New rigid ride – numb hand remedies?

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  • New rigid ride – numb hand remedies?
  • Premier Icon yetitony

    Just built up a fully rigid Singular Gryphon with drop bars and have noticed I am getting pins and needles in my hands after 20+ miles. This numb sensation can last for upto a day after the ride? Am used to riding MTB with suspension and don’t get this.
    Do I just need to carry on and I will get used to ride and it will pass or is there something that will help? I imagine the cyclocross gang will experience this?

    Premier Icon mboy

    Bigger tyres

    Lower pressures

    Double wrap bar tape

    Even more importantly than any of the above though, relax your grip on the bars!


    Had this first couple of rides, it passes…


    If you can move your saddle back taking weight off your upper body onto your arse. Worked for me

    Premier Icon singlespeedstu

    Ride in the drops more.


    As above, relax your grip and you need to ride on the basis that you don’t have suspension i.e. you won’t be as quick in some places and pick your line more. Love my Gryphon and its a hoot at places like Brechfa which is local to me.

    Premier Icon takisawa2

    Non O/S carbon bar, fat grips (Lizardskinz NorthShore), 2.35″+ tyres & getting the front up a bit worked for me. Not on drops though. You do get used to it. Line choice etc makes a difference. If your still pointing it down the same line as your FS, its not going to work. Hard to put in words but you have to roll with the bike more, not try & fight it too much. And you need to be more active, as suspension makes you lazy to some degree.


    Post a pic of it.

    Premier Icon Northwind

    Big tyres is my solution (got a rather ridiculous 2.5 Nevegal in the Soda, which in turn allows lower pressures). And possibly the carbon bars and forks help, no idea tbh.

    Alternatively, embrace the numbness, and use that no-hands feeling that can only usually be aquired by sitting on them for 10 minutes before you start.


    Sounds like your bars are too low down in relation to your saddle. Try raising the bars if you can (shorter/steeper stem) and relax your grip.


    What gloves do you wear?

    Premier Icon Cheezpleez

    As above, relax more. Get your elbows out and your body low and use your arms and legs as suspension

    pop larkin

    Sell it- if it’s a large I would be interested 😀

    Premier Icon yetitony

    Some interesting points, I think I do need to relax my grip a bit, I am riding in the drops most of the time.
    Running 2.2 conti x-kings at around 24psi so not rock hard. I am going to play with the riding position a bit to see how it feels . A pic of the bike for those interested.

    Sea Wall Ride on the Gryphon by, on Flickr

    Premier Icon ampthill

    Suspension forks

    I know thats not the answer you want. But no, I wouldn’t endure a bike induced medical problem if there was a simple solution.

    The joy of my first ride down a rocky hill with mu first suspension forks after a year off the bike with teniis elbow still lives with me

    Premier Icon funkrodent

    First question is where are you experiencing the pins and needles? if it is primarily yor palm and your little and ring fingers it is likely to be caused by pressure on your ulnar nerve that runs through the centre of your palm. If it is more your palm and your thumb and forefinger then it could be that the problem is caused by carpal tunnel syndrome, caused by the position of your wrist in relation to the rest of your arm when you’re holding the bars. In either case, excessive vibration (and also the type/frequency of the vibration) is going t exacerbate the issue.
    It’s important to understand the symptoms as fully as is possible, as the advice given would be different where it one or the other of the above (or indeed any other potential cause). It is probably worth seeing a bike experienced physio.
    I had a similar problem until fairly recently. My main pub/commuting etc bike was an alu cross bike. Lovely bike, but my hands were killing me. Recently switched to a steel bike and the pain has gone. So it could be ride position (but the position is more aggressive on the new bike), handlebar tape (yet is thinner on the new bike), or a number of other things, but FWIW I think it’s actually that the steel frame and fork absorb vibration more efficiently and transfer way less of it to my hands.
    That being the case I’d look at easy fixes that change the way in which road vibration is transmitted. Lots of good advice already on the thread, but if you don’t already have them I’d suggest carbon forks and handlebar, some really good tape and some decent gloves.
    Whatever you do get it sorted though, as left to its own devices it’ll just get worse and worse.
    I’ve always found Sheldon Brown to be a useful authority in most things bike. Not a huge amount on this, but worth a peruse nonetheless –

    EDIT – Interestingly, on the post linked to above, Sheldon puts forward the theory that too much padding – either on handlebars or gloves – can actually be detrimental and make things worse..


    In addition to general riding position, you should think about hand position on the bars. I’ve heard of people having similar issues when using drops which is related to unusual pressure on the ulnar nerve. I try to ensure that most of the weight on the hands is borne on the bony portion on the ‘heel’ of your hand, not down the middle on soft flesh which will compress the nerve and give that sort of trouble.


    I’m with Ampthill on this. The OP acknowledges that suspension would probably help – why ignore the obvious?

    Premier Icon dknwhy

    I used to get this on my road bike despite having gel inserts under the tape.
    I bought some Specialized BG Gel gloves and the problem went away.


    pretty much all the above are worth looking into but as Sam suggests, position can be critical so try playing with that before spending cash.

    Google ulnar nerve, work out where it is on your hand and adjust to avoid pressure on it.

    Premier Icon takisawa2

    In fact, given you live within riding distance of the coast I now have no sympathy. 😉

    Premier Icon yetitony

    Update for anyone interested.
    Changed my riding position and this helped somewhat but still had some issues on longer rides. 40+ miles.
    The Bontrager SSR wheels were ridiculously heavy and seemed to transmit a lot of vibration through them. As they were eBay cheap purchases to get the bike built up I decided to upgrade.
    Bought some Chinese Carbon rims, a bit of a gamble but did my research and felt confident they would deliver and not explode after one ride.
    The new wheels have completely transformed the ride, apart from being a hell of a lot lighter they seem to absorb a lot of that vibration I was feeling which makes for a lot more pleasant ride.
    Since then I dont seem to have the numb hands sensation.
    Lesson learnt: Wheels are a very important aspect in a bike build.

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