Numb parts.

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 Hillseeker 29 Nov 2018

For the roadies.

Generally when I’m outside cycling after an hour or so my er, ‘undercarriage’ becomes kind of numb and uncomfortable necessitating some standing up in the saddle and trying to allow blood flow to the area. This can be dealt with to an extent on the road but I have now got a set of rollers for indoor training over the winter. The same problem occurs without fail and I’m not skilful enough to stand up out of saddle on the rollers! 

My question is what do others do? Are there any sure fire ways of avoiding this problem or do you just grin and bear it?

Does a fitted saddle make any difference? I’d go down that route if could guarantee results!


In reply to Hillseeker:

Lower the nose of your saddle a smidge... basically play with saddle position until you don't get it anymore.

Post edited at 09:14
 Mick Bradshaw 29 Nov 2018
In reply to Hillseeker:

Assuming you're already wearing half decent padded shorts (as I was) and still suffering (and do try playing with saddle position as suggested) - the cure for me was a new saddle - with a cut-out in the centre. Still had to play with saddle position a bit too but can now ride for 3-4 hours without noticeable pain. 


 Dave B 29 Nov 2018
In reply to Hillseeker:

Some saddles at better than others in general and some better than others for you... But it's hard to guarantee which one will suit you better. Some bike shop staff are great at finding ones that suit you. But often you do have to try for a bit before you can be sure...

Play around with what you have first, as discussed above. 



 jack89 29 Nov 2018
In reply to Hillseeker:

Surefire solution for me was an ISM saddle (attack) and I've other friends who are fans of the SMPs. Also be wary of overly padded or ill-fitting shorts negating the benefit of the special designs too.

Well worth the cost but you can try eBay; often plenty of folk selling such saddles as they didn't like them. Some places might offer you a trial too.

Good luck!

 webbo 29 Nov 2018
In reply to Hillseeker:

Also check the height of your saddle as this might be the result of it being too high.


 Yanis Nayu 29 Nov 2018
In reply to Hillseeker:

Most likely it’s the saddle not suiting you. Those ISM ones are supposed to be good. I’ve got a Sella Italia one with a long cut-out that solved the problem for me. I think they’re quite individual though. 

Not something to mess about with if you want to carry-on enjoying other pleasures in life, if you know what I mean...

 John2 29 Nov 2018
In reply to Hillseeker:

A good bike shop will have a gel pad to measure how far apart your pubic bones are, which will determine the width of saddle that you need.

paulcarey 29 Nov 2018
In reply to Dave B:


> Play around with what you have first

Err... that's one way to check for numbness. 

But definitely get a saddle with a cut out for the groin area. I had similar issues until I got the right saddle. Didn't know the saddle nose was supposed slightly down hill though.



 Bwox 29 Nov 2018
In reply to Hillseeker:

This GCN video might be of some reassurance if you're worried about consequences:


 cb294 29 Nov 2018
In reply to Hillseeker:

As others said, a cut out saddle will probably do the job. Try a couple of models, they may fit or be hell on wheels.

I had good results with both Brooks Cambium and Selle Italia Flite cutout versions, even though overall they look rather different (the Brooks was previously on a vintage roadie I sold and is now on my MTB,  while the Flite is on my cyclocross bike).

SQlabs was a complete disaster for me, the FIZIK Arone was OKish.

Also, lowering the saddle nose a bit can work wonders.



 felt 29 Nov 2018
In reply to Hillseeker:

I sympathise. I had to spend two days lying horizontal in bed with an extremely inflamed varicocele the other day. Don't ask! Just imagine the sickening feeling of being kicked in the nuts going on for that long. This was because I wore an old pair of dhb tights with minimal padding on a new Prologo Nago Evo ridged saddle. I guess the rubbing of the ridge caused the inflammation. Using some better padded tights and the problem hasn't returned.


In reply to Hillseeker:

Took me ages to solve this, but Rido  saddles worked for me, but the old version. I bought 4 of them so when up graded by the company I would still have the version that worked for me.

 Hillseeker 29 Nov 2018
In reply to Hillseeker:

Thanks for advice all. My saddle already has a cutout, Selle Italia x1 model.

Always wear padded shorts of varying qualities.

Looks like lowering the nose a tad might be the first thing to try.

 Sans-Plan 29 Nov 2018
In reply to jack89:

SMP here, they are really good but a bit pricey.

 Hillseeker 29 Nov 2018
In reply to Bwox:

Good video, thanks.

 nniff 29 Nov 2018
In reply to Hillseeker:

Saddle height and position would be the first place to start.  For saddle height, one decent test is to clip in and ride one footed, then to change to the other foot, and then to use both feet but sustaining the one-footed motion.  You should be able to maintain a powerful circular motion (or, more specifically, a motion a bit like a bull pawing the ground - drive, scrape and up).  If you can't get any power into the scrape, your saddle is probably a too high - move it in quarter and eighth of an inch increments at most.  Your saddle should be flat or slightly nose down - you shouldn't slide off it if you ride with your hands off the bars.  It may also be that your bars are too low in comparison to the flexibility of your back

If all that's sorted and the problem persists, try a cut out saddle.  Fabric Scoop suits me, and one version has a cut-away groove.  they are also very well priced.   Personally, I don't have a problem, except when I settle down to a really long, long drag up a hill (an hour or so plus), but less so with a cut-away saddle.

 ClimberEd 29 Nov 2018
In reply to Hillseeker:

Not so helpful but it may be impossible to entirely eliminate on rollers.

Outside you are shifting around quite a bit on the saddle (maybe not for a locked in short piece of work but on longer rides) in a way that just isn't replicated on rollers or the turbo.

Am happy to be corrected though

 two_tapirs 29 Nov 2018
In reply to Hillseeker:

Put the saddle back on, it's a lot comfier. 

 Sharp 30 Nov 2018
In reply to Hillseeker:

Not much to add to the others, playing around with different seats and padded shorts is probably the way to go but also expensive. I've never really managed to eliminate it but I often adjust the seat between cycles which moves the pain to a different spot. Seat forward on the way into work and back on the way home. Works for me.

 Yanis Nayu 30 Nov 2018
In reply to ClimberEd:

I think you’re right. I think for the same reason my penis ends up like a sausage stuffed by a contestant on the Generation Game after an hour on the turbo. 

 NorthernGrit 30 Nov 2018
In reply to Hillseeker:

Saddle but also be aware and maybe tweak general bike positioning. You might find a saddle height/fore aft/ bar height tweak sorts out the problem.

Make small adjustments to one thing at a time and see how it feels.

 Pbob 30 Nov 2018
In reply to Hillseeker:

Google "Billy Connolly" and "p#nile numbness" all the answers there for you.

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