Numb hands

Black knight

Active Member
Been out for my first proper ride today...finally.

25 odd mile and very enjoyable. Did find I was getting pins & needles/numb hands though. I seem to have quite a lot of weight going through my arms.

Is this usual or am I doing it wrong?

For info
I'm on a Boardman with drop bars
I've just had the grip tape changed to a gel type
I was wearing my padded gloves

Never had any problems like this before with my hands.


I used to get hell and all trouble with this. I got out my padded gloves (or rather I stitched them up where they'd ripped) and changed to carbon forks both of which helped. But above anything else I found I tensed my shoulders which made it worse. Now if I feel myself getting that tell tale tingle (you like the alliteration?) I tell myself to relax and drop my shoulders. There's probably some thing out with my set up and positioning though what it is I couldn't say, although if I knew I'd fix it.

Think about your shoulders and the tension in your neck next time you're out, perhaps that'll help.


Active Member
The Fens
<first post. Please be gentle>

Try relaxing your arms and keeping your elbows slightly bent. This will take a fair bit of weight off your hands, and should stop the tingling. I had the same problem when I got my first bike with dropped bars, and found that all I needed to do was relax a little.


New Member
Certainly bike fit enters the frame here (get the pun?). Also try relaxing your grip on the bars - often you'll find you're squeezing the bars too hard and this can make it worse. I still get this often, and find the best solution is to sit up straight and drop your hands by your sides for a while which will improve circulation - this will also allow you to take a breather (tour riders do this, but then they can can't they).
Bugs me too.
I am constantly hunting on the bars for a position of some relief and that helps. Drop bars have a lot of possible hand positions. Also just releasing one hand and giving it a good shake.
I also get back pain creeping in after a while (no matter road or mountain bike) and it helps just to take a breather. Not easy to do on a club ride but if you're on your own why batter on in pain knowing it's only going to get worse?


Formerly just_fixed
flat bars and ergon grips solved my probs

Black knight

Active Member
If my weight isn't held through my arms/hands...where do I hold it?

On my motorbike I grip the tank with my legs allowing a very light grip on the bars.

Bike is correctly sized I think, bought new only a few weeks ago.


You don't really need to 'grip' a bike in the same way as a motorbike - it doesn't have the mass or the gyroscopic forces.

Your bike may well be the right size, but small adjustments make a huge difference to comfort and performance. Even half a centimetre on the saddle height matters, and reach is nearly as sensitive. I suspect you have the saddle too high in relation to the bars, or too far back. If you are new to cycling I would give it a few more goes, in case it is over-gripping, but then I would start looking at set-up. There are lots of good websites for this.

A few years ago I spent my best £50 ever (well, thrown in with the cost of a new bike) by having a proper fitting on a jig. The bike now fits me so well that I can ride for 10 hours with plain bar tape and no gloves and still have no hand or arm discomfort.
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