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Cycling - male only issue!

On road, off road, Mamils, Club rides or just share your routes and tips
Clariman
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Cycling - male only issue!

#295650

Postby Clariman » March 30th, 2020, 11:12 am

We have been making use of our new exercise bike, which is good. However I find that a certain part of my anatomy goes numb, which I'm not aware of until I dismount. Is that completely normal, am I unusual, is there a way to prevent it? It wears off after 5 to 10 minutes (the numbless!). I suppose it isn't an issue but I find it disconcerting.

Thanks
C

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Re: Cycling - male only issue!

#295657

Postby Golam » March 30th, 2020, 11:31 am

Buy a pair of bib shorts. Take a look at the reviews. Some have thicker padding than others. No need to buy the more expensive stylish ones. Have a pair of 'pearl izumi' that have thicker padding than most.

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Re: Cycling - male only issue!

#295660

Postby Snorvey » March 30th, 2020, 11:36 am

Clariman wrote:We have been making use of our new exercise bike, which is good. However I find that a certain part of my anatomy goes numb, which I'm not aware of until I dismount. Is that completely normal, am I unusual, is there a way to prevent it? It wears off after 5 to 10 minutes (the numbless!). I suppose it isn't an issue but I find it disconcerting.

Thanks
C


I've always found the problem far worse on exercise bikes / turbo trainers than on an actual bike out on the road. The difference, I guess, is that there are opportunities to get off the saddle when out on the road, whereas on a fixed machine you're pretty much in the same position all the time & with all your weight being supported by your bits. It's one of the reasons I switched to a rowing machine for my indoor exercise.


The solution is to give your junk a vigorous rub from time to time to get the blood flowing and hope the missus doesn't walk in while your doing it.

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Re: Cycling - male only issue!

#295666

Postby UncleIan » March 30th, 2020, 12:13 pm

You're not actually sitting on your bits, but you're sitting on your perineum, and that is cutting off the blood supply to your bits. Maybe every once in a while stand up on the bike for a bit, and do a few rotations standing, like you're going up a hill. Or it might just be that your saddle needs adjusting. Try angling the nose down a little bit.

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Re: Cycling - male only issue!

#295670

Postby UncleEbenezer » March 30th, 2020, 12:25 pm

Actually it's not at all a male-only issue except in the narrow definition of specific symptoms. Historically it was more often a female problem as most saddles were designed by and for men.

The right saddle is a more sensitive issue on a bike than on a motor vehicle, and what you describe is a classic symptom of a saddle that isn't quite right for you. Possibly even a saddle for the female anatomy, or (especially on a cheap bike) some one-size-fits-none attempt at a compromise: unisex saddles are a classic symptom of the bike that's a chore to ride and sits unloved in the shed.

Age is another consideration: when you're young, you can adapt a lot more to a saddle that's not quite right for you. And it's individual. Speak to your bike shop about finding one that's right for you.

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Re: Cycling - male only issue!

#295675

Postby tikunetih » March 30th, 2020, 12:43 pm

UncleEbenezer wrote:The right saddle is a more sensitive issue on a bike than on a motor vehicle, and what you describe is a classic symptom of a saddle that isn't quite right for you.


Definitely.

Posts above have covered the key issues:

1. Good cycling shorts should help.

2. Find a saddle that works. The big wide comfy looking ones on inexpensive static bikes can often be terrible. I use saddles with cut-outs that reduce the opportunity for the saddle to compress soft bits. On ebay/Amazon you can often find inexpensive copies of higher end (eg. ISM Adamo) saddles. I've got originals and copies, and they're much alike. Or there are many other options. Might need to experiment.

3. Static bikes keep you in one position compared to outdoor riding where you are (without realising it) continually shifting positions due to the motion of the bike. Indoor bikes or trainers or rocker-plates that allow some movement are better (any movement helps), but you don't have that setup, so the next best thing is to very regularly get up out of the saddle and do a few seconds standing. This will make a huge difference so long as you do it regularly. Increase the frequency of these short standing efforts as necessary until the issue no longer presents.

Do all of the above, it'll all help! Don't suffer or ignore the issue, else you may get problems.

Clariman
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Re: Cycling - male only issue!

#295703

Postby Clariman » March 30th, 2020, 1:46 pm

Thanks everyone - for the advice and the humour. It did occur to me that I should incorporate some additional measures into my stretching routine :lol:

As someone suggested it is a wide comfortable looking seat so nowhere for anything to go. I'm only doing 20 minutes at a time just now. I'll try standing up
Hopefully it's strong enough for that, although I'll need to move it away from the coombed ceiling.

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Re: Cycling - male only issue!

#295726

Postby jfgw » March 30th, 2020, 2:32 pm

Snorvey wrote:The solution is to give your junk a vigorous rub from time to time to get the blood flowing and hope the missus doesn't walk in while your doing it.

Or get her to do it.

Julian F. G. W.

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Re: Cycling - male only issue!

#295780

Postby jonesa1 » March 30th, 2020, 4:29 pm

With cycling shorts, it's not necessarily the thickness of the padding that matters, it's a lot down to whether the design of the pad suits your anatomy. Also, if the exercise bike isn't adjusted to suit you, then your position on the bike may result in your weight being in the wrong place for comfort. Many keen cyclists have "bike fits" designed to get their bike is set up so that their position is both comfortable and efficient. A good bike fit would also look at the saddle. The saddles on exercise bikes are often wide and very padded, these can feel comfortable at first, but the gel that squishes under your sit bones has to go somewhere and can cause rubbing or pressure on more tender parts. Adjusting the saddle height, distance from nose of saddle to bars & height of bars (if these can be adjusted) may help, as may a replacement saddle (getting the right saddle may require trial and error, even a formal bike fit that maps the pressure pattern on the saddle while pedalling, is no guarantee that the selected "probably best" saddle will actually be comfortable). Depending on how much you can adjust the exercise bike, it could be worth having a look at these, there may be some tips you can use.
https://fitwerx.com/chronic-saddle-disc ... -pointing/
https://fitwerx.com/chronic-saddle-disc ... -rotation/
https://fitwerx.com/chronic-bike-saddle ... sit-bones/

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Re: Cycling - male only issue!

#295805

Postby Braziers » March 30th, 2020, 6:01 pm

Perhaps something along these lines will help.

Image

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Re: Cycling - male only issue!

#295807

Postby ReformedCharacter » March 30th, 2020, 6:10 pm

Braziers wrote:Perhaps something along these lines will help.


Judging from the lack of symmetry, I'd suggest it was made to measure. Oooh! suits you, sir!

RC

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Re: Cycling - male only issue!

#295828

Postby James » March 30th, 2020, 7:44 pm

Lowering the seat can help. You take more of your weight on your legs than on your sit bones. Only needs to come down by a few mm to make a difference.

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Re: Cycling - male only issue!

#295852

Postby malakoffee » March 30th, 2020, 8:46 pm

Some counter-intuitive advice from me - if the pattern matches . . . . . . .

My road bikes all have Brooks leather saddles. these provide fairly limited points of contact, in the areas under my "sit bones". My bottom is very used to these pressure points and I'm rarely uncomfortable.

However, my exercise bike ( at the time had a much softer saddle ) which spread my body weight over a much wider ( saddle ) area. This conspired to numb my undercarriage fairly rapidly. I guess it was constricting blood vessels and/or applying pressure to parts that had never previously been subjected to such.

I suggest that you might have to experiment with various option to see what suits your physiology and exercise pattern.

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Re: Cycling - male only issue!

#295887

Postby servodude » March 30th, 2020, 11:31 pm

James wrote:Lowering the seat can help. You take more of your weight on your legs than on your sit bones. Only needs to come down by a few mm to make a difference.


...and conversely also raising the seat might help if it is too low and you are "sitting" on it all the time at the moment
- your leg should be almost straight at the bottom of your pedal stroke
- if your knees are bent all the time you're taking most of your weight on "some other contact point" continuously

-sd

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Re: Cycling - male only issue!

#295944

Postby redsturgeon » March 31st, 2020, 8:50 am

Some good advice already given. I didn't see it mentioned to check the seat level. It should be either level front to back or marginally pitched downwards at the front but certainly not vice versa.

That and the actual saddle itself which on an exercise bike is probably not the best. Paradoxically more padding is not necessarily a good thing for the problem you describe.

Standing up on the pedals every couple of minutes will help return the blood flow and while it may be hard to begin with will get easier and add an extra dimension to the exercise.

John

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Re: Cycling - male only issue!

#296092

Postby servodude » March 31st, 2020, 1:07 pm

redsturgeon wrote:Some good advice already given. I didn't see it mentioned to check the seat level. It should be either level front to back or marginally pitched downwards at the front but certainly not vice versa.


^ that's great advice
and sort of what I was mumbling about

you shouldn't be "sitting" on the saddle but "resting" on it while you peddle with your legs
- like one of those stand-up-lean-against-with-your-bum seats on a bus

there will be a bit of initial discomfort if you're not used to it while your touch points get worn in
- but pretty soon it should be something you could do continuously (if not it's your saddle or where it sits)

- sd

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Re: Cycling - male only issue!

#296147

Postby UncleEbenezer » March 31st, 2020, 3:11 pm

servodude wrote:you shouldn't be "sitting" on the saddle but "resting" on it while you peddle with your legs

I may pedal. At other times I may paddle, or piddle. But not being a pedlar, I don't peddle.

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Re: Cycling - male only issue!

#296341

Postby servodude » April 1st, 2020, 12:19 am

UncleEbenezer wrote:
servodude wrote:you shouldn't be "sitting" on the saddle but "resting" on it while you peddle with your legs

I may pedal. At other times I may paddle, or piddle. But not being a pedlar, I don't peddle.


Damn you autocorrected swiping. ;)

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Re: Cycling - male only issue!

#306566

Postby Redmires » May 7th, 2020, 11:16 pm

Just seen this post. I have a Boardman hybrid and was getting the same numb/tingling issue from the stock saddle (a plastic gel affair). I recently bought a Brooks which has solved the problem. My 'sit bones' are still getting used to it but it's a whole lot better. It seems counter intuitive that a hard, leather seat would be more comfortable than a soft, spongy seat but there you go. The online reviews were 5 star on the whole, suggesting that the seat would be comfier with use as it molds to my shape. That seems to be the case. And I agree about the roads as there's never been a better time for us to get out and about. Enjoy it while you can. I put my bike on rollers over the winter period, but my god, it gets boring.

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Re: Cycling - male only issue!

#306585

Postby EssDeeAitch » May 8th, 2020, 6:48 am

I rode from Newcastle to London (312 miles, 23 hours) and the numbness lasted a week or so. Others did not have such a long lasting problem. Different folk, different sensitivities I suppose.

The advice on padded bib shorts and occasion "out of the saddle" riding previously given will help as will an occasional shift to the front/back of the saddle.


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