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How To Prevent Numb Hands | Ask GCN Anything About Cycling

How To Prevent Numb Hands | Ask GCN Anything About Cycling

(lively music) – Welcome to another
edition of Ask GCN anything. Without further ado, we’re
going to get right in with the questions with this
over on Twitter from Ian M. Stewart who asks,
“Hey GCN, when I ride, “even for an hour, my hands get numb. “Is it my stem, my bars, or my grip? I’m trying not to grip the
bars too tightly. #torqueback.” Well Ian, thank you very
much for getting in touch. Now, pain, numbness, and
tingling in the fingers and hands is actually quite a common
problem for cyclists, regardless of experience. In fact, I did have quite
a bit of numbness in hands over the weekend when I rode
the King of the Mountains Challenge in Taiwan, so it
is something that affects lots and lots of cyclists. Now, it’s basically, from
a medical perspective, called ulnar neuropathy and it
happens when the ulnar nerve, which runs from the root here, right way down through your arm, finishing in your little finger. It’s when the ulnar nerve is compressed, generally by long periods of
time, in one set position. So either on the tops,
or quite a lot in fact, on the drops, where basically
there’s pressure on this part of your hand. Now, it can cause tingling
as I mentioned before, often pain. This can be alleviated by
regularly shifting your position on the handlebars but if
it becomes a particularly persistent problem, you need
to start to look at what the root cause is and we
do that in this video. – Keeping this position on
the bike whilst removing your hands from the bars so that way
you’re going to recruit more of your core muscles and your
arms, hands, and wrists are going to be bearing less weight. So you should look at things
like the height of your bars or maybe the angle of the
shifters, et cetera, as well. If they’re too low, it might
be you’ve just got too much weight going through
your hands and wrists. – Next up, we have this
question down in the comments section from Owen Jones. “Hey guys, I know you measure
your saddle height from the “centre of the bottom bracket
to the top of the saddle but “this confuses me a little bit. “Doesn’t the length of the cranks, “or the rise from your shoes or cleats, “make a difference? “Or is the calculation
based on average length “or height for both, so it
will need to be adjusted “accordingly? Thanks for the
consistently great content.” That was very kind, Owen. Thanks very much for getting in touch. Basically, you have
answered your question, you are right. You do need to adjust your
saddle height inclemently, only very slightly, when
moving, when changing saddles, for example, ’cause if
you’ve got a different shape of saddle, that can
actually determine how high or low you sit on it. One of the most fundamentally
important things to double check on as well
is the type of pedal system that you’re using. So, if you’re moving from
one pedal system to another, the stack height could be a
couple of millimetres different and that goes, and the same
can be said for different shoes as well. So, what you need to draw
out this question basically, and what is fundamentally important, once you’ve got your
ideal set up on your bike, is make a note of the exact distance. So measure your saddle height and keep it and then basically you
can adjust accordingly if you were to move onto a
different bike, for example, or a higher bike or you
were to change saddles or pedal systems. Now, we do know, it’s pretty
common knowledge, isn’t it, that getting a saddle
height right is important for comfort, for efficiency, et cetera. But exactly how important is it? Well me and Sy went to a lab
to answer that very question. – Believe it or not, out
of all the presenters, he’s actually the most obsessive
about his saddle height, which is ironic given that
he spends so much of his time not even clipped in. One. – There’s two. – Hey. – We’re gonna test two key parameters. Firstly, my seated maximal sprint power. And Secondly, my ability
to hold a specific sub threshold power, whilst at
the same time measuring my expired gases, my blood
lactate, and also my heart rate. Boop, boop, boop, boop. It’s time now for the rapid fire round. First up is this from Paul Holden, “How come you guys never
seem to have covered Titanium “bikes? How about an in
depth Titanium versus “Carbon feature?” That is a very, very good idea. We have actually written
that one down now, thanks very much for that. Wouter Peters says, “Any
hacks to prevent remnants “of a gel leaking out the
packaging and spreading into “your back pocket, other
than throwing them away?” Very, very good, green
question there Wouter. What I’ve done in the past is
fold them up really, really tightly and then put them
inside the little bag I’ve got with my inner tubes. Also, you can put them in the
pack underneath your saddle, so in your saddle bad as
well and that way they won’t leak into your pocket. Next up we’ve got this from
Ben Dolby, “I’ve got absolutely “nothing against Lasty but we
need to see him suffer more.” (dramatic music) Thumbs up from me there
Ben, great comment. Next up is this from Jack
Larkin Mchugh who asks, “Please do an episode where
all the GCN presenters “get so much money to buy a
bike and then have to cycle “a bike to a destination and
do challenges with the bike.” All I’m gonna say is, watch this space. Next up we have this from
Ewan Chadwell, “What happens “if the world champion also
wins the European championships? “Obviously the rainbows would
take priority over the stars “but what happens to the
European jersey? Is it not worn “or is it worn by the second
place rider, like when a jersey “owned by someone who owns
another jersey in a tour? “Sorry for the length.” Yeah, thanks for the apologies,
that was a rather long and convoluted question
but basically the answer is Peter Sagan, a couple
years ago, was European and world champion. He first wore the European
champion but then, as you said, the world champion’s jersey trumps it, so if that happens in
the future, basically, very sadly, that Europeans
champions jersey will be put in a drawer and nobody else
can ride with it at all, which is a little bit sad. So, no, second place can’t use it. This question now from Darren
Whitford, “It rained the “other day on my ride, it
doesn’t happen very often in “Australia, what can I do to
keep the traction on my back “wheel when climbing out of the saddle?” Well, first up, you need to
look at your tyre pressure. Make sure that if you’re
going out in the rain that your tyres aren’t too
hard but on a steep climb what you need to do is
redistribute your weight a little bit more over the back wheel. So rather than leaving
forward, which you generally do on a steep climb, just push
your arms back a little bit, put some of the body
weight over the back wheel, and that should improve your traction. And finally, we have this
rather long winded question for the rapid fire round
from Barnaby Grant. Deep breath. “If you’re having trouble with
junctions and intersections “for interval training,
instead of trying to stick to a “preset interval plan, try
using the junctions and “roundabouts and stop signs as part of the “interval training.” This, by the way, is an
answer to one of last week’s questions about stopping
during interval training out on your bike. “I have a 30km out and back
route with a roundabout at least “every kilometre and I use the
roundabouts as markers for my “efforts. Between one pair I’ll sprint, the next, then recover. “The next might be a 10
second effort with 20 second “recoveries or a ramped up heart rate.” Basically, that is a top
haul suggestion for basically using your environment,
your road furnishing, your traffic for basically
doing a tall cliff. Spot on Barnaby. And that’s it for the rapid fire round. Okay, time to just slow
things down a little bit with this question from
Danial Adzha down in the comments section. He asks, “Um, how do you use
gears the right way because “I normally use gears 11,
eight, seven, and one. Have you “got any help please GCN?” Well Daniel, thanks very
much for getting in contact. Now many of you out there, of
no doubt, will think this is a pretty basic question but
for people who are new to the sport, this actually
can take quite a long time to get your head around. ‘Cause when you think about
it, if you’ve been riding for a few years and you start
to break down everything that you know about cycling,
it actually is pretty amazing because you absorb that information almost through a process of osmosis. So, for somebody new to the sport, no question is a silly one. And generally speaking, we
have a video for every single question that people ask. And Daniel, to answer
your question directly, here’s me, explaining exactly how. Firstly, on the right, the
lever being fully inwards changing you to a bigger cog at the back, which actually makes it easier. Now on here, I’ve got electric
gears so I’m just using the paddles. On the left hand side, when
you swing the mechanical lever inwards, or tap the electric
paddle, it makes it, or turns it to the bigger cog
at the front, or chain ring, which is actually harder. And finally, on this week’s
Ask GCN Anything, we have this question down in
the comments section from Eurotropo who asks, “I got a
hell of a climb that I want to “improve at, therefore I
believe easier gears will help. “Should I change the cassette
or the smaller chain ring?” Well Eurotrop, thanks
for getting in contact. Now, getting easier gears will
certainly help you get over the steeper elements or the
steeper parts of the slope far more effectively and efficiently. As we all know, if you’re
churning at a low cadence on a gear it becomes inefficient, you start to recruit
a lot of muscle groups and it basically is very inefficient, unless you are a particular
forceful and strong rider. So, ideally, on a climb,
you need to have a gear that enables you to get on top of the gear and actually ride in
a nice, smooth rhythm. Now, I don’t exactly know
what gears you’ve got on your bike so I can’t really tell if
you need to change the front or the back, but an ideal
starting point for a gear with very wide ratio which will
suit pretty much any ability for most sorts of terrain,
would be a 34 or a 36 chain ring at the front and
at the back you want to look at the minimum of a 28, a
30, or a 32 and that way you should pretty much get
over any sort of climb that the terrain should throw at you. But, as well as getting
your gears dull, which fundamentally is very
important, it’s also worth trying to improve on your fitness as well. You’ll definitely climb
faster if you’re fitter but if you want a little
bit of a short cut, how about watching this video. How to climb faster
without getting any fitter. – You’re more likely to be
able to ride your optimal power if you’re at your optimal
cadence, so get yourself a compact chain set, combined
with a 32 at the rear, and you’ll almost always
have the optimal gear to use. No matter what the gradient,
no more grinding away. (soft music) – However, what we would
suggest is spending around 95% of your time in the saddle
but deliberately getting out of the saddle every so often. – So that’s it for another
edition of Ask GCN Anything. Thanks, as ever, for
all of your questions, we do love reading them. And get in touch using
the hashtag torqueback down in the comments section
or across on social media as well. And if you haven’t
already subscribed to GCN, you can do so for free
by clicking on the clobe. The clobe? The globe maybe, and
that way you won’t miss another one of our videos. Now for two more videos I
think you might just like, how about clicking just down here. For a bit of motivation, our
top 10 motivational quotes. Now winter just a little
bit around the corner for many of us, how about clicking just down
here for how to keep your hands and feet toasty and warm.

39 comments on “How To Prevent Numb Hands | Ask GCN Anything About Cycling

  1. I've heard that Belgians for those very sandy cyclocross circuits use talc powder on the chain instead of oil to avoid sand sticking to it. #torqueback

  2. #TORQUEBACK #sorebutt. I am new to road cycling (only a couple of years and social riding), but now starting to develop longer rides. Starting to get sore buttock, recently specifically sit bones. I recently purchased some new bib knicks and suspect they are the culprit. Is there much difference between chamois padding in different brands? If so, what is the brand best known for comfort? My butt will thank you. Cheers 🙂

  3. Thanks to GCN, I completed my first 100Km ride this past weekend.  I followed your video for maintenance on my equipment, my training and nutrition, and my pre and post ride routine. I rode the 106Km in 4 hours, 6 minutes (not bad for being 57).  My wife, who was acting as my support staff was following me on the course and handing me fresh water bottles and extra bars and gels.  I felt like a pro rider.  The best part was when I reeled in a group of people on expansive TT bikes with Dura-Ace groupsets sets on a long hill and dropped them.  By the way, I'm on a 3×8 Sora!  I'm saving up for a new Trek or maybe even a Pinarello so next year I can brake the four hour mark.  Thanks again for all you advice and great videos.  Brian Schiff #TORQUEBACK

  4. #TORQUEBACK – I cycle around 180 miles a week, which accounts for nearly all my exercise. Should I intersperse my regime with other types of workout? Basically if all I do is get on the bike, is this going to cause problems in the long term?

  5. Based on medical graphics displaying the innervation of the hand, the cycling numbness issue I have appears to be related to medial-nerve pressure (the nerves related to carpal tunnel syndrome) and (more recently, due to occupational repetitive stress) De Quervain's Syndrome (aka "Blackberry thumb") which affects the radial nerve. There seems to be no relief for the medial nerve regardless of whether I'm riding on the tops, the horns, or in the drops, and regardless of how much padding I do or don't have in my gloves. Any ideas there?

  6. What I should know before heading out for a training at UK. I’m new here, never ride on the other side of the road. #TORQUEBACK

  7. Can you use 2x or 3x with a rear derailleur that has a clutch
    If so then you could get a bike with the 12 speed sram eagle and a triple in the front then you could have a "36 speed" bike.
    Is this worth trying?

  8. How much of a difference does body fat make? If a person weighs 170 and 10% body fat and another at 170 20% body fat. How much of a difference would you likely see? #torqueback

  9. #TORQUEBACK I'm looking at making the switch from flat pedals to MTB clipless pedals on my CX bike. I've read various bits and pieces about pedal reflectors, and whether or not they're required when riding at night. I use my CX bike for commuting, and it's now pretty dark in the evenings in the UK, and whilst I've seen some pedals with them, most don't have them. What do you recommend doing?

  10. #torqueback #askgcn Hey folks at GCN I've been a cyclist for about 4 years strong now, England born NYC raised.. sadly I was recently a victim of a hit and run about two weeks ago ,granted I am very lucky to be alive! I'm now stuck in bed and in an out of hospital,I am dying to get back on my bike once able but the seat stay is bent enough that Im highly doubtful a rear wheel would sit right, is there any way to fix this? Or should I just invest in a new bike? Please help and thanks huge fan!

  11. #Torqueback If their is a semi busy road with a side walk and bike lane Should I go on the sidewalk for safety or on the bike lane to look more pro and be quicker

  12. My bro holds the brakes a few mm in when riding on the drops so he can hit the stopping point easily. Is his setup misconfigured or is that a good way to roll? I also find it hard to slow down at a pinch without holding them in a little way in. Don't have this issue on the hoods. #TORQUEBACK

  13. Sticky-wrapper-gel-issue: In races I roll up the packs and tuck them under the hem of the shorts. Then when you get to a garbage zone you can just tug at the hem and they will drop out. Or if not racing, dump them when you get to the coffee stop.

  14. What is the advantage/difference to riding mountain bike pedals vs. proper road pedals? I ride a road bike with SPD's because I find it much easier to clip in and out, am I losing out on anything? #torqueback

  15. I've noticed sometimes my shoe toe hits my front wheel if I'm pedaling and turning at the same time… I think this might be normal, but is it worth changing my frame to avoid? #torqueback

  16. I recently got a disc road bike (Giant TCR Advanced Disc) and I’m looking into building a wheel set for it. I was looking into using a center lock disc mount and lacing it to a pair of caliper rims so that I could use them on other road bikes that don’t have discs and removing the rotors if I chose. Would you consider this as a viable option for being able to transfer the wheels between bikes? Or would the weight gains of an extra braking surface make it impractical? Thanks so much! #torqueback

  17. #TORQUEBACK Is it ok to wear the same cycling shorts in the evening after your morning commute without washing them? I ride for just over an hour each way.

  18. #torqueback

    Hi Gcn, Very simple question here, why can’t a bike be both lightweight and aero? It seems like a bike has to be classified as one or another but why can’t it have an aero geometry/profile and have a lightweight frame material?

  19. #TORQUEBACK Why do cyclist love coffee so much? I don't hate coffee, but I never like the taste of it. I currently training for some events for next year. Does it really help to improve my ride if I drink coffee, and should I consider to start drinking coffee?

  20. hi gcn, have you tried or can you make a review about tire liners? I'm planning to use them since puncture is always my problem.

  21. #torqueback I am currently 15 years old, and I did some testing, currently I can do 4.4 watts per kilo and have a v02 max in the upper 50s I have been training hard for the past few months, I was wondering if I keep training, how far do you think I can go competitively. Do you think I would have a chance of making it into the pro ranks?

  22. Hi, I really enjoy the turbo training section on your page. I was just wondering if there are any plans to get these videos onto a DVD, because I don't always have access to the internet or a laptop. I would like to share the videos with my club at our weekly turbo training sessions. Great content every week cheers GCN #TORQUEBACK

  23. #TORQUEBACK I'm concerned about my cycling causing erectile dysfunction. After having a short period of the bike, I noticed that things were starting to work better in that department after a few weeks. Is there a saddle that you could suggest that would have a minimum impact (on long rides) in that area of the body? I've been looking at a Brooks real leather seat – maybe that's an option? Thanks in advance

  24. Hello GCN! I am planning to start my own bike service business, because I just love everything there is about bikes. Do you have any advice on how to make the start easier? Like for instance, I already have a fair amount of tools, but I would need to buy a few more and they are quite expensive…any recommendations.
    Love your channel, wish you all the best! #TORQUEBACK

  25. Hi gcn, whilst sprinting this morning my brake caliber bit seemed to loosen. My brakes ended up slamming on at 52kph in the middle of the bunch "not good" I know I need to tighten the caliber mount however how tight? #TORQUEBACK

  26. #torqueback I suffer from reflux and gels are not an option. Can you suggest an alternative to give a quick boost if required?

  27. Hey Matt can you please sponsor my a road bike….. I really need one. Im 15 and I really cant do road races with my mountain bike. I know this is something a bit odd to ask.

  28. Any advice on how to avoid sore feet? I was using clipless pedals and the problem was reduced only affecting me after riding for a while, but as soon as I put flats it hurts constantly. #TORQUEBACK

  29. My whole arm goes numb. It seems like the more upper muscle strength I develop, the worst it gets. I have to bring my arms down to my waist to bring back the feelings.

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