Numb hands and Flat Top Aero Road Bars
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  1. #1
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    Numb hands and Flat Top Aero Road Bars

    All. Hope all is well. I have the Profile Designs Canta Ergo Carbon flat top carbon road bars on my road bike. This is the first road bar I have used that has a flat top cross section. My hands are going numb when I am riding casually mostly on the tops of this bar. I had this bar on a previous bike and had the same issue. I wanted to re-use it, and am having this issue again. I don't have the same issue with a rounded top bar. I am wondering if the top flat angle is causing a wrist bend that is getting me in trouble, or is the flat top pinching a nerve, cutting off blood flow somehow.

    Anyone have any experience dealing with this.

  2. #2
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    I always had that same problem with my left hand when I was on my mountain bike for more than 90 minutes. I would often take that hand off the bars while riding and shake it hard for a few seconds every 5 minutes. I didn't cure the problem, but it helped a little. It would often get so bad, my left thumb wouldn't be able to shift to an easier gear.....I would assume that a nerve was being pinched. I never have that trouble on my road bikes.
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  3. #3
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    I have noticed that too some, but far less on the MTB. Usually on the MTB is comes when I am struggling with this on the road bike.

  4. #4
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    My hands go numb a lot. I went from a round bar to a more oval/flat top bar and thinks that helped my hands, as I put that bar on all my road bikes.
    If you think round is better for your hands, why would you want to use a flat bar?
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  5. #5
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    Is the flat top parallel to the ground, or has the bar been "clocked" in the stem to get your brake levers where you want them instead of moving the levers?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rmabus View Post
    All. Hope all is well. I have the Profile Designs Canta Ergo Carbon flat top carbon road bars on my road bike. This is the first road bar I have used that has a flat top cross section. My hands are going numb when I am riding casually mostly on the tops of this bar. I had this bar on a previous bike and had the same issue. I wanted to re-use it, and am having this issue again. I don't have the same issue with a rounded top bar. I am wondering if the top flat angle is causing a wrist bend that is getting me in trouble, or is the flat top pinching a nerve, cutting off blood flow somehow.

    Anyone have any experience dealing with this.
    How did you determine the "flat" side angle? My guess is that it wasn't factored in as typically one is only concerned about the brake lever/drop position. While this position doesn't impact round bars, it does "set" the angle of the flat, but that may not be the ideal resting angle for you hands, which can put pressure on the wrong places, causing numbness.
    Try this: Have someone snap few pics of your hands WHILE RIDING on both flat and round bars, and see if you can notice any differences in your hand/wrist angle between the two.

  7. #7
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    Duriel. Bro... Come on. Flat is way cooler. Just kidding. You are right. I may be headed back to a round bar but this flat bar is way cooler!

    Nova and Bremer. I did clock the bar some to get the brake angle where I wanted it and also get the drops somewhat more to my liking. I did flatten the flat part last night, and have not ridden it yet, so maybe this will make a difference. We shall see. I will report back on that.

  8. #8
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    Some gloves might help. Or thicker bar tape. I don't wear gloves except on long rides when my hands can get numb. I find that keeping your hands on the same place/position on the bar will make them go numb. I had the numbness problem worse on mountain bikes where the bars have different positions. Maybe a round bar would help.

  9. #9
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    I had a problem with numb hands on my gravel bike, probably due in part to vibration. Laid a couple strips of gel tape lengthwise on the bar tops and drops before wrapping them to thicken the padding and increase the diameter of the outside, which helped quite a bit for me.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Srode View Post
    I had a problem with numb hands on my gravel bike, probably due in part to vibration. Laid a couple strips of gel tape lengthwise on the bar tops and drops before wrapping them to thicken the padding and increase the diameter of the outside, which helped quite a bit for me.
    I have two bikes with the same fit and same bars/tape and just a small difference in shifters (7900 vs 6800). It's pretty minor but I get numb hands with one sometimes and never with the other.
    So vibration is the only difference I can think to pin it one. I'm not really sure about even that because I don't really feel a difference but the bike that gives me numb hands sometimes is a gravel bike and has an extremely stiff and strong fork while the other has a 'normal' road fork. So guessing that's the difference. Also it's a steel bike and the other is ti. Also different tires and tubes.

    Lower PSI on the front tire made a big difference. I wasn't 'over inflating' to begin with but did have room to go down and not worry about it. You can go extremely low on the front and have a real worry about pinch flats. The only real limit unless you're going to be slamming railroad tracks or something like that is when the handling gets to squishy from tires being too soft.

    So try dropping a few PSI.

  11. #11
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    I put some oval aero bars on one of my bikes last year. But I have grown to hate it. Will put on the usual FSA cylindrical compact bars on there (and gel plus 2 layers of tape!)
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  12. #12
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    Me: Doc, it hurts when I do “this.”
    Doc: Don’t do “this!”

    I like the look of aero bars a lot but also look uncomfortable? I don’t use them so what do I know. I don’t ride on the tops much but I ride on the elbows a lot.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by PBL450 View Post
    Me: Doc, it hurts when I do “this.”
    Doc: Don’t do “this!”

    I like the look of aero bars a lot but also look uncomfortable? I don’t use them so what do I know. I don’t ride on the tops much but I ride on the elbows a lot.
    Elbows. Aha.

    If rider puts a bend in the elbows, his hands aren't in line with the shock waves anymore, but perpendicular. The wide platform on the flat bars would spread out the shocks nicely across the hands, minimizing hot spots. With elbows bent, rider can rest the hands as lightly as he wants, as the back muscles come into play. The back muscles are stronger than the forearms and hand muscles, so handle and modulate the fore-aft weight distribution much better.

    I used to get numb in the crock of the hands between thumb and forefinger and numbness on the heel of the hands, before I learned how to bend the elbows, which allows the arms to be flexible, not locked up. I still rest upper body on the arms once in a while on long rides, I guess to reduce the load on the back muscles. The hands get sore. I shake out the arms, put the bend in the elbows, and the pain goes away. Highly recommended if one has chronic pain in the hands.
    Last edited by Fredrico; 1 Week Ago at 04:49 AM.

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