Now the questions start (just two)

Minotaur

New Member
1. What pressure do you keep your tires at when trail riding? On the road I keep them at about 65-70 lbs. But this doesn't work on the trails, does it? :eek:

2. Hands get numb? It didn't happen (that I remember) on Sunday riding through Allaire. It seems to happen only when I'm on the road on the mtb. Ever experience this?
 

ytc100

New Member
1. What pressure do you keep your tires at when trail riding? On the road I keep them at about 65-70 lbs. But this doesn't work on the trails, does it? :eek:

2. Hands get numb? It didn't happen (that I remember) on Sunday riding through Allaire. It seems to happen only when I'm on the road on the mtb. Ever experience this?

1 - Depends on your weight, tires, riding style, and preference. Most of us try to ride with as low a pressure as possible until you start getting pinch flats. I weigh 140lbs and can get away with 30psi in the rear and 28psi in the front with my current setup.

2 - Sorry no experience with this personally but you may be leaning on your hands too much. This could be caused by your saddle being tilted nose down or the bar height being too low.
 

tommyjay

Not-So-Venerable Asshat
Stuff

1. Tire pressure: the recommended tire pressure (or range) should be listed on the sidewall of the tires. I haven't run tires with tubes in a while, but I think I used to run in the 40-50 psi range. You want the tire to be firm enough so it doesn't pinch flat or feel slllooow, but soft enough that you don't bounce like a pinball off of every little bump on the trail.

2. Hand numbness is pretty common - especially on long rides (or on hard surfaces like the road). If its just a minor complaint, try a pair of mtb gloves - they will absorb some of the vibration and may solve the problem. If you have significant problems with numbness, you may need to adjust your seat and handlebar position/height to alleviate the problem.

my 2 cents.
 

Minotaur

New Member
OK, thanks guys...

1. I'm about 216 lbs; I'll check the sidewalls again. I never bothered because I always rode pavement, and I knew the higher the pressure on pavement, the better. But trail riding is completely different (ya think?).

2. I will look for mtb gloves, and try raising my bars. Saddle is pretty much level, but now that I think of it, the bars might be a little too low. I'll check that out.
 

bonefishjake

Strong like bull, smart like tractor
Team MTBNJ Halter's
1. @ 200 lbs i don't go anything less than 42-43 lbs. i've found that running low pressures increases rolling resistance. until i can generate the same torque as my jeep, well, i'll keep the tire pressure up.

2. my hands occasionally get numb too...but only on the road. i probably need a new pair of gloves or to just change my positioning occasionally.
 

Minotaur

New Member
Yeah, I change my hands position periodically too. That helps. But sometimes it happens really fast. And of course, that's the time you have to brake or shift. :rolleyes:
 

stb222

Love Drunk
Jerk Squad
I had a pair of gloves once that caused my hands to go numb but most likely it is your position. Your hands should be in line with you forearms.
 

anrothar

entirely thrilled
hand numbness is caused by pressure on your ulnar nerve, which runs into your hand at the base of your palm. keeping your wrists straight when riding helps, as do padded gloves, and; while i haven't used them myself; ergon grips seem to help as well. riding mtb on the road is one area where barends help alot, because of the added hand positions.
 

Minotaur

New Member
I had bar-ends on my first mtb. I really liked them. Can't find them anymore, and I haven't seen anyone using them anymore. One thing I neglected to mention is that I sometimes turn the hell of my hand up and take the pressure off. It helps.
 

bonefishjake

Strong like bull, smart like tractor
Team MTBNJ Halter's
hand numbness is caused by pressure on your ulnar nerve, which runs into your hand at the base of your palm. keeping your wrists straight when riding helps, as do padded gloves, and; while i haven't used them myself; ergon grips seem to help as well. riding mtb on the road is one area where barends help alot, because of the added hand positions.

i forgot to metion that i have bar ends on my converted psuedo-road trek 970. i really only find that my hands get numb after a few miles of "flat" riding.
 
Hi Minotaur, welcome to the "fun" house, glad to hear you're back into MTBing.

Regarding your hand numbness - I kinda get the feeling there aren't many mtbnj members who fall into our "special" category,... those with AARP eligibility ;) . I'be been MTBing since 1989 and over the years have definitely noticed how differently my body parts react to riding, whether MTB or road.

I use handlebar grips that have a soft cushiony feel. I've had them quite a while but unfortunately haven't been able to find them anywhere lately. I would definitely try the Ergons, I read nothing but good things about them. I'm thinking of putting them on one of my bikes.

DON'T let the fact that you don't see many MTBs with bar-ends keep you from using them. Your bike is YOUR bike and set it up whatever way that works for YOU. I have them on all of my MTBs, which I also sometimes use on the road. Being able to change hand positions relieves some pressure and lets the blood circulate more thoroughly. And I find grabbing the bar-ends when climbing helps me get up the hills easier.

Another thing I do is wiggle my fingers from time to time while still holding onto the bars. Obviously this is much easier to do on the road than the trail. And on flat, smooth sections of trail I'll take one hand off the bar and shake it back and forth from the wrist, again to keep the blood moving. I've gotten to the point where I do these things automatically, to prevent numbness or cramping fingers.

Riding on the road your body is pretty much staying in the same place the whole time. While out on a trail you're using a lot more "body english" to maneuver the bike every which way. That may redistribute some of the pressure on your hands. Also remember to keep a slight bend in your elbows and use your arms as shock absorbers when on the road, and not put your upper body weight onto your hands. Also, if you're recently getting back into riding, it's going to take some time for your body to adjust to it all. You seem really gung-ho about riding again, which is great. Just remember you're not 20 any more, and I don't mean that as a bad thing :) .

Sorry if I sound preachy about all this, but I just wanted to share some things that work for me. And if you work in Monroe, there are some trails in Thompson Park in Jamesburg. It's not big, or well maintained, but if you need a quick "fix" it might just do it for you. Park near the dog park area.
 
One More Thought

The current issue of Dirt Rag magazine #130, has an article about handlebars, and "The Old Coot" (Bill Boles) has some interesting comments (on page 80) about handlebars also. Specifically the On One Mary bar.

Happy Trails !
 

Minotaur

New Member
Thanks. :) And no, you're not preachy at all. Even though I consider myself a moderately experienced road rider, off-road is totally new to me. I have a lot to learn. Though I was pleasantly surprised at how well I did at Allaire on Sunday.

Ooh, and you had to bring up AARP!? :mad: (I'm now a member :D). The owner of the bike shop I bought my 3 previous bikes from told me I wasn't the guy I was 10 years before like when I bought my first mtb, to be pushing a mtb on the road like I liked doing. I wanted to pop him in the head. But I know what you mean... a guy I met on the trail said the same thing... no being a hot dog... old enough to know our limitations.

You're right about moving around while trail riding. On the road you are pretty stationary and have to consciously think about shifting and squirming in the saddle and changing hand positions. I occasionally shake my hands too. I've been thinking about looking for more padded grips. I even consciously try to no have a death grip. I actually never did.

Yes, I know Thompson Park very well. At lunch time I'd park by the deer enclosure and little zoo (I always felt sorry for the animals, they looked so lonely :().
 
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