Q&A: Pain in arms and hands

Q: I'm starting to get pains in my arms and hands after 18 miles on my Giant NRS1.

Q: I purchased a Giant NRS1 with a small frame (16.5") last January which was my first mountain bike. Initially I was very pleased with the bike, but just lately I'm starting to get pains in my arms and hands during a ride of approximately 18 miles. I'm new to this sport but have realised that I'll need to fine-tune some of the components to get a correct fit.

I'm 5' 7" and feel a bit stretched out when riding the bike; also the handlebars (660mm) seem too wide for me. The stem measures 90mm which seems to be the average. I would appreciate any advice regarding sizing, changing components, etc.

A: Here are a few things to try at first, which may alleviate your discomfort.

First, loosen the seatpost clamp attached to your saddle just a little, and move the saddle forward a few millimeters. This effectively moves your body forward, and can take allow you to bend at the elbows more, which in turn takes the strain off your arms and hands.

Second, loosen your handlebar's stem faceplate to adjust the angle of your bars. Your brake levers should be at a 4 o'clock angle; make sure your shifters are angled accordingly so you feel comfortable.

Remember, always try a few things incrementally. Hope this helps!

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