5

I find that on longer rides on my Trek FX3 that my palms (particularly my right palm) go numb from the pressure I am exerting on them. I appreciate that part of this is related to my posture and the need to strengthen my core muscles. Was wondering if there are any suggestions or recommendations on what I can do to make things a bit more comfortable?

I have tried a pair of gel padded gloves but this does not seem to make any difference.

Stock photo of this bike  from https://trek.scene7.com/is/image/TrekBicycleProducts/1327010_2017_A_1_FX_3?wid=1360&hei=1020&fmt=jpg,rgb&qlt=40,1&iccEmbed=0&cache=on,on

Update

Below is an image of grips: Stock photo of the grips

This weekend I paid more attention to when my palm went numb and it is definitely towards bottom outer half where the numbness starts. Basically where my palm rests on the "Satellite" section of the grip. Makes me wonder if I should try to adjust the angle which the Satellite sits. This will potentially stop my wrists from bending upwards and encourage more even distribution of weight on the palms.

Update 2

After adjusting the saddle height/position and tilting the grips downwards to about a 45 degree angle I have noticed a huge improvement and my hands do not go numb anymore.

  • Either the gloves or the grips need to be ribbed so that blood can flow even in those areas that are pressing on the bars. There used to be some gloves available that did this well, but I've not been able to find them of late. I once had modest success, though, by putting "stripes" of silicone caulk along the bar. Beyond that, just change your hand position frequently. – Daniel R Hicks Oct 1 '17 at 21:39
  • I had a similar problem, and after padded gloves and changing the grips didn't help much, changing to a different length stem fixed it. – armb Oct 2 '17 at 16:07
9

I really think this is a fit issue (e.g., changing the bar height and/or reach, how you hold the bar) rather than finding softer grips or padded gloves. Numbness should be taken seriously (as it can lead to permanent damage if left unattended). Padding tends to help deal with issues associated with high frequency vibrations, rather than too much pressure that can result from poor fit. With soft padding if there is too much pressure this just tends to force the padding further into soft tissues, which can exacerbate the numbness.

Ideally, with the proper fit your hands should only lightly touch the handle bars, which should make numbness rare. Excess pressure suggests compensation from incorrect fit.

  • 1
    The ergonomic grips that have been suggested elsewhere spread the pressure over a much larger area and move it towards you, so it's not just padding. Even with them over an hour or so on my hybrid really needs gloves -- less in the wet, when they also have to be the right gloves. Excess pressure can also come from a nervous grip, or poor riding conditions. But certainly numbness need to be taken seriously if it becomes recurrent – Chris H Oct 2 '17 at 21:00
  • 1
    @ChrisH yes ergonomic grips can help but you are still masking the underlying issue, which can re-emerge on longer rides or more volume. Also if fit issues are underlying the numbness other symptoms may soon emerge and all that has been accomplished is delaying the inevitable. – Rider_X Oct 2 '17 at 21:05
  • 1
    Agreed, i think posture and fit plays a very large part in this issue. – Nate W Oct 2 '17 at 21:27
  • 1
    Softer grips/padded gloves don't work, true. But that doesn't say that the RIGHT grips or gloves won't make a difference. Soft padding only spreads the weight out a little, and the pressure on your hands (even with "correct fit" of the bike) is generally greater than your peripheral blood pressure, meaning that blood flow is cut off. Grips or gloves with ribbing, however, make a significant difference. – Daniel R Hicks Oct 2 '17 at 22:11
  • 1
    You say straight wrists. That was my point – Chris H Oct 3 '17 at 18:00
5

You could try:

  • adding some bar ends, or ergonomic grips like Ergon GP2+, to allow you to change grip position

  • move your saddle further forward on its rails, to take some of the weight off your hands

  • 2
    Having worn out a set of GP2s I ended up replacing them with GP3s. The rubber is the same but the bar ends are bigger, with more choice of how you hold them. The price is very similar. These grips made a massive difference to me on a similar bike to the OP. – Chris H Oct 2 '17 at 7:53
  • I would not recommend moving the saddle to adjust distance between saddle and bars. The saddle position should be set relative to the bottom bracket to optimize how the rider's legs work with the cranks. The bars should be raising or moved back instead (although on modern bikes this often means replacing the stem). – Argenti Apparatus Oct 2 '17 at 21:28
2

You have flat bars, so your hand positions are limited. Simply moving your hands a bit now and again will help. Try rotating at the wrists a little, so pressure moves from your thumb ball to the outside and vise versa.

Decreasing the overall pressure on your hands is going to help. Try pressing a bit harder on the pedals to take some weight off your hands. Or raise the bars so its not so far away.

If the road is quiet and smooth you can move your hands away from the brake levers too, for some relief. Try cupping the very end of the bars as though you were going to crush them into the stem like a can.

You can also hold the bars right on top of the brake lever mounts (ie 50mm inboard from the normal position) or even further in, if there's some exposed bar.

Sometimes I put one hand behind my back for 30 seconds - this also gives the back a chance to relax.

If you're able, riding hands-free for a short distance can give relief, even if the hands are still hovering over the bars.

More expensive changes could include barends or barmids, or aerobars (not completely silly)

You can also thicken your grips with extra layers, but this only goes so far before its cumbersome.

Try more gloves, and don't assume that more expensive are better. The best gloves I've had were $4 chinese cheapies, and they outlast spendy $100 gloves.

  • 1
    One handed riding for a minute or so is good, especially if you start doing that before you feel the need. – Chris H Oct 2 '17 at 7:55
1

I've had the same problem and the solution is to try to keep the forearm, wrist and top of hand in line. Bending the wrist causes the numbness for me. It is also helpful to keep your elbows slightly bent.

  • 1
    Good point. That is how the ergonomic grips work, by giving a winglike surface behind the grips to support your palm and therefore hold your wrists up a bit. – Criggie Oct 2 '17 at 23:36
  • @Criggie I found the tip somewhere on the internet and it helped tremendously. Also good to keep the elbows slightly bent. – Eric Shain Oct 2 '17 at 23:57

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.