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So I’ve been riding a few years but the last year or so I’ve really put in the hrs and have improved a fair bit. Late last year I was at the point of riding over 2hrs standing the whole time in tech singletrack and not stopping for a rest. Would get arm pump after 15 mins then it would fade and I’d be fine.

What I’ve been experiencing lately is that my arms/hands get extremely fatigued and don’t recover, i now have to stop numerous times because I literally can barely hold onto the bars. I did recently switch to a Leatt 3df body protector that I had the arm holes altered so it wasn’t so tight, however the forearm section is also tight, which I feel may be part of the issue. Bike has been the same the whole time.

I’m also wondering if it’s a nutrition/age issue. I’m 42, in better then average shape, no drinking/drugs/smoking etc. I eat fairly well, not much junk/greasy food, and at least 2L of water plus fresh fruit every day. Am I missing something or is this an age related thing? I think doing some more cardio might help? Is the body protector reducing circulation that much? It’s the tightest on my right arm which happens to be the arm that fades the worst.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

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You dont want anything tight on your forearms or arms period. It constricts blood flow which is what arm pump is, lack of blood flow.

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i think regular cardio is the best way to combat arm pump, and increasing your cardio in the days leading up to a ride definitely helps.

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My buddy fought simial issues for years. He finally figured it out to his drink system pinching his nerves in his shoulders which was making his hands go numb. He then switched to a lap belt style setup and it's been the holy grail of choices. 

Might not be the answer for you but it's something to look at when trying to solve your issues... 

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You dont want anything tight on your forearms or arms period. It constricts blood flow which is what arm pump is, lack of blood flow.


I do think the new body armour might be part of the problem, I may cut off the forearm section but I can use my old chest protector and do a ride it 2 and see if there is a difference. Thanks!
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My buddy fought simial issues for years. He finally figured it out to his drink system pinching his nerves in his shoulders which was making his hands go numb. He then switched to a lap belt style setup and it's been the holy grail of choices. 
Might not be the answer for you but it's something to look at when trying to solve your issues... 

I did also get a uswe pack and I’ve been loosening it off to see if I could get some relief. Could def be adding up to restriction along with the body armour jacket. Good to know I’m not alone with having this issue lol.

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i think regular cardio is the best way to combat arm pump, and increasing your cardio in the days leading up to a ride definitely helps.

I def could use some work in the cardio dept. I used to race mtn bikes so I was in decent shape but only really have time for dirtbikes these days so it’s hard to get out on the pedal bike as much as I should. Never had arm pump issues when I was more fit

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23 hours ago, dittohead said:


I def could use some work in the cardio dept. I used to race mtn bikes so I was in decent shape but only really have time for dirtbikes these days so it’s hard to get out on the pedal bike as much as I should. Never had arm pump issues when I was more fit

It's your new protection on the forearms 100%. I learned this lesson years ago DH mountain biking. When I started dirt biking a few years ago, I started with elbow pads and within days I remembered that they cause arm pump.  Now I don't use elbow pads at all and I never get arm pump.  Literally never.  To add, I am slightly older than you.

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It's your new protection on the forearms 100%. I learned this lesson years ago DH mountain biking. When I started dirt biking a few years ago, I started with elbow pads and within days I remembered that they cause arm pump.  Now I don't use elbow pads at all and I never get arm pump.  Literally never.  To add, I am slightly older than you.

When I first got the body protector I noticed right away that the cuffs were way too tight. I had them altered so they were no longer tight. The forearm area was definitely snug as well but I didn’t think it would make a matter much. I was wrong. I guess I’ll get it altered again. I like the protection it gives but it’s basically useless if I can’t ride for more then a few mins at a time lol. Funny thing is I’m not a big guy, 5’ 9” 185lbs and I bought the large. Fits good everywhere but the forearms. I’m a mechanic so I use my arms all day, maybe that is the issue?

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Posted (edited)

I find my forearms are sensitive to any restrictions. I'd just cut the forearms off ?.

My buds are always shaking out their arms after the first 10 minutes while making fun of me for not wearing pads. I have a better chance of hurting myself in a crash from blown out hands than preventing crashes in the first place. I'm 5'8, 160 riding a 300 for reference. 

Edited by SoftOption

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I've had the same issue with my elbow guards. I do like wearing them for the protection, but they constrict too much.

Any suggestions for forearm/elbow protection that isn't as constrictive? 

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Update:
Finally got out for a ride after 2 weeks away from the bike. Wore my old basic roost guard and while I did get some arm pump it was nowhere near as bad as when I was wearing the leatt jacket. I’m going to either cut the sleeves off or sell it, and buy a chest protector with shoulder protection.

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On 4/15/2019 at 3:19 PM, Hans Schmid said:

My buddy fought simial issues for years. He finally figured it out to his drink system pinching his nerves in his shoulders which was making his hands go numb. He then switched to a lap belt style setup and it's been the holy grail of choices. 

Might not be the answer for you but it's something to look at when trying to solve your issues... 

Lap belt eh Hans? A fanny pack is a fanny pack, no shame in that.

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10 minutes ago, Husquire said:

Lap belt eh Hans? A fanny pack is a fanny pack, no shame in that.

Man purse... 

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I hear fanny packs are making a comeback

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