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Old 12-06-09, 12:21 AM   #1
That Linux Guy
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male part falls asleep while riding extended periods.

I know it might sound stupid but I'm being serious when I say that my... well, "it" goes to sleep when I'm riding for more than 30 minutes or so. I don't really notice it until I get off the seat at a stoplight or crosswalk. By the time I get riding again, it's waking up and it's terribly discomforting.

Go ahead and laugh if you want to. I find it hilarious in it's own way and I would laugh if someone else said this too.

I'm curious to know if this is common of if it's just me? I figured it's because of my bike seat. I've been kind of looking to replace my seat anyway and was curious if anyone has any recommendations. I've tried a larger more plush cruiser seat but it had it's issues too. I've realized that these seats are shorter and wider because of the more upright riding position of a cruiser bike, hence the longer, slimmer seats on MTBs and Roadies due to the more forward position. I've been told my rear is rather bony so I'm looking for plusher seat than normal. Any ideas to my issue or a good seat replacement?

Any ideas or advice is appreciated.
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Old 12-06-09, 01:15 AM   #2
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Just say penis or testicles.
It has happened to a fair number of riders. Not I but many others.
Make sure you are sitting on your sit bones and avoid plush saddles. You want support.
I am unsure what would be recommended for a cruiser.
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Old 12-06-09, 03:19 AM   #3
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I'm new to this forum but not new to forums in general. I'm still learning what I can and can't say. Good to know and thanks for the tip.

Avoid plush saddles? I can understand wanting support but wouldn't that hurt or do your bones just kind of get used to it? If my arse does hurt after a ride, does that simply mean my saddle isn't right for me or isn't adjusted right?

I think I may have been unclear in my original post. I ride a mountain bike, and I'm looking for something I can also take to my road bike when I get one. As for my exact problem, my penis goes to sleep when riding extended periods. No problems with the testicles though, which is what's confusing me. Does it make a difference that I usually wear jeans when I ride?
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Old 12-06-09, 03:21 AM   #4
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My advice... move around in the saddle. It has worked for me!
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Old 12-06-09, 07:11 AM   #5
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Simple. You are cutting off blood/oxygen supply. Make sure you have the right saddle width. Adjust the saddle angle to level, give it a try. If that does nothing, try tipping it slightly up or down to find the position that fits you best.
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Old 12-06-09, 07:43 AM   #6
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Simple, try a different saddle or reposition the one you have.

Numbness is a tell-tale sign that something isn't fitting you quite right.
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Old 12-06-09, 08:10 AM   #7
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It's the saddle. The plush saddles literally compress everything and cut off circulation. People think they're more comfortable, and they are in the beginning, but you're experiencing what can happen. Go buy a racing saddle. They look uncomfy (and are for a week or two) but your sit bones will adapt and youll find this issue goes away. The racing saddles are much easier to maneuver yourself around when having to brake, accelerate or do other weight shifts on the bike. Good luck.
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Old 12-06-09, 08:20 AM   #8
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Bike shorts, keep the saddle level or with the nose tipped down just a bit.
Stand up once in a while to let the blood flow.
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Old 12-06-09, 08:48 AM   #9
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Longissimus has it. You want to be supporting yourself on the ischial tuberosities of your pelvis. This means the seat needs to have a solid spot underneath them. A lot of seats these days have cutouts in between, so that nothing is putting pressure on your, ahem, man-parts. It's also possible you've got the seat at a funny angle. The top of the seat should be horizontal or very near to it.
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Old 12-06-09, 08:51 AM   #10
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Always refer to the offending member as Mr. Johnson.
What you describe is very common. Among male cyclists, that is.
The advice to move around is key. Take weight off your seat regularly; rising up just a little for a moment should help a lot.
I use a WTB Rocket V Race saddle on my hybrid and tandem. Quite comfortable.
NPS (Medical Terminology is Numb Pecker Syndrome) never ever never happens on a recumbent bike.
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Old 12-06-09, 09:17 AM   #11
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You should not be able to feel the nose of the saddle underneath you in your normal riding position. If you do, tilt it down until you don't.
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Old 12-06-09, 03:28 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adamrice View Post
Longissimus has it. You want to be supporting yourself on the ischial tuberosities of your pelvis. This means the seat needs to have a solid spot underneath them. A lot of seats these days have cutouts in between, so that nothing is putting pressure on your, ahem, man-parts. It's also possible you've got the seat at a funny angle. The top of the seat should be horizontal or very near to it.
You have determined this without seeing the seat and it's position? A seat that fits properly and is fitted properly will not cause his issue.
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Old 12-06-09, 03:32 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
NPS (Medical Terminology is Numb Pecker Syndrome) never ever never happens on a recumbent bike.
+1

We may look funny while riding but at least we're not walking funny after we're done riding.
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Old 12-06-09, 03:33 PM   #14
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Improper support of your sit bones results in pressure on the perineal area which is where blood vessels and nerves reside... plush saddles do not offer proper support and will cause this pressure and the resulting numbness.
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Old 12-06-09, 04:00 PM   #15
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The solution for me is spelled: B_R_O_O_K_S. YMMV.
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Old 12-06-09, 04:51 PM   #16
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The solution for me is spelled: B_R_O_O_K_S. YMMV.
YMMV indeed. Brooks = asshatchet for me.
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Old 12-06-09, 05:10 PM   #17
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From MSNBC:

If we didn’t feel discomfort, we wouldn’t adjust our position — and harm could result.



WHAT CAUSES those pins and needles? Dr. Robert Daroff, a professor of neurology at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, explains that when sustained pressure is exerted on a portion of your leg, or any distal limb, one of two things usually happens. In some cases, arteries can become compressed, making them unable to supply local tissues and nerve cells with the nutrients (mainly oxygen and glucose) they need to function properly.

Other times, nerve pathways can become blocked, preventing normal transmission of electrochemical impulses to the brain. Some of the nerves, starved or pinched or both, stop firing while others fire hyperactively. This leads to mixed signals being sent to the brain, where they are interpreted as burning, prickling or tingling feelings. It is these sensations, known medically as paresthesia, that alert you to move your foot.
When you do so, the pressure on your arteries and nerves is released. As nutrient-rich blood flows back into the area and nerve cells start firing more regularly, the “pins and needles” feeling often intensifies until the neurons re-establish their normal transmission of electrochemical impulses.
True, this is an uncomfortable process, but it’s actually beneficial. If we didn’t feel discomfort, we wouldn’t adjust our position — and harm could result. “Permanent damage can occur if blood flow is restricted and nerves are compressed for many hours,” according to Daroff.
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Old 12-06-09, 05:14 PM   #18
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I never had THAT problem as long as I had the saddle tilted UP a hair. Level or tilted down at all would cause me to slide onto the nose. Then I DID get the problem. +1 to the recumbent; but it's an expensive fix, so you should try other saddles first.
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Old 12-06-09, 07:11 PM   #19
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I appreciate all the awesome advice guys. I've been away from the computer today but I didn't except 18 replies! All great info and I appreciate all the tips (no pun intended).

I took a pic of my bike's seat. Here's my seat and how it's positioned currently.





If I'm understanding correctly, I should try angling my seat forward more to try and alleviate the "NPS" (love the name by the way!) syndrome? Or would a more appropriate seat be the better fix?

Last edited by That Linux Guy; 12-06-09 at 07:15 PM.
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Old 12-06-09, 07:25 PM   #20
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If you tip the saddle down then you will constantly be sliding forward. You will have to push back with your arms, tiring them more. Or you slide forward and sit on the narrow nose of the saddle and that will put more pressure on the pudendal nerve, not less. That's what makes your unit go numb. It's a bad idea.

You want to be sitting on the "sit bones" and not on the pudendal nerve in the center. If you're not, you need a different shaped saddle, one which is flatter side to side. Some saddles have center cutouts or depressions to eliminate pressure on the nerve. They work well for me. I am particular partial to the Specialized Toupe road saddle. They make less expensive models as well. But everyone's got a different fit, so what works for one rider may not work for another.

I agree that you should not be looking for a squishy saddle. Your sit bones will sink in and then you're putting pressure on that nerve again.

Finally, stand up every so often.
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Old 12-06-09, 07:30 PM   #21
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Always refer to the offending member as Mr. Johnson.
What you describe is very common. Among male cyclists, that is.
The advice to move around is key. Take weight off your seat regularly; rising up just a little for a moment should help a lot.
I use a WTB Rocket V Race saddle on my hybrid and tandem. Quite comfortable.
NPS (Medical Terminology is Numb Pecker Syndrome) never ever never happens on a recumbent bike.
A second vote for WTB saddles on an upright. I have them on 4 of my 5 upright bikes.

Jan- it can happen on a recumbent. I was out for a ride this afternoon- 35 degrees with 15 to 20mph headwinds. When I got home, my feet were frozen and Mr. Johnson was Very Blue.
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Old 12-06-09, 07:36 PM   #22
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I appreciate all the awesome advice guys. I've been away from the computer today but I didn't except 18 replies! All great info and I appreciate all the tips (no pun intended).

I took a pic of my bike's seat. Here's my seat and how it's positioned currently.
...
If I'm understanding correctly, I should try angling my seat forward more to try and alleviate the "NPS" (love the name by the way!) syndrome? Or would a more appropriate seat be the better fix?
Ummm... try this: it's an old, worn-out seat, it's sway-backed, and it wasn't good quality to begin with. It's toast now, and it's about as supportive as sitting on toast. Get thee to a bike shop, and start shopping for a new one.

Bike shops around here have boxes of lightly-used saddles that others have tried out and discarded. If there's one near you, this is an easy way to try out different brands.
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Old 12-06-09, 07:41 PM   #23
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I used to have that problem. No longer. I am using a saddle that fits, with a nice big cutout. Works really well.
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Old 12-06-09, 08:09 PM   #24
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A second vote for WTB saddles on an upright. I have them on 4 of my 5 upright bikes.

Jan- it can happen on a recumbent. I was out for a ride this afternoon- 35 degrees with 15 to 20mph headwinds. When I got home, my feet were frozen and Mr. Johnson was Very Blue.
I stand corrected. Not caused by the seat, though, was it? Mr. Wind Chill was the likely culprit.
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Old 12-06-09, 08:12 PM   #25
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Not all 'plush' saddles will cause this problem, just like not all 'ergonomic' (split or relief in the center) will alleviate it. Saddle comfort is a personal thing. Everyone is different.

I have wide sit bones, so anything below 155mm width is trouble; I've tried a variety, and plan to try some more.

What has not worked:
Specialized BG Comfort (nose does not roll over like standard men's saddle, 'stabs' the scrotum)
Specialized BG Sonoma (accelerates numbness, regardless of angle)
Nashbar MTB saddle (just poor all around)

What has worked:
Specialized BG Milano

What I will try in the near future:
WTB Speed V
Selle Italia Shiver

The most important part is to get fit, get your sit-bone measurement. Mounting the saddle as close to level as possible is the best start. (2-bolt seat clamps offer infinite adjustment, single-bolts rarely do.)
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