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  1. #1
    Senior Member bernmart's Avatar
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    A delicate question. . . .

    My old saddle started causing irritation in the 'taint, so I went shopping. To date I've tried six saddles, and all of them cause the same irritation--this after careful adjustment and careful research. Mind, the issue isn't pressure as such; no numbness, and relief is immediate when I stop cycling, but the area remains irritated for hours thereafter. Cut-out, no cut-out, the problem is the same. It's worse with round-profile saddles (Fizik alliante, Prologo Scratch) than with flat ones (Kontact, which I really want to like, and Specialized Romin). If I use crotch lube it helps for about 25 miles, but that's all unless I quickly re-apply. Nor does it matter which of my shorts I'm wearing.

    So. I posted on this forum because maybe my age has something to do with the problem (I'm 74). Is there a way to toughen up that particular patch of my anatomy? Or. . . ?
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  2. #2
    Senior Member JerrySTL's Avatar
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    I've gone for being able to ride double centuries to barely being able to complete a century in the last 10 years from saddle problems. I tried about a dozen saddles and recently bought an old-school Brooks B-17. It's about broken in and sure feels good. However my problem was around the sit bones and not the taint, so YMMV.

    I'd recommend checking out your bike fit. You may have the seat pointed too far up or even too far down. If down too far you could be sliding forward onto the nose. Reach to the handlebars could also make a difference.

  3. #3
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    dam dude, are you sure you want to be riding a bike? a fall could cause injuries that would last the rest of your life.

    personally, I like my Brooks saddle.
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  4. #4
    Senior Member bernmart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
    dam dude, are you sure you want to be riding a bike? a fall could cause injuries that would last the rest of your life.

    personally, I like my Brooks saddle.
    I'm not sure I'd still be alive if it weren't for the health benefits of cycling; I ride at least six centuries each year, and did about 5000 miles total last year. Take that, whippersnapper!!
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  5. #5
    Senior Member rydabent's Avatar
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    Well------------someone has to jump in here and say it. Buy a recumbent bike or trike. All that kind on pain and irritation will be the thing of the past!

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    Quote Originally Posted by bernmart View Post
    My old saddle started causing irritation in the 'taint, so I went shopping. To date I've tried six saddles, and all of them cause the same irritation--this after careful adjustment and careful research. Mind, the issue isn't pressure as such; no numbness, and relief is immediate when I stop cycling, but the area remains irritated for hours thereafter. Cut-out, no cut-out, the problem is the same. It's worse with round-profile saddles (Fizik alliante, Prologo Scratch) than with flat ones (Kontact, which I really want to like, and Specialized Romin). If I use crotch lube it helps for about 25 miles, but that's all unless I quickly re-apply. Nor does it matter which of my shorts I'm wearing.

    So. I posted on this forum because maybe my age has something to do with the problem (I'm 74). Is there a way to toughen up that particular patch of my anatomy? Or. . . ?
    I know exactly what you are talking about. I am 71 and the wife is 71. Our usual ride is anywhere from 50 miles to 70 miles in a day on the bikes. About 2,500 per year. Riding TREK Multitrack hybrids. A friend we know from the local MUP filled us in on the skin irritation problem. Some rides I would come home raw and burning. Good cycling shorts or liners proved to be a must. We stocked up on Sugoi padded liners or pants. At first I applied the chamois cream directly to my skin in that sensitive area. That did not always take care of the problem. Then our biking friend told use to apply the chamois butter to the padding (chamois), smearing it on before putting the pants or liners on. That did the trick. 50 to 70 miles produced not raw tenderness or burning. Including hot weather rides where there was a good bit of sweat in that area.

    A note here on the subject of chamois butter or creams. When I look at the ingredients in some of these they are similar to a number of the skin creams sold in drug stores. So you might want to think of those products if you can't find the stuff sold to bicycle riders.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bernmart View Post
    ... crotch lube it helps for about 25 miles...Is there a way to toughen up that particular patch of my anatomy?...
    I've tried many saddles too, on many bikes, with many shorts. I've ridden >5,000 miles/year for the past 12 years, in an area with high heat and humidity. I've discovered a $3 tub of Vaseline alleviates most problems, certainly more so than a >$100 shorts or $200 Brooks saddle, for example. Even with greased taint I still get a saddle sore now and then, especially if I'm watching the cyclometer speed reading. Some individuals are more susceptible to saddle sores, etc than others, just like any other athletic-related medical condition.

    I don't think you can appreciably toughen up this area, but you can get more used to the discomfort by simply riding a lot. You could try soaking your perineum in mild tannic acid to make skin tougher. Long distance backpackers and marathon runners have used tannic acid to toughen their feet prior to activity. We did this in the Boy Scouts many years ago before our big annual trip.

  8. #8
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    That Chamois treatment on a Pleather faux-chamois, is only used when I dress up in the Bike shorts..

    on long bike tours I brought Betadyne Surgeons scrub to wash that Sits Place part
    and knock back surface bacteria as best I could...
    seldom felt the need for the goo on the pad. riding daily, for months..

  9. #9
    Free Velo Vol! Dudelsack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    That Chamois treatment on a Pleather faux-chamois, is only used when I dress up in the Bike shorts..

    on long bike tours I brought Betadyne Surgeons scrub to wash that Sits Place part
    and knock back surface bacteria as best I could...
    seldom felt the need for the goo on the pad. riding daily, for months..
    Eeewwww!

  10. #10
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    Suffered from numbness, etc. in my 30's. I used a Brooks saddle and all sorts of other cut-out saddles and adjustments and various voodoo remedies. Finally started on the path of recumbent bikes and never looked back. No more pain/discomfort for me, thank you very much.

  11. #11
    Senior Member osco53's Avatar
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    http://www.ismseat.com/

    or

    http://hostelshoppe.com/


    Time for a Tadpole I would think XD
    Scott Aspect 940 29er, Tour Easy LE, Sun EZ-3 sx, Walmart Thruster :P

  12. #12
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    The bacteria on the skin are the problem, they move into hair follicle pores..

    then they act like an infection..

    clean shorts, daily and clean skin and no problems.. ..

  13. #13
    Senior Member Rwc5830's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bernmart View Post
    I'm not sure I'd still be alive if it weren't for the health benefits of cycling; I ride at least six centuries each year, and did about 5000 miles total last year. Take that, whippersnapper!!
    Hey bernmart, you tell em ;-)

    My best friend is 75 and rides about 8,000 plus miles a year and he can beat most 20-30 year olds!

    Anyway keep working on the saddle and maybe a little tweaking of the fit will help. Don't want to let those young ones catch up with you!!

    Good luck.
    Cycling is an addiction that is worth having; let's go!! South TX Randos www.rgvrandos.org

  14. #14
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    There's two types of saddle issues:
    1. infections: (what fietsbob is referring to), which can mostly be dealt with by impeccable hygiene with perhaps a bit of anti-microbial ointment.

    2. Pressure-related: This is from lack of circulation where too much weight is pressing down on tender parts. Some parts are more tender than others (the nerves and blood vessels in the perineum come to mind) and really shouldn't be carrying any load. However, the tissue between the sitz bones and the skin can also suffer from being crushed for hours on end. There are a few things you can do:
    A. Don't sit still. At least don't sit in the same position for protracted periods. Stand up and change your posture regularly. This comes naturally to the young bucks (whippersnappers) who are constantly climbing hills, but you need to do it too.

    B. Don't sit upright. Sure, there's this huge market for "comfort bikes" and everyone is told that upright is comfortable, but it just isn't so if you insist on riding more than a few miles. Get that torso tipped down a bit and get your load off your bum. This may require a bit of cross-training to strengthen your abdominals, but it is worth it. Note: do not just put your weight on your hands or you will have a more serious problem than a sore bum. This is a bit like solution A in that you are just adding another set of postures to your repertoire. As you bend over, you will be on a different part of those bones that are under your bum, so you can relieve the pressure from your formerly crushed tissue.

    C. Go bent: We're all going to get there eventually. I'm going to go kicking and screaming when my time comes.

  15. #15
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
    There's two types of saddle issues:
    1. infections: (what fietsbob is referring to), which can mostly be dealt with by impeccable hygiene with perhaps a bit of anti-microbial ointment.

    2. Pressure-related: This is from lack of circulation where too much weight is pressing down on tender parts. Some parts are more tender than others (the nerves and blood vessels in the perineum come to mind) and really shouldn't be carrying any load. However, the tissue between the sitz bones and the skin can also suffer from being crushed for hours on end. There are a few things you can do:
    A. Don't sit still. At least don't sit in the same position for protracted periods. Stand up and change your posture regularly. This comes naturally to the young bucks (whippersnappers) who are constantly climbing hills, but you need to do it too.

    B. Don't sit upright. Sure, there's this huge market for "comfort bikes" and everyone is told that upright is comfortable, but it just isn't so if you insist on riding more than a few miles. Get that torso tipped down a bit and get your load off your bum. This may require a bit of cross-training to strengthen your abdominals, but it is worth it. Note: do not just put your weight on your hands or you will have a more serious problem than a sore bum. This is a bit like solution A in that you are just adding another set of postures to your repertoire. As you bend over, you will be on a different part of those bones that are under your bum, so you can relieve the pressure from your formerly crushed tissue.

    C. Go bent: We're all going to get there eventually. I'm going to go kicking and screaming when my time comes.
    +1...except for C. Not a realistic possibility for me.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright

  16. #16
    Senior Member Cyril's Avatar
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    As I got older, the hair on my taint thinned and each hair became thicker and more wirey.
    Perhaps it's the same for you. This, maybe, is what changed your saddle comfort.

  17. #17
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    Just a related aside for the upcoming warm weather for the spring and summer, wash your shorts after each use, as recommended by the maker. This stops bacteria from getting a foothold (or other part of the anatomy) in the cloth, seams or chamois. This gets regular attention at BF usually and I suspect most of the 50+ men and women all take care of this point, still some don't and pay the price in pain and embarrassment. Back to our regularly scheduled thread.

    Bill

  18. #18
    Free Velo Vol! Dudelsack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NOS88 View Post
    +1...except for C. Not a realistic possibility for me.
    That's what I said 18 months ago.

    Its not like you have to dispose of all the other bikes once you get a recumbent. For rides under 20 miles, especially group rides, I ride my LeMonster. Anything longer than that, it's my recumbent.

    My body, especially my sit bones, appreciates it.

  19. #19
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    Have you tried wearing a pair of padded shorts (like the kind of liner shorts that come with MTB cargo shorts) under your main padded shorts/bibs? This is currently what I've been doing since sit bone issues started 5 months ago and it really works for me. It's not noticeable to anyone. I wear them whenever I wear my thinner padded bibs. When I wear my premium bibs, I have no problems and don't have to wear the second pair...so far. I'm on my 4th saddle since getting back on the road bike in July 2012. Current saddle (WTB Pure V race) is working so far; have had it on the bike since this past November. I also slightly lowered my handlebar relative to my seat, which has also helped - bar was level w/ the seat at first. May remove 1 spacer under the stem to lower it again slightly in another few months. Yes, I found that being upright put too much pressure on ther sit bones. Never had any sit bone problems years ago when I raced and did many centuries but my bars were all definitely lower than the seats back then.

  20. #20
    Pedals, Paddles and Poles Daspydyr's Avatar
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    Interesting thread, mainly because I am suffering similar conditions. Please keep posting about the problems and cures. Snarky comments are a pain in the taint!
    I think its disgusting and terrible how people treat Lance Armstrong, especially after winning 7 Tour de France Titles while on drugs!

    I can't even find my bike when I'm on drugs. -Willie N.

  21. #21
    Old. Slow. Happy. MileHighMark's Avatar
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    Round-profile saddles and me don't get along. I've had good results with Selle An-Atomica and WTB Pure V saddles.
    GRAVELBIKE.COM - ride everything

  22. #22
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    A friend of mine had some nether-region issues for months, and now he swears by the Selle An-Atomica saddle, so much that he put them on all 4 of his road bikes.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
    There's two types of saddle issues:
    1. infections: (what fietsbob is referring to), which can mostly be dealt with by impeccable hygiene with perhaps a bit of anti-microbial ointment.

    2. Pressure-related: This is from lack of circulation where too much weight is pressing down on tender parts. Some parts are more tender than others (the nerves and blood vessels in the perineum come to mind) and really shouldn't be carrying any load. However, the tissue between the sitz bones and the skin can also suffer from being crushed for hours on end. There are a few things you can do:
    A. Don't sit still. At least don't sit in the same position for protracted periods. Stand up and change your posture regularly. This comes naturally to the young bucks (whippersnappers) who are constantly climbing hills, but you need to do it too.

    B. Don't sit upright. Sure, there's this huge market for "comfort bikes" and everyone is told that upright is comfortable, but it just isn't so if you insist on riding more than a few miles. Get that torso tipped down a bit and get your load off your bum. This may require a bit of cross-training to strengthen your abdominals, but it is worth it. Note: do not just put your weight on your hands or you will have a more serious problem than a sore bum. This is a bit like solution A in that you are just adding another set of postures to your repertoire. As you bend over, you will be on a different part of those bones that are under your bum, so you can relieve the pressure from your formerly crushed tissue.

    C. Go bent: We're all going to get there eventually. I'm going to go kicking and screaming when my time comes.
    +1 to all of this, save the bent part, at least I'm not there yet.

    Regarding B, this presentation (http://www.junik-hpv.de/assets/downl...All_People.pdf) discusses cycling positions. The researcher says that the key to healthy riding over distance is positioning that maintains the S-curve of the spine. The upright (in motorcycling it used to be called "sit up and beg" position) starts with a straight back that maintains the S-curve, but riders soon are slouched with a collapsed lumbar, after just a few minutes. Hence "comfort bikes" are anything but that. She recommends a more racing cycling position where you fold forward rotating the pelvis rather than bending the back forward, and "good" weight distribution over the feet (I guess your CG should be over the BB?), minimizing saddle pressure in a sustainable way. Then find a saddle that fits your body in that position.

    I know I've been in this balanced, nicely folded position with good weight distribution, and it is indeed comfortable over long SAGGED tours. Right now I'm trying to set up a new distance bike this way, and the saddle I used previously is not doing it for me.

  24. #24
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    Fortunately, my derriere is, thus far, reasonably tolerant of my saddles, one cut-out, one solid. It does, however, have a preference for bike shorts.

    A couple of years ago, I bought a pair of expensive shorts. The quality of these shorts is outstanding. They have not not worn out with a lot of use. At distances in excess of 45 miles, however, these shorts cause some pain. I have a couple of pairs of cheaper shorts with a less-structured chamois, and these shorts will carry me for 100 miles with no problems.

    I've had a couple of saddles that did not work for me, but the construction of the chamois in the shorts is important at least for me.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Terex's Avatar
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    How much do your ride? How long have you been riding? It may be a simple matter of not enough mileage.
    "It could be anything. Scrap booking, high-stakes poker, or the Santa Fe lifestyle. Just pick a dead-end and chill out 'till you die."

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