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After 50+ miles, is it normal to feel a bit numb in the nether region?.....

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

After 50+ miles, is it normal to feel a bit numb in the nether region?.....

Old 12-07-11, 05:19 AM
  #26  
bisiklet
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
1) What sort of harm do you imagine a saddle might cause?
2) Tell us the distances you've cycled over the past ... 20 years.
3) And what saddles have you used in that time, over those distances?
I had covered it in some detail here.
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Old 12-07-11, 07:51 AM
  #27  
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So from reading your suggestion in the first thread you linked to, you're suggesting to ditch the saddle entirely, And ride only standing up?! Did I read correctly?
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Old 12-07-11, 10:48 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by bisiklet View Post
The simple fact is that, no matter how fit it is, how frequently you shift or stand, how your saddle gives in (concaveness) under your weigth... saddle riding *do* harm - apparently or not. Numbness is where the harm reaches its crest and starts manifesting itself. But anyway you hurt yourself PERMANENTLY more (numbness) or less (no numbness).

Just because you don't get numbness doesn't mean you're immune to harm. That means you're able to stay above immediate and apparent temporary damage, and delaying the permanent one's symptoms to surface.
I call BS to just about every part of this post.
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Old 12-07-11, 11:54 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by guadzilla View Post
I call BS to just about every part of this post.
Have you read the theread I linked to? I have backed my argument with data and rationale. You back yours.
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Old 12-07-11, 12:05 PM
  #30  
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To answer the original post, no its not normal. You need an adjustment or a different saddle. Lots of people have no issues with pretty much any saddle they throw on a bike, some people try saddle after saddle in search of one that will work well for them. It comes down to individual anatomy, riding style, rider weight, and a lot of other factors. The fitting you have scheduled is a great start.
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Old 12-07-11, 12:10 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by bisiklet View Post


Seriously, this whole discussion around numbness is somewhat analogous to smokers discussing about blood spitting:

Poster1: Hey folks, I cough a lot and occasionally spit blood. It's not much tho...
Poster2: Hmmm, blood spitting is not generally considered okay, but all of us do it occasionally ain't we?
Poster3: Hey dude, I really recommend Kikazz Cigars, particularly the new Pro-XIV with cut out filters. I almost stopped bleeding since I've started them.
Poster4: Well, you also need to breath vanilla air every now and then for a really healthy smoking experience.

Et cetera ad infinitum.

The simple fact is that, no matter how fit it is, how frequently you shift or stand, how your saddle gives in (concaveness) under your weigth... saddle riding *do* harm - apparently or not. Numbness is where the harm reaches its crest and starts manifesting itself. But anyway you hurt yourself PERMANENTLY more (numbness) or less (no numbness).

Just because you don't get numbness doesn't mean you're immune to harm. That means you're able to stay above immediate and apparent temporary damage, and delaying the permanent one's symptoms to surface.
I don't understand what kind of damage you think gets caused. Thousands of riders all over the world put in lots and lots of miles with no issues.
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Old 12-07-11, 12:13 PM
  #32  
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ah...I just read the post that was linked to.

I think it's safe to ignore everything this guy says.
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Old 12-07-11, 12:30 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by bisiklet View Post
Have you read the theread I linked to? I have backed my argument with data and rationale. You back yours.
I can ride (sitting) for 5 hrs and still get it up. YMMV.
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Old 12-07-11, 12:34 PM
  #34  
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There is some legitimate concern with damage from hours of decreased circulation. That's why if you are having issues, you shouldn't ignore it. If you arent having issues, you should be fine. Also, my father-in-law's doc said its not uncommon for older cyclists to have dramtically elevated PSA numbers, yet after further testing find that everything is fine. Not sure what that's about...
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Old 12-07-11, 01:00 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
I can ride (sitting) for 5 hrs and still get it up. YMMV.
So did I on my tourer. I did have ED issues on MTB but they were temporary (lasting a few days) and I'm quite fine now.

But the full answer is not that simple. As I've said before, harm is harm whether it is immediately apparent or not. And it's been proven that even the best saddle setup does undermine penile bloodflow (and nerves, by extension). The issue is not going away just because we ignore it. I chose not to ignore.

As a more general side note (not particularly addressing you), I have already discussed the basics at some length. Building on, drilling down, converging, diverging, all OK. But why repeat the basics again and again? I would sincerely like to see more serious arguments backed by something more than anectodal evidence and opinions.
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Old 12-07-11, 01:08 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by bisiklet View Post
So did I on my tourer. I did have ED issues on MTB but they were temporary (lasting a few days) and I'm quite fine now.

But the full answer is not that simple. As I've said before, harm is harm whether it is immediately apparent or not. And it's been proven that even the best saddle setup does undermine penile bloodflow (and nerves, by extension). The issue is not going away just because we ignore it. I chose not to ignore.
Just because bloodflow is restricted for some period of time doesn't mean damage has occurred.

As a more general side note (not particularly addressing you), I have already discussed the basics at some length. Building on, drilling down, converging, diverging, all OK. But why repeat the basics again and again? I would sincerely like to see more serious arguments backed by something more than anectodal evidence and opinions.
Me too. Got any?
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Old 12-07-11, 01:13 PM
  #37  
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I read that link you posted. The fail is high in that one - starting with the assumption that if X1 hurts, then Xn is is going to hurt as well for any non-zero value of X (X = saddle, in this case). Given that logic fail, I am not going to bother translating and reading the article referenced in that series of posts.

Not trying to be a ******, just disagree strongly and don't really care to argue about it.
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Old 12-07-11, 01:58 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
Just because bloodflow is restricted for some period of time doesn't mean damage has occurred.
While the studies I've referred to particularly tested on-the-bike (and off the bike for 15 minutes) circulation levels, the article also states that "cyclists riding more than 400km/week could face issues ranging to total disfunction according to an earlier research in 1999". Google translation could've mangled it but it's at the 4th paragraph: http://www.mtbtr.com/gezi_yayin/yayin.asp?kayitno=760

There were also references to permanent harm on another study posted here recently: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/04/he...on/04bike.html

The studies, by researchers at Boston University and in Italy, found that the more a person rides, the greater the risk of impotence or loss of libido. And researchers in Austria have found that many mountain bikers experience saddle-related trauma that leads to small calcified masses inside the scrotum.
Dr. Goldstein said he often saw patients who were stunned to learn that riding a bicycle led to their impotence. One middle-aged man rode in a special cycling event to honor a friend and has been impotent since. A 28-year-old who came in for testing, Dr Goldstein said, showed the penile blood flow of a 60-year-old. A college student who had competed in rough cycling sports was unable to achieve an erection until microvascular surgery restored penile blood flow.
Me too. Got any?
Already referred to two distinct studies.

Originally Posted by guadzilla View Post
I read that link you posted. The fail is high in that one - starting with the assumption that if X1 hurts, then Xn is is going to hurt as well for any non-zero value of X (X = saddle, in this case).
Not arguing but they were saddles selected for their particular characteristics (gel/foam, tourer/racer, flat/cut-out, etc.) and it's safe to assume that due personal fitting is done prior to tests. So, those saddles were represantative of their genres. Also, what was measured is not numbness, but it is a quatifiable value like blood flow. Every type of saddle and riding position did cause a varying decrease in it, so it is fairly safe to conclude that all saddles of the tested genres and all riding positions will undermine penile bloodflow. How this test can't be representative is beyond me.
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Old 12-07-11, 02:16 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by bisiklet View Post
While the studies I've referred to particularly tested on-the-bike (and off the bike for 15 minutes) circulation levels, the article also states that "cyclists riding more than 400km/week could face issues ranging to total disfunction according to an earlier research in 1999". Google translation could've mangled it but it's at the 4th paragraph: http://www.mtbtr.com/gezi_yayin/yayin.asp?kayitno=760

There were also references to permanent harm on another study posted here recently: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/04/he...on/04bike.html
You asked for non-anecdotal data yet you provide largely anecdotal data suggesting that saddle choice and rider position is important and that improper saddle/position can lead to impotence in some riders. That's not exactly news. There is also ample anecdotal data showing riders who've ridden 25-30 hrs/wk for many years without any problems. As I said before YMMV.

Last edited by gregf83; 12-07-11 at 02:25 PM.
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Old 12-07-11, 02:55 PM
  #40  
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To the OP, it's definitely not normal.

The problem with numbness is that most of the time, at least when it has happened to me, you just don't notice it until you stand and perhaps go to adjust your shorts or something. It's such a strange sensation to be poking at your shorts and not feeling anything. Thankfully, it's never lasted more than a couple minutes after relieving the pressure but I did have one instance where I felt noticeably numb for a day or two. Now that freaked me out!

On longer rides, I make it a habit to stand more and check the package for mishandling. Personally, I think my saddle is slightly on the narrow side (Bontrager Affinity RXL) because I have to consciously focus on getting my sit bones in the correct position. On shorter rides it isn't so much an issue. Thankfully, 90% of the time I seem to get it right and have zero numbness, even on reasonably long (80-100km) rides.

Not to get too descriptive but has anyone else ever noticed better erections after riding? I know that I and, by extension (pun intended) my wife, have noticed.
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Old 12-07-11, 03:24 PM
  #41  
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Well ... I've logged 139,000 km over the past 21 years, sitting on saddles of various sorts, including four 1200K randonnees and everything leading up to that sort of distance.

Over the years, some saddles I've tried weren't as good as I'd hoped, so I exchanged those for something better.

After 21 years you'd think if there were some sort of "harm" from sitting on all those saddles for that length of time ... I might have noticed it by now.
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Old 12-07-11, 03:57 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by bisiklet View Post
So did I on my tourer. I did have ED issues on MTB but they were temporary (lasting a few days) and I'm quite fine now.

But the full answer is not that simple. As I've said before, harm is harm whether it is immediately apparent or not. And it's been proven that even the best saddle setup does undermine penile bloodflow (and nerves, by extension). The issue is not going away just because we ignore it. I chose not to ignore.

As a more general side note (not particularly addressing you), I have already discussed the basics at some length. Building on, drilling down, converging, diverging, all OK. But why repeat the basics again and again? I would sincerely like to see more serious arguments backed by something more than anectodal evidence and opinions.
*Bold added for reference

No offense but you really need to return to the basics. I read your posts and they are seriously off base and scream newB. Do yourself (and all of us) a favor by educating yourself a tad further on the subject from both a cycling and a medical standpoint before spouting off with such misplaced authority. Really, don't take this as an insult but just as a heads up that for lots of folks here with decades of cycling and medical experience your statements just don't hold up and at least for me cause a a bit of LOLing and groaning...

best...
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Old 12-07-11, 04:48 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by HokuLoa View Post
No offense but you really need to return to the basics. I read your posts and they are seriously off base and scream newB. Do yourself (and all of us) a favor by educating yourself a tad further on the subject from both a cycling and a medical standpoint before spouting off with such misplaced authority. Really, don't take this as an insult but just as a heads up that for lots of folks here with decades of cycling and medical experience your statements just don't hold up and at least for me cause a a bit of LOLing and groaning...

best...
Well, thanks. I won't deny that I'm not a roadie (recreational cyclist, got a user name just to post a question regarding ultrasonic dog deterrents, and somehow got stuck here) I'm also not a medical guy but literate enough to evaluate a medical study results.

Yet, my referral to a scientific study is called "anectodal data", people started to prove how they're not affected, some tried to ridicule the idea... No scientific study matters, no one recognizes the danger. I guess it was an error of me to bring forth such an issue in where pros frequent. Do I sniff a smell of defensive denial? Oh, my imagination again playing tricks on me.

Good luck.
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Old 12-07-11, 05:07 PM
  #44  
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Yes it's normal

For example, it's normal to have a deteriorated lung capacity IF you smoke cigarettes.
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Old 12-07-11, 05:17 PM
  #45  
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I did a thread on this in May because I had the same problem during my 1st century.

You should definitely be thinking of another saddle. It was highly recommended I go with the Selle Anatomica, and I haven't had any problems since. You could probably save a few bucks and go with the Brook B17 Imperial, but the Selle was recommended and I didn't want to skimp...on my boys....
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Old 12-07-11, 11:29 PM
  #46  
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I feel like maybe I mis-represented my situation. I don't think I've ever experienced full on numbness in my crotch. Never to the point where If I poked around down there I wouldn't feel anything... Instead I think I meant soreness. Coming back from a longer ride I would notice some soreness in my butt. I don't think it was numb. Just sore. Still not normal?

Thank you for all the insight.
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Old 12-07-11, 11:31 PM
  #47  
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ive had my meatstick and beansack go numb in spin class **** was weird
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Old 12-07-11, 11:42 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Syncmaster View Post
Instead I think I meant soreness. Coming back from a longer ride I would notice some soreness in my butt. I don't think it was numb. Just sore. Still not normal?

Thank you for all the insight.
I think if you aren't in the habit of riding that far, soreness may be normal. Re-reading your op, I think it's time for a new saddle
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Old 12-08-11, 01:11 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by Syncmaster View Post
I feel like maybe I mis-represented my situation. I don't think I've ever experienced full on numbness in my crotch. Never to the point where If I poked around down there I wouldn't feel anything... Instead I think I meant soreness. Coming back from a longer ride I would notice some soreness in my butt. I don't think it was numb. Just sore. Still not normal?

Thank you for all the insight.
If you're new to cycling and/or out of shape, you will likely feel some sitbone soreness with whatever saddle you use.

There is often a little bit of a break-in time period for your sitbones as they adjust to sitting on a saddle. And your core strength and posture on the bicycle go a long way to sitbone comfort as well. The stronger your core, the more comfortable you'll be on a bicycle because you'll be able to sit with good posture for a long period of time.

However, if your bicycle is set up properly for you, if you've got a reasonably strong core, if you are in decent shape, and if you've been riding for a while ... and your saddle is still causing you sitbone pain, you may need to look for a different saddle.

It certainly doesn't hurt to try several and see what you like and don't like. Most bicycle shops should allow at least a week to try a saddle, good ones will allow a month, and really good ones will allow 6 months.


Incidentally, what are you using for cycling shorts? Expensive isn't always better ... you've got to make sure you're not sitting on the seam of the padding, and that it is comfortably covering your sitbones.

Last edited by Machka; 12-08-11 at 01:14 AM.
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Old 12-08-11, 01:15 AM
  #50  
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No. Buy a saddle with a cutout in the middle. All saddles should have cutouts, there is no reason not to have one besides looks/marketing.
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