numb hands

I am fairly new to long ish bike routes and at the start of the year acquired a defy 3 composite. My first road bike with drop handle bars.

When i go out for a longer ride - 40+ miles / 2 hrs ish my left hand especially goes numb / tingly. Its always the little finger and sometimes the next one in as well.

The bike is set up for me, via the shop - but they did it with me there - checking sizes and fits etc, but am i thinking this is a bike fit issue?

After a couple of days it goes away again.

Any advice would be great.



  • What bar tape have you got ? 

    Track mitts with gel inserts ? 

  • just the standard - as in factory fitted.

    I figured gloves might be an issue as i am still using my old mtb gloves - in a vague bid to keep costs down - seen as everytime i get near a computer i seem to buy something pretty for my swimming / biking or running



  • Bars too low or too far forward ? That means you're resting more weight on the bars ?

    Tyre pressures too high ? You don't get best performance at max pressure.

    Mitts are a good idea too.
  • i had the bars lowered and it did help the issue, but not resolve it.

    tyres are around 110 psi and new tyres means i dont think its that.

    Guess i will get the credit card out again image


    any rec's on mitts? dont you get cold fingers? (told you i am new to all this!)

  • New he says...... (he beat me at Chirk ! ) 

  • begineers luck!

    that was my first tri - but now building to a 70.3 in august.

  • You should raise the bars if you want to reduce the amount of weight on the front end ?

    I run my tyres about 90 PSI and have no problems with numb hands. And I've not sorted out my 2013 mitts yet. Decisions decisions.

    If its cold - wear gloves. I've been gloveless now for ooh at least 3 weeks or so....image
  • I bought a pair in Aldi a few weeks back... Red ones cos they are quicker...


    i run my front at 95 or so and move my hands around a fair amount 

  • alas you are misguarded in the belief that red ones are quicker.

    indeed my black and white theme has been proved to be quicker then almost everything.

    other than the 83 people who beat me at chirk image

  • Zebras are pretty fast.

    Just watch out for people in leopard print.
  • fat buddhafat buddha ✭✭✭

    I don't think there's a huge difference between MTB and road gloves in all honesty but you may do well finding some that have an ulnar pad - that's the heel of the hand opposite the thumb.  pressure on the ulnar nerve is causing the tingling - it's pretty common - so getting the right gloves and keeping the pressure off that spot will help

  • 83 people in front  of him ! There was 186 in front of me.....

    Rob cheats tho .... He's a proper swimmer. image

  • i might frame that!

    a proper swimmer? hardly; you should have seen me at my first open water swim last tuesday then you would change your opinion.

    i have yet to see a leopard print bike - athough it does sound tempting

  • oh my...........

    good job its chain up.....



    Not many were faster than that guy... as long as you weren't going uphill. Even then he was pretty fast... at dropping out and sitting in the hotel!


    On a serious note though, if you find the numbness in the fingers persisting, try this:

  • almost speechless at that.

  • That's the area of your hand supplied by the ulnar nerve - the one the goes over your funny bone (and causes the "funny" sensation when you hit it). So my totally wild guess would be that the position of your elbow joint is causing it - Ie. the nerve could be getting compressed there. 

    I'd either get a bike fit done or ask on the physio chat at the top of the forum. I'm sure a physio would definitely know what to do! image 

  • not sure if its connected to a sore neck which i sometimes have - as that tends to be on the same side aswell.

    getting old sucks and i am 31



  • Rob Jude wrote (see)

    not sure if its connected to a sore neck which i sometimes have - as that tends to be on the same side aswell.

    getting old sucks and i am 31




    Yoof...... I didn't start tri til I was 50 !

  • I started tri at 42, did my first IM at 50 and my first ultra at 55. About to do my very first HIM next month - bit odd after 7 IMs and 45 marathons to admit I've never done a middle distance.    image

  • I'm with Cougie on the bars being too low or possibly Saddle to Handlebars being too close.

    I had the same problem on my road bike and went for a Retul fit in January.  He moved my saddle back slightly and gave me a longer stem and adjusted my position so I'm sitting on my seat rather than resting on my hands, effectively shifted my centre of gravity back.

    Never had the problem again and I've ridden over 1600km since.

  • maybe a proper bike fit is on the cards - although i guess again its going to cost me a few quid.


    45 marathons! christ the furthest i have ever run is 17 miles image at the moment - although first marathon booked for Oct (Chester)

  • LittleclownLittleclown ✭✭✭

    Suffer similar issues although mine sometimes kicks in at 5 miles! I also suffer with my  neck and that tends to be worse than the hands after a while. I've had a bike fit but not sure I dont still over reach slightly. One of the best changes I have made tho is changing my bar tape and adding gel pads. I now have a combo of bontrager gel cork and gel pads cost about 25 for both but well worth it. Also gloves have a large part to play in whether is better or worse - less padding or smoother gel pads are better than lumpy ones. I know my posture isn't great on the bike but the small changes can make a big difference.  

  • popsiderpopsider ✭✭✭

    For numb hands try moving the saddle back maybe a cm or two - then the hoods up a bit to shorten the reach - ideally fit a shorter stem but that can wait to see if it works.  If you are a bit too far in front of the bottom bracket (long torso or highly flexible can cause this) your point of balance can be too far forward according to one bike fitting article I read.     

    Worth a try - cost free anyway and a new stem cn be cheap. 


  • i moved the saddle forward a touch before my last ride, moved my hands around abit more and by the end of the 40 miles i had a much smaller amount of numbness in my left and nothing in my right.

    makes me wonder if the fit i had was any good at all - its not like i have grown since it (well not upwards anyway)

  • change to a unicycle that will solve the numb hands problem.

  • changed bar tape (cork / gel combo now) last night and went out for an early morning bimble about and again hands feel better.

    I also nailed my 30 mile route and took 4 mins off my PB.

    Must be the malt loaf

  • Malt loaf is the EPO of the masses. Well done on the pb.

  • Make sure it's a unicycle with aerobars though... image

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