Potential upgrades to Carerra Virtuoso

I have this Carrera Virtuoso http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/category/bikes/mountain/product/virtuoso-09-34691 which has served me well on my commutes and club rides until I took part in the IoW Randonnee and surpassed my maximum distance covered in one day. I feel I'm beginning to ask more of the bike than it has to give in its current state, my position on the bike is fine for the first 50 miles or so but after than my hands and arms are beginning to go numb, possibly from vibration transmitted through the front forks. After not too long I was beginning to have trouble changing gear my fingers were so unresponsive, even today I nearly chucked muesli all over the kitchen, they still weren't right.

This could have been the cold and wet had it just been yesterday but it feels more like nerve involvement to me.

I know the wheels are a good option for upgrades for weight and ride comfort, as are forks to dampen the vibration, the guys I was with looked astounded that my bike included not only no carbon, but steel forks too. What are the opinions on which I should look at first? I'm on what is politely called a modest budget and it's going to be a very long time before I can afford to get involved in n+1.
 

accountantpete

Brexiteer
Padded bike mitts and carbon forks with a little less pressure in the tyres are the best bet for comfort.

Wheel upgrades usually mean stiffer wheels and fewer spokes which will actually increase the road vibration.

I'd try to get the comfort thing right first.
 
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