Saddle choice/strange numbness

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Devz
Posts: 23
Joined: 28 Dec 2020, 1:13am

Saddle choice/strange numbness

Postby Devz » 9 Jan 2021, 9:45pm

Hi guys

So a common symptom I seem to get when riding my bikes, most often on my XL frame bike, is numbness of my nether regions. Once I get off the bike, I feel I’ve lost complete circulation of that whole male area and obviously want to figure out why this has happened?

If anyone has some advice on what this could be, it would be much appreciated as it is a horrible feeling and would like to ride more comfortably

Thanks guys

Jdsk
Posts: 5144
Joined: 5 Mar 2019, 5:42pm

Re: Saddle choice/strange numbness

Postby Jdsk » 9 Jan 2021, 9:55pm

Please consider talking to your GP.

It's not uncommon. Often called "perineal numbness", which might help with finding what you need, eg:
https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/biking-and-sex-avoid-the-vicious-cycle-201209145290

How long does it take to recover, and do you have any other medical conditions?

Jonathan

fastpedaller
Posts: 2732
Joined: 10 Jul 2014, 1:12pm
Location: Norfolk

Re: Saddle choice/strange numbness

Postby fastpedaller » 9 Jan 2021, 11:22pm

I'm not convinced the advice against a narrow saddle is valid. From my own experience over 40 + years, I've suffered this occasionally, and more recently (last year) I did some adjustments to my Summer bike in order to alleviate the problem. Surprisingly I raised the front of the saddle slightly and got great benefit. I suspect this unexpected outcome was due to my pelvis being forced (by gravity) backwards, thus reducing unwanted 'pressure on parts'

iandusud
Posts: 656
Joined: 26 Mar 2018, 1:35pm

Re: Saddle choice/strange numbness

Postby iandusud » 10 Jan 2021, 7:54am

Devz wrote:Hi guys

So a common symptom I seem to get when riding my bikes, most often on my XL frame bike, is numbness of my nether regions. Once I get off the bike, I feel I’ve lost complete circulation of that whole male area and obviously want to figure out why this has happened?

If anyone has some advice on what this could be, it would be much appreciated as it is a horrible feeling and would like to ride more comfortably

Thanks guys

What saddle are you using? I have found that saddles with a cut out or a channel work well to alleviate this problem.

reohn2
Posts: 40616
Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: Saddle choice/strange numbness

Postby reohn2 » 10 Jan 2021, 8:48am

FWIW it's a well known issue that sitting on the saddle in the same position on long rides without a break can cause.
First thing is to lower the saddle by 3 to 5mm and see if it makes any difference.
If it doesn't you then need to start looking at whether saddle tilt and fore/aft position makes any difference.
The important thing is to only change one dimension at a time to determine what the actual cause it's process of quite small increments that can make a big difference.
Change of saddle position usually cures the problem,if it doesn't you may need to look at swapping saddles,maybe a different shape or one with a softer more padded nose area,but saddle position is the first step on the road to curing the problem
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Greystoke
Posts: 377
Joined: 8 May 2018, 7:41am
Location: Lincolnshire

Re: Saddle choice/strange numbness

Postby Greystoke » 10 Jan 2021, 9:29am

Been there and tried all sorts.
Harder seat with cutout, lowered and nose down is the answer.
Just bought a selle SMP but it's en-route in the post so can't confirm. However that saddle is the one that comes up as the answer in a lot of internet searches....under £50 delivered from Halfords.

Valbrona
Posts: 2394
Joined: 7 Feb 2011, 4:49pm

Re: Saddle choice/strange numbness

Postby Valbrona » 10 Jan 2021, 9:36am

Devz wrote:So a common symptom I seem to get when riding my bikes, most often on my XL frame bike,


I think you've answered the question yourself ...

Problems like this are usually attributable to poor bike fit rather than a 'bad' saddle. The bike is possibly too big for you.
I should coco.

Devz
Posts: 23
Joined: 28 Dec 2020, 1:13am

Re: Saddle choice/strange numbness

Postby Devz » 10 Jan 2021, 10:21am

Thanks guys, some really helpful advice

I will adjust the saddle angle to see what that changes as changing its height hadn’t made a difference previously.

In regards to the sizing, it does happen on my S sized bike aswell sometimes, so I am buying some spacers today to raise my handlebars a bit and see if that helps.

I am trying to buy a new bike (toss up between 20in and 22in) but until I can figure out these little issues and where they stem from, I’m holding out. One thing I have figured out is 26in wheels on an 18in bike takes a lot of energy to get any type of speed goinfg - getting to work this week has been next to impossible on the little bugger lol

Cowsham
Posts: 968
Joined: 4 Nov 2019, 1:33pm

Re: Saddle choice/strange numbness

Postby Cowsham » 10 Jan 2021, 10:27am

I had more problems with this when I had a soft padded saddle --- the answer was a flat saddle with a little padding where your sit bones sit on it but not much on the nose of it. Cut outs would snag on me bits -- not for me. You need to keep the pressure off the crotch. A little more weight forward on the arms is better don't sit too upright for too long, change position often.

Brucey
Posts: 42102
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Saddle choice/strange numbness

Postby Brucey » 10 Jan 2021, 1:05pm

Devz wrote:.... One thing I have figured out is 26in wheels on an 18in bike takes a lot of energy to get any type of speed going - getting to work this week has been next to impossible on the little bugger lol


assuming there isn't something wrong with the machine (like draggy brakes) that'll probably be your tyres. Good tyres make a big difference.

Re saddle comfort; this always improves with better riding position and better fitness; the harder you push on the pedals, the less weight there is on your backside. The fore/aft position of your backside makes a massive difference to your comfort too, and if your saddle is too far forwards misery of one kind or another is practically guaranteed.

cheers
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cycle tramp
Posts: 992
Joined: 5 Aug 2009, 7:22pm

Re: Saddle choice/strange numbness

Postby cycle tramp » 10 Jan 2021, 2:28pm

Greystoke wrote:Been there and tried all sorts.
Harder seat with cutout, lowered and nose down is the answer.
Just bought a selle SMP but it's en-route in the post so can't confirm. However that saddle is the one that comes up as the answer in a lot of internet searches....under £50 delivered from Halfords.


Selle SMP trk saddle worked for me (even if the shape of the saddle itself tends to broadcast one of the possible symptoms of the wrong fit of saddle)

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531colin
Posts: 13317
Joined: 4 Dec 2009, 6:56pm
Location: North Yorkshire

Re: Saddle choice/strange numbness

Postby 531colin » 10 Jan 2021, 3:17pm

You need to be sitting on the wide bit at the back of the saddle (thats why its there) and you need to take your weight on your "bum bones" ...labelled here https://cdn.britannica.com/99/120999-050-8E7B574A/Bones-girdle.jpg as "inferior pubic ramus". If you take weight on the soft tissue between the two bum bones this can exert pressure on the nerves and cause "numb willy syndrome". (If you only get NWS when riding your bike, and it goes away when you stop, I don't think its a matter for your GP, unless your GP is an experienced cyclist.)
Having your handlebars too far away or too low can have the effect of dragging you forwards so you end up sitting on the front of the saddle, not the back. Have a read of my DIY bike fit piece, it can't hurt!
Some people spend a fortune on saddles and padded shorts; I think its not necessary if you pay a bit of attention to how you sit on the bike.

Valbrona
Posts: 2394
Joined: 7 Feb 2011, 4:49pm

Re: Saddle choice/strange numbness

Postby Valbrona » 10 Jan 2021, 3:27pm

Start a new thread by posting a side-on picture of you on your bike, with hands on hoods, and we will comment on your fit ... but it might make uncomfortable reading.
I should coco.

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531colin
Posts: 13317
Joined: 4 Dec 2009, 6:56pm
Location: North Yorkshire

Re: Saddle choice/strange numbness

Postby 531colin » 10 Jan 2021, 3:40pm

Valbrona wrote:Start a new thread by posting a side-on picture of you on your bike, with hands on hoods, and we will comment on your fit ... but it might make uncomfortable reading.

Video is better....not that I know how to do it...I think you have to post it on You tube and link it?

Cowsham
Posts: 968
Joined: 4 Nov 2019, 1:33pm

Re: Saddle choice/strange numbness

Postby Cowsham » 10 Jan 2021, 3:43pm

Selle royal justek for me -- there's two types one has a little more padding than the other but they both are flatish on the top.