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Seat angle...flat or tilt?(9 posts)

Seat angle...flat or tilt?theweasonator
Jun 21, 2003 6:36 PM
I've started noticing this season when I ride more than 45 minutes on my road bike, my "package" is getting a little numb. Feels like their is too much pressure in the front and eventually the boys go to sleep and I get some discomfort.

What are everyone's thoughts on tilting the seat down (like 3-5 degrees) to more evenly distribute my weight across the saddle? I did this last night in the garage and rode it in the driveway and noticed I could actually feel the saddle across all of my posterior as opposed my weight concentrating on the jewels.

Any opinions on this?
Maybe a little downLC
Jun 21, 2003 10:23 PM
You might have other problems develop though and your hands or shoulders may ache. I usually end up back to flat as the best compromise. The only way to really know is to ride it longer.

You might try a different saddle as well.
re: Seat angle...flat or tilt?Rob11966
Jun 22, 2003 3:57 AM
45 mins on the bike is not that long. Somethings not right. Could be your seat. The soft ones are the worst the allow your perineum (soft area behind the you know) to sink into the padding and compress the pudendal nerve which eventually becomes the dorsal nerve of the penis and supplies this whole area. You need to be supported by your sit bones (ischium) and only a hard seat will allow this. Your second problem may be size and setup. If you are correctly positioned on a suitably sized bike you should be able to ride on a flat seat (angled down seats usually used to compensate for bad setup/poor fit) supported by your sit bones with no problems. Don't accept numbness - you should not have to. At best it is a nuisance (don't want to have to rely on your mates to tell you if you are peeing or not) and at worst it may be harmful in the long run – no one really seems to know. So what can you do. Get a hard seat and check your setup/size with someone who specializes in this area.
re: Seat angle...flat or tilt?rogue_CT1
Jun 22, 2003 4:22 AM
If it feels right then go with it.
re: Seat angle...flat or tilt?theweasonator
Jun 22, 2003 5:23 AM
Thanks for the info...

I'm pretty sure it is not a fit issue. I've ridden the same bike for 8 years and I know it fits. I switched over to a Terry Ti Race last year and over the winter I put on some EC90 bars. Which I found out has a longer hood reach, which caused me to lean further. My stem was a 110 -17 and I flipped it up and it felt good but I felt too high, plus the bike looked like a sport bike and not a racer anymore...

I used the habanero chart and figured I could go with a 6 degree 90 (flipped up) and that would put me in the middle of where the 17 (in comparison to flat) did so I switched it out. Now I feel good up front but I'm getting the numbness. But I also got the numbness when I had the 17 flat also.

Before the Terry, I had a Selle Italia Turbo Gel that I hated. I have a WTB Rocket coming in this week for my MTB, I may try that and see what happens.

I'd love to hear from more people as well.

re: Seat angle...flat or tilt?Birddog
Jun 22, 2003 12:05 PM
In most cases your saddle should be level or tipped slightly back, not forward. You need to sit on your "sit bones" as has been stated. A dropped nose on the saddle leads to irritation because you are sliding forward and back on the perineum (soft tissue) and not sitting properly.
Check this out, it may help.

re: Seat angle...flat or tilt?Rob11966
Jun 22, 2003 12:59 PM
You can certainly feel more comfortable by tilting your seat forward, it does relieve pressure on the nerves supplying the groin but it is not a great solution. To pedal effectively you have to have a stable pelvis. If your seat is flat, gravity pushes your sit bones onto the seat stabilising your pelvis. If you tip your seat forward your pelvis tilts and you need to recruit pelvic muscles to tilt your pelvis back and stabilise you on the seat. This is a waste of muscle activity. Furthermore, when you tilt your seat forward you have to use your arms and shoulders and upper chest muscles to stop you ‘slipping' forward off the seat. The pressure on your hands can cause problems similar to the one in your groin and the use of your shoulder and chest muscles to support your weight against gravity can impede your breathing. All of this adds up to inefficient and uncomfortable cycling. Obviously with only a little saddle tilt these problems are small.
The normal range of tiltKerry
Jun 22, 2003 4:16 PM
Most saddles have a somewhat raised butt, and the range of tilt is from the nose being level with the ground (butt raised) to the butt and nose being even (nose tilted slightly up). Many people who can't get comfortable or experience numbness (even after adjusting saddle tilt) are not sitting properly on the saddle. While it seems intuitive, you need to sit with your sit bones on the butt of the saddle so that the force is there rather than on the nerves and blood vessels in your crotch. Sitting properly on a properly ajdusted, high quality saddle results in virtually no pressure in the wrong places.
It might not be just tiltbrider
Jun 23, 2003 2:25 PM
Though you've had 8 years of good riding, the change to your position is what, I'm sure, is causing your discomfort. You changed the bars, and that changed your reach? Go back to the old bars (get a new one of the same model), or get a shorter stem.

But it may not be just tilt. Many people find that comfort is DRAMATICALLY increased with a slight rotation of the saddle either left or right (depending on your preferred orientation of your "package"). Might be something to play with (the saddle position, not the package).