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Nw from Baltimore on 9/26/2020 8:56:35 PM:
Hello everyone! Wanted to see if anyone here had any useful advice for what I can do to avoid/prevent ulnar neuropathy AKA handlebar palsy. I am planning to do the full CandO/GAP in November. The last time I did it, I basically couldn’t pinch my pinky and thumb together for a month after! Any gear, exercise, or set up advice is greatly appreciated! I am not a technically proficient rider, i just kind of go haha and I have a run of the mill Diamondback hybrid..Thanks and happy trails Nw

John W. from Pittsburgh,PA on 9/26/2020 9:26:34 PM:
Nw, I’ve can’t say I’ve had anything as extreme as that but I have experienced tingling and slight numbness in my hands during trips. To avoid this now, I have a few strategies. One, I mix up my hand gripping of the handlebars every few minutes. Regular grip, palms facing out, just fingers, etc. I also have handlebar extensions on the ends of my handlebars which not only give me an alternate grip, but I can also hunch down and lean my forearms down on the handlebars with my elbows wedged into them, allowing me to pedal and steer without fear of my arms slipping off the bike. This frees up my hands entirely, giving them a complete rest. I don’t have these but the other option I’ve seen are those aero or tri bar extensions that extend out away and in front of you. They come with elbow cushions and two bars to rest your arms on and steer the bike in a crouched down position. Maybe someone here who has these can elaborate better than I or provide some examples. Since adopting these strategies, my hands have been pain and numb free on any trips I’ve taken.

Rivnuts from Homestead, PA on 9/27/2020 8:32:47 AM:
One of the simplest things to check/adjust or try is the angle of your saddle. Having your saddle level or nearly so will normally avoid a disproportionate amount of your weight on your hands/handlebars. While this alone won't likely solve all your discomfort, it may diminish it. On an unrelated note and not knowing when in November you plan to ride, you may want to check that the Big Savage Tunnel has not been closed for the winter. You should be able to check this at one of the following sites: https://allegheny-trail-alliance.business.site/ https://gaptrail.org/trail-info/trail-alerts

Velocipede from Bethesda on 9/27/2020 9:03:22 AM:
Most things written about hand numbness on the bike seem to focus, understandably, on the hands -- gloves, padding, etc. For me, a problem with finger numbness on the bike was actually caused by a pinched nerve in the cervical spine and was resolved with a combination of improved posture on and off the bike and remembering to do chin tucks every so often on very long rides.

Matt from Charlotte on 9/28/2020 8:48:03 AM:
in addition to suggestions about fit, take a look at Ergon GP series grips. they do an amazing job of increasing the contact area at the handle bar and reducing pressure points. https://www.ergonbike.com/en/product.html?a=griffe for those with drop bars, it looks like RedShift have something in the pipeline similar: https://redshiftsports.com/products/cruise-control-drop-bar-grips

Rivnuts from Homestead, PA on 9/28/2020 2:29:30 PM:
Matt's recommendation of the Ergon grips is spot on. I put them on my trail bike a few years ago to try them out and they've been there ever since. They do indeed spread the force on your hands over a larger area which reduces, if not eliminaes, the onset of numbness and tingling. In and of themselves they may not be the entire solution, but will likely be a significant contributor. If you elect to try them out, just make sure they are the type and size for your bike when you buy them.

Adama from DC on 9/28/2020 11:15:27 PM:
I have been having the same problem...I even bought a stem riser to get my bars up another inch or,two. I also have been focusing on my core muscles...and guess what...problem solved. Stronger core keeps my weight off my hands, less weight off hands makes pain go away. Returning the stem riser!!

Skymollie on 9/29/2020 8:21:08 AM:
I was never able to stop my hand numbness when riding my hybrid. Numbness lasted for months. I had all sorts of handlebars, changed positions every minute, seat up or down, nothing helped. I switched to a recumbent trike. No more problems ever, with any body parts. They make some really cool ones these days that don't look like lawn chairs. You will ride further and enjoy every second, plus no more butt pain either. Good luck!

LOA from Chevy Chase,MD on 9/30/2020 7:29:57 AM:
I've been using Ergon grips for years on my Brompton and my Mountain-bike when it's configured for bike packing. A couple of points: (1) I'm on my 3rd set of GP3 BioKork. Absolutely love them; (2) When installing, ensure they're fitted all the way Into the handlebars; (3) have someone hold the bike while you align the grips. And, then take tools with you as you ride so you can tweak the grips. It can be a bit unsettling when one grip is slightly out of alignment with the other (especially when using the outer bullhorns....which are very useful, by the way); (4) Torque those babies down! I've had them move on me even when I thought that they were secure. Hope this helps! Keep the rubber-side down!