What's new

Some advice sought


Speeding Up
Jan 14, 2008

I'm looking for advice on a couple of topics:

1. Fitness

I have only been cycling in Japan for the last couple of months and even though the maximum distance that I have done has been about 60km my arms and hands have tended to become very tired especially in comparison with other parts of my body. I don't know whether this is because I have my bike set up incorrectly i.e. seat either too high or too low, or its simply because my upper body strength isn't as good as my lower body. If so would something like swimming help?

2. Trails and routes

Does anyone know of any good cycle routes near to or around Hibarigaoka. Most of the time i have been up to Okutama or Tamako lake but was wondering if there are any more suitable trails for a mountain bike nearby (ideally within cycling distance or short train ride).

One day I will have to try and ride with the TCC but unfortunatly I don't often check when there is an upcoming event.

Many thanks



Maximum Pace
Jan 14, 2007
1)Once your balance improves you won't have to put so much pressure on your hands and arms.
If you can practice taking your hands off the handle bars by a cm and see if you can ride no hands... small distances at first. (not in traffic).
It's easy to grab the handles again if you don't feel confident.
The more you ride the better you get.
I rode about 5kms Friday morning on the river with my hands pretending to hold the handle bars. Could feel the stomach muscles doing the work and not my arms.

All your weight should be on the saddle.
Saddle height may be incorrect so research that and see if you are OK there.

Bend your elbows too... change your hand positions on the handles often if they are feeling numb.

Doing sit ups or building up core strength may help as well.
Swimming will always help...

I used to get numb hands too when I was starting out...

2) No idea, sorry...


Nov 11, 2008
Ome MTB routes

Hi Penny,

There are plenty of good routes around Ome and Hanno. You should be able to get to Hanno in about an hour from Hibarigaoka. I advise you to buy the hiking map for Okumusashi Chichibu which shows many hiking trails and dirt roads around that area.

I have uploaded info on some MTB routes around Ome. This route database is growing pretty quickly, so check back next month for on-road routes as well.

Good Luck with the fitness issue!


Maximum Pace
Jan 30, 2007

If your arms and hands are sore, your bike may need to be adjusted to fit properly.
Soreness in the upper body points to bars that are too low, or too much of a stretched position, or (possibly) bars too wide or grips that are too big. If you're riding a flat bar MTB, the sweep (bend) of the bar can also have an effect; the bars should sweep up and back along the direction of your arms. Another culprit for sore arms is a saddle that points downwards at the front - your arms then have to stop you sliding forward off the saddle so they get tired.
A professional bike fitting session can really help. I went for one and made some small changes and the result is a much more comfortable bike.



Speeding Up
Jul 31, 2007
Gloves also help. I had numb hands when I first started too - gloves pretty much got rid of the problem. Apparently there are some nerve endings in the hands and some gloves have pads that cover these areas.


Speeding Up
Jan 14, 2008

Thank you Denis for the link to the Ome trails, will try those out sometime. Maybe the shorter ones for the time being though!:D

Thanks to Edogawakikkoman, AlanW and Richy152 for advice on the fitness issue. :)

A bike fitting session does sound like a good idea, but where do I go to get one? Do the big bicycle shops like Y's Road or Seo Cycle offer such a service?



Oct 5, 2008
As well as what other people have mentioned...
During your next ride try to notice if your arms are tense. Very little weight should be going through your arms, try using your hands to steer only rather than leaning on them.
Also if your arms are sore have a look at your palms. Are they red and painful to touch, this may also indicate you are putting too much weight on your hands. If your hands are fine you maybe gripping the bars too hard or just tensing the muscles in your arms.
The maps supplied by Denis should give you a good start. I'll be heading there in a couple of months, thanks Denis.
All the best

Ben Distel

Oct 19, 2008
Hi Penny, i can probably help you with your hand and feet pain. I am a certified bike fitter and while Time Trial fitting is my specialty, i do a pretty good job on road set ups too. Please contact me at [email protected] or have a look at my website: www.t1bicycles.com.

best regards



Speeding Up
Mar 19, 2007
Hi Penny, i can probably help you with your hand and feet pain. I am a certified bike fitter and while Time Trial fitting is my specialty, i do a pretty good job on road set ups too. Please contact me at [email protected] or have a look at my website: www.t1bicycles.com.

best regards


I can back Ben up here with a recommendation on his fitting service. Ben fitted me on my tri bike at the start of 2007 and we had another session to review the fit last weekend. He made some subtle changes which have made a big difference already. I feel more comfortable and have a bit more power. Hopefully this will equate to more speed. :thumb:

Ben has also fitted a lot of my friends here in Tokyo with similar good results.


Top Bottom