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Tingly fingers

sookiesue2011-10-20 09:14:18 +0000 #1
I am fairly new to cycling and am training for a 2-day, 150 mile event. In the past few weeks I have been ramping up my distance training - 40, 60, 70 mile rides once a week on top of shorter hill training rides during the week. I have noticed that during the long rides, my pinkie and ring fingers start to go a little numb/tingly after 30 miles or so. I shake them out, adjust my position, etc., but the tingly feeling lasts a day or two after the ride. Does anyone know if this is typical due to my body getting used to longer rides, or am I doing something wrong and risking nerve damage? There is no pain, just this tingly feeling, kind of like when a part of you 'falls asleep' and then gets feeling back, but very mild.
Zippinalong2011-10-20 09:21:06 +0000 #2
hello - well there could be a couple of things causing this:

a) your bike fit. Did you get professionally fit to your bike? Very important

b) avoid holding all your weight on your hands and wrists (make sure the nose of your seat isn't slanted forward)

c) you may need a little more cushion on your bars. Try gel bar tape or tape that adds additional padding to reduce the vibration.

d) are your gloves well cushioned? There are all types of gloves out there, some have more padding than others. You may need to get a set with more padding.

Good luck!
indysteel2011-10-20 09:59:45 +0000 #3
Yes, you could cause permanent damage. Any numbness or tingling that doesn't quickly resolve itself after a ride is cause for concern. One way or another, you are compressing a nerve. It could be as simple as the tilt of your bars, or you weight could be too far forward. If you haven't had a professional fitting, I'd start there. If you have,go back for another evaluation.

I rode for less than a year on a bike that induced bad hand pain. My hands have never been the same. So please take it seriously. One word of caution about heavy padding on either gloves or bar tape. For some, it acts as a solution; for others it makes it worse.
KnottedYet2011-10-20 09:48:38 +0000 #4

Originally Posted by sookiesue

but the tingly feeling lasts a day or two after the ride.

That's a very bad sign.

That's generally a nerve that has been compressed so viciously that it takes a day or two to repair the damage. A nerve that is simply compressed should "bounce back" when you remove the compression just as quickly as your leg if you sat on it funny and it goes to sleep, or the sensation when you hit your funny bone. Longer than that, and you have damaged the nerve.

Nerve damage is bad, I cannot stress this enough.
Melalvai2011-10-20 09:36:56 +0000 #5
Oh gosh, I had that when I started biking a lot. Mine was a mountain bike and that is the worst handlebar ever. A different handlebar made it a lot better, but we did a lot of tinkering, longer stem, adjusting the height and tilt of the handlebar, and eventually I got a bike that fit me better.

No, this is not something that will resolve as you get stronger at riding. In fact it will just get worse and like the others said, there's a possibility of permanent damage. I hope you find a solution that works for you!
Biciclista2011-10-20 11:12:30 +0000 #6
get yourself to a bike fit ASAP because the next stage after tingly for a few days is tingly forever.
sookiesue2011-10-20 11:18:25 +0000 #7
I'm sold on the idea of getting a bike fitting. Any recommendations for where to go in the Portland, OR area? Preferably someone associated with a physical therapist, or someone with lots of experience with clients who have disc/bursitis issues. Thanks so much for all your help here. Seems pretty clear from the responses that this is something to address ASAP.
sookiesue2011-10-20 11:23:00 +0000 #8
I got a bike fitting scheduled for Monday! Can't come soon enough - I really need to get back to some long rides as soon as I can. Thanks for everyone's input.



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