Many great suggestions here – thank to all the contributors.
I also have an issue with soreness in my arms/tingling that is exacerbated from riding – but I love riding my bike and do not want to give it up!
I weigh in at 96kg so I am not a race bike body to be sure. My core is strong enough, I am a few kg overweight (about three), so its not a huge contributing factor in my mind.
They tell me I have CTS in both wrists, and as such I feel that is the issue when it comes to the tingling in my hands. It is the pain up the arm that I wonder about – are they related?
Given the CTS, I try to not push it – no more than 2030km per ride, shift my weight, change hand position, give my arms a break every once in a while. I just wonder if there are stretches or massage or other therapies/exercises I can do to offer relief? I do planks every day and that helps with core, I find i get a real response when I intensely massage my upper arm at the rear in the triceps area, and the outside of my forearm – so that makes me think maybe if I could buy a home electric massage therapy kit and use that it would be of benefit – bit I ma not sure if they work, does anyone have experience with them?
Great thread, thanks
You’ve gotten several great suggestions from others and, as an avid cyclist, I’d like to offer further insight.
Even with a proper bike fit you can still experience tightness in your arms, shoulders and neck. A lot of this will have to do with your confidence on the bike. The more riding experience you have the more relaxed you will feel on the bike. While riding check your grip on the handlebars. Change hand positions often from placing your hands the top of the handlebars to riding with your hands on the brake hoods to getting down in the drops. This habit can provide relief to your hands and wrists as well as your back and arms. Another thing to check is the width of your handle bars. If your shoulders feel compressed you may need wider handle bars. After being properly fitted to my bike with the handle bar width matching my shoulder width I experienced similar problems that you are. Getting wider bars helped me.
Even with a proper bike fit sitting on a saddle leaning over your handlebars and supporting a 10-12lb. head does place stress on your body with the back, shoulders, neck and arms taking most of it. Strengthening your core and your upper body will pay big dividends alleviating discomfort and adding pleasure to your ride.
Best of luck!
Since we do not know the specifics, I’ll take a guess and I’ll come up with a few hypothetical scenarios.
When road cycling, in particular, you may be collapsing your chest, dropping your heavier than normal in this position head (plus helmet) forward. Suggestions: shoulders back, widen chest area, position your head where it feels centered on your body, slightly tucked rather than extended.
Another possibility, esp. with road cycling, is that you cause the pain from your palms up. Try to avoid resting your hands on the handlebar in the little valley (heel of palm the area between the two bumps) where many nerves run. Sometimes that can be exaggerated with the use of padded gloves, when the actual padding causes extra pressure in that valley. Watch your forearm and wrist alignment too. One more thought: your saddle angle. If it’s too low in front, it will pitch you forward. Soften your elbows. Finally, if you’re referring only to mountain biking, I’m going to guess that it’s the downhill that aggravates your pain. You may need to take breaks. Soften your elbows, and try to distribute the weight throughout your body, stand on your pedals; the steeper the hill, the more you should shift your weight back. Enjoy your rides!
I agree with the answers above regarding bike fit, position, etc.
However, depending on what type of cycling you are doing, if you are new to the sport, etc, the answer may be yes.
If you are doing terrain or downhill mountain biking, then your arms and shoulders can get sore from the reverberations and trying to maintain your balance and stability. If you’re doing triathlon and have yourself in an aero position, then you’re placing a lot of pressure on your arms and shoulders. They may not be used to that position. Any new change can cause soreness. If you’re new to cycling, racing, duathlons, triathlon, etc, your bike position is more forward than a regular, recreational road bike. Your body needs to adjust to the forward motion of your body. A good cycling training program will include upper body to strengthen your chest and upper back to support your body in a isometric contraction for the duration of your race.
However, if you’re cycling for recreation, on a stationary bike or a spin class, then no. Those bike are made where your upper body is not in a supportive role while you are cycling.