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  1. #1
    Senior Member KristenGilbert's Avatar
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    Is numbness normal?

    I've been riding 12 miles every day for almost a month, finally got past the sore butt and now I'm developing numbness in my groin area during my ride. I have a women's bike so I assumed the factory bike seat would be for women in particular. Is this due to me doing something wrong or is that just how it is? To not get sore butt anymore, I adjusted the seat pretty high because I have short legs. Any recommendations?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Bontrager's Avatar
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    Try adjusting the tilt and fore/aft position on your seat. Just because it's a woman's bike doesn't mean the seat fits your butt better than it does a guy's butt.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Geoff326's Avatar
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    i tilt the nose of my saddle down a couple degrees, otherwise i get numb
    Cannondale CAAD7

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    It is not normal. You should have someone who knows about bike fitting take a look. I don't understand your comment that you adjusted the seat high because you have short legs...shouldn't it be the opposite or am I missing something?

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    If it's an extra soft comfort bike type seat, you might find that you're better off with a harder one, so you're sitting on your bones, not the whole region.

  6. #6
    45 miles/week Eggplant Jeff's Avatar
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    I agree with zowie. Especially if you're riding a lot (12 miles a day qualifies), a harder seat is better than a soft one. On a soft seat, your bones sink in allowing the seat to press on all your soft bits. On a hard seat, all the pressure is on your bones. It means you'll probably have two sore spots (one on each side) for a short while until you get used to it, but you'll notice the improvement immediately.

    Many many factory seats are very poor for riding extensively, because soft seats feel great on the test ride.

    That being said however, seat adjustment is also very important. Check out sheldon brown's website (www.sheldonbrown.com I think), he's got some good articles on seat adjustment and what can be causing all sorts of discomfort.

  7. #7
    On my TARDIScycle! KingTermite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KristenGilbert
    Sorry. Short legs and achy knees. It's easier for me to ride if I can extend my legs.
    I think you misunderstand.....do not lower the seat, lower the angle of the nose on the seat.
    Quote Originally Posted by coffeecake View Post
    - it's pretty well established that Hitler was an *******.

  8. #8
    Senior Member KristenGilbert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by velogirl
    It is not normal. You should have someone who knows about bike fitting take a look. I don't understand your comment that you adjusted the seat high because you have short legs...shouldn't it be the opposite or am I missing something?
    Sorry, short legs and achy knees if I use them wrong. I have an easier ride if I can extend my legs more.

  9. #9
    Senior Member KristenGilbert's Avatar
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    Thanks for everyone's advice, I really appreciate it.

  10. #10
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Take care that your clothes aren't bunching up cutting off blood
    flow in your femoral artery. Tight undergarments can do this as
    you ride so wear loose clothing or wear lycra skin tights
    to avoid this conern.

  11. #11
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    Your weight should be on your "sit bones", not your crotch. To get your weight back onto your sit bones:

    1. Get a saddle that is "dead flat" from side to side, and flat from front to back.

    2. Get a saddle that is firmly padded, so that your sit bones don't sink into the padding, putting weight on your crotch.

    3. Get a saddle that has a wide "cut-out" between the sit bone area.

    The saddles that consistently combine those three features are the Specialized Body Geometry saddles. Get a version that is as wide as your rear, not one of those skinny models the "pretend racers" use in their endlessly silly attempts to "be like Lance".

    Most importantly, your hands need to be as high as the top of your saddle. That allows your pelvis to be upright, with the pressure on your sit bones, where it belongs. If your hands are postioned two or three inches below the top surface of the saddle, that will tilt your pelvis forward, putting pressure on your crotch.

    The "boy racers" will inform you that raising the bars to the height of the saddle might cut your time in a one hour time trial by eight or ten seconds. Do you plan on entering any time trials soon? If you are comfortable, you will ride more miles, and feel better AFTER a ride than before a ride. THAT beats saving "eight seconds" in a time trial.

  12. #12
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    If your knees hurt, make sure you aren't pushing big (hard) gears. Spin, baby!

  13. #13
    Senior Member Jason Curtiss's Avatar
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    I, too, recommend the Specialized Body Geometry saddles. I have one on my Bianchi Premio and can ride in crotch-comfort for 100 miles, maybe even longer.

    Jason

  14. #14
    Senior Member KristenGilbert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tightwad
    Take care that your clothes aren't bunching up cutting off blood
    flow in your femoral artery. Tight undergarments can do this as
    you ride so wear loose clothing or wear lycra skin tights
    to avoid this conern.
    I wear very loose clothing. I bike to work in a t-shirt and loose shorts. When it gets colder, I'll wear lycra running pants.

  15. #15
    Senior Member KristenGilbert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by velogirl
    If your knees hurt, make sure you aren't pushing big (hard) gears. Spin, baby!
    Teach me more. So, the lower the gear, the less strain on knees? This past month as been the only time I've ridden a bike as an adult. It just wasn't this complicated when I was a kid. But, I've got more at stake if I injure myself.

  16. #16
    I can't find my pants mirona's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KristenGilbert
    Teach me more. So, the lower the gear, the less strain on knees? This past month as been the only time I've ridden a bike as an adult. It just wasn't this complicated when I was a kid. But, I've got more at stake if I injure myself.
    You are a good candidate for some learnin' from Sheldon Brown! http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gears.html

  17. #17
    KombuchaCHIC Shadiyah's Avatar
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    Hi Kristen! <---Heather

    I'm so impressed with what you're doing! Kudos to you!!

  18. #18
    Senior Member KristenGilbert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadiyah
    Hi Kristen! <---Heather

    I'm so impressed with what you're doing! Kudos to you!!
    Haha! You found me on here. Thanks sweetness. I'm loving it SOOO much. I need to personally thank Joe for introducing me to this new lifestyle. I would have never thought of it if I had never met him.

  19. #19
    Senior Member KristenGilbert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mirona
    You are a good candidate for some learnin' from Sheldon Brown! http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gears.html
    Dumb ass punks at the bike shop. I asked them to give me a quick tutorial or recommended site to learn more about the gears and they said it didn't matter. Thanks. All the experienced people on here have been a huge help. I can't wait to be that person who has accrued the great knowledge of biking and can pass it off on others.

  20. #20
    KombuchaCHIC Shadiyah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KristenGilbert
    Haha! You found me on here. Thanks sweetness. I'm loving it SOOO much. I need to personally thank Joe for introducing me to this new lifestyle. I would have never thought of it if I had never met him.

    Too cool! Joe is an awesome guy, isn't he? I'm really wanting to do what you're doing, too! I need to buy a bike still...but an affordable one!

  21. #21
    I can't find my pants mirona's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KristenGilbert
    Dumb ass punks at the bike shop. I asked them to give me a quick tutorial or recommended site to learn more about the gears and they said it didn't matter. Thanks. All the experienced people on here have been a huge help. I can't wait to be that person who has accrued the great knowledge of biking and can pass it off on others.
    It's sad when walking into some places like this and being a female can attract so much ignorance. There are a few ladies I know that have this happen to them and they're never taken seriously. It would be a good idea to find another shop where they'll appreciate your fine currency.

    If you're looking to gain some knowledge, that Sheldon Brown site is a great place to start. Just get exploring and you'll learn so much. Another good source is http://draco.acs.uci.edu/rbfaq/FAQ/ Has a lot of tech stuff, but also other practical information. And, of course, stick to these forums and you'll find out all you need to know.

  22. #22
    Senior Member KristenGilbert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mirona
    It's sad when walking into some places like this and being a female can attract so much ignorance. There are a few ladies I know that have this happen to them and they're never taken seriously. It would be a good idea to find another shop where they'll appreciate your fine currency.

    If you're looking to gain some knowledge, that Sheldon Brown site is a great place to start. Just get exploring and you'll learn so much. Another good source is http://draco.acs.uci.edu/rbfaq/FAQ/ Has a lot of tech stuff, but also other practical information. And, of course, stick to these forums and you'll find out all you need to know.
    Being here where everything is bike friendly, a new bike shop won't be hard to find. I just go there because the bike I bought came with a 1 year warranty which I thought I'd need learning how to use the bike. So far, I've broken the chain. I'll never do that again.

    Just starting to read on the Sheldon Brown site, I've learned this: "Inexperienced cyclists often pedal at a cadence that is too slow, (too high a gear.) They sometimes think that this is better exercise, because they have to push harder on the pedals. This is an illusion." THIS is why my knees hurt sometimes when I ride. Thank you so much again. I really appreciate your help.

  23. #23
    Frosted Flake
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    Numbness is not normal, unless of course you're married.. Just couldn't resist, sorry. And no, it's still not normal. I'll agree with the firmer seat advice, it's worth a try. And on the topic of sore knees, it sometimes doesn't take much adjustment to make a big difference. I shifted my seat ahead about an inch (or less) and immediately felt more pressure on my knees. I was lucky when I got mine, everything seemed to fit me to a T, most aren't that lucky.

    Try tweaking one thing at a time for a few days, and see if it works for you. You proabably just need to fine tune a few things and you'll be fine. Have fun !!
    It's either old age or I need more suspension...

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  24. #24
    Senior Member
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    Sheldon Brown is The Man when it comes to everything bike-like. He's even on these forums, so if you wander over the mechanical section, you can see his actual typing! Very exciting for us bike geeks.

    We're here for questions, so ask away. By the way, you might want to invest in some padded cycling shorts. I wouldn't skimp on them. You touch your bike in three places: hands, netherregions, and feet. Take care of them all (and your head-wear a helmet).

  25. #25
    wildjim
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    Quote Originally Posted by KristenGilbert
    I've been riding 12 miles every day for almost a month, finally got past the sore butt and now I'm developing numbness in my groin area during my ride. I have a women's bike so I assumed the factory bike seat would be for women in particular. Is this due to me doing something wrong or is that just how it is? To not get sore butt anymore, I adjusted the seat pretty high because I have short legs. Any recommendations?
    I set my saddle with a level to be level.

    Recently I purchased a new bicycle; which has a WTB saddle with a lot of curves; which made it difficult to level. The front of the saddle would rub and irratate my groin after about 15 miles. I have since adjusted the nose of the saddle down a very slight amount and viola! no problem at all on a 45 miles ride yesterday.

    I prefer a small racing type saddle that doesn't rub me anywhere; rather just a place to sit. It seems to be the most comfortable on long rides.

    Anyway saddles and saddle position is one of the most personal items in cycling.

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