Wrist Pain When Riding Electric Bike: Causes and Prevention

a man is riding his e-bike beside the river in the city

Riding an electric bike can be tough on your wrist. Electric bike wrist pain can not only prevent you from enjoying your riding hobby, but it can also lead to further complications down the line. But what causes this e-bike wrist pain, and how can you prevent it while riding your electric bike?

The most common cause of electric bike wrist pain is the incorrect biking posture that is not appropriately set for your riding style and height. This problem can be easily prevented by making some simple adjustments.

This article covers the causes and preventive mechanisms for electric bike wrist pain. Read on to learn more.

What Causes Electric Bike Wrist Pain?

There are many possible causes of electric bike wrist pain. The most common ones are;

  • Bikes that do not fit the rider's body
  • Wrong wrist positioning
  • Leaning too far forward to reach your bike's handlebars
  • Unbalanced weight distribution
  • Incorrect handlebar positioning
  • Incorrect electric bike fit
  • Incorrect body positioning on the bike
  • Rough terrain

a man and a woman are pedalling their e-bikes on the path surrounded by fields

Besides, two main physiological reasons can cause wrist pains while riding your electric bike. These are:

1.Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel is a channel in your wrist via which the median nerve passes. When extra pressure is applied to this nerve, you will feel a tingling, burning, or itchy numbness in your middle thumb, palm, middle, or index fingers.

If this is what you feel, you have carpal tunnel syndrome - a common friend with bike riding.

No one root cause has been identified as a cause of this most common nerve disorder. It just happens on its own.

2.Ulnar Tunnel Syndrome

The ulnar nerve is found in your hand and passes through Guyon'sGuyon's canal in the wrist. It controls sensations and movements on the outside edge of your hand and wrist, along with the ring finger and pinky.

For instance, when extra pressure is applied to the ulnar nerve in Guyon'sGuyon's canal, you will feel numbness and tingling in your ring finger and pinky.

How To Prevent Wrist Pain While Riding An Electric Bike

1.Ensure you have the correct e-bike fit

The first thing you need to do to prevent wrist pains while riding an electric bike is to have the right electric bike. It is essential to ensure your electric bike is fit to your height.

If the bike's saddle is too high and the handlebars are too low, you will throw your body weight forward, putting more strain and pressure on your wrist. Therefore, you can use our Find your bike's correct fit before purchasing your electric bike.

a lady rides e-bike with the correct fit to prevent wrist pain

2.Adjust the body posture

Leaning too far forward to reach the bike's handlebars can put extra pressure on your wrist.

You must maintain an excellent general bike riding body posture to keep your wrist healthy. For instance, your wrist should be straight, your shoulders should be relaxed (engaged), your spine should be neutral, your elbow should be slightly bent, and your back slightly arched.

When sitting on your electric bike, there should be a 90º angle between your torso and shoulder.

You must also balance your weight on the electric bike correctly by checking the saddle height and angle and adjusting accordingly.

3.Optimize the position of your saddle

You need to ensure your saddle position is correct while riding your e-bike. For instance, if the saddle is tilted too far forward, the extra weight will fall onto your hand and cause extra pressure and pain to your wrist.

Therefore, ensure that your e-bike saddle is positioned horizontally or only very slightly tilted forward.

4.Optimize the shape and position of the handlebars

When riding your electric bike, your wrists should always be relaxed and not extended or flexed. It can be achieved by adjusting your bike's handlebars' shape and position accordingly.

However, if this does not work, you should consider buying handlebars for carpel tunnel, such as drop handlebars, which are best suited to avoid putting strain on your wrist.

5.Correct wrist positioning

A straight wrist is compressive and can put more pressure on the tendons and nerves in the carpal tunnel. An over-bent wrist can have a similar effect.

Therefore, you should strive to have a 15º to 20º backbend in your wrist while riding your electric bike. Doing this opens up your carpal tunnel.

It is also recommended to purchase e-bike handlebars grips with palm rests. This assists in keeping your wrist in the best or correct position.

a man rides an e-bike with the correct wrist position

6.Switch hand positions or grip

One of the leading causes of wrist pain while riding an electric bike is cycling for long distances in a single-hand position.

To prevent this issue, you should change your hand position after a few minutes as you ride your e-bike. While doing this, ensure you have a 15º to 20º backbend in your wrist.

7.Slightly reduce the PSI of your tires.

The vibrations resulting from riding on rough terrains can put extra pressure and pain on your wrists.

Therefore, slightly reducing the PSI of your tires can offer some extra absorption for you. You also need to ensure that the bike's suspension fork is not locked.

8.Get the right biking gloves.

You might consider investing in a pair of e-bike gloves with padded bar tape with foam or gel inserted underneath, providing cushioning in your wrist and giving it added protection from road vibrations.

riding e-bike with the right cycling gloves

9.Stretch during a long ride

You should stretch out your wrists and hands during and after a long ride. Doing this helps in improving circulation and loosens up your tendons and muscles.

It also assists in alleviating the effects of long rides.

Final Thought

Wrist pain is a popular problem in the world of electric biking. It is mainly caused by incorrect biking posture and bikes that do not fit the rider's body.

You can prevent this issue by making necessary adjustments to your electric bike and choosing the right bike that fits your body. That is why at Eskute, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for e-bikes. We also have e-bike accessories such as handlebars, frames, and saddles that can help you make necessary adjustments to your bike.

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