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Old 07-10-07, 10:16 AM   #1
beelz
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How wide should a bike saddle's perineum cutout be?

I'm about to modify a bicycle seat to put a groove through the center so it won't press on my perineum. So now I'm wondering just how wide the groove has to be. My (male) perineum seems to be about 3-1/2 inches wide. But how wide is the part that contains the important arteries and nerves?

There seems to be an area in the perineum that bulges out. You can feel it when you're erect. It runs down the center of the perineum. This bulge seems to be only about 1 inch wide. So I'm wondering if that is the only area that contains the vital nerves and arteries, and therefore a 1 inch groove will suffice.

But what about the prostate? How wide is that? Does the rear of the groove have to be wider to avoid putting pressure on the prostate?

Grooves in commercially made seats seem to vary a lot in width. I don't want to make the groove wider than it has to be because the wider it is, the less surface area there is to support my butt. What do you think? Any urologists out there?
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Old 07-10-07, 10:20 AM   #2
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Is this a serious post? If it is sorry, but if not I just had one of the best laughs I've had in months.
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Old 07-10-07, 10:26 AM   #3
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Yes, it's serious. Now stop laughing and call your urologist so you can get answers for me.
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Old 07-10-07, 10:31 AM   #4
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If you are going to slot a seat, consider sending it to a professional--that is if it's a Brooks.

Selle An-Atomica cuts out seats for about $45.

Their web site:

http://www.mcmwin.com/

Specialized makes what they call Body Geometry seats. I own an An-Atomica, a Brooks and a Specialized Alias on my bikes and I have absolutely no problems w/perineum or prostate; however, I don't think mine is 3-1/2" wide either.
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Old 07-10-07, 10:35 AM   #5
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Perhaps it would help if we had photos to work with here.

[I appreciate this is a serious post, but, while sitting out here in the waiting room for an appt. with someone who actually knows something, thought I'd lighten things up.]

FWIW, my Trans Am gel's cutout measures about 5" long by 1" wide and tapers at the ends.

*** Over the years I slump more as I ride and don't maintain my former, steady erection in the saddle.
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Old 07-10-07, 10:38 AM   #6
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Perhaps it would help if we had photos to work with here.

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Old 07-10-07, 10:39 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrossChain
*** Over the years I slump more as I ride and don't maintain my former, steady erection in the saddle.


That's what happens to the over fifties.................................unless we see a constant blue tint.

Gosh, if I only knew how to post a pic now.
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Old 07-10-07, 10:40 AM   #8
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Photos? We don't need no stinkin' photos.
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Old 07-10-07, 10:44 AM   #9
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Last time I had one I wasn't thinking about a bike saddle.
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Old 07-10-07, 10:46 AM   #10
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If you wanna measure the prostate and/or the arteries/nerves "down there" (that's how exas refers to it), you'll need either exploratory surgery (ouch!) or diagnostic imaging (ouch in the wallet!). A lot of 50+ guys like to say "mine is bigger than yours" (prostate, that is) without really having any numbers to back it up.
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Old 07-10-07, 10:48 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrossChain
Perhaps it would help if we had photos to work with here.

[I appreciate this is a serious post, but, while sitting out here in the waiting room for an appt. with someone who actually knows something, thought I'd lighten things up.]

FWIW, my Trans Am gel's cutout measures about 5" long by 1" wide and tapers at the ends.

*** Over the years I slump more as I ride and don't maintain my former, steady erection in the saddle.
CrossChain, does that one inch cutout work well for you? Any pressure? Does it extend all the way to the back edge of the seat? Is the nose also cut out?
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Old 07-10-07, 10:58 AM   #12
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You could study such saddles as these:

http://www.terrybicycles.com/saddles...tem_no=2154700
http://www.terrybicycles.com/saddles...tem_no=2123900
http://www.wtb.com/saddles_powerv.html
http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCEqS...uipSaddlesRoad

As you can see, there is quite a bit of variation out there, even on premium saddles.
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Old 07-10-07, 11:07 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beelz
Continuing my bike seat quest from a previous post, I finally found a wide saddle in a second hand bike shop in SE Asia. It's the same model you see in this picture.



The seat measures about 10 inches across at the widest part. These seats are apparently only available as second hand, not new, so I have to make do with this one.

Big as it is, I'm not even going to attempt to ride it until I modify it a bit, as I ripped my crotch up very badly last year when I tried to ride a conventional seat. I have minor prostate problems, so want zero pressure on the prostate and genital areas.

I am going to take it to a shop that reupholsters motorbike seats and ask them to modify the seat. I think the kind of modification that makes the most sense is this type: (ABS)



because it seems to totally eliminate contact with the perineal area while preserving the nose for riding stability.

Now, I suspect they won't be able to actually create that concave front nose, as the frame is not shaped that way. But if you simply lower the nose by removing padding, will that achieve the same effect?

Or maybe rather than lower the nose, one can simply raise the rear part of the seat, by putting extra padding there?

My saddle already has a slight indentation down the center, as you can see, but it's totally inadequate to relieve pressure. I want to deepen and widen that center indentation so there is no pressure at all on my perineum. How deep should it be? How wide should it be? Many seats I've seen that have cutouts have the cutout too narrow, IMO.

And should one attempt to reupholster with special very firm padding that won't compress a lot, in order to make sure that the sit bones remain high in the saddle, and the perineum remains pressure free?

Also, as one loses potential butt support due to the rounded edges of the seat, is it possible to upholster it so that the edges are not round, but rather rise at 90 degree angles from the frame? That would add over an inch of butt support and make it noticeably more comfortable, IMO. (I have a big butt and am a heavy guy) Or is that not necessary? Does your butt compress the flat area so that the rounded downward-sloping area at the edge becomes part of the same plane of support? (I hope that's not confusing!)

Unfortunately, this saddle has the kind of mount that can not adjust seat position front to rear, but you can adjust the seat angle. It also has two slightly rusted shock absorber springs underneath. I don't know how difficult it would be to find someone who can change the mount to one that can be adjusted front to rear...maybe I can live without that.

Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated on this. I'm hoping that if you get a wide enough saddle, you can create your own customized dream seat by modifying it to your anatomy.
How did the reupholstering job work out on that saddle?
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Old 07-10-07, 11:16 AM   #14
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My thoughts exactly.
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Old 07-10-07, 11:27 AM   #15
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Beelz, see attached photos of trans am gel saddle. I feel no pressure on that perineum line...no. The saddle is comfortable for me and the slot seems to work for me because I notice no discomfort or pressure from that area. Being a somewhat wider and flatter top saddle, weight does seem distributed more on my particular sit bones.

Pictured is a new (fresh) Trans Am...I ride 2 of them and have a more conventional Regal with arched top and no slot on a third bike.....it works well for me up to 50 miles or so and even then is still usable. Were I to choose only one saddle, it would be the Trans Am.

Getting up off the saddle for a few yards periodically and moving around on the saddle, for me, is as helpful as any saddle shape or configuration. Not to mention logging regular miles.
Attached Images
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File Type: jpg IM000356.JPG (56.0 KB, 22 views)

Last edited by CrossChain; 07-10-07 at 11:36 AM.
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Old 07-10-07, 11:39 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrossChain
Beelz, see attached photos of trans am gel saddle. I feel no pressure on that perineum line...no. The saddle is comfortable for me and the slot seems to work for me because I notice no discomfort or pressure from that area. Being a somewhat wider and flatter top saddle, weight does seem distributed more on the sit bones.

Pictured is a new Trans Am...I ride 2 of them and have a more conventional Regal with arched top and no slot on a third bike.....it works well for me up to 50 miles or so and even then is still usable. Were I to choose only one saddle, it would be the Trans Am.

Getting up off the saddle for a few yards periodically and moving around on the saddle, for me, is as helpful as any saddle shape or configuration. Not to mention logging regular miles.

I used to ride this very same saddle, but not in yellow (Not fast enough to warrant a yellow one yet). At some point I thought I'd reduce the weight a bit by making the slot bigger. I very carefully perfomed the needed surgery on the saddle, and it looked very cool and was a few grams lighter. However, on the very first ride, I realized I had made a major mistake. The slot, while not even twice as wide as before, was too wide and caused pain and discomfort the unaltered saddle never inflicted. If it were me, and based on my own learning experience, I'd not modify any saddle in the future unless I was willing to toss it away if it didn't work. It's pretty easy to sell a saddle that hasn't been modified, but next to impossible to sell one that has been modified. Hence, if you really want to make this modification, I'd send it out to professionals or accept the fact that it might turn into an experiment with poor results.
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Old 07-10-07, 11:47 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BSLeVan
I used to ride this very same saddle, but not in yellow (Not fast enough to warrant a yellow one yet). At some point I thought I'd reduce the weight a bit by making the slot bigger. I very carefully perfomed the needed surgery on the saddle, and it looked very cool and was a few grams lighter. However, on the very first ride, I realized I had made a major mistake. The slot, while not even twice as wide as before, was too wide and caused pain and discomfort the unaltered saddle never inflicted. If it were me, and based on my own learning experience, I'd not modify any saddle in the future unless I was willing to toss it away if it didn't work. It's pretty easy to sell a saddle that hasn't been modified, but next to impossible to sell one that has been modified. Hence, if you really want to make this modification, I'd send it out to professionals or accept the fact that it might turn into an experiment with poor results.
+1. Most riders who've ridden for any length of time have a box full of old saddles (or they've sold them) in the long search for what fits best. Check out the Anatomica site above...they offer different width saddles with different width & shape of cut-out. Somebody here might have experience with them.
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Old 07-10-07, 12:12 PM   #18
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After due consideration, my opinion is that the maximum width should be less that the outer dimension of the saddle at corresponding points along the center line.

Just a starting point.
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Old 07-10-07, 01:53 PM   #19
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Only on the 50+ forum will you see this kind of question without hearing snickers from the crowd! Now, can we discuss really important things like "What nickname do you use when riding?"
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Old 07-10-07, 02:11 PM   #20
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Alternative opinion: I tried a saddle with a cut-out, but the groove seemed strategically designed to grab me in all the wrong places.
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Old 07-10-07, 02:26 PM   #21
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Is there a doctor in the house?
Where's the Weak Link when you need him ...
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Old 07-10-07, 02:36 PM   #22
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Is there a doctor in the house?
Where's the Weak Link when you need him ...
Don't give him any ideas.
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Old 07-10-07, 06:06 PM   #23
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Only on the 50+ forum will you see this kind of question without hearing snickers from the crowd! Now, can we discuss really important things like "What nickname do you use when riding?"
I'm snickering.
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Old 07-10-07, 06:10 PM   #24
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I'm snickering.
I hear ya!!
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Old 07-10-07, 06:41 PM   #25
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You might find this of interest:

http://www.active.com/story.cfm?stor...=Cycling&num=0
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