scared to ride: seats?



david462

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Apr 3, 2006
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i read an article about cycling and the effect it can have on blood flow to certain areas. this kinda scared me. right now im riding an old 10 speed with a shitty seat on it and i do get numb from riding. so ive stopped riding for now.

i know i need a seat with the hole in the middle. im an average size guy. i need some recomendations on the best seat to prevent numbness and the blood flow problem (as in over a long time, when not riding, is a problem). anyone been riding long enough (10+years) and not have any problems like that?

also, how tight should my bike shorts be? again im an average size guy, 5'10" with a 31-32" waist and i have a size medium bike short. they seem a bit too tight though. they are the performance brand cycle short so they are kinda cheap. would buying a more expensive pair help with preventing numbess and that stuff?

also, is my crotch supposed to get numb while riding even with the right seat? anyone not have any problems like this, let me know what seat and shorts.

thanks
 

Dietmar

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Jun 9, 2006
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david462 said:
i do get numb from riding.
That should get you scared.

david462 said:
i need some recomendations on the best seat to prevent numbness and the blood flow problem (as in over a long time, when not riding, is a problem). anyone been riding long enough (10+years) and not have any problems like that?
I never had problems of that sort, even when riding on the kind of saddles they had 20 years ago. As far as recommendations, you really need to try out a saddle. Not every saddle fits every butt, and vice versa, to put it simply but bluntly. What I like may not be good for you. That said, yes, you might want to try one of those saddles with the cut-out in the crucial area. I think Performance Bike is also offering a saddle specifically designed for that kind of problem. Ask in a store, and they'll help you.

david462 said:
also, how tight should my bike shorts be? again im an average size guy, 5'10" with a 31-32" waist and i have a size medium bike short. they seem a bit too tight though. they are the performance brand cycle short so they are kinda cheap. would buying a more expensive pair help with preventing numbess and that stuff?
The shorts are supposed to be tight; a medium could be about right for your size, but that also depends on your, uhmm, lateral dimensions. More expensive shorts will probably not do much to ease that particular problem, although they can contribute to preventing/easing soreness.

david462 said:
also, is my crotch supposed to get numb while riding even with the right seat?
No, that is very definitely not supposed to happen. As I said, I have never experienced this, even on older saddles. You may want to talk to your doctor about this, at least if you cannot resolve the issue with a different saddle.
 

was7g

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May 11, 2006
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I got some numbness from time to time while out riding early on. My LBS suggested that I try two things, and they seemed to work; first, shift your position in the seat more- stand up while climbing, or to stretch (this helps my bad back anyway), etc., and second, be very conscious of your "sit bones" (ischial tuberosities), and how they rest in the saddle. Ideally, according to my LBS guys, all of your seated weight should be borne by the I.T. bones, and not by the soft tissues in the perineum. For me, this means consciously controlling my weight distribution so that it's back in the saddle, and not on the nose. Putting weight forward can put pressure on the arteries and nerves which serve the penis and scrotum, which can lead to numbness (nerves) and erectile problems (blood vessels). My LBS guys also said a special saddle might be in order, as you've discovered.
 

Eastway82

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Apr 12, 2006
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was7g said:
I got some numbness from time to time while out riding early on. My LBS suggested that I try two things, and they seemed to work; first, shift your position in the seat more- stand up while climbing, or to stretch (this helps my bad back anyway), etc., and second, be very conscious of your "sit bones" (ischial tuberosities), and how they rest in the saddle. Ideally, according to my LBS guys, all of your seated weight should be borne by the I.T. bones, and not by the soft tissues in the perineum. For me, this means consciously controlling my weight distribution so that it's back in the saddle, and not on the nose. Putting weight forward can put pressure on the arteries and nerves which serve the penis and scrotum, which can lead to numbness (nerves) and erectile problems (blood vessels). My LBS guys also said a special saddle might be in order, as you've discovered.

Also, even a slight change in saddle height can make a huge difference. I've never had this kind kind of numbness in 35 years' riding (although for ten of those I was so young the area in question wasn't in the way... :) ).
Then two months ago I broke my knee, and when I got back on the bike a month ago I had to raise my saddle a little to allow me to complete a whole pedal stroke with the range of knee bend I had available. A combination of that raised saddle height and an inability to get out of the saddle and change position, meant I suffered severe numbness after twenty miles or so. As my knee got a bit better, I was able to lower the seat again - hey presto, numbness gone.
 

mgkaplan

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Apr 23, 2006
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The proper saddle is important.

I know that Specialized has a device that actually measures the with of your "sit bones" and saddles in a variety of widths. Try them

I am assuming that your LBS has a good assortment of saddles and knowledgable salespersons or mechanics.

With the right saddle your "schvengus" should never get numb, even after a long hard ride.
 

Lord Vader

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Jun 27, 2006
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I was having the exact same issue... I'd go numb after 20/30k, and sometimes my right foot would go to sleep too... not good.

My LBS sells the specialized saddles, and has the little measuring gel thing that measures your sit bones.. very handy, it makes sure you're in a saddle with the right width for your hips.

Also, try sliding your seat forward a tad if its too far back.. this will help keep your bum in place... (just not too much.. you want to keep your back straight too).

I spent about 100CAN on my specialized seat, it makes a world of difference... and it comes with the slice down the middle... aka The Testicle Receptacle
 

JohnO

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Jul 5, 2003
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I never really had a problem with Mr. Johnson going numb, but did I get sore butt and uncomfortable prostate, had me squirming around after 15-20 miles.

I went through several saddles, until I arrived at two that got the vertical smile to start smiling again. In my case it was Selle TransAm and finally Fizik Aliante, both pricey, but both worth the money. Doesn't mean these saddles will work for you, but they did work for me. Bottom line for me was - a good saddle will run you $100+, and it's worth every cent. This is where a good LBS came in handy - they let me try out a couple of expensive but beat up saddles they had on hand, so I didn't waste too much money.

Tried the low cost shorts, more discomfort. I now use the mid priced Louis Garneau shorts, and they made a world of difference. Same goes for a jersey - the difference between a $50-60 jersey and a t shirt is huge, you ride so much better when you're not drenched in sweat.
 

RickF

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Jul 27, 2005
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For me, the problem was that I was sitting too far forward on the saddle. It seemed counterintuitive at the time, but sliding the saddle forward on the rails, which put my sit bones squarely on the wide part of the saddle, did the trick.


The cut-out does not solve the problem for everyone. In some cases, It can make the problem worse, because the edges of the cut-out, if they are in the wrong place, can push harder on the artery than a full saddle would. Also, the gel-type saddles can cause more problems than hard saddles.

The saddle that Dietmar referred to is the E3. I have not tried it personally, because I do not have THAT problem with my current saddle, but many people do like it.
 

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