Tell us about your experiences with weight management. Take our survey!

caret icon Back to all discussions

Bike left shifter handlebar

My thumb is not happy with the standard shift with turns. Joint pain and debris in it.
Any ideas are appreciated.
Biking outside keeps me going!

  1. When I started my bike riding I actually had a similar issue, believe it or not. Mine was that my thumb had been damaged by so many years of RA that not only did I not have the strength to press the shifter, but even when I could I still couldn’t press the button far enough to make it catch and shift gears. I eventually found shifters that worked more using the whole hand and I had the local bike shop install them. It wasn’t the cheapest but it allowed me to continue riding! Might be something to think about looking into, especially considering, at least in my case, my fingers are only gonna get worse. Just remember, though, you are not alone. Keep on keepin’ on, DPM

    1. Hi, !

      My teenage son is BIG into riding right now and belongs to a couple of bike clubs. I posed your question (as a hypothetical question, to safeguard your privacy) to them and they highly recommended switching to from manual shifters to electric shifters. It might be a little pricey, but many bike shops can make the switch for you. They showed me how easy they are to switch gears and it may be something to consider, if you have the funds. It's still cheaper than buying a whole new bike. They also suggested electric assist bikes, which, frankly, are a fabulous option for people who still want to ride freely, but may need to have that back up option, just in case. There's a gentleman in my son's mountain bike club that is pushing 80 years old and rides with his electric bike. Those bikes are definitely an investment, but it can be worth it if you love riding. And Daniel's suggestion is a great one, too, and probably the cheapest option.

      I hope you're able to keep riding!

      Best, Erin, Team Member.

      1. you can take the weight off of your thumbs/hands while biking by raising the height of the handle bars with an extender so you are sitting more upright + the weight is not so disproportionate onto your thumbs on the handle bars. bike shop can help.

        1. Starting off slowly on my bike ride to allow my joints the proper time to warm up so that I do not over work them.

          Please read our rules before posting.