Saddles and gentlemen's bits

johngti
johngti Posts: 2,508
edited May 2013 in Road general
Been thinking about saddles and their impact on sensitive bits lately, not exactly worrying, but I did get a bit of numbness on the 100k ride I did a month ago. Looking at my saddle, it looks like the pressure points are right at the back and right at the front with no wear in between (its the original giant seat, big red stripe down the middle originally, now just a red splodge in the middle). Other than the longer rides, I'm not really uncomfortable on it but I'm wondering if anyone else has seen this sort of wear pattern or if it'd be a good idea to replace it. It's more of a shaped saddle than flat - the back of it kicks up a bit. Will do a pic in a little while!

Comments

  • diy
    diy Posts: 6,473
    if its got a red stripe down it you should probably go to the doctors. ;) I personally prefer a grooved saddle.
  • johngti
    johngti Posts: 2,508
    That did occur to me!

    A picture (ignore the muppet trousers!)

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/vvzz64pghzi56k1/Photo%2018-05-2013%2007%2044%2007.jpg
  • ed_j
    ed_j Posts: 335
    Do a side-on shot so we can see the angle.
  • gavbarron
    gavbarron Posts: 824
    If you're getting numbness then saddle is in wrong place or saddle is wrong shape for you. Either of these or combination of the two will put weight in the wrong place and cause restricted blood flow
  • diy
    diy Posts: 6,473
    Need to see the whole bike and even better with you sat on it in normal gear and someone else holding the bike.

    But looking at my own seat the nose and tail are the shiniest bits which suggest these also get most wear. Makes sense, when in the drop or aero bars I'm on the nose, when in the hoods I'm on the tail. The bit in the middle is also the softest and touches the fewest parts of my body.
  • jouxplan
    jouxplan Posts: 147
    It's still hard to tell even from your side shot - but it looks like you may have the saddle pointing down quite a bit. May just be the angle of the photo though. You want it horizontal or very very slightly nose-up, as a rule. Nose down = more pressure on the undercarriage :shock:

    Even when horizontal or slightly nose up, you can get numbness if the saddle does not suit you. I changed to an SMP saddle (a 'Dynamic') 18 months ago, and have not looked back since. A weird shape, and with a large cut out all the way along it's length. I have not had any numbness since and it is incredibly comfortable. You might want to consider similar types of saddle - there are several brands that have these huge cut-outs, that let all your nerves and things basically dangle in mid-air. Your wife will be most pleased with the results, if you get my drift :wink:
    Trek Project One Series 6 Madone 2010
    Trek Madone 5.9 2006
    Trek Madone 5.2 2004
    Cougar Custom 1995
    Viscount Aerospace 1982
    Some mountain bikes gathering dust
  • johngti
    johngti Posts: 2,508
    Thanks for the help everyone! Popped into a giant store this afternoon and got a recommendation from there. In the meantime, I'll check the angle tomorrow and try to get a pic of me on it soon too. It's all marginal to be honest; I guess I'm getting to the point where I'm able to tell the difference between me not being used to riding and something that will make me a better rider.
  • passout
    passout Posts: 4,425
    I had 'issues' in this area. I tried loads of saddles - WTB came out very well. However they best by some margin for me were Selle SMP. I never have 'issues' now, even after spending all day in the saddle. A lot of it is down to saddle choice / fit. Selle SMP have a wide selection of saddles - there website details widths etc. For once the scientific claims seeem to be true. I now have Selle SMP on all my bikes - only down side is that they are not cheap.

    http://www.sellesmp.com/smp4bike/en/evolution
    'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.
  • Got numbness down there for 1-2 weeks after doing my first ever "long" ride... bought a Selle Italia SLR Superflow which resolved it, lots of space for blood to flow down there.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    jouxplan wrote:
    You want it horizontal or very very slightly nose-up, as a rule. Nose down = more pressure on the undercarriage :shock:

    Hi jouxplan.
    How does nose down = more pressure on your man bits? Would have thought it was less if anything.

    Mine is quite heavily nose down and it feels great. If its horizontal it feels like I am sitting on my Ed Balls as much as my sit bones.

    Would have thought it would depend on riding position, saddle and rider more than sticking to a rule.
  • ed_j
    ed_j Posts: 335
    If you have a lot of saddle to bar drop then you can quite easily put pressure on your tackle. Angling it down slightly relieves the discomfort.
  • Grill
    Grill Posts: 5,610
    I used to get terrible numbness (1-2 weeks) until I switched to a saddle with a cutout. Look into it if you wish to avoid the need to pee sitting down.
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • jouxplan
    jouxplan Posts: 147
    Carbonator wrote:
    jouxplan wrote:
    You want it horizontal or very very slightly nose-up, as a rule. Nose down = more pressure on the undercarriage :shock:

    Hi jouxplan.
    How does nose down = more pressure on your man bits? Would have thought it was less if anything.

    Mine is quite heavily nose down and it feels great. If its horizontal it feels like I am sitting on my Ed Balls as much as my sit bones.

    Would have thought it would depend on riding position, saddle and rider more than sticking to a rule.

    Hello :) It is fair to say I made a sweeping statement, but that has always been my understanding, and experience. I am happy to be told it is wrong - though not in my particular case. Note that I was referring to 'normal' shaped saddles - not the weird SMP types. If the nose of 'normal' saddles is down, then you tend to roll forwards and slip down, and your undercarriage gets squished. If the saddle is horizontal or pointing up a little, then you roll back and get more support from your sit bones. This can still mean your bits gets squished, but in my view, they usually get less squished!

    Clearly you seem to be ok with it though, so fair enough! I agree that bike fit and geometry can make a difference too.
    Trek Project One Series 6 Madone 2010
    Trek Madone 5.9 2006
    Trek Madone 5.2 2004
    Cougar Custom 1995
    Viscount Aerospace 1982
    Some mountain bikes gathering dust
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    Oh yes, I see what you mean about rolling/sliding forward ;-)
    I will bear that in mind next time I am out. I guess I could be sliding forward and using energy to stay in the saddle. I angled it down for comfort of man bits general feel on seat rather than long term ride effect.
    I might be able to bring it back up a touch and have an overal better position while still not feeling as though I am sitting on my Ed Balls.
  • johngti
    johngti Posts: 2,508
    Grill wrote:
    I used to get terrible numbness (1-2 weeks) until I switched to a saddle with a cutout. Look into it if you wish to avoid the need to pee sitting down.

    Which one do you use, Grill? I lowered my bars a little yesterday, got some proper pressure down under today. The riding position felt good other than that...
  • Brian B
    Brian B Posts: 2,071
    1-2 weeks of numbness - yikes that's a lot. I used to worry if I had numbness for several hours.

    I had issues with numbness with my Fizik Arione when I used to do long runs and sportives. I swapped saddles to Selle Italia Gel Flow with the cut out and no issues since.

    Seen recently that there is a new Arione model which you can buy with a cut out. Anybody got one of these as I loved the Arione for comfort but would purchase another if I could combine the best of both worlds.

    What about the pro's - surely they must have issues with the amount of time spent in the saddle compared to the normal club rider.
    Brian B.
  • Grill
    Grill Posts: 5,610
    johngti wrote:
    Grill wrote:
    I used to get terrible numbness (1-2 weeks) until I switched to a saddle with a cutout. Look into it if you wish to avoid the need to pee sitting down.

    Which one do you use, Grill? I lowered my bars a little yesterday, got some proper pressure down under today. The riding position felt good other than that...

    I use Specialized Toupes (more specifically the S-Works and Pro). I tried the Romin which also got ride of the numbness but the shape wasn't for me. If you by a Spec saddle for a proper Spec retailer then you can exchange it for another within 30 days.
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • drlodge
    drlodge Posts: 4,826
    passout wrote:
    I had 'issues' in this area. I tried loads of saddles - WTB came out very well. However they best by some margin for me were Selle SMP. I never have 'issues' now, even after spending all day in the saddle. A lot of it is down to saddle choice / fit. Selle SMP have a wide selection of saddles - there website details widths etc. For once the scientific claims seeem to be true. I now have Selle SMP on all my bikes - only down side is that they are not cheap.

    http://www.sellesmp.com/smp4bike/en/evolution

    +1 for Selle SMP. I've got the Lite 209 and I have no numbness at all, even on 100 mile runs. You can see the size of the "hole" that prevent your bits from being squashed.

    My previous saddle, Selle Italia Flite Gel Flow was pretty good but I still got some numbness on longer rides.

    400x400_selle-smp-lite-209-black.jpg
    WyndyMilla Massive Attack | Rourke 953 | Condor Italia 531 Pro | Boardman CX Pro | DT Swiss RR440 Tubeless Wheels
    Find me on Strava
  • johngti
    johngti Posts: 2,508
    I like the look of the Selle SMP saddles but the only one in my price range at the moment would be the TRK which looks bulkier than the Lite or the Dynamic. Still thinking about it!
  • drlodge
    drlodge Posts: 4,826
    If you are prepared to wait, then Sherrit at http://www.thebikewhisperer.co.uk/servi ... e-fitting/ provides a loan-out service for Selle SMP saddles (see the bottom of the page I linked to). He didn't have any available when I was there, since they were all loaned out, but he explained which one was the most favoured by people my size (Lite 209) and I just went out and bought one for £180.

    If you do a search on here for Lite 209 you'll see some posts.
    WyndyMilla Massive Attack | Rourke 953 | Condor Italia 531 Pro | Boardman CX Pro | DT Swiss RR440 Tubeless Wheels
    Find me on Strava
  • dennisn
    dennisn Posts: 10,601
    I've had my fair share of "issues" with saddles. Numb nuts, uncomfortable. Finally landed my lard *ss on selle italia sl xc flow. It's wider at the back (143) than most saddles seem to be these days. Sort of a sit bone saddle. Has a cutout. Best ride I've had yet. but the search goes on, as they say. FWIW I credit the wider width for most of the comfort.
  • speedymoto
    speedymoto Posts: 30
    I get numbness almost every time I ride, regardless of bike or saddle (currently riding prologo kappa evo) - even resorted to a Brooks B17 which was marginally better but bounced around like a brothel bed when my cadence went above 80. I stand up every few minutes to get a bit of circulation going, some of those special saddles look extremely painful but I'd like to give one a go to see if it helps. At least my issue goes away as soon as I stop cycling....
  • kingstonian
    kingstonian Posts: 2,847
    drlodge wrote:
    If you are prepared to wait, then Sherrit at http://www.thebikewhisperer.co.uk/servi ... e-fitting/ provides a loan-out service for Selle SMP saddles (see the bottom of the page I linked to). He didn't have any available when I was there, since they were all loaned out, but he explained which one was the most favoured by people my size (Lite 209) and I just went out and bought one for £180.

    If you do a search on here for Lite 209 you'll see some posts.


    Sherrit is doing the measurements etc for a bike that Tom Donhou will build for me later in the year. Will definitely get his advice on saddles while i am there.