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Thread: Saddles?

  1. #1
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    Saddles?

    I have only been Mountain Biking a few times now and love it..... BUT! I have experienced penile numbness, swelling in sit bones and severe soreness from both rides. I am hoping it gets better over time. I am not a big guy and do not have ANY padding back there in the form of fat on my buttocks!

    I am wearing padded shorts, making sure that the saddle is in the right position, trying to stand more than sit while riding.....

    My questions:

    Is there a different saddle that I can buy that would help? Gel? Split? (Please send links)

    Is there a better pair of padded shorts than others?

    What techniques do you use to help this issue?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    sit bone soreness is normal, even if the saddle is the proper width, and set up. it takes several long rides to toughen up that area. you just have to ride through it... but having said that, if it continues after say 5 good, long rides, it's probably that the saddle doesn't fit you properly.

    The numbness is never normal. try tilting your saddle down slightly. make sure your saddle isn't too high. Stand up every once in a while is always good, no matter the saddle. If these things don't stop the numbing, you'll want a different saddle. Lots of saddles have cut outs, or grooves to help with this, but they don't always cure it.

    Saddles are tricky. What works for me, might not work for you. It's a very individual thing. 1mm of spacial difference here or there can be the difference in comfort.

    The best thing you can do, is go to your local bike shop, and see if they have a saddle demo/ trade-in program. At least see if they have a sitbone width measurer (ass-o-meter). Knowing your sitbone width is key to finding the perfect saddle, and even then, you'll find some that feel good and others that don't. It's very much a trial and error kind of thing to find the right saddle.

  3. #3
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    Sit bones normal...give it 50-100 miles and you will acclimate to that and give yourself some down time between rides for recovery at first too, a day or two until you aren't sore from the last ride.

    Numbness not normal.

    Saddle height is the first key, make sure it isn't too high or the rest of the adjustments won't work. Measure your bike inseam...from the floor to your pubic bone..use a stick or a book and run it up to the bone and measure to the floor as accurately as you can. Take that measurement and multiply by .883 . That will give you the height from the center of your crank to the top of your seat at the post center position. If your current seat isn't +/- say 2cm of that distance, re-set your seat to that height and start there.

    Then you want the seat essentially level to start out and adjust the fore/aft slide of the seat to get your knee over pedal position roughed in. look up KOPS for explanations of doing that.

    If you feel like you are sliding forward over a period of time, knock the angle of the tip of the saddle up a hair...like one degree of angle. Ride again until you feel like you are neutral, not being poked by the nose and not sliding forward as you pedal.

    This can take time, it's frustrating, but making small changes is the key and riding on them a bit. Small changes can make all the difference depending on what saddle you have. My Specialized Phenom can only be a degree or so off and it isn't right for me, so it takes a light hand in making adjustments to it.

    I struggled with this equation for quite a while until I realized my seat was too high to begin with. It was much easier to get sorted out once I got that baselined.

  4. #4
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    I've found cutout saddles or even ones with a groove in the middle to be helpful at eliminating perineal numbness, however, everyone is different.

    It might be worthwhile to find a bike shop that does saddle swapping or lets you test before you buy.
    Hey guys, lets go play bieks!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingsqueak View Post
    Saddle height is the first key, make sure it isn't too high or the rest of the adjustments won't work. Measure your bike inseam...from the floor to your pubic bone..use a stick or a book and run it up to the bone and measure to the floor as accurately as you can. Take that measurement and multiply by .883 . That will give you the height from the center of your crank to the top of your seat at the post center position. If your current seat isn't +/- say 2cm of that distance, re-set your seat to that height and start there.
    That's an interesting formula there, never seen it put in mathmatical actual before. Was curious so I did the measurements, I'm right on the +2cm of the distance specified by your formula. I had just set it to where it was comfortable and worked for my leg extension.
    So yeah, this looks like a good way to go about it. Thanks for posting it!
    2013 Salsa El Mariachi 29er
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  6. #6
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    just asked this same question in the general forum. thanks for that info. I will go measure myself right now.

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