Palms hurt when cylcing — i think i am doing something wrong

1i3to
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Palms hurt when cylcing — i think i am doing something wrong

Postby 1i3to » 6 Aug 2018, 10:07am

Hello guys,

I bought a Brompton S2L with a T-bar around a month ago and i can't seem to make peace with it.

I am around 182cm height so my saddle is quite a bit higher than the handlebars and i seem to put too much weight on my hands which results in my palms hurting as if it had bruisers — i read about numbness and hurting nerves, mine doesn't really feel like that although my general grip is probably a bit weaker now. Lowering the saddle makes it better but then my knees start to hurt because i don't fully stretch my legs when pedalling.

Tried moving the saddle forward and backwards but it doesn't seem to do much except for pedalling becomes harder if i move it too far forward.
I replaced my foam handle bar pads with leather ergonomic ones but i think it actually made things worse as the foam once were softer.

Surely i am not the only one with this problem — is there anything i can do? Maybe it's my lack of technic.
Any thoughts on what else can i try?

Cheers

goddardsharon482
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Joined: 27 Jun 2018, 4:00pm

Re: Palms hurt when cylcing — i think i am doing something wrong

Postby goddardsharon482 » 6 Aug 2018, 1:47pm

I am no expert in this by any means, but I noticed when I bought my current bike in 2015 (a mid-range hybrid) that the handle bars are much less adjustable than they were on my previous bikes, in particular I can't adjust the handlebars high enough. I am only 162 cm tall, and the frame was the correct size for me, but I think the reason for the restricted handlebar set-up was because it is fashionable to ride in a sort of racing position, with your back nearly parallel to the road, rather than the more upright position I prefer. I don't see why you would want to be in that position on a hybrid, but I am not a bike designer! Maybe this fashion is influencing the Brompton bikes as well.

Initially I suffered with numb hands, but ultimately managed to increase the handlebar height just enough using extender rings I bought online. I think I also moved my saddle slightly backwards (so I can straighten my legs more on the downstroke) and tilted the front of the saddle slightly up (so I don't slide off the front!). My set-up is now comfortable enough for my relatively short commute, but I'm not not sure I could do any serious biking with it.

If you talk to the shop or manufacturer, you might find you can buy a different handlebar set. That was an option for mine, but it would have been very expensive, and required longer brake cables as well.

Good luck finding a solution!

gbnz
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Re: Palms hurt when cylcing — i think i am doing something wrong

Postby gbnz » 6 Aug 2018, 5:16pm

I had the same issue with a new tourer, bought in 2015.

Initially tried an adjustable handlebar stem and following various adjustments, found a "height/angle" which seemed ok. Replaced the adjustable handlebar stem with a fixed handlebar stem with a similar height/angle and have since found the issue has largely gone away (Nb. 300+ miles a week mid-June / end July have caused some minor discomfort)

1i3to
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Re: Palms hurt when cylcing — i think i am doing something wrong

Postby 1i3to » 7 Aug 2018, 8:52am

Going to look for something like this for a Brompton. Cheers!

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foxyrider
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Re: Palms hurt when cylcing — i think i am doing something wrong

Postby foxyrider » 7 Aug 2018, 9:00am

You don't say which bars you have on the Brompton - different bars have different heights.

Let's face it, Bromptons are not designed for long rides so ride comfort has never been a high priority. IME they are often bought because it's trendy, not because they are appropriate for the intended use.

So two things for you, would a different bar give you the extra height you need and secondly, have you got the right bike for the purpose you bought it for?
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!

crazydave789
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Re: Palms hurt when cylcing — i think i am doing something wrong

Postby crazydave789 » 8 Aug 2018, 9:32pm

the hands will be bruising and adjusting to it, painful hands is one thing so change the grips and get some gloves.

finger numbness is a bit different and is down to hand position usually if you ride in a fixed position or grip the bars too tightly

Slowroad
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Re: Palms hurt when cylcing — i think i am doing something wrong

Postby Slowroad » 26 Aug 2018, 9:30pm

I don't have that problem on my Brommie as I'm short and the weight is elsewhere... But Brommie-owning friends have those right-angle bar-end grips on theirs giving a complete change of position for the hands and swear by it.
“My two favourite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything. The perfect day: riding a bike to the library.”
― Peter Golkin

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Rcartes
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Re: Palms hurt when cylcing — i think i am doing something wrong

Postby Rcartes » 5 Dec 2018, 11:29am

I'm not sure if I have (had) the same problem as you, but I have found on my Brompton that my palms hurt after a while (that was when I was using the original round grips). I switched to Ergon grips, they have a larger surface area so the weight on your palms is spread out more; that did the trick for me.
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mjr
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Re: Palms hurt when cylcing — i think i am doing something wrong

Postby mjr » 5 Dec 2018, 12:11pm

Shouldn't be any more than minimal weight on your palms. It sounds like a longer stem is needed but I've no idea how you do that on a Brompton without compromising the fold.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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LinusR
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Re: Palms hurt when cylcing — i think i am doing something wrong

Postby LinusR » 16 Dec 2018, 1:32pm

1i3to wrote:Hello guys,

Surely i am not the only one with this problem — is there anything i can do? Maybe it's my lack of technic.
Any thoughts on what else can i try?

Cheers


You could try less air pressure in the front wheel. But don't have them so soft that it affects steering or could cause a pinch puncture. They should feel firm but not soft. Try somewhere between 60psi and 75psi. It depends how heavy you are. If you are less than 75kg then you could go lower. Use a pressure gauge and check the pressure gauge with another one to make sure it is accurate.

The small wheels of a Brompton can make it quite a harsh ride (which is why there is a rubber suspension block) but plenty of people go touring on them with little customisation of the original bike. I don't own a Brompton but have ridden one and lots of friends ride them. Bromptons are well designed and versatile and with a bit of patience and experimentation you could probably fix the problems you have. Keep trying.

Barks
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Re: Palms hurt when cylcing — i think i am doing something wrong

Postby Barks » 18 Dec 2018, 6:29pm

Brompton have threes handlebar options the t-bar is the lowest, then an M which is slightly higher and a rather odd looking P which has two grip positions one below the other. I have a M, often ride 30 mins plus with no problems, the bar height for me at 183cm is level with my saddle. My advice would be to try an M version from a dealer and see if that is better for you.

Ontherivet77
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Re: Palms hurt when cylcing — i think i am doing something wrong

Postby Ontherivet77 » 19 Dec 2018, 8:54am

Contact Brompton and see if the T bar can be replaced by a higher M style bar. Also, try padded mitts. Regards your position are your arms fully extended if so try to position yourself so you are bending at the elbow and are not straight armed when riding. This will help in soaking up the road vibration.

Barks
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Re: Palms hurt when cylcing — i think i am doing something wrong

Postby Barks » 19 Dec 2018, 10:25am

see if the T bar can be replaced by a higher M style bar.
- it can but requires a diffent length stem and I believe different length cables so while technically quite straightforward it comes with a significant cost. When I bought my Brompton I was advised to try both the t-bar and M options over a period of time to make sure I had it right for me. I get the impression that many simply go for the t-bar version as it is lighter and gives the bike a more ‘sporting’ feel. Certainly all the ‘serious’ racers in the Brompton World Champs used the t-bar version. The M and P versions are certainly more ‘relaxed’ and are just what I was after for my commuting and short utility usage (in my normal work clothes I am not looking to speed around).

rob_wales
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Re: Palms hurt when cylcing — i think i am doing something wrong

Postby rob_wales » 5 Jan 2019, 5:57pm

Get someone to take a side-on shot of you riding the bike slowly and post it here?