Numb hands

Funny how as I am getting better on the indoor cycling business my weakest point is proving to be my hands and not my legs or my back…

I hardly ever get numb hands on the road but on the trainer I am pretty uncomfortable past the hour mark. My indoor bike is different to my road bike but I have manipulated the geometry so that I am in a very similar position for my drop and my reach. I have also added aero bars to give me a bit of a break every now and then but I hate using them and my hand problem persists. Gloves don’t appear to be making much of a difference…

Any words of wisdom from fellow Zwifters?


The issue with numb hands come from bad position on the front end of the bike. Try a double wrap of bar tape and making your stem angel higher.
This should relieve the pressure on the hands and lessen the numbness.
I have suffered with numb hands, tingling in my forearms and a bad neck - all brought about from accidents on and off the bike.
I had to purchase a new bike with a different head angel and its resolved the problem a lot.
Lessening the saddle height a fraction, 0.5 of a cm might also help.

Agree - numb hands is all to do with how much pressure you are putting on the points of connection, and that could be down to various factors; thickness of bar tape, angle of headset, length of stem, how far around your hoods/levers are on the drops, etc. When I went for my bike fit, I was told that you needed to be able to take your hands off the bars and still stay in the same place, i.e.: your hands are for steering, not holding your body up. They should not have any pressure put through them.
For me, the bike fit solved this by fitting a shorter stem (10mm shorter) and moving the levers more upwards around the bars so I wasn’t twisting my wrist to reach.

First advice and the most valuable advice I can offer is to get a bike fit, from someone professional trained in the art of bike fitting. Second is to get a rocker plate or something underneath the bike that makes the motion more natural. Third and the cheapest is to move around while you ride, sit, stand, sit up move your hands around on the bars, etc. if you stay stationary, expect some discomfort. Also make sure that you are choking your bars with a death grip. You really don’t have to hold on when you are on the trainer.

Finally do some core work. If your core is lazy and you rely on your hands and arms to hold you up, your putting a lot of pressure into a potentially very small amount of surface area. A well trained bike fitter should help/advise this as well.

Thanks for the replies! I had a bike fit when I bought my road bike from Pinarello. It fits me like a glove and I never have any problems out on the road. For the trainer I use a Giant TCR that I used to ride and I have tried to match it as close as possible to the road bike. Today I raised the handlebars about 1 cm and it made a huge difference!

I think that the core advice from above is spot on. I have probably neglected the boring part of fitness a bit… I seem to remember conditioning only close to races and around injuries…

Thanks again!

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