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  1. #1
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    My urologist recommends I get a gel split seat, re my age and urinary tract infection

    I am male, age 58. (Additional edit from original post, I am 5' 11", 197 lbs., if its important for a seat choice.) I recently had and am being treated for a severe urinary tract infection. My urologist has advised me not to ride for 2 weeks. She has also recommended I get a gel split seat for my bike. I ride a GT Timberline LTD comfort bike, commute approx 5 miles to work and back, 10 mile rides with wife on evenings and weekends. Also a few 20-25 mile group rides. I currently have a Selle Royale Look-In gel on my bike now. This came on the bike and has been good til now.

    I know gel seats, but know nothing about split seats for a man. I did web searches and came up with hundreds to choose from. I need help finding the best for my needs. I'm not rich, but want a good seat and will pay the price. The seat's gotta be cheaper that what the hospital and doctors are charging me. Need your help.
    Thanks, David
    Last edited by drr timberline; 05-24-11 at 09:12 AM. Reason: Added my height and weight

  2. #2
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Have you checked your local bike shop? Saddles are sort of like shoes - you can't always be sure of the fit if you order by mail or internet.

  3. #3
    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
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    David, I'll be 69 next month, and am your height and weight. Gel saddles give me open sores on my sit bones on multi-day rides, so I've switched to a foam padded Selle SMP Pro. Selle SMP makes a number of models with varying widths and varying amounts of padding, and for issues related to pressure on the soft tissue in the nether region, they are superb. I'm not connected in any way with Selle SMP except as a happy customer. I will say that saddle comfort is a very individual thing, though, and what's very comfortable for one rider may be an butt-hatchet for another. For me, my Selle SMP Pro is nirvana. I can ride all day in comfort.





    Selle SMP Patent

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    - Stan

  4. #4
    Senior Member Northwestrider's Avatar
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    Is your Urologist a bicyclist BTW? Gel has never worked for me in anyway. Seats or gloves.

  5. #5
    Getting older and slower!
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    I agree on going to your local bike shop and having them help you select one. They can even measure your sit bones for comfort.

    I've ridden on an anatomically friendly seat for years, and swear by them. I don't have much cushion, gel or otherwise, as after a few miles they actually cause saddle sores, etc. I also have identical saddles (or near identical) on all my bikes. Found one that works well and am sticking with it.

    Since the saddle is your major contact with the bike, and where most of the pain comes from cycling, it is not the place to save pennies. I can sit on mine for hours comfortably.

  6. #6
    Senior Member xizangstan's Avatar
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    The same women (doctors included) who insist all males are built alike, wouldn't all wear the exact same bra, would they?

    I'm finding at age 64 that I need to put my weight on my sit bones. My male parts are 2 to 3 times the size of the average guy's, roots included. When I allow much weight to rest on my penis roots, I have problems - the least of which are numbness. Another result has been growing strictures, or blockages, in my urethra. That means urine can't pass. Which can be life threatening. I go to the doctor for it now, and I sit on my sit bones.

    Bottom line: We're not all exactly alike. Don't let them tell you something you know better. Go to a good local bike shop, and try some saddles for comfort.
    Who is John Galt?

  7. #7
    Senior Member rydabent's Avatar
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    Or you could just get a recumbent bike.

  8. #8
    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
    Or you could just get a recumbent bike.
    I was waiting for that
    Having a flat tire as part of the total cycling experience is highly overrated. Knowing how to fix one quickly is not.

    '85 Trek 460 road racer

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  9. #9
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Here's a single data point for you.

    Back in the olden days, when I rode diamond framed bikes, I used to be troubled with "numb manhood". Specialized Body Geometry saddles helped but did not eliminate the issue. Brooks saddles totally eliminated it for me.

    For what it's worth.

  10. #10
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    I have a gel saddle and it has a cutout. It is Flite "Gel MAX"? or something like that and is modelled on the original Flite Titanium that I bought 15 years ago. It may have gell in it but the layer is so thin that it just gives a bit of Cushioning. The other saddle that feels exactly the same is a San Marco "Aero". Cut out again but the cushioning is foam. The compression on both these saddles is about 6mm but they both have the cutout. That cutout is the important bit as I still prefer a firm saddle. The important part for me is getting the sitbones in the right place and not sitting on the underparts.

    And if you want to find out how uncomfortable a saddle is- Have a radical prostatectomy and try and sit on a saddle within 2 months- Then you will have to find the right saddle.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  11. #11
    Senior Member big john's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
    I was waiting for that
    I'm surprised it took that long.

    OP, the thing to do is try saddles to see if they work for you. Good advice above about putting your weight on the sit bones, and this takes practice.

  12. #12
    Senior Member George's Avatar
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    Here's the one I use now and so far so good. I don't use chamois cream anymore and I don't get any chafing.

    http://www.probikekit.com/us/contact...le-saddle.html

    Nashbar sells them to, so you can try it out and if it doesn't work you can send it back.
    George

  13. #13
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    You shouldn't put any weight at all on you urethra/penis/etc .
    Your genitals weren't designed for weight bearing.You will damage the nerves, and blood vessels and the urethra if you continually use them to support weight.
    There are saddles that prevent genital weight bearing-a nose less saddles-The Seat is pretty good in that respect-and there are the two piece split saddles also.
    The only downside to these saddles is they take LOTS of getting used to. They just don't really feel "right"-after 2 years of use!
    Yes, it is a big downside- but it beats urethral strictures and impotence.
    Yeah folks will say" I have used my Brooks etc forever" but saddles weren't designed to protect your soft parts-they were designed to get you in a efficient position to ride-and not get saddle sores.
    Of course a saddle that concentrates your weight on your sit bones will increase the likelihood of saddle sores-same weight- less area means more pressure-more breakdown.
    Choose your poison- impotence and strictures- or saddle sores if you insist on many hour long rides.
    Or get a recumbent.
    Charlie

  14. #14
    Senior Member ericm979's Avatar
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    Your urologist could be like one I saw for a non bike related problem, who told me that I was an idiot for riding a bike at all. He's wrong of course.

    I find that saddles with cutouts reduce or prevent penile numbness. Saddles should be fairly hard- you sink into soft saddles and that puts pressure where you don't want it. I've had a few (ok, one) gel saddle that worked for me but they are usually too soft. You want the saddle to support you on your sit bones, not on the soft parts. Specialized dealers have a butt-o-meter that measures sit bone width, and many of their saddles are available in multiple widths.

    I like the Specialized Toupe saddles. They work for me for 100 mile + rides. Brooks has the wrong shape for me. OTOH a friend of mine who also does long rides likes his Brooks and the Toupe didn't work for him. Everyone's different.

    Also, the faster you ride the less pressure there is on the seat.

  15. #15
    Senior Member
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    Your saddle and your bike's saddle may be only part of the issue, does your bike fit properly ?
    I'm your age, a slightly larger size and have also experienced some urology problems - I've tried a lot of different saddles. Bike fit is part of getting the right saddle comfort, often a small [half cm] tweak- seat up or down, seat forward or backward, angle a notch up or down, handle bars a little higher or lower -etc. make a huge different in comfort. Different saddles work or don't for different people on different bikes - for me a Brooks works best. I've written in the past that a Brooks Imperial is the most comfortable saddle I've ever ridden on, it is on three different bikes. On another bike it was very good but not optimal. A Terry Liberator Y was pretty good also.
    I've tried a Serfas Rx - didn't like it. My same size as me son, on the same bike- thinks it is great.
    ride long & prosper

  16. #16
    "Chooch" ciocc_cat's Avatar
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    I'm 56 and had problems with numbness "down there" when I resumed riding in 2009 after a 17 year hiatus. I switched from a "vintage" Selle Italia Super Turbo saddle (which fit me just fine "back-in-the day") to a Selle SMP. Problem solved!

    YMMV.
    Last edited by ciocc_cat; 05-24-11 at 07:34 PM. Reason: YMMV
    "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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  17. #17
    Roadkill byte_speed's Avatar
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    What phobia said above pretty much sum it up, IMO.

    I was having trouble with sore junk from the saddle nose and switched to an ISM Adamo, split seat, no nose, which has worked out well for me. I have these on two of my bikes and am getting ready to get a third saddle for my rain bike.

    http://www.ismseat.com/products_racing.htm

    They make several other models.

    It takes a little time to adjust to sitting only on your sit bones, but you sit only on your sit bones, which beats trips to the urologist any day. YMMV.

  18. #18
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Consider a "noseless saddle" to take all the pressure off your prostate.

    Here are some examples........
    http://www.amazon.com/Ergo-Endurance.../dp/B000AOC3ZG

    http://www.amazon.com/Hobson-Easysea...ef=pd_sim_sg_3

    http://www.amazon.com/Schwinn-No-Pre..._bxgy_sg_img_c

    http://www.healthycycling.org/

    http://www.spongywonder.com/

    Noseless isn't voodoo science it's really great way to keep blood flow to your groin area. No longer will you feel like a mule kicked you in the groin when you get off your bike!!
    My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
    I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

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  19. #19
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    I don't understand the relation between seat type and a UTI??? I've been having a couple episodes of what I thought was UTIs until I went to my urologist and he diagnosed it as a prostrate infection. What are your symptoms? Do you have kidney pain. high fevers, bad smelling urine, inability to control yourself?

    B.Real

  20. #20
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    I went with a Selle Italia C2 Gel Flow and I like it very much. I was getting some numbness with my old saddle, not so with the C2. It's split with just a bit of gel for cushioning. It's nice leather and at 136 mm wide, it's a bit wider than the tiny racer saddles.

    Selle Italia: http://www.selleitalia.com/eng/index.html

    If they were cheaper I'd buy a few and store them away so I'd have extras. While I ordered mine throught my LBS, it looks like they're going for right around $100 on Amazon.com:
    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss...ia+c2+gel+flow
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  21. #21
    Senior Member xizangstan's Avatar
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    I haven't had kidney, bladder or prostate infections. My problem has been numb penis, and urethral strictures - which is a growing-closed tendency in the urethra inside the length of the penis. And when that tube's grown shut, passing urine is a challenge. Which CAN cause serious kidney problems. The solution is frequent urethral dilation - which is no fun.

    I'm really glad other males are having the same or similar experience.
    Who is John Galt?

  22. #22
    Senior Member
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    Gel makes my butt hurt. Leather saddles work for me. These two have cutouts. We're going to try the Selle Anatomica for our new tandem..I think.

    http://www.selleanatomica.com/

    http://www.brooksengland.com/press/2...S_Imperial.pdf

  23. #23
    Senior Member
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    The OP said that he's riding a comfort bike. The combination of the saddle and the upright position may be part of the problem. Most of the saddles I see listed here are for road bikes and may not be suitable for riding in an upright position.

  24. #24
    Senior Member big john's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alanknm View Post
    The OP said that he's riding a comfort bike. The combination of the saddle and the upright position may be part of the problem. Most of the saddles I see listed here are for road bikes and may not be suitable for riding in an upright position.
    I don't see what the difference would be.

  25. #25
    Senior Member
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    Comfort bikes tend to have much wider saddles than a road bike. The geometry of the saddle is totally different on a lot of them, sort of like what you would find on a cruiser. Your weight is distributed in a different fashion.
    At any age: Always carry a spare.
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