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-   -   Numbness and Tingling due to perineum issues: Saddle help (https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=1222023)

arizkohli 01-21-21 05:51 AM

Numbness and Tingling due to perineum issues: Saddle help
 
I posted this on the road bike sub section but was told I'd get a lot more help here so giving it a go again.

I've gone through past posts but most of the advice seems to be a couple of yars old. Hoping there has been some new breakthrough in the last 2 years.
.
So I started cycling for fitness a couple of months and got hooked on to it; I do 25-30 km runs almost daily with the occasional 50 km sunday run. I'm riding a scott addict rc 20 most of the times and sometimes the bergamont grandurance rd5.

Now my problem is I'm a big heavy old guy, 47 years and somewhere between 120-130 kg, not in the best of shape, not very flexible but an old time sporty guy. I'm having a lot of problems with perineum pressure and severe **** numbness. I've got a bike fit done on both bikes, don't know how good it is but that's the best I could manage in my location (India). I'm comfortable on the bikes in all other ways To resolve the numbness issue I got a prologo dimension NDR CPC Tirox 143 saddle (sorry the board isn't allowing me to post a link to the saddle page). While that has helped a wee bit but the problem hasn't gone away.

I'm looking for some saddle recommendations for a heavy guy like me, preferably if you have faced and solved this problem with saddle selection and adjustment. I ride with the stem reversed on a +12 degree positive rise but I'm thinking of lowering it soon. From what I've read and researched, a lower reach, wider and shorter saddle and cut outs help. The prologo I got is wide-ish (143mm), short and has a cut out but it isn't the magic formula I was hoping for. It cost me over 200 dollars. We don't have the opportunity to try on different saddles here nor any professional sit bone measuring service, I will have to just take recommendations and buy one saddle hoping it works.

Please help, I don't want to give up cycling but I also want to have a normal sex life. So saddle recommendations, which commonly works for big guys to resolve perineum issues; and tilt and reach etc. to help a fellow cyclist out please.

Thanks in advance guys.

jaxgtr 01-22-21 09:26 PM

How long had you been using this saddle, it might just be your body getting used to it. You can usually tell within the first 10 or so rides. I'm not super thin, float between 190 and 200, but I thought the Specialized Romin 143mm saddles I have ridden for the last 10 years were very comfy and only really had issues once I start heading north of 65 miles. Not bad, but just not where I wanted it to be. I recently got a Domane and at the same time, I decided to try something else and checked out the Bontrager Verse saddle in both a 145 and 135 widths. I really thought the 135 would be way to narrow, but OMG, it was awesome and now I have 3 bikes with that saddle. It is even comfortable when I ride the trainer. Good thing with Bontrager is the 30 day return policy, so if you have a Trek dealer in the area, I would check them out.

It is also possible if you are using bike shorts, that the chamois is causing some discomfort, I had to try different shorts until I found some that work for me.

Now I will also say this....I went through 10 different saddles and 5 or 6 brands of shorts until I found what worked for me, so it might just take some time.

chaadster 01-23-21 10:18 AM

I agree it takes time to adjust, but would also suggest making adjustments to saddle position, because numbness indicates a lot of spot pressure.

Pay attention to both fore/aft position and nose up/down. Does the saddle feel better when you sit in any particular way on it? For example, is it better when you’re further back on the wings, or more forward on the nose? Your Prologo Dimension NDR is a relatively flat saddle, so nose tilt will not be extreme, but I’d start by tilting it down a bit, and see how that feels. If you feel you’re sliding forward, off the saddle, then that’s too much obviously. From there, try a little fore/aft adjustment to get a neutral position on the saddle in terms of pressure distribution. You may feel a bit more on the sitz bones, which I think is the type of feel adjustment jaxgtr was referring to, and after awhile, you’ll be accustomed to it. I say that because, I believe, penile numbness is from more forward perineal pressure, so you’re probably sitting more heavily on the nose of the saddle rather than back on the sitz bones.

As you know, the other big factor is bar position. It sounds like you’re probably more upright already, but if your reach to the bars is too far, you may be tilting your pelvis forward onto the saddle nose, again creating that forward perineum pressure. Perhaps bringing the bars in closer with a shorter stem will allow you to push your position back on the saddle a bit more.

It’s not an exact science, this, so it’s important to remember to make just single adjustments at a go, tempting though it may be to switch up a bunch of stuff. Take an allen wrench with you out on a ride, make a little tweak, check it out, and then adjust other dimensions as needed. Swapping out stems and making saddle adjustments at the same time is a recipe for confusion, particularly since you say you’re otherwise comfy on the bike; I’d try saddle position fine-tuning before messing with the stem.

Good luck!

tallbikeman 01-24-21 08:52 AM

As we male bicyclists age the perineum pressure problem can get far worse. My perineum pressure problem culminated in a severe case of prostatitis. After consulting with a Urologist and being given the news that horned bicycle seats where now not cool I switched to noseless saddles. I have tried three different brands. Easy Seat, Spongy Wonder, and Spiderflex. My experience with two different Easy Seat models and the Spongy Wonder was that you lost the stability and control the horn of the saddle gives you. These saddles also can give you saddle sores just like their horned brethren. Because the perineum is not carrying any of your weight any more there is more pressure on your sitz bones and this can accelerate saddle sore formation. Last year I tried the Spiderflex saddle. This hornless saddle has trapezoid cutouts where your sitz bones contact the saddle. The saddle also features a built in suspension system. This saddle has yet to hurt me or cause saddle sores. As a bonus because your sitz bones are held by the saddle pads this seat feels a lot like a horned saddle in stability and control. All three brands of hornless saddles solve the perineum pressure problem completely. No numbness or other injuries to that area. I have bought another Spiderflex saddle for another bike in by stable and continue to have a very good opinion of this saddle. Of course the other solution to this problem can be a recumbent bicycle which also solves this pressure problem with their seats. Good luck with this issue.

arizkohli 01-25-21 05:20 AM


Originally Posted by jaxgtr (Post 21890403)
How long had you been using this saddle, it might just be your body getting used to it. You can usually tell within the first 10 or so rides. I'm not super thin, float between 190 and 200, but I thought the Specialized Romin 143mm saddles I have ridden for the last 10 years were very comfy and only really had issues once I start heading north of 65 miles. Not bad, but just not where I wanted it to be. I recently got a Domane and at the same time, I decided to try something else and checked out the Bontrager Verse saddle in both a 145 and 135 widths. I really thought the 135 would be way to narrow, but OMG, it was awesome and now I have 3 bikes with that saddle. It is even comfortable when I ride the trainer. Good thing with Bontrager is the 30 day return policy, so if you have a Trek dealer in the area, I would check them out.

It is also possible if you are using bike shorts, that the chamois is causing some discomfort, I had to try different shorts until I found some that work for me.

Now I will also say this....I went through 10 different saddles and 5 or 6 brands of shorts until I found what worked for me, so it might just take some time.

Thanks jaxgtr. I'm pretty sure it is more to do with the saddle as when I ride my gravel bike with the rubbish saddle I can immediately feel extreme numbness and tingling. I've ridden the prologo for about 10 odd rides, while the symptoms reduced they haven't gone away. Maybe I need to quit for a week or so for the feeling to return then try different saddles and positions to be sure? Thankfully we have trek dealers in our city so I will try and source the verse saddle here. I've tried 3 different types of bike shorts so far; just got a castelli which I'm going to break in soon. Hopefully that will make things slightly better.


Originally Posted by chaadster (Post 21890852)
I agree it takes time to adjust, but would also suggest making adjustments to saddle position, because numbness indicates a lot of spot pressure.

Pay attention to both fore/aft position and nose up/down. Does the saddle feel better when you sit in any particular way on it? For example, is it better when you’re further back on the wings, or more forward on the nose? Your Prologo Dimension NDR is a relatively flat saddle, so nose tilt will not be extreme, but I’d start by tilting it down a bit, and see how that feels. If you feel you’re sliding forward, off the saddle, then that’s too much obviously. From there, try a little fore/aft adjustment to get a neutral position on the saddle in terms of pressure distribution. You may feel a bit more on the sitz bones, which I think is the type of feel adjustment jaxgtr was referring to, and after awhile, you’ll be accustomed to it. I say that because, I believe, penile numbness is from more forward perineal pressure, so you’re probably sitting more heavily on the nose of the saddle rather than back on the sitz bones.

As you know, the other big factor is bar position. It sounds like you’re probably more upright already, but if your reach to the bars is too far, you may be tilting your pelvis forward onto the saddle nose, again creating that forward perineum pressure. Perhaps bringing the bars in closer with a shorter stem will allow you to push your position back on the saddle a bit more.

It’s not an exact science, this, so it’s important to remember to make just single adjustments at a go, tempting though it may be to switch up a bunch of stuff. Take an allen wrench with you out on a ride, make a little tweak, check it out, and then adjust other dimensions as needed. Swapping out stems and making saddle adjustments at the same time is a recipe for confusion, particularly since you say you’re otherwise comfy on the bike; I’d try saddle position fine-tuning before messing with the stem.

Good luck!

Thanks chaadster. The problem is I feel no discomfort or numbness/pressure while riding but when I'm back home I can feel it. I think it does feel more comfy (like my sit bones are bearing most of the pressure) when I'm sitting back a bit. I'm going to try a slightly downward tilt of the saddle, like small increments of a degree first and then try going back to original stem orientation instead of the reversed stem. I've read having the bars lower than the saddle helps. Is that true? Lower bars doesn't equate to longer reach right?


Originally Posted by tallbikeman (Post 21892188)
As we male bicyclists age the perineum pressure problem can get far worse. My perineum pressure problem culminated in a severe case of prostatitis. After consulting with a Urologist and being given the news that horned bicycle seats where now not cool I switched to noseless saddles. I have tried three different brands. Easy Seat, Spongy Wonder, and Spiderflex. My experience with two different Easy Seat models and the Spongy Wonder was that you lost the stability and control the horn of the saddle gives you. These saddles also can give you saddle sores just like their horned brethren. Because the perineum is not carrying any of your weight any more there is more pressure on your sitz bones and this can accelerate saddle sore formation. Last year I tried the Spiderflex saddle. This hornless saddle has trapezoid cutouts where your sitz bones contact the saddle. The saddle also features a built in suspension system. This saddle has yet to hurt me or cause saddle sores. As a bonus because your sitz bones are held by the saddle pads this seat feels a lot like a horned saddle in stability and control. All three brands of hornless saddles solve the perineum pressure problem completely. No numbness or other injuries to that area. I have bought another Spiderflex saddle for another bike in by stable and continue to have a very good opinion of this saddle. Of course the other solution to this problem can be a recumbent bicycle which also solves this pressure problem with their seats. Good luck with this issue.

Thanks tallbikeman. If nothing else works then I guess I will have to go with this design type and the spiderflex seems to be the best amongst them.

philbob57 01-25-21 05:58 PM

My understanding is that the numbness is due too excessive pressure on the nerve and the blood vessel that run through the soft tissues that rest on saddles.

I recommend taking a look at Selle SMP's patent application, which described their approach, and the ismseat.com website, which described theirs. In brief, SMP has longitudinal cutout that should remove pressure from the nerve and artery, and some curves that allow the critical 'soft tissues' to ride free of the saddle. That worked for me.

ISM's approach is a similar groove and a very much shortened nose, which lets the soft tissues ride free of the saddle. With ISM, however, one tilts one's pelvis forward and rest all one's weight on one's pubic rami. That's too much weight fro some people, which leads to saddles sores. But note that both ISM and SMP have one's external genitalia ride over air, not the saddle. That makes sense to me.

tallbikeman 01-25-21 09:21 PM

As I move more firmly into old man territory I notice it is much easier to get saddle sores now than when I was younger. Glad you brought the saddle sore issue up with the ISM saddle. My recumbent seats have never given me a saddle sore to this day. The Spiderflex saddle is also in that good zone of no saddle sores for the year I've had mine.

arizkohli 01-27-21 01:33 AM


Originally Posted by philbob57 (Post 21894906)
My understanding is that the numbness is due too excessive pressure on the nerve and the blood vessel that run through the soft tissues that rest on saddles.

I recommend taking a look at Selle SMP's patent application, which described their approach, and the ismseat.com website, which described theirs. In brief, SMP has longitudinal cutout that should remove pressure from the nerve and artery, and some curves that allow the critical 'soft tissues' to ride free of the saddle. That worked for me.

ISM's approach is a similar groove and a very much shortened nose, which lets the soft tissues ride free of the saddle. With ISM, however, one tilts one's pelvis forward and rest all one's weight on one's pubic rami. That's too much weight fro some people, which leads to saddles sores. But note that both ISM and SMP have one's external genitalia ride over air, not the saddle. That makes sense to me.

Thank you, I have been reading some good things about SMP saddles. Maybe I'll talk to them direct and order one. At this moment I'd trade the worst of saddle sores for some feeling in my tool.

Leisesturm 01-28-21 05:09 PM

47y.o. old?! I'm insulted. And without a height given it is hard to say whether weight is a big factor here or not. It also isn't that hard to find out 'exactly' what a person weighs. It matters. Almost certainly if someone doesn't actually know what they weigh, they weigh much more than they think. I am 5'10" (1.77m) and weigh exactly 195lbs. (88kg). A larger guy is going to be meaty enough in the nether regions to make details of saddle construction like 'anatomic cut-outs' and etc. largely moot. An earlier poster wondered if this is not simply a question of acclimatization and I am inclined to agree. That said, it would be useful to know what the o.p. is working with. Pictures please. Make sure you are sitting far enough back on the saddle so as to be fully supported by it. That is a common fault. Saddles narrow rapidly as you slide forward. This can cause discomfort, even pain and numbness. I recently bought a Mongoose Envoy cargo bike. The saddle it comes with is amazing! The parent company of Mongoose is called Pacific Cycles. Were I the o.p. I'd be getting in touch and finding out how I might purchase that saddle. Hell, it might be worth it to look into the Envoy on Amazon. The md/lg are VERY hard to find right now and even the sm/md are running out. FWIW.

brawlo 01-28-21 08:41 PM

I'm your weight and have had great luck with Selle SMP (Composit and Dynamic) saddles and currently riding a variety of ISM saddles on my 4 bikes but with a Breakaway (now called PL1.0) on the road bike. The first thing to make sure of is that you're not riding with a flat back from shoulders down to rump. You need to be rotating your pelvis forward and engaging your lower abs. Think like sitting in a chair and thrusting your junk forward. That will move the pressure point further back towards your butt.

From there, there's a million different saddles out there because we're all different and what I ride could be murder for you. What I also noticed is that different chamois feel different on different saddles. I had a set of Pearl Izumi bibs that were murder on the SMP saddle I rode, but when I changed to the ISM they were the most comfortable of what I had at the time. Sort your riding position out first. Play with your body/pelvis position as well as saddle fore/aft and tilt. You may also have just found a wrong saddle for you. Do you have retailers in India that offer saddle trials? Here in Australia there are various brands and retailers that will allow you to trial saddles from certain manufacturers until you find one that fits well.

Good luck!

arizkohli 01-29-21 12:51 AM


Originally Posted by Leisesturm (Post 21899749)
47y.o. old?! I'm insulted. And without a height given it is hard to say whether weight is a big factor here or not. It also isn't that hard to find out 'exactly' what a person weighs. It matters. Almost certainly if someone doesn't actually know what they weigh, they weigh much more than they think. I am 5'10" (1.77m) and weigh exactly 195lbs. (88kg). A larger guy is going to be meaty enough in the nether regions to make details of saddle construction like 'anatomic cut-outs' and etc. largely moot. An earlier poster wondered if this is not simply a question of acclimatization and I am inclined to agree. That said, it would be useful to know what the o.p. is working with. Pictures please. Make sure you are sitting far enough back on the saddle so as to be fully supported by it. That is a common fault. Saddles narrow rapidly as you slide forward. This can cause discomfort, even pain and numbness. I recently bought a Mongoose Envoy cargo bike. The saddle it comes with is amazing! The parent company of Mongoose is called Pacific Cycles. Were I the o.p. I'd be getting in touch and finding out how I might purchase that saddle. Hell, it might be worth it to look into the Envoy on Amazon. The md/lg are VERY hard to find right now and even the sm/md are running out. FWIW.

Sorry I missed writing my height. I'm 6ft (183.5 cms exactly). I'm definitely more than 120 and defnititely less than 130. I stopped weighing myself a year ago due to depression issues. Just sorted myself out and cycling has played a big role in that.

Acclimatisation is a factor yes, as days pass the problem is getting better each day with the prologo saddle I got and I am consciously making an effort to sit back. Thanks for your advice. I will look up the envoy bike and the saddle it comes with.

arizkohli 01-29-21 12:58 AM


Originally Posted by brawlo (Post 21900038)
I'm your weight and have had great luck with Selle SMP (Composit and Dynamic) saddles and currently riding a variety of ISM saddles on my 4 bikes but with a Breakaway (now called PL1.0) on the road bike. The first thing to make sure of is that you're not riding with a flat back from shoulders down to rump. You need to be rotating your pelvis forward and engaging your lower abs. Think like sitting in a chair and thrusting your junk forward. That will move the pressure point further back towards your butt.

From there, there's a million different saddles out there because we're all different and what I ride could be murder for you. What I also noticed is that different chamois feel different on different saddles. I had a set of Pearl Izumi bibs that were murder on the SMP saddle I rode, but when I changed to the ISM they were the most comfortable of what I had at the time. Sort your riding position out first. Play with your body/pelvis position as well as saddle fore/aft and tilt. You may also have just found a wrong saddle for you. Do you have retailers in India that offer saddle trials? Here in Australia there are various brands and retailers that will allow you to trial saddles from certain manufacturers until you find one that fits well.

Good luck!

I'm in luck as I found an ISM PL1 saddle locally here which I'm getting tomorrow. Other than that there is no real variety for saddles available, people don't give it much importance and the serious guys import it themselves. So getting trial saddles is just not possible. ISM asked me to try their PR3 and Adamo reef (associate company) saddles but I've seen youtube videos of pro bike fitters talking good about the PL saddles, which luckily I found used here.

I'm not very upright, mostly ride the hoods so I'm rotated but surely not like a pro, I need to work on my flexibility, fitness and core strength but I am making a conscious effort to sit back and rotate more.

I've tried 3 different bibs, one castelli too but I don't find any noticeable difference in all of them. But as time passes the problem is getting better and I've got some great advice here; I'm pretty confident the ISM saddles will eliminate the problem entirely.

Thank you and thank you everyone for all the help and advice. If you have more advice to share please do.

Antoine Zurfluh 02-04-21 11:02 AM

Selle SMP ebike saddles are where it's at!

I've tried the smaller saddles from Selle SMP available in the US and for me they are better than traditional (non-cut out) saddles. But, while on bike tour in Germany I found their line of 'ebike' seats. They are much wider in the sit bone area and the cut out in the middle is HUGE!

I have ridden both the ebike medium and the ebike large and these seats have resurrected my upright riding career. I cannot recommend them enough.

Available on the internet. Super heavy, but who cares!

CarGuy 02-14-21 11:40 AM

If it's OK with the OP I will post here for now to keep the information in one place. If not I can start another thread.

I am a 63 y.o. male and I have returned to cycling after a long 25 year absence. Since my return in November 2018 I have logged 4,000 kms in 2019 and 8,000 kms in 2020.

I thought I had found a decent saddle and I was able to ride somewhat comfortably for a max of 1 hour and 20 minutes of free riding mostly in Zwift. Recently, I decided to try the 6wk Beginner FTP Builder workout schedule in Zwift to improve my abilities. This is where I ran into difficulties and after 2 weeks of numbness and discomfort I'm ready to quit the workouts unless I can find a saddle that enables me to ride much more comfortably. The workouts are between 45 minutes and 1 hour and 20 minutes. Also they are low power 100 watts to 140 watts for foundation building, with tempo intervals between 140 and 165 watts and occasional 10 sec 300 watt peak intervals. The cadence also varies at each interval from 70 rpm to 100+ rpm depending on the workout goals. When free riding I can rest my backside by altering my riding position but because the workouts have specific rpm and power output goals to maintain at each interval it requires both concentration and a steady riding position to earn a pass at each interval. This forces me to maintain the same riding position for the duration of the workout - which is numbing and painful. My question is which of the recommended seats in this thread best fits the riding requirements of such workouts? The Spiderflex seems promising as does the SMP/ISM, but I wonder if they permit higher rpm riding or even a more forward saddle position.

For reference here are my cycling characteristics
Sex: male
Age: 63 years
Height: 5'6"/168cm
Weight: 240lbs/108.9kg
Bike: vintage steel road bike with tubulars (aggressive crit geometry) - 53/42 and 11-28 cassette
Bars: drop style
Bike fit: no, I have a repeatable set of measurements that give me a comfortable riding position
Riding environment: bike on smart trainer mostly, weekend outdoor rides in non-winter conditions
Riding position: on tops or hoods, never in the drops
FTP: 188 watts (according to Zwift)
Riding style: grinder (80-85rpm) and I tend to push tall gears
Riding preference: flat lander with short 0.5 to 1km 4%-5% climbs - I like speed and I get very impatient with slow-long climbs (when I manage an average of 33-34km/h on Zwift during 1+ hours it's a good ride)
Riding range: 22-28 mile/35-45km per session

79pmooney 02-14-21 12:29 PM

I'm not a clyde but this advice has nothing to do with weight and everything to do with making seats work.

Play with the seat adjustments. Go for rides with with the wrenches for both your seatpin (to adjust height) and the seatpost clamp. Seat tilt can make a huge difference, especially lowering the seat nose. (Two tricks: 1) put a piece of tape 1/4" or 1/2 cm above the top of the seat tube so you can return to where you started. Mark the seat rail with a magic marker at the clamp edge, 2) Get a 2-bolt seatpost. Those make dialing in the tilt easy. Back off the rear bolt. Tweak the front bolt (say) 1/4 turn tighter. Tighten the rear. You can do the opposite and be exactly back to where you started every time.)

You may find that you need to have a real nose down position to keep your perenium happy. Not ideal. That will put more weight on your hands and perhaps require putting in research on how to minimize hand issues. If you post a picture with that nose down setup, I promise you that more than a few here will tell you how wrong your setup is. (It's a trade-off. Crotch comfort and a sex life with possible hand/sliding forward issues and forum disapproval vs what you are seeing now.)

You may not be able to make this seat work. But this effort will educate you to what is better or worse for you and help you pick another seat that will do better. If you were here in the States, I'd say run to the nearest bike shop and try seats but you have pointed out that isn't so easy for you.

2-bolt seatposts - two very good ones by reputable companies are the Nitto and the Thompson. Nitto makes one with normal setback and one with more setback. (Setback is the distance from the center of the rail clamp of the post to the centerline of the post/seat tube. 2 cm is "normal" and what you will see on almost every bike photo of 3 decades ago.) The seatpost diameter will be stamped on the shaft of your post, hidden by the seat tube. If not, use calipers.

Look for a post with the same diameter (important!). For setback. look at what you have. Measure it. Also note if your seat is at the limit of the rails (pushed all the way back or forward). If it is, consider a post with (say) a cm more or less setback to get your current position and leave room to tweak in both directions. I'd also inquire whether the model that looks right is suitable for your weight. Both Nitto and Thompson are solid, reputable companies. Getting that answer shouldn't be difficult.

As I said, I am not a clyde. But I do ride a nose down seat and have for decades. I consider seat type and position the most critical fit issue on a bike. I've had to do real tweaking with my handlebars and brake levers to keep my hands happy but is it worth it to ride in complete comfort and feel perfect "down there" when I step off the bike. (I ride with my handlebars far lower than you as I am an ex-racer who is also light, skinny and long. A very poor combo in headwinds!)

And last - you probably already know this but the seats with cutouts or grooves can be a godsend to those of us with perenium issues. I stopped being able to ride my old racing seats as I approached your age. My first grooved seat was a revelation. Since then, my favorite (on 4 of my 5 bikes) has a cutout. 5th is grooved.

Ben

CarGuy 02-14-21 12:52 PM


Originally Posted by 79pmooney (Post 21923763)
I'm not a clyde but this advice has nothing to do with weight and everything to do with making seats work.

Play with the seat adjustments. Go for rides with with the wrenches for both your seatpin (to adjust height) and the seatpost clamp. Seat tilt can make a huge difference, especially lowering the seat nose. (Two tricks: 1) put a piece of tape 1/4" or 1/2 cm above the top of the seat tube so you can return to where you started. Mark the seat rail with a magic marker at the clamp edge, 2) Get a 2-bolt seatpost. Those make dialing in the tilt easy. Back off the rear bolt. Tweak the front bolt (say) 1/4 turn tighter. Tighten the rear. You can do the opposite and be exactly back to where you started every time.)

You may find that you need to have a real nose down position to keep your perenium happy. Not ideal. That will put more weight on your hands and perhaps require putting in research on how to minimize hand issues. If you post a picture with that nose down setup, I promise you that more than a few here will tell you how wrong your setup is. (It's a trade-off. Crotch comfort and a sex life with possible hand/sliding forward issues and forum disapproval vs what you are seeing now.)

You may not be able to make this seat work. But this effort will educate you to what is better or worse for you and help you pick another seat that will do better. If you were here in the States, I'd say run to the nearest bike shop and try seats but you have pointed out that isn't so easy for you.

2-bolt seatposts - two very good ones by reputable companies are the Nitto and the Thompson. Nitto makes one with normal setback and one with more setback. (Setback is the distance from the center of the rail clamp of the post to the centerline of the post/seat tube. 2 cm is "normal" and what you will see on almost every bike photo of 3 decades ago.) The seatpost diameter will be stamped on the shaft of your post, hidden by the seat tube. If not, use calipers.

Look for a post with the same diameter (important!). For setback. look at what you have. Measure it. Also note if your seat is at the limit of the rails (pushed all the way back or forward). If it is, consider a post with (say) a cm more or less setback to get your current position and leave room to tweak in both directions. I'd also inquire whether the model that looks right is suitable for your weight. Both Nitto and Thompson are solid, reputable companies. Getting that answer shouldn't be difficult.

As I said, I am not a clyde. But I do ride a nose down seat and have for decades. I consider seat type and position the most critical fit issue on a bike. I've had to do real tweaking with my handlebars and brake levers to keep my hands happy but is it worth it to ride in complete comfort and feel perfect "down there" when I step off the bike. (I ride with my handlebars far lower than you as I am an ex-racer who is also light, skinny and long. A very poor combo in headwinds!)

And last - you probably already know this but the seats with cutouts or grooves can be a godsend to those of us with perenium issues. I stopped being able to ride my old racing seats as I approached your age. My first grooved seat was a revelation. Since then, my favorite (on 4 of my 5 bikes) has a cutout. 5th is grooved.

Ben

Thanks for the great info Ben.

I did get some serious shoulder muscle pain simply from remaining in the same position for 1 hour and I was also unconsciously using my arms to unweight from the seat during high rpm intervals. For that reason (sore shoulders) I was avoiding any more nose-down than I already have. I can easily try a bit more nose-down though since I have a 2-bolt seatpost (Deda makes a nice one also). The top of my saddle is the same height as the top of my stem so my position is more upright to begin with and my saddle has a cutout. I am trying a wider saddle with a groove that helps with my sit bones but not my perineum. Time to experiment a bit more.

Did you try a nose-less saddle?

Cheers!

79pmooney 02-14-21 01:00 PM


Originally Posted by CarGuy (Post 21923790)
Thanks for the great info Ben.

I did get some serious shoulder muscle pain simply from remaining in the same position for 1 hour and I was also unconsciously using my arms to unweight from the seat during high rpm intervals. For that reason (sore shoulders) I was avoiding any more nose-down than I already have. I can easily try a bit more nose-down though since I have a 2-bolt seatpost (Deda makes a nice one also). The top of my saddle is the same height as the top of my stem so my position is more upright to begin with and my saddle has a cutout. I am trying a wider saddle with a groove that helps with my sit bones but not my perineum. Time to experiment a bit more.

Did you try a nose-less saddle?

Cheers!

I haven't tried a nose-less and probably never will. I'm an ex-racer who has always used the entire lenght of a standard racing saddle. A seat with no nose is a seat that is useless when "riding the rivet". (Riding the rivet is a old term for perching on the very nose of the saddle when going very hard. With traditional leather seats, you are literally sitting on the rivets attaching the leather to the saddle frame. I don't ride traditional leather saddles for exactly that reason! I want a degree of comfort when I'm there.)

Edit: Traditional saddles also offer a degree more control of the bike, especially when slid forward or riding without both hands on the handlebars. Something I take for granted and am unwilling to give up. (I'm too old a dog to learn new tricks.)

hsuBM 02-14-21 01:03 PM

Stop sitting so much. It’s a bike, not a barstool.

put your weight into the pedals.

CarGuy 02-14-21 01:48 PM


Originally Posted by hsuBM (Post 21923806)
Stop sitting so much. It’s a bike, not a barstool.

put your weight into the pedals.

That's exactly why the saddle is no longer comfortable at high rpm/low power - it forces me to sit more since I'm not putting enough power on the pedals to "lift" me off the seat. I can consistently ride/grind 80 rpm at 165 watts and climb false flats at 200+ watts in a high gear quite comfortably. It's the Zwift-led workouts that "force" you to build power from low power/high rpm intervals that are killing me. The conclusion I draw is that low power pedalling exacerbated by high RPM and unchanging ride position adds discomfort to an already uncomfortable situation likely caused by the seat/setup and weight factors.

This "workout" is painful:
Distance 30.29km
Speed 29.8km/h avg
Heart Rate 104bpm avg
Cadence 90 avg
Power 125W avg
Elapsed Time 1:00:54

This ride is not painful:
​​​​​​Distance 35.91km
Speed 33.4km/h avg
Heart Rate 120bpm avg
Cadence 84 avg
Power 162W avg
Elapsed Time 1:04:35

CarGuy 02-14-21 01:54 PM


Originally Posted by 79pmooney (Post 21923797)
I haven't tried a nose-less and probably never will. I'm an ex-racer who has always used the entire lenght of a standard racing saddle. A seat with no nose is a seat that is useless when "riding the rivet". (Riding the rivet is a old term for perching on the very nose of the saddle when going very hard. With traditional leather seats, you are literally sitting on the rivets attaching the leather to the saddle frame. I don't ride traditional leather saddles for exactly that reason! I want a degree of comfort when I'm there.)

Edit: Traditional saddles also offer a degree more control of the bike, especially when slid forward or riding without both hands on the handlebars. Something I take for granted and am unwilling to give up. (I'm too old a dog to learn new tricks.)

Agreed. I am a bit apprehensive of trying a nose-less saddle. I never raced but I used to log many spirited miles on what was considered a racing bike at the time (the Marinoni I still ride today). I am far too bulky to ever have been a climber but as a skier and hockey player I might have done well on the track. I did try the velodrome a long time ago and if it was in my town I would have joined the club that raced there.

hsuBM 02-14-21 04:29 PM

CarGuy

there’s this thing folks say... “tell the doctor that it hurts when you do ‘this’- the doctor says back ‘well, please, stop doing that.’”

seriously, talk to your doctor about these expertly designed Zwift exercises and I’m sure they’ll come up with some alternative exercises that aren’t pointless torture for you. If your doctor is like mine, it’ll be pools, Muay Thai, weights, and yoga.

CarGuy 02-14-21 04:36 PM


Originally Posted by hsuBM (Post 21924078)
CarGuy

there’s this thing folks say... “tell the doctor that it hurts when you do ‘this’- the doctor says back ‘well, please, stop doing that.’”

seriously, talk to your doctor about these expertly designed Zwift exercises and I’m sure they’ll come up with some alternative exercises that aren’t pointless torture for you. If your doctor is like mine, it’ll be pools, Muay Thai, weights, and yoga.

I was hoping for something on topic and a bit more constructive. Thanks anyway.

hsuBM 02-14-21 09:07 PM


Originally Posted by CarGuy (Post 21924086)
I was hoping for something on topic and a bit constructive. Thanks anyway.

“male, grinder, 63 years old” who the heck advised you that there’d be any benefit at all to spinning in a low gear thus forcing you to forcefully sit on something that really isn’t meant for that (speaking both of the saddle and of your anatomy)?!

If you’ve already figured out a bike fit for your body, and figured out a cadence zone that your body is comfortable at, what the heck are ya doing letting some computer program tell you to stray outside of that cadence zone?

Unless you’ve a whacknut of a physical therapist who’s thinking of trying to build up speed and agility in your ACL without telling you that that’s the end goal and you’re supposed to just figure out on your own from the pain that you gotta flick your calf muscles at the end of each rapid pedal stroke to stay floating above the saddle, it looks like you’ve got a pointless exercise that’s going to force you into spending $$$’s on different saddles.

Don't hurt yourself.

Seriously, have a sitdown with your general care physician about your goals and how they relate to this FTB builder workout. Ask for a referral to a Human Performance type Physical Therapist. They should be able to point you at better pedaling techniques, off-the-bike exercises to optimize those techniques, and less amateur “workouts” than some Zwift thing targeted
at God knows who.



Situations like this are the reason Shimano invented Biopace chainrings.

arizkohli 02-15-21 03:48 AM


Originally Posted by CarGuy (Post 21923708)
If it's OK with the OP I will post here for now to keep the information in one place. If not I can start another thread.

I am a 63 y.o. male and I have returned to cycling after a long 25 year absence. Since my return in November 2018 I have logged 4,000 kms in 2019 and 8,000 kms in 2020.

I thought I had found a decent saddle and I was able to ride somewhat comfortably for a max of 1 hour and 20 minutes of free riding mostly in Zwift. Recently, I decided to try the 6wk Beginner FTP Builder workout schedule in Zwift to improve my abilities. This is where I ran into difficulties and after 2 weeks of numbness and discomfort I'm ready to quit the workouts unless I can find a saddle that enables me to ride much more comfortably. The workouts are between 45 minutes and 1 hour and 20 minutes. Also they are low power 100 watts to 140 watts for foundation building, with tempo intervals between 140 and 165 watts and occasional 10 sec 300 watt peak intervals. The cadence also varies at each interval from 70 rpm to 100+ rpm depending on the workout goals. When free riding I can rest my backside by altering my riding position but because the workouts have specific rpm and power output goals to maintain at each interval it requires both concentration and a steady riding position to earn a pass at each interval. This forces me to maintain the same riding position for the duration of the workout - which is numbing and painful. My question is which of the recommended seats in this thread best fits the riding requirements of such workouts? The Spiderflex seems promising as does the SMP/ISM, but I wonder if they permit higher rpm riding or even a more forward saddle position.

For reference here are my cycling characteristics
Sex: male
Age: 63 years
Height: 5'6"/168cm
Weight: 240lbs/108.9kg
Bike: vintage steel road bike with tubulars (aggressive crit geometry) - 53/42 and 11-28 cassette
Bars: drop style
Bike fit: no, I have a repeatable set of measurements that give me a comfortable riding position
Riding environment: bike on smart trainer mostly, weekend outdoor rides in non-winter conditions
Riding position: on tops or hoods, never in the drops
FTP: 188 watts (according to Zwift)
Riding style: grinder (80-85rpm) and I tend to push tall gears
Riding preference: flat lander with short 0.5 to 1km 4%-5% climbs - I like speed and I get very impatient with slow-long climbs (when I manage an average of 33-34km/h on Zwift during 1+ hours it's a good ride)
Riding range: 22-28 mile/35-45km per session

Carguy, Since I got on the the short nosed Prologo Dimension CPC 143mm some feeling started to return and the tingling reduced gradually everyday; now I'm running the Adamo Island Reef saddle (by ISM) for the last 3 rides and haven't experienced any discomfort yet. The feeling hasn't returned totally and the tingling hasn't stopped completely but as mentioned it is getting better every day.

I chose the reef over the ISM PR3.0 based on my chat with ISM who recommended it over the PR for my body type. It's only a 100 bucks on their website. They claim it's not just the noseless design but the design of the front 2 arms that does the trick. I am riding with a little bit of a tilt but do experience some discomfort in my arms, I'm still in the process of tweaking the height, setback and tilt. I think it should take another couple of weeks to get it spot on, I am very hopeful about the outcome.

masi61 02-15-21 07:33 AM

arizkohli - don't give up on learning high rpm cadence drills. I can't say anything more about it now since I am at work.

I do have a question for you and it has to do with pedals and shoes - which ones are you using?


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