Cyclescheme is the UK's most popular cycle to work benefit, creating more cyclists than any other provider.

Here are five top tips from Trek for reducing and preventing numbness while you ride.

At Trek, we love to cycle, but we know that it can get pretty uncomfortable at times. One of those times is when your hands go numb, and you lose all or most feeling in these vital extremities. 

Hand numbness usually occurs when a nerve in your wrist or elbow is being compressed for a given length of time. This side-effect typically stems from the position you’re riding in, so we’ve put together some advice to help you alleviate and hopefully prevent prolonged nerve compression on longer rides.

Here are our five tips for reducing and preventing numbness while you ride.

Keep moving your hands

Road bikes with drop bars have a choice of three hand positions. Switch between these regularly to help relieve (and possibly avoid) numbness in the hands:

Resting your hands on the brake hoods. This position gives you access to the brakes and shifters without being as aggressive a position as the drops. Most riders spend the majority of their ride on the hoods. 

The lowest curved part of the handlebar. This position is most often used when descending downhill as it gives you better control of the bike. Be careful though – you should only stay in the drops for short periods of time due to the strain on your back and neck.


Placing your hands between the hoods and the stem of your bike. This position can be used to relieve pressure on your back when riding slowly. You don’t have access to your brakes from this position though, which makes it dangerous to ride on the tops for long periods of time. 

Keep moving your hands

Sit back in your seat 

Sitting back will help to take your bodyweight off your arms and allow you to engage your glutes and core when pedalling. This will seem difficult at first, especially if you’re not doing regular core exercises, but it will get easier over time. Even if you struggle to sit right back, just make sure you aren’t leaning forwards. This increases the weight that your arm muscles need to support, and therefore the risk of nerve compression is higher.  

Keep your elbows bent

Instead of locking your arms out straight, ride with a bend in your elbow. If riding this way is hard for you to do, you may be riding the wrong size bike. Stop by your local retailer to get a bike fit.

Cycling gloves are worth the investment

Buy yourself at least one pair of good quality cycling gloves and wear them on every ride. They’ll help protect the sensitive nerve endings in your hands and make your ride much more comfortable.

Cycling gloves

Stay limber!

Regular stretching will increase mobility and prevent certain parts of the body from straining too much while you ride, which can ultimately help to relieve numbness.

Remember that cycling accessories are an eligible purchase with your Cyclescheme Certificate. If you need any new kit, including cycling gloves, start a request today.

Request a Cyclescheme Certificate today and enjoy great choice, flexibility and savings. 

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