Numbness -- Risks and solution?



dag251

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Jul 31, 2010
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The other day I did my first 100 mile bike trek. About 70 miles in I realized I was completely numb down there and a day later I still have lingering effects. I researched some and found out that you can develop serious problems cycling. I also found a seat that looks like it'd resolve the issue, and I'm wondering what you guys think... it's the ISM Adamo (Products). Thanks,
DG
 

Froze

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Jul 13, 2004
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I think their a bit weird looking! But having never rode on one I can't say if it would work for your problem. You obviously know that you need a cutout saddle, there are plenty of cutout saddles on the market, all one needs to do is to go to their LBS(s) and look.

Then you need to stand up out of the saddle about every 15 to 20 minutes of riding for about a minute or two to get things flowing again.

Also make sure your riding on quality padded shorts.
 

64Paramount

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Jul 25, 2009
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Froze said:
.....Then you need to stand up out of the saddle about every 15 to 20 minutes of riding for about a minute or two to get things flowing again...


+ 1 Get out of the saddle regularly and let the blood circulate...
 

dhk2

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Aug 8, 2006
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Your weight needs to be hitting the saddle on the "sitzbones", nowhere else. If the nose is even a few degrees too high, it will put pressure where you don't want it. Or, your saddle may not be wide enough or strong enough to support your weight.

Or, your saddle may be worn out. I just replaced my Terry Fly saddle after experiencing numbness on a couple of rides this summer. It had been comfortable for almost 3 years of riding (11,500 miles). But after the numbness, I checked to find the foam had gotten soft, and the pan had softened as well, making the saddle easy to press down in the center. It's my first cutout saddle; figure maybe these aren't as strong. At any rate, by pressing down and flexing the saddle by hand, it was obvious that it was turning into a hammock under my 190 lb load.

So, had the new Fly saddle on for the first long ride yesterday, and after 4 hours, all was well.....no numbness at all. My experience has been that all saddles seem to break down around 10K miles, but the wear is gradual and hard to detect until the dreaded numbness hits.
 

oldbobcat

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Aug 31, 2003
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dag251 said:
I also found a seat that looks like it'd resolve the issue, and I'm wondering what you guys think... it's the ISM Adamo (Products). Thanks,
DG
Check your fit--saddle angle, fore-and-aft, and height. After getting new shoes I was getting sore on long rides. Lowered the saddle a bit and I'm fine.

Those Adamo saddles look like an expensive solution that might not work--they're suspiciously wide between the thighs.
 

Froze

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Jul 13, 2004
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dhk2 said:
My experience has been that all saddles seem to break down around 10K miles, but the wear is gradual and hard to detect until the dreaded numbness hits.

True statement IF you speaking of the typical foam or gel covered plastic or carbon fiber shell seats. Real leather seats like Brooks have no problem going 40k plus if taken care of.
 

dhk2

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Aug 8, 2006
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Oops, good point....forgot about Brooks. I've still got the OEM B17 Narrow on my 1973 Raleigh GS. It's turned into a bit of a hammock from too many years and too much Neatsfoot Oil, but since I don't ride the bike often or far, it's kind of cool to have it on....like the plastic Simplex shifters.

Brooks certainly do have their fans here, but since I never found my old one comfortable never got another. If I ever get a classic touring bike, would definately consider a new Brooks for it...they have gotten pricey though.
 

alienator

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Jun 10, 2004
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I'd hold off contributing to ISM's Adamo marketing campaign for a bit. As has been mentioned, incorrect saddle position can make for numb niblets. Likewise, poor bike fit can do the same thing. Also, wearing a c**k ring while riding can make for extended periods of numbness, as well as odd bruising and chafing.
 

Froze

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Jul 13, 2004
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dhk2 said:
Oops, good point....forgot about Brooks. I've still got the OEM B17 Narrow on my 1973 Raleigh GS. It's turned into a bit of a hammock from too many years and too much Neatsfoot Oil, but since I don't ride the bike often or far, it's kind of cool to have it on....like the plastic Simplex shifters.

Brooks certainly do have their fans here, but since I never found my old one comfortable never got another. If I ever get a classic touring bike, would definately consider a new Brooks for it...they have gotten pricey though.

I have 2 Brooks seats, the B17 and the Swift TI, and both are very comfortable.

Brooks and other leather saddles need to break into your butt, this takes roughly 500 miles, some people less some more.

But you should never use water or Neets oil or any other oil on these saddles to speed up break in, they will soften up too much. Neets oil is great for baseball gloves but will ruin a saddle. For Brooks to last a very long time all one needs to do is follow Brooks care instructions to the letter and you will never have a problem with either their warranty or longevity. I know what Sheldon Brown says about breaking these saddles in, but I must regretfully say, he was wrong, not only was he wrong but Brooks would void your warranty if you did what Sheldon said to do to a saddle. Brooks has been making their saddles for over 100 years, I would think they would know how their saddles ought to be treated.
 

oldbobcat

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Aug 31, 2003
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Froze said:
But you should never use water or Neets oil or any other oil on these saddles to speed up break in, they will soften up too much. Neets oil is great for baseball gloves but will ruin a saddle. For Brooks to last a very long time all one needs to do is follow Brooks care instructions to the letter and you will never have a problem with either their warranty or longevity. I know what Sheldon Brown says about breaking these saddles in, but I must regretfully say, he was wrong, not only was he wrong but Brooks would void your warranty if you did what Sheldon said to do to a saddle. Brooks has been making their saddles for over 100 years, I would think they would know how their saddles ought to be treated.

Way back in the day I used Brooks saddles (a B5N and a Pro) and never had break-in or wear-out problems with them. Sno-Seal was my leather treatment of choice.

I've moved on to other saddles but I find it hard to argue against hundreds (or even thousands) of happy Brooks users.
 

Froze

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Sno-Seal is basically the same ingredients that Proofide uses, which is mostly wax, in fact the ingredients to Proofide is: Tallow, Cod oil, Vegetable Oil, Parrafin wax, Beeswax, Citronella oil; whereas Sno Seal is beeswax and paraffin...either would work.

Proofide doesn't protect your saddle from moisture and Brooks makes no claims that it does, so I use a saddle cover if I know I might get stuck in rain. But I know tourers who don't cover theirs with no ill effects on the saddle.

You can use neutral Kiwi shoe wax. It is a very high-grade paste wax that buffs up the saddle to a shine, protects the leather from rain and blends out scuffs without leaving anything that lifts off on clothing that you can see.

Because I spent a lot of money on those Brooks, especially the Swift, I over protect them. I used the Proofide first (top and bottom) then used the Kiwi shoe polish after the Proofide sat for about a week. Then I still cover the saddles with a saddle cover. Yeah I know, I'm anal. It's kind of like my classic cars, the seats are treated for stain resistance and water repellent and then I put seat covers over the seats!
 

sam4msu

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Jul 29, 2010
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I have the perfect solution. Buy a recumbent!!! Since I started riding recumbents the only time my boys tingle is when...Well you get the idea!!!!
 

The_Gruber

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Jul 24, 2010
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oldbobcat said:
Check your fit--saddle angle, fore-and-aft, and height. After getting new shoes I was getting sore on long rides. Lowered the saddle a bit and I'm fine.

Those Adamo saddles look like an expensive solution that might not work--they're suspiciously wide between the thighs.

When you get your saddle go to a shop that knows how to do a fitting based on the width of your tailbone. The method I have seen used is getting you to sit on a compression pad to detremine the correct width.
 

sam4msu

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Jul 29, 2010
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oldbobcat said:
Shoulda seen that coming :).
Heck yeah bobcat...You know us bent riders never miss an opportunity to talk about them. We can either try to fit in, or try to standout...I guess fitting in is just not an option!!!LOL.
 

Resistorlead

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May 31, 2010
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Seat angle is the biggie and I need to readjust mine based on a recent ride ;-) I also like Sno-Seal and they have some very good articles on leather and other topics here. As far as I can tell, most traditional leather treatments aren't really a good choice, especially for seats.
 

helios

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Aug 6, 2010
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The Adamo is extremely popular in TT/tri circles. I was having all kinds of numbness issues until I got an Adamo and they all went away. It's the best saddle I've found for a TT/tri position. The Specialized Romin is also a good solution if you like a firm saddle with a cut out for a road bike application. Don't automatically assume your nose is too high; I found that going the opposite direction (angling it up more) was the fix on my Romin. It depends on the saddle and your fit.
 

bhmtnbiker

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Aug 9, 2010
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dag251 said:
The other day I did my first 100 mile bike trek. About 70 miles in I realized I was completely numb down there and a day later I still have lingering effects. I researched some and found out that you can develop serious problems cycling. I also found a seat that looks like it'd resolve the issue, and I'm wondering what you guys think... it's the ISM Adamo (Products). Thanks,
DG


Dag251- new to site and came across your question. I have the Adamo and will only ride that saddle. I also had the same severe trouble prior to buying it. I must admit it takes about a week to get used to it, but it is hands down the best money I ever spent on my bike. The alternative for me was to give it up or buy the seat and I'm so glad I did.

Im buying a tribike very soon and would not put anything else on it. If you do buy one, give it a fair trial. Your butt will be sore till you get used to it, but you will not have the numbness and trouble that causes......