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Numbness in the crotch?

Old 11-04-19, 06:37 PM
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chrisnapos32
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Numbness in the crotch?

Hi. Has anyone felt numbness or had issues with their perineum due to biking. I have been commuting for 5 years all year round and I am having some issues. I am seeing a urologist soon but for now I decided to stop biking. I bought a new seat (selle anatomica) but I am not sure if that is enough to correct the problem? Any advice ?
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Old 11-04-19, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by chrisnapos32 View Post
Hi. Has anyone felt numbness or had issues with their perineum due to biking. I have been commuting for 5 years all year round and I am having some issues. I am seeing a urologist soon but for now I decided to stop biking. I bought a new seat (selle anatomica) but I am not sure if that is enough to correct the problem? Any advice ?
I have had a similar problem. I wound up raising the height of my handlebars and switching to a brooks saddle and that took care of the problem. Good luck
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Old 11-04-19, 08:17 PM
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I fixed it by leveling out the angle of my saddle. Once the pointed front-end of the saddle stopped jabbing my crotch with every pedal stroke, the problem went away. The pain you are experiencing now will take a week or so to dissipate. After that, try re-positioning the saddle so that the front is not pointing "up."

Also, as dseven mentioned, having to lean too far forward to reach your handlebars also puts extra pressure on your junk. Try either raising the handlebars or lowering your saddle.

One last thing: Padded underwear works wonders!

Last edited by Papa Tom; 11-04-19 at 08:21 PM.
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Old 11-04-19, 11:08 PM
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Good tips above. Add to that pants that are stretchy to improve comfort.
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Old 11-05-19, 07:15 AM
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Standing on the pedals while coasting to a stop helps me greatly.
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Old 11-05-19, 07:34 AM
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What type of Brooks saddle worked for you? Years ago I switched to a B-17 and never looked back.
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Old 11-05-19, 07:46 AM
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A B17 would probably work pretty well if it's set up properly.
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Old 11-05-19, 09:45 AM
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This is a serious issue, and you need to address it immediately. There are various causes and treatments. My doctor told me to change my saddle and use one with a cutout. It turned out I don't need a cutout. I need a firm, hard saddle. My saddle was soft. It wasn't the least bit uncomfortable when I rode. My symptom was that I got achy balls the following day, so it took me a while to see the correlation.
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Old 11-05-19, 10:37 AM
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Thing that worked best for me and alluded to above (in addition to the other suggestions about handlebars etc) was to consciously stand up and pedal 10 - 20 revs every few minutes.
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Old 11-05-19, 12:22 PM
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OP, you have asked about the most important aspect of bike fit. (Fit - the relationship between the three contact points of out bodies and the bikes we ride; our butts, our feet and our hands.) Fit has two aspects, the overall and the details of the contact points. Overall: the shape we assume to ride the bike. This is sitting upright for some, leaning well forward with a flat back for aerodynamics for others and everything in between. Overall will determine where your seat should be, height-wise and forward and back. But the details matter a whole lot also! Seat shape, tilt.

If you don't get the overall right, fine-tuning the shape and tilt may never get you "there"; "there" being a seat that "disappears" when you ride. A proffessioanal fitter can be a huge help in the overall fit. He/she may also get you anot that perfect seat, but remember, your butt will always have the last say. And our butts vary a lot. What works for one may well be torture for another. There are the posters above who swear by the high qualitly leather Brooks seats. I vary my position on my seats so much that I would spend real time sitting with my softest parts on the brass rivits over the steel frame. Not what I call comfortable! Certaily not somethingI would pay money to do! (I remember doing a hard, hillly 100 something ,ile traing ride with a clubm,ate in my racing days. He rode a Brooks Pro he loved. I rode my Selle Italia; leather stretched over a thin layer of foam and a hard leather shell. Until my body changed 10+ years later, heaven for my undercarriage. (Now I ride virtuall the same seat but with the cutout.)

So, OP: work on getting the overall fit right. (You may already be there. I cannot see you on your bike.) Then seriously consider going to a bike shop that carries a wide selection of seat and has a solid return policy so you can ride seats long enough to really know it f it is the "one". (Also seriously consider buying a 2-bolt seatpost for your bike; one where you can loosen one bolts, tweak the other say 1/4 turn to fine tune the tilt, then accurately return to exactly where you started or perhaps exactly 1/2 betwwen. Tilt is that important and the place you should be doing the tweaking is out on the road here you can immeditalely se the difference.)

Not all shops have good return policies. Ask. If they don't, sugggest they might get a customer if they change. (Portland has a shop with a "library". 25 or so seats on shelves that you can "take out" after you purchase a $25 card, for two weeks. As many seats as you want to try. Find one you like and a new, boxed one is yours and your $25 is refunded.

The right seat is out there. Might take some tweaking to get the position totally dialed in. Don't give up until it "disappears".

Ben
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Old 11-05-19, 03:30 PM
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I have occasionally experienced numbness but not really since riding cutout saddles. The old Nashbar offered affordable cutout saddles for under $30 and I have them on most of my bikes. Also, I actually like my seats pointed up just a bit - keeps my sit bones where they belong and eases up the weight on my arms.
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Old 11-05-19, 08:32 PM
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This is one reason most people outside of the U.S. ride upright bikes (as one guy told me 'let nothing harm my ability to perform in bed tonight'). Our bodies were designed for sitting on our ischia, not our pudendal nerve.

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Old 11-06-19, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by CrankyOne View Post
This is one reason most people outside of the U.S. ride upright bikes (as one guy told me 'let nothing harm my ability to perform in bed tonight'). Our bodies were designed for sitting on our ischia, not our pudendal nerve.

More: City Bikes | LocalMile
Our bodies aren't "designed" for sitting (for prolonged periods) at all. IME riding upright works ok for short to medium commutes (up to an hour of riding), but not for longer rides. The problem with that position that most of your bodyweight rests on the saddle, so your butt and spine will not be happy after a while.

I occcasionaly experienced numb junk when I added bar ends to my flat bars, which allowed me to assume a lower, more aero position on longer rides; leaning more forward did put more pressure on the perineum. Solved it by tilting the saddle a couple degrees downwards. And, of course, periodically standing up when doing longer rides.
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Old 11-06-19, 09:29 AM
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Op didn’t say how old he is, but as men age usually the prostrate gland enlarges and that can cause pain in the perineum. I fought with this for a full year including a urologist visit. The answer for me was to ditch my beloved Brooks B17 for a cutout saddle, and not wear padded bike shorts. I can now ride for hours again without pain. I’m sure many other solutions exist, this just worked for me.
If it were me I wouldn’t do anything further until after the urologist visit to see if there is a real problem.
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Old 11-06-19, 01:13 PM
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chrisnapos32
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Yeah. Agree

Originally Posted by Baboo View Post
Op didn’t say how old he is, but as men age usually the prostrate gland enlarges and that can cause pain in the perineum. I fought with this for a full year including a urologist visit. The answer for me was to ditch my beloved Brooks B17 for a cutout saddle, and not wear padded bike shorts. I can now ride for hours again without pain. I’m sure many other solutions exist, this just worked for me.
If it were me I wouldn’t do anything further until after the urologist visit to see if there is a real problem.
This is exactly what I was thinking. I am currently riding a selle anatómica saddle with a cut out and no bike padding until I see doc. I have cut in down to 2 days a week.
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Old 11-06-19, 02:29 PM
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Maybe lower saddle a mm or two as well.
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Old 11-07-19, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by chrisnapos32 View Post
This is exactly what I was thinking. I am currently riding a selle anatómica saddle with a cut out and no bike padding until I see doc. I have cut in down to 2 days a week.
You have a fit issue most likely. I had issues as you describe and it was finally fixed by getting the saddle height correct, for me. That involved lowering the saddle. Once the saddle was in the correct position, all pain and numbness went away. I use a B17 and can ride it every day, 35-80 miles each day on tour with zero pain, no numbness, with no need to continually get out of the saddle. Many fitters will send people out of their shop with a seat height that is too high. Once the relationship from the bars to the saddle, and seat height, and setback is correct, you should not be sliding forward, or have to tilt the saddle excessively to stay planted on the saddle. Mine is basically level.

Steve Hogg is a great resource for this topic. https://www.stevehoggbikefitting.com...ard-can-it-be/
https://www.stevehoggbikefitting.com...d-can-it-be-2/

Drop your seat height a bit and see how it feels, and yes, keep the doctor's appointment. I resisted dropping my seat height the last little bit, but once I did, all my issues went away, and I actually love my bike much, much more. It is perfectly comfortable.

Good luck.
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Old 11-12-19, 11:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Phamilton View Post
Maybe lower saddle a mm or two as well.
A mm is about the thickness of one of the lower case 'l's on this page. Two? You mean like 5 to 10. But, and I'm just saying, I ride in a city with a LOT of cyclists per capita. Way too many of them are able to stop at lights and stuff without getting off the saddle! That should not be possible. So, given the obvious prevalence of two low saddles in general it wouldn't be my thinking that the o.p. needs to do that. Pain is usually because of angle or fore/aft distance.

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Old 11-13-19, 03:00 PM
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A long time ago, I had a gel seat that seamed to cause numbness. Got firm seats and haven't had a problem since.
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Old 11-13-19, 03:23 PM
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#1 ... consider numbness in the hands or crotch with riding to be SERIOUS. People usually recover, but you could do damage that can take weeks or months to get better.

#2 ... Move around some. Stand up periodically, rest a "cheek" on the seat, etc.

#3 ... There are a variety of seat designs. The most radical would be the moon seat. Try something new.

https://www.moonsaddle.com/



Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
I fixed it by leveling out the angle of my saddle. Once the pointed front-end of the saddle stopped jabbing my crotch with every pedal stroke, the problem went away. The pain you are experiencing now will take a week or so to dissipate. After that, try re-positioning the saddle so that the front is not pointing "up."

Also, as dseven mentioned, having to lean too far forward to reach your handlebars also puts extra pressure on your junk. Try either raising the handlebars or lowering your saddle.

One last thing: Padded underwear works wonders!
For the standard "nose" saddles, my general rule is to point the saddle towards the handlebars. If you have a lot of bar drop, it means the seat will be nosed down somewhat and you will have to actively maintain your position.

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Old 11-13-19, 03:52 PM
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I tried a lot of saddles to solve the perineum discomfort, but none of them worked well because they either fell off too steeply to the sides so that the center rose up, or they were too soft and sinking down caused the material to be pushed to the front and middle. Brooks imperial with cutout was the least problematic with the perineum, but the sagging hammock shape resulted in the bridge and nose rising up and bumping into the perineum. So I cut off the top of the bridge to bring it lower. Now there is no more contact except on very big bumps. I decided to stick to this trimmed Brooks, as there are no other saddles that I've tried that have been better.









The only other saddle that was almost acceptable was the SQ Lab 610 Ergolux Active (1.0 or 2.0), but there were 2 problems. Main problem was the leading edge of the wings were too sharp and so dug into the underside of my legs. A more rounded edge would have solved this but they stuck to this design for many years. 2nd problem with the 610 series is that the bridge doesn't drop low enough for me and it actually angles back up to the level of the sit area. The sit area itself is sloped downwards, so I keep slipping forward. If I raise the saddle angle, then the bridge rises up and negates the benefit of the drop. The 602 series has a much deeper drop so there is absolutely no perineum contact, but in addition to the sharp edges, it is also much softer so material gets pushed forward towards the sharp edge. Also, if you plan to try the 610 or 602, the 610 seems to be 1 or 2 cm narrower than the 602 even if they are marked as being the same width, so you should order a larger width 610. I have 13cm sitbones and the widest 16cm 610 was ok, but anything narrower was too small for me.


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Old 11-18-19, 10:37 AM
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Someone once told me that a seat without a nose will make it more difficult to steer. Is that true?
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