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Thread: Numb

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    Senior Member yourrealdad's Avatar
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    Numb

    I started my first mini tour to test out the kayak rig. Put in about 80 miles yesterday and arrived at my destination around 2 pm. It is now 7 am and my left pinky and mini me are still numb. While my pinky worries me the fact that my penis is still numb scares the crap out of me. I am riding a brooks b17 that is somewhat broken in. I moved it forward and down a little yesterday to try to help but it lois like that didn't work. I still have 40 miles to go and then the return trip. This is prety much my last wifi spot
    Thanks

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    Scan Me DallasSoxFan's Avatar
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    Not a tourer, but I've had the numb nethers problem and it was all about saddle position. I moved mine quite a bit forward. While riding, I purposefully shifted my rear back and forth on the seat to find where I was getting the most sit-bone feel. Then I slid the seat forward until it no longer required shifting while naturally riding.

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    Senior Member yourrealdad's Avatar
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    Could it be the shorts at all. My saddle never made me go numb until it started to break in. Is this extended time of numbness just due tithe extended time in the saddle?

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    ...into the blue...
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    Quote Originally Posted by yourrealdad View Post
    Could it be the shorts at all. My saddle never made me go numb until it started to break in. Is this extended time of numbness just due tithe extended time in the saddle?
    Before I got my brooks I used to have numbness issues, but it never lasted more than a couple minutes once I stood up.

    If numbness persists for 17 hours, in two widely separated places, I personally would want to talk to a doctor.

    Good luck.

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    Tinkerer since 1980 TheBrick's Avatar
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    Best have a test wank.
    Travelling without inertia

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    Lets make this happen.

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    Here are some things to do when you get home.

    1. Don't try to work through the numbness by riding longer. It doesn't work that way. You need to ride less, not more, until the problems are resolved. Numbness is NOT an inevitable part of riding. And when you start riding again, don't ride to the point of numbness. Take more and longer breaks.

    2. If you don't have padded shorts, get a pair. If your padded shorts are more than a few years old, replace them. Compressed foam or chamois is less effective as a shock absorber.

    3. If the problem began after you switched saddles, be prepared to switch back to your old saddle. Brooks saddles do not work for everybody.

    4. If you have flat handlebars, add bar ends. Also consider drop bars or other handlebar designs. Having a variety of riding positions is easier on the hands.

    5. Get someone with an experienced eye to check your fit. Many bike shops offer the service, or can recommend someone. The right adjustments may make a big difference. Or, you may find that your bike is not right for you and cannot be made to fit, as happened to a friend last summer.

    6. As Quester says, see your doctor and describe what is going on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by yourrealdad View Post
    I started my first mini tour to test out the kayak rig. Put in about 80 miles yesterday and arrived at my destination around 2 pm. It is now 7 am and my left pinky and mini me are still numb. While my pinky worries me the fact that my penis is still numb scares the crap out of me. I am riding a brooks b17 that is somewhat broken in. I moved it forward and down a little yesterday to try to help but it lois like that didn't work. I still have 40 miles to go and then the return trip. This is prety much my last wifi spot
    Thanks
    Obviously you need to rethink seat height and position. Also, you need to stand more in the pedals to change your hand positions and to take pressure off your perineum. If you have a straight bar, you might want to think about bar ends and perhaps get padded bar wrap and/or new gloves. Also consider whether your clothing is contributing to the problem. Don't ignore the problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by yourrealdad View Post
    Could it be the shorts at all. My saddle never made me go numb until it started to break in. Is this extended time of numbness just due tithe extended time in the saddle?
    I presume the extended time in the saddle is a factor, but not the sole one. Tell us about the shorts. Do you always wear them? Are they padded? I have a deep mistrust of padded shorts, some would say a prejudice against them.

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    Chilled Member alaska joe's Avatar
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    well . . . not sitting on your left hand all the time might help

    seriously, though, i think the nose of your saddle needs to go down. the brooks cult says that most people ride with the nose up a bit but i found this impossible to reconcile with my undercarriage. push the nose down a click or two and get the sit bones on to the back of the saddle to take pressure off the important parts. its a balance between having the nose too low where you slide forward all the time and having it too far up where mr. twinkie gets tweaked.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alaska joe View Post
    well . . . not sitting on your left hand all the time might help

    seriously, though, i think the nose of your saddle needs to go down. the brooks cult says that most people ride with the nose up a bit but i found this impossible to reconcile with my undercarriage. push the nose down a click or two and get the sit bones on to the back of the saddle to take pressure off the important parts. its a balance between having the nose too low where you slide forward all the time and having it too far up where mr. twinkie gets tweaked.
    I agree with this. For me, the only way to ride with the nose up is if the saddle height is too low (which will reduce your power and hurt your knees). I think the nose should be nearly level or even, in my case, very, very slightly down. Then you can switch to the drops without hurting the boys.

    Also, have you adjusted the tension on your B17 lately? As they loosen they tend to sag and get wide and more accomodating and that also can squeeze out the boys and put pressure on the prostate area.

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    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yourrealdad View Post
    Could it be the shorts at all. My saddle never made me go numb until it started to break in. Is this extended time of numbness just due tithe extended time in the saddle?
    What shorts? How broken in is the saddle. I know that I found the one Brooks that I owned comfortable when new, but hated it once it was broken in. That was back in the early 70's so I don't remember if numbness was one of the issues.

    I would experiment with saddle position, but would go to a different saddle if that doesn't help pretty quickly, but that comes from a Brooks hater so consider it in that light.

    The numb pinkie is probably ulnar nerve compression. It can come from either pressure on the heel of the hand or from a pinching of the nerve at the elbow. What type bars are you using? Tape? Grips? Gloves? Do you have a relaxed, elbows bent, posture?

    My daughter had the same hand problem and found that the Specialized BG gloves had the right padding in the right place to prevent this for her.

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    Senior Member gavtatu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBrick View Post
    Best have a test wank.
    ha, i laughed so much a little bit of wee came out!!!!!!!!

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    Senior Member yourrealdad's Avatar
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    test wank worked. Seriously I was worried about that. It wasn' that great but by golly he works. Both my junk and my pinky are still numb, but I had to ride for four days (five hours max each day). I moved my seat all the way forward and tilted it level. Still numb. Stopped using the shorts (brand new descente prologue)

    bars are fsa k-wing, wrapped on the drop unwrapped on the top. No gloves cause I didn't have time to decide which pair to get.

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    Time to see if a change of saddle helps, perhaps? Where did you have your hands most of the time? I can see hand/wrist numbness issues arising if you were riding without gloves on the unwrapped portion. I always wear gloves to avoid hand/wrist problems, and I've got gel padding under the bartape, too.

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    Senior Member yourrealdad's Avatar
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    So I am trying a WTB saddle to see if that helps (they have their test ride program so I can try it for free)
    I am also looking at shortening and raising my stem. I know you all can't see me or my bike, but I am looking at going from 110mm w/ 6 degree rise to 90mm and 30 degree rise.
    Are there any drawbacks to have such a sharp degree?

    I am also looking at gloves and like the looks of the Specialized BG Long glove but can't seem to find them anywhere. Any thoughts on these gloves or where to get them?

    Thank you
    Last edited by yourrealdad; 04-29-09 at 04:40 PM.

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    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    On the BG gloves we recently ordered them for my daughter online directly from the Specialized web site.

    I do not find that raising the bars is the answer for me, but YMMV. I like a aggressive posture with bars well below the saddle (~4"), but hands and arms should be relaxed, elbows bent, fingers draped loosely over the bars. This posture should be achievable but requires good form and decent core strength.

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    The only thing that solved the pinky numbness thing for me was moving from flat bars to drop bars. Don't worry, it does go away - my hands were numb for about 5 weeks after my 2.5 month tour, bu gradually got back to completely normal. I also like the specialized BG gloves.

    Um, can't help with the junk - try a cutout saddle? Also terry makes both men's and women's saddles, and they have a 30 day return policy, so you can really test ride it.

    Good luck, and TMI about the test wank, eh?
    ...

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    Senior Member porter's Avatar
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    I have 3 or 4 pairs of BG gloves - found they work the best with my hands. I find the disc of padding at the base of the palm works well on stopping nerve pain - without the gloves these parts of my hands become very uncomfortable very quickly. Though I can't remember experiencing numb fingers for an extended period of time when I haven't used them, the area just becomes very sensitive.

    My girlfriend generally doesn't wear gloves and doesn't have any problems - so I guess this is an area where problems/solutions are unique to the individual...

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    Brooks saddles simply do not work for me, especially with a riding posture that is too aggressive. Because I need to have the nose tilted up slightly to keep from sliding forward, the saddle irritates my perineal area and can even create prostate irritation after long rides or multiple days. This gets worse as it breaks in and the sitbones start to drop into the saddle relative to the center part with those irritating holes.

    Instead I use firmly padded saddles with a cutout. I really like the Terry Men's Liberator on my touring bike - it has firm padding and a big cutout so no issues at all. I also have a WTB gel saddle on my mountain bike and an Avatar gel on my road bike. I have also moved away from aggressive riding positions which lean me forward on the saddle or stretch me out - the bars on all of my bikes are now at or above saddle height.

    With these changes I have no more issues with numbness or prostate irritation at all. I may have lost a little speed but the boys are happy. Good luck, these problems aren't fun.

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