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Anyone get sore thumb joints riding bicycles?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by ASATKat, Oct 22, 2020.

  1. jrblue

    jrblue Friend of Leo's

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    To the OP: absolutely yes. I was death-gripping the handlebar for some reason, and my overall position was a bit off as well. Made a few adjustments and, mostly reminded my brain to monitor my bad habit better. Not only did the pain go away, but I also found my whole body loosening up and the feel of the whole experience improved. Doing other things, like playing or physical tasks, that involve some of the same muscles no longer bugged me, and my hands no longer tightened up when playing. I hope you find something similarly simple to correct. It was quite a relief.
     
  2. Slim Chance

    Slim Chance Tele-Afflicted

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    Padded bike gloves? How about a recumbent? There are a number of styles.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2020
  3. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I’ve taken glucosamine chondroitin MSM for maybe 20 years to support joints but I don’t think old cartilage ever grows back.

    Sound like a cruiser already has a fairly upright riding position?
    If there’s any pressure at all on your hands then maybe you could benefit from an even more upright shift?
    Those grips are another version of the ones I pictured, might help having multiple grip points, but your hands shouldn’t carry any weight in this goal.
    AFAIK!
     
  4. ASATKat

    ASATKat Friend of Leo's

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    Scooter time?
     
  5. Count

    Count Friend of Leo's

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    Ever since I was about 8 I have held the handlebars of bicycles or motor bikes with my thumb resting along the grip not wrapped around it. Reason, I came off a bicycle (came a gutzer in Aus parlance) when 8 and my thumb got trapped between the grip and the brake lever, dislocated it nicely. My take on your problem would be that you might have some arthritis in your thumb joint.
     
  6. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    What?
     
  7. ASATKat

    ASATKat Friend of Leo's

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    If bikes become too difficult for everyday use then I would like to get a $629 Tao Tao 49cc 4stroke scooter. Easily upgradable to lots better bike. The 49cc has many of the legal advantages a bike and e-bike have. no registration or insurance. Plus at 66 a putput that can go 38mph and get 110mpg is just what I want.
    If I need a bigger vehicle, I can rent one.

    I don't think a scooter would hurt the joint.

    If no bike, I need to jog or powerwalk to replace the cardio.
     
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  8. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Ahhh yes!
    Didn’t compute in my brain...
    I keep my eye open for something cheap and fun, if I wasn’t tall one of those pit bikes might be cool but not all that cheap.
    Isn’t the Tao Tao stuff all copies of vintage Honda mini bikes?
    I like the old Honda dirt bikes and shop every winter when they get really cheap.
     
  9. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Telefied Ad Free Member

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    When I got back into biking 3-4 yrs ago I had flat bars on a hybrid bike.

    When I got my new gravel bike(s) this year I was soooo glad to have drop bars again (road cyclist in the 80’s/early 90’s) for all the previous reasons given.


    Also - if you feel like you have to death-grip your bars , either your saddle and/or your bars need adjusting. You should have control even with a light touch.


    Try to scam your way into a free or cheaper fitting at a good bike shop (helps to buy something there and ask a lot of questions that make the employees feel smart/experienced...:lol:)


     
  10. John Backlund

    John Backlund Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    What's a "bicycle"???
     
  11. lammie200

    lammie200 Friend of Leo's

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    You wearing padded gloves? Also, I have some elastic sleeves that you can put on each finger individually. They were very inexpensive but they are effective and I sometimes even play guitar with one on my fret hand thumb. If you search arthritis finger sleeves I bet you can find them.
     
  12. Matt Sarad

    Matt Sarad Tele-Holic

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    My shoulders ache due to the mt. Bike crash in 2013. I've had Cortisone in the right shoulder and two PT sessions.
     
  13. Oldsmobum

    Oldsmobum TDPRI Member

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    This sounds like a fit issue. I am not a bike fitter, I am actually a mechanic; so I will share some of what I’ve learned over the years. Please take none of it as gospel, because a good bike fitter has mastered what is both art and science. As luck would have it, I have mastered neither.

    You mentioned you are riding a huffy, and it might be hard to justify a $150-350 fit, but it would be beneficial especially considering the other issues in your neck that a fitter can work around. You can make some adjustments yourself for free in the meantime however -IF YOU ARE COMFORTABLE WORKING ON YOUR BIKE- but others will require parts replacement (or worse).

    First, let’s talk about what can be done for free. If this bike has a quill type stem, handlebar height can be adjusted- however you may find this doesn’t help, and up is not always the answer. I once had an issue and my impulse was to keep raising my bars, and it never helped. It got a little absurd even. Turned out my handlebars were too narrow- with wider bars I was able to lower them dramatically to a very normal height and the issues were resolved. Fit is not always intuitive.

    If I remember right, you want roughly a 70/30 weight distribution between your saddle and bars... (some bike fitter might be throwing a tri-Allen at their screen here) Too much weight on your hands can lead to issues with the shoulders, and hot spots on your hands. There is a very sensitive nerve that runs through your palm called the ulnar nerve. Some gloves are padded to protect that nerve, and those Ergon grips mentioned above are also engineered to relieve pressure on it. Moving the saddle back slightly (try 5-10mm at a time, a little goes a long way) might help. Keep in mind that this can cheat the reach (distance from saddle nose to bars) but also affects the geometry of your leg in other ways, which can be either positive or negative. So be cognizant of the adjustments you make and keep in mind other issues, pain, or discomfort that might develop as a result of your experimentation.

    Speaking of reach, it needs to be right. This bike is probably not sized, so if you’re over 5’10 or under 5’7 that could be part of the issue. You probably can’t do too much about this other than a stem (or bike) replacement, unless you have one of those angle adjustable stems. Lowering the angle will bring the reach out, and raising the angle will decrease the reach. Keep in mind this will also affect the height of your handlebars. Many people find that roughly a 90 degree angle between your torso and upper arm to be comfortable.

    Also keep in mind that leg extension is very important. Ideally, you should have a slight bend in the knee at full extension while pedaling. Be cautious, because many people will get this wrong because they check it stationary, and dip their heel with their foot on the pedal- this does not naturally occur when you are pedaling. The magic number is typically 30 degrees if I remember right, but it’s easy enough to deduce. It feels natural- If your thighs are too tired or your upper knee is bothered, raise the saddle. If your knee feels tweaked just below the kneecap, lower it a bit. If your can’t reach your pedals- start riding the bus.

    And for the saddle, someone else mentioned this and it’s great advice- level it. As they say, there’s a seat for every ass, but if you are sliding off the nose of the saddle because it is tilted too far down, you might be pushing off the bars to compensate, which is not good. You also don’t want a prostate exam from the nose of it either, so start level and make small adjustments from there. Make sure whatever hardware keeps it together is tight, but don’t break it either. Stripped seat guts means a new seat post in many cases.

    Remember- all of these measurements tie in together. If you lower the saddle, the nose of it is probably farther from the handlebars, right? So in that respect adjusting the leg extension also increased reach. This is not how you go about increasing reach, but it was a consequence nonetheless. I mention this simply because I want you to keep this in mind that sometimes there are unintended consequences when making adjustments, and I know people whose hobby is farting around with the fit of their bikes.

    As I touched on before, there are different stem lengths, heights, handlebar styles (different bends, rise, sweeps, etc) and grips. All of these cost money and might not be necessary, so try making some adjustments ONLY IF YOU’RE COMFORTABLE WORKING ON YOUR OWN BIKE. The whole “INJURY OR DEATH” warning plastered all over the thing is very real, and sadly people do die from mechanical failures. So be careful, and be as studious as you would be working on your guitar.

    Sorry if this is rambling or barely coherent, I’m up later than I should be on a night I have to get up earlier than I want to tomorrow. Just let me know if you have any more questions.
     
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  14. Old Deaf Roadie

    Old Deaf Roadie Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I commute to & from work every day on my bike. This is the first I have heard of this affliction. But, now that I know about it, I will be able to recognize what is happening if it happens to catch up to me.
     
  15. blue metalflake

    blue metalflake Doctor of Teleocity

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    I used to get sore hands / wrists a lot, but rectified it a bit by padded gloves, hand grips & getting a more upright position.
    Anything further would need major bike changes.
     
  16. ejphotos

    ejphotos Tele-Meister

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    Adjust your saddle in small increments...a small adjustment will make huge differences.
    Heavy on the feet on the pedals, light touch on the handlebars, and try to activate your core muscles to keep you balanced and keep weight off your hands.
     
  17. DeepDangler

    DeepDangler TDPRI Member

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    I had that issue a long time ago on my road bike. My mountain bike has a suspension and I never had to deal with it but the road bike has skinny tires, steel frame, and no suspension. These are the changes that worked for me:

    • Drop handlebars so I had multiple gripping positions. I prefer the drop bars for distance because your wrists sit straighter.
    • Extra thick handlebar grip tape
    • Raising the seat high. You want to balance your weight 50/50 from butt to hands so you can teeter for pressure alleviation on long rides.
     
  18. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Telefied Ad Free Member

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    The literal foundation of/precursor to - all that you hold dear, have fun on, and throw money at.

    No bikes ? No bikes...
     
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