Handlebar and grip angle leading to pain


Information and questions on GL1800 Goldwings (2001-Present)
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CruiseControl
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2010 11:41 am
Location: Seattle, WA
Motorcycle: 2007 GL1800

Handlebar and grip angle leading to pain

Postby CruiseControl » Wed Aug 24, 2016 9:40 am



I've been struggling with pain in my thumbs. It subsided when I hadn't ridden for a week but came back quickly when I started to ride again. During that same time I also didn't use my computer much. Based on all my study of ergonomics, I'm pretty sure horizontal is not a natural hand position. So I think the pain issue has to do with twisting my wrist more-or-less flat to hold the grips (and to type).

I've tried using the cruise control (which I often do as my forum handle implies) and keeping my wrist in a more vertical position by resting my hands on top of the grips. This seems to improve the pain issue but leads to needing more lead time to react on the controls.

I've looked into the LST Horizon Helibars. They look like they'd get me closer to the desired angle. But at $775 and hours of installation, that's a huge investment without knowing if the solution would work. Has anyone tried the Helibars - not necessarily for this reason? What have been your results?

Does anyone find they have similar problems with thumb/wrist pain?
Has anyone looked into a different handlebar that allows for positioning the wrist more vertical while still accessing grips and controls?
Any other thoughts about my theory that my wrist position while riding is what is leading to more thumb pain?

FWIW, I do have arthritis, probably caused by many years of typing and many years of riding. I'm pretty convinced a better wrist angle will improve things. I also don't think the height of the bars is the issue as, based on my studies in ergonomics, the height provides the correct angle on my elbows and shoulders. The bar may be a bit too wide. Apparently the Helibars help with that.



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cihilb
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Location: Natrona Hts., PA
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Re: Handlebar and grip angle leading to pain

Postby cihilb » Thu Aug 25, 2016 1:54 pm

Before spending big bucks on the Helibars, consider a set of risers. There are a few of them available. They re-position your hands up and back without changing the spread of the bars. Your wrists will be at a more natural position.

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FlyBoy2121
Posts: 301
Joined: Thu Sep 10, 2009 3:28 pm
Location: Canada
Motorcycle: Honda GoldWing
Gl 1800 2003

Re: Handlebar and grip angle leading to pain

Postby FlyBoy2121 » Thu Aug 25, 2016 4:14 pm

[quote=I Cruise Control

I was just like you, pain in arm and thumb.
I install handlebar riser and I buy a throttle rocker handle for gas.
And all is good.

FlyBoy2121 :mrgreen:





"CruiseControl"]I've been struggling with pain in my thumbs. It subsided when I hadn't ridden for a week but came back quickly when I started to ride again. During that same time I also didn't use my computer much. Based on all my study of ergonomics, I'm pretty sure horizontal is not a natural hand position. So I think the pain issue has to do with twisting my wrist more-or-less flat to hold the grips (and to type).

I've tried using the cruise control (which I often do as my forum handle implies) and keeping my wrist in a more vertical position by resting my hands on top of the grips. This seems to improve the pain issue but leads to needing more lead time to react on the controls.

I've looked into the LST Horizon Helibars. They look like they'd get me closer to the desired angle. But at $775 and hours of installation, that's a huge investment without knowing if the solution would work. Has anyone tried the Helibars - not necessarily for this reason? What have been your results?

Does anyone find they have similar problems with thumb/wrist pain?
Has anyone looked into a different handlebar that allows for positioning the wrist more vertical while still accessing grips and controls?
Any other thoughts about my theory that my wrist position while riding is what is leading to more thumb pain?

FWIW, I do have arthritis, probably caused by many years of typing and many years of riding. I'm pretty convinced a better wrist angle will improve things. I also don't think the height of the bars is the issue as, based on my studies in ergonomics, the height provides the correct angle on my elbows and shoulders. The bar may be a bit too wide. Apparently the Helibars help with that.[/quote]

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joeincalif
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Location: San Jacinto, Calif
Motorcycle: 1997 Gold Wing SE

Re: Handlebar and grip angle leading to pain

Postby joeincalif » Thu Aug 25, 2016 6:14 pm

Handle bar risers and a throttle rocker will probably help a lot. And not very expensive.
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CruiseControl
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2010 11:41 am
Location: Seattle, WA
Motorcycle: 2007 GL1800

Re: Handlebar and grip angle leading to pain

Postby CruiseControl » Thu Aug 25, 2016 11:29 pm

Thanks for the ideas.

I have risers that I've considered trying. Of course those will require nearly as much time to install as the Helibars. So, if risers don't solve the problem, I'm left with two episodes of changing my handlebar format. So my question is, "did you (cihilb) have thumb pain that was solved by using risers?"

As to the idea of using a "Throttle Rocker": 1) I have use a Throttle Rocker on an different bike and learned from using that for thousands of miles that it causes my palm and pinky to become numb (probably due to cutting off circulation) which subsequently became painful; 2) if MOST of my driving is using Cruise Control, which doesn't require me twisting the throttle, I wouldn't be using the Throttle Rocker much anyway, so how is that going to solve the issue? And finally, in what way did a Throttle Rocker solve a thumb pain issue? FlyBoy2121 suggests that this did solve a thumb pain issue but the suggestion was for both. So was the Throttle Rocker or the riser most responsible?

I'm not trying to snub your ideas. I'm just saying that I asked the question to dig deep for THE appropriate solution and am looking for some real critical thinking on what WILL solve the problem I described. Did you have thumb pain? How did you solve it? I honestly don't think a Throttle Rocker will help at all. Risers? Maybe.

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themainviking
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Location: North Bay, Ontario, Canada
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Re: Handlebar and grip angle leading to pain

Postby themainviking » Fri Aug 26, 2016 6:39 am

In your situation, the throttle rocker is not for you. You already have cruise control. The risers could help, but you seem to want the helibars, so go for them. They will give you much more adjustability than the riser kit will. But no, I do not believe any of this will solve your thumb pain or the numbness you get in your hands. They sound like possibly Carpal Tunnel Syndrome for the numbness, and arthritis for the thumb pain. That is only a guess tho, as I do not know you or your lifestyle. If it was me, I would be finding out what my health problems are caused by before trying to correct the equipment I was using. Just saying, cause when I had my Carpal Tunnel Syndrome surgically repaired, my numbness and pain went away. I did not have thumb pain.
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cihilb
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Location: Natrona Hts., PA
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Re: Handlebar and grip angle leading to pain

Postby cihilb » Fri Aug 26, 2016 8:04 am

Most of my discomfort was the position of my wrists. They were not inline with my forearms. The risers did take care of that problem. However, I had thumb pain due to arthritis in the trapezoid bone in my left hand. I had two shots put into the area. The second only lasted about 3 weeks. Finally, I had the surgery done to remove the bone. The doctor used a tendon in my arm to replace the bone. Six weeks recovery and PT. No more pain at all!!! I regained about 90% of my strength in the joint.

Red Ron
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Re: Handlebar and grip angle leading to pain

Postby Red Ron » Fri Aug 26, 2016 9:57 am

Had risers on my '08. They were great. On my '13 my rotator cuff has been bothering me. :( Going to break down and put some risers on it too.

CruiseControl
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Re: Handlebar and grip angle leading to pain

Postby CruiseControl » Sat Aug 27, 2016 8:35 am

themainviking, you're probably right, I want the Helibars. But budget dictates: don't invest in something that expensive unless it really solves the problem. As to my pain issues, they have been diagnosed by physicians. None of them proposed what cihilb had done. Wow! Now that's committing to a solution! My grandpa had the same pain issues back when he was the age I am now. Maybe if he'd have had a Helibar solution for his horses the pain wouldn't have been so bad. Haha

As a validation of needing to modify my handlebars I've been considering riding my Beemer for a few weeks and staying off the Wing and my PC (in this case PC=Pacific Coast, not PC=computer). I didn't have this kind of pain back when I was riding only the Beemer, but then I was 7 years younger. But the Wing is otherwise so much more pleasant to ride, it's difficult to think about parking it.

Thanks for the insights. I'll let you know how it goes.

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cihilb
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Location: Natrona Hts., PA
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Re: Handlebar and grip angle leading to pain

Postby cihilb » Sat Aug 27, 2016 11:54 am

CruiseControl wrote:themainviking, you're probably right, I want the Helibars. But budget dictates: don't invest in something that expensive unless it really solves the problem. As to my pain issues, they have been diagnosed by physicians. None of them proposed what cihilb had done. Wow! Now that's committing to a solution! My grandpa had the same pain issues back when he was the age I am now. Maybe if he'd have had a Helibar solution for his horses the pain wouldn't have been so bad. Haha

As a validation of needing to modify my handlebars I've been considering riding my Beemer for a few weeks and staying off the Wing and my PC (in this case PC=Pacific Coast, not PC=computer). I didn't have this kind of pain back when I was riding only the Beemer, but then I was 7 years younger. But the Wing is otherwise so much more pleasant to ride, it's difficult to think about parking it.

Thanks for the insights. I'll let you know how it goes.


It's not something I really wanted to do. But the alternative was to quit riding and live with the pain. I had the surgery done in February and was riding in May.
I kept up with all therapy every day at home. Therapist and doctor were amazed at my recovery. Of course, I had a reason, the bike!




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