Have you ever been on your bike, inside or outside, and your hands go numb when you ride?

Then you take your numb hand off the handlebars, shake it around for a bit, drop it to your side, and wait for the tingling to stop and the feeling to come back.

A couple of nights ago in one of our cycling classes, this very question came up about “numb hands” when you ride. I want to help you have a more comfortable ride — both indoor and out side.  Here's a video that shows it all!

  1. Roll Your Wrists No “cocked” wrists for any position on your handlebars!  You should have a nice long line from your forearm to the top of your hand.  If you are bent at your wrist (with your wrist down), you are putting a lot of pressure on the carpal tunnel and medial nerve. Use a Light Grip No death grip on your handlebars.  Hands should have enough grip for balance and steering, and that”™s about it.  Of course, if you are on a mountain bike trail, you are actually using your arms and body to lift your front wheel or bike from time to time, so you”™ll have a tighter grip when you need it.
  2. Redistribute your Weight No heavy leaning on your handlebars. Weight should be in your saddle. If your “reach” to your handlebars is too long, you may be putting too much weight on your handlebars.  This can be changed by bringing your handlebars closer to your saddle (indoor cycle adjustment, out door bike shorter handlebar stem) OR bringing your saddle closer to your handelbars.  If the latter, be careful that you don”™t throw your knee to foot alignment off — when your foot is in the 3:00 o”™clock position (forward), you want your knee aligned with where the pedal attaches to the pedal arm.  If your knee is forward of this point, you are putting too much forward force pressure on your knee and may feel pain in the front of your knee pain.
  3. Soft Elbows No stiff straight arms!  Keep a slight bend in your elbows all of the time.  This is like the “athletic ready” position with a slight bend in your knees, except …..that it is in your elbows.  Not only will this help your circulation, but you”™ll be ready to absorb bumps and road noise when you are outside.
  4. Relaxed Shoulders Take your shoulders out of your ears…try this exercise:  Take in a big breath and raise your shoulders as close as you can to your ears, now as you exhale, relax your shoulders all the way down.  This is where you want them when you ride.
Amy Macgowan
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