numb fingers after all class ride?

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5 replies [Last post]
Anonymous's picture

hey all,

just wondering if anyone had any wisdom to offer about my bizarre case of numb/tingly fingers. since the end of yesterday's all class ride, three of the fingers on my left hand (baby, ring & middle) have been numb/tingly from the knuckle up to the nail. i've never experienced anything like this in the summer before (i have reynauds and so my fingers and toes frequently go numb in the winter). does anyone have any idea what's going on? they feel very strange, and it's already noon on monday...


Anonymous's picture
ML (not verified)

I've heard gloves will keep that from happening. Do you wear gloves?

Anonymous's picture
fendergal (not verified)

If the numbness has lasted this long, then it's nothing to be fooled around with. And gloves will only mask the problem. Something with how your left hand is resting on the handlebar is impeding your ulnar nerve (probably, but I'm not a doc). Reynauds is a vascular condition, so I don't think they would be related, but again, I don't have an MD after my name.

Bottom line, you should definitely get checked out by a doctor.

Anonymous's picture
KMLEY (not verified)
Hmmm, might not require medical attention just yet…

i've found that if i'm not stretched out properly (upper body posture) it causes excessive weight in my hands and upper body. happy freedman fixed that problem in a matter of seconds!

with a few mechanical adjustments and a shift in my riding posture - further back on the seat, hips back, pivoting at the hips, muscles of the back completely relaxed and holding the upper body up with abdominals [hey, I'm working on it!] - that my discomfort is reduced 75%.


Anonymous's picture
Evan Marks (not verified)
You probably should see a doc but here are some other thoughts

"In addition to what's already been posted above:

Do you have flat bars or drop bars? With drop bars you can move your hands to 5 or 6 different positions to ease the pressure on your hands - tops, outside curves (hands turned up or down), brake hoods, intermediate position between curves and hoods, hooks (all the way forward in the drops), and drops.

Flat bars aren't so friendly to your hands on long rides - there's one hand position, period.

Gloves? Bar tape?

Elbows bent or locked straight? Bent elbows act like shock absorbers for your entire upper body, including the hands.

Positioning - too far forward?

The bars themselves - too wide or narrow, putting your hands in uncomfy positions? rotated too far forward or back? too close or too far away? too high or low? ""Randonneur"" style bars sweep back slightly from the stem - some find that very comfy, others just the opposite. Not likely that you have them but ya never know...


Anonymous's picture
nicky (not verified)
thanks everyone

The numbness crept up to my elbow, so I went to the doc yesterday afternoon. It WAS the ulnar nerve, it seems. Effects the outer fingers, up the the elbow. Apparently, this condition is also called cyclist's palsy! Anyway, I've ordered some extra padded gloves (thanks, Jim) as the ones I have obviously aren't good enough, and some extra special bar tape, and I'm going to play around with the saddle & handlebar positions a little. I wasn't shifting that much with my left hand, so I suspect that's why it's all numb while my right is fine.
Thanks for all your help. I'm fairly new to this cycling lark, and everyone in the club has been very gracious and helpful.

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