numb fingers

i keep on getting numb fingers and palms when i ride. the little finger and ring finger on both hands. i changed from a flatbar to a narrow drop, in the hope of preventing it, but it still happens. i rode 250kms on sat, and my LHS little finger is still numbish and tingly though i swapped hand positions every 10 mins or so.
any tips?

paddo has the same thing, and spoke to his doctor about it - not sure if its bike or work related though.

short term: get gloves.

long term: learn to ride with your weight off your hands. this is something i really struggle with, but it’s also good for your technique and bike handling. use your core strength to keep your body in position.

yep, this is not good.

do what Brendan Says

i know one guy whose has to get surgery because of the same thing

little finger and ring finger are ulna nerve. not sure what would be obstructing it while riding. best to go and see a doctor - it could be a number of things.

What brezza said, mine get numb after work somtimes and were numb for like 2 weeks after cannonball on one hand (bowenator had this too apparently). You could also try raising your stem/bars, because the higher they are the less weight you will have on your hands.


I have had issues with my ulna nerve in both hands over years. More so dealing with mtb races over 300km. Pearl izumi makes a fantastic gloves that takes pressure off the ulna nerve, not sure if they bring it into oz though. My problem came from lack of strength in the lower arm, which I worked on with rope curls. The built up strength enabled me to tackle fatigue in the arm for longer.

dear hardman,

please tell us more about these gloves.

love brendan

It’s more likely a positional problem with your bars as well - either too little reach, too much reach, too much or too little saddle/bar height difference, all can contribute to what you’re experiencing. The first thing I would do is find someone who knows about bike position, tell them about your problems and get them to have a good look at you. (a lot of young blokes set their bikes up for what looks ‘cool’, not for what fits their body best)
As Brendan said , good core strength and a strong back will also help you ride off your core and not your hands. Gloves may help but be careful - ill fitting gloves may wel make it worse. eg I have to wear snug, low-cut ‘racer’ style gloves or my fingers play up. Gloves that fasten too far up my wrist tend to create circulation problems for me, and if your gloves are too big/baggy they can bunch up around your fingers’ webbing and impinge circulation there as well.

Get your position looked at first though.

what corz/brendan said…
get good gloves that have proper padding in the places you need (i had some fox gloves that were awesome - but after 8 years they died :cry:)

adjust your position to move your weight back off your wrists/hands (raise your stem) and work on your core strength to assist you as well.

one of the down sides to the ‘classic track bike look’ is that the seat/stem drop and setup is often too much for distance riding. a nice dropped nitto stem with unwrapped/soyo grip bars doesnt make for a good distance bike.

i had a couple of friends do some pretty solid touring through europe last year (one of whom went from stockholm to barcelona fixed) i’ll find out what their thoughts were for setup, but i know that they did a lot of position experiments.

If hardman is talking about the ones with the red vented gel pads, they are NOT bringing them into OZ any more.

Roady version:

Pittards® Carbon Leather Glove

Yeah me too. I find I can only ride for about 700km at a time, then I get a bit sore.

Cruel world. I feel your pain.

You’re a fucking liar

Numb fingers? Give your self some pesonal lov’n, feels like someone is doing it or the dog, rufff.

I had this after last years Cannonball Run. I nearly had to have an operation to fix it. DO NOT ingnore the warning signs. By the time you are getting numb fingers you are doing damage. I had paralisis and loss of feeling and strenghth in both my hands that lasted approximately 6 months.

It’s called Guyon’s Canal syndrome (also called handle bar palsy). It’s caused by pressure being put on the area of your palm below the little finger and also by being bent at the wrist for long periods. Basically a ligament in your hand gets pushed into the Guyon’s Canal and crushes the Ulnar nerve that’s running in the canal below and cuts off the signals from your brain.

It is BAD and my hands are still not the same two years later.

I’d be happy to talk to people if you need any further information. I hope this helps.

Most of the time I just picture your big soft hands.

Quit flirting with me big boy :x

Where the fuck is Nexus and Nath?

At least it feels like someone else is beating you off…

what’s your seat angle like? I’ve been told if your seat is sloping down towards the front, you’ll end up subconsciously using your hands to stop yourself sliding forward.
Also the distance from the seat to the bars is important. Apparently with your elbow touching the front of your seat, your fingers should just skim past the back edge of your bars. (for drops at least.)