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Yet Another Saddle Issue Thread (Guys Only)

Old 08-05-13, 03:47 PM
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Yet Another Saddle Issue Thread (Guys Only)

Hi Gang,


I went on a century this past weekend just to prep for my upcoming tour. My WTB Pure-V saddle was mostly comfortable... mostly. I did 102 miles at a 16mph pace, so I was moving.

I ended the ride with significant soreness, and when I sat on the bike the next day, it hurt like a 3/10. it's the same saddle I used for the 1,500 mile tour I did last year, and I was sore pretty much every day for 50-100 mile consecutive days. It's never extreme soreness or real pain, but it's an ever-present bruise-like feeling.

Does anyone ride without ANY pain or soreness for these kinds of distances and paces? Or is my experience the norm and part of the Type 2 fun of touring?

I'm 23 y.o, very fit and 158lbs (6'2") and my bike frame is the right size (had it checked a few times) and I move around a lot throughout the ride, sitting and standing.

Also, there's no polite way to put this, but I am very well-endowed and a channel or cut-out appears to be a MUST for my anatomy, or I end up with issues.

Would love feedback on what you consider "normal" cycling soreness and where you draw the line to trying new saddles.

P.S. I say "Guys Only" because that's my anatomy. I'm happy to hear opinions from anyone for the general questions, but specifics will have to come from those who I share a gender with, I think!

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Old 08-05-13, 04:12 PM
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I recommend a mixte frame with velcro tiedowns for a more aero posture. I used to just freeball it on centuries but the road rash and added drag on the tarmac were too much.
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Old 08-05-13, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by kingsqueak
I recommend a mixte frame with velcro tiedowns for a more aero posture. I used to just freeball it on centuries but the road rash and added drag on the tarmac were too much.
I'm sorry.. I don't understand how this relates to a saddle question. I am not being sarcastic!
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Old 08-05-13, 04:59 PM
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Go to wall bikes website, order a Brooks B17 imperial and try it. You have six months to try it, return it if it doesn't work. With that saddle paired with a good pair of bike shorts you should be comfortable.
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Old 08-05-13, 05:02 PM
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Ehhh for those anotomical problems I have two pieces of advice, one is already here sorta. a Brooks saddle, I think I have a standard b17 and it serves me well without bashing.. and the other is properly positioning your junk inside bike shorts either works fine, I also have a couple specialized saddles that work if you're just wearing regular street clothes too dunno the model off the top of my head though.
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Old 08-05-13, 07:25 PM
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It sounds like you are getting a bit of a compression/blood flow/tissue damage issue. This seems to typically result from sitting upright such that all your weight is on your sits bones which cuts off blood flow to the tissue between the saddle and those bones. There's at least three ways to cope:

1. Ride less. This is a lousy option, but it does work and is why most cyclists never have to deal with this issue. Many tourists ride very upright, but they only ride fifty miles per day at a leisurely pace with breaks, so they never really compress the tissue.

2. Use a Brooks saddle. This might work for you. Bear in mind that what a leather saddle really does is even out the load between those high pressure points and the soft tissues between the bones. This can, but doesn't usually, have some disastrous consequences (nerve damage and/or vascular damage leading to numbness and/or sexual dysfunction).

3. Lower your profile. The bones you are sitting on have a couple of "knuckles" towards the back side that increase the pressure problem. (You can probably feel these under your bruises.) As you get yourself into a more aerodynamic posture, you will sit on a more forward portion of these bones that are both smoother (less pressure) and closer together. That's why performance saddles are narrower than touring saddles. If your saddle doesn't fit you well, this could result in some pressure to the soft tissue. You should be able to determine in a couple of minutes whether a given saddle will work for you in this posture. By the way, you may need to strengthen up your core so that you can get flat without putting pressure on your hands.

Good luck. You may find that some anti-inflammatory meds and massage can help speed the healing along.

By the way, these sort of saddle sore problems (as well as the infected skin variety) aren't all that gender specific.
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Old 08-05-13, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree
It sounds like you are getting a bit of a compression/blood flow/tissue damage issue. This seems to typically result from sitting upright such that all your weight is on your sits bones which cuts off blood flow to the tissue between the saddle and those bones. There's at least three ways to cope:

1. Ride less. This is a lousy option, but it does work and is why most cyclists never have to deal with this issue. Many tourists ride very upright, but they only ride fifty miles per day at a leisurely pace with breaks, so they never really compress the tissue.

2. Use a Brooks saddle. This might work for you. Bear in mind that what a leather saddle really does is even out the load between those high pressure points and the soft tissues between the bones. This can, but doesn't usually, have some disastrous consequences (nerve damage and/or vascular damage leading to numbness and/or sexual dysfunction).

3. Lower your profile. The bones you are sitting on have a couple of "knuckles" towards the back side that increase the pressure problem. (You can probably feel these under your bruises.) As you get yourself into a more aerodynamic posture, you will sit on a more forward portion of these bones that are both smoother (less pressure) and closer together. That's why performance saddles are narrower than touring saddles. If your saddle doesn't fit you well, this could result in some pressure to the soft tissue. You should be able to determine in a couple of minutes whether a given saddle will work for you in this posture. By the way, you may need to strengthen up your core so that you can get flat without putting pressure on your hands.

Good luck. You may find that some anti-inflammatory meds and massage can help speed the healing along.

By the way, these sort of saddle sore problems (as well as the infected skin variety) aren't all that gender specific.
#3 would be great, but I already do this. I'm on the drops a lot, and when I'm not, I'm still forward on my handlebars, such that my core is pretty ripped and I'm used to tucking on downhills without any hand pain over long distances. So where does this info leave me?

In other words, I don't think it's possible for me to do your #3 more than I already do.
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Old 08-05-13, 08:14 PM
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I'm 23 y.o, very fit and 158lbs (6'2")
theres the problem you ride to have impressive statistics, who are you trying to impress?


take your time, you will get old at the same rate as every one else .
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Old 08-05-13, 08:42 PM
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https://www.ismseat.com/saddle/adamo-breakaway https://www.ismseat.com/saddle/adamo-typhoon https://www.ismseat.com/saddle/adamo-century
https://www.selleanatomica.com/products/titanico/ https://www.selleanatomica.com/products/titanico-x/
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Old 08-05-13, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
theres the problem you ride to have impressive statistics, who are you trying to impress?


take your time, you will get old at the same rate as every one else .
I'm sharing statistics to add context to a question on saddle comfort.

My ability to ride and have kids depends on determining if my saddle is causing harm.

I am not old yet, and would like to learn about the specifics of this scenario. If you can't help, disperse general wisdom where it's needed
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Old 08-05-13, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by mdilthey
I'm sorry.. I don't understand how this relates to a saddle question. I am not being sarcastic!
It was a sarcastic penis joke. I was being sarcastic.

To be more useful, an Adamo ISM style or a Selle SMP may be of use to you, they are essentially a noseless or drop nose saddle.
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Old 08-05-13, 09:20 PM
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The world has become a toxic soup of organo-Chlorines and other industrial Petro-chemicals
that act a spermatozoa mutating and DNA distorting and cancer inducing agents..


really, worry about that. a lot more than your willy feeling an occasional tingle on your bike.

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Old 08-05-13, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
The world has become a toxic soup of organo-Chlorines and other industrial Petro-chemicals that act a spermatozoa mutating
and DNA distorting and cancer inducing agents..


really worry about that. a lot more than your willy feeling an occasional tingle on your bike.
Ok, thanks for the help Fietsbob...

The Adamo saddles look interesting. Why haven't I seen a design like this before? Since it's wider, won't it cause chafing, or is that just me?
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Old 08-05-13, 09:27 PM
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Consumer blinders on, shopping for stuff only

I've used a Brooks Pro , same one, for 30+ years.. had no problems, other than the fact that I'm now 65.

3 long self contained European tours , Faux chamois lined shorts, with out padding,
but with a seamless sweat absorbing surface against the skin.. Washed clean every night,

always had several pairs to always have a fresh pair on every morning ..

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Old 08-05-13, 09:42 PM
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If your "anatomical issues" are all that overwhelming a problem and the ISM saddles (especially the Sport model shown
here) don't help, your situation may be hopeless. You may need to do all of your riding standing on the pedals.

You should probably consult with a urologist to obtain medically sound insight into and advice regarding your problem.
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Old 08-05-13, 10:09 PM
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This is a bit out of my experience, but maybe a suspension seat post would prevent some of the beating and reduce the soreness. There's a couple of new products on the market that look interesting: https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...oker-seatposts

It looks like the Specialized one is currently showing up on bikes at dealers, so you could try one out if you have a dealer nearby.
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Old 08-06-13, 03:13 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
theres the problem you ride to have impressive statistics, who are you trying to impress?


take your time, you will get old at the same rate as every one else .
My 6' friend who weighs ~170 is pretty skinny(no fat, not that muscular). Knock another 12lbs off of him and stretch him 2" taller and he'd be outright scrawny. I don't think OP is trying to brag by providing those numbers. But hey, at least he's so well endowed that there's simply no polite way to even approach the subject, and humble enough to pretend like he's not trying to brag. Hahaha. He'll realize how silly he is in a few years(hopefully). Kids these days, I tell ya...

OP, as has been pointed out, your problem isn't just because you're so fit and well endowed. Plenty of women have had the same problems you're describing, as have many other unfortunate, less fit, less endowed men. You just have to do some more research and keep trying different things. It took me a good number of seats before I found one that was comfortable too, and I'm still not quite there yet. I can ride for a long time fairly comfortably now, but not completely comfortably. And yes, a cut-out or deep groove is necessary to reduce pressure for many of us. That's why they're so popular.
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Old 08-06-13, 08:45 AM
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When I was doing most of my touring in my early 20's I accommodated to the discomfort and rode about 8hrs a day. Changing posture frequntly and getting off the saddle helped as much as changing saddles. For some strange reason when I took up racing my tolerance for very long days in the saddle went down as my weekly mileage and intensity went up.

I wonder if your 102 miles is simply a maximum you need to recover from as opposed to a training ride for touring. Consecutive high mileage easy effort days would do more for touring prep than one fast paced century as you recover every day for the next days ride. Riding fast centuries is good training prep for riding fast centuries as long as recovery days are figured in. If you want prep for touring it's riding consecutive days at an intensity that doesn't leave you in deficit for the next day that will work best.

this is a roundabout way of saying your saddle may not be the problem but what you're expecting out of a century "training" ride. If your comfortable maximum is 80 miles and 100miles requires recovery or involves some kind of minor damage your're better off riding two consecutive 75mile days than one fast 100mile day. Or if you rode that 100miles at an easier pace and it didn't involve minor tissue or nerve damage then following it with an easy 25mile recovery day and other balancing activity would be good long daily distance and touring prep.
Basically to prep for touring ride consecutive mileage days. If you're training for fast 100mile touring days you'll have to learn how to recover on the bike. Simply hammering yourself won't do it.

reviewing your op it sounds normal. The century sounds like it was an extraordinary effort so some recovery is involved. Wrt penis issues I did a tour around your age that involved a lot of seat time and ended up with a numb penis for 4days, average endowment. Disconcerting to say the least. Changing saddles is worth experimenting but objective analysis of what is your comfortable average and that pushing that average has to include recovery in order to benefit from the training effort. Improving capabilities has to include down time. Seeing recovery as "something wrong" or weakness is pretty much relying on injury to provide training parameters instead of planning.

Last edited by LeeG; 08-06-13 at 09:06 AM.
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Old 08-06-13, 01:53 PM
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I've been searching for a saddle that'll let me do 200mi rides in relative comfort. The last couple years I've done all my double centuries on a recumbent, and while I'm physically/aerobically fit, I'm soft when it comes to sitting on a saddle.

The best thing I found was to find a bike shop that has a saddle test loaner program. A list of dealers for Selle SMP's is at
https://www.albabici.com/info/albabic...st-centers.htm

I've had a Selle Anatomica for many years (pre-Titanico X, it feels pretty soft) on a bike I didn't ride much. Just hopping on the bike the saddle felt immediately comfortable. After 4+ hours not so much. When I started riding the road bike more in preparation for doing a double I figured I'd just get accustomed to the Anatomica and/or tune the tension to find the perfect fit, but what I found was that it was debilitatingly uncomfortable when riding in the drops. Some searches later led me to try the Selle SMP's, and _I think_ I've found the perfect saddle for me.

I tried ~6 different Selle SMP's until I found one that felt perfect on the first sit. Some felt terrible immediately, some felt okay and I figured I'd adapt, and then the final one just felt right. I think the same deal would have happened with Specialized large selection, or maybe any other brands.

(As someone noted above), make sure your junk is properly positioned. At least when everything is properly position on the Selle SMP, I don't get numb, or if the sensation starts, it goes away after getting out of the saddle for a couple pedal revolutions.

I now use the Selle Anatomica on a bike that is fixed in a trainer, and it is wonderfully comfortable when I wear shorts with no chamois, and don't try to ride in the drops. When the Titanico X came out, I immediately bought one and put it on my MTB, and it still functions well there, though it is a completely different riding position than I have on the road bike.
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Old 08-06-13, 05:25 PM
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After my prostate surgery, I got the Romin Expert saddle. Nice wide channel down the middle. I've now been on it for several rides and no problem or numbness.
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Old 08-06-13, 05:46 PM
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I'm not really a similar body build to you at all (5'11, 200lbs big muscly legs and arms) and I don't know that a cutout saddle would help you. I'm not sure that the cutout is for your junk to go in... Do you ride in cycling shorts? The tights should keep the member from flopping all over the place and you can kind of keep it up along the leg above the point where your leg rubs against the saddle. If you notice a lot of cycling team photos they all seem to have their cocks pointing up toward the sun and I'd guess that is why. Have you tried taping it up out of the way to see if that is really part of the problem or not?

I've ridden longer distances than 100 miles and never had any problems with my bits getting in the way and causing pain. I've never tried a brooks but have recently begin using a cinelli unicanitor and enjoy the "harder" saddles a lot. I also have some vintage freccia d'oro saddles of similar construction and they treat me nicely as well. It's been my experience that chaffing causes discomfort as well wearing dirty shorts or putting clean shorts on a dirty body is a recipe for future discomfort. Getting your sit bones in the right place on a good saddle is probably going to eliminate a lot of the pain. Riding a 100 miles or more is gonna hurt a bit anyway and I find some soreness results but I also get sore sitting in an office chair all day so I dunno.
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Old 08-06-13, 05:59 PM
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As far as standing on the pedals.. past, seen, someone else, used one of those 2 cushion, easy seat types,

and set it up, so they leaned back against it, more than actually sitting On It.
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Old 08-06-13, 09:04 PM
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With the right saddle, I don't get sore as long as my butt is well-conditioned to it. Longest single ride has been 250 miles. Touring is OK, too. I have issues with too wide a nose and with saddles with no cut-out. I can't ride a saddle without one, no matter how much hype is associated with it. I have Performance Forte Classics on all my bikes, but they only come in one width, so may not fit you. The Specialized Romin looks like I would do well on it, also. I like a little padding, but not too much. I wear good bike shorts with the usual synthetic pad and grease with Bag Balm on long rides.
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Old 08-08-13, 03:19 PM
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Well to add my $.02, I have riden about 20 different sadles including a Brooks over the years. The Brooks was okay, but still I expected better. I have had chafing problems on rides as short as 10 miles on all of them, and had about given up the search for an 'ultimate saddle' solution and resigned myself to sores for life. Then I found my saddle: The Selle An-Atomica Titanico with cutout. It looks like a Brooks with a cut out in the top. It took 500 miles to break it in, but I rode it on a century last month and NO CHAFING and NO BRUISING! FIRST TIME I EVER COULD SAY THAT!! I could have ridden another hundrd when I finished too. I do use high quality shorts with the seat (it is not comfortable without padded shorts) and for any ride 20 miles or more I lube up with Chamois Butt'R Euro Styld Chamois Cream as well. It is a miracle for me. I bet the Brooks lovers would swithc to my seat if they ever tried it (like I did). You have to ger the right model for your weight. I ride a Titanico (not the Titanico X) and I weigh 200 pounds and to be honest am saddled with rather conventional endowment.

If you try this seat, there are a ton of threads and mentions of it in the forum if you search. I just advise not over tensioning it is the trick to comfort and seat longevity. Just keep it tight enough to keep your nuts off of the top of the seat post, no tighter or you will overstretch it and lose much of the comfortable 'hammock' ride quality.
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Old 08-08-13, 07:17 PM
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Good luck in your search for the perfect saddle, for most it is a process of trial and error. These fellows provide an unconditional 6 month guarantee on Brooks saddles.https://www.wallbike.com you may wish to consider them. The above mentioned Selle Anatomica is a good saddle, but it's not for everyone. I tried it on my tour last year https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/11264 with less than stellar results. I ended up back on my B 17. Again, good luck in your search. YMMV
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