Help Me.

04.10.2006 | 8:28 pm

As far as blogs go, Fat Cyclist is not a bad deal. It doesn’t cost much to subscribe, you don’t incur an insurance penalty for reading it, and if you comment from time to time, there’s a pretty decent chance you’ll get some free stuff. And the writing, while mediocre, is at least consistently mediocre. It’s not like you come here expecting brilliance and actual writing talent, like you do over at Bob’s Top 5. No, just basic-cable-level humor and baseless assertions, served up reasonably often.
Not a bad bargain, really.
So I figure you owe me.
Here’s what I want: an answer to a question that has plagued me since I began biking:
Why does my right arm and hand go numb whenever I ride for more than an hour?
I don’t even notice it happening ’til it’s already happened. Just suddenly, my right arm and hand aches dully, much as if I had been laying on it in my sleep. I take my hand off the handlebar, alternate squeezing it into a fist and straightening it out a few times, and then maybe rotating the arm around a few times. My arm and hand go all tingly, and I continue on.
It’s not a big deal. It doesn’t hurt (much), it doesn’t affect my riding. It’s just odd.
Here are some additional data points I have, which may help or hinder you in your diagnosis:
  • It’s always my right arm and hand. Never my left.
  • It happens on all my bikes — mountain and road.
  • I am an American citizen.
  • My right arm is the one that has been dislocated several times.
  • I have a zigzag scar (it’s very Harry Potter-ish, except it’s not on my forehead, alas) on the palm side of my right wrist where I had a ganglion cyst removed (it came back almost immediately — most useless surgery ever).
  • I have what I am told is a remarkably annoying habit of popping all my knuckles and many parts of me most people aren’t even aware can be popped (my sternum, for example). But that’s not exactly unique to my right side, is it?
  • I am right handed. Really, really right handed. Sometimes I’ll look in the mirror and be startled to find I have a left hand. That’s how rarely I use it. Except when I type. My right hand and left are pretty equal partners when I type. Except I always use my right thumb to hit the space bar. You know, I’ve never noticed it before, but my left thumb does absolutely nothing when I type. Ever. It just sits there, poking into the air. I don’t even know why I keep the stupid thing around.
  • I also just noticed that when I think about what my fingers are doing as I type that I suddenly become a very awkward typist.

I await your answer. Anxiously. Also, I’m curious whether this happens to anyone else, or if I’m extra-special in this way.


  1. Comment by jim | 04.10.2006 | 8:36 pm

    I have no explanation but can put you at ease by admitting this happens to me as well.  I really thought I might need a new pair of cycling gloves and just figured the circulation to my hand was getting cut off somehow.

  2. Comment by Unknown | 04.10.2006 | 8:41 pm

    Right handed mouse-using was causing pain in my right shoulder.  I switched to left handed mouse use, despite my right-handedness.  Problem solved.  Also have had numbness in hands that I consider to be related to the shoulder.  Add that up:  working, not riding, is causing your problem.

  3. Comment by Unknown | 04.10.2006 | 8:42 pm

    Carpal tunnel is my diag. I can’t spell it but I know what it is. And what it feels like. If it starts with the outer 3 fingers, that’s yor problem.

  4. Comment by Zed | 04.10.2006 | 8:48 pm

    Mmm, I agree with Boz. I read somewhere that getting numb hands while riding in the drops on a road bike is related to carpal tunnel (and I think I’ve even left that info in a comment on your blog before, now that I think about it), so that’s my guess. Do you ride in the drops a lot? Try shifting your grip around during your ride. Go from the brake hoods to the drops to the flat bar on the top, etc etc … has the thought occurred to you that maybe that cyst is really just a lipoma?

  5. Comment by Nanget | 04.10.2006 | 8:56 pm

    You’re not sitting on it while riding are you?

  6. Comment by Mark | 04.10.2006 | 9:02 pm

    Happens to me too but not always just my right hand.  It happens more when mountain biking verses road biking.  For the road riders, check out Bontrager buzzkills.
    The numbness is caused by the vibration and it is a repetitive stress injury and could lead to carpal tunnel.
    I know after a long day of riding, I sometimes wake up and my whole arm is numb.   Typing and mousing can cause the same problems.

  7. Comment by Unknown | 04.10.2006 | 9:04 pm

    Wow Fattie – you’ve dislocated your right shoulder serveral times, you’ve had a palm sided ganglion removed & recurred, and you have a fetish scar on said hand; and you are clueless as to why!
    Considering that it’s your whole right arm and hand (not just the hand) you can rule out the typical ulnar and median nerve pressure as the source. I would recommend a visit to your neighborhood neurologist for a complete examination of your shoulder. More likely than not that is your source.
    One other area could be higher up at the neck where your nerves leave the spinal cord – it may be your head position while you ride exerting pressure near the nerve root.
    Good luck from a triple post-back surgery roadie.

  8. Comment by Unknown | 04.10.2006 | 9:07 pm

    Have you considered that you might be tweeking a nerve when you grip with that hand?  I had a little bit of discomfort with that and switched over to these gloves that have super-padding that supposedly is supposed to help with that.  They’ve worked so far. 
    Good luck figuring it out!

  9. Comment by Unknown | 04.10.2006 | 9:07 pm

    I guess they could be right about Carpotunnel, my guess was that you may have poor circulation in your right arm due to an injury, or maybe even surgery. Why not try wearing a wrist brace while riding? I know that wearing an elbow brace while riding helped my right arm, although that was because I had tennis elbow.

  10. Comment by Unknown | 04.10.2006 | 9:12 pm

    I occasionally have a similar problem, but not enough to worry about much.  It’s ALWAYS the right hand, though.  It happens more often on the tandem I ride occasionally, less so on any other bike (a couple of road bikes and an Mtb).  I haven’t been able to draw any conclusions about specific fit differences between bikes where it happens/doesn’t happen, and it’s just as likely on a 2 hour ride as on a 5 hour ride.  It might have something to do with being relaxed, since I probably hang on tighter while driving the tandem.  I wear well-padded gloves and wrapped extra bar tape on my Mtb grips and don’t have any problems on it since putting on the extra padding (I did a road century on it so I added the tape to reduce those kinds of problems, since I didn’t have as many grip choices as on a road bike).  My only advice is to stop typing (or any other form of office work) completely and just ride your bike for several months so you can rule out office work as a cause.  Just take medical leave from the new job…

  11. Comment by TIMOTHY | 04.10.2006 | 9:16 pm

    I have problems with my left hand going numb when I ride (more so on my road bike than my mountain bike).  I jammed my wrist about 8 years ago and now when I rotate my left wrist it "pops" loudly and I can feel something (ligament maybe?) moving around just above the joint.  I started using Specialized Body Geometry gloves with the padding to reduce pressure on the Ulnar nerve, which has helped, but not eliminated, the problem.  My right hand gets numb sometimes too, but not as frequently or severely.

  12. Comment by Fat Cyclist | 04.10.2006 | 9:25 pm

    For whoever is about to ask me how I manage to squeeze my handlebar into a fist, the answer is: With an extraordinary amount of both power and grace.
    I love my misplaced modifiers.

  13. Comment by Unknown | 04.10.2006 | 9:29 pm

    Um, I usually just switch to the left hand, and the right recovers after a few weeks. 
    As for the ZigZag scar, if you switched to Bugler or Joker, or maybe even a water pipe, that never would have happened. 
    Okay, leaving the gutter just momentarily, screw all the diagnoses.  You don’t want diagnoses, you want a fix.  So why don’t you try some dirt drops, or something similar like On One Midge Bars?  (or god forbide even moustache bars?  (Um, really, I’m not talking about gay watering holes here, but the curvy handlebars with many hand positions…)  Having extra hand positions, esp. the drops, might help out a lot.  A bunch of MTB endurance racers roll on my LBS rides, and they have had similar problems and swear by the Midge bars and older, similar models of dirt drops.  Yeah, it looks funny on a MTB, but honestly, MTB riding is an inherently silly endeavor anyhow, so it’s not like it matters.  I get a similar numbness in my left hand (left shoulder dislocated & multiple separations) and find that five minutes in the road drops fixes me right up.  Just having a radically different position and force vector (pulling downward, rather than resting my weight on the hands with the flats of the bar pushing "up") seems to help a lot.
    And if you don’t like the Midge Bars, I’ll be happy to buy them off you for, say, $25.  So it’s a no lose situation for you, my porcine peddling pal.

  14. Comment by pete | 04.10.2006 | 9:34 pm

    Not got a diagnosis, but here’s an observation. You do a lot more shifting with your right hand than your left.Try going for one of those hi-tech bike fitting sessions where they measure you a lot then try and sell you bars that are an inch wider than normal for several hundred dollars.

  15. Comment by Unknown | 04.10.2006 | 10:13 pm

    i don’t believe that you’ve reallly got this numbness problem, you just needed a topic for today, and you were too embarrassed to talk about other things going numb, so you came up with this.
    assuming that this might have been happening, i agree with al. switch hands periodically, maybe even more often than every few weeks, and you should be good. maybe even less chafing, fewer callouses.

  16. Comment by Unknown | 04.10.2006 | 10:28 pm

    You’re definitely a special case.
    Oh boy, it’s been a long time since I had anatomy.  I think pinky and ring fingers are innervated by the ulner nerve, and different parts (front and back/ top and bottom) of the middle, index finger and thumb by the radial and median nerve .  If you have any difference in the amount of numbness in your fingers, or different parts of your hand then you could figure out which nerve(s) are being pinched and figure something out.   
    If the whole hand and lower arm are equally numb, then your problem is in some part of the brachial plexus (which comes out of mostly C5 to T1 vertebra, if I remember correctly).  Anyway if your whole arm is really going numb in a uniform way, you’re probably pinching at least two of the roots, trunks, or cords from the brachial plexus. 
    This much I know for sure: It shouldn’t be happening.
    P.S. If I were you I’d have dug take a look at it and tell you what to do.

  17. Comment by Unknown | 04.10.2006 | 11:31 pm

    Sweet, I’m not the only one that can pop his sternum.  Wierdest feeling, but man sometimes it feels good.Oh yeah, the best response is "See a Doctor" when you’ve got consistent recurring pain.  Bring in a bike and trainer with you, ride on it in the waiting room and bam, you’ll have a sleeping arm when the doc is ready to look at the problem!

  18. Comment by Unknown | 04.10.2006 | 11:43 pm

    I think it is a combination of some wrist problem (carpel tunnel) and some back/flexiiblity issues. You may be putting more pressure on that side because your back or abs are not equally strong on both sides shifting more weight to your right hand.
    Just a thought.

  19. Comment by WENDY | 04.11.2006 | 12:28 am

    It might be a little Carpal Tunnel.  My hands go numb as well.

  20. Comment by Unknown | 04.11.2006 | 12:35 am

    The exact same thing happens to me, except that it is my left arm.  It became so annoying that I went to see my doctor.  He told me to stop riding my bike.  Ha!  Like that’s gonna happen any time soon.  Anyway, I found another doctor, an osteopath, who diagnosed several problems.  It couldn’t be just one, easy to fix thing…noooo…my left leg is longer than my right, therefore throwing my entire body off by about 3/8th of an inch.  Because of this, when I get into my cycling position, I am always impinging a nerve.  The numbness fades to tingling when I change positions and stretch.  I suggest having a reputable osteopath check out your back and neck.  I have had my cycling shoes shimmed, cleats adjusted, and had a cycling coach review my position in hopes of correcting this.  I also had to have all my shoes shimmed to help balance the body.  I can go for a couple hours now without the numbness, especially if I let up on the handle bars and stretch once in a while.

  21. Comment by Katie | 04.11.2006 | 12:40 am

    I don’t know if this helps you out – but it happens to me a bit too when I type / use the mouse and at other times. I’ve found out it pressure on the ulna nerve in your forearm – it makes my fingers go numb / ache and my forearm as well.
    I’ve been told it’s if you keep pressure on that limb consistently, or if you keep it in one position under stress for a period. Which could explain why it happens on the bike – if you’re using your arms for stability and pushing on them.
    Not sure if that helps you out – but I thought I’d mention it!!
    Love the blog BTW, although I’m not quite sure I’m up to the challenge of log piles or see-saws. :)

  22. Comment by Alan | 04.11.2006 | 12:51 am

    It is either neurologic or vascular.  If it’s neurologic, you should be able to determine the problem by the distribution (whole arm/just certain fingers, etc….)  If it’s vascular, you may need specialized testing like Doppler studies.  The diagnosis I think would be obvious by exam from someone who knows what they’re doing.  Feel free to email me if you want  specifics.

  23. Comment by Tyson | 04.11.2006 | 1:33 am

    I had the same problem, in both hands.  It got progressivly worse over the last couple years until I got a smaller bike (18.5" to 16").  The problem has almost gone away now.
    The difference I noticed almost right away was that I was more upright and had less pressure on my palms when riding.  That seemed to stave off the numbness.
    You might want to try bringing your handle bars closer in, or otherwise fiddling with your cockpit geometry to reduce the pressure your putting on your palms.
    Good luck!

  24. Comment by Andrew | 04.11.2006 | 1:58 am

    Dear Nattering Nabob of NonAlcohoic Fatty Liver Disease,
    You know, I had a problem just like yours. I don’t mean similar, I mean the same identical problem. I saw everyone: doctors, chiropracters, faith healers, and nothing worked. Finally I saw an alien transmogrographer who by using a special scan showed that living in my frontal lobe was a putrid purple alien which he proceded to rip out by means of special brain transceivers which left me able to read internet transmissions without use of computers or anything. It’s really cool.
    So anyway, hang in there and good luck. I’ll send you the guys name if I think of it.

  25. Comment by STACEY | 04.11.2006 | 3:29 am

    Hey Fatty,
    I’ve had the same problem pretty much forever.  To paraphrase the man in black, I’ve tried everything in this here laaaaaand….
    I’ve tried lowering bars,  man.
    I’ve raised them up high. 
    I’ve moved my saddle forward, man.
    I’ve moved my saddle back.
    I’ve tried fat gelly tape, man
    I’ve tried Oury grips. 
    etc. etc. etc.  you get the point.  So far, the only thing that "works" (and I use that term very loosely) is unpadded gloves with, and this is the important part, the wrist velcro loose to the point of coming undone.
    Give it a try – and good luck!
    ps, my apologies to Johnny Cash.

  26. Comment by Dodger | 04.11.2006 | 5:03 am

    When I started riding a road bime my left hand was always going numb.  It didn’t happen on my mountain bike.  Just the road bike.  I am now able to avoid it by alternating hands when I reach for a water bottle. 
    Your problem is most likely due to the uneven distribution of the weight you gain.  And lose.  I don’t know, maybe a spider bit you on that hand and now you have super powers beyond your wildest dreams!  And your hand goes numb as a result of not unleashing those powers

  27. Comment by Jane | 04.11.2006 | 10:23 am

    I have the same problem with my left arm.  I’m very left handed and work at a computer. My osteopath has suggested that i get someone to watch me cycle and see if i’m distributing my weight equally.  Haven’t tried that yet.
    I also put foam under the tape on my bike which helps with the shock absorbency.
    Hope you find a solution.

  28. Comment by Unknown | 04.11.2006 | 11:19 am

    I have a very similar problem, but mostly in my right hand/arm.  It happens within 30 minutes of starting a ride and is rather frightening when my hands dont work to put on my brakes.  I have talked to many people (chiropractors, cyclist shop employees, friends) who all gave varied advice.  I tilted my seat up so that it is completely level or maybe even slightly higher in the front.  This helped a bit, but didnt completely alleviate the problem.  My next plan of attack is to raise my handlebars so that I am putting less pressure on my hands.  Pressure seems to be the main cause for me as my hands never go numb when I’m on the trainer (I usually sit upright every few minutes while on the trainer to stretch–something I never do while riding on the street). 
    I hope this helps, I can empathize with how frustrating it is to have your hands go numb.
    Also, I can crack my sternum too and it kind of freaks me out.

  29. Comment by Unknown | 04.11.2006 | 1:39 pm


    That’s what my mother told me and that’s what worked for me.

    Specifically, the main nerve for your arm goes through a small spot on your shoulder. If you round your back (like slumping in your chair at work or riding in the drops), that nerve can get pinched. I saw the doctor for similar symptoms and several days of sitting up straight cured me. Mom, as usual, was right.

  30. Comment by regina | 04.11.2006 | 1:52 pm

    I get this too, it is almost always in relation to distance traveled and to how heavily, and I do not use the word lightly here, I am leaning on my hands.  I go with Guy, sit up straight, and move around more, silly.

  31. Comment by Unknown | 04.11.2006 | 2:05 pm

    Had the same problem intermittently for years – finally inadvertently cured this year when I switched to narrower bars that were a better fit for my shoulder width.  I guess when my arms were even slightly splayed out to the side it was causing enough stress to induce numbness.  Worth a shot… 

  32. Comment by Unknown | 04.11.2006 | 2:36 pm

    I also have this problem with my right arm.  As I have dislocated that shoulder many times and am a bit heavier than I should be it could be either reason.  I choose to think that is is the shoulder disloaction that causes the problem because it makes me feel a little better about the problem

  33. Comment by Susie | 04.11.2006 | 2:38 pm

    OK, I had this problem also.  I raised my seat a little bit and then I got a back vibrator (don’t loose it into the gutter here) and massaged the muscle between the scapula and the spine.  Where there nerve comes out there gets tight from the position on the bike and the heat and vibration helped untighten this muscle.

  34. Comment by barry1021 | 04.11.2006 | 2:56 pm

    Wow FC you have gotten some really great answers here, but they are all wrong. What is happening is that you are entering the state of bike nirvana. Next time it happens, you must give in to the numbness, become one with the numbness, and repeat "I am the numbness". Once you surrender to it, your whole body will go numb, and you wil reach a higher plane of cycling consciousness, which by the way can also be drug-induced (see Hamilton, Tyler, and his disappearing twin theory). Congratulatons, you are one of the chosen few.
    PS: and although i always make fun of your grammar and stuff, your writing is much more than consistently mediocre. I would say its brilliantly mediocre.

  35. Comment by Unknown | 04.11.2006 | 3:26 pm

     Hate to be boring but. ..What does your mouse pad look like?  Since you are at the computer often (this seems like the majority of your hand/arm usage- ie yr not a rock climber), the asymetrical pain seems to point to actions done exclusively with yr right hand (dug’s comments notwithstanding).  I’ve found that when using my mouse for extended periods, I’m resting the heel of my hand on the hard desk or thin mousepad.  This tends to irritate your ulunar nerve, which can cause numbness and pain, particularly when cycling off-road.I bought two things that have let me avoid "the stranger" when riding:-a mouse pad with a gel cushion (yeah that saddle creepy gel). Keeps the heel of my hand slightly elevated and in plush comfort.  Sadly the Brooks style leather and brass version didn’t work out so well.- Louis Garneau cycling gloves- maybe a personal preference, but the padding location is specifically designed to deal with this issue.Hope this helps. . ..

  36. Comment by cawddup | 04.11.2006 | 3:57 pm

    <obscene Billy Connolly self-abuse joke deleted>
    Try Ergon grips.

  37. Comment by Mike | 04.11.2006 | 4:05 pm

    Are you by any chance riding with a tourniquet on your right arm? Try loosening it a little to see if that makes a difference.

  38. Comment by Unknown | 04.11.2006 | 4:11 pm

    Hi Fatty -
    I recalled something from my college days when I had some sports medicine classes called "cyclists palsy". Here’s a link to what I found today. Hope it helps. (It happens to me too).


  39. Comment by Unknown | 04.11.2006 | 4:24 pm

    The same thing happens to me, except on my left side. I have no idea why or what causes it, I’ve tried several different gloves and new bar tape, but it still happens. I usually just roll the wrist a couple times and then pedal a little harder and ignore it.

  40. Comment by mhywan | 04.11.2006 | 4:40 pm

    You have more medical help than you need methinks.  Once in a while I have  numbness down there.  The funny thing is that it normally happens AFTER standing up.  Thoughts and comments?

  41. Comment by Zed | 04.11.2006 | 4:59 pm

    Barry, there is no bike.

  42. Comment by Unknown | 04.11.2006 | 5:28 pm

    Hey Fatty,
    Could be cervical ridiculopathy, but see your health care provider.
    On a bright note, you could be sent to mt bikers hell. The more upright position means you have to spend the rest of your life on a recumbant. I can’t wait to see you doing the KTR on one of those bad boys!

  43. Comment by Unknown | 04.11.2006 | 6:04 pm

    just remember fats,
    if you get any doppler studies done,
    you’ll see the pain coming before we
    hear you scream.
    or else, we’ll know when the thunderstorms
    are coming.

  44. Comment by Unknown | 04.11.2006 | 6:19 pm

    Compression of the Ulnar nerve…would cause the lower arm/hand numbness, just have to keep your hands moving.  Up top is probably one of the nerves that runs around the sternoclavicular area, try riding with a wider hold on the handlebars, sit up straight and keep shoulders wide, don’t hunch over.

  45. Comment by Joshua | 04.11.2006 | 6:21 pm

    now that sounds interesting, mostly because i have nearly the same problem, but on my left hand/arm.  i am right handed, i can pop/crack just about every joint in my body, (those near my cube call me rice crispy sometimes, snap, crackle, pop)  i recently changed the my handel bar wrap and so far it seems to be helping.  i did a harliquin wrap (  with cinelli gell tape (  with the wrap and tape i find that the extra cushon of the double layer of tape, along with the texture of the wrap tends to help.  of course this could just be placebo.

  46. Comment by Unknown | 04.11.2006 | 6:32 pm

    If you chop off your hand, the problem will go away. In lieu of that, you could stop riding your bikes, but that would be too stupid to even contemplate.

  47. Comment by Unknown | 04.11.2006 | 6:40 pm

    it sounds like it’s a fairly common problem.  i have it, and i am not ashamed to talk about it.  seriously, oury grips have helped a lot.  they are a little fatter/softer than the grips i was accustomed to in earlier years, and they allow me to relax my hands a little more than normal.  that, of course, only would be helpful on a mountain bike. it’s (for me) mostly hand/arm tension. and coincidentally, it is mostly my right arm that goes numb.
    i think there is really something to the grip change, though.  here is why: when i ride my road bike, my hands definitely go numb more often and more quickly than they do on the mountain bike. my road handlebars are skinny, and fatty tape (tape that would be as fat as my oury grips) is not available.
    I don’t have oury grips on my single speed, and when i ride it, my hands go numb fast. 
    the fact that i can’t straighten my right arm doesn’t help much.  my shoulder aches incessantly and it radiates down into my hand.  or i could just be making it up.  the oury grips have helped, though, even with my psychosis.
    i now feel like i am giving back (as per your plea).  and guess what you are getting for your upcoming birthday?  if you guessed oury grips, you are wrong.  the correct answer is "nothing."  have i ever given you a birthday present?  why would i start now?

  48. Comment by barry1021 | 04.11.2006 | 7:30 pm

    Mark Wan wrote: Once in a while I have  numbness down there.  The funny thing is that it normally happens AFTER standing up.
    Mark, FC requested that his crack medical team meet to discuss your situation. We agree, it is pretty funny. Seriously what is happening is that the blood is moving toward your brain to prevent you from seeing red and passing out, and you have to make a choice, up there, or ..down there. Please visit Fatty’s store in the medical division, there is a device there to help. Make sure you choose a right handed or left handed model based upon your preference.
    OK seriously, seriously, if you are really experiencing any numbness or tingling down there during or after riding, your set up is not right or you need a different seat or both. This is not something to fool around with if you plan to have kids or sex or both. There is a lot of great info on setup at if you are experiencing it before riding, you are just excited about the upcoming ride, that is natural.

  49. Comment by barry1021 | 04.11.2006 | 7:51 pm

    And Susie, Susie, Susie
    Speaking for the entire male population of this Blog, I am expressing deep dismay that you think we might "lose it in the gutter" when you brought up the subject of using a vibrator on sore muscles. This is an extremely important and serious issue that FC has brought to our attention. Just because every site on the internet calls these devices "electric massagers" while you call it a vibrator is no reason for us to head for the gutter. No reason at all. Nuh uh. Not us. Nope.
    Say, you wouldn’t happen to have a picture of you in a Speedo would ya??

  50. Comment by Unknown | 04.11.2006 | 8:56 pm

    When does your numbness go away? I had this happen with my left
    hand/arm (and I’m righthanded) and it has never entirely gone away
    since the ride that doomed it. (2 years later) Better quality gloves
    seemed to help lessen it a bit.

  51. Comment by Unknown | 04.11.2006 | 9:21 pm

    Don’t do that.

  52. Comment by Unknown | 04.12.2006 | 3:14 am

    Keep the eyes up the road.  What gear inches are you riding?  When do you leave the "Say WA" state for the "Where is my next wife, I need a Drink" state?Thanks much.

  53. Comment by souiee_n_marc | 04.12.2006 | 9:13 pm

    perhaps you’ve compressed a nerve on your right side, and this becomes exacerbated whilst in the saddle, hunched over, riding, with vibrations on a sunny and/or cloudy day. maybe altering your cock-pit a bit to stretch you out somewhat might prove helpful. does this phenomenon occur on the couch, with a beer? i’m no (medical) doctor, but it’s probably not the ganglion cyst or your degree of handedness or even the presence of the scar; maybe you could try stretching a little (you do, afterall, sit and type a lot).
    regarding the ganglion cyst, my wife has one on her hand as well; it’s hot, you should be happy yours grew back.
    by the way (too old for that btw crap), i’ve enjoyed reading your blog; as a self proclaimed middle-aged-fat-many-things-none-of-which-i’m-all-that-great-at-but-certainly-exceed-some-standards-of-mediocrity, you’ve made feel not-so-alone in my pathetic descent into crotchity-old-guy-dom. please keep it up.

  54. Comment by turnonthejets | 04.13.2006 | 2:12 pm

    I agree with the Ulnar nerve diagnosis above.  Head on over to Specailized’s Body Geometry site ( and click glove and grips.  Buy a set of BG gloves.  Ta Da!*  Worked for my hand numbness.*results may vary

  55. Comment by Maritza Rossi Lahodik | 04.13.2006 | 3:53 pm

    It definately sounds like what I have:
    Ulnar Neuropathy, I was diagnosed with this.  The bad thing is that they have to do a nerve study to diagnose this.
    I hated my nerve study, there are some excersizes you can do and you can wear protective pads on your elbows.

  56. Comment by Christa and Glen | 04.13.2006 | 4:30 pm

    How about running your rear brake on the left for a while-see if the numbness changes sides. There is, of course a potential for doom if you forget about the change in the heat of action, but hey, it’s research.

  57. Comment by Tom Stormcrowe | 04.13.2006 | 7:19 pm

    Fatty, just for grins and giggles, ride a ::GASP:: recumbent and see if it happens. If it doesn’t happen, then you are probably carrying too much of your weight on the hands and wrists, and considering you had surgery on that right hand, there is probably some scar tissue compression of the nerve in that hand, hence the numbness.Possible fixes: 1)raise your stem a tad, get a more upright stance on the bike2) Go to a recumbent3) Gelwrap the handlebars, softer surface = less point compressionI know the ‘bent is already out, no recumbent mountainbikes, but actually, you could set a trend!::GRIN::

  58. Comment by Unknown | 04.13.2006 | 7:39 pm

    I had the same problem once and after a very expensive examination I was told to get a better bike fitting. Here’s the thing: if your bike adjustment is even slightly off it can put a lot of pressure on some of the nerves that run through your butt and the back of your thighs. Try an adjustment, but if that doesn’t work go see a doctor right away. Believe it or not you can actually being doing permanent nerve damage! Plus, to find out if you are doing nerve damage you have to go to a nuerologist who hooks you up to a mideval-looking do-dad-thingy and shocks you all over your body — weird stuff. Here’s a few other tips: stop crossing your legs when you’re sitting down and make sure your body isn’t crossed when you’re sleeping. You don’t want to be putting pressure on your nerves because that only makes things worse. And get a nice saddle that made for men and has a cut-out or a nice pad for your prostate. All this stuff will really help. Promise.

  59. Comment by FatSnowboarder | 04.13.2006 | 10:03 pm

    Hey thanks for the jump start on my own blog.  You have inspired.
    Now for your answer:
    The numbness comes from pinching a large vein that runs through the palm of your hand.  As you know, if you skin open your palm you can bleed to death faster than if you slit your throat.  The constant pressure your put on your palms during a ride causes restricted blood flow and thus reduces the oxygen to your arm and hand.  The reason why it is your right is because your probably lean right or put more pressure there.
    Thanks for the jump start,

  60. Comment by Unknown | 04.15.2006 | 5:26 am

    I have not yet read other people’s comments, but I’m gong to hazard a guess that it’s from some kind of nerve impingement, the same that causes me to have problems with my right shoulder and elbow (ulnar nerve entrapment), and I’m told those are because I sit and have sat at a computer far too long, reaching forward with that right arm.  It apparently puts a lot of stress on the joints, nerves, etc., in the wrist, elbow, shoulder, neck, scapula, etc., etc.  And you’re doing that as well as the same thing with both arms on the bicycle. 
    I think maybe I’d be asking a neurologist before there is permanent damage. Or maybe one of those sports docs?
    EDIT:  I hadn’t yet posted this and started reading and found that there are more people who know big words and physiology and stuff like that!  What a world!

  61. Comment by Alan | 04.21.2006 | 11:57 pm

    Just read this entry.  For me the problem was the Camelbak — it was constricting just enough to cause this on long rides.
    Now I just ride with water bottles (making sure that convenience stores are always along the route).


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