Pain in thumbs when riding, especially shifting?

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  • Pain in thumbs when riding, especially shifting?
  • I’ve started developing pain in my thumbs, esp left, when riding which seems to be aggrevated by shifting. Admittedly, a SRAM front shifter and interrupted cable set up doesnt help..

    The pain is in the joint with my hand and the fleshy/muscle bit at the base of the thumb. With some mild discomfort in the first joint in my thumbs. There’s no redness or swelling.

    Obviously this is something to ask a GP, but I wondered if anyone else here has had similar issues. I’m 40 and may be prone to athritis as I have Crohn’s Disease, but hopefully it isnt this.


    ps – please dont tell me to MTFU and, no, grip shifters arent acceptable!


    It might be what is know as ‘gamekeepers thumb’…an overuse injury I think?


    Its either bar angle or shifter angle if its bike related.

    If its injury and illness related I have no idea.

    I have another bike with XT shifter and dont seem to have the same problem, but need to do some more robust experiments. It’s probably a combination of an underlying medical issue aggrevated by riding.


    I have similar pain it my case it is arthritis and grip shifters do make life easier although I don’t have em on all bikes


    Ahhh, miss me TJ?


    I get something that sounds similar in my left thumb. The shifter is stiff as I need to tinker with the mech, so I think it’s just a combination of that and the shifter maybe being a bit wonky. The middle knuckle on my thumb gets really sore, to the point where I almost can’t shift.

    What’s an interrupted cable set up? Does this make shifting stiff? Could be that?

    pop larkin

    Singlespeed has to be the answer- you will also become awesome*

    *this may not actually be true

    tonyd – that sounds familiar. By “interrupted” I meant that I dont run a continous outer, so the cable tends to gunk up especially in the winter. My hardtail has XT shifter and a full length outer, so smoother shifting.

    I’ll see the Doc this week and see what he says.

    Premier Icon LimboJimbo

    I’ve got this one. Convert your bike to singlespeed. No more shifting and the pain of your knees destroying themselves from the inside will make any residual hand pain seem insignificant. HTH.

    Edit; too slow 😕

    Should have seen the SS suggestions coming….I’d rather stick pins in my eyes.

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