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Old 06-17-11, 10:49 AM   #1
CraigB
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Saddles and the Prostate (preemptive apologies to those w delicate sensibilities)

Warning - this could be a little graphic for some...

The TdC last week was the first ride over 35 miles that I've done since I was at least 10 years younger, possibly 20-25 years. And I know from my annual physical exams that my prostate is, if not technically "enlarged," at least "prominent" (to quote my physician). Having said all that, I'm used to minor discomfort on saddles from time to time. And being a former Clyde, I know all about generalized sensations of pressure discomfort, but I've always been able to move around a bit and ride through those kinds of things with relative ease. Usually standing to get up a hill is all it takes to make things feel OK again.

But something new and different happened on the TdC, once I'd been in the saddle for over 2 hours - a sensation of having to urinate, badly. Once off the bike and in the port-o-let, though, I found I didn't need to at all, or at least only very little. The sensation was very recognizable from annual prostate exams, when the pressure placed on the prostate in turn puts pressure on the bladder.

This is making me think I should give up the 20 year old Turbo that used to serve me so well, and go for something else, perhaps with a groove or cutout, or maybe even a Brooks, in the hope of alleviating pressure on the gland. A quick look at an anotomical chart would suggest it might be susceptible to this sort of thing if it were larger than normal, and could therefore put pressure on the bladder.

Any other guys here have this specific issue, and found a workable solution?
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Old 06-17-11, 12:19 PM   #2
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I ensure that I am sitting on the sit bones and that I just rest the underparts on the saddle. No pain and no peeing problem either. And saddles with the cut out worked for me.
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Old 06-17-11, 01:04 PM   #3
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Craig, Because we change over the years it may very well be time to reassess your saddle, it's angle WRT the nose and maybe even the handlebar's height. Another irritant can be your cycling shorts, too much padding can be moved around or just bunched up to just where it isn't needed.

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Old 06-17-11, 01:14 PM   #4
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I don't have a problem. Once tried the saddle with the cut out. Worst ride I ever had.

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Old 06-17-11, 03:21 PM   #5
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I have changed to saddles with large cut outs. It is the only way I can ride without irritating the prostate, and I do not have any enlargement.
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Old 06-17-11, 03:59 PM   #6
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I don't have a problem. Once tried the saddle with the cut out. Worst ride I ever had.

10 Wheels, The pic reminds me of a charity ride where a good friend of mine's wife was my partner (we are good friends also). Almost to the first rest stop, maybe two miles away she told me she had to go to the restroom really bad, I said that I'd block the view if she needed me to. "Oh no", she replied "I have to poop." We gassed it to the rest stop running about 24+ MPH weaving in and out of other riders. As soon as she saw the Porta Potties she never broke speed as we crossed a grassy area, she said "Take my bike.", and we weren't even hardly slowing down and she dismounted on the run... I think I am the only rider to enter a rest area with two bikes! When she emerged she said "I knew I shouldn't have eaten that bran muffin." with a big smile.

AHHH, memories!

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Old 06-17-11, 04:09 PM   #7
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We have all been there on a bike ride....
Tobacco fields are good cover................
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Old 06-17-11, 05:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
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I don't have a problem. Once tried the saddle with the cut out. Worst ride I ever had.

That very potty facing your Felt is where I found (twice) that I didn't really need to go.
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Old 06-17-11, 05:32 PM   #9
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That very potty facing your Felt is where I found (twice) that I didn't really need to go.
We took a break every 25 miles...

I drank 7 @ 24oz bottles
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Old 06-17-11, 05:42 PM   #10
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"But something new and different happened on the TdC, once I'd been in the saddle for over 2 hours - a sensation of having to urinate, badly. Once off the bike and in the port-o-let, though, I found I didn't need to at all, or at least only very little. The sensation was very recognizable from annual prostate exams, when the pressure placed on the prostate in turn puts pressure on the bladder."

As men age their prostrate continues to grow. If your saddle puts pressure on your perineum with an enlarged prostrate you can enflame the prostrate tissue which will lead to more swelling then pain and a closed off urethra making it feel like you gotta pee really bad.

My suggestion is to invest in a Brooks ASAP and throw that old saddle in the ditch!!!!!!!!!!!!

One thing your don't want to get is a case of prostatitis. NO, YOU DON'T WANT THIS!!!!!!!!!!

http://www.parade.com/articles/editi...1#.TfvnAM2OZLs

http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseas...s/prostate_ez/

http://www.livestrong.com/article/13...tate-symptoms/
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Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?

Last edited by Nightshade; 06-17-11 at 05:49 PM.
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Old 06-17-11, 05:56 PM   #11
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PROSTATE A male gland spelled with only one "R"! Prostrate - lying flat horizontally. At the risk of being flamed.
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Old 06-17-11, 08:02 PM   #12
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An interesting subject for me personally. I was diagnosed with prostate (yes, only one r) cancer 3 years ago. Fortunately it is the slow growing variety, so I elected to go with "watchful waiting". I am just getting back to serious biking, but never thought of how the saddle can affect this gland. I am now wondering if a saddle that is "kind" to the prostate is a must. And what the heck is a Brooks?
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Old 06-18-11, 05:09 AM   #13
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First, I believe I spelled it correctly.

Second, prostatitis is not the issue, at least for me. My prostate is simply larger than it used to be. And I didn't read anything in those articles that suggested any pressure on the perineum can lead to prostatitis in the first place, so I don't see any cause for cycling alarm regarding that particular problem.

My speculation is that saddle pressure on the area may be leading to pressure on the prostate (because of its size), which in turn is leading to pressure on the bladder. And if that's actually the case, then what type of saddle might have the best chance of alleviating the problem. That's what I'm hoping to learn more about from the experiences of my fellow (literally) members of the 50+ section.

And my father had prostate cancer late in his life, so I'm pretty keenly aware of prostate health issues in general, including keeping tabs on my own PSA every year (and hence the digital exam with each physical as well).

Last edited by CraigB; 06-18-11 at 05:12 AM.
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Old 06-18-11, 05:42 AM   #14
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Craig: As you already know saddle selection is such a personal thing that it's almost impossible to know how a particular saddle will work on a given anatomy. I do, however, think you are on the right track to seek a saddle that puts less pressure on the region. Hence, a split, cut-out, or very deep grooved saddle may be in your future. There are five that work for me: Selle Italia SLK - Selle An-Atomica - Koobie Xenon - Specialized Toupe - Specialized Alias. If you do a search on these five you'll note they are all different versions of a split, cut-out or deep groove. The Selle Italia works for me on rides up to about four hours before it starts to get a bit uncomfortable. The Selle An-Atomica works for more up right riding and seems to be an all day saddle used this way. The Koobie Xenon feel hard the first 40 minutes or so. but then is great for the rest of the day. The Specialized Toupe is the best short time/distance saddle, however, at about 90 minutes I start to wish I were on one of the others. The Specialized Alias is used on my commuter which never get more than 24 miles (split between there and back) at a time. On longer rides, it's a bit too soft. One of the things I would look for is how well the saddle supports the sit bones and how much of the saddle will do this. Sometimes there is only one very small sweet spot for you sit bones. I like a saddle that allows me to slide a bit forward or back and still have the sit bones comfortably supported. Oh, one other thing. All five of these saddles take some dialing in. If you don't have the slant spot on, they all feel miserable. Interestingly enough, to me anyway, the slant is just a bit different for each one.
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Old 06-18-11, 05:52 AM   #15
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An interesting subject for me personally. I was diagnosed with prostate (yes, only one r) cancer 3 years ago. Fortunately it is the slow growing variety, so I elected to go with "watchful waiting". I am just getting back to serious biking, but never thought of how the saddle can affect this gland. I am now wondering if a saddle that is "kind" to the prostate is a must. And what the heck is a Brooks?
Brooks is a brand of saddle whose basic design hasn't changed for decades. It's primarily a hard leather saddle modeled somewhat on a tractor's seat. http://www.brooksengland.com/

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Old 06-18-11, 06:18 AM   #16
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Brooks is a brand of saddle whose basic design hasn't changed for decades. It's primarily a hard leather saddle modeled somewhat on a tractor's seat. http://www.brooksengland.com/

Brad
And how the Brooks saddle fits into this discussion is that it is designed to support your sit bones with firm, custom shaped support while allowing the perineal area to sort of hover over the saddle with little or no pressure. Also, the somewhat hard leather body of the saddle is suspended hammock-like from the front and rear of the saddle, allowing it to flex and softening its feel.

One thing that has not been mentioned much in this thread is that the tilt of the saddle can play a big role in how much pressure is on the prostate. This is especially true with a Brooks, but also applies to more typical covered shell saddles. Sometimes a degree or two of tilt adjustment can make the difference between an all day saddle and an ass hatchet.

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Old 06-18-11, 12:21 PM   #17
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My speculation is that saddle pressure on the area may be leading to pressure on the prostate (because of its size), which in turn is leading to pressure on the bladder. And if that's actually the case, then what type of saddle might have the best chance of alleviating the problem. That's what I'm hoping to learn more about from the experiences of my fellow (literally) members of the 50+ section.
The Brooks being all leather acts like a hammock for your butt & jewels cradling them not pushing back on them like all other non-100% leather seats do. I'd have to guess that's why they are still so popular.

All I know is my B33 Brooks now on my Cruiser is the most comfortable saddle I've ever put on a bike. The B17 Brooks might just be the right saddle for your roadster.
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Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 06-18-11, 12:38 PM   #18
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Brooks didn't work for me, so it's not always a solution for everyone. I ended up happy with a Selle Italia SLR flow, which has very little padding. It has a cut out.
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Old 06-18-11, 01:04 PM   #19
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When I resumed cycling in 2009 after a 17-year hiatus, I found that my old Selle Italia Super Turbo that fit me perfectly back in the late 1980s was no longer comfortable. I switched to a Selle SMP - no more problems! However, when it comes to saddles what works for me may not work for you.
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Old 06-18-11, 01:24 PM   #20
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Thanks for all the saddle tips, guys. I appreciate them and will use them as a starting point. I'm well aware that it's a personal preference thing, and the choice needs to be my own, but I thought if someone else had the same issue, what worked for them would be a more likely solution than just going into a shop and grabbing the first saddle I saw that wasn't the one I already have. So I welcome everyone's suggestions.

I tried a Brooks Team Pro when I was a young man, but after 1000 miles it wasn't even thinking of conforming to my anatomy yet, so I gave up on it. Since then I've avoided Brooks in general. But recently someone pointed out to me that the Team Pro was thicker and stiffer than the B17 line and isn't supposed to break in the same way. So there may be reason for me to revisit Brooks, as well as the other saddles mentioned here.
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Old 06-18-11, 03:55 PM   #21
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The Brooks B17 standard caused a lot of perineum pressure for me, so I cut out the middle based on the concept shown here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/1575054...7614095230958/

Also, I find the ISM Adamo a great saddle for perineum pressure issues.

http://www.ismseat.com/products_typhoon.htm
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Old 06-18-11, 04:10 PM   #22
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This saddle claims to keep your perineal area more comfortable. From what I see it might work........

"Where perineal (crotch) pain and discomfort were once serious and restrictive problem issues for countless numbers of cyclists, RIDO owners are now enjoying the uninhibited freedom of being able to ride as far and as long as their legs and fitness level will take them."

http://www.rido-cyclesaddles.com/sen...2-c100064.html
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Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 06-18-11, 04:58 PM   #23
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I thought this might turn into a saddle thread. I've used most of those saddles already mentioned with various measures of success. Some worked for the perineum issue but then created some chafing problems elsewhere in the mix. I am now using one of the Allay saddles and have been happy with it. I use the least expensive one, the Sport 1.1, which Amazon has for about $60.00. On my cargo bike (a Surly big Dummy) I use a MoonSaddle which puts no pressure at all on perineum but I could never get it adjusted so I felt comfortable using it with my road bikes. It is great for the cargo bike though because I can pretty much hop on it wearing whatever and not have to worry about chafing. I've had pretty good luck trying out saddles and then unloading the ones I didn't like on Ebay.

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Old 06-19-11, 05:42 AM   #24
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10 Wheels, I fixed your pic for you... er... uh... for me, anyway.
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Old 06-19-11, 06:00 AM   #25
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10 wheels, i fixed your pic for you... Er... Uh... For me, anyway. :d

ok

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