I didn't quite know how to say it, Don, but after I re-read your post below, I see that you said it...dropping unwanted weight will definitely make for a more comfortable bike ride. Every time I come in from a long (more than 20 miles) bike ride, I have this feeling that I wouldn't be so worn out and uncomfortable if I wasn't carrying all this extra weight. Most people are nice enough not to say it, but I'm pretty sure they're thinking it..."lose the weight, and EVERYTHING will be easier."
Good tips, BARRONVC. Don't mean to hijack your thread, MIMI, but some of BARRONVC's comments started me thinking about some things. A month or so ago, I noticed that I felt like I was sliding forward...constantly re-positioning myself on my saddle. I haven't been riding long, but long enough to know that I shouldn't be doing that. It makes perfect sense that a person needs to have a perfect - or as close to perfect as possible - fit to their bike/saddle.
Fore aft position, seat angle, top tube length, stem length, head tube height, stem height all make a big difference. Your body mechanics matter. Keep a flat back and try to avoid reaching with the shoulders. Flexibility can also help, a little goes a long way.
Good tips re: hand / arm positions. Other thoughts: a good bike fitting at your local bike shop might be helpful. Seat height relative to handlebar height might contribute to this problem. In general they should be relatively level. The seat generally should be level too. When you ride, do you feel like you are leaning forward with a good deal of weight being supported by your arms & hands? Discuss with your LBS and demonstrate with your bike so they can see you in action and offer specific feedback & suggestions.
I used to have this problem when I weighed more. Folks recommended gloves but they never helped. What helped most was varying my hand positions and learning to ride "lighter" with frequent shifts in my saddle position. Oh, and dropping the pounds! :-)
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Try to engage the core. Have you position looked at or study some bike position clips on YouTube. If you are not in the correct position too much weight can be on the bars. Do you feel like you are sliding forward on your saddle?
Try to sit and relax the upper body at about 12 mph pedal softly and take your hands off the bars about 2". Are you stable or not? Does you core try to lock you in? Do you slide forward? Video your position.
I frequently change my hand position on the bars. I try to pay attention to my elbows...I tend to lock them up, so I try to relax them from time to time. Same with my shoulders...pay attention to how you're cycling...are your shoulders hunched up or are they relaxed? I can't direct you to a specific article or link, but when I try to relax my grip, my elbows, and my shoulders, I find I'm not so stiff and aching after a long ride. Also, I've often wondered if my fingerless gloves contribute to my "numb hands syndrome," so I just periodically relax my grip on the bars, and flex my fingers. These things have helped make my long rides more enjoyable.
I am new to the group and have a few questions :) I am working on getting my distance up and at the moment am up to 16mile rides. I however am having trouble with my hands going numb. Is there anything that can be done other than just remembering to take them off the handle bars and stretch them?
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