Author Topic: Stoker hands  (Read 563 times)

Stoker hands
« on: May 07, 2018, 01:14:09 pm »
Hi fellow tandemists. I wonder if you can advise me. I have an issue with numb hands when stoking for more than a couple of hours. I have added gel inserts below the handlebar tape and wonder what else I can do to relieve this? In every other way I am comfortable in my riding position. My hands are slightly lower and reach slightly shorter than on my solo but this is unavoidable and still within sensible limits. Thanks ???

PaulF

  • "World's Scariest Barman"
  • It's only impossible if you stop to think about it
Re: Stoker hands
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2018, 01:33:19 pm »
What’s your seat angle like? Could you tilt it back a little?

CrinklyLion

  • The one with devious, cake-pushing ways....
Re: Stoker hands
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2018, 01:42:35 pm »
What bars are you using?  There seem to be many different stoker bar strategies out there.

Re: Stoker hands
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2018, 02:32:15 pm »
Your pilot is lucky that your hands are still on the bars after 2 hours. I have had stokers that would intervene to oblige a halt, sweety break etc. Of course I would not go as far as suggesting the course of action of my 2yr old daughter who started lowering my shorts in the middle of the ride (because her hands were cold)! Remember that pilots are relatively defenceless on the tandem (although not off!).

Re: Stoker hands
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2018, 08:09:46 am »
I have added gel inserts below the handlebar tape and wonder what else I can do to relieve this?

In my view (I'm the captain, but stoker will agree O:-)), no amount of gel padding will prevent hand numbness if too much of your weight is supported by your hands. Two things can help:

1) Move your saddle back/forth/up/down until you find a point where your weight is more on the saddle and less on the arms,

2) Core strength exercises: stronger back muscles and tummy muscles will help you to prevent all your weight from lying on your arms.

A

Re: Stoker hands
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2018, 08:46:09 am »
I seem to spend a lot of time on the back of the tandem, and have had hand issues at times. These days my favourite mits have no padding, and I try and change hand position regularly. Making sure that the gloves are well fitting but not restrictive is important too.
Things I do to help include: Sitting up with hand off bars and stretching the wrists and arms sometimes (Thing 1 is a very tolerant captain and mostly puts up with the wiggly stoker). Paying attention to my hand position to ensure my wrists are not bent back - having stoker bars with flat tops (like the profile designs T2 wing bars) can help with that and stops you gripping the bars to tightly when on the tops.
When playing with my cycle computer and manipulating bottles I make a conscious effort to use both hands equally (after our second 1200km I couldn't do anything with my left hand for a week as I had been doing everything with my right hand).

Saddle position can also help, but I mostly find that my bottom complains before my hands if it is wrong.
California Dreaming

Re: Stoker hands
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2018, 09:30:49 pm »
Thanks all. Certainly food for thought. On reflection, I am not too worried about the core strength side of things as I am ok on my solo. I am maybe putting a bit much weight on my hands and, as  Thing 2 suggests, my hands wrists are bending back. I am going to experiment with some old drop bars with false hoods - I think that is the position I am craving!  :thumbsup: