Member Question: Wrist Pain on Base Bars

author : FitWerx
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Member Question from 40isnotold

 

"When I ride my Tri-bike and spend a lot of time on the base bars vs. the aerobars, I have been getting a lot of pain in my left wrist lately. Is there some adjustment I can make to the base bar to reduce wrist strain in the non-aero position? Currently I am using a basic pursuit bar as a base bar, my bike is a vintage Quintana Roo. Thanks, Steve."

 

Answer from Dean Phillips
Lead Fitter at Fitwerx, MA

The reason that you experience pain in your wrist while riding the base bars is typically because there’s more weight on your wrists versus what you’d experience on a properly set-up road bike. The base bar on a triathlon bike is positioned lower relative to the saddle to accommodate a lower, more aerodynamic position in the aerobars. If you spend excessive time on the base bar, this increased weight on your hands can result in hand numbness, pain, or wrist discomfort like you describe.

The first thing I recommend is making sure that your aerobar position is set-up properly so you’re comfortable in the aerobars. This is something a good bike fitter can help you with if it’s not comfortable. When a rider is uncomfortable in the aerobars, they spend less time in the aerobars and more time on the base bar.

If it’s not an aerobar comfort issue, then there are a few areas I recommend looking into. You can angle the base bar up or down so it positions your wrists in a more relaxed position. I usually have riders start with the base bar flat, and then angle it up toward you slightly if that helps. Some base bar bars are longer than others and have more space to place your hands. A bar like the Profile Design Airwing has more room for your hands than a Vision base bar. More space for your hands will mean better pressure distribution and less discomfort. You can also try using gel bar tape on the base bar handles to further reduce pressure on your hands. Cycling gloves with built in padding will also reduce pressure on your hands.

 

Profile Design Airwing

 

 

 

Vision base bar

 

 

 

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date: September 14, 2009

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FitWerx

Fit Werx offers the most scientific and complete bicycle fitting services in New England, the Northeast and beyond. Regardless of where you are from (Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, Florida, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont, Australia, Macau...) a Fit Werx' bike fit is guaranteed to be worth the trip.

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avatarFitWerx

Fit Werx offers the most scientific and complete bicycle fitting services in New England, the Northeast and beyond. Regardless of where you are from (Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, Florida, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont, Australia, Macau...) a Fit Werx' bike fit is guaranteed to be worth the trip.

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