Author Topic: Losing use in hands cold/wet conditions  (Read 1810 times)

Losing use in hands cold/wet conditions
« on: July 27, 2017, 08:36:49 pm »
Hi All

Being and audaxer and all year round commuter I have been exposed to all weathers for years.   What I have found a few times recently is that if my hands get cold and wet I lose grip and feeling.

My DNF at the 24hr this weekend was caused by this very problem.   It rained very heavily for a couple of hours.  As I was racing with my hands in front of me and wearing thin aero mitts I chilled pretty quickly.   It didn't take too long for me to lose the ability to grip/squeeze my water bottle and I struggled to drink.   Also I couldn't tear open my gels or get into my bars.   I borrowed some gloves, but I couldn't get them on due to the lack of function in my hands.

Now I realise I could have avoided this by taking some gloves with me and putting them on earlier, but I'm starting to think that my symptoms are more severe then they should be.   I bit of googling brings up Reynaud's but I think you have that more regularly.

Any other thoughts ?

Thanks


Rob

hellymedic

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Re: Losing use in hands cold/wet conditions
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2017, 09:16:03 pm »
Raynaud's phenomenon classically turns affected extremities white then blue then red (think Brexit). Many folk get this. It's painful for some.
It certainly helps to keep the extremities warm.
I have a mild version and seem to get this more when I'm generally cold (though seem to have white toes when I undress in my centrally-heated house in winter).
It helps to be well-fuelled as well as well-wrapped and these can be difficult to achieve in the context of a long wet time trial!

Reducing evaporative cooling and wearing suitable gloves would help.
Can't think of much else!

Re: Losing use in hands cold/wet conditions
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2017, 09:18:47 pm »
I think this is pretty common amongst long distance cyclists and is just "a thing" rather than some dread medical condition, with the only solution being to keep your hands both dry and warm (and believe me, I know just how hard that is). I've never really understood why it frequently affects my left hand but never my right. Looking forward to words of YACF wisdom.
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Re: Losing use in hands cold/wet conditions
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2017, 09:31:34 pm »
I have Raynaud's - quite badly in winter, and even sometimes in summer.

In my case, it appears to be connected with the Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency I have (it's a genetic thing). Some (about 33%) A1ATD sufferers have excessive Angiotensin Converting Enzyme in their muscles, which leads to exercise induced hypertension; quite dramatic in my case (see threads regarding Good Friday, 2014).

Upshot is, I'm really prone to painful, "dead" hands when exercising, and especially when cold and wet. We've had tense moments on the tandem in the past, when riding in cold rain, and I couldn't operate the brakes or gears.


Re: Losing use in hands cold/wet conditions
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2017, 11:41:21 pm »
Loose waterproof overmitts help a lot. I have a pair of mountaineering overmitts that work well. Compact enough to go in jersey pockets. Stop windchill.
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hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Losing use in hands cold/wet conditions
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2017, 12:06:45 am »
I think this is pretty common amongst long distance cyclists and is just "a thing" rather than some dread medical condition, with the only solution being to keep your hands both dry and warm (and believe me, I know just how hard that is). I've never really understood why it frequently affects my left hand but never my right. Looking forward to words of YACF wisdom.

I suspect you move your right hand more than your left...


Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Losing use in hands cold/wet conditions
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2017, 02:40:19 pm »
I think this is pretty common amongst long distance cyclists and is just "a thing" rather than some dread medical condition, with the only solution being to keep your hands both dry and warm (and believe me, I know just how hard that is). I've never really understood why it frequently affects my left hand but never my right. Looking forward to words of YACF wisdom.

I suspect you move your right hand more than your left...

Or grip harder with your left.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Losing use in hands cold/wet conditions
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2017, 07:33:19 pm »
When you're warm and dry and basically everything's fine, do a grip test. If one hand is noticeably worse than the other it might be something affecting the ulnar nerve.

And just quietly, for both hands going the same way at the same speed it just might be too many years on a DF; there are alternatives  :demon:
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Re: Losing use in hands cold/wet conditions
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2017, 09:46:04 pm »
When you're warm and dry and basically everything's fine, do a grip test. If one hand is noticeably worse than the other it might be something affecting the ulnar nerve.

And just quietly, for both hands going the same way at the same speed it just might be too many years on a DF; there are alternatives  :demon:

Thanks

As far as moving to a recumbent goes, though, the 24hr is run under CTT regs, so not an option.

T42

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Re: Losing use in hands cold/wet conditions
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2017, 11:19:29 am »
I tuck my hands in behind the bar bag. Getting them out of the airflow works wonders.
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Kim

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Re: Losing use in hands cold/wet conditions
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2017, 01:02:18 pm »
I tuck my hands in behind the bar bag. Getting them out of the airflow works wonders.

Seconded.  I've been known to tuck my fingers behind the handlebar grip when I've been caught out with just mitts on the recumbent (I wouldn't suggest riding an upright with just your thumbs).

If it's a regular problem, there may be an argument for molishing some sort of windshield for the handlebars.  Sawn-off drinks bottles, sort of thing.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Losing use in hands cold/wet conditions
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2017, 06:52:16 pm »
search for Pogies.

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Re: Losing use in hands cold/wet conditions
« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2017, 07:13:25 am »
I created hand guards from soft drink bottles when I audaxed and these revolutionised the riding experience. Looks odd but works. I think there are commercial versions in scandinavia that might sort you out.
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PaulF

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Re: Losing use in hands cold/wet conditions
« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2017, 08:23:55 am »
I use these: http://www.hotpog.co.uk/basic-hotpog-mountain-bike-pogies 

Even in the depths of winter my hands stay warm (sometimes too warm) in a pair of thin gloves. Despite being billed as mountain bike I also use with drop bars

Re: Losing use in hands cold/wet conditions
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2017, 12:47:36 pm »
I also use pogies; I have some drop bar specific ones.  I only use them when it is properly cold though, with silk liners (you obviously have to take you hands out to indicate).

I don't think it would solve rob's problem for TT though, as it wouldn't be allowed.

I've also done audaxes in really shitty conditions where I've taken more than one pair of gloves, plus liners.  I can't stress the benefit of glove liners enough.  I'm ok Oct-early Nov with just the liner, then maybe liner plus mitts, then liner plus light full finger gloves, then liner plus proper winter gloves. They are useful for spring-summer nights when just keeping the wind off is the thing that will keep you warm.

Re: Losing use in hands cold/wet conditions
« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2017, 08:36:28 am »
Thanks everyone.   As Jasmine suggests the Pogie solution won't work for my TT position.

Can we move this towards recommended gloves for use in cold/wet ?

I've looked at Castelli and Endura neoprene gloves.   I don't see a need for waterproofing but they'll need to be something reasonably thin and stay warm when wet.




Rob

Re: Losing use in hands cold/wet conditions
« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2017, 09:09:48 am »
You need something to block windchill.

I suggest some thin full gloves - even just basic knitted gloves and try a pair of marigolds over the top, not too big so that they aren't flappy

If that works for you, then look at spending money on something goretex maybe.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: Losing use in hands cold/wet conditions
« Reply #17 on: August 04, 2017, 01:09:23 pm »
Rob
Can i suggest silk liners with a pair of normal gloves on top and then the Assos windproof shell gloves https://www.assos.com/en_m/assos-road-cycling-collection/shellgloves-s7

I bought a pair of silk gloves offf eBay.  They weigh nothing and are incredibly thin but are the warmest under glove I have ever seen

ElyDave

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Re: Losing use in hands cold/wet conditions
« Reply #18 on: August 04, 2017, 01:36:40 pm »
+1 for the silk liner gloves.

I get reynaud's symptms in my feet despite winter boots and socks, but with the silk liner gloves and mits or winter gloves I can find my hands getting quite sweaty
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