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"Regional" numbness

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"Regional" numbness

Old 07-22-19, 11:06 AM
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neby2019
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"Regional" numbness

I've been cycling for a long time. There has yet to be a ride where I was not dead numb in the lower extremities after ~8 miles.

Been through too many seats to count, frame size (54cm) has stayed relatively constant and many many adjustments to all the stems and seats and posts and pedals and and and..

Yes, I've had a fit done. No, it did not help. (another tangent, how could it after a 20 min trainer test ride?)

Is there another soul out there who has never found complete comfort on the bike? Is it possible my anatomy is just off enough where I will not be able to accomplish this?

Looking for something NEW to be said on this topic.
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Old 07-22-19, 11:29 AM
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You've used saddles like this and still went numb?
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Old 07-22-19, 11:32 AM
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Yessir. Crazy isn't it???

I do find that a thinner padded short and a carbon saddle is the least offensive. A padded seat causes discomfort very quickly
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Old 07-22-19, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by neby2019 View Post
Yessir. Crazy isn't it???

I do find that a thinner padded short and a carbon saddle is the least offensive. A padded seat causes discomfort very quickly
That makes sense. Maybe. There might be a scenario where what's happening is that your flesh, pad, and saddle padding are all conspiring to push material, either your body material or saddle or shorts material, toward the centerline so that all this stuff can press on your perineum and cut off blood flow. If that were the case, a saddle like the above Superflow, which is a pretty hard saddle, should be able to absorb all that. You're sure you've ridden a Superflow?

Have you tried a Selle SMP? https://www.sellesmp.com/en/saddles/professional.html

The odd thing about your post is that you say you've been riding for years, but can only ride 8 miles before going numb? What's your BMI? https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/edu...MI/bmicalc.htm
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Old 07-22-19, 01:00 PM
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Tried to reply with image of current saddle. I'm currently on a full carbon Ritchie branded wide open channel exactly like the one you pictured. And I have 2 Selle's on other bikes with channels, but smaller channels and slightly padded.

I'm 5'9" and 160lbs. says i'm at 23.6

I don's stop riding at 8 miles, that's just when i start to notice the numbness

Last edited by neby2019; 07-22-19 at 01:03 PM.
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Old 07-22-19, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by neby2019 View Post
Tried to reply with image of current saddle. I'm currently on a full carbon Ritchie branded wide open channel exactly like the one you pictured. And I have 2 Selle's on other bikes with channels, but smaller channels and slightly padded.
I'm guessing the Ritchie is probably not identical to the SLR Superflow. I tried and returned other Selle Italia saddles with smaller cutouts and more padding, but I loved the SLR Superflow. For me it is the perfect saddle.
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Old 07-22-19, 02:12 PM
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What experimentation have you done around saddle tilt? Counter-intuitively, you may need to adjust the nose upward to put more weight on your sit bones. Start with the saddle level and adjust from there, small amounts...
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Old 07-22-19, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by neby2019 View Post
Tried to reply with image of current saddle. I'm currently on a full carbon Ritchie branded wide open channel exactly like the one you pictured. And I have 2 Selle's on other bikes with channels, but smaller channels and slightly padded.

I'm 5'9" and 160lbs. says i'm at 23.6

I don's stop riding at 8 miles, that's just when i start to notice the numbness
OK, thanks. Dunno. Urologist or neurologist maybe next? Or try standing for a minute or what you can, every 10 minutes, by the clock? That's what I do, and I can sit for an hour, no problem. But in the long run, standing like that is much better.
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Old 07-23-19, 09:09 AM
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I don't know that my early saddle problems are relevant to yours but I'll explain my issue and how it was solved. My solution may not solve your problem but it may start you thinking along a different path. I like a wide saddle under the sit bones but such saddles are also wide just just a few inches forward of that and that is the area that causes problems for me. When looking at a saddle in plan view, directly from overhead, every saddle has a wedge shape to a large degree. It seems that there is not much clearance between the legs though the sit bones like a 155mm saddle. Since under the padding the saddle is hard shaped plastic, I take a heat gun to the area that is too wide, which softens the plastic, and with clamps and other means, pinch that area down so it is only as wide as the rails underneath. This is about 55 or so mm, depending on where exactly it is measured. Typical rides for me are 40-605 miles in comfort.
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Old 07-23-19, 08:26 PM
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Padded bike shorts? Is it possible your chamois is too thick?

And exactly what part of your lower extremities? If around the sit bones, perhaps you are sitting too upright. If between your number 1 and number two, otherwise known as the perineal nerve, then I can only say keep trying saddles. For me, less padding in saddle and shorts gives me better results. Moving the saddle a few mm fore or aft has made a big differences too.
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Old 07-24-19, 08:39 AM
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^ Good point. When someone says, "numb", I think perineum. But you said, "lower extremities", which could mean anything, feet, legs, knees, toes, etc. So what exactly is getting numb?

And how about a photo of you on the bike, hands on hoods, normal riding position, cranks vertical.
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Old 07-24-19, 01:51 PM
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Some good stuff here, thank you. I didn't want to go as far as saying my genitalia, but yes, that. nothing else is numb anywhere.

I'll continue to play with that saddle i currently have as the opening is so large. Makes no sense why i can't find relief from it.

Thanks all!
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Old 07-24-19, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by neby2019 View Post
Some good stuff here, thank you. I didn't want to go as far as saying my genitalia, but yes, that. nothing else is numb anywhere.

I'll continue to play with that saddle i currently have as the opening is so large. Makes no sense why i can't find relief from it.

Thanks all!
Let's see that photo anyway. Might see something in it.
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Old 07-24-19, 02:52 PM
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Genitalia? Then that's not the perineum area either. The perineum is the area between your anus and genitalia many know as 'taint. You'll have to look that up or ask a teenager if you don't know.

Now if genitalia is testicles, then maybe you just wear your shorts too tight. Some times I think people get the idea these are supposed to be like compression clothing and squeeze you. However I strongly disagree. They are just supposed to fit snug enough so they move with your skin so as not to rub against it.

If Genitalia is your penis, then don't sit on it. Point it up or fold it over. If you have neither of those, I've no experience to share.
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Old 07-24-19, 04:33 PM
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I have had perineum pain for about a year now, probably caused by an enlarged prostate gland (one of the joys of old age). The pain presents as a burning sensation then some numbness, to the point I don’t want to ride anymore. I had to quit using my brooks b17 that had been great for many years. I now ride a saddle with a large cutout and no padding in my shorts. I use compression shorts under tights in cooler weather and a regular pair of bike shorts with the pad cut out in warmer weather. I find I can ride distances again this way with no pain.
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Old 07-26-19, 11:21 AM
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Thanks again to those responders. I have started a concerted testing effort. First test last night was to cut out the perineum area of padding from a moderately padded short. Using a moderately padded saddle, with a slimmer channel. No real change at 8 miles, numb penis. It did subside after a short break at my turn around. (and if i'm being completely open on this, testes are bluish/red when I get home. So to me, the problem is wherever the blood comes from to that area? I too have an slightly enlarged prostate (47yo), but dang this sucks. I love riding too much to quit!

Next test is same shorts but riding a different bike with a full carbon saddle (zero padding) and with a wide open channel.

For those requesting seated on bike photo, I'm so new on the forum, not allowed to post pics just yet. Silly rules.
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Old 07-27-19, 12:02 PM
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Boy, it sure looks like you put a lot of pressure on your genitals. You say you have 2 'Selle' saddles. Is that Selle SMP, Italia, Royal, San Marco...? If they're Selle SMP, the following probably won't help, but....

Look up Selle SMP's patent. The illustrations show how it's supposed to be used - one's gentitalia fit into the space created by the downward slope of the nose. A rider on a Selle SMP should not feel any pressure on his or her genitalia.

Another saddle maker that removes all pressure for the genitalia is ISM (ismseat dot com). The ISMs look like they have a forked nose. Actually, they're noseless - the forks support the pubic rami.

Other possibilities that address perineal pressure directly include Rido, Cobb, and a number of offerings whose names I can't remember. They all put more weight on the ischial tuberosities and pubic rami.
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Old 07-27-19, 02:40 PM
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what is the fore/aft angle of the saddle?
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Old 07-27-19, 05:10 PM
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I have a randonneuring buddy who has ridden a noseless saddle for decades. He started with it because he had the same problem that you have. He's ridden PBP and has a whole wall full of high-mileage pins and awards. I don't remember for sure his saddle brand, but I'm pretty sure it's this one: Hobson Seats – The Shape of Better Biking

More yakking here: https://www.zdnet.com/article/the-no...eting-problem/

It looks like my buddy started with the Easyseat II and now has the Pro-Hub X2. Worth a look.
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Old 07-30-19, 02:31 PM
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A lot of people love the infinity saddle: https://infinitybikeseat.com/
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Old 07-31-19, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by mgopack42 View Post
A lot of people love the infinity saddle: https://infinitybikeseat.com/
1) Price. WHAT ?! $300?
2) what's this all about, a checkbox on the shop page: Larger Rail for a Trek Bike --what does that have to do with anything?
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Old 08-08-19, 12:49 PM
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Second test ride: full carbon saddle, large opening, newly altered shorts = SUCCESS - no numbness, nothing turned blue/red. It was glorious.

Now, do I run and cut up ALL my shorts or start my own line of them....
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Old 08-15-19, 06:53 AM
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I'm not a doctor

Just because I am white lab coat does not make me a doctor. Just because I have all these saddles to try on does not mean that the saddles are the solution to the problem.Has anybody done an x-ray or MRI of your lower back and pelvis. His anybody done and EMG? Were all anxious to sell you something new without knowing what's actually wrong. Sometimes it pays to ask a medical profession before you ask your bike shop professional. It's a lot harder to fix something if you don't know what it is I am a bike fitter I like fitting problems that have a name.
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Old 08-15-19, 07:16 AM
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I used to get a numb member using a stock Trek/Bontrager saddle and just 40 miles of riding. I then got a pro fit that included a measurement of my sit bones using a memory foam device, and I was matched up to a Specialized Power Expert saddle with a larger width, and with the nose tilted very slightly down. Later that season I did a 325 mile ride in 24 hours, with zero numbness.
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Old 08-15-19, 07:32 AM
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I'm not a doctor

Just because I am white lab coat does not make me a doctor. Just because I have all these saddles to try on does not mean that the saddles are the solution to the problem.Has anybody done an x-ray or MRI of your lower back and pelvis. Has anybody done a neurological or urological exam EMG? Were all anxious to sell you something new without knowing what's actually wrong. Sometimes it pays to ask a medical profession before you ask your bike shop professional. It's a lot harder to fix something if you don't know what it is ,I am a bike fitter I like fitting problems that have a name.
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