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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So riding my new to me Litespeed yesterday, first thing I notice is much less road chatter than my Trek Domane. Second thing I notice... Sleeping hands. Bad... I used to get this on the Trek, but much later into a ride. Probably difference between the thinner bar tape and my 3.2 Lizzard Skins. I don't care for the bar shape as well as the width, so out it goes.

A guy I ride with has a FSA K-Wing that looks promising. I was just wondering if there were any other ergo/flatter top bars to check out as well. I'll probably need to order it, not going the fake Chinese route...
 

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Most likely it is not the bars, but your fit. My guess is the Domane has a taller head tube, thus less weight on your hands.

Do some measurements to compare where things are set on your Domane and then compare those to the Litespeed.

Prior to changing bars, you could try a double wrap of cork tape.
 

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Most likely it is not the bars, but your fit. My guess is the Domane has a taller head tube, thus less weight on your hands.

Do some measurements to compare where things are set on your Domane and then compare those to the Litespeed.

Prior to changing bars, you could try a double wrap of cork tape.
I agree, except a taller headtube doesn't necessarily mean less weight on the hands. It's not logical but with some people, like me, being more upright causes them to put more weight on hands.
 

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I agree, except a taller headtube doesn't necessarily mean less weight on the hands. It's not logical but with some people, like me, being more upright causes them to put more weight on hands.
It has to do with COG (center of gravity) which ties back to the saddle fore-aft position and saddle tilt angle. Regardless of the upper body angle, if COG is more forward, it will put more weight on the hands.
 

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Trying a different fit, different gloves and/or padding are all much cheaper than a different handlebar.

Further any carbon wing handlebar is in the $200-350USD territory. TBH, I'd recommend buying a knockoff to try the fit before blowing that much money on a contact point piece of equipment that may well not work.
 

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It has to do with COG (center of gravity) which ties back to the saddle fore-aft position and saddle tilt angle. Regardless of the upper body angle, if COG is more forward, it will put more weight on the hands.
This.

Of course if you don't like the bars or tape, change them. But bars and tape won't do much for hand numbness. Also there's little or no vibration reduction from carbon bars over aluminium. However lightly padded bar tape (i.e. Cinelly Cork Gel) can have some effect.
 

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1/ do not bend the wrist! This is kinesiology 101. If you are lazily resting on the bars with the hands bent that is #1 way to guarantee numbness. It causes the bones to close down on the carpal tunnel or the ulnar nerves -> numbness. It's why folks with carpal tunnel syndrome often wear a brace that holds their hands straight.

2/ have the fit chcked
3/ bar gel. FiZik makes some for reasonable price. goes under the tape
4/ 2 layers of tape. I have big hands, so gel plus x tape feels good


ie if your wrist is bent like this pic below - bad. image is demo'ing computer use, but same principle applies to anything we do with our hands. I have experience numbness onset some days, and then I consciously straighten my wrist and it goes away.

good article here specific to cyclists:
Cyclist's Hands: Overcoming overuse injuries




 

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This.

Of course if you don't like the bars or tape, change them. But bars and tape won't do much for hand numbness. Also there's little or no vibration reduction from carbon bars over aluminium. However lightly padded bar tape (i.e. Cinelly Cork Gel) can have some effect.
OP is wanting wing bars, there's very very few in alloy still made.
 

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It has to do with COG (center of gravity) which ties back to the saddle fore-aft position and saddle tilt angle. Regardless of the upper body angle, if COG is more forward, it will put more weight on the hands.
That's true but not what I was referring to. Some people get more weight on the hands by moving the bars up but not touching the saddle or even moving the COF back. I just can't ride upright without putting a ton of weight on my hands despite the COG definitely being further back.
I have two theories on why that can happen but really don't know why it does because it's not really logical..
1. Not low enough for the back muscles to get the message to 'kick in' and do some work.
2. Subconsciously trying to stretch out.
 

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I think BCSaltChucker is on the right track here (pressure on nerves is the issue). The image he posted is immensely valuable in understanding hand numbness.

Here are my personal experiences with eliminating hand and finger numbness. Just keep in mind, just like seats, handlebars and hand position is very subjective and different from individual to individual.

Do you wear gloves?

I stopped wearing fingerless padded gloves a couple of years ago. I was riding on a hot day and both gloves were soaked with sweat. I eventually got frustrated with them and just tossed them both into the first garbage can I came across. As I wen't on with my ride, within 5 minutes my hands were fine (numbness gone).

Because I sweat a lot, hands get wet and slide around inside the gloves. My hands slide forward and jam against the webbing of the gloves (between the fingers), causing it to restrict blood flow, and pinch nerves in odd ways. And the padding in the palms never seemed to be in the right place. It just seemed to make things worse (see comments below about bar padding). Not wearing fingerless/padded gloves pretty much eliminated the majority of my hand numbness issues.. I still wear some pearl izumi light weight neoprene gloves on cooler days (I don't ride if its super cold).

Re: Bar setup, I have several bikes, and took (what I thought was) care to ensure the fit was as close as possible across all of them. Seat height, knee over pedal , seat tilt, bar drop, reach, etc... all very very close (as much as possible with the different geometries involved). I was still having minor numbness in my hands on two of the bikes. I couldn't figure it out. The odd thing was, on one of them, the numbness was in the outer edge of my palm and in my pinky and ring finger. On the other, it was in my index finger and middle finger.

After much diagnosing, I finally figured it out. It was as subtle as the position of the shifter/hood was slightly different in relationship to the curve of the bars, and the tilt (roll?) of the bars was also a little different. This causes the majority of the pressure to be focused in the wrong spot(s).

On the one with with the numb thumb, with hands on the hood, my palm was still resting on a fairly pronounced curve/bulge in the bar just behind the hood. I alleviated this by moving the hoods up the bar about 2mm, to the point where the transition is as flat/smooth as possible. Problem solved.

On the one with the pinky, the hoods where slightly higher, and I was putting a lot of weight on the outside of my palm/heel in the area behind the hoods. On this one, it was only my right hand, and after careful measuring I realized the right hood was slightly lower (1.5mm?) than the left one. Another minor hood adjustment and the problem was solved.

As for gel/padding, I'm personally not a big fan. For me it's like soft gel seats. I sink into it and it just causes more problems. I can see the value if the rides are long and on particularly rough terrain, but for me, generally, I'm better off with no padding.

Re Bar Tape: Slightly different story. I do like two layers of bar tape, but not the heavily padded stuff (similar effect to the gel above). I have fairly large hands, and just like the feel of a larger diameter bar, but not squishyness....

Ultimately, it's all a very subtle thing. When you are riding in your normal riding position, just think about where the pressure is on your hands. The angle of your wrists is also important.

For me, road chatter and vibration is more of a comfort and fatigue issue. If you are having nerve issues (numbness), that is almost certainly due to having too much pressure focused in the wrong spot on the hands. Try making some minor adjustments until the weight on your hands is spread evenly across a larger area and not focused on one spot.
 

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Its when I get lazy and lock my elbows, I get the numb hands. During my fit the guy was on me about locking my elbows, but when I am tired, I slowly regress back. I do it more on my left arm then right. Then I have to shake it out and consciously pay attention. Hand numbness magically fixes itself.
 

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I agree, except a taller headtube doesn't necessarily mean less weight on the hands. It's not logical but with some people, like me, being more upright causes them to put more weight on hands.
Agreed. There are lots of variables. I was thinking "all else being equal", raising the head tube pushes the bars up and back thereby rotating the torso up and COG back. Granted, that does not account for an individual's physiological uniqueness.

As to Migen21's take on padded gloves I have to say +eleventy. Thick gel pads are almost certain to concentrate pressure on a nerve making the situation much worse.

I am running the Vision Metron 4d bars. I bought them thinking the ergo design would be a benefit. Being slightly swept out made since to create a straighter line from shoulder to bar. The flat spot in front of the hoods seemed very comfortable and natural at first. After riding them for awhile, the only thing I like better than my Easton EC70 aero bars is the shallow drop.

Vision Tech USA Metron 4D Compact | Vision Tech USA
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks everyone for the comments.

First off, we set the fit very close to my Domane. The T5G has a pretty tall head tube, I think we brought the bar back a small amount, but fit feels good. In fact, my comment after the first short ride was, man, position feels better. I think I have some small adjustments to make, slight seat tilt, might try bringing bars back 10mm with a 100mm stem, vs. 110. Just based on where I want to ride. Since the new bike is through axle, we need to fit on the road, vs. a trainer.

I think the issue is mostly diameter, or felt diameter. Even before riding this bike, gripping the bar, I could tell, this is not going to work. I have large hands, use a computer all day (carpal aware), and ERGO fit my workstation once or more a year. I try to be as aware on the bike.

I immediately thought the new bars were a smaller diameter and even got out the dial calipers to check. Nope, same. Difference is tape. I have 3.2 Lizard tape on the Domane, not sure what is on the LS. I also feel the bars are narrower (will measure when I have time), and have a deeper curve. I can ride drops on the Domane, on the LS, feels bad. I am going to rotate them forward first, as I cannot get into the drops forward enough to shift, etc.

Last century I rode without gloves. I hate gloves. Much rather ride without. This bar was so small feeling, I wore them to see if it helped, did not.

I'm not afraid of spending money to get bars I love, my thought is, flat will feel better than round, I was checking out a buddies FSA yesterday and liked it.
 

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uh-oh someone isn't getting those new bars they wanted.
 

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Thanks everyone for the comments.

First off, we set the fit very close to my Domane. The T5G has a pretty tall head tube, I think we brought the bar back a small amount, but fit feels good. In fact, my comment after the first short ride was, man, position feels better. I think I have some small adjustments to make, slight seat tilt, might try bringing bars back 10mm with a 100mm stem, vs. 110. Just based on where I want to ride. Since the new bike is through axle, we need to fit on the road, vs. a trainer.

I think the issue is mostly diameter, or felt diameter. Even before riding this bike, gripping the bar, I could tell, this is not going to work. I have large hands, use a computer all day (carpal aware), and ERGO fit my workstation once or more a year. I try to be as aware on the bike.

I immediately thought the new bars were a smaller diameter and even got out the dial calipers to check. Nope, same. Difference is tape. I have 3.2 Lizard tape on the Domane, not sure what is on the LS. I also feel the bars are narrower (will measure when I have time), and have a deeper curve. I can ride drops on the Domane, on the LS, feels bad. I am going to rotate them forward first, as I cannot get into the drops forward enough to shift, etc.

Last century I rode without gloves. I hate gloves. Much rather ride without. This bar was so small feeling, I wore them to see if it helped, did not.

I'm not afraid of spending money to get bars I love, my thought is, flat will feel better than round, I was checking out a buddies FSA yesterday and liked it.
I had that exact same fat bar feeling about the Ritchy Al bars on my Foil. I asked in LBS about immediately chnpanging them to Carbon aero bars... LBS said not to do that. "Ride those bars for a while, a good while and see what you think." I absolutely love them now. I use all of my bars and spend a lot of time in the drops. They are taped with a slightly cushy tape. Biggest comfort factor is in the drops where the meatier bars make the hands a non-issue for fatigue... I can align my wrist properly (like BC points out so well). Hated them at first just because they felt fat and too wide. Now, if I went to Carbon for weight I'd match their dimensions exactly. And you gotta love an LBS that tells you not to spend that cash...
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I had that exact same fat bar feeling about the Ritchy Al bars on my Foil. I asked in LBS about immediately chnpanging them to Carbon aero bars... LBS said not to do that. "Ride those bars for a while, a good while and see what you think." I absolutely love them now. I use all of my bars and spend a lot of time in the drops. They are taped with a slightly cushy tape. Biggest comfort factor is in the drops where the meatier bars make the hands a non-issue for fatigue... I can align my wrist properly (like BC points out so well). Hated them at first just because they felt fat and too wide. Now, if I went to Carbon for weight I'd match their dimensions exactly. And you gotta love an LBS that tells you not to spend that cash...
Yeah, these, as rotated really twist my wrist out of place in the drops. Might be a rotation issue. I thought we set them similar, but after riding for some time, they feel off. I can ride the compact bars on the Domane just fine. The ones on the LS also feel narrow. Narrow on the tops at the corners, narrow on the hoods, wrist cannot even ride the drops without rotating into a pain zone. First step is to rotate forward more, will do that tonight.
 
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