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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 12-05-11, 11:29 PM
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After 50+ miles, is it normal to feel a bit numb in the nether region?.....

Or should I be thinking about a different saddle to my rock hard carbon one I have on there now?

On rides less than 40 miles I don't seem to feel any discomfort. But anything longer I start to feel a little numb in my bum. I may try my next long ride with my San Marco Regal saddle I have on my fixie right now. It's wider and comfy even without chamois...

But I was wondering if it's normal to feel a bit numb after long rides, or if with the right fit and saddle, you could go for a lot longer and not feel any discomfort?

Thanks for any info
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Old 12-05-11, 11:34 PM
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it's never normal to feel numb. Having said that, I think most of us experience numbness occasionally. You may find that the next time you ride that distance, it doesn't happen.

My experience is that if you are feeling problems at 50 miles, it's likely you need a new saddle. I don't consider a saddle acceptable unless I've ridden it on a ride of at least 80 miles without issue.
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Old 12-05-11, 11:41 PM
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I hope so... I call it NDS (numb dick syndrome), on longer rides it seems to happen if I don't take a quick break every now and then. Maybe I need to find a new seat as well.
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Old 12-05-11, 11:43 PM
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Numb is bad at any length of ride. Especially in that area. Get a new saddle asap. A little soreness the next day is normal, but numbess at any point is not.
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Old 12-05-11, 11:46 PM
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Originally Posted by jimxyz View Post
I hope so... I call it NDS (numb dick syndrome), on longer rides it seems to happen if I don't take a quick break every now and then. Maybe I need to find a new seat as well.
Yes, you do. If your junk is going numb, it's a VERY serious problem. Your saddle isn't right for you or you are poorly fitted to the bike. You are literally risking becoming impotent if you don't do something about this.
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Old 12-05-11, 11:48 PM
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What about soreness, instead of numbness?.... I can't remember what I feel.... or what the subtle differences may be.... I feel like I felt maybe more sore than numb?
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Old 12-05-11, 11:54 PM
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Do you stand up and get out of the saddle once in a while?
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Old 12-05-11, 11:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Syncmaster View Post
What about soreness, instead of numbness?.... I can't remember what I feel.... or what the subtle differences may be.... I feel like I felt maybe more sore than numb?
Numbess is lack of feeling. Ever had your hand or arm falls asleep on the couch? That's numbess. Simple discomfort is a completely different thing. If it's noticeable on the ride after only 40 miles to the point where you can't stop thinking about it, it's safe to say you need a better saddle.

As gregf83 mentioned, standing up every few minutes helps.
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Old 12-06-11, 12:05 AM
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Originally Posted by ilovecycling View Post
Yes, you do. If your junk is going numb, it's a VERY serious problem. Your saddle isn't right for you or you are poorly fitted to the bike. You are literally risking becoming impotent if you don't do something about this.
I've got a fitting scheduled later this month - hopefully that will help. Seat suggestions - ?
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Old 12-06-11, 12:15 AM
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Tmi
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Old 12-06-11, 01:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Syncmaster View Post
Or should I be thinking about a different saddle to my rock hard carbon one I have on there now?

On rides less than 40 miles I don't seem to feel any discomfort. But anything longer I start to feel a little numb in my bum.
hey, you said you're numb in the bum, now that's not that serious right... i mean, as long as your junk is fine? am i right? cause sometimes when commuting with a heavy backpack i get numb back there.
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Old 12-06-11, 01:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Syncmaster View Post
What about soreness, instead of numbness?.... I can't remember what I feel.... or what the subtle differences may be.... I feel like I felt maybe more sore than numb?
After 50+ miles, is it normal to feel a bit numb in the nether region?.....

No.

You should be able to ride at least a century with little to no discomfort of any sort.
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Old 12-06-11, 03:59 AM
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i have an ISM saddle on my road bike, it is awesome! no pain whatsoever.
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Old 12-06-11, 04:43 AM
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I'm kind of tired of having to bring this up every so often.
Again, I use and recommend a Missing brand saddle (particularly the variety that goes with the post) and its the best I've seen so far.
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Old 12-06-11, 05:46 AM
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Most OEM saddles are narrow. If you're not supporting yourself on your sitbones, you're going to get that numbness. The fact that the San Marco Regal on your fixie doesn't do this is a hint that you need a wider saddle.

I've got a black Regal on my Bianchi, and it's the narrowest saddle I own. The other saddles I have are a Selle Italia Turbomatic Gel (153mm width - did a century a month ago on it, no chamois cream, no numbness, no soreness) and a Specialized Avatar (155mm width). Bontrager (Trek) also offers saddles in different widths.

When you get fitted, make sure it includes your sitbone width, and then use that as your parameter for saddle choice. Your junk will thank you.
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Old 12-06-11, 05:56 AM
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Might not be the saddle. Could be as simple as your fit or saddle tilt. Don't ditch the saddle until after your fitting.
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Old 12-06-11, 09:26 AM
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If it's just your bum, things aren't so bad. Probably you have too much weight on your seat, as a result of your riding position. It's not the end of the world, but if you keep doing long rides and longer you're wise to get yourself to a fitter.

If you're getting numb elsewhere, it's another issue.
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Old 12-06-11, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Commodus View Post
If it's just your bum, things aren't so bad. Probably you have too much weight on your seat, as a result of your riding position. It's not the end of the world, but if you keep doing long rides and longer you're wise to get yourself to a fitter.

If you're getting numb elsewhere, it's another issue.
Well it seems like I'll be adjusting my saddle angle a bit to see if that helps, then I may end up having to go get a proper fitting done. Though I do have my eye on one of those nice new modern Regale Saddles San Marco has now...

I also have 3 saddles in my parts bin that I can change out to see if any of them feel better.


Thanks for all the advice fellas.
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Old 12-06-11, 06:59 PM
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Get some dome once done with your ride. That'll help bring back feeling into your nether region.

Last edited by LOGICK ONE; 12-06-11 at 06:59 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 12-06-11, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by revchuck View Post
Bontrager (Trek) also offers saddles in different widths.
And you have 30 days to try the Bontrager saddles and you can return it if it doesn't work for you.
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Old 12-06-11, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Syncmaster View Post
What about soreness, instead of numbness?.... I can't remember what I feel.... or what the subtle differences may be.... I feel like I felt maybe more sore than numb?
This is going to sound really stupid but just hear me out. While you're riding just reach down and give a little squeeze. If you can feel it, you're fine. If you can't you're not fine.
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Old 12-06-11, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by bisiklet View Post
I'm kind of tired of having to bring this up every so often.
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Old 12-07-11, 03:30 AM
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Originally Posted by itsmoot 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.

Last edited by bisiklet; 12-07-11 at 04:54 AM. Reason: added bolds
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Old 12-07-11, 05:02 AM
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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.

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?
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Old 12-07-11, 05:16 AM
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Originally Posted by bisiklet View Post
The simple fact is that, no matter ..... how your saddle gives in (concaveness) under your weigth... saddle riding *do* harm
On a second thought, I might have been too quick to jump into conclusion about a saddle giving in under load being ineffective.

All the tests I've seen are conducted with gel or foam saddles - no leather saddle used. Gel and foam saddles have a stiff base covered with padding, which assumes the shape of your bones under load, sometimes migrating to unloaded (crotch) area. In contrast, a leather saddle is like a "stiff hammock" and (I assume) it can get a wide and shallow U-like concave-ish form under load, which may help lessen the pressure at groin area.

May be just my imagination.

Last edited by bisiklet; 12-07-11 at 05:29 AM.
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