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DRC2205's Photo DRC2205 Posts: 8,845
1/20/11 9:48 P

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Thanks for the article. That's been an issue for me in the past.

LILPAT3's Photo LILPAT3 SparkPoints: (96,079)
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1/20/11 12:05 P

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This article was written by Matt Allyn for Bicycling Magazine. I hope it sheds some light on a popular bike problem.
It starts with a tingle in your big toe or possibly your pinkie and before you know it, you are squirming to get comfortable for the rest of your bike ride. Most numbness issues are caused by poor fit. Here's how to adjust you set up.

FEET
Ill-fitting footwear is the root cause. Shoes are all made differently. Shoes with greater height for example, allow for taller arches. Too-small and the nerves in your metatarsals can be pinched. Not enough arch support, arch will collapse. Take your time and choose wisely.

HANDS
A long reach to the handlebars creates wrist extension that pinches nerves. Ask a friend to watch you spin on a trainer. hen your hands are on the hoods, your elbows should be slightly bent and your arms should be perpendicular to your torso. Vibrations from aluminum handlebars can cause numbness and dampers can be purchased to eliminate this problem.

GROIN
Leaning forward compresses the perineal nerves (soft area between the groin and butt), and this cuts off blood flow and feeling. Check the tilt of your saddle first...should be parallel with the ground, allowing your sit bones to carry your weight. Next, check your handlebar reach...a long reach rotates your hips forward, transferring weight to the perineum.

LEGS
The wrong saddle places excess weight on nerves and blood vessels, numbing you from te hips down. Test ride a few saddles with varying shapes and thicknesses. If you still experience numbness and a loss of power after dialing in fit and gear you may need to see your doctor. If rest and a more relaxed position fails to solve the problem, you might have iliac artery impingement...the doctors call.

BEYOND FIT
Fit specialist Paraic McGlynn warns that not all numbness can be remedied with position adjustments and may require medical help. Many people suffer with spinal problems. Problems in the lumbar area cause lower-extremity discomfort or numbness. Upper spine problems usually affect your arms, shoulders and hands.

Edited by: LILPAT3 at: 1/20/2011 (12:08)
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