An (ahem) slightly personal question for the lads!

by skitza   June 10, 2013  

Ok so Ive recently got my first road bike after a years hard riding (for me!)on my MTB, i love it! and am doing both challenges on strava this month so am riding every day and have racked up 324 miles since the start of the month.
Now the personal bit is i seem to have a slightly numb undercarriage or as my Scottish friends would say bawbag as well as a slightly numb chap!So my question is is this normal? Am i just adjusting to the 'razorblade' seat as appose to the 'pillow' on my MTB or do i need to see a doctor immediately?
Many thanks in advance

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May need to fine tune your saddle position and/ or your padded shorts (im presuming you are wearing padded shorts!)
I may be wrong and others may disagree but i would say that perhaps you are riding a teeny bit too much. Its good that you are enthusiastic but it is important to give it a rest now and again and i think that maybe your bollocks are feeling the pressure (literally) of too much too soon.

posted by Some Fella [820 posts]
10th June 2013 - 21:50

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Take a pin and jab your sack...the feeling WILL soon come back when the blood rushes around.....

WARNING Do not listen to a word I say and trying this may risk your health

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [9038 posts]
10th June 2013 - 22:31

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You need to get a saddle that does not do this to you!

Or else.....

http://sportsmedicine.about.com/od/cyclingworkouts/a/BikingImpotence.htm

This site explains it and explains how to avoid it

posted by SideBurn [873 posts]
11th June 2013 - 6:47

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SideBurn wrote:
You need to get a saddle that does not do this to you!

Agreed!

I used to suffer from numb nuts, got myself a saddle with a whacking great hole in the middle and haven't looked back. Heave a read around on google for 'perineum' in relation to cycling.

It may take a while to find a saddle that works well for you. See if your LBS will let your try before you buy, if not Evans has one of the best/simplest no nonsense return policies I've encountered.

netclectic's picture

posted by netclectic [121 posts]
11th June 2013 - 9:10

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Simple choice; new saddle or erectile disfunction! Specialized have put quite a lot or work into this with their Body Geometry range....think there's a Selle Italia "saddle" that is more hole than padding! http://www.selleitalia.com/se_it3/prodotti/road/pagina_max-flite/
Haven't tried it though.

posted by Al'76 [126 posts]
11th June 2013 - 9:28

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Agreed re: saddle but you might need to look more widely at your position on the bike and whether your saddle and bars position effectively distributes your weight evenly. Spend a few quid on a bike fit first before adopting a scattergun saddle search. Some people don't get on with the cut-out saddles and prefer the more evenly distributed pressure of something like a Fizik. If you are from an MTB background, there's nothing wrong with using something like a Charge Spoon.

I would also suggest having a week off after your Strava challenges to give your body time to recover and improve. There's another thread here about resting being as important as training:

http://road.cc/content/forum/84941-training-well-vs-mileage-accumulation

arrieredupeleton

posted by arrieredupeleton [566 posts]
11th June 2013 - 10:24

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I had something similar when I first got my bike and was getting numbness from the Fizik Arione which came with it. The first thing I'd do is go into your LBS and have your sit bones measured. You can then check if your saddle is too narrow for your sit bones (the width of the saddle is often marked underneath it). If it is too narrow, your body weight is largely pressing on your perineum, hence the numbness.

As others have said, it could be riding too much or poor bike fit but saddle width is worth checking as it should be free to do this in your LBS.

I found the Fizik Arione painful for longer rides so got measured and then went for a Specialized Toupe Gel saddle (this has a perineal cut-out) and have not had numbness since. I hardly notice I'm on it, which is a good sign so far as I'm concerned.

posted by Sadly Biggins [266 posts]
11th June 2013 - 11:08

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Ha, I did the exact same thing as you, Sadly Biggins. Went from an arione to a toupe, via the sit bone measurer.

posted by bashthebox [647 posts]
11th June 2013 - 15:07

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Interesting article in the last issue of Cyclist about saddles and there is a school of thought that cutouts actually can make the pressure on your Biffins Bridge even worse by shifting the pressure to either side and stretching it.
Some swear by them though so i reckon its a case of trial and error until you find the right saddle.

posted by Some Fella [820 posts]
11th June 2013 - 15:11

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Invest in a Brooks saddle. Sorted out my undercarriage issues for good!

posted by Team Rux [21 posts]
11th June 2013 - 17:27

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Team Rux wrote:
Invest in a Brooks saddle. Sorted out my undercarriage issues for good!

Didn't it double the weight of your bike though? Wink

They are undeniably comfy though...

My eyes prefer Celeste, my bum prefers titanium.

Jack Osbourne snr's picture

posted by Jack Osbourne snr [310 posts]
11th June 2013 - 17:56

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Just in and id like to say thanks to one and all for an amusing,informative,heartening set of answers (except for the pin one! Thinking )

I'll go to my lbs on Saturday and the rest is coming! Just this month to get through and im away on a Greek Beach for 2 weeks start of July Big Grin

posted by skitza [16 posts]
11th June 2013 - 17:59

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skitza wrote:
Just this month to get through and im away on a Greek Beach for 2 weeks start of July Big Grin

Just for the record, no need to post any stories of your crackers going numb on holiday Big Grin

posted by Sadly Biggins [266 posts]
11th June 2013 - 19:11

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Lool Big Grin Fat chance unless i leave the mrs at home Big Grin

posted by skitza [16 posts]
11th June 2013 - 20:20

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Disclaimer:

For the record if you read this luv its a joke! Big Grin

posted by skitza [16 posts]
11th June 2013 - 20:21

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Some Fella wrote:
Interesting article in the last issue of Cyclist about saddles and there is a school of thought that cutouts actually can make the pressure on your Biffins Bridge even worse by shifting the pressure to either side and stretching it.
Some swear by them though so i reckon its a case of trial and error until you find the right saddle.

Yeah I've been through loads of saddles and cut outs have never been comfortable, plus hardly any pros use them and they've been known to put some miles in.

TheHatter's picture

posted by TheHatter [811 posts]
11th June 2013 - 20:59

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Definately found a cut-out helped; +1 for the toupe and make sure it is level so that your weight is on the ishial tuberosities (sitty bones) and not the perineum. Sore baw-bag either means you need a better pair of shorts or you are using your sack as a cushion - not recommended.

posted by big shug [40 posts]
11th June 2013 - 22:42

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I had similar issues, even with a Selle Italia with a cut-out. However, when I switched to a Selle San Marco Mantra (with giant cut-out), all the problems went away. I now have one on each of my race bike and winter training bike.

I cannot recommend it highly enough (although of course, it may not suit your shape). Flippin' expensive mind you.

Somewhere on the fizik website, there used to be something that explained well why this occurs for some people and not for others. All to do with spine flexibility - if your spine is less flexible, as you reach forward for the handlebars, your pelvis tilts forward instead which presses the soft bits harder into the saddle. People with flexible spines tend to keep their pelvises more upright.

posted by Tjuice [124 posts]
12th June 2013 - 11:08

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If you sit on the "sit bones" - you'll be fine. If you lean forward onto the perineum (the bit behind the scrotum) then you squash the nerves. This is essentially a posture issue/bike fit issue.
Cut-out saddles work by removing the pressure so that your bad posture doesn't cause numbness - but many miles may screw your back.

Spinal flexibility may be a factor in that you can slouch or hunch easier (ie poor posture)whilst keeping your pelvis level.

Sit bone width, as mentioned by many, is the key, as that is the main supporting contact point.

posted by Dr Max [10 posts]
12th June 2013 - 14:18

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When I returned to cycling in my forties, I found my bum muscles had sagged since I last cycled, and the saddle that had borne me thousands of miles in my teens and twenties now gave me a numb perineum and, cough, beyond. Actually, it's not the numbness that is the problem: it's when the feeling comes back! Now, if you get pins & needles in your hand or somewhere, you are supposed to shake vigorously to restore the circulation. But if it's in your.... well, let's not go there. Suffice it to say that if you're in a public place, all you can do it walk around for a bit with a pained expression on your face, cleats ticking on the tarmac.

So I got a Terry saddle with its cutaway and have never looked back -- but I am no racing cyclist and most racing saddles are too narrow for me at the best of times. You will be in a different riding position on a road bike compared with an MTB, but you might try your MTB saddle as a starting point and look for something with the same width for the sit-bones' position.

posted by arowland [100 posts]
12th June 2013 - 14:42

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My sympathies... Had similar problems when I restarted cycling after many years layoff. My solution - a Crane Creek Thudbuster - the short one for city roads. That and a split saddle. Together they make all the difference.
Hope this helps.
Knotty.

Knotty

posted by John Knott [3 posts]
12th June 2013 - 15:46

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Dr Max wrote:
If you sit on the "sit bones" - you'll be fine. If you lean forward onto the perineum (the bit behind the scrotum) then you squash the nerves. This is essentially a posture issue/bike fit issue.
Cut-out saddles work by removing the pressure so that your bad posture doesn't cause numbness - but many miles may screw your back.

+1
but are you a real doctor? (I've been fooled before ...)

TheHatter's picture

posted by TheHatter [811 posts]
12th June 2013 - 17:55

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So me telling the mrs it was probably because i have a massive wanger is probably a bit misleading?! Surprise

In all seriousness posture/bike fit issue by the look of it so ill stop slouching and as far as the bike fit part goes could it just be a higher/lower seat position? because i never had this before on the mtb although the seat was larger and padded but definitely higher than the road bike has been set up.

posted by skitza [16 posts]
12th June 2013 - 22:01

1 Like