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Old 06-27-03, 08:48 AM   #1
Jesper
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Male saddle problem

Hi,

Whenever I ride I experience pressure on the root of my penis from the nose of the saddle. As a result I end up sitting uncentered on the saddle so that my penis and scrotum falls on one side of the nose.

Today I went on a 15 mile ride on a new Brooks B17 which I had high hopes for. But alas, the rock-hard nose really crushed my jewels. I still feel like somebody kicked my in the balls!!

I tried adjusting the tilt during the ride. With the saddle level or slightly up it felt pretty good on my seat bones but unbearable on the root of my penis. With the nose down it would feel a little better, but I would slide off the saddle.

As I understand it, the breaking in of a Brooks primarily consists of dimples forming under the seat bones. Since this is not the problem I doubt it will get much better. Or??

Intuitively, it seems like a cut-out saddle would be the solution, but I hate gimmicky things like that. People could ride bikes fine before they were invented so why can't I :confused:

Suggestions are most welcome,

Jesper
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Old 06-27-03, 09:00 AM   #2
bradw
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I experienced something like the problem you mention.

I also tried tilting the saddle and it also didn't help.

I thought briefly about a Brooks saddle, but it seemed to me too that it wasn't going to relieve pressure in the right places.

So I got one of the cutout saddles. It's from Trek, and it has some extra cushioning, but I've put several hundred miles on it. Actually I have two of them: one on my road bike and one on the MTB.

For the first time ever I do not have problems with my saddle.
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Old 06-27-03, 09:05 AM   #3
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Thats no way to treat a Brooks. Take the saddle out for a few shorter rides during the first 3 weeks. The whole saddle will soften up a little and conform during that time. At first I felt like I was sliding back and forward all over the place.

How low are your bars compared to your saddle, and how stretched out are you? You may also want to reconsider the tilt of your hips. If you rotate your hips to tuck your tailbone in, this will present your sit-bones to the saddle rather than your squishy parts. It feels odd at first, but is a standard part of body re-alignment using Tai Chi or Alexander Technique.
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Old 06-27-03, 09:09 AM   #4
Joe Gardner
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How many miles do you have on your bike? I think everyone is going to feel a bit of pain for the first few hundred miles. Also, keep your seat level, I use a broom stick to make sure my saddle is perfectly level.

I have a Pro Link saddle on my bike, with the cut out. I also have thought about going to a brooks saddle, but i have no complaints about my current setup.

BTW, People lived without electricity for thousands of times, why use it now? Technology is used to make our lives better, the hole in the seat makes my life easier, not just a gimmick.
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Old 06-27-03, 09:22 AM   #5
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Saddles with holes in were invented over a hundred years ago. Like most bike developements, from clipless pedals to integrated headsets, they keep being re-invented. If cutout saddles work for you, go ahead and ride them.
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Old 06-27-03, 09:24 AM   #6
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Are you wearing cycling shorts when you this happens? They tend to keep the boys under control. I’ve had a painful experience or two while wearing loose shorts. Sitting down too fast (in the loose shorts) after an out of the saddle sprint and crushing things.
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Old 06-27-03, 09:41 AM   #7
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I'm betting that Jespers would be one of those
guys being described as having "no butt". Not getting
personal here, but I'm the same way, no padding back there
(well very little) so distance between sitbones and perineum
is pretty small, causes lots of pressure on sensitive areas.
The answer is either cut out saddle (I have a trans am on
my trek) or Brooks (have on my daily rider).
It took alot of tweaking to get the brooks right.
Some suggestions:
RAISE YOUR BARS. who cares if it looks geeky, you don't need
3 inches (or more) of drop on your bars if your not racing.
Higher bars will mean less rotation of hips, less forward
lean, less pressure.
I agree with MichaelW about reach also, you may want to
consider a slightly shorter stem so you are not quite so
stretched out.

Brooks saddles should have a very minimal uptilt of nose
say 2 or 3 degrees, if its too much try less tilt till you get it
right.
I'm betting you have (in addition to skinny Butt) significant drop
and long reach.

good luck,
Marty
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Old 06-27-03, 09:50 AM   #8
Jesper
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Thank you for the replies

Joe:
I am trying to get started again after some knee problems, so I don't really have any riding time on the bike. But when I rode more it was more or less the same. Besides, more ride time gives stronger butt muscles, not a flat scrotum right?

Michael:
This is not my first Brooks. It replaces a Swift that I destroyed using too much Proofide and fiddling with the tension. I figured I would give the wider B17 a try and I can feel that if I could solve the crotch-pressure problem it would support my sit-bones very nicely.

I think you are on to something in the second part of your reply. I have low flexibilty in the back of my thighs and in my lower back. I am working on this but it takes a long time for results to show.

My bike is a roadbike with the bars about 3" lower than the saddle. My current setup does not allow for a smaller difference. I will have to look into getting another stem.

I am not very stretched out on the bike but I usually tilt my hips opposite off what you suggests to get a straight back, but now that you point it out it doesn't make much sense.

Jesper
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Old 06-27-03, 09:54 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by lotek
I'm betting that Jespers would be one of those
guys being described as having "no butt".
I don't know about Jespers, but I definitely have a butt. Not saying it's attractive or anything, but it's ample enough. And I find standard saddles to be uncomfortable in the same way he describes.

My guess is that there is variation in the male anatomy, and that for most guys a standard saddle works just fine. For others that same saddle presses against all the wrong places. And of course for some there is a need to modify riding position before finding true saddle nirvana.
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Old 06-27-03, 10:07 AM   #10
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wow - two replies while I was typing!

Marty, you absolutely correct. I am 6'1" and weigh 154 lbs which equals "skinny butt" (although it has been known to receive complimentary remarks while riding )

I will have to get over the "geeky" look and get a high-rise stem until I develop better flexibilty.

I have always though that a rounded back while riding was undesirable, but maybe this only goes if you are flexible?

Jesper
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Old 06-28-03, 11:42 PM   #11
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"People could ride bikes fine before they were invented so why can't I"-
People can climb the Alps with a one speed, but when there are 28+ why try?
I use a cut out seat and it works great.

6'1" and 154, and I thought I was skinny.

Jeff
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Old 06-29-03, 01:00 AM   #12
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Have you tried the positioning fore and aft of the saddle? perhaps sliding it forwards would help?

Brendon
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Old 06-29-03, 01:56 PM   #13
John C. Ratliff
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Just a couple of points:

--A nose-down attitude for the saddle can place more pressure on the soft tissues, by allowing your rear to slide down the saddle. A level or very slight upwards orientation of the saddle will allow you to slide back onto the wider part of the saddle, and take pressure off the soft parts. Use a level to determine whether it is level or not, and not the relationship to the bicycle.

--Try getting your bars at least level with the saddle. That really does help. You can ride in the drops more, and maintain aerodynamics when necessary by simply bending your elbows. But you can also get up and take pressure off the back by riding on the top of the bars. You can also look around, which really helps in traffic.

--I've got a leather saddle on one bike, and a split (Specialized) saddle on the other. When the leather saddle is well broken-in, it works great. The problem is getting there. People say not to put oil onto a leather saddle, as this will destroy the saddle, and it will...in about twenty years. But there are immediate gains in comfort, and in break-in time. It still takes many miles (200-500) to break in. I put my leather saddle into a bag of oil for three days (it wasn't filled, but the excess oil stayed in the bag), then took it out and used it on a Schwinn Airdyne for about 500 miles. That was over 15 years ago, and I'm still using it. I've never since put any oil onto it. Mine is not a Brooks saddle, but a Wrights leather saddle. I believe it was made in England, and may not now be available. I got it for about $7 at the LBS, as they couldn't sell it. It was too hard for comfort. Now, it's a great saddle. It gives nicely when I hit a bump, and I don't get the penal discomfort that occurs from same cheap saddles. But, it still is not as comfortable as my Specialized split saddle.

Good luck,

John

Last edited by John C. Ratliff; 06-29-03 at 02:35 PM.
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Old 06-29-03, 02:12 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by John C. Ratliff
A level or very slight upwards orientation of the saddle will allow you to slide back onto the wider part of the saddle, and take pressure off the soft parts.
This is an excellent point, and one which is allowing me to ride further. It was only when I had stepped up my mileage to 50 miles per ride that I started getting saddle sores. It was while reading the selle italia website when it mentioned that adjusting the pitch of the saddle slightly to the rear can help, and it has.

Hope this helps, Portent.
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