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July 19, 2021, 6:20 p.m. -  Mark

Dealing with wrist, elbow and to a lesser degree shoulder pain involves considering a bunch of factors. For starters when is the pain happening - climbing or descending? Your body position on the bike is dramatically different for each one, and fixing one may cause problems with the other.  For wrists in particular, that graphic showing wrist position on the bar shows what we ideally want - neutral wrists. Both in adduction/abduction (in/out) and in flexion/extension (up/down). So things like bar width, height, sweep and reach all need to be considered. The position of your controls plays a factor as well. A while back Andrew had some great articles on bar sweep and the effects of changing them.  My advice is to start with finding the riding position that works best for the majority of the riding you do or like to do the most. Then see if other aspects are affected and try making small tweaks to eliminate discomfort. You might find that fixing wrist discomfort on climbs can be eliminated or alleviated simply by adjusting your hand position on the bars while climbing.  Start by making notes of the what's going when you feel pain - type of riding, terrain, etc, and  consider how your hand/wrist position differs from the ideal neutral under those conditions. A new bar or stem may be in order or it could be as simple as adding a riser under your stem. Whatever the case, take some time to analyze what's actually going on before just blindly throwing money at the situation.

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