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I ride a flat bar hybrid, aluminium frame.  I have started getting pain in my ring fingers (the main joints thereof).  I am aware that I tend to ride with quite a lot of my weight on the handlebars - is that the likely cause?  Or should I just get better padded gloves? Suggestions/comments, please.

15 comments

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peted76 [1105 posts] 2 years ago
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Weight distribution on a road bike as a rule should be 'about' 60/40 saddle/bars. (You can measure this by propping one wheel on a yellow pages and the other on a normal bathroom scale - if you can be bothered.)

I used to get hand pain, they went numb after a while. I was cutting off the circulation to my ulnar vein in my hand. Brought gloves with a padded gel area between thumb and forefinger and changed my saddle/position. Worked for me. 

Joint pain could be vibrations from the road, try looking at your bar tape, add another layer, or get thicker bar tape (I think 3.5mm is about the maximum - I run 2.5mm thick tape). 

You can also get gel inserts which sit underneath your bar tape to dampen vibrations and soften thngs up a bit.

 

 

 

 

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pablo [205 posts] 2 years ago
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I think this is a personal thing to each individual.  If I'm tense I tend to shift my weight forward which becomes uncomfortable and I have to force myself to relax and it normally passes.  As far as gloves are concerned thicker gel type gloves make my hands go numb so my only options is thin.  

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brooksby [3301 posts] 2 years ago
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OK, thanks for these comments. Going to the doctor about it next week, and I think I'll pick the brains in my LBS.

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Eric D [112 posts] 2 years ago
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peted76 wrote:

Weight distribution on a road bike as a rule should be 'about' 60/40 saddle/bars.

100% on the front pedal !)

Drop bars let you change positions to relieve pressure points regularly.
Do people still fit bar-end extensions to flat bars?

If you have moulded grips, rather than bar-tape, check they haven't rotated.
You may benefit from rotating the bar, or changing the brake-lever position ?
Or you can change the degree of wrist-bend.

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Jem PT [171 posts] 2 years ago
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I'm right handed and often numbness in my left hand after about 30-odd miles on my road bike. I think it might be down to my left hand changing gear less, and being slightly weaker than my dominant hand? I've tried looser glooves (thinking that tight gloves might be restricting the blood flow?) which seems to help. But really just shaking and flexing my hand to get the blood flowing better seems the best remedy.

Of course the worst time to realise your left hand is numb is when you can't feel the back brake lever on a steep descent!

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Carton [396 posts] 2 years ago
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Eric D wrote:

Do people still fit bar-end extensions to flat bars?

If you have moulded grips, rather than bar-tape, check they haven't rotated.
You may benefit from rotating the bar, or changing the brake-lever position ?
Or you can change the degree of wrist-bend.

I've had good results using Spec Overendz on long flat bar rides. The extra hand positions are really helpful as time wears on. They're a bit on the small side, though.

Fiddling with the wrist angle is also a good idea.

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kil0ran [924 posts] 2 years ago
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For flat bars I ended up getting bar ends to offer another position. There's also the option of fitting trekking bars which will get you more positions whilst still using your flat bar shifters and brakes. Quite a rare site on UK roads and they look weird but are a good cheap option (cheaper than a set of padded gloves in some cases)

Even with the bar ends and good padded gloves I was still getting numbness after ten miles or so so I ended up with a drop bar bike which has pretty much solved it - 5 hand positions.

On a flat bar I also tended to grip harder than I do on a drop - this will pick up road vibration which is a major cause of numbness. Also make sure you're not riding with your elbows locked out - even on a fat-tyred flat bar you'll lose the suspension effect offered by your elbows and generate numbness that way.

Be careful with padded gloves - too much padding and you'll end up with numb hands from them restricting blood flow. 

 

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Edgeley [538 posts] 2 years ago
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You can tell if gloves are causing numbness by removing them, and seeing if it makes a difference.   I have been getting right hand numbness whilst wearing gloves, but not without. 

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brooksby [3301 posts] 2 years ago
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Just to update on this, I sold a kidney* and bought some Specialised body geometry gel gloves and Ergon grips/bar-ends (the big GP4 ones).   I've also made a concentrated effort not to grip the grips so hard.  I've had blood work done for rheumatism (clear) and waiting for the results on the arthritis screen, but it looks as if its down to ergonomics rather than illness (which is reassuring, I guess).

*(disclaimer: I didn't really sell a kidney)

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Jimnm [296 posts] 2 years ago
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Aluminium framed bikes for me are too rigid, I have a Claude Butler ally road bike which I never ride. The ride is too harsh, I feel every bump through the bars. I bought a Genesis Equilibrium 10 and the ride difference is just amazing. It's a real comfy ride and very forgiving compared to the Claude Butler. I am a steelie fan. I hope you get sorted with the pain and become pain free. Good luck. 

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fukawitribe [2448 posts] 2 years ago
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Jimnm wrote:

Aluminium framed bikes for me are too rigid, I have a Claude Butler ally road bike which I never ride. The ride is too harsh, I feel every bump through the bars. I bought a Genesis Equilibrium 10 and the ride difference is just amazing. It's a real comfy ride and very forgiving compared to the Claude Butler. I am a steelie fan. I hope you get sorted with the pain and become pain free. Good luck. 

To a very large degree the 'harshness' or otherwise of a metal frame is down to the structure, and the size and shape of the tubing - not the material per se. Similar can be said of composites but more consideration had to be made for the actual lay up and local material properties.

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ficklewhippet [94 posts] 2 years ago
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The ride quality of the CB is down to the frame design and economy of tube form and construction. Good Ali frames vs cheap are like night and day.

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Jimnm [296 posts] 2 years ago
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fukawitribe wrote:
Jimnm wrote:

Aluminium framed bikes for me are too rigid, I have a Claude Butler ally road bike which I never ride. The ride is too harsh, I feel every bump through the bars. I bought a Genesis Equilibrium 10 and the ride difference is just amazing. It's a real comfy ride and very forgiving compared to the Claude Butler. I am a steelie fan. I hope you get sorted with the pain and become pain free. Good luck. 

To a very large degree the 'harshness' or otherwise of a metal frame is down to the structure, and the size and shape of the tubing - not the material per se. Similar can be said of composites but more consideration had to be made for the actual lay up and local material properties.

Thanks for enlightening me, I'm not that clued upon geometry etc just the experience of owning an ally bike and a steelie. You're a very knowlegeable chap. Thanks again. 

 

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fukawitribe [2448 posts] 2 years ago
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Jimnm wrote:
fukawitribe wrote:
Jimnm wrote:

Aluminium framed bikes for me are too rigid, I have a Claude Butler ally road bike which I never ride. The ride is too harsh, I feel every bump through the bars. I bought a Genesis Equilibrium 10 and the ride difference is just amazing. It's a real comfy ride and very forgiving compared to the Claude Butler. I am a steelie fan. I hope you get sorted with the pain and become pain free. Good luck. 

To a very large degree the 'harshness' or otherwise of a metal frame is down to the structure, and the size and shape of the tubing - not the material per se. Similar can be said of composites but more consideration had to be made for the actual lay up and local material properties.

Thanks for enlightening me, I'm not that clued upon geometry etc just the experience of owning an ally bike and a steelie. You're a very knowlegeable chap. Thanks again. 

 

Dunno about that  1 but i've suffered some shite frames and have a science/engineering background so it's interesting to study stuff and try and understand what helps makes things good or crap. Here is a proper knowledgeable chap talking about frames (something he knows more than a little about)

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjYNIaI26EQ

 

(Good series that by BR IMO, worth a gander at the others)

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Jimnm [296 posts] 2 years ago
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fukawitribe wrote:
Jimnm wrote:
fukawitribe wrote:
Jimnm wrote:

Aluminium framed bikes for me are too rigid, I have a Claude Butler ally road bike which I never ride. The ride is too harsh, I feel every bump through the bars. I bought a Genesis Equilibrium 10 and the ride difference is just amazing. It's a real comfy ride and very forgiving compared to the Claude Butler. I am a steelie fan. I hope you get sorted with the pain and become pain free. Good luck. 

To a very large degree the 'harshness' or otherwise of a metal frame is down to the structure, and the size and shape of the tubing - not the material per se. Similar can be said of composites but more consideration had to be made for the actual lay up and local material properties.

Thanks for enlightening me, I'm not that clued upon geometry etc just the experience of owning an ally bike and a steelie. You're a very knowlegeable chap. Thanks again. 

 

Dunno about that  1 but i've suffered some shite frames and have a science/engineering background so it's interesting to study stuff and try and understand what helps makes things good or crap. Here is a proper knowledgeable chap talking about frames (something he knows more than a little about)

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjYNIaI26EQ

 

(Good series that by BR IMO, worth a gander at the others)

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=JjYNIaI26EQ this is a good video explanation about frames made of the three main materials used in the construction of bikes. IMO