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I think I need a new saddle

Old 05-18-15, 09:40 AM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by rmfnla View Post
Most people who don't like Brooks didn't give it a chance to break in.

Once the leather softens up a bit it conforms to your rear, and the increased contact spreads your weight over a larger surface area, reducing the pressure on any given point.

As for Proofiding a new saddle there are two separate bits of instruction on the Brooks site; one says to Proofide the saddle first thing and the other says it is not recommended for at least six months.

I wrote in asking for clarification but never heard back; not too impressed with that but I do love my Flyer...
Here is a comment found at amazon

Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Hobson Easyseat II Saddle with Adjusting Width

[easyseat is a noseless saddle]

The most severe problem I had when I began touring was that after a few hours in the saddle my racing seat felt like a 2x4 being shoved up my butt. I got an Easy Seat and rode it up the Alaska Highway from Dawson Creek to Fairbanks in perfect comfort. Later I discovered that a properly adjusted Brooks sprung leather saddle was about as comfortable and was more normal looking. Though not as comfortable as an Easy Seat one could get used to the Brooks. Decades later I have run into serious crotch hormone problems apparently caused by the pressure of the horn of the Brooks saddle's horn during a lifetime of longish to long tours. If you plan on spending a lot of hours on the bike, get the Easy Seat. Your gonads will thank you - not now but after tens of years of riding.
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Old 05-18-15, 09:54 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by rmfnla View Post
Most people who don't like Brooks didn't give it a chance to break in.

Once the leather softens up a bit it conforms to your rear, and the increased contact spreads your weight over a larger surface area, reducing the pressure on any given point.

As for Proofiding a new saddle there are two separate bits of instruction on the Brooks site; one says to Proofide the saddle first thing and the other says it is not recommended for at least six months.

I wrote in asking for clarification but never heard back; not too impressed with that but I do love my Flyer...
The contradiction is between decades of wisdom from Brooks (don't overuse Proofide, don't overtension it, just cover it up in the rain and otherwise leave it alone) and the newer owners Selle Royale, who seem more eager to sell Proofide and make Brooks saddles soft and flexible for newer customers.
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Old 05-18-15, 11:29 AM
  #28  
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A cheaper alternative to Proofide is Sno-Seal, which is intended for waterproofing hiking boots; you should be able to find it at a sporting goods store.

Good thing about leather saddles (and Brooks in particular), if it turns out you don't like it, they have very high resale value. In fact you might consider buying off eBay; you won't save much off retail, and if you don't like it, you can expect to sell it on eBay for the same price.

You should also take a look at Selle Anatomica Titanico (Titanico X if you are heavy like me). I got mine on eBay for under $92. They have a reputation for being comfy right out of the box, not needing a break-in period. (Everything is subjective and personal though, there are people who say their Brooks didn't need any break-in either, and there are people who tried S-A Titanico and didn't like it)

Also, if you like the idea of Brooks and want to eliminate leather care, take a look at Brooks Cambium.
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Old 05-18-15, 12:42 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
The contradiction is between decades of wisdom from Brooks (don't overuse Proofide, don't overtension it, just cover it up in the rain and otherwise leave it alone) and the newer owners Selle Royale, who seem more eager to sell Proofide and make Brooks saddles soft and flexible for newer customers.
That may be. I haven't done anything except punch a few holes and add some lacing (see photo); great way to adjust without messing with the tension bolt!

Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
A cheaper alternative to Proofide is Sno-Seal, which is intended for waterproofing hiking boots; you should be able to find it at a sporting goods store.

Good thing about leather saddles (and Brooks in particular), if it turns out you don't like it, they have very high resale value. In fact you might consider buying off eBay; you won't save much off retail, and if you don't like it, you can expect to sell it on eBay for the same price.

You should also take a look at Selle Anatomica Titanico (Titanico X if you are heavy like me). I got mine on eBay for under $92. They have a reputation for being comfy right out of the box, not needing a break-in period. (Everything is subjective and personal though, there are people who say their Brooks didn't need any break-in either, and there are people who tried S-A Titanico and didn't like it)

Also, if you like the idea of Brooks and want to eliminate leather care, take a look at Brooks Cambium.
Good advice about eBay; I got my Flyer for $90; new in the box with the adjusting wrench, a can of Proofide and a Brooks seat cover. Seller even included the original receipt so I could register it with Brooks (10-year warranty!).

I looked at the Cambuim but I wanted the springs so the Flyer worked best for me...
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Old 05-18-15, 01:20 PM
  #30  
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I think if you are experiencing numbness, you should change your saddle quickly. You are injuring your nerves.

There is more danger with a saddle that is too soft than one that is too hard.
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Old 05-18-15, 05:17 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by erig007 View Post
There are some people that tried brooks saddles and didn't like them though.
There are also people who don't like dogs, or chocolate, or baseball, and there are others who like to be hit with leather whips and have hot wax poured where the sun doesn't shine. In my experience (40-odd years of riding and racing) Brooks saddles are the best I have tried.
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Old 05-18-15, 05:39 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by Sangetsu View Post
There are also people who don't like dogs, or chocolate, or baseball, and there are others who like to be hit with leather whips and have hot wax poured where the sun doesn't shine. In my experience (40-odd years of riding and racing) Brooks saddles are the best I have tried.
Without you saying whether you are for or against the hot wax, it's difficult to evaluate your opinion of the Brooks.
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Old 05-18-15, 05:42 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Sangetsu View Post
There are also people who don't like dogs, or chocolate, or baseball, and there are others who like to be hit with leather whips and have hot wax poured where the sun doesn't shine. In my experience (40-odd years of riding and racing) Brooks saddles are the best I have tried.
In terms of comfort or preventing health issue?
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Old 05-18-15, 05:43 PM
  #34  
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Clearly there are way more people that love Brooks than that love Titanico, but I bet the percentage of Titanico lovers (among Titanico try-ers) is higher than the percentage of Brooks lovers.

I.e., if B, B+ and B- are the number of people who have tried, loved, and hated Brooks saddles (i.e. B=B+ + B-), and T,T+,T- are the number of people who have tried, loved, and hated Selle Anatomica Titanico saddles, obviously B+ is way larger than T+, but I bet T+/T is larger than B+/B. I even bet B- is larger than T.
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Old 05-18-15, 06:33 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by erig007 View Post
In terms of comfort or preventing health issue?
When it comes to health issues, which issues are you speaking of? In the article you posted, the person said that his "crotch hormone problem" (as vague a health issue as I have ever heard) was caused by the horn of a Brooks saddle. He may not be aware that almost every saddle made has a horn, and, barring any evidence to the contrary, he may have developed this problem regardless of the saddle he used, or if he has a genetic predisposition to "crotch hormone problems", he may have developed them by simply sitting on a chair or sofa. As he is probably compensated by the makers of the Hobson Easy Seat, he would likely say anything he was paid to say.

Edgar Allen Poe said "Believe nothing you read, and only half of what you see", and this is doubly true if it is an advertisement. I tried the first version of the Specialized Body geometry saddle, using it to replace a Selle San Marco. The Specialized saddle was designed to "reduce pressure on the perineum, and the potential for male impotency". What I discovered was that this saddle caused numbness in places that took hours to go away, even though I had read many reviews stating that this saddle was the best thing since sliced bread. None of the many of saddles I have ever tried over the course of decades had ever caused me such numbness.

I know how to fit a bike, and how to adjust a saddle, I learned first from the owner of a pro shop where I used to work, I learned more from our team's coach during the time I spent racing in southern Europe. Many comfort and numbness issues are mainly the result of improper fitting and adjustments, and many, if not most people, even those with a lot of riding experience (including more than a few pros), do not have their bikes properly set up. A poorly set up stem and bar can cause a great deal of discomfort in your backside, as on a properly set up bike your hands and arms should support a significant amount of your weight. If you can't get comfortable on a saddle after it and your backside has become acquainted, and the bike is properly set up for your physiology, and you are wearing proper, good-quality cycling shorts which suit the saddle, then it is time to consider another saddle.

Brooks saddles are simply the best I have tried, and are the only saddle which I can ride long distances without wearing cycling shorts. Break-in time is very important, and the amount of break-in time necessary before the saddle becomes comfortable varies. My natural coloured Brooks B-17 saddle broke in after a month. My B17 Special in black took nearly 3 months to break in. Most people are not patient enough to wait 1 to 3 months for a saddle to get comfortable. If you are a new rider and buy a new bike, and install a new Brooks saddle, by the time your fitness reaches the first plateau, your saddle will be comfortable, and the longer you ride on the saddle, the more comfortable it becomes. With other saddles this is not the case, over time their padding breaks down or deteriorates, and comfort decreases.

What is the ultimate saddle? I never raced on a Brooks, no one I know does. My favourite saddle of all time is the Selle San Marco Royale, combined with Assos Sports line shorts with a genuine chamois. After 5 hour days in the saddle, my feet and hands were much more tired than by backside. But without the shorts, or with different shorts, the saddle was not at all comfortable. This saddle did not work so well with Pearl Izumi shorts, or the more expensive Pros line Assos synthetic chamois shorts. But these other shorts work quite well on Serfas or later Specialized saddles.

It takes a lot of trial and error to find real comfort on a bike saddle. But the saddle which requires the least of these are Brooks saddles, if you are simply patient enough it let them break in, and have your bike set up reasonably well.
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Old 05-18-15, 10:44 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Sangetsu View Post
Another Brooks recommendation here. Many bicycle seats are gimmicky, and put form over function. They have lots of drawings and descriptions about where your sit bones go, and how they don't pinch or push against this or that, but for the most part it's all marketing hype.
It's all fun and games till you damage your perineum. There is definitely medical evidence that bike saddles can do temporary/permanent damage to your perineum (mostly in long races or tours) but the problem is most new designs are not fully backed by medical advice. I guess the best advice is if you notice any gential or perineum numbness/pain, do something about it immediately. I don't want something I enjoy to ruin something else I enjoy

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Old 05-19-15, 12:54 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by nuclear_biker View Post
It's all fun and games till you damage your perineum. There is definitely medical evidence that bike saddles can do temporary/permanent damage to your perineum (mostly in long races or tours) but the problem is most new designs are not fully backed by medical advice. I guess the best advice is if you notice any gential or perineum numbness/pain, do something about it immediately. I don't want something I enjoy to ruin something else I enjoy
I have been riding for a long time, and I can tell you that sitting on a sofa is far more damaging to your health than sitting on a bicycle seat. Obesity and diabetes are more likely to cause impotence than riding a bicycle. My equipment still works fine, and as proof, my wife had a baby 7 months ago. I owe a lot of the fitness I enjoy to spending countless of hours on a bicycle seat, which has negated the negative effects of my fast food and coca-cola diet. My blood pressure is the same as it was when I was in high school, my blood chemistry is good.

I remember the medical "evidence" of cycling-related impotence in Dr Irwin Goldstein's study, and the uproar it caused at the time. In a later interview, Dr Goldstein admitted that people who cycled regularly might be at risk for impotence, but their risk was significantly lower than for people who were sedentary. Part of the reason I bought a Specialized saddle at that time was that I believed in what the good doctor said, and I also believed Specialized's advertising. I was quite surprised that using this new wonder saddle caused numbness that I had never experienced before. Later saddles were improved, and were more comfortable, but were no more comfortable than ordinary saddles at the time.
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Old 05-19-15, 08:55 AM
  #38  
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@Sangetsu, I probably believe you that sitting on a couch too long is riskier, but that is not to say that there are no risks on a bike seat. If there is pain or numbness in the perineum, you need to change something. On the other hand, pain around the sit bones is to be expected if you haven't been riding in a while. It goes away after a few rides.
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Old 05-19-15, 09:37 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
@Sangetsu, I probably believe you that sitting on a couch too long is riskier, but that is not to say that there are no risks on a bike seat. If there is pain or numbness in the perineum, you need to change something. On the other hand, pain around the sit bones is to be expected if you haven't been riding in a while. It goes away after a few rides.
I agree that pain and numbness are obvious signs that something is wrong, but the seat is only one of five parts where your body contacts the bike. If the other four parts are not in the right position, the fifth may feel more discomfort that it otherwise might. One can try every seat sold today and not find a comfortable one if the bike is not set up right, or poor quality/incompatible shorts are used.

I am not a seller of saddles, nor am I associated with Brooks in any way. I used to think that Brooks seats were only for old-school, Captain Dondo types, and that they were overhyped. I am not afraid to say that I was wrong, they are (to me) as good or better than they were described.
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Old 05-19-15, 09:41 AM
  #40  
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I'm in violent agreement with you there, @Sangetsu.

I love Brooks saddles, too, but they're not perfect. They cost a lot. The break-in period is painful for some. Some don't know enough about fit and try Brooks saddles before getting fit right, concluding that Brooks are not for them. They require protection in the rain.

I also have some non-leather saddles that are just fine for me. It's possible to find one that suits a given rider. I can't claim that Brooks are the only saddles worth trying, as much as I love them. I have about nine bikes. Two have Brooks saddles, and one has an RHM saddle.
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Old 05-19-15, 09:52 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Sangetsu View Post
When it comes to health issues, which issues are you speaking of? In the article you posted, the person said that his "crotch hormone problem" (as vague a health issue as I have ever heard) was caused by the horn of a Brooks saddle. He may not be aware that almost every saddle made has a horn, and, barring any evidence to the contrary, he may have developed this problem regardless of the saddle he used, or if he has a genetic predisposition to "crotch hormone problems", he may have developed them by simply sitting on a chair or sofa. As he is probably compensated by the makers of the Hobson Easy Seat, he would likely say anything he was paid to say.
....
There are numerous studies that back him up

Cycling and penile oxygen pressure: the type of saddle matters. - PubMed - NCBI

Bicycle riding and erectile dysfunction: an increase in interest (and concern). - PubMed - NCBI

Only the nose knows: penile hemodynamic study of the perineum-saddle interface in men with erectile dysfunction utilizing bicycle saddles and seats... - PubMed - NCBI

The effect of saddle design on stresses in the perineum during cycling. - PubMed - NCBI

Effect of bicycle saddle designs on the pressure to the perineum of the bicyclist. - PubMed - NCBI

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Old 05-19-15, 09:56 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by Sangetsu View Post
There are also people who don't like dogs, or chocolate, or baseball, and there are others who like to be hit with leather whips and have hot wax poured where the sun doesn't shine. In my experience (40-odd years of riding and racing) Brooks saddles are the best I have tried.

Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
Without you saying whether you are for or against the hot wax, it's difficult to evaluate your opinion of the Brooks.


Whew, I'm glad I'm not the only one who didn't understand.

I'm also confused about whether he rode only the odd years 40 times, or if his riding and racing was odd all those years.
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Old 05-19-15, 11:04 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Sangetsu View Post

Brooks saddles are simply the best I have tried, and are the only saddle which I can ride long distances without wearing cycling shorts.
You haven't tried a lot of saddle then i have 2 different saddles that aren't brooks on which i can ride long distance without bike shorts.
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Old 05-19-15, 02:59 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by Sangetsu View Post
There are also people who don't like dogs, or chocolate, or baseball, and there are others who like to be hit with leather whips and have hot wax poured where the sun doesn't shine. In my experience (40-odd years of riding and racing) Brooks saddles are the best I have tried.
Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
Without you saying whether you are for or against the hot wax, it's difficult to evaluate your opinion of the Brooks.
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Old 05-19-15, 04:05 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
@Sangetsu, I probably believe you that sitting on a couch too long is riskier, but that is not to say that there are no risks on a bike seat. If there is pain or numbness in the perineum, you need to change something. On the other hand, pain around the sit bones is to be expected if you haven't been riding in a while. It goes away after a few rides.
This was kind of the point I was trying to make, thanks! I feel like people should be aware of the risk, even if it is small, and what to look out for. I didn't even know until recently (found it when researching a new saddle). It's definitely a real problem, and I don't want anybody to ruin their genital nerves (apparently it can affect girls as well as boys).

Thanks for saving me the trouble! It's definitely real and something to watch out for.
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Old 05-19-15, 04:31 PM
  #46  
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I've been lucky. No pain or numbness while riding. I did have one problem for a while. I had very achy testicles the day after I rode. It was hard to walk! It took a while to trace it back to the bike. My saddle was too soft! Changed the saddle, problem solved. It never hurt when I was on the bike. It felt just fine.

A friend of mine had genital numbness which he also solved with a harder saddle.

This isn't universal advice, but in general, I think harder is safer than softer.
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Old 05-19-15, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by nuclear_biker View Post
This was kind of the point I was trying to make, thanks! I feel like people should be aware of the risk, even if it is small, and what to look out for. I didn't even know until recently (found it when researching a new saddle). It's definitely a real problem, and I don't want anybody to ruin their genital nerves (apparently it can affect girls as well as boys).



Thanks for saving me the trouble! It's definitely real and something to watch out for.
Cycling and penile oxygen pressure: the type of saddle matters. - PubMed - NCBI
(C) wide unpadded leather seat;
(D) women's special wide seat with medium padding and no saddle nose.

seat (C) mean PtcO2 25.3 mmHg, decrease in initial oxygen pressure 63.6%;
seat (D) mean PtcO2 62.3 mmHg, decrease in initial oxygen pressure 20.3%.
(C) seems pretty much like a brooks saddle to me. Could be something else though.
And (D) an unknown noseless saddle
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Old 05-19-15, 11:08 PM
  #48  
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One thing I can tell you about science and studies is that the results of either may be less accurate than you believe. Over the past decades many of the things we were told by science and scientists have been disproven, mainly because newer technology and increased knowledge have improved our perspective of many things. Any bicycle seat can cause pain, numbness, and nerve damage if it, and the bicycle, are not properly adjusted, I don't need a scientific study to prove that any more than I need a study to tell me that the sun shines during the day.

Working in economics and statistics, I have learned that results of scientific studies are often as much matters of personal opinion as they are of simple fact. A great deal of scientists begin their research with a predetermined result in mind (particularly if that result provides them a big payday, or another grant), and then perform their studies in whichever particular way supports that belief. A good study to use as an example is one which proved that a high salt diet increases the risk of heart disease. It does no such thing, in fact, people with high salt diets are less likely to have heart problems than people who are on low salt diets. But if you are a middle-aged person and talk to your doctor, he will invariably recommend that you reduce your salt intake.

I have been riding bicycle since I was 6, I started riding horses when I was 7 (my grandfather was a cavalryman), I began riding motorcycles (and racing bicycles) when I was 12. I have been sitting on saddles for more than 40 years, covering hundreds of thousands of miles. Am I impotent? No. Have I suffered any nerve damage in my perineum? No. I have however broken one arm, one leg, a clavicle, a couple ribs, a finger, a foot, and fractured my skull, all at different times. From that perspective, saddle-related issues are less relevant, and are not relevant at all provided you get a good saddle, set it and the rest of your bike up correctly, and wear proper shorts.
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Old 05-20-15, 01:06 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by Sangetsu View Post
One thing I can tell you about science and studies is that the results of either may be less accurate than you believe. Over the past decades many of the things we were told by science and scientists have been disproven, mainly because newer technology and increased knowledge have improved our perspective of many things. Any bicycle seat can cause pain, numbness, and nerve damage if it, and the bicycle, are not properly adjusted, I don't need a scientific study to prove that any more than I need a study to tell me that the sun shines during the day.

Working in economics and statistics, I have learned that results of scientific studies are often as much matters of personal opinion as they are of simple fact. A great deal of scientists begin their research with a predetermined result in mind (particularly if that result provides them a big payday, or another grant), and then perform their studies in whichever particular way supports that belief. A good study to use as an example is one which proved that a high salt diet increases the risk of heart disease. It does no such thing, in fact, people with high salt diets are less likely to have heart problems than people who are on low salt diets. But if you are a middle-aged person and talk to your doctor, he will invariably recommend that you reduce your salt intake.
.
And how do you know that about salt diets?..... From another study that you decided was relevant?
If you can prove that there were a bias/mistake in those studies (there isn't just one study by the way) then why not. Until then in order not to go back to stone age i will consider them still relevant until proven otherwise.


Originally Posted by Sangetsu View Post
I have been riding bicycle since I was 6, I started riding horses when I was 7 (my grandfather was a cavalryman), I began riding motorcycles (and racing bicycles) when I was 12. I have been sitting on saddles for more than 40 years, covering hundreds of thousands of miles. Am I impotent? No. Have I suffered any nerve damage in my perineum? No. I have however broken one arm, one leg, a clavicle, a couple ribs, a finger, a foot, and fractured my skull, all at different times. From that perspective, saddle-related issues are less relevant, and are not relevant at all provided you get a good saddle, set it and the rest of your bike up correctly, and wear proper shorts.
Your specific case doesn't prove or disprove anything about those studies. Some smokers will tell you that they are still healthy after smoking for 30 years. You can also cross an highway on foot with your eyes shut that would work too and wouldn't change a thing about the risk.
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Old 05-20-15, 08:31 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by gregjones View Post
Charge Spoon
+1
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