Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Commuting
Reload this Page >

numbness after long rides...

Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

numbness after long rides...

Old 08-06-12, 08:01 PM
  #1  
sirtirithon
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
sirtirithon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Spokane
Posts: 279
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
numbness after long rides...

I'm sure you experienced cyclist know what I speak of. I am a male and the problem is rather...frightening, to say the least! I have only experienced this twice. I ride a hour and a half every morning to work and never have any issues. I use a Brooks B17 narrow with 2,000 miles on it and it is very comfortable. I only have the numbness after 2.5 hours or more on the saddle. I have done 2 centuries and these were the 2 times I had this numbness problem. I run the Brooks perfectly level, I have tried nose slightly up and hated it. Considering I don't have any problems within a 2.5 hour period is this a fit problem with the saddle or do I need to look into padded shorts? I just wear moisture wicking boxer briefs right now. Thanks for the help! I plan on doing the Tour Divide in a couple of years and this is really the only major scare I have now is figuring this out.
sirtirithon is offline  
Old 08-06-12, 08:25 PM
  #2  
groovestew
Senior Member
 
groovestew's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Edmonton, AB
Posts: 1,546
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 42 Post(s)
Liked 4 Times in 2 Posts
I've had similar problems, but they were (mostly) alleviated by lowering my saddle a little bit. One theory why numbness occurs only on long rides is that when your legs are fresh, you're pushing harder on the pedals and therefore reducing the weight on your saddle a bit. As your legs become fatigued, you sit heavier on the saddle and compress the soft tissues more, reducing blood flow and causing numbness.

Padded shorts may help a bit as they are padded more around the sit bones and have a channel down the middle where the soft tissue is (at least the ones I wear do).

Last edited by groovestew; 08-06-12 at 08:28 PM.
groovestew is offline  
Old 08-06-12, 08:32 PM
  #3  
nashcommguy
nashcommguy
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: nashville, tn
Posts: 2,499

Bikes: Commuters: Fuji Delray road, Fuji Discovery mtb...Touring: Softride Traveler...Road: C-dale SR300

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Get fitted to your rig by someone who knows what they're doing. Sounds like you may not be back far enough on your saddle. I had the same problem until I got a shorter stem.

One's(excuse the term) 'cockpit' dimensions are very individual. My problem was that while the bike fit me ok my upper body was too stretched out and was causing me to put pressure on my perineum even though I was properly on my sitbones when on the hoods. A shorter stem brought me slightly more upright and shifted my weight back taking pressure off where it wasn't supposed to be. Can go 8-10 hours now w/no problems. Fit is something that's generally overlooked until 'repeat motion' breakdowns begin to occur.

My wife's a PT and she has made me much more aware of potential problems that can arise if symtoms are ignored.

Btw, by all means get some padded shorts...eight panel. They're pricey, but worth it.
nashcommguy is offline  
Old 08-07-12, 01:16 AM
  #4  
hughes208
Senior Member
 
hughes208's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Spokane, WA
Posts: 66

Bikes: 1984 Peugeot P6, 2013 Diamondback Response

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Padded shorts did the trick for me
hughes208 is offline  
Old 08-07-12, 01:49 AM
  #5  
sudo bike
Bicikli Huszár
 
sudo bike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Fresno, CA
Posts: 2,116

Bikes: '95 Novara Randonee

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I think if you're going to be in the saddle that long, you'll benefit from padded cycling shorts/bibs either way, so you may as well try that and see what happens. $.02.
sudo bike is offline  
Old 08-07-12, 09:58 PM
  #6  
ManPowerdTravel
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 14
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I haven't tried many saddles. I used to ride a Selle San Marco (my LBS that I bought my Surly LHT threw it in for free) and it was pretty good until about 15 to 20 miles in with no padded shorts. Padded shorts pushed the comfortable distance up to about 50 miles, but still mild numbness beginning well short of that mark. I got a Brooks B17 Imperial (with the cutout) and can ride my bike well over 50 miles with no padded shorts on in high comfort and with zero numbness. I also don't ride it level, but nose it down slightly. I can ride a century pretty comfortably with a chamois, also no numbness, so for me, the removal of the material in the center of a saddle, applying pressure to the perineal region really did the trick for me. I know it'd hurt the wallet to shell out another 100+ dollars for a new Brooks, so maybe try adjusting your seat tilt forward a bit. People say this makes you slide forward and such, but I haven't noticed any problem with a little forward tilt on my seat. It might just be the fact that Brooks saddles have a dipping shape where the front point and rear are higher than the center of the saddle, cradling you even when you tilt the seat forward.
ManPowerdTravel is offline  
Old 08-08-12, 04:10 AM
  #7  
trestlehed
Senior Member
 
trestlehed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: On the outskirts of Mordor
Posts: 102

Bikes: Santa Cruz Heckler (mtb), EZ Sport AX (recumbent), Electra Townie 24 speed w/beach cruiser bars "The Holy Grail of Beach Cruisers"

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I started getting the numbness problem in my early 30's. The only seat I can use on an upright bike anymore is the Hobson Easy Seat 2 (version 1). I just tried a brand new Serfas gel cruiser seat with the center cut-out the other day and still had problems halfway thru a 10 mile ride. So back to the Easy Seat 2 I go. I'm riding an Electra Townie 24 speed with Electra's Bullhorn cruiser bars. You can't get any more "upright" than that.

Top pic shows the newer Easy Seat 2 (version 2) on the left. The Easy Seat 2 (version 1) on right has the longer seat pads and is my seat of choice.

BTW the seats shown above don't really work on a standard wedgie frame due to the fact that the bottom of your thighs will hit the seat pads on the pedal downstroke. These seats do work perfectly well on crank forward bikes: Electra Townie, Giant Suede, etc. Maybe Rans too?

Pic of my Townie
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
IMG_0264.jpg (99.1 KB, 15 views)
File Type: jpg
IMG_0809.jpg (99.0 KB, 15 views)

Last edited by trestlehed; 08-08-12 at 04:21 AM. Reason: .
trestlehed is offline  
Old 08-08-12, 12:45 PM
  #8  
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 41,650

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 188 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6836 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 215 Times in 179 Posts
Take more off the bike breaks, walk around , have a drink.
fietsbob is offline  
Old 08-08-12, 01:32 PM
  #9  
Thor29
Senior Member
 
Thor29's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 757
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
The only time I ever experienced that problem was when I first installed a Brooks B17 on my bike. The issue was saddle tilt. The nose needs to be slightly lower than the back of the saddle, rotated a few degrees from perfectly level. That way your weight is supported on your sit bones and not your crotch area. Try tilting the nose down just a little bit before doing anything else. (It helps to have a seatpost that allows fine adjustments to angle, sometimes the ones with the serrated parts are hard to get just right).
Thor29 is offline  
Old 08-08-12, 01:51 PM
  #10  
one_beatnik
Senior Member
 
one_beatnik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: SW Iowa
Posts: 561

Bikes: Waterford 1200, Raleigh Record converted to a single speed.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Thor29 View Post
The only time I ever experienced that problem was when I first installed a Brooks B17 on my bike. The issue was saddle tilt. The nose needs to be slightly lower than the back of the saddle, rotated a few degrees from perfectly level. That way your weight is supported on your sit bones and not your crotch area. Try tilting the nose down just a little bit before doing anything else. (It helps to have a seatpost that allows fine adjustments to angle, sometimes the ones with the serrated parts are hard to get just right).
WORD

It can also be as simple as moving around more on the saddle. Make a concerted effort to move fore and aft sometimes just to keep the blood flowing. The deal is not really any different than your arm going to sleep from lying on it. Saddle tilt can be a huge deal. Adjusted properly (the overall bike I mean) and that Brooks is probably the best saddle you'll ever use.
one_beatnik is offline  
Old 08-08-12, 01:53 PM
  #11  
Bike Hermit
ghost on a machine
 
Bike Hermit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Idaho
Posts: 216

Bikes: Rivendell A. Homer Hilsen, Serotta Colorado Legend TG, Rivendell Roadeo, Surly Cross Check, Surly Big Dummy

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Saddle tilt, saddle height, and fore/aft are all important but if all combinations have been tried and exhausted then maybe (gulp) the B17 Narrow is not for you. Everybody is different obviously and most people love the B17 but I found it didn't work for me and caused the same problems you are having. The Gilles Berthoud Aspin saved the day for me. It provides support in all the right places and takes pressure off the soft tissue. And they don't develop as much of a "hammock" shape as the Brooks saddles do.
Bike Hermit is offline  
Old 08-08-12, 03:08 PM
  #12  
LuckySailor
Senior Member
 
LuckySailor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Posts: 649

Bikes: Trek 520 total custom build, Cannondale Mountain Tandem, Oryx Mountain Bike

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 54 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Padded riding shorts. Worth the money, that was the ticket for me.
LuckySailor is offline  
Old 08-08-12, 03:14 PM
  #13  
sirtirithon
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
sirtirithon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Spokane
Posts: 279
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks for the suggestions! I just tilted my saddle ever so slightly forward and will see how that works. I plan on buying a pair of lightly padded cycling shorts soon too. I bought a pair of Novera shorts last year and hated them the padding was overkill and made me feel like I had packed my britches so i returned them. Trouble with taking breaks is my last century was a race so i only stopped once at mile 60 for a restroom break and food. I will try to move more on the bike as well.
sirtirithon is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
tommy2000
Bicycle Mechanics
0
06-26-17 12:33 PM
chris.....
Foo
0
07-14-12 05:08 PM
infernobutterfl
Road Cycling
1
10-23-06 04:04 PM
Mayonnaise
Singlespeed & Fixed Gear
4
09-22-04 02:42 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.