far, or the bars at a position that is not friendly for you. A set of ergonomic grips can help resolve that, as can getting more pressure off your hands (which is generally a fit type issue IME).
Like dysfuction said your hands are going numb from to much pressure / weight on them. I would say the major cause of this for most people is a lack of mobility at the hips and poor core strength and using the handle bars as an upper body support device. You need to be able to bend at the hips with a flat back and your shoulders down and back and support yourself without leaning on the bars. Look into yoga, core strength, James Wilson's programs @ www.bikejames.com. The problem with the ergonomic grips is they just mask what the real problem is and you set them up for one body positon they are off for another. Most people have to long of stems on their mtb. IMO. A shorter stem will put you in a better body position and give more control again IMO, but that's another subject all together.
Bike fit is a bit of a series of compromises to spread the stress points out so they all share some load and no one area gets too much irritation.
Could be related to saddle position and the saddle itself too.
The further back the saddle is positioned relative to the crankset, the less weight bias on your arms/hands. You should be able to move to an upright position without using your arms fairly easily.
Any chance you're using a hydration pack that is somewhat heavy and may put pressure onto your hands?
Get it too far back and you could get pain in your knees.
Also, just curious if are you getting soreness in the saddle area shortly before you get numbness in your toes and/or hands?
A quality pair of padded gloves may also help.
Another thing that could be an issue is how hard you are hanging on to the bars (death grip), grips size, angles (sweep) of your particular handlebar, handlebar height relative to saddle height or a combination of a several things.
Lots of riders get some numbness occasionally, but it shouldn't be a regular occurence.
After reading this, I now understand why my hands are hurting, I am mainly riding bike paths along with road riding and I'm putting all my weight on my hands, not because of core issues, but because I didn't know any better. Thanks for the advice. I'm also using running shoes to ride with, I thinnk I'll try and get some cycling shoes to see if that will help.
If it makes you feel better, a lot of us have gone through this and you will do so again as your body changes with riding and age.
Feet swell with miles especially if you have a soft sole and even moreso if you are flat-footed. At first I rode tight and eased the fit while I rode, now, I start a bit loose in the shoes and by 10 miles everything is snug, but not tight. (I have 'double joints' which means abnormal cartilage in tendons etc,.most noticeable in the hands and feet, so the effects were crippling.)
A new stem placing the bars closer and higher was a miracle. I have dropped it back down 50 mm as my trunk gained fitness and I could support my weight better with my back. Helps wind resistance a fair bit.
I found that padded handlebar tape did not help with the old stem but with the raised and closer one, and padded gloves, I think it helps by isolating vibrations coming up the fork.
If you are wearing a backpack/hydration pack, make sure you don't have the straps to tight around your shoulders.
Also, if your seat is too high, it can cause you to put too much pressure on your hands, and put pressure in your tender zones, possibly casuing toe numbness.
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