Tingling Arms

I’ve been having issues over the past couple of years where during intense intervals above LTHR on the bike, my arms start tingling. This will subside if I back off to bring my HR back down. I just bailed on FF this morning, after riding the first three minutes of the MAP interval.

I’m trying to understand what might be causing this, aside from the obvious intensity. To put some numbers to this, I was riding at about 265 watts, mid-cassette, little ring, holding about 85 rpm. My HR was holding at 170bpm, my LTHR is 165, my max is 185. So it was a bit unexpected to have tingling arms, which usually don’t occur for me unless I’m closer to my max HR with a higher power output. My last 4DP: NM 709, AC 394. And HM last month: MAP 261, FTP 209

I’ve tried searching similar symptoms online, and all I’m finding are discussions of hands, feet or legs. Nothing about arms tingling on the bike. Has anyone else experienced this or have some insight into what could be causing this? Is it something I should be concerned about? I was hoping to set a new 4DP for a nuclear tour.

That doesn’t sound good at all Sir. Are you gripping the bars tightly? Are you placing too much of your weight on the bars even if not gripping too tightly? It seems odd that this would be connected to your HR cuz I’d always associated numbness/tingling with nerve pressure. In any case, if it were me, and especially since this is something you’ve had for a couple of years, I’d get it checked out medically.


I’m not a doctor - though I play a half-a@@ version at work - and was experiencing something similar. Had some other issues at the time so went to a cardiologist to ensure everything was ok (it was).

So numbness and tingling in the extremities can generally ONLY be a couple of things: constricted blood flow or a compressed nerve somewhere from CNS to the extremities. It could very well be at extreme systemic stress (like the above threshold #'s you describe), your heart is having difficulty maintaining enough volemic pressure (blood volume). Do you ever get dizziness or lightheaded? Does the tingling only show up at high efforts? Does it resolve when you take your foot off the gas? Is there anything else you do that relieves it?

The fact it appears bilateral (both sides) makes a nerve pinch less likely, since that would involve some disc compression in your spine or something, which I would think would show up in other areas as well - not just the arms.

Unfortunately just cardiac aging - with max H/R dropping and higher average BP’s - can cause some signs and symptoms like this to emerge that have to be adjusted for. :grimacing:

But assuming your health and heart check out(?), I would agree with @Glen.Coutts and look at all of the positioning tweaks. Even something as banal as that you grip the bars tighter under stress can cause muscles to strain and restrict blood flow beyond what your heart is capable of compensating for. How aggressive is your riding position? A more aggressive, forward position will place more of your weight onto your hands and arms.

Wish I could tell you how mine resolved, but I don’t know. Honestly I think mine might have been at least exacerbated by extra weight I was carrying when I first got back on the bike that was pressing on the blood vessels in my upper arm when I rode. The cardio checked out ok, I made some positional adjustments on my bike…and I’ve not noticed it for awhile.

Wish you best of luck @Sir_Brian_M. Consider getting checked out if you’ve not recently to rule out any serious medical conditions.


I’ll second seeing a cardiologist. I had issues, but not tingling. Getting the old pumper up to a specific level had me concerned. Falling last year and the resulting scans confirmed what I had suspected. I’m on ‘watch and see’ now with additional medications and an admonition from my doctor NOT to buy an e-bike! I’m continuing to watch what I do and eat…

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Might ( only might) be due to very raised levels of lactate being processed in arm muscles. Had this when I’ve done VO2 max testing. But get checked - never wrong to be sensibly cautious!

Thanks everyone! I’ll be setting an appointment to see the doctor, which I haven’t been to since early 2020. However, we switched medical groups last year because our old one had too much turnover. Doctors would stay for a year or two and leave.

So I actually don’t have a doctor right now. Which means I’m not likely to get an appointment in the next few days.

So, I’m skipping the FF. My MAP was on target to match my last HM so it’s not likely to change much, nor the FTP, and workouts have been difficult by doable.

So, Nuclear it is, but I’ll back off if my arms start tingling, just in case.


Good plan. And yes, the joys of pandemic medical care and MD turnover is a thing. My wife has been in the same boat for awhile trying to line up a new PCP.

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