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    Member KnurledNut's Avatar
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    Physical issue when riding

    I'm sure this has happened to others, but it's scaring me. My penis and surrounding area are becoming numb about halfway through my ride. If I stop and get off the bike sensation returns. Any ideas?

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    I heart moonsaddle cyclebee's Avatar
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    Noseless saddle

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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    stick to beach cruisers

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    Don't go on any long tours until you get this remedied. This is important!

    I'm thinking seat angle, different seat or maybe a posture thing. I'm sure a decent bike shop can help you figure this out.

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    Senior Member Dave Cutter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KnurledNut View Post
    I'm sure this has happened to others, but it's scaring me. My penis and surrounding area are becoming numb about halfway through my ride. If I stop and get off the bike sensation returns. Any ideas?
    I'd think if my penis became numb... that would be the END of the ride... not the halfway point. That's serious stuff.

    They make saddles with cut-outs that may give you some relief (I use one). Some position/fit adjustments might also be of some help. Don't ignore this.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    I used to have that issue. It went away when I started using Brooks saddles. Now I mostly ride recumbents. YMMV.
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  7. #7
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    You probably know that the medical term is Numb Pecker Syndrome. Don't know what the ICD-9 code is.
    What can help? Different saddle, change of positions, change of riding style, change of bike, etc. One suggestion: Periodically, stop pedaling and get up out of the saddle for a moment or two. Or try pedaling out of the saddle once in a while. Do one or the other regularly.
    If you are new to cycling, gradual acclimatization to longer rides should help you. Assuming your saddle is reasonably OK and your bike fits you.

    I ride recumbent bikes - seat pressure is spread out over my entire seat/butt and back instead of just in the vicinity of the ischial tuberosities. No NPS here for several years - minimal issue before going 'bent, as I had found the WTB Rocket V Race saddle to work well on two bikes..
    Last edited by JanMM; 08-03-14 at 12:48 PM.
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    Senior Member brianmcg123's Avatar
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    You need a saddle that fits.
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    Member KnurledNut's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tips about a different saddle. I'm looking at them now, specifically the ARS saddle that supposed to alleviate all these pressure areas.


    @fietsbob - was that a dig because i'm fat and a newbie?

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    apocryphal sobriquet J.C. Koto's Avatar
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    You didn't mention what saddle you currently use but I bet it has cushioning that puts pressure on the soft tissue of the perineum region and that's probably what's causing your problem.

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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    No, Its a Florida thing .. you never said what kind of saddle you had , so I suggested a wide saddle and a casual bike and riding style .

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    Quote Originally Posted by KnurledNut View Post
    Thanks for the tips about a different saddle. I'm looking at them now, specifically the ARS saddle that supposed to alleviate all these pressure areas.


    @fietsbob - was that a dig because i'm fat and a newbie?
    What saddle do you have? If you don't know, was it stock with the bike? If so, what bike do you have?

    Ignore Fietsbob. Everyone else does.
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    It's a common problem and related to blood circulation down there. The remedy can be as simple as looser shorts, or changing saddle position (move the point of support back more), to changing the shape of the saddle.

    Experiment with the cheapest remedies first then consider springing for a fit consultation with a focus on addressing the issue.
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    Member KnurledNut's Avatar
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    Yup, it's the stock saddle on a Jamis Hudson. I've been looking at those ARS saddles which take the pressure off my man bits and allow circulation again.

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    I bet it's not really your man bits as you say as it is just the saddle being too padded. It's not going to be easy to point you to the right saddle as it's a personal choice, but look for something with not much padding and get some cycling shorts with the built in chamois. You may need to get a few saddles until you find the right one and it will hurt less on your rear end as you toughen up, but it will get better. I suspect once you get something that isn't pinching off the blood flow and nerves in that area, you will no longer experience the numbness.
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  16. #16
    Daily Rider Robert C's Avatar
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    My first suggestion is to find a bike shop that has a real fit specialist on staff. Unfortunately, most fit specialists are not very good; as such, it really is luck of the draw.

    My second suggestion is what I did. Look into recumbent bicycles; some will be just as fast as, or faster than, a traditional bike, and nearly all will be more comfortable..
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  17. #17
    Senior Member wolfchild's Avatar
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    Don't worry about it...After you finish your ride just have an intense jack off session to restore back the blood circulation.

  18. #18
    Senior Member GravelMN's Avatar
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    I don't know the OP's level of knowledge on the subject so forgive me if this is too basic, but others reading the thread may benefit. A good starting point is to take a short ride on your bike not wearing a chamois. Pay particular attention to where you feel pressure from your saddle.

    Bike Fit: My first thought with any pain/numbness issues is always bike fit. It doesn't do any good to go swapping saddles unless the bike is properly fit in the first place. There are good print and online resources for basic bike fitting, many clubs and LBSs also have individuals who can help you out. You can get expensive highly-detailed fittings but a basic fitting with knowledgeable guidance or good references will get you in the ball park. Once you know that your saddle height and position are good, and that the bike fits reasonably well, you can address other issues.

    Saddle: Lots of people, myself included when I started out, make the mistake of thinking that a wider, softer saddle will solve problems with soreness/numbness in the nether regions. The opposite is more often true. Soft saddles spread the pressure off the bottom of the pelvic bones, where it belongs, and onto the surrounding soft tissues where the nerves and blood supply are. With a proper saddle, the only sore spots should be directly under the sit bones and those spots will toughen up with training. Another mistake is to assume that because a saddle is popular or expensive, that it is better. Some quality saddles have well earned reputations, but everyone is different and if a particular saddle doesn't work for you, it doesn't work, no matter how many other riders swear by it. My saddle of choice is the Specialized Avatar. I've tried other saddles, including more expensive and popular models, but this one works for me and is comfortable for 100+ miles at a time.

    Shorts/Bibs: Like saddles, excessive padding in your shorts is not your friend. A thinner, dense, well designed chamois in good fitting shorts can help keep the man-parts safely away from getting squashed, pinched, or bounced about. Shorts should be tight enough to fit smoothly with little or no wrinkle or sag anywhere, but there is no reason for an uncomfortably tight fit. Some athletes like compression fits, but even those must be well designed to not compress that which should not be compressed.

    Riding Style: No matter what style of bike you have, you should not ride heavy in the saddle. Your weight should be distributed among your feet, backside, and hands. You should be able to easily lift your bum off the saddle or you hands off the bar without a major shift in body position forward or back. Get out of the saddle from time to time, stand for several pedal strokes every few minutes and take a break off the bike once in a while, before things go numb if possible.

    Talk to a Medical Professional: If good fit, good shorts, good saddle, and good riding style don't solve the problem, talk to a sports oriented physiologist or physician. Many sports medicine clinics have individuals well versed in the problems of runners, cyclists, and other athletes.

    Recumbent Bikes: While the majority of people can comfortably ride diamond frame bikes, some individuals prefer recumbents and for some people they are the only bike they can ride. There are a lot of cool recumbents available and, though I personally prefer a traditional upright bike, I can certainly see the appeal.

    Whatever you do, don't ignore the problem and ride thinking it will get better. You can train to toughen up a sore backside, but you can't train away compromises to your nerves or blood supply. If you don't properly address the problem you could cause serious injury. IMHO, there is a very good chance that a solution can be found.
    Last edited by GravelMN; 08-03-14 at 07:52 PM.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
    You probably know that the medical term is Numb Pecker Syndrome. Don't know what the ICD-9 code is.
    What can help? Different saddle, change of positions, change of riding style, change of bike, etc. One suggestion: Periodically, stop pedaling and get up out of the saddle for a moment or two. Or try pedaling out of the saddle once in a while. Do one or the other regularly.
    If you are new to cycling, gradual acclimatization to longer rides should help you. Assuming your saddle is reasonably OK and your bike fits you.

    I ride recumbent bikes - seat pressure is spread out over my entire seat/butt and back instead of just in the vicinity of the ischial tuberosities. No NPS here for several years - minimal issue before going 'bent, as I had found the WTB Rocket V Race saddle to work well on two bikes..
    I think that I would be disturbed (and start walking instead of riding) if their was an ICD-9 code for "NPS."
    "I ride just like Eddy Merckx: only not as fast, or as far."- My friend John

  20. #20
    Senior Member Wilfred Laurier's Avatar
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    i get this from certain saddles
    generally ones with a more rounded profile
    when viewed from the rear
    and ones with more padding

    but adjusting saddle angle
    and ensuring saddle height is correct
    are quick and free things to try

    and
    when ridnig and numbness or related sensations begin
    don't wait for the end of the ride
    either stand up for a minute or so
    or stop and take a break off the bike

    nobody has a *** [edit] fire arm to your head
    telling you to stay in the saddle
    presumably

  21. #21
    Senior Member bbbean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KnurledNut View Post
    I'm sure this has happened to others, but it's scaring me. My penis and surrounding area are becoming numb about halfway through my ride. If I stop and get off the bike sensation returns. Any ideas?
    I had that issue until I got properly fitted and bought a saddle with a center groove (i.e.m reduced pressure on the perineum. In the meantime, make it a point to stand up every 10 or 20 minutes to be sure you're getting good bloodflow.

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    I changed the seat angle (from parallel, to dropping the front down) on my current stock saddle and it took care of everything, but can't wait to get a new saddle.

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