Reducing Arm Pump In The Woods?

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9/30/2018 6:50 PM

So I ride woods and ALWAYS end up getting arm punp no matter what. I have tried grips, bars, levers with easier pulls, etc. with no luck.

On my bike now I run a “easy pull” clutch lever and thicker grips (odi rouge v2) and it helps with clutch hand but throttle hand still KILLS after half a day but I can “bare” through it if I just ride more.

This past weekend I rode my brothers bike with thinner grips (moose racing half waffles) and not even an hour in I literally gave up riding my hands and arms hurt so bad.

What can I do to make the arm pump not so bad? I have started to grip super hard with my knees to where if i stand up now in the trails i can take my hands off the bars and basically steer the bike “handless”. I try not to death grip the bars unless its a real rough patch or so.

I plan on racing next season and I obviously dont want to deal with arm pump mid way through a 2hr harescramble. Thought of trying those bar dampeners or different mounts or something to make it easier.

Thanks for any advice...

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9/30/2018 6:55 PM

Use your legs, ride more efficient. Try riding standing up as much as you can, then stand some more

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9/30/2018 7:00 PM

Rotaholic wrote:

Use your legs, ride more efficient. Try riding standing up as much as you can, then stand some more

I do. Like i said i use my legs more than ever now that arm pump has gotten so bad. When i little (im only 20) i dont ever remember getting it. Now ive ridden 2 seasons straight and its awful. I find myself sitting down on rougher sandier stuff to put my weight forward so the front doesnt wash out but in most trails i stand.

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9/30/2018 7:35 PM

What bars are you running?

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9/30/2018 7:37 PM

kxfracer108 wrote:

What bars are you running?

Renthal twinwalls. Not sure of bend, the numbers got worn off.

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9/30/2018 7:48 PM

I'm not convinced of the grip with your legs approach for trail riding. In tight single track the bike needs to be able to move around under you, and you shouldn't feel like you're fighting it.

Consider this, go near a wall somewhere and stand up on the pegs of your bike, supporting yourself with the wall. Using only your legs/pressure on the footpegs, try moving the bike around from side to side and see how it feels. When you're in the woods and doing a lot of standing, you really have to use your feet to make the bike do what you want and engage your body, not just your hands. You should be able to turn the bike with minimal input from your arms.

Also, try your best to keep a flow going, even though it can be very difficult. Rather than coming into a corner super hard, braking hard and slowing down a ton, then pinning it out, try to do things in an efficient way that requires the least stop and go. Don't be afraid of coasting a bit to smooth out your transition from braking to throttle through turns, the more you can turn it all into one fluid motion and eliminate jerky movements the better off your arms will be. Keeping your weight balanced when standing will also help, so you aren't constantly holding on by your fingertips falling off the back, as well as getting your weight back under braking and using your legs to keep your body back, rather than doing a pushup like motion with your arms every time.

Those are some things that work for me. I don't think there's a single, perfect way to go about riding so it might not work for you, but it's something to try.

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9/30/2018 7:49 PM

kxfracer108 wrote:

What bars are you running?

Alec138 wrote:

Renthal twinwalls. Not sure of bend, the numbers got worn off.

I run pro taper 1-1/8 non cross bar bars (endure bend, cut down 1 inch on each side). Rental would be fine too with no cross bar. When I run a stiff bar and front end I get arm pump really bad. I also found some after market clamps make the front end really stiff or rigid feeling, so I keep those stock too.

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9/30/2018 7:53 PM

relax its all in your head.

off road is all about flow. Smooth is fast, fast is smooth.

Try slow it down and focus on being smooth rather than fast. The speed will come later

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9/30/2018 8:09 PM

kxfracer108 wrote:

What bars are you running?

Alec138 wrote:

Renthal twinwalls. Not sure of bend, the numbers got worn off.

I took the crossbar off my twinwalls and it immediately reduced my arm pump. Give it a shot

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9/30/2018 8:13 PM

kxfracer108 wrote:

What bars are you running?

Alec138 wrote:

Renthal twinwalls. Not sure of bend, the numbers got worn off.

kb228 wrote:

I took the crossbar off my twinwalls and it immediately reduced my arm pump. Give it a shot

I never put it on because i have handguards and the mounts were hitting the crossbar mounts

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9/30/2018 8:18 PM

You’re probably holding your breath. Not breathing properly is the primary (and most often overlooked) cause of arm pump.

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9/30/2018 9:12 PM

Having the wrong bar bend gives me arm pump real quick.

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9/30/2018 9:20 PM

Softening the fork compression helped me, 3 clicks

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9/30/2018 9:24 PM
Edited Date/Time: 9/30/2018 9:27 PM

I don’t race woods but all the principles still apply. Basically what I’ve found is that gripping with your boots/knees to grab on the ‘meat’ of the bike really helps. If you don’t do this, you are essentially in a constant pullback trying to hold on to the bike with your arms, additionally it also means you require more input from your arms to do everything, which equals arm pump. In addition to that, you need to keep hydrated, obviously keep breathing, and obviously don’t grip as hard. Try and focus on doing these things, and not on the arm pump while your riding, because that only creates bad habits and takes the focus off riding. Riding any type of bicycle (especially mtb) really helps to train your forearms and reduce armpump. And always make sure your sag is properly set, and in your case move the forks lower in the clamps. Doing both these things will ensure that not every little bump is exaggerated in the front end, which requires more rider input. For example if you set your sag too low, and forks are too high, you will feel every little movement of the front end, which means holding on tighter. But be careful with this, because going too far the other way makes the front end totally unresponsive, which also requires more input. Hope all this helps man, and as always try different things because everyone’s body is different

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9/30/2018 9:33 PM

What other things do you do with your arms/hands?
Weight lift?
Chain saw?
Wrenching?

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9/30/2018 10:35 PM
Edited Date/Time: 9/30/2018 10:37 PM

Maybe try rotating your bars forward a touch. I found that helped me a bit. I think it was a combination of the angle it put the sweep at and perhaps I started putting less pressure on the bars.

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9/30/2018 10:50 PM

No matter what you try, some people still get arm pump, but I’d recommend Flexxbars. No joke, arm pump and blister will be a thing of the past.

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9/30/2018 11:18 PM

All good advice .... stand up... stand up... stand up.. keep your weight on your feet, your lower body is much stronger than your arms. When going downhill keep as much weight as you can off your hands stand on the balls of your feet as much as possible. When going up hills get you dick in the gas tank, all your weight on the pegs you shouldn't be holding on with your arms. Practice riding with a really light grip and like others said find an easy flow. I raced district 37 for a couple of years and like to ride the 6hr endurance race when I can put a team together.

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10/1/2018 12:41 AM

Try different diameters of grips (more smaller) Try different handlebars, positition ect. Drink a lot of water a few days before. Never bulking his front arms. Try to ride with a fork a little harder. A flexible fork, can give a pump effect and cause an arm pump. If it still does not go, go see a doctor to check the pressure in your forearms.

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10/1/2018 3:03 AM

What bike do you have?

My 450 would kill my arms in the woods. Dropped down to a 250f and helped tremendously. Now I’m on a 300 (beta xtrainer) and even less arm pump.

The 450 I felt I had to hold on for dear life. Way too much power for tight trails.

I’ve been working on gripping the bike more with my legs and being more relaxed and it does seem to be helping.

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10/1/2018 3:13 AM
Edited Date/Time: 10/1/2018 3:15 AM

what worked for me was taking a few Advil about a hour before riding and a little stretching of forearms. While i get it from time to time still, i can do 50+ miles of single track and just have a little numbness here and there. Going from the my 17fx350 to my18tx300 didnt seem make a diff

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10/1/2018 3:56 AM

Have you tried warming your fore arms up before you ride? Since I've started doing this I haven't gotten arm pump at all and I used to get it real bad. You don't need any special gadgets, and I do this as I'm on the way to the track: With your fore arms pointed up, make a fist and start doing curls, after a minute, open your hand with fingers extended and keep doing the curls, next minute switch back to do a closed fist, keep alternating for 10 minutes. Works for me.

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10/1/2018 4:01 AM

Aussie_power_sports wrote:

relax its all in your head.

off road is all about flow. Smooth is fast, fast is smooth.

Try slow it down and focus on being smooth rather than fast. The speed will come later

This

Riding relaxed and in a flow makes everything easier.
Sometimes if I make a mistake or crash I ride tight afterwards. Then I get armpump after about 10 minutes. On other days I ride for hours without any problem

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10/1/2018 4:04 AM

Moto Mofo wrote:

You’re probably holding your breath. Not breathing properly is the primary (and most often overlooked) cause of arm pump.

This right here. When racing hare scrambles and i feel arm pump coming on, i know im not breathing consistently and smoothly.

Also, focusing on something besides the arm pump. Whether its the trail, trackingthe guy down in front of you, best lines, etc. if youre thinking about how much arm pump you have it will never go away.

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10/1/2018 4:52 AM

suspension is also a big factor. If I take my 450 in the woods I get beat up because the suspension is so stiff for moto. ill get arm pump quick. If I adjust my clickers way down and soften the bike up it helps a lot.

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10/1/2018 5:20 AM

Along with all the other good info in here (bar bend, gripping with legs etc..) I found stretching to be key for helping me stave off arm pump. Race days I stretch basically all morning on and off, 20 min before my race I really focus in on the forearms and get them loose. I use the ends of my handlebars to really get in there and work out the tight stuff. Honestly if those 4armstrong things weren't so expensive it probably have one, the principle of it works for me. I find myself not getting actual arm pump but just my hands end up going to sleep from shock/vibration etc...

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10/1/2018 6:28 AM
Edited Date/Time: 10/1/2018 6:32 AM

For your body, hydrate starting days ahead, Aleve, Calcium/Magnesium/Zinc, bananas.

For your bike, flexy bars, boyesen flex grip, fatty front tire with low pressures, good fork setup.

Riding style, standing and sitting alternatively, pretend you are using your clutch and brake with 2 fingers even when your aren't to keep blood flowing, ride one handed when you can and shake some blood into your arms, breathe through your nose, quick strap goggles to remove goggles when you are in the tight stuff to breathe better.

Rode Torcs scramble yesterday, and started with arthritic hands of stone, stopped a few times on the parade lap to let the numbness dissipate. I'm thinking of ditching the tacky grips as they seemed to bunch up my gloves.

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10/1/2018 6:55 AM

Get a tiger tail (it's a cheap rolling tool that physical therapists use) have someone roll your arms for a few minutes before riding. My wife (who is a physical therapist) recommended this to me a few years ago. It's been working pretty well for me. But realistically, MOST cases of arm pump will be in the riders head. Most of the time the rider gets it once from holding on too tight then it's all they think about from that point forward.

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10/1/2018 8:26 AM

You might go to a chiropractor that deals with carpal tunnel syndrome. He or she can work the areas in the elbow and shoulder that effect the forearm. Worked for me after 3 visits.

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10/1/2018 9:58 AM

navalseabee wrote:

Along with all the other good info in here (bar bend, gripping with legs etc..) I found stretching to be key for helping me stave off arm pump. Race days I stretch basically all morning on and off, 20 min before my race I really focus in on the forearms and get them loose. I use the ends of my handlebars to really get in there and work out the tight stuff. Honestly if those 4armstrong things weren't so expensive it probably have one, the principle of it works for me. I find myself not getting actual arm pump but just my hands end up going to sleep from shock/vibration etc...

Ever get tested for carpal tunnel? That numbness sounds like it might be that to me. I’ve got a mild case and that’s exactly what happens to me

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