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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 03-29-14, 12:36 PM   #1
Xsive
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After a long ride, the area above my penis gets puffy (seriously).

I've ridden several double centuries and countless century rides.

I'm looking to do a few brevets this year, but I'm having several issues with my fit and comfort after returning to cycling after taking off for two years (during that two years I rode only once every 7-12 days).

One issue that I've never noticed until the last few months is that after I finish a 3+ hr ride that the area above my penis becomes puffy. I'm serious about this.

It doesn't hurt and it goes away within 60 minutes of getting off the bike, but it tells me that something might be wrong with my fit or my saddle (had my routine doctor checkup 3 months ago and there is nothing wrong with ME).

Anyone with a similar experience? What do I need to do to fix this? Move my saddle? Change my saddle?

I'm going to post a vid in the fit section soon, so I'll link to that vidů

I realize that this post could have fit into numerous different forums, but the issue doesn't arise until I've been in the saddle for at least 2 hrs.

Thank you!
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Old 03-29-14, 07:49 PM   #2
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Wow, that sounds pretty serious. Perhaps you should just check with the doctor again to be sure everything is ok. Nevertheless, what kind of saddle are you riding with and how level is it and how hard is the seating area?

I suspect your current riding position may be restricting the flow of some liquid (blood or what not) around your waist/hips area. Perhaps you need to adjust the seat angle a tad, nose down a bit, not so much that you feel like you are sliding forward or having to hold yourself up with your arms, but just enough to open your up a bit. Alternatively, if your seating position is right, raising your handle bar height may also ease congestion in your pubic area. Small modifications may encourage a little more blood flow in and out of the area. Either way I would be trying a combination of things to get this sorted out.

I currently ride a Brooks B17 leather seat. The leather has molded to the shape of my sit bones and riding position. It is now very comfortable, especially when in the saddle for 10+ hr, however during the break in period the seat was very hard. This type of seat may help with your problem as it will shape and adjust to your body, rather than forcing your body to adjust to a firmer plastic seat.

Good luck,

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Old 03-29-14, 07:57 PM   #3
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I'd be looking for new bike shorts. It seems to me that the ones you have at the moment might be bunching in that area, either from the top, or from the pad.

It's also worth noting that for me, that particular area has a reasonable number of sweat glands (I can get off the bike in the middle of a long ride with a patch of wetness at the base of my belly), and it has not been unusual for me to develop the occasional pimple. Ensure that you keep the area as clean as possible to avoid the sweat glands from becoming blocked.

Otherwise, I wouldn't worry about it too much if it goes away within the hour after riding.
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Old 03-30-14, 12:39 PM   #4
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Having trouble visualizing the problem. Positioning is everything. I wrap counter clockwise and the area in question would be L3.

Some of the new "chamois" are pain. I miss old Assos chamois short. Try different shorts.
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Old 03-31-14, 04:20 PM   #5
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Or bibs.
The waistband of your shorts could be restricting blood flow.
But really, take this question to an actual MD.
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Old 04-02-14, 05:26 PM   #6
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Borderline inappropriate question... Honestly, See a Doctor! Why would you take medical advice from a forum anyway??
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Old 04-02-14, 06:27 PM   #7
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(had my routine doctor checkup 3 months ago and there is nothing wrong with ME).
you guys who keep telling him to see a doctor... read the post. he's been to the doctor.

Actually, I have a question for the OP. Did you mention your puffy crotch thing at the doctors visit? if not, then yeah, see a doctor.

if you did, then I recommend a recumbent. or just live with a puffy crotch.
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Old 04-02-14, 07:20 PM   #8
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I saw a PT and I got another fit on my bike. My saddle was 7mm too low and 5mm too far forward.

I cannot possibly ride 3 hrs and then see a doctor within an hour, so this isn't something that a doctor is going to pinpoint- it's a cycling issue that a cyclist should be able to solve, which is why I just ordered a copy of "bicycling medicine."

My saddle is an S-Works Toupe. It is flat and hard, but I've ridden it for years.

Mostly likely my position was constricting the lymph or bloodflow from that area b/c immediately after raising my saddle and moving it 5mm back my sensation of pressure on my pubic area was less noticeable.
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Old 04-02-14, 08:39 PM   #9
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if you did, then I recommend a recumbent. or just live with a puffy crotch.[/QUOTE]

A recumbent? Yuck.
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Old 04-02-14, 08:52 PM   #10
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A recumbent? Yuck.
Well, I like 'em. And they don't produce chafing, soreness, stiffness, numbness, or puffiness. And I am a little faster on one to boot. So what's not to like? But, you no doubt have all those "-ness'es" beat for ultra distances because you put in lots and lots of serious miles, right?
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Old 04-02-14, 09:35 PM   #11
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Well, I like 'em. And they don't produce chafing, soreness, stiffness, numbness, or puffiness. And I am a little faster on one to boot. So what's not to like? But, you no doubt have all those "-ness'es" beat for ultra distances because you put in lots and lots of serious miles, right?
Serious miles? Nice touch. From my perspective and where I live, ya I typically put in serious miles. Along with 4 centuries, 1 supported double, and 1 solo last year. I just did my 2nd ride of the year yesterday as I have a ton on my plate right now, and cycling comes second. You like recumbents, wonderful. I just don't see why recumbent riders always offer them up as an alternative when someone has a minor fit issue or injury.
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Old 04-03-14, 05:54 AM   #12
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I have had slight puffiness in that area. If it goes away, I'm not too worried about it. A lot of people have weight gain after long rides, so that may just be a place where the weight gain manifests itself in a noticeable way. It's worth experimenting with different shorts.

Going to see the doctor for a checkup and not having anything wrong is not necessarily an indication that nothing is wrong. They are doing triage for the most likely things that will kill you, not giving you a clean bill of health. OTOH, they would be stumped by this one, I'm almost positive about that.
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Old 04-03-14, 08:06 AM   #13
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I just don't see why recumbent riders always offer them up as an alternative when someone has a minor fit issue or injury.
Because they address those kinds of issues. If you don't like them that's fine, but that opinion is yours. But I don't ever recall Steamer posting: " A road bike? Yuck".
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Old 04-03-14, 10:39 AM   #14
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I just don't see why recumbent riders always offer them up as an alternative when someone has a minor fit issue or injury.
Why? I think that's fairly obvious. So then, exactly why is offering up one potential solution to a problem a bad thing? And why was it necessary to do the unprovoked hate routine just because they were mentioned? If someone doesn't want to give that potential solution a try, that's fine. Doesn't do any harm to mention it, right?
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Old 04-03-14, 03:00 PM   #15
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I have had slight puffiness in that area. If it goes away, I'm not too worried about it. A lot of people have weight gain after long rides, so that may just be a place where the weight gain manifests itself in a noticeable way. It's worth experimenting with different shorts.

Going to see the doctor for a checkup and not having anything wrong is not necessarily an indication that nothing is wrong. They are doing triage for the most likely things that will kill you, not giving you a clean bill of health. OTOH, they would be stumped by this one, I'm almost positive about that.

Thank you for your sincere reply; I appreciate your honesty and willingness to share.

I think that part of the cause is probably the nose of my saddle being tilted upward (slightly). I have done that for years b/c it helps me put less weight on the bars through my hands, but now that I've been riding for over a decade I probably no longer need the nose tilted upward b/c my back is stronger as well as my abs - AND, I'm dialing my fit this spring.

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Old 04-04-14, 12:43 PM   #16
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strangely enough, I decided that some of my problems with shorts are because of lack of core strength. I have been working on that, so we'll see.

Thicker pads do seem to push around the crotch area. I went to larger shorts, that seems to have helped some of the issues I've had
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Old 04-24-15, 07:14 PM   #17
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Borderline inappropriate question... Honestly, See a Doctor! Why would you take medical advice from a forum anyway??
where do you think doctors get their answers? LOL
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Old 04-24-15, 07:17 PM   #18
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anyways I wound up on this thread because I've a new bike and have been struggling with making it fit. Recently, Blood flows in to genitalia, but not out......
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Old 04-27-15, 04:37 AM   #19
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I know size doesn't matter anyway but how is increased weight in the penile area a problem?
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Old 11-13-15, 10:42 AM   #20
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anyways I wound up on this thread because I've a new bike and have been struggling with making it fit. Recently, Blood flows in to genitalia, but not out......
Try new genitalia?
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Old 11-13-15, 11:08 AM   #21
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Thank you for your sincere reply; I appreciate your honesty and willingness to share.

I think that part of the cause is probably the nose of my saddle being tilted upward (slightly). I have done that for years b/c it helps me put less weight on the bars through my hands, but now that I've been riding for over a decade I probably no longer need the nose tilted upward b/c my back is stronger as well as my abs - AND, I'm dialing my fit this spring.
I am another ride who always sets his seats a little nose down. Haven't had your issue but various issues always come up if the seat is too level. I don't buy the "no weight on your hands' that I hear on this forum (and elsewhere) all the time. Yes, with real weight on your hands you have to get it right with your handlebars, levers, gloves, etc. but it's all doable. (Might also have to do a little weight lifting also. For the usual cyclist with under-developed top halves, I am not so sure that is bad.)

A previous poster mentioned bibs. Bibs drive me crazy but I always clip suspenders on my shorts. They do two things. Keep all in place without bunching up, either between you and the seat or in the area you are having issues with. They also rather quickly stretch out the waist band and solve that issue as well, just not on the first ride or two. If money is an issue, suspenders cost $10-20. Bibs always cost at least $10 more for the same quality. Suspenders out last several pairs of shorts and can be used with many. I will let others do the math. Biggest plus at big organized rides? Not having to undress (sometimes on rather cold mornings) to do one's business.

Ben
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Old 11-13-15, 12:27 PM   #22
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Not only does overall bike fit effect comfort but some bike shorts don't fit well. I've had several pairs that caused grief and had to throw them in the trash. I would give the bunching problem some thought as Rowan suggested. And maintaining the area scrupulously clean is important.
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Old 11-13-15, 04:41 PM   #23
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Try new genitalia?
There aren't enough current threads to be a jackass in?
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Old 11-14-15, 01:37 PM   #24
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This thread is a little old but someone might find it relevant.

Finding the right fitting is important. I am not advocating that one goes to see a professional fitter every time, but for some it is a good start. Where I live professional fitters don't exist, unless I make a 6-hour drive. So, I've had to learn a lot by reading the forums/internet, but mainly by lots of trial and error. It is amazing how small changes (we are talking sometimes just a few millimeters) make a big difference in comfort. Then when you think you've found the the perfect fit, it gets questioned all over again when you do a long-distance event. At the last Paris-Brest-Paris, for example, I realized around the 500 Km mark that my seatpost was a little too low which was causing me knee pain. I raised it by 1 cm and my knee pain quickly subsided. Then around the 1,000 Km mark I started having symptoms of Shermer's neck. I raised the handlebar about 2 cm which helped me tremendously in delaying the condition.

I see the OP is experimenting with the tilt of the saddle and possibly even brands of saddle. That's a good thing. Another poster alludes to preferring a bike geometry that puts more weight in his hands than numbness around his crotch. In my experience, a change in one place usually affects another area in your body. But by making small changes, it is attainable to find the right balance in bike fitting -- a fit that will allow a person to ride long distances for several days with little discomfort.

Last edited by Chris Pringle; 11-14-15 at 04:33 PM.
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Old 11-25-15, 08:27 AM   #25
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There aren't enough current threads to be a jackass in?
Yes and no.
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