Question: I’m 50. Ten years ago I bought a hybrid bike due to an arthritic lower back. The upright position seems to have increased both crotch and hand numbness. I’ve tried different saddles with no relief. What do you suggest? — Joel W.
Coach Fred Matheny Replies: It’s not surprising that you’re having crotch numbness with the more upright position.
Sitting up shifts a much higher proportion of your weight off your hands and onto your rear end, with predictable results. The trick is to find a compromise position that eases your back ailment while preserving feeling in your crotch. This will take some experimentation.
It is surprising that your hands are numb. Usually sitting upright takes so much weight off hands that tingling fingers aren’t a problem.
My guess is that your hybrid’s flat handlebar makes you bend your wrists in a way that’s compressing nerves. Try riding with wrists straight and see if that helps. Another fix is to install a drop bar for more hand positions.