Tuesday, 23 June 2015


So I've decided that it's time for me to move onto new handle bars finally.  Taking the time to move things over.  I did end up trying the handle bars I mentioned in a previous post but there wasn't enough space to hold onto all the leavers, computer interfaces, buttons, etc.  So I had to revert back.

I'm now in search of a place that sells beach cruiser handle bars with in my city.  Buying from ebay will take longer than I care for.  My hands are going numb due to my posture on my bike, I'm getting older and I need to lean back more than lean forward.


  1. After reading this post and the seat one, I'm seeing a related problem. The more upright you sit, the more your butt is going to hurt. You are moving away from your sit bones and putting more pressure on the rest of your butt & your spine.

    Case in point, biking 70km on my hybrid was a literal pain-in-the-arse; it is set up to be upright. My road bike, with a much harder seat and leaned forward, I've done 100+ km repeatedly with no soreness with my back or butt. This is the reason most touring bikes (road or mountain bike style) have your posture leaning forward.

    That being said changing your posture isn't an overnight thing. Took a good 6 months of practice before I got real comfortable with it. You need good core strength as you shouldn't be putting lots of weight on the bars. But hey, good core strength might help with being upright anyway. Never hurts to build core strength :D.

    The hands are another tough case. Here's a good read:

    I found gloves helped alot, especially if padded at the ulnar nerve. Another thing that helps is lots of hand positions so you can switch it up. If memory serves me though, your limitation on this is your throttle. Last but not least, don't bend at the wrists, this will make it worse. You can change the angle of your brake levers which will help.

    And of course, you can always go recumbent. Then you'd be leaning back in your seat like a comfy chair. :D

  2. Here's a list of prevention:
    1. Lowering and shifting one’s bicycle seat backward to reduce the forward position of the upper body and thus less transfer of weight onto the arms and hands.
    (This is what I am trying to do, finding that balance between sitting up right and putting pressure on my hands. The new handle bars were better this morning but my hand still went a bit numb.)

    2. For road bicycling: Using thicker foam-type handle bar tap to allow for more shock absorption, changing one hand position frequently, and avoiding riding in the drops. (I haven't replaced my grips with thicker ones, but I am using gloves that has extra foam in them. With out the gloves, max time I could bear is 30min with out stopping. This also might be a over weight/getting older issue.)

    3. For off-road and mountain biking: Adjust the shock absorption of the front shocks and rotating the brake levers downward to reduce extension of the wrist. (I'm not really off-roading at this time.)

    4. Wearing gloves with padding in the area of the Guyon’s Canal. Slane et al (2011) has shown that wearing gloves can reduce the pressure on the ulnar nerve by 10 to 28%. (I have 3 different types of gloves with different padding, all do the same.)

    5. Oral and topical non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) can be taken/applied to reduce inflammation. (Nope, not going to medicate just to bike)

    6. If one’s symptoms are more related to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, wrist splinting can be tried. (Sure, this only happens when biking, so I am sure it's not Carpal)

    7. Corticosteroid injection of the Guyon’s Canal or carpal tunnel. (Nope.)

  3. I agree 100% on skipping medication, especially injections, as I don't think you need them.

    I should have read my own link more, I was mostly looking up info on the nerve for you. I can't say I agree with their #1 assessment. I see the problem they are trying to address (not put as much weight on the bars) but that's what developing core is all about. Because your hands should just be used for steering, not load bearing. Your torso needs hold you up, not the other way around.

    Doesn't affect you at all, but their insistence at avoiding the drops makes me laugh a little. Never had hand problems from being in the drops.

    I've been thinking of using a stability ball instead of a desk chair as a way to build core. It's simple and can be done while working on the computer.

    The thicker foam, I definitely wouldn't bother with. I find they just squish and pinch the nerve anyway. Gloves (as you've already discovered) are usually the best way because they're padded in the correct spots.

    One thing that helped me a lot while winter cycling (which is pretty jarring) is finding a way to "rest" my hands on the bar. Less pressure on the nerves, can still steer.