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Why do your hands go numb while mountain biking | Here’s what to know

Numbness means your palm and wrist arms become unconscious with a lot of pain although numbness occurs in many shapes which includes tingling, feet numbness, etc, but, in mountain biking, numbness is famous as too much pain in the wrist arms.

Numbness is caused due to the bad relationship between you and your bike. if you are riding on the bumpy trails these are hard and tough so that after a few minutes of ride you can feel an originating pain in your wrist arms and hands. it is the major problem among all the mountain bikers due to the hard trails. although it is not permanent it can be covered by you by bringing change in your riding style so that the point where you notice that you are feeling comfortable would be the best change for you.

If you are noticing that your one hand is going numb while riding for a few kilometers then you are riding and holding the handlebar in the wrong condition and also your sitting position on the saddle matters. your upper body weight is continuously pushing a continuous motion in the forward direction, all of this force is applying a resistance force on the wrist of your arm.

As we know the nerves of our palm and hand are fragile they could not bear the large force of trail bumps if you are not conscious about your wrist arm surely the pain has to arise in both of your hands and wrist because the mountain biking hobby is not as simple as the other road bicycle ridings.

Numbness arises because of the compression and the extension of the median and ulnar nerves of the wrist arm. if you are new to riding a bike on single trails then mostly your wrist arms and hands become numb even it becomes hard to control a bike because too much pain of the wrists makes your hands uncomfortable.

Numbness can be healed by doing changes in your bike positioning.

  • Rising or lowering the handlebar of your bike
  • buying an accurate frame so that its height would be adjustable to your body height
  • Changing grips of the bar
  • Height of the saddle
  • position of the saddle
  • stem height
  • Riding with a bad upper body posture always cause numbness
  • Grips material also matters
  • distance between the saddle of your bike and the handlebar
  • installation of the handlebar without adjusting the back sweeps and upsweeps

Rising or lowering the handlebar of your bike:

Handlebar position usually does not make good contact with the rider and the saddle of the bike and it results in soreness and numbness of the palm, hands, and wrist arms. after installing and removing the handlebar of the bike make sure to adjust the bar on a comfortable grasping height. if the height of the bar is installed even a single inch high or low in relation to your body and arms, it will be responsible to push the weight of your upper body on the wrist arms and as a result, your hands will feel discomfort after riding for a few minutes.

How to achieve a comfortable height of the handlebar?

The present height of your bar makes you feel whether you are feeling comfortable or not. you can ride in a present condition you will confirm that your bar is high or low by noticing the numb pain of your wrist arm. if it does not happen then that height would be an appropriate height for you. but if you notice that the numbness is arising in the wrist arms then you need to change the height of the handlebar. after rising or lowering sit on the saddle with both arms on the bar and check whether it is comfortable and tightens the handlebar in the same position.

Frame size:

Here comes the worth of the frame size of your is important to check the frame size while buying your mountain bike. the large or small frame size will cause problems, numbness is one of them.

Changing grips of the bar:

riders complain about the grips of the bars causing numbness, it is because of the width of the grips and the length which will irritate the wrist arm, and hands. grasping the grips with your wrist arms for too long will cause numbness or soreness and pain in the wrists and arms. when you are on a trail try to take a break after an hour of riding it will relax the nerves of the palm and wrist arms and then again start your ride.

Grip holing position with your palms and wrist arms play a major role in causing numbness. the grips would be in the center of your palms and the fingers in a little upward position do not cause any pain while holding the grips. always buy thick grips for your bikes that have enough grasping surface and do not cause discomfort in the median and ulnar nerves and the humerus and tendon do not tire early.

Height of the saddle:

every biker experiences the saddle height on the trails. as you know the saddle height changes continuously while riding downhill and uphill trails. sometimes the saddle is set on a height and after that, you will notice the pain originating in the wrist arms of both hands. the reason is that all of your body weight is pulling in the forward direction continuously and the result is that all of your upper body weight rests on your wrist arms which will cause enough pain such that you will not be able to ride your bike anymore.

people are different in their heights from each other also the bike model and frame model also differs from every biker. that’s why expressing a permanent height of the saddle for the bikers would be impossible. A large height of the saddle causes numbness. so the best option would be that try to change the saddle on after a few minutes continuously, it will help you in adjusting the saddle height correctly without any wrist arm pain.

Position of the saddle :

it also includes maintaining a good position of the saddle. changing the position of the saddle has also a negative effect on the wrist arms. the nose position of the saddle in the downhill trails pushes your body in the forward position, and the flat position of the saddle reduces weight on the wrist arms.

While on the trails adapt the saddle position in which you are feeling comfortable by moving the saddle up and down.

Stem height:

You can also raise or lower the stem of the handlebar with the help of spacers. you can put one, two, or three spacers in the stem for raising the height of the stem. if the stem height is putting negative pressure on the wrist arms and causing pain then remove the spacers to maintain the lower height of the handlebar.

Bad posture causes numbness of wrist arms:

The posture of the rider is the main thing that helps to ride through the harsh trails it includes his backbone, hands, shoulders, wrist arms, fingers, and palm hand. all of these parts contain nerves going from the palm, wrist arm, and shoulders to the spine and backbone. the bad posture has a bad impact on riding, it makes it difficult for the rider to stand and ride on a bike continuously.

it mostly happens when you are continuously riding a mountain bike in a bad posture, and after some months the pain starts to originate in all of your upper body. because the nerves become damaged and sleep and sometimes the situation becomes complicated which leads to carpal tunnel syndrome.

When you are riding a bike stay your backbone in the straight position and if you notice a little bit of pain in any of your body parts then stop the ride and relax that area by giving a little bit of exercise or moving in all directions, and like this, you will always be able to ride your bike without any discomfort.

Grips material:

The grip material also matters. the silicon grips are comfortable for the wrists. Mostly often different material grips make the wrists uncomfortable then you can always pick and place the hand from the grips which result in the uncomfortable position of both hands on the grips.

Distance between the saddle and the handlebar:

It really matters the most for the bikers and causes unpleasant conditions for the wrist arms and hands. choose a perfect distance between the saddle and the bars otherwise, your palms hands create a space between the grips and wrists which is the cause of the numbness while riding. the reason is that the trails are bumpy and tough while hitting the front tire on the bumps they will pass to the handlebar and then your wrists so if your wrists are not perfectly grasping the grips then your palm hand is hitting obviously on the grips and as a result of a few minutes of ride the soreness in the palms starts. so looking at your height and the distance between the saddle and the bar, always check the distance in which your hands and the grips of the bar would fit exactly.


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