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Need help with saddle numbness(10 posts)

Need help with saddle numbnessmark_2811
Jul 6, 2003 9:50 PM
I just started road riding last year (long time mountain biker). I'm trying to find a good saddle that will help to prevent numbness while riding. My bike came with an OEM Cannondale saddle that is generally okay except 'things' go numb on every ride. The other day I bought on impulse a Selle Italia XO Trans Am saddle (with the cutout) that I used today for 50 mi and it's slightly better than my original saddle but I still experiencd total numbness during the ride. I'm going to try and return it tomorrow. Is it possible to ride without being numb or is it just something that all male riders just get used to??

Can anyone suggest a saddle, preferable with some kind of cutout, that I could try? Anyone tried the Specialized Body Geometry models? Or the Selle Italia Flite? Suggestions are much appreciated!

total numbness ?!filtersweep
Jul 7, 2003 4:07 AM
Was this just during or during and after the ride??

You should not experince numbness at all- and numbness can be potentially serious if it is a circulatory issue. If it is a nerve issue, how you sit can quickly help.

I'd start with looking at your riding position... as a mtn biker, are you sitting excessively upright, placing most of your weight directly on your butt?
Exactly my question.dzrider
Jul 7, 2003 5:10 AM
Road riding keeps the rider in one place much more of the time. Try getting a little more weight on your hands and feet and you may be comfortable longer. Numbness is neither acceptable nor ivevitable!
re: Need help with saddle numbnessmark_2811
Jul 7, 2003 6:37 AM
Thanks for the responses. I feel confident that the bike is sized properly for me (had it done at the shop), but maybe my sitting position isn't right. I typically ride on the brake hoods and try to adjust my hand / saddle position as I ride. Even with the Selle Italia XO I will get numb after 20 or 30 min in the saddle. If I stand up for a bit or take a break it will go away.

Any suggestions for saddles? I know it's a personal thing but I'm just looking for some to check into.


Trial & Errordzrider
Jul 7, 2003 7:00 AM
2 of the better local shops around here let you buy a saddle, try it for a while and, if it fails and you haven't damaged it, return it and try another. I'd recommend finding a place that will let you do this and give them a try. It is damned near impossible to predict what saddle will work well for me, much less work well for you.
Could be....Jervis
Jul 7, 2003 9:10 AM
saddle height. I've been playing around with raising and lowering my saddle recently and have noticed that the height makes an immense difference. I ride a Trek CRZ+ (like $30) and it seems to work pretty well. It has a gargantuan cutout, but it is on the heavy side, I'd say between 350 and 400 grams. It's also pretty wide, but it's not like you have to slip over the back on any steep descents. Make sure your saddle is at the right angle first of all. Many mountain bikes, especially DH rigs, have odd seat tube angles that require odd seat angles. On a road bike you want the saddle more or less parallel to the ground, give or take a few millimeters. As far as height goes, you want as much leg extension as possible, within comfortable range. I mess with my pedal stroke all the time trying to find the right one (toes down, heels down...) and this also has an effect on my leg extension. If you have your saddle way up and you ride with your heels below the pedal at the bottom of your stroke, the bottom part of your legs/arse that contact the saddle will be forced into the saddle more because you are stretching to keep your stroke uniform. At this extreme you could, inadvertantly, be moving your hips to accomodate the extreme distance your legs have to travel. Try lowering your saddle, but little bit by little bit. An 1/8th inch difference in height can make a lot of difference when it comes to numbness. Luck.

Your saddle too high?MShaw
Jul 7, 2003 9:46 AM
Have you had your saddle height checked by someone that knows what they're doing? Saddle too high can cause numbness because you're not sitting on the sit bones, but on the soft tissue between.

Another thing that causes discomfort is sitting and spinning. If you're just toodling around, less weight is being supported by your legs.

Bike fit is probably a better thing to get right then to buy some gimmicky saddle...

Less can be more . . .Look381i
Jul 7, 2003 1:21 PM
At least a few, and perhaps many, find that large, soft saddles aggravate, not alleviate, numbness and discomfort. They tend to compress more tissue. In your search for a comfortable saddle, don't overlook those tending toward the minimalist direction, such as the Selle Italia Flite Ti, Flite TT and SLR and comparable designs from other manufacturers. After years with Flite Ti's, I have been riding SLRs for about a year. Its a very comfortable saddle, at least up to double metrics, which is as far as I've taken one.

The main goal is to support your ischial tuberosities (sit bones) properly and comfortably.

No matter what saddle you settle on, getting out of the saddle for a brief period every 10-15 minutes improves circulation and helps to prevent numbness and cramping.

Some riders, including some pros, angle their saddle nose slightly to one side, to allow more room for "the boys."

Also, you can try a slight upward tilt of the saddle nose, instead of dead level. Like smaller saddles, it can have the counterintuitive effect of additional comfort.

There is no reason to endure saddle discomfort or numbness. It's not a part of cycling. (Although other body pain and cerebral numbness are often par for the course.)
re: Need help with saddle numbnessal0
Jul 7, 2003 2:29 PM

I just use Specialized Body Geometry and isn't very glad with it. It serves good till 2-hour ride than I start to feel numbness. I have played with height and angle a lot and nose slightly down help but on the cost of arm tired.

I consider to buy another saddle but have not make a decision yet (the most probable candidates is on of Koobi saddles and No Saint Freedom). The Koobi has "no satisfaction return warranty" but I live in europe and so shipping saddle firt and back would rougly cost saddle price. If you are in US you are in better position.

BTW, for my son (18year old, 6'4", 82kg) the saddle of unknown name, that has absolutely no padding, is flat from side to side and raised (and quite wide) back serve perfectly. So it is very personally.
More evidence for my point . . .Look381i
Jul 8, 2003 4:04 AM
that less can be more. It is a very personal issue, often counterintuitive (As in "My butt hurts [or my boys are numb], so I must need more padding, gel shorts, etc." can be just the wrong way to go.)

Several friends and I bought the Specialized Body Geometry (Comp) saddle after the great erectile dysfunction scare (hoax?) several years ago. Most of us found it very painful or numbing, even after many adjustments and long tests. We have returned to very lightly padded, minimal saddles for real comfort.

Unfortunately, trial and error can be expensive. Most of us have old saddles sitting around, so those with problems ought to borrow these old saddles for experimentation.