More Hand Position Options To Reduce Numb Hands
So, I learned something on my bike to work commutes last year – I’m getting old. No longer is my body resilient to some of the abuse it takes on the road. I’m not talking about the bumps and shakes I get from all the potholes in the road, but rather, numb hands from keeping the same ride position for over an hour.
To help prevent/reduce the numbness, I’ve heard and read that it’s good to change your hand position during your ride. Coming from the mountain bike world, my rides were equipped with flat or riser bars – with just one hand position. My first thought was to replace those with some drop bars. However, I’m cheap and didn’t want to pay for all new bars, levers or shifters. I’ve also considered some bullhorn bars, but I’m also lazy and don’t have the time to learn how to tape them properly.
My quick and cheap solution: bar-ends.
I used to keep bar-ends on my mountain bike, mostly for handling. They gave me a bit more control and better stance on all my climbs. As I’ve been transitioning over to road/utility/commuter cycling over the past few years, I felt they were unnecessary, extra weight. They ended up in the spare bike parts box.
As it turns out, putting bar-ends back on my bikes has improved the comfort level on my commutes. They give me just enough change in my hand positions, that the numbness has reduced or gone away. Unfortunately, I’m still getting old. I’ll let you know if I discover a modification or a part that helps that.
On a side note, I did have to replace one of my handlebars. I had trimmed my stock bars on my Monocog too narrow to accommodate bar-ends, so I ended up getting a really cheap Ritchey Comp riser bar from Amazon. What’s funny is the really complicated instructions that came with the bars.