Handlebar Injuries

Lots of discussion about people’s handlebars, but I don’t see any thread devoted to the resulting injuries.

I haven’t had anything real serious, but I’m finding that I am consistently hitting the inside of my thighs on my KH T-bar when I UPD to the front off my KH29 muni. Bruises on top of bruises on top of bruises. :frowning: I’m considering playing with the length, or maybe even putting some padding on the sides of the handlebar. I really like using it, but can’t go on like this.

Other experiences with handlebar injuries? Tips for remedying the problem(s)?

Funny that you should post this now… I just came back from a four day unsupported tour from Quebec City to Montreal and have been experiencing numbness in my left hand from placing so much weight on my palm. In fact, I haven’t been able to feel my left ring finger for a full two weeks. Totally numb.

I went to the doctor today and he said that it is bad nerve damage. It may take up to 3 months to restore feeling…

Wear well padded gloves people!

Gloves for a start. Based on your situation, it sounds like you kept the same hand position for hours at a time. Try to move around more, even if it just means different hand positions. I find myself doing that on long rides, and prefer a handle system that gives me multiple ways to hold on.

When I read the name of this thread I wasn’t sure if it was about getting injured by your handles, or about bad things happening to handles in dismounts? Like clods of dirt and grass being jammed into the ends of uncapped tubing… :stuck_out_tongue:

Nerve damage does heal but can take many months or even years. I had mild numbness in my left thumb after doing my 24hr record ride. I used aerobars, and held in a few positions but mostly with my weight against the gap between thumb and forefinger (wearing gloves). It made getting coins out of my wallet difficult for a while, and the lack of feeling didn’t fully go away for a year or two.

I don’t really have any advice apart from being aware that it can happen. I would have said that weight more on your palm than between fingers was better, but that was what you were already doing!


Good point. My handles get injured just as much as I do. :slight_smile:

I don’t have enough UPDs that I’d make a big deal out of how the handlebar hurt my fall. I’ve never had any trouble with the handle giving me injuries though, even when I was learning.

John is right, don’t ever keep your hands in one spot for too long. I’ve tried some awkward hand positions before that could relieve my hands until they felt OK again. It’s a little harder with a uni handlebar, I loved drop bars because of all the hand positions, but after switching over, I’ve had to focus on it more. Gloves don’t really help all that much unless you’re on a bumpy path, you’re still putting that pressure on your hands, padded or not. I suppose they do spread out the force on a larger area of your hand though. I can take 'em or leave 'em. I’d rather pad the bars themselves.

Yeah, it’s true. I tried to switch up my hand positioning, but the stock bar ends that come on the t-bar don’t allow for too much of that. I’m looking into a good alternative. Something that will allow not only more positions, but will allow for an even more stretched out geometry. Seems like the lower and longer the better.

Origin8 makes some add-on barends that look like road drops. They look like they would increase both the reach and drop of your hand position.

I modify mine to look like this. No more bruises (well maybe small ones). They are really comfortable to ride with.

They look very cool. It is quite tempting to consider something like that. It would be lovely to have a ‘normal’ position on the tops and still be able to go six inches lower to the drops for cruising.


Nice mod - the corners you trimmed are what hit the inside of my thighs. Unfortunately, I still haven’t gotten around to learning to weld, so that’s beyond my ability for now.

Last night I went for a 10-12 mile xc ride, and really focused on avoiding hitting the t-bar. This was a bit easier than the muni rides where I’ve been hitting the bar, so maybe not a true test. But by just staying conscious of the issue, I mostly avoided hitting the bar in the couple forward UPD’s I had. I’m thinking that I need to just practice and keep my focus in a UPD, and if that’s not enough I may need to remove the bar for harder muni use (although I really do like it for a lot of the trails I go on with mixed xc/harder terrain).

I use the angle grinder, hacksaw and file but pay my welder in beer. I tape it all together so he knows what I want. It works out fine but I really need to learn TIG.

Hmm, I also know a welder or two who like beer (are there any that don’t?). Scheming in progress. . . . :slight_smile: