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  1. #1
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    Saddle causing numbness

    My 1992 Bianchi Europa has a cheap saddle that sometimes causes discomfort and numbness. Is the modern saddle with the groove down the center an improvement? I'd like to spend about $125 (or less!) and would like recommendations from you knowledgeable folks. I'm skinny and typically ride out for about an hour and then try to get home in the same time, and the numbness is becoming a problem.

  2. #2
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Maybe, maybe not... Are you sitting back on the wide part of the saddle? Sitting on it more toward the nose might cause issues even if the seat has a groove/split. What used to work for me (before I went completely recumbent) was to angle the nose up just a half a hair. That was enough to stop me from sliding forward onto the nose as I rode. Otherwise, I had The Problem(tm).

    My old favorite saddle used to be an Avocet Touring II, which had little raised bumps under my sitz bones, for a bit more padding there and nowhere else. Probably the precursor to the current 'ergonomic' saddles.

  3. #3
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    There are a thousand different saddles on the market.
    There are companies in Italy alone that make hundreds.
    Selle .. [it means sit] Italia , San Marco and Royale, and Fizik are well distributed in the US

    Its a question of what do you have to spend , then you need to make an arraingement with a dealer to try several.

    Sitting up has a different saddle requirement, than a low over the bars racer posture..

    then its up to your butt and the saddle to sort out whether they are compatible..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 10-07-10 at 01:01 PM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
    Maybe, maybe not... Are you sitting back on the wide part of the saddle? Sitting on it more toward the nose might cause issues even if the seat has a groove/split. What used to work for me (before I went completely recumbent) was to angle the nose up just a half a hair. That was enough to stop me from sliding forward onto the nose as I rode. Otherwise, I had The Problem(tm).
    My old favorite saddle used to be an Avocet Touring II, which had little raised bumps under my sitz bones, for a bit more padding there and nowhere else. Probably the precursor to the current 'ergonomic' saddles.
    Same for me, right down to the Touring II. I rode one of those until it fell apart. I also tried one of the early grooved saddles, a Specialized Body Geometry, I think it was called, and HATED it. I rode it for about a week and gave it to a friend, who liked it. Saddle choice is a very individual thing.
    What finally worked for me is a Brooks B-17. I've had my oldest one for at least 15 years, and I'm still comfortable on it for three hours at a stretch. I bought another one new in the box at a thrift shop for $4.50 several years ago, and have picked up two more used since. They're all in regular use and all comfortable. They do seem to work for most people, but I have a couple of friends who just didn't like them.
    Setup is important, too. Nose slightly up seems to work for me on most saddles, but I have a riding buddy who keeps the nose pointed down several degrees, maybe half an inch or more lower than the rear of the saddle. Looks weird, and I can barely sit on his bike, but he swears by it. You might try moving the nose up or down in TINY increments, a millimeter or two at a time.

  5. #5
    Senior Member mustachiod's Avatar
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    i would try slight angle and height adjustments every few days until you find a better position before spending money
    Quote Originally Posted by powers2b View Post
    BF does not have the answer to what you will be happy with.

  6. #6
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Saddles can be a problem- and that is generally down to fit of the saddle to the butt. Can also be the fact that you have a crap saddle but most saddles are suitable if fit is right.

    But the choice of saddles is immense and how do you find the "Right" saddle? Don't ask me as I had a major problem for 6 years where I was buying a saddle every month to fit a body that was internally adjusting after prostate surgery.

    But get to a Specialised shop and ask them to measure you using the "Assometer" That is its technical term- believe it or not. Don't believe a word they say though as they said I needed a 165 saddle- tried one on a bike in the shop- said it wasn't right and eventually got a 145 that does fit. Still had a problem though but eventually bought a bike with a saddle that was comfortable. It is a145 but was rock solid. No give in it whatsoever but it was comfortable---for about 6 months.

    Bought a saddle- A Flite GelMax that was the same shape and just a bit of cushioning. Once adjusted it is perfect. Next bike and I bought a Selle "Aero"- same shape as the Flite but a bit firmer. I Can't tell which saddle I am sitting on to be honest as they feel the same.

    There is no quick cure but you have to find the right type of saddle for your butt. Then adjust it to fit right on the bike. Adjust height and fore and aft and start off with the saddle level to the ground. You then get the sitbones on the wings of the saddle and that is where your weight will be. Adjust the tilt untill you are just supporting the Pubic Bone. Then ride a while. If you are slipping forward then adjust the saddle upwards on the nose till you stop slipping. May take a few miles till you stop adjusting but once it is fine then ride the bike. May take a while before butt ache stops- but if it still hurts after 200 miles- Buy another saddle and start again.

    Sorry but some of us do have problems getting the right saddle. But buying a quality saddle does help. Flite and Selle are my favourites- Fizic was the one that went off after 6 months but other swear by them.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  7. #7
    Pedals, Paddles and Poles Daspydyr's Avatar
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    I have three saddles that cost less than $75. Two have the open prostrate area and one has a special gel insert in the prostrate area. The slotted seats are Selle Comp and Specialized Avatar 143. The Gel is a Selle Royale. I'm 6'3" and 225 and have never felt numbness. Hands are different.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member bobbycorno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velo Dog View Post
    Same for me, right down to the Touring II. I rode one of those until it fell apart. I also tried one of the early grooved saddles, a Specialized Body Geometry, I think it was called, and HATED it. I rode it for about a week and gave it to a friend, who liked it. Saddle choice is a very individual thing.
    What finally worked for me is a Brooks B-17. I've had my oldest one for at least 15 years, and I'm still comfortable on it for three hours at a stretch. I bought another one new in the box at a thrift shop for $4.50 several years ago, and have picked up two more used since. They're all in regular use and all comfortable. They do seem to work for most people, but I have a couple of friends who just didn't like them.
    Setup is important, too. Nose slightly up seems to work for me on most saddles, but I have a riding buddy who keeps the nose pointed down several degrees, maybe half an inch or more lower than the rear of the saddle. Looks weird, and I can barely sit on his bike, but he swears by it. You might try moving the nose up or down in TINY increments, a millimeter or two at a time.
    +1 on the B17. Or more precisely, on finding a saddle that fits. Until I started riding the B17 this year, I hadn't realized that I'd NEVER been on a saddle that fit me. In 35 years of cycling! On the 200k brevet that I rode last Saturday, I did not experience ANY saddle discomfort. Ahhh.... comfort.

    SP
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  9. #9
    The Professor akohekohe's Avatar
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    This works for me and is relatively inexpensive (59.95 from the Amazon link). If you search the archives there are several threads on this saddle and people who have tried them seem to like them.
    The more you drive the less intelligent you are. - Tracy Walter as Miller in Repo Man.

  10. #10
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    For me, it was a slight increase in width that stopped the numbness. The stock saddle that came with my bike had a fairly std. (for a road bike) 130mm wide saddle.

    I did an "at home" version of the Specialized sit-bones measurement (using alum. foil on a carpeted step to replace their "a**-ometer" foam pad), and the measured sit-bones width indicated that something more like 143mm was called for. I bought a Selle Italia ProLink Gel, which is 144mm wide, and voila! No more numbness. The new saddle is basically just as firm and un-padded as the stock saddle (it has a very thin gel layer), and has a cut-out, but I'm convinced it is the 14mm of extra width that made the most difference.

    BTW, my measured sit-bones width was around 115mm (center-to-center spacing of the two depressions made in the foil). Searching online came up with Specialized's chart (to tell you how to translate the sit-bones measurement to one of their saddle sizes). But basically, for a road bike, you wanted the saddle width to be a good 25-30 mm wider than the sit-bones measurement (even wider for a hybrid bike, or something with a more upright posture).

  11. #11
    "Chooch" ciocc_cat's Avatar
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    Is the numbness in your "male part"? Numbness is caused by the saddle's compression of the perineum. In us manly men, this is the area of the crotch that houses the nerves and blood vessels that feed your precious one-eyed snake. Assuming your bike is already properly fitted/saddle correctly adjusted, then a saddle with a trough might help. I use a Selle SMP - works for me.
    "A bicycle built by a frame builder has the soul of the builder. A mass produced frame does not have soul. It doesn't know anyone." - Giovanni "Ciocc" Pelizzoli.
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  12. #12
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rschleicher View Post
    For me, it was a slight increase in width that stopped the numbness. The stock saddle that came with my bike had a fairly std. (for a road bike) 130mm wide saddle.

    I think saddle width plays a bigger part than most of us will give credit for. But just as important is the Posture that is taken on the bike. Road- and those with a more upright stance do- in my experience- have a bearing on that width. This was one of the problems I had till I went road. I found out that the saddles I used on the MTB's were not suitable for comfort on the Tandem where an even more upright stance is utilised. When I did finally go road- the bike was supplied with the correct width for the longer stretched out position I had. Cured 6 years of Butt ache after 4 hours in the saddle.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  13. #13
    Team Poseur Metric Man's Avatar
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    I stopped looking for a different saddle after I got this one...love it.

    vflow_max_black1..jpg

    John Cobb Cycling
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  14. #14
    Senior Member CHAS's Avatar
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    http://www.selleanatomica.com/ you will love it

    or maybe SMP pro
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  15. #15
    Senior Member ecrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHAS View Post
    http://www.selleanatomica.com/ you will love it

    or maybe SMP pro
    +1 on Selle An Atomica. It's like a Brooks that doesn't require a break in because you can adjust the tension. The caveat is that you will have to increase your budget.

  16. #16
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    You know you can also try some of the alternative seat styles. I use the SpiderFlex seat, I have two of them. It takes a little getting used to, but once you do, you will love it. It has no front horn on it. Available at www.spider flex.com.

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