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Numbness....(22 posts)

Numbness....I Love Shimano
Aug 30, 2001 4:07 PM
Hi there. I usually get some kind of numb sensation that sort of feels tingly. It happens in my perineal area (that spot between the family jewels and the @$$). I already angled my saddle down a bit. Should I angle it down some more? Or is my position wrong? I've got my weight on my ischiums, so I don't think I'm sitting the wrong way. Besides, I don't feel any pressure on my perinium. I just feel the tingles the moment I get off the saddle.

Help! I hope this does not mean impotence, I am only 22 years old!
re: Numbness....Tig
Aug 30, 2001 5:13 PM
I can only vouch for my experiences. I used to have the same thing. It almost felt like I was loosing bladder control, but nothing was actually coming out. It wasn't the saddles (San Marco Rolls not the Flite Ti) but the angle. Instead of more nose down, I tried nose up. Just 1 micro click at a time. It kept my ishiums pushed back on the wider part, but more importantly, kept me from sliding forward and putting too much weight on the perineal area. It sounds backwards, but it worked for me. It is important to work with the saddle fore/aft position as well. Use a Sharpie perminant marker to mark the seat clamp position on the rails. This gives you a reference for adjustment comparisons. Try slight adjustments each ride until you see the right change.

This may or may not work for you.
and shorts...PdxMark
Aug 30, 2001 5:23 PM
The right saddle type/angle combination can be hard to find, but once I found it, I would sometimes get numbness when I wore certain shorts ... ok, especially those #$@&*! Nike ACG shorts. I'm now a slave to good quality shorts.
Specialized Body GeometrySS_Billy
Aug 30, 2001 5:24 PM
I converted to the 2000 model Comp and haven't had a numbness issue since...however, angle and position are important to achieve the most comfort, nomatter what saddle you use...
Wouldn't angling the saddle up increase the pressure?I Love Shimano
Aug 30, 2001 5:56 PM
Right? I'll try all your suggestions, and if all of them fail, I'll try one of those grooved saddles.

BTW, if you must know, I wear cycling shorst with some kind of padding in it (Nike USPS replica). I'm not sure if it's think enough though. Anyway, that is my only pair, cycling apparel is very expensive and I don't have enough cash to buy me a set that would last me a week.

Does anyone know if the numbness/tngling has any side effects?
Wouldn't angling the saddle up increase the pressure?nestorl
Aug 30, 2001 6:11 PM
If your over do it...YES. For me the type of saddle makes all the difference. I have tried 4 saddles and only one of them never gives me numbness. I even tried the specialized body geometry stuff and sold it on ebay after the first ride. By this I do not mean that such saddle is bad, but that saddles is one of the most personal and improtant "must-fit-right" part of the bike. Try other's suggestions first, if it does not work, change saddle.


"Does anyone know if the numbness/tngling has any side effects?"

None if you are a monk. Otherwise, check the series of articles that velonews and bicycling magazine have written about numbness and impotence...scary stuff...
Can you post a link?I Love Shimano
Aug 30, 2001 6:18 PM
Sounds scary, buy the numbness/tingling I feel is not on my cojones, but on the muscle inbetween the cojones and the but....that shouldn;t affect my boys right? Right?
Can you post a link?nestorl
Aug 30, 2001 6:30 PM
Try this...
Wouldn't angling the saddle up increase the pressure?look271
Aug 30, 2001 6:35 PM
Side-effects? Sure, over time, if you don't correct it. Possible impotence. (You're what, 22? You don't want that.) I'd get your saddle completely level and don't angle it. If that doesn't work, perhaps a different saddle? I know that you said that your funds are limited, but what's more important? Maybe you need a wider saddle like a Selle Italia Pro-link. I love mine. Good luck!
re: Numbness....Bonee
Aug 30, 2001 6:23 PM
Just a thought. I had some numbness problems and tried 3 different saddles in all sorts of positions. I bought a Brooks b17, made a few adjustments and haven't had a problem since.

The drawback is the weight at 500 grams, plus it is leather so if it gets soaked (do you ride in the rain?), it can damage the leather. I have been told to buy a plain shower cap to place over it in wet weather as it'll also seal off the underside, but I live in San Diego and it rarely rains.

Give it some thought, do a few internet searches. for more info.
thanks, I'm checking it out right now (nm)I Love Shimano
Aug 30, 2001 6:45 PM
Another Thought or TwoStew
Aug 30, 2001 7:32 PM
Try moving up a little bit on the saddle when you're riding (you might have to move the seat back to compensate). I know this might not sound like it makes sense, but it has worked for me. I've also found that shorts with less padding are less likely to give me a problem than shorts with more padding. I think a short with more padding puts a gentle pressure on your sensitive area without you knowing it (until you go numb).
Another Thought or TwoI Love Shimano
Aug 30, 2001 7:41 PM
I've tried angling down, and moving back up the saddle. Still, the tingling sensation happens after I get off.

I don't think I'd survive without a chamois in my shorts though....

Could it be that my bars are too low? I sure hope not, any higher and I feel like I'm as upright as a Sean Connery in Finding Forrester.
Another Thought or TwoTour De Lance
Aug 30, 2001 7:51 PM
Check your saddle height to bar height ratio. When the top of the nose of your saddle is substantially more than 3 inches above the top of your bars, riders will often experience numbness as a result of riding in such an aggressive position. If your saddle top to bar top difference is approaching 4 inches it sounds like you may want to dial down the difference to 3 inches or so, perhaps even 2 1/2. Yes, this position may not be as aero as you like and yes it may not be as aggressive. But it will likely be more comfortable, and you'll remain stronger longer as a result of being more comfortable. Often numbness in the family jewels has nothing to do with the saddle, but rather the seatpost, saddle and bar setup.
Another Thought or TwoTour De Lance
Aug 30, 2001 7:58 PM
One other thought. Don't become consumed with the idea that lowering the nose angle of your saddle is the answer to your problems. Many riders make the mistake of lowering the nose of their saddle too much which in turn causes them to slip forward on the saddle throughout their pedal stroke. The rider often doesn't even realize that he is then constantly pushing himself back onto the saddle throughout his ride thus wasting valuable energy and in some cases even exacerbating the family jewel numbness problem. For most riders (probably 80+%) the optimal saddle angle is perfectly horizontal to the ground. In the other 20% you almost always have a slight downturn or upturn and i do mean SLIGHT!
Another Thought or TwoI Love Shimano
Aug 30, 2001 8:16 PM
Thanks, you guys have been very helpful. I'll check my saddlenose-bar height. If I recall right, it's probably just 2-2.5 inches above the top of the bars.
Slight is right!Tig
Aug 31, 2001 6:21 AM
You clarified my intentions of not going too nose down in his saddle position. My saddle nose is just one click up from flat. It is almost invisible to the eye, but happened to work for my needs.
I get tingling when I "get off", too! (nm)Rusty McNasty
Aug 31, 2001 9:30 AM
A few thoughts ...bianchi boy
Aug 31, 2001 4:50 AM
I think angling the nose down could actually increase problems with numbness because it shifts your weight balance toward the front. The prevailing wisdom on saddle positioning is to start out with your saddle perfectly level (use a bubble level to check it) and then tilt forward or back in very small increments until you get the correct positioning for you.

Also, the type of saddle you use can make a difference. I used to have numbness problems until I got some saddles with grooves or cutouts in the center. I've had absolutely no numbness problems since installing these saddles on my bikes -- a Selle Italia TransAm Max (which is a firm saddle with a cutout) and a Selle Royale Gel (which is much cushier with a depression in the center).
re: Numbness....Breezydz
Aug 31, 2001 4:52 AM
I turn my saddle a few degrees to the left and find it much more comfortable. I also agree with the advice to tip the nose of the saddle up rather than down if you're going to tip it at all. Remember that every time you move your saddle up, down, forward, or back you change your body's position relative to the bars and the pedals so make very small adjustments.
complicated solutionCpt. Obvious
Aug 31, 2001 8:24 AM
Try moving around on the saddle while your riding. Stand and pedal every 10 minutes.
After fiddling with your seat. . .9WorCP
Aug 31, 2001 10:32 AM
consider messing with your stem reach and handle bar height. If your chest is too far up or back you might have too much weight on the saddle. Interestingly, chest too far forward can roll you off your sit bones and on to your perineum proper. Gotta find the Happy Medium. Here's another concern: Seat too high? Make sure you don't rock side to side when peddling.

Dialing in your fit is a long process of trial and error, micro adjustments fore/aft/up/down. It takes a long time but you might be surprised what few degrees or millimeters can have on your ride. Fiddle around.

One more thing. I bought a penis-problem, grooved seat and found that it actually improved my blood flow to and through that area. I'm a real tiger, these days. SUPERHUMAN! I'm telling you!