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Pins and needles in toes and fingers

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MadGutts 05 May 22:02  

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Hi guys,

I have been cycling for years (on and off) but recently got a new bike and changed the pedals for SPD and got some Shimano shoes and fitted the cleats in the midway point under the ball off my foot... I have had these for a few months and have steadly gone for longer and longer rides. So after about 12 miles i start getting pins and needles in my toes and either need to de-clip and ride on my toes or jump of and stand on my toes...

Any ideas why this is happening? are my cleats too far back? or is it because i have cleats, im not using my toes to pedal now?

And also, my fingers start going numb or getting pins and needles too - which i have put down to the gloves as i never had this with my winter gloves - although I wasn't cycling as far as i do now!


My Latest Route: Apr 2010 Witney to Ferryman Inn, Bablock Hythe
lotus777 05 May 23:42  

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unfortunately i dont have an answer for you but i am also suffering these symptoms. mainly numbness in the hands / fingers after a 10 mile ride at a sustained pace and my left foot has occasionally tingled a bit aswell. i see myself as quite fit so i'm hoping its not down to blood circulation issues


swalld 06 May 21:48  

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Hi
I have sciatic nerve problems which causes my legs to go numb and have quite a bit of pain and also my hands go numb if I am leaning too far forward onto them (need to raise handle bars a little now doing longer rides). May not be related to you but when talked to my physio he said make sure you don't strap your feet in place on the pedal but let them sit more central.


bloomp 08 May 14:36  

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I get numbness in thumb & 1st 3 fingers both hands on a long ride, head down for ages - I think remember my medical guy said it is bony deposits on cervical vertebrae pinching the radial nerves - manipulation exercises or surgery to fix - not been back since haha - manipulation exercise has been ok for yrs now until took up cycling again lol. Contemplating barends to raise my posture & get some relief.

My Latest Route: Sep 2010 Middlesborough to Thorpe Thewles Circuit

mr.mole 04 Jun 22:42  

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I gat a lot of numbness in my hands, and i think its down to the way i ride, I tent to lean forward alot and put alof of presure on certian parts of my palms. I have found that if I every so ofen ride with one hand and move my wrist, allowing the blood to flow properly, its not so bad. I find it worse if ive rode across the north yorksire moors to Whitby and back, as going up and down hills all days mean as I go downhill, I put alot more preasure on my hands. so its good to rest them, even changing possition of ur wrist has helped.

Hope that helps


MadGutts 04 Jun 23:17  

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Well i have been looking around the internet and here is what i have found so far....

Numbness is caused by stopping blood flow to the area.. where as pins and needles is the blood flowing back into the area...

So check that shoes are not too tight - i must confess i always tighten up my shoes as i like a snug fit.. but i will be trying tomorrow with a looser shoe and see how much of a difference..

and gloves with good padding will make a difference too... but i now have the question What glove is the best for each style of handle bar??

I personally use drop bars with the new combined brake and gear, so leaning on my hand between my thumb and first finger surely i need padding in a diferent place than a mountain bike straight handle bar?

My Latest Route: Apr 2010 Witney to Ferryman Inn, Bablock Hythe

Dave@uk 04 Jun 23:27  

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Not sure about the feet issue the only time I had anything similar was when I over tightend my road bike shoes. I think the hand issue is to do with nerves, some gel gloves say they reduce this I have some specialised ones which seem to work well they call it body geomerty and I am sure the web site used to have detail but now its just a flashplayer skeleton,


Outrunner 05 Jun 09:57  

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I recently fitted a set of Ergon GC3 grips to my bike, they seem to help with numbness in my fingers of the right hand. http://www.ergon-bike.com/us/en/ergonomics


Eddie D 05 Jun 10:57  

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Hi Guys

Was out on Thursday night just under 50 miles.
About 40 miles gone my toes on both feet went numb, really sore had to stop and remove my shoes and wiggle my toes.Felt like cramp.
I use SPD pedals and shoes on a Boardman hybrid bike.
Was out Sunday 25 miles Tuesday 37 miles with no problems.

Any idea?

Cheers Ed


colt35 08 Jun 22:04  

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same happens to me , so i moved cleats back on shoes it worked for me , as for finger i have had damage to shoulder so i have physio, but what it is that you head is in the same position for along time nerves get swallen in shoulder and neck and with that your finger tiggle, when you get of and stretch it goes away, so the only way ive found is to work ya neck muscles against head board pushing and holding for few seconds then changing to another angle and neck shoulder massage , thats works for me , consalt a physio there put you straight alway works.


MadGutts 09 Jun 23:15  

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Hi colt35,
Where abouts do you have your cleats now? mine are under the ball of my foot, but i wondered about moving them forward so i would be pushing down with my toes rather than my ankle?

My Latest Route: Apr 2010 Witney to Ferryman Inn, Bablock Hythe

colt35 10 Jun 00:00  

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i moved mine back towards middle of my foot trile and error and tried side to side untill ifound most comfotable spot, as on ball of ya foot is also a problem from driving my used to go knumb again on long journeys , moved from on my toes as that was the problem too you dont do the work with ya toes! get someone to ride behind you for awhile and they will see if ya riding position is right seat hight and also see if legs feet ect are not twisted, stretching too much,or even cramped up while riding and adjust to straighten up, youll know becouse it becomes more comfortablejust remenber if one side is right dont asume other side will be the same, little diffrents sometimes mine is !,hope it helps mate,


Provene 27 Aug 13:30  

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I'm very interested to read this thread. I find that after about 20 minutes or so of riding my fingers are so numb that I can barely feel my fingers and I struggle to change gear or brake. However after cycling on after another 20 minutes or so all seems well again and will continue to be so for the rest of the ride, however long it may be.

Where did you buy the C3 grips from? I couldn't find a stockist in the UK on their website. They sound good.

My Latest Route: Apr 2010 Waltham Chase to Kilmeston Loop

Outrunner 28 Aug 09:44  

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Merlin Cycles, here you go http://www.merlincycles.co.uk/Search/Product+Detail/Ergon+GC3_1988.htm


MadGutts 15 Sep 23:25  

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Update:

I have found another cyclist who has solved this problem with the shoes...
pins and needles in toes is down to the shoes cutting off circulation - my old shoes where lace up and i tied them too tight hoping that they would slacken on the ride...

I now have some Diodora shoes with 3 velcro fasteners and these are great... but again if i over tighten them the pins and needles return. So im happy with my new shoes and cleats. a 20 mile cycle just wears me out rather than causing sore feat!

My Latest Route: Apr 2010 Witney to Ferryman Inn, Bablock Hythe

matta56 27 Feb 19:12  

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also have the problem with finger numbness, tried doing research sounds like it could be something called whitefinger due to the contuined vibration from the road.
i've been advised to get good grip and gloves, and wiggle fingrs where poss to get the blood flowing well.
lets face it we all wear cycle shorts to avoid the same problem in the seating area,(also know as numbnuts)


8pete 17 Jun 08:36  

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cant comment on the numb/tingly feet but i know with hands you need to check your bike set up in particular how much of your weight is going onto your arms/hands, like other have said good gel gloves, good gel bar tape or even double wrap the places where your hand are most and you can get gell shaped pads that stick onto your bars where your hands would be then the bar tape is wrapped over the top


Worcester 05 Sep 19:56  

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Tension usually causes pins and needles. I suggest that you try to ride more relaxed. Relax the shoulders and place your fingers/hands lightly on the bars. It's the same with the feet, try to keep your ankles flexible so you do a scrapping movement with your foot on the up stroke. Try to concentrate on the pedaling motion without rocking you top part of your body therefore strenghtening your core muscles. This all comes when you start building up your mileage and time on the saddle. Other thing you could also do is get in and out of the saddle. If climbing a steep long hill, when you're out of the saddle on the steep parts of the climb, just use the small muscle groups in your legs and no weight on the handle bars. Shorter hills, try powering up the climb using all the big muscle groups in your legs. All this will help you relax on the bike and release any tension.

Hope this of use to you,

Martin


oneten 06 Sep 17:36  

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The numb toes have also been a problem for me wearing toe clips but now I take a 'prevention is better than cure' approach by trying to find ways of improving circulation before the numbness sets in too much. One way is when coasting down a gentle hill, I take a foot out of the clips and raise my leg backwards and let it rest on my rear panniers for a while before letting it back down and gently swinging the leg back and forth clear of the pedal while giving the toes a bit of a wiggle. I do this with each leg periodically and it seems to boost circulation and prevent the numbness.

If it's a long ride on the flat, especially into a headwind, then it's not as easy and if the numbness starts getting bad I dismount and do some leg stretches and leg swinging exercises. The strange looks from motorists are worth putting up with for the benefits that come from this performance, usually accompanied by lots of mad arm waving to alleviate the same problem in the hands.

I'm convinced that prolonged periods of numbness can't be good so it's worth taking these measures.

Oneten


happy 07 Sep 13:18  

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I've never really had issues with numbness when cycling but do get it occasionally when out for a run. I have managed to run through it once or twice when eventually the numbness passes and blood starts circulating again.

However as the previous poster stated, I too find that when running every now and then I try and wiggle my toes e.t.c. Just to try and prolong the inevitable.

My Latest Route: Oct 2010 Livingston to Ayr Avoiding A71

cyclekids2school 03 Oct 08:13  

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My husband and I biked to Peterborough from March via the NCR63 on the 1st October and I have had numbness in my right hand 4th finger and little finger ever since.
I have a career in noise and vibration and I am now concerned this is like vibration white finger possibly caused by vibration between the road and the bike and getting into my hands as I have a cheapish bike and there is no form of damping in the frame like shock absorbers etc and my hand grips are quite rigid?

Im thinking i need some foam pipe insulation around my hand grips now but that wouldnt look great..

My husband wasnt affected at all.

This was our first decent bike trip out.

Im hoping the pins and needles go away soon.




BusterG 03 Oct 11:16  

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Good luck Cyclekids2school,
I found that niceley padded gloves and spongy bar tape cured my numbness on my cheapie road bike.
If that doesnt do it for you try ergo grips with barends. it is all about relieving the presure on the hands when in contact with the bar.
A lot of bike shop staff are knowlegeable and can suggest a solution depending on your symptoms. They may start by suggesting a new top of the range bike by tell to give over and they usually do.

Congrats on your ride BTW.
Have fun.
Buster.

My Latest Route: Oct 2013 Liss

pathfinder2tri 03 Oct 11:37  

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Hi Madgutts,

The first thing I would look at is the location of your cleats, a rule of thumb to start with is place a strip of masking tape along the inside edge of your shoes, then mark where the "bulge" of your big toe is located in the shoe, do this on both shoes. Next continue the mark to the underside of the shoe, this will give you a close start point to place your cleat.

Next I would look at saddle position and height, height roughly should be :when one leg is straight down on the peddle the knee should have a slight bend, when you drop your heel so that the foot is level, the leg should be almost straight up and down.

Is the saddle to far back oe forward? Place yur finger tips on the centre of your bikes headset/stearing column, and adjust the saddles lateral movement so the nose of the saddle touches your elbow, again this is a good starting point.

Finally, are your shoes too tight? If the shoes are too tight they tend to cramp the nerves that support the metatarssals in the foot, this will cause numbness, oins and needles ans a sensation of hotness, wider fitting shoes or just loosenning the straps help.

Hope this has been of some use to you.

Pathfinder2tri

My Latest Route: Oct 2012 Faversham, Chillham, Molash Return

fairweathercyclist 03 Oct 14:21  

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My advice to all having problems is go to an expert for a proper bike fit. I've cycled for years thinking all I had to do was set the saddle height and find a comfortable height for the bars. I had two bikes adjusted for me on Friday last and they're completely different now. Bars higher and seat much further forward than I have ever had them, but (BIG BUT) far more comfortable. I ride about thirty miles at a go normally, now I get home and could go round again. No niggly aches and pains, I also ride faster and find the going easier. It will cost you, my two bike fit was £110 plus some spares, but for me worth very penny.

My Latest Route: Jul 2010 Broughton to Messingham Loop

spanish pirate 03 Oct 17:18  

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Had the same problem but it was old spd's transfered to a new bike.
Changed saddle position and was ok on a 50 miler i did this weekend.
You may also need to experiment with cleat position on your shoes and not have the velcro straps to tight.
Hope this helps.

My Latest Route: Oct 2011 Wandsworth Loop

stig_thedump 09 Oct 16:56  

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Hello there,

Reading through all the posts above I have a couple of questions.......

What bike are you riding ? Road, mountain, Hybrid

What is the terrain like ?

whats your frame material?

what are your tyres like ?

Reason for asking 3 riders doing same 600 mile route from cardiff to edinburgh,

3 road bikes, 2full carbon 1 aluminium, 3 different tyre pressures 3 different riding styles, 1 rider full carbon had above vibration white finger symtoms half way, his riding position was wrong which made him grip the bars to tight and the high tyre pressure on varying tar mac, (that type where you can see the aggregate on the surface) if you went over it in the car you hear the rumble... we adjusted his seat only half an inch and he was ok for the other 300 mile no problems.
the other aluminium bike same as above but he changed the front whhel after a spill for a slightly wider tyre (less air pressure) he was ok with less vibration.

I myself on the other full carbon hard tyre pressure, had no problems comfortable riding position (leaning slightly forward) loose but firm grip on bars (changing hand position regular top, bottom top of levers etc) and not at full leg stretch when peddling. also when coasting down hills I still spun the pedals although slowly to keep legs moving, and when hill climbing alternate in and out of the saddle. also you may find a difference if you adjust cleats or tension mine SPDSL have a 6 degree float whe as the other riders cleats were fixed SPD's

sorry for the epic ramble, but someone may find some of the content usefull basically dont have the seat to high, and dont grip the bars too tight for too long in the same position.





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