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  1. #1
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    what could be causing my right hand to go numb during a ride?

    What could be causing my right hand to go numb during a ride?
    Could it be road vibration, or is the circulation being cut off some where?

  2. #2
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    Likely ulnar neuropathy. Your ulnar nerve is getting abused (stretched, bent, and vibrated) due to twisting and bending of your wrist and elbow in your riding position, and it gets inflamed. I'd suggest getting a bike fitting, preferably by a sports medicine or physical therapist who does bike fitting. Small tweaks in your handlebar and reach setup can help a lot. Stretching the nerves can help too.

    But I'm not a medical doctor, so my diagnosis is worth what you paid for it.

  3. #3
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    As mentioned ulnar neuropathy; are you wearing gloves? Gloves will absorb the road vibration and probably eliminate the pain.
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  4. #4
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    are you overweight? Stretched out quite a way? If not stretched out too far , try moving your seat back a little, so more weight is on your backside vs your hands.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadbike_moron
    What could be causing my right hand to go numb during a ride?
    Could it be road vibration, or is the circulation being cut off some where?
    Just your right hand going numb seems a little odd, but our bodies aren't perfect nor are our riding styles, so unknowingly you may shift your weight to the right slightly.

    Numbness/ tingling is normally due to pressure, and there could be a number of contributing factors. Fit issues are a common cause, specifically incorrect f/r weight distribution, with excessive weight borne by the hands.

    Two fit issues you can check are to make sure the saddle is (at least) level. If it is level, consider tilting the tip up slightly (a couple of mm's will do). Next thing to check for is KOPS (knee over pedal spindle). IME it's best to be slightly behind (5mm's will usually suffice). If you're not comfortable checking or making these adjustments, ask your LBS to do so.

    Some other things to be aware of:
    - Keep a relatively loose grip on the bars. Many riders keep an excessively tight grip, and this can lead to numbness.

    - Keep the upper body relaxed, and arms slightly bent.

    - Consider good quality gloves and bar tape. Both can help quell road harshness/ vibrations which, over a period of time can lead to numbness.

    - Change hand position frequently, alternating between tops, hoods and drops.

    You don't give a lot of background info such as your cycling experience, if you've been fitted or recently made a change to your bike set up, so be aware that these and other factors can influence what corrective measure(s) may be required.

  6. #6
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    In addition to the other fit related suggestions above, it may be a difference in the length of your arms. I know, from having mine measured during a fitting, that my left arm is shorter than my right, so I position my left hood is higher on the bar to compensate and balance the pressure I put on my hands. This is also why I always set up my own bikes so that I can make this adjustment.

  7. #7
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    My left hand would go numb. Turns out I was sitting crooked on the saddle and putting more weight on just one hand. I spent a fair bit of time acclimating to sitting straight. Problem is now gone.

  8. #8
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    Try raising your handlebars a bit, getting gloves with less padding and less padded tape.

    You'll be surprised how much that can help.

    Heavily padded gloves+thick tape is just as bad as a gel saddle- sure, it's comfortable at first, but after 30 miles or so it's causing problems.

  9. #9
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    Excessive pressure on the hands can cause pain, but not usually numbness.
    The Ulnar nerve can get pressed when you grip the brake hoods and outside of your wrist puts pressure on the Ulnar Nerve from resting on the bars.
    I've had this happen, and find that frequent changes in hand positions will help.

    john
    John Lapoint / San Diego
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  10. #10
    Wave, dammit!
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    If you haven't yet, take a close look at your brake hoods/levers as well. A while back, I just happened to notice that my right-side hood was canted outward much more than the left side. I don't know how long it had been that way. Little adjustments like that might also be a cause of problems on one hand only.
    When a cyclist in your area is injured or killed by a motorist, make an extra effort the next day to go for a ride. It doesn't have to be an organized ride, or even a long ride. Hell, ride a 15 minute loop around your neighborhood if you want.

    Just be seen riding your bike.

    Do it to make people aware we're out there. Do it to honor a fellow traveler. Do it because you're lucky enough to still be able to.

  11. #11
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    try this....

    Be sure that you're not riding for too long with your hand stuck in one spot. Move it around a little. As others mentioned, too much weight on you hands can cause problems. Moving the saddle further back can help.

    Spinal problems can also cause hand and elbow issues. I have some pain in my left elbow and tingling in several of the fingers. It's due to a spinal problem, and has nothing to do with my bike fit which is unchanged in several years. I get the same tingling when sleeping. I wake up with my elbow hurting and fingers tingling. I've been to an orthopedic surgeon who pushed on the nerves around my elbow and the carpal tunnel in an effort to duplicate the tingling. Nothing he did made my fingers tingle, so he said it's spinal. I've had other spinal issues with my right arm and right index finger, years ago. The problem is most likely arthritis related, but herniated discs can cause the same problem.

  12. #12
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    If the numbness persists AFTER you stop riding, you should see a neurologist for an EMG test. You probably have some nerve damage. I did.

    I got bilateral surgery to relieve carpal tunnel and Gyon's canal nerves. It worked wonders.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tommy Walker
    As mentioned ulnar neuropathy; are you wearing gloves? Gloves will absorb the road vibration and probably eliminate the pain.
    Yes, but without padding

    Quote Originally Posted by Bridgey
    are you overweight? Stretched out quite a way? If not stretched out too far , try moving your seat back a little, so more weight is on your backside vs your hands.
    Nah...not over weight and not stretched out. Bike has been fitted and verified by 3 independent fitters - it's dialed in.


    Quote Originally Posted by Opus51569
    If you haven't yet, take a close look at your brake hoods/levers as well. A while back, I just happened to notice that my right-side hood was canted outward much more than the left side. I don't know how long it had been that way. Little adjustments like that might also be a cause of problems on one hand only.
    Thanks! My left hood is sloped slightly lower. I will level out my right side hood.


    Quote Originally Posted by jmlapoint
    Excessive pressure on the hands can cause pain, but not usually numbness.
    The Ulnar nerve can get pressed when you grip the brake hoods and outside of your wrist puts pressure on the Ulnar Nerve from resting on the bars.
    I've had this happen, and find that frequent changes in hand positions will help.

    john

    Yes, pressure on the hood. I'll try no to white knuckled it next time around.


    Quote Originally Posted by C-40
    Be sure that you're not riding for too long with your hand stuck in one spot. Move it around a little. As others mentioned, too much weight on you hands can cause problems. Moving the saddle further back can help.

    Spinal problems can also cause hand and elbow issues. I have some pain in my left elbow and tingling in several of the fingers. It's due to a spinal problem, and has nothing to do with my bike fit which is unchanged in several years. I get the same tingling when sleeping. I wake up with my elbow hurting and fingers tingling. I've been to an orthopedic surgeon who pushed on the nerves around my elbow and the carpal tunnel in an effort to duplicate the tingling. Nothing he did made my fingers tingle, so he said it's spinal. I've had other spinal issues with my right arm and right index finger, years ago. The problem is most likely arthritis related, but herniated discs can cause the same problem.
    Yup, my hand was stuck on one spot - the hood. Since it was a tight, fast paced group ride going in circles, very much like a practice crit race. I pretty much had my hands on the hood during the entire ride. I'm going to switch position on my next ride.
    By any chance could the wrist numbness be caused by a saddle?

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