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Numb male parts

kirkie bikerkirkie biker Posts: 2
edited July 2007 in Road beginners
Hi All,

Can anyone tell me what causes numbness during a ride. I find that my male parts go numb after about an hour out on the road and about 20 minutes on the turbo. There is no pain, they just go numb and then recover after a few minutes off the bike.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.




  • venstervenster Posts: 559
    The only way I got rid of this was to upgrade the saddle. I found the Selle Italia Gel Flow SLR works good for me, but I'm sure there'll be other suggestions along soon.

    The cut out bit relieves pressure on the nerves down below.
  • Saddles are specific to each rider, so take recommendation's with a large pinch of salt.

    try getting out of the saddle a little, maybe mover your saddle a little, forward would be my advice. is it tilted at all? It might need to be.

    Mleh Mleh Mleh
  • BlondeBlonde Posts: 3,188
    What causes it: apparently it's pressure to the perrenial nerve, (ie. nerve that runs from @censored to underneath yer parts) rather than to the 'male parts' themselves, so a saddle with a dip/groove or cut out hole in the centre can help. The Loved One uses Selle Italia gel flow model with hole in the middle.

    Similar to this: ... LLSADD1450
  • baudmanbaudman Posts: 757
    It's one of the most-common problems with the sport. Some swear by the 'grooved' saddles - others say they increase the pressure in the parts that are in contact and make it worse.

    I've just gone for a Fizik Arione - very nice saddle so far, and I've still yet to break it in properly.

    My best advice is to get out of the saddle at least every 15 minutes. Easy to do in traffic - easy to forget when you are doing long distances... It gets the blood flowing down there.
    Commute - MASI Souville3 | Road/CX - MASI Speciale CX | Family - 80s ugly | Utility - Cargobike
  • GarybeeGarybee Posts: 815
    I find that soft saddles tend to cause this for me. The harder the saddle is the better, as your weight is supported by your 'sit-bones' whereas with a softer saddle you sink in and the saddle presses in the centre. Having found a saddle that works i have bought enough to fit the same one to all my bikes.

    I actually think that superlight racing saddles are better in this respect as there is very little padding to sink into.

    Hypocrisy is only a bad thing in other people.
  • woody-somwoody-som Posts: 1,001
    I'd go with the saddle option. the one you have is more than likely too soft. I tried various saddles before settling for the Arione. Now have them on both bikes, and the longest ride so far has been just over 100miles, and still comfy.

    Try various saddles from friends or see if you can get your LBS (if you know them) to set one or two up on your bike in a turbo, as most won't let you take them home to try. Specalized do though (or did) do a saddle trial on certain models.
  • I thought it was the pudendal nerve. It's not healthy to compress it for long periods of time, which is impossible when time trialling.
  • Big Red SBig Red S Posts: 26,890
    In general, the whole area goes numb if your saddle is too big, and you get soreness if it's too small.

    If there's localised numbness (which it sounds like) it might be worth going for one of the V saddles which do say they prevent that numbness. It's also worth looking at the angle of your saddle. A study in the states a few years ago found that pointing your saddle down by up to about ten degrees can reduce the hindrance to the blood flow in that area.

    If you're going down the new saddle option, it's worth borrowing friend's saddles first, to see what you do get along with. It's incredibly hard to reccomend a saddle to someone who just knows one saddle they dislike...
  • BrixtonfixedBrixtonfixed Posts: 127
    In my experience it's a saddle thing. I recently bought a new bike with a Selle Italia SLR XP, which has no cutout. Experienced the worst numbness in my (long) cycling career. Trashed the saddle in a crash, swapped it for a Specialized Toupe, which is a pretty minimalist, racy-looking thing but has a big central cutout. Recently rode nine gruelling hours on it, no numbness at all -- and comfortable to boot.
  • EurostarEurostar Posts: 1,806
    There's a theory that this causes impotence. Numbness in that area is not something to take any chances with, so change your saddle or riding positiion or shorts! And read this
    <h6>What\'s the point of going out? We\'re just going to end up back here anyway</h6>
  • NedKellyNedKelly Posts: 15
    It's also worth looking at the angle of your saddle. A study in the states a few years ago found that pointing your saddle down by up to about ten degrees can reduce the hindrance to the blood flow in that area.

    I had the same problem and changed to a Specialized BG and tilted the saddle down very slightly, not had a problem since.
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