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  1. #1
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    Guys, the truth about saddles....

    and your prostate.

    So went to the Doc yesterday thinking I had a kidney infection. Long story short he thinks based on my symptoms and an exam (that was a WONDERFUL surprise) that I have a prostate infection. Turning 40 really can be the highlight of your life! So now I'm on a months worth of antibiotics. After he decided it was a prostate issue he asked if I ride, so since I'm here the obvious answer is yes. He says change saddles to one with the cutout. So I've been reading over the past couple of years and have always thought harder saddles are better and really haven't worried about the cutouts and about 6 months ago I did switched to a Fizik Tundra. So it's as flat as they come, no cutout. Today I've been doing some reading online and there's a lot of info about there being a "link" between bicycling and prostate issues and that the theory is that the small long term trauma caused from being in the saddle can lead to these infections. But there's really no definite science between the cause and effect.

    My question isn't what seat do I need because I know that's way to individual but is there any real research/link between these seats with the cutouts and reduced impact on the prostate reducing the chance of prostate infections, etc? I'm just trying to decide if I I need to make the effort to make a change? I know it probably wouldn't hurt to switch up to one of these style saddles but if the fact is they really don't make a difference I don't want to waste the money or the time trying to find the right one.

    Thanks
    Bryan

  2. #2
    Parking Lot Poser
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    This is not an advertisement for Specialized saddles, but to my knowledge they are the only company that has done extensive research. I've never ridden one of their saddles, and there there may be other companies that also have performed studies. There is plenty to read if you search body geometry saddles, articles, YouTube, etc.
    Makes me think about tryin one as preventive maintenance, just turned 38

    From the specialized web site
    SADDLE TECHNOLOGY
    Developed with ergonomic expert Dr. Roger Minkow M.D., our Body Geometry saddles are scientifi cally tested and ergonomically designed to reduce pressure for all-day riding comfort.

    Comfort: The anatomically designed Body Geometry cut-out or groove takes pressure off arteries and soft tissue for improved blood flow and comfort. Pressure mapping research helps us determine areas of high/low pressure so we can optimize the design of each saddle. Fit: Since a properly sized saddle increases your comfort and power on the bike, Body Geometry saddles come in a range of widths to fit every rider. Efficiency: We design the shape of every saddle to complement the way you ride. Based on your position and preferences, you can find your match from a variety of flat, curved, and comfort saddles.

    Specialized - Technology
    feelin good is good enough

  3. #3
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    Cutout or not, the key is making sure to get a saddle that fits you personally. Everyone goes on and on about bike fit, but they usually seem to leave out saddle fit. We're all built differently, so why do we all try to ride the same saddle? You want a saddle where the width and shape allow most of your weight to rest on your "sit bones" and not on your more sensitive parts.

    Some brands actually have measuring devices and offer different widths with corresponding shapes. Sometimes it's just trial and error.

  4. #4
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    So when I turned 40 I decided that I wanted to do a solo 24 hour race. I was underemployed, upped my riding to 12-15 hours a week, did a couple of 12 hour races, 60 + mtb training rides, centuries, yadda yadda. Lot's of saddle time. Mind you I've been riding 3-4 days a week since I was 21. So after about 4 months of increasing saddle time the same thing happened to me. Felt like I had the flu, couldn't pee, next thing I know some doc is telling me to drop trou and spread ém. Flowmax and antibiotics regimen later and I was feeling better. So I cut back on the riding, shelved the plans for a 24 hour race and changed saddles. I have one of the Speshy saddles on my road bike. It works OK as long as I don't throw arrow bars on there and pretend I'm a triathlete. On my Mtb, I put an Adamo on there. Ugly as sin, but it just works. Long rides are no problem anymore. It takes a little getting used to as you have more weight on your sit bones. But it's that or give up riding. Never thought I'd be a flow max commercial....
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Guys, the truth about saddles....-guacamole.jpg  


  5. #5
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    I don't think the cutout is the only factor. Fore, aft, tilt, width, length, seat height, dish, etc. all play into this.

    Unfortunately, you have to go through a number of saddles to get it right, and it may not even be brand - it may come to a specific model.

    I ride WTB saddles - but not the race version. The Pure-V seems to fit me right, and all those issues I was having went away. The "dish" of the saddle really works for me. I found that saddles that are "rounded" (like your Fizik) puts direct pressure on my prostate. The "dish" of the WTB solves that.

    But this is after years of trying different saddles.

  6. #6
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    I agree that it's the whole picture on the fit and not just the "dish" or whatever you want to call it. The big question then becomes, what is the correct fit? I thought I had it. I've been pretty comfortable on the Tundra after the 1st couple of rides and thought I had it dialed in. I guess my body and the Doc have decided otherwise. And also who's to say that's what actually caused the infection? So as somebody who's really only been back in the game for a couple of years how do I figure out what the correct fit is? I'm going to go to my local shop today, they're a Speciallized dealer, and see if they've got that nifty sit bone measuring pad. But I really don't have much hope that they'll have it and last time I was in they only had about 3 different saddles. So my options are pretty limited. Plus who the heck knows whether they can even fit me appropriately. I mean they're just a bunch of guys in a college town who ride and work in the local shop. Don't get me wrong they're nice folks, but fitment specialists? Probably not. I hate to think my way of determining whether I have a good fit is whether I end up back at the doctors office again. Don't really need a birthday present from my Doc like his early Christmas present. Bend over and relax. Really! Is that actually possible?! Getting old SUCKS and damnit I don't feel old. I was 18 yesterday, I know I was!

  7. #7
    Master of the Face Plant
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    Bottom line, if Mr. Wiggly gets numb...EVER...you need a different saddle. My WTB Laser V supports me well enough that I never experience numbness. Good padding in your shorts helps too.
    http://www.nbbikes.com/
    ^^^Best Bike Shop of MTBR 2008^^^

  8. #8
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    Bikerider,
    Which one of the Adamo's did you get?
    Thanks
    Bryan

  9. #9
    usually cranky
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    banana seat here. no issues.

  10. #10
    I <3 29ers
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    Personally i've never understood why a MAN would want to sacrifice something like his genitals for having a stiff, light saddle. I think I did myself my own biggest favour when I decided years ago that I wasn't going to be wearing a padded liner/short to make up for a crap saddle, when it made more sense (practically and otherwise) to just buy a comfy saddle in the first place. Racing or not, your prostate is your prostate.

    Anyways, I say convert to singlespeed. You'll hardly use your saddle anymore.
    I ..... need ..... DIRT!!!!!

    ... and cookies.

  11. #11
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    Haha bananna seat

  12. #12
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    padded shorts help too. get a good pair. My ding-ding has been smiling ever since.
    I like to hug trees at FULL SPEED!

  13. #13
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    This kinda is scaring me right now!! I can't go 3 or 4 hours without having to pee....... I notice I was pretty sore down there the day after my last ride......

  14. #14
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    The Adamo Peak is a purchase I've been very happy with. Not only is it better at avoiding numbness, but I find the wider double nose to be easier to sit forward on for steep climbing.

    It took one ride to get used to. Put pressure on the sit bones in an unusual way but from the second ride on it was not noticeable anymore.

  15. #15
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    Look for a manufacturer that makes a saddle in multiple widths. The most important part of saddle fit is that the hip bones are supported by the saddle. If it isn't wide enough, then your prostate and all of the soft tissue between your sit bones is supporting the weight of your body. That is what causes the problems.

    google "sit bones" and you'll get a photo or two to understand what is needed.

  16. #16
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    I recently wrote a review on Adamo Peak saddle...I should have it on the review tab in a day or so, or you can google "Lowe Life Mountain Biking Chronicles". I cant post a link for various reasons. Just came off of Double Hernia surgery in October...its a game changer.
    I love this thing.

  17. #17
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    my 2cents

    SMP Selle - google it
    you can demo them here: SMP Pro Demo Saddle **OUT ON DEMO**
    Not cheap but high quality, get the proper width for sit bones
    drop nose work great for steep seated climbs



  18. #18
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    So this hasn't been mentioned yet, and I'll probably regret doing so when the flames start, though some of you may actually benefit in more ways than one if you get over "the issue".

    Buddy of mine had prostate cancer. Big time rider too. In his research he stumbled onto a lot of different information. One interesting factor is the volume and age of prostatic fluid in your prostate. The older is gets, the greater the likelihood it starts to grow bacteria. That bacteria irritates the tissues, and voila, fertile ground for cancerous growth. We all release a small to moderate amount during ejaculation, but it's possible to release a lot more with prostate massage. The idea is, out with the old, in with the new (no bacteria in the fresh stuff).

    So, what's a guy to do? Older gentlemen with inflammation issues often go to their urologists to have prostate massage done, releases fluid, reduces inflammation, bacterial levels etc.

    Sounds like fun, not.

    However, here's the "issue" piece. You can receive this special massage from your partner as well, it's not very technical, and often, they are more than willing if asked. Yes, it's rather intimate, your mom likely won't do it for you, but if you ask nicely, do a bit of research, and get over your homophobia, well, it actually might be the best thing you've discovered in a long time.

    Cheaper than buying an endless string if ridiculous looking saddles that feel odd and often don't work as well as a "regular" one anyway...
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



    www.mendoncyclesmith.com

  19. #19
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    I had trouble peeing (painful, unable to start flow, split stream) last year about 8 hrs into the Arrowhead 135.

    By halfwayI was getting pretty worried. Pulled the plug and went home. Next day a prostate exam showed prostatitis (inflammation). 2 weeks off the bike and some Motrin around the clock and I was fine.

    I was a Brooks guy. I measured my sit bones on the Specialized pad and the Bontrager gel thing. Both suggested a 150ish width saddle. Switched to a 155 saddle with a cutout and no more problems. Took some time to get used to sitting "on" the saddle rather than "in" the saddle. Had to drop my seat height.

    I'm still playing around but no more issues. My lbs has a bin with take-off saddles. They will usually sell them for $15-20. I have picked up a couple that have worked pretty well. I can immediately tell if a saddle is too narrow or not.

  20. #20
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    Hmmm...cut-out saddles haven't been out all that long but yet riders of yesteryear suffer no more issue's then present.

    Proper saddle to fit sit bones and proper saddle adjustment are more critical.

    It could also be a FS condition where one stays in the saddle for longer periods simply because suspension technology offers much more comfort in the seated position.

    I'm 51 and ride a HT with a flat saddle,ride several times a week and never had an issue.The difference "IMHO" is that i spend a great deal of time standing and when i do sit i sit on the back of the saddle which is more raised.

    Note: the Fizik Tundra saddle is for Flexible riders,I've used them in the past and liked them but as we age we lose flexibility hence the reason i now use the Gobi.

    I will request that message though

  21. #21
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    Hobson Noseless Saddles

    I'm not sure how it will work for mountain biking, but it's a viable option.

  22. #22
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    I ride a WTB race saddle and won't ride anything else. Works for me. The saddle should be relatively level with the ground and your weight supported by your "sit bones" That would be the pressure point you would feel if your were sitting level on a concrete bench. The correct saddle and the correct position of that saddle is key. Shorts that don't bunch at your crotch help also.

  23. #23
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    Thanks for all the info, suggestions and PM's everybody. I did get by the bike shop this weekend which is a Spec. dealer and was able to sit on their measuring device. Oddly enough it was a Bontrager instead of the Spec. one. Found out I need a really narrow seat. Measure out to be in the 130 range. Doesn't surprise me really because I'm a pretty small guy, 148 lbs and 29 inch waste. Anyway did some looking in the shop and talking to the owner, fortunately it was really slow, and looked at their Spec. and Bont. seats. Of course they only had 1 seat that was narrow enough for me in stock but they can order one for me. Great! Once again heading into a shop to have them order something off the internet for me. Anyway... stopping the LBS rant now. Went home spent some time on the Spec site because I did like the design of the Spec Romin seat they had. Really wide channel, pretty flat and not a ton of padding. Found out that on the Spec site they've got the Romin seats on they discount page. Found one in small with a little more padding and Ti rails for $70 rather than the $120 at the shop. Since the LBS shop had been helpful I did go back and check with them to see if they could get the seat for me instead of ordering it off the web. They could. So at least they can make a little money of me since they were helpful this weekend. Plus I can feel a little better about buying the seat since it seems like based on what I've read there's a good chance it won't fit and I'll have to try a couple of seats to find the right one. Thanks again. Maybe I can remember this post and when I've been on the Romin for a while try to report back. I hope none of the rest of you have to deal with this. Been on the Antibiotic now for almost a week and still feel kind of crappy. Don't feel bad just a general ache in the lower back and abdominal area. A least taking a leak now isn't as problematic.

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