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Home » Cycling » Wrist Pain and Road Bike Cockpit Setup; Gravel Is Fun To Ride On… Not Much Fun in Your Wrist

Wrist Pain and Road Bike Cockpit Setup; Gravel Is Fun To Ride On… Not Much Fun in Your Wrist

February 2020
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In a post last week, I wrote about a wrist problem I was having. I figured it might be related to the new handlebar install I did on my Trek. My wrist was a lot worse than I let on in my post.

So, the problem was in the way I installed the hoods on the handlebar, but going by looks, it shouldn’t have been a problem. We install the hoods so they follow the line of the handlebar:

Originally, I started having trouble shaving with my right hand. I’d get to a couple of key places and my wrist would lock, causing a shooting pain up my arm. My palm hurt like hell for about a half-hour after. If I gripped my razor wrong, causing the handle to rest in my palm, the pain was intense.

Before long, the tendons in my wrist were catching so much it felt like I had gravel in my wrist. This started back in November, but I didn’t miss a day on the bike and didn’t think much of it until mid-December. I thought I might be experiencing the start of carpal tunnel syndrome.

We went on vacation over Christmas, for a week and a half. I hoped, if it was bike related, the time off the bike would help. It didn’t get better. Shaving sucked, and I was resigning myself to get in to see a doctor when I got home.

On a fluke, I tried to roll my hand forward at the wrist. Make like you’re going to shake someone’s hand, then drop your fingers to the floor, bending at the wrist. The pain was hot, intense, and excruciating.

That’s when I knew it was bike related.

I left my handlebar where it was and raised my hoods, maybe an inch, so I wasn’t rolling my wrists forward so much.

Three weeks later and I just shaved pain free for the first time since this whole mess started. It was bike related, I’m not getting CTS, now that I’ve fixed my hoods… just a little too aggressive.

I just adorned the Trek with new bar tape, too, so she’s feeling good and looking snazzy:

It’s hard to tell from that angle, but the hoods were raised quite a bit.

Point is, as much as I know about setting a bike up, I still managed to hurt myself. On the bright side, I also knew enough to fix what I screwed up in the first place… so it’s not all bad.


2 Comments

  1. The Omil says:

    Pleased to hear about the wrist – but the red trim on the bar tape looks like a departure from the norm? ‘Bar tape should be one solid colour’, discuss.

    • bgddyjim says:

      I knew I was going out on a limb with it, you make a great point. I had to try it, though. And it WORKS! From 10′ away, you can hardly tell it’s not all black… I’m of the opinion that if it’s understated enough, it can work. I’m willing to take my lumps for the choice.

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