Numbness and Riding

Often, cyclists will experience numbness at some point, either during or after riding a bike which often starts with just a mere tingle on the big toe or the pinkie finger which is easily ignorable. Before you know it, the entire limb is numb and the rest of the ride is spent trying to recover from the numbness and regain feel. Most of these cases are caused by poor bike fitting. Bike fitting is a very important and unique characteristic of the bike.

Feet Numbness

Shoes which do not fit the cyclist properly are the main cause of feet numbness. When choosing the best shoes for cycling, it is advisable to consider the width, height and the numerical size too. Shoes which have greater height can allow for greater arches. Too small shoes pinch the nerves in the metatarsal arch at the ball of the foot and it eventually collapses if not efficiently buttressed. It is therefore important to ensure your ball of the foot is adequately buttressed and has enough support.

Hand Numbness

Excessive horizontal distance between the handle bars and the saddle causes the cyclist to lean forward and to reach out for the bars. This creates a wrist extension which pinches the nerves around that area and causes numbness. It is important to determine the correct reach distance so as to prevent you nerves going to sleep during a ride. This can be done by using a friend to check for you by watching you spin on a trainer. Your arms should be perpendicular to your body trunk and your elbows slightly bent when your hands are on the hoods.

The hand numbness can also be caused by vibrations from the metal when riding your Ladies Cruiser on rocky ground. These vibrations and rocking can cause the nerves to sleep due to rattling. A remedy for this is installing dampers to absorb the road clatter.


Improper bike fitting causes groin numbness too. The leaning forward on the saddle applies pressure on the perineal nerves which are found in the soft area between the groin and the butt. This compression cuts off blood flow and feelings. The remedy for this is to check the saddle tilt and to make sure its top is parallel to the ground. This enables your sit bones to handle most of the body weight. Next, the horizontal distance between the bars and the saddle should be checked to prevent the long reach from rotating the hips forward and transferring weight to the perineum.

Leg Numbness

Leg numbness can be caused by use of a saddle not suitable for your body. It places excess weight on nerves and blood vessels and causes you to feel numb from the hips downwards and also prevents blood flow to the legs. The remedy is to perform a few test-rides with saddles of varying shapes and thicknesses. Make sure you get the best one for you. However, if the problem persists, it is advisable to see a doctor as you could be suffering from a condition known as iliac artery impingement which prevents flow of blood to the legs.


Finally, it is vital to understand that not these numbness issues are caused and can be fixed by simple bike fittings or several exercises. Some of them might be symptoms of a larger medical problem and may require medical attention from a qualified physician. Spine problems may often cause feet discomfort or numbness when they occur on the lower spine or affect the arms, shoulders and hands if they are on the upper spine.If numbness persists, seek medical attention.