Why Do My Hands Hurt When Mountain Biking?

Mountain biking can be an exhilarating and challenging experience, but it can also cause physical discomfort in the form of hand pain. This problem is commonly experienced by cyclists, regardless of skill level.

The main culprit is usually the handlebars and the way they are positioned.

The handlebars on a mountain bike are designed to give you control over the bike while you’re navigating uneven terrain and tight turns. But if they’re not adjusted properly, they can cause your wrists to be held in an awkward position for extended periods of time. This can lead to numbness, tingling, and general discomfort in your hands.

Incorrectly adjusted handlebars can also cause strain on your shoulders and neck. If you have to hunch over too much or lean forward too far to reach the handlebars, you’ll put additional stress on your upper body muscles. Over time, this can lead to chronic pain in these areas.

Fortunately, there are a few simple steps you can take to minimize hand pain while mountain biking:

  • Adjust Your Handlebars: Make sure that the handlebars are properly aligned with your seat so that you don’t have to hunch over or lean forward too much when riding.
  • Use Proper Hand Placement: Make sure that your hands are comfortably placed on the handlebars at all times. If they’re too close together or too far apart, it could lead to uncomfortable positioning over long rides.
  • Wear Gloves: Wearing gloves will provide cushioning between your hands and the handlebars which helps reduce pressure points.
  • Take Breaks: Taking regular breaks during long rides will help relieve some of the pressure from your hands.

By taking these steps into consideration when setting up a mountain bike and during rides, cyclists should be able to reduce hand fatigue and enjoy their ride with less discomfort.


Mountain biking is an enjoyable activity but it’s important for cyclists to keep in mind that without proper setup and technique can lead to unnecessary hand pain. By adjusting their handlebars properly, using proper hand placement techniques when riding, wearing gloves for cushioning, and taking regular breaks during long rides; cyclists should be able to reduce discomfort in their hands while biking.

Photo of author

Chris Powell