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ouch, in pain, need advice. (a bit long)(11 posts)

ouch, in pain, need advice. (a bit long)raboboy
Oct 10, 2001 11:14 AM
It is great every now an then to take a comp day in the middle of the week to do nada. This is what I did. It is a beautiful day and, of course, I decided to take advantage of that and go for a ride. Now, I just got into road biking just over a month ago and I think I have been doing pretty well. I've leave this board open on my desktop at work each day, I have learned a lot, and have added some insight every so often. I have about 375 miles on my bike so far and have enjoyed every one of them... until today.

I had a great first 20 miles... played tag with another rider out today, then all of a sudden I felt like someone kicked me right in the balls (pardon my language). There was no gradual discomfort building. After a couple miles the feeling persisted, so I turned around and had an agonizing 10 miles back home. After being off my bike for 15 minutes the pain ceased.

Now, I am thinking that it could be attributed to a few different things:

1. The other day I raised my seat because I felt like I wasn't getting enough extension in my legs. That part did feel better today. (And on my trainer last night)

2. Related to that, My seat is angled up slightly. I just noticed that. I don't think it was like that before I raised it.

3. The road was a bit rough today, but I don't remember a large jarring patch on the road that smacked my groin. The pain did start after a particularly shitty stretch of road (f*king boston area roads!).

SO, does anyone think any of these could be the cause of my pain? I am leaning toward #2 with a little #3 thrown in. My plan is to angle it down more so it is parallel to my top tube and see how it is friday (can't get out tomorrow). This also raises the question for me: What is proper seat alignment? I'd like to get this right as me and Mrs.B. would like to have some lil' chil'ns someday and I am not going to stop riding.

Anyway. I apologize for the rambling. Any insight would help greatly.

I'm going to now soothe myself with some ice cream (for my tummy, not my genitals).


re: ouch, in pain, need advice. (a bit long)Eames
Oct 10, 2001 11:27 AM
Most people start with a level seat and then adjust the angle from there. I would level the seat if that worked for you before.

We are assuming that you didn't yank the seat up by 2 inches or some such huge amount. The general advice is to make millimeter changes between rides. If you changed more than that then put it back and make the transition slowly.

On the other hand I've never heard of acute pain in the genitals w/o taking a good hit. Normally it is more of a chronic pain, slowly building so that it tells you its there after 30 miles or so.
I've had it too. Went away with seat adjustment.MB1
Oct 10, 2001 11:47 AM
If you don't already, start recording your bikes set-up dimensions including seat tilt. Then when you make changes you can go back to a previous set-up.

Go back to your previous set-up if you can. If not at least tilt the seat down a little. When you raised the seat you changed the relationship of your torso to the bars while changing your leg extension. I think you need to recreate the torso position. Tilting the seat a very small amount may help.

Another thing-although I doubt you have done any lasting damage you have probably got at least a bruise now. Take it easy and let it heal.

BTW You put ice on bruises right? You might want to reconsider your position re:ice cream.
I've had it too. Went away with seat adjustment.raboboy
Oct 10, 2001 12:10 PM
Hmm.. that sounds dangerously close to my wife's organizational neurosis, but it is a very good idea (Mrs.B. will be so proud of my new spreadsheet).

Luckily, since I just made the change 2 days ago, I can see on my seat post where it was. I did raise almost 3 centimeters. SO, here's my new plan: I will put it back the way it was and see if I experience the same thing. From there I will raise my seat just a bit inbetween rides.

I didn't see a bruise, but I iced it anyway. Yeah, that felt nice. :)

Thanks for the help.
3CM??? Ouch!! No wonder, now let it heal for a while. nmMB1
Oct 10, 2001 12:20 PM
what kind of shorts were you wearing? nmDog
Oct 10, 2001 12:03 PM
what kind of shorts were you wearing? nmraboboy
Oct 10, 2001 12:12 PM
today I had my fred-like mapei team bibs. I've used them several times before & they've always been comphy.
read Tales from the Bike Shop by Maynard Hershon. nmdzrider
Oct 10, 2001 12:44 PM
I don't want to get graphic but...DavidS
Oct 10, 2001 3:58 PM
in the past, when I have worn shorts that are too loose or ill-fitting, I have "sat on myself". What I mean is that i am cruising along, happy and comfortable. Then I change position a little or worse yet I stand and hammer, then when i sit again, my "sack" has shifted far back under me and i sit on my "guys" just a little--instant pain.

Believe me, it dosen't take much, as we all know- a mere graze under pressure and you can have some serious pain. I have never since worn shorts that were even slightly loose. The compresion and support are really needed to keep "things" in place.

Hope this helps, and remember, sit on the sit bones, not on your "nut satchel".

tasty rides,
David S
Oh go ahead, lets roll in the gutter for a while! nmMB1
Oct 10, 2001 4:22 PM
re: ouch, in pain, need advice. (a bit long)DINOSAUR
Oct 11, 2001 11:27 AM
First of all, I've done what you've mentioned (ouch).

First: Are your shorts snug enough? Cycling shorts should be tight fitting for us manly types, otherwise we don't get enough support and certain parts of our anatomy are subject to getting slapped around. You can find out by first wearing a pair of jockey shorts underneath your cycling shorts. One ride shouldn't hurt anything. If you have no problem with support this will give you a clue that your shorts are too large for you. I've been wearing jockey shorts in the winter for decades in order to keep my little dinosaur warm. I have no problem with chaffing, but I go through jockey shorts very fast in the laundry and it keeps me Mrs. busy.

Saddle Adjustment: Is your saddle perfectly level? Sometimes you can't tell just by looking. It can be deceiving because of the angle of the seat tube. Try using a small carpenters level to check. I would avoid a downward tilt as this would subject your upper body to too much weight and you could start having neck and shoulder pain.

Your technique: Whe riding over rough parts of roadway sometimes you have to brace yourself and stop pedaling for a brief time and ride through it.

Your set up: Is you saddle at the right height? Try lowering it about 2mm. Often just a slight change in adjustment will make a big difference.

It might take a couple of months or more until you get your bike dialed in. Your body will change as you improve and you will make changes in your set up as you go along. When you make a change, try it for a week or two. If you start making a bunch of changes at once you are opening yourself for injury (been there, done that).

It will take a couple of seasons until you get all the kinks out. Cycling takes a long time to master as you need to develope certain muscles that you can only develope through cycling. The most common mistake is too fast, too soon, too far. Consider yourself an experiment in one. You have to see what works for you. Input is good, but what works for one person might not work for another.

Read about position and set up. I use ball park figures to set my bike up then I adjust by feel from there. An old road dog once told me to make an adjustment based on gut feeling. Sometimes you body tells you what you need if you learn to listen to it...