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Old 03-31-17, 08:11 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
Seats are a very personal matter. Our butts vary as much as our feet and faces. (Just look at the different seats people find comfortable.) Now more and more shops are allowing customers to try seats for real periods of time and bring them back for a full refund or store credit. A shop here in Portland, OR has a "library" of aobut 25 seats. $25 gets you a library card. You can then take out any seat for a week. You can try as many as you want. Find one you like and they give you a new one Your $25 goes toward the purchase. The program is so successful I am sure it is going to catch on. Go to your shop and see what they can do.
That's a really cool concept, I hope it does catch on with shops everywhere.
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Old 03-31-17, 10:04 AM   #27
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How would you objectively determine that the seat is too high? In my case, I don't think so since I got checked out by my bike shop, but you never know.
What I've been doing is check to see if I can sit on the saddle in a 'normal' position with my heel on the pedal, my knee straight, and the crank arm parallel to the seat tube. Not sure where I got that from but probably somewhere here in BF is my guess.
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Old 03-31-17, 10:30 AM   #28
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As near as I can tell, the o.p. has had this bike for 6 years? Saddle too? They have had this pain for 1 week? And we are offering saddle suggestions, crank suggestions, appointments for professional bike fittings? I get that this is a bike forum but... come on. As described the pain sounds like a possible pinched nerve to the right testicle. This could be from muscle spasm in the lower back or other cause. It could be an infection in the epididymis, or the testicle itself. But I wouldn't suspect any aspect of the bike or riding the bike unless the o.p. made some recent changes along those lines.
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Old 03-31-17, 11:24 AM   #29
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What I've been doing is check to see if I can sit on the saddle in a 'normal' position with my heel on the pedal, my knee straight, and the crank arm parallel to the seat tube. Not sure where I got that from but probably somewhere here in BF is my guess.
+1 heel grazing the pedal with knees locked is a common rule of thumb for proper seat height.

Also pay attention to your hips when riding; if they are rocking up and down, the saddle is too high. You should be able to ride with a pretty much stationary pelvis.
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Old 03-31-17, 01:18 PM   #30
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Tilting it down a few degrees... Wouldn't that just cause me to scoot forward?
It would if you over did it. I mean a few, as in 1 or 2 or so. You've been on this bike and saddle for a long time, obviously something is right for the most part.

Maybe it's warmer than it has been weather-wise and things down there are a little more relaxed than they are when it's cold out. Honestly I don't know. But a degree or 2 wouldn't materially change the fit equation, but might allow enough freedom on the nose to make a difference where it matters here.

The UCI even changed the flatness rule from 2.5 to 9 degree tilt because the professional riders were experiencing symptoms.

Going back to level would be easy, grab a book, lay it flat contacting 3 points and set a level on it. In fact, that would be a good way to know where you are starting from too before you make any adjustments at all.
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Old 03-31-17, 01:44 PM   #31
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Maybe those 2 sit pad, noseless type saddles, will 'float your boat'...
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Old 03-31-17, 09:32 PM   #32
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Question: How old are you?
Early 30s. People say I look young for my age, but I'd swear I'm aging faster because I tend to work long, stressful hours each week.

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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
As near as I can tell, the o.p. has had this bike for 6 years? Saddle too? They have had this pain for 1 week? And we are offering saddle suggestions, crank suggestions, appointments for professional bike fittings? I get that this is a bike forum but... come on. As described the pain sounds like a possible pinched nerve to the right testicle. This could be from muscle spasm in the lower back or other cause. It could be an infection in the epididymis, or the testicle itself. But I wouldn't suspect any aspect of the bike or riding the bike unless the o.p. made some recent changes along those lines.
Only 2 years on this bike and this (longer, hillier) commute. I think I did say that at some point. I think I may have injured as I transitioned from semi-regular (3-4x a week) riding to full time as the weather got nice, so it could also be a bit of technique/posture. But I still don't see the harm in assessing if I need to think about a different saddle. If I have a "bad posture" episode again in the future, I don't want this to happen again.

My doctor really seemed to think it was just pissed off soft tissue that needed to take a break, and he seems to have been right. So far, it's getting a lot better with rest and ibuprofen.

Last edited by thiocyclist; 03-31-17 at 09:36 PM.
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Old 04-04-17, 07:38 PM   #33
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I want to thank folks who recommended the B17... I put one on the Vaya today and I had a largely pain-free ride. I felt more of an awareness of bone-to-saddle contact before which seems to jibe with what people are saying about putting more pressure on the sit bones than the soft tissue.

One thing that was interesting was to see that the saddle mount at the top of the seat post has two screws that can adjust the angle. I hadn't noticed that before.

New saddle: https://goo.gl/photos/3cFdGUBCgtuHckay5
Old saddle: https://goo.gl/photos/ry492fGB1A2Ad5dG6
Dual screws: https://goo.gl/photos/PBRh3nE1jEL5KhDo9
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Old 04-05-17, 11:42 AM   #34
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I hope you find a way to work fewer hours or less stressful hours or maybe even both.

I wonder if that saddle was too soft. I'm glad the new one isn't too hard. Amazing how it can be so hard and comfortable at the same time, isn't it?

The two bolts on your seatpost make a nice feature. I'll keep my eyes out for posts like that.

Is your saddle pointed up? I think most B17 users find it works best with it that way, and I'm one of them.
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Old 04-06-17, 08:41 PM   #35
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I hope you find a way to work fewer hours or less stressful hours or maybe even both.

I wonder if that saddle was too soft. I'm glad the new one isn't too hard. Amazing how it can be so hard and comfortable at the same time, isn't it?

The two bolts on your seatpost make a nice feature. I'll keep my eyes out for posts like that.

Is your saddle pointed up? I think most B17 users find it works best with it that way, and I'm one of them.
Thanks!

The saddle is pretty much parallel with the top tube. If anything it's leaning down a smidge. I didn't find myself riding the nose, though.
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Old 04-07-17, 11:24 AM   #36
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I think with leather saddles, the way the 'hammock' action works, you need to get the nose up a little to get the hammock to be level where your weight is on it.

If you're comfortable and not slipping down to the nose, then more power to ya, but you might consider an experiment where you see what it's like to nose up a little.
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Old 04-15-17, 11:11 PM   #37
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I do have a suggestion, this warmup/mobility program helped me a lot in being far more comfortable riding on my bike, Limber 11:
https://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/lim...ever-need.html

Be sure to watch the video. I started doing it because I seriously hurt my hip lifting, it healed up internal pain in my hip that hadn't healed on it's own in a year, and also happened to make that "downstairs numbness" go away for me.

The root cause is that the internal muscles in your hips and core get weaker and function less well over time because they're not being used (you're just sitting on them).

P.S. Putting padding downstairs doesn't usually work. The padding just bunches up and pushes into the sensitive areas more. The only solution I found that worked (after getting a non-soft cushy saddle) was the fix the root of the problem in the internal muscles in the hips being weak. Limber 11 was "good enough", I've done a ton of other posture work that's completely eliminated numbness issues downstairs (but it was a total pain in the ass frankly).

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Old 04-15-17, 11:47 PM   #38
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I can suggest what worked for me for rides from down the street to the grocery store up to 60 mile rides on hot days.

Last summer when I was riding farther than 5-10 miles per ride and more than three times a week I began wearing padded bike shorts again, as I'd done 30 years ago the last time I rode. Big mistake, for me.

I began experiencing crotch pain that felt like bruising, sharper isolated pains and rashes. All were due to wearing padded shorts along with riding padded saddles, soaking up way too much sweat and aggravating chafing. Too much padding wiggling around was rubbing me raw, causing ingrown hairs and irritated hair follicles that felt like bruising, and raw skin from chafing.

The currently common synthetic padding -- not the relatively thin chamois leather I used to wear -- was much too thick and became soaked with sweat. Add to that the padded saddles on my bikes and it was a bad combo.

Based on a recommendation from another bike forum member last summer I switched to Champion wicking fabric boxer/briefs. The irritation healed up within a week I've worn nothing else since for bike rides. Champion tech fabric boxer/briefs, under mountain bike baggy shorts, jeans, khaki slacks, whatever. Summer, winter, they're great... for me, with my current padded saddles. Might not work for everyone else.

The wicking fabric underwear rarely gets soaked in sweat while riding, even on hot and humid days, and even when I've been caught in the rain they dry quickly. So there's almost no risk of chafing or rashes from swamp butt.

The Champion underwear costs a bit more than Hanes cotton boxers, but they're much better for bike rides, and still cheaper than good padded or chamois leather padded bike shorts, so you can buy enough to have a clean pair every day.

It may not solve your discomfort, but it's cheap enough to buy a couplafew pair and try for a week or two.
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Old 04-16-17, 08:20 PM   #39
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Thanks for the recommendations (both warmup and shorts). I'll look into both. The warmup in particular looks like something I used to do for my back. As far as the shorts, what's the consensus here on chamois? Yea or nay? I do get the idea they are not as universally beloved as I'd thought. (I never wore them before my Zoic Ether which I used with underwear until recently.)
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Old 04-16-17, 09:21 PM   #40
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The consensus won't address what will work for you.

I don't like cycling shorts with chamois or padding as they make me hot, and sweaty which leads to the issues others have described. Lightweight running shorts that allow air to circulate works best for me.
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Old 04-19-17, 09:43 AM   #41
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I like cycling shorts but I don't consider them essential. The longer my ride is going to be, the more I prefer them. My commute between home and work is 13.5 miles each way, and I usually don't wear bike shorts on that ride.

The chamois is fine, but I prefer a thin-ish one to a thick one.

There are tiny muscles around your sit bones, and if those are sore from riding, they will toughen up after a couple of weeks of riding. But I don't know if that the cause of your discomfort.
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Old 05-13-17, 08:58 AM   #42
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Hi everyone! I know it's been a while but thought I would chime back in.

I still have yet to see my urologist as a follow-up (next month), but my PCP was not concerned by my experience. He thought "soft tissues" were being "repetitively injured or stressed", and that I needed to back off my riding for a bit and make a few adjustments, which is what I did. As my ride is a bit long (for a commute) and hilly, especially when combined with an intense job, I have noticed that when I go 2-3 days in a row I am more likely to feel the pain coming back. It seems like my posture on the bike gets worse as I get tired.

I have tried to ride more "on my legs/off the seat" when hill climbing, and I'm not sure it's helped. What is worse is that the effect of riding off the seat caused my laptop bag (slung over my back while riding) to hurt my back -- it increased the pressure on a sensitive spot, apparently, which I think was actually a posterior hip bone arch.

That experience has me thinking I need to get a proper bike bag (never was a fan, but maybe I never found the right kind) or get a rack and pannier. Perhaps if one of those changes enhanced my posture on the seat, I would end up hurting less overall.

As far as the underwear/chamois situation. For the past couple of weeks I have really taken a liking to New Balance Men's DRY Fresh Boxer Briefs. Past boxer briefs for athletes, I could never stop noticing them. The NBs somehow stay "out of the way", and importantly are the right balance of supportive and airy. Hopefully this will be a lasting improvement to my rides.
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Old 05-13-17, 11:11 AM   #43
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Thanks for checking back in. I'm glad you're still searching for the cause of the problem. Standing on the pedals has a few benefits, so do it when you can, within reason, of course.

Of course, many people ride bikes a lot without your problem, so it should be possible for you to solve this, and I hope you do.

Have you had a bike shop mechanic look at your riding posture? That could help, though it seems that every butt is different, so no one is an expert on any given butt. Have you tried changing the saddle position or changing the saddle?

There are tons of ways to carry cargo on a bike, and most people prefer carrying it attached to the bike rather than their bodies. Some do fine with backpacks and messenger bags and briefcases, but for the time being, I think you're better off not carrying on your body so you can work this groin problem out.

Another possibility is that building upper body strength can help you keep a good posture on the bike. Upper body strength is not usually the problem, but I mention it because it has helped me a lot lately. I neglected my upper body all my life, and I lost the ability to be on the bike for long periods. Now I'm doing dead lifts, overhead presses, pushups, and other exercises. My strength is building, and I can feel these muscles working as I ride. It helps to have a straight back on the bike. To keep my back straight, I bend my lower back so it feels as if it's bent backwards. It's not actually bent backwards, but it feels that way. This was impossible for me until I started these exercises. Again, this may not be what you need, but bear in mind that having overall strength helps to get your posture to where you need it.
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Old 05-13-17, 12:53 PM   #44
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Sore a** and having to experiment around with various saddles is nothing new but it does sound like it could be riding with underwear and it is easy to see it that's the cause...
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Old 05-13-17, 08:19 PM   #45
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All I can tell you is what works for me. Padded cycling shorts or bibs, WTB Rocket V saddle, Topeak rack and trunk bag with foldout panniers. Ride out of the saddle once in a while. Move forward and back for different positions on the saddle. Level saddle as measured with a level. Proper saddle height and fore/aft positioning on rails. Proper reach to the bars.

Everyone is different. May take some trial and error to find what works for you. If you cannot figure it out on your own, see a bike fitting specialist who can guide you.
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Old 05-15-17, 08:23 AM   #46
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Absolutely everyone is diffrent!

WTB Rocket V is a saddle that came stock on a matching pair of bikes my wife and I had -- she thought it was a complete a$$ hatchet, couldn't sit on it for 5 minutes, I rode it and thought it's tolerable but not great, and it's alan s' saddle of choice.

There's too many anatomies out there. I think you're going to need to find a LBS with a saddle loan program and try a bunch out.
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Old 05-17-17, 06:47 PM   #47
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ISM/Adamo saddles.
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