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  1. #1
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    Heath problem with mountain biking for men?

    A year ago I bought a Remedy 8 and have been riding a lot on it. A few days ago I came across some reports that said cycling can be very bad for a mans sex life as it causes some "things" to stop working. So here are my questions:

    Does the noseless saddle actually work and let you maintain control of the bike (these are known to be better for more comfort)?

    What about the saddles that are open in the middle? Some reports I have read state they make the problem worse cutting blood flow more, while others say it improves.

    I enjoy this sport a lot...which is why I am out there 3-4 times a week. But if this is going to cause a health problem, I have to seriously consider giving it up. Any input anyone would have would be appreciated.
    Last edited by doug5718; 04-06-2013 at 12:38 PM. Reason: forgot something

  2. #2
    dru
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    Saddles are really personal thing as far as 'issues' or comfort. I've never had numbness down there or problems but have had chafing and pressure boils a few times. I'm almost 50 and it still works!

    I'd say try more than a few saddles, and don't ride one that's painful or causing you problems. Been at the sport almost 20 years off and on, if that helps.

    Drew
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  3. #3
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    Just get married, then it won't matter if your "man parts" work or not.....

  4. #4
    dru
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    LOL

    But what if he just wants to pound the meat a bit? What's he gonna do?

    Drew
    occasional cyclist

  5. #5
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    By and large it seems MTB riders have less issues with this as we move around much more on the saddle when riding than our pavement riding friends. Try several saddles until one really seems comfortable above the rest. Might take a dozen but you'll find that one that is juuuuuust right.
    Monte
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  6. #6
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    Well, if you are really worried about it, get a single speed and you'll be sitting on the saddle a heck of a lot less.

  7. #7
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    like above, I've had some chafing, but never any "issues" down there from biking. I think the chemotherapy I got a few years ago is more likely to mess things up than my bike saddle.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thor29 View Post
    Well, if you are really worried about it, get a single speed and you'll be sitting on the saddle a heck of a lot less.
    Good point. ^

    -big tires, lower psi
    -tilt saddle a bit down and/or bars up.
    -lower saddle a touch
    -do more riding/training off the saddle and you'll be able to ride longer off the saddle
    -Brooks saddle without fart cut out. There's no need imo.
    -try some fart cut out saddles.
    -get bike fitting and/or seat bones measured at lbs
    -try saddle demo deal
    -more suspension
    -padded shorts


    Little tweaks can make a big difference, especially more than one. Don't make to many at once so you figure out which helped.
    Round and round we go

  9. #9
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    There are two really helpful advancements in MTB in the last couple years that may help you out:
    1. Better ergonomics in saddles. I have found the recent (2010ish+) Spez Phenom to be remarkably good, but it comes down to fit. Sit bone fit. Go get a free Ass-o-meter check just to understand the concept, even if you like any of the other great saddle brands.

    2. Upright riding position. I don't care how much "all mountain" in a marketing dude's mouth may make you want to barf. Upright riding position is awesome for fit, control, ergos, everything. The widespread issue of low backpain is an associated symptom. Your hips just shouldn't be rocked forward enough to squeeze your junk against the saddle. I even ride nose-up (because I like the control of a gravity-oriented saddle setup), and still don't get harmful perenium/soft-tissue pressure.

    I still have my '99 hardtail around as a commuter bike, and even though it inherited a slightly more modern (but still XC) stem over the years, it's shocking how long it is.

    You weight should be over your bottom bracket. You weight should be through your pedals. Leaning waaaay out over the bars w/ a bunch of weight in the wrists was never a good idea for MTB. Good luck.

  10. #10
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    Nah. I think thing has been dragged across the floor a few times, and I looked into it myself when my wife and I were trying to conceive (unfortunately, we didn't have a baby, but it wasn't from riding).

    I think major concerns should arise if/when you feel a tingling or numb sensation in the nether region. Chafing can be avoided with a good cream - but that's just skin. Most important is to find a saddle that works for YOU, one where you are sitting on your seat bones (like what theMeat said) and you really can't get that off this forum - it's a matter of trial and error. Some seats work for some and others not. What works for me are the dished design of the wider WTB saddles - but that's me. You have to find what works for you.

    So, yes. Like with anything sports related, there can be potential problems, but unless you're experiencing numbness, tingling, pain, etc. you should be fine (from what I read, but I'm no doctor).

  11. #11
    I'm SUCH a square....
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    Gawd, will this scare-tactic story NEVER go away? I read this in 2000! It was BS then, it's BS now.

    If you want more than my word for it, ask Armstrong's kids. (He has, what, 4 or 5 now?)
    A bike is the only drug with no bad side effects....

  12. #12
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    I got 99 problems but a Heath bar ain't one.

  13. #13
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    I've got 3 kids and have yet to get snipped. Some days I wish it would cause problems. My wife would probably wish the same thing if I asked her.....

    Dion, if you're still trying, best of luck to you. I'm sure you'll get there eventually, and have fun doing it....
    2012 Rockhopper 29er.

  14. #14
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    Thanks for all the replies to everyone...its really appreciated for someone that is new to this sport like me. It's a remedy 8 I have so it is full suspension (and yea, that part I have figured out). I also get up about every 15 minutes and stand on the pedals when I ride as I guess this really helps.

    I read through every post on here and it seems everyone agrees the saddle is a personal choice on what fits best. I am really seriously considering the WTB Volt SLT. If anyone has had these before I would like to hear some input on them...is the "comfort zone" and "love channel" a real deal or is it BS?


  15. #15
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    Adamo Peak | Ideal Saddle Modification

    You get what you pay for.

  16. #16
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    I don't know if it was actually just a scare tactic. After about six months of riding I was starting to get some serious numbness issues, that I believe were causing some bedroom issues. I went and got sized for a seat and chose one with a cut-out. Now, no more numbness. The funny thing is, is that the new seat has alomost no padding but the proper fitment makes it comfortable for some serious saddle time.

  17. #17
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    I am quite ok with not having any kids, so cycle on.

    If it ever gets to a point where I can't get it up, I will make a splint with two popsicle sticks and rock on.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flucod View Post
    There is no evidence that saddles cause any problem at all. It is total BS. They actually studied this out years ago and found that the riders in the Tour De France had the EXACT percentage of problems as the general population. Those guys are in the saddle 4-8 hours a day and do not have issues. It is pure marketing to get someone to buy a specific brand of saddle. It is important though to have a saddle that fits you correctly (like miniman868 stated). Not all azzes are created equal.
    Then explain to me why the hell my urologist was scolding me for not using the proper seat and a large pool of blood that came out and stained my shorts and my acute prostatitis which nearly cause me to have an unwanted vasectomy and almost ended my bicycle riding days. This is a well documented problem and the solution is not as expensive as you think. I even got a seat that protects my genitals which cost far less than my old seat and it is super comfortable.

    You can google all the things I've said and see even more conditions that will result from improper seat comfort. Stop pretending that you know everything because your clearly don't have a clue.

  19. #19
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    I remember at one point they found that a certain saddle (Flite) and post (American Classic) was causing problems because the saddle flexed and the post had hardware above the rails. So combining all that, you were really sitting on top the post. Guess what combo I had on my bike at the time ... never had bleeding or anything like that though.
    Chasing bears through the woods drunk with a dull hatchet is strongly not advised

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by wv_bob View Post
    I remember at one point they found that a certain saddle (Flite) and post (American Classic) was causing problems because the saddle flexed and the post had hardware above the rails. So combining all that, you were really sitting on top the post. Guess what combo I had on my bike at the time ... never had bleeding or anything like that though.
    Where's the evidence? A post donning the name with both words "American" and "classic" can't be to blame. I'm not buying it. That's just silly. Plus, you must have imagined this problem, just look at the tour d france guys, they're fine.
    And for those that judge saddle comfort by the number of kids they fathered, that's just funny.

    OP, think the only saddle that can fit a wide array of @sses is a Brooks.
    WTB, I think still does, runs a demo trail thing with willing lbs, so you can try different ones till you find the one you keep.
    Most lbs have a bin of take offs for sale for 10 bucks or less so you can try some different shapes out.
    Fwiw, padding, or too much of it, can feel good when you first sit on it, but can lead to chaffing, and on a fs you shouldn't need much at all. Padded shorts are better because they move with your skin and not against it causing chaffing.
    And the cut outs certainly can help with some people/saddle combos.
    Round and round we go

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by theMeat View Post
    Where's the evidence? A post donning the name with both words "American" and "classic" can't be to blame. I'm not buying it. That's just silly. Plus, you must have imagined this problem, just look at the tour d france guys, they're fine.
    And for those that judge saddle comfort by the number of kids they fathered, that's just funny.
    I think it is not caused by a certain seat model but the anatomy of people not compatible with a certain seat and not just limited to men but also women are affected. Also, it is not limited to sterility but problems like difficult urination, bleeding, erectile dysfunction, nerve damage and may even cause thrombosis.

    The problem with this issue is that most will hide their problems because the fear and embarrassment. I've only known that my cycling buddies had or have problems when I told them that I could not ride for a month because under urologist orders and even some thank me and went for a check up immediately while others told me what the went through to fixed their problem. This issue is even discussed in livestrong and YouTube.

    Bike seats and erectile dysfunction - YouTube

  22. #22
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    The only method known for men to avoid cycling-related impotence is to have sex within no more than 30 minutes after biking. Intercourse should be followed by rest (TV is ok) and 1-2 IPAs.

  23. #23
    I'm just messing with you
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    Quote Originally Posted by theMeat View Post
    Where's the evidence? A post donning the name with both words "American" and "classic" can't be to blame. I'm not buying it. That's just silly. Plus, you must have imagined this problem, just look at the tour d france guys, they're fine.
    Man you need to eat less meat or something, the beef steroids have you on full time attack. This is something that happened over a decade ago. I might be able to hunt down reports of it on the iBOB listserv, but I'm not going to even try. Better things to do than argue a point that doesn't matter, and all that. Plus I didn't ever say it hurt me, did I?
    Chasing bears through the woods drunk with a dull hatchet is strongly not advised

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by doug5718 View Post
    Thanks for all the replies to everyone...its really appreciated for someone that is new to this sport like me. It's a remedy 8 I have so it is full suspension (and yea, that part I have figured out). I also get up about every 15 minutes and stand on the pedals when I ride as I guess this really helps.

    I read through every post on here and it seems everyone agrees the saddle is a personal choice on what fits best. I am really seriously considering the WTB Volt SLT. If anyone has had these before I would like to hear some input on them...is the "comfort zone" and "love channel" a real deal or is it BS?
    WTB saddles are great products. If you ride enough (say 8-12+ hours a week) or something like 400+ annual hours - your backside will eventually care less what it is sitting on because you will be so conditioned that it doesn't really matter what you are sitting on for a typical 90 - 120 minute ride.

    I wouldn't overthink it. A pair of good bibs with a nice pad in them and proper fit on the bike is more crucial to comfort than the excellent saddles being made these days.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chase1996 View Post
    Just get married, then it won't matter if your "man parts" work or not.....
    LMAO But true!

  26. #26
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    I honestly don't know what to believe anymore. It's crazy man. You find something you enjoy and you think is good for your health, put tons of money into (which I don't have a lot of) and then find out it could do harm to your sexual health, which is a very important part of any guys life! Its frustrating. I went through google scholar reviewing studies and many of them were done by Dr. Goldstein which has been on record as saying men should NEVER ride a bicycle.

    I found one other study that states no link was found.

    Goldstein USRF - In the News

    ScienceDirect.com - The Journal of Urology - BICYCLE RIDING AND ITS RELATIONSHIP TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION This study says "The overall prevalence of ED in the cycling community does not appear to be greater than that of historical controls."

  27. #27
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    Yeah it's crazy. Just google cycling and osteoporosis, you'll be reading for days. There's some bad in everything. Even a perfect diamond can be too hard for many things. If your balls are going numb you should probably do something about that, but otherwise you stay informed, do what you can to compensate if you must, and move on. Is it better not to ride? Not
    Round and round we go

  28. #28
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    Stand back I'm going to try science

    There are many ways to approach a question. This is not to piss in the Cheerios of anyone who does important correlative studies or metastudies to try to get at complex issues w/ convincing sample sizes.

    But,

    The very best correlative data really only generate a hypothesis, they don't prove one. And "the very best" is so so f-ing rare. I don't have time to write and few of you will read a dissertation on the subject, so I'll be brief as possible.

    Question: can cycling hurt my junk or the performance of my junk?

    The reason for the ambiguity of the evidence being discussed in this thread is that there are so many sources of variation, confounding factors, and on and on. But it's an easy question if you don't lose sight of what you really want to know.

    Question: can cycling hurt my junk or the performance of my junk?
    IF restriction of blood flow or bruising/irritation/??? of soft tissues can lead to those problems

    AND IF an individual's cycling technique and fit cause that restriction or bruising

    THEN an individual's junk or the performance of their junk may be hurt by cycling fitment or technique.

    It's what's called a 'mechanistic' question, that can be answered w/o a lot of ambiguity by a doctor, a physiologist, or somone w/ similar training. A big data set that tries to find correlation between a huge number of individuals and some pathology is just not the right tool for this job. That type of study rather is for generating the hypothsis, as I noted above: "Ooh, could it be saddles causing XYZ?" Or for finding the relative contribution of a number of contributing factors. But all the fine resolution one hopes to gain through huge sample size is undercut by a host of uncontrollable variables (differences between the individuals other than crotch-saddle interaction).

    You can use your own knowledge to fill in the gaps. There are certainly some cyclists who have suffered from ED, and someof them claim to have gotten relief from saddle or fitment changes.

    There are certainly a number of cyclists who never get ED.

    We have uncovered one source of hidden variation that plagues the big studies!! Go us! Because the group "cyclists" has two very different types of people in it:
    1) cyclists who ride around w/ their junk all ****ed up by their saddles
    2) cyclists who through skill or luck do not have any junk-related problem

    Lumping both together ("cyclists") confuses the signal (cyclists w/ bad saddle fit -> cyclists w/ ED) because only some cyclists have bad saddle fit. See? This just scratches the surface; there are countless other issues that cloud the stats.

    If you are hurting, do something about it! If you are not... you're not.

  29. #29
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    Heath problem with mountain biking for men?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chase1996 View Post
    Just get married, then it won't matter if your "man parts" work or not.....


    And you will even enjoy the pain down there!
    We do not stop playing because we grow old;
    We grow old because we stop playing

  30. #30
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    Seriously protect yourself if you feel numbness. We're all built differently. I just bought that ism adamo peak and it works wonderfully. I used to get numbness all the time after a ride I would go pee and my junk would be really cold. The other seats were cutting off blood flow or something. We're all different so what might numb you might not affect the other guy at all. Better safe then sorry.

  31. #31
    HOV
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thor29 View Post
    Well, if you are really worried about it, get a single speed and you'll be sitting on the saddle a heck of a lot less.
    This plus a Brooks B17 will make Johnson & sons happy.


    IMAG0120-2 by Locuscope, on Flickr

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snfoilhat View Post
    Stand back I'm going to try science...
    If you are hurting, do something about it! If you are not... you're not.
    Can the entire world just read this and put this "Cycling causes ED" to rest? It's such a silly notion to think that cycling is an absolute problem for this.

    Sorry to say, OP, but your urologist has a bias - I hate it when doctors do that. I had one of those, so I changed doctors. I asked him this very question and he said exactly the most common sense answer "If you're feeling pain, we can treat it, if not, then you're good to go". Then I qualified it all with a sperm count test. Yup, no issue.

  33. #33
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    To the OP, Just get a proper bike-fit at your LBS, if they can do it. The angle of your saddle and how high it is on the bike has more to do with your privates getting numb than the seat your butt is sitting on. I use a Selle seat and love it but it didn't feel right until I got a fit done. YMMV
    Current ride(s) 2011 Santa Cruz Blur LT

  34. #34
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    If Dr Goldstein's report (from, oh, so long ago) were true, then Eddy Merckx would never have had any children.

    Yes, long rides can cause penile numbness. If this concerns you, work with a fitter to adjust your cycling position. I used to get numbness on some long rides and it never caused any real problem - except that my girlfriend had to wait about thrity minutes after we got off the bike...

  35. #35
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    You can be convinced all you want to that it's the saddle's fault. Just as easily could have been the ADJUSTMENT of it (a couple degrees too far back, and you're in trouble), something congenital, or whatever.

    Unless your urologist is trained in sports medicine as well, his opinion is just that...opinion. Medicine is called a PRACTICE because they don't have it down right yet.
    A bike is the only drug with no bad side effects....

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by doug5718 View Post
    I honestly don't know what to believe anymore. It's crazy man. You find something you enjoy and you think is good for your health, put tons of money into (which I don't have a lot of) and then find out it could do harm to your sexual health, which is a very important part of any guys life! Its frustrating.
    Don't get too carried away. There is potential risk and downside to everything. Mountain biking "could" leave you with a lot more physical problems than an occasional malfunction downstairs -- all it takes is falling wrong one time and a bit of bad luck, after all, and you may not be walking again, let alone engaging in other activities. For me, the upside outweighs the risks.

    Plus, look at it this way -- it would likely take years for a problem to arise, and as you get older, it may end up being less of a problem (ok, all of that is completely my own unsubstantiated hypothesis -- I don't know if it takes years or not for problems to arise). And worst-case scenario, it ends up just being a choice between two activities. After all, riding bikes is also a very important part of a guy's life!
    '11 Specialized Enduro Expert for the trails
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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by HOV View Post
    This plus a Brooks B17 will make Johnson & sons happy.


    IMAG0120-2 by Locuscope, on Flickr
    Wisdom. Just say no to soft seats.
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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by doug5718 View Post
    ... I am really seriously considering the WTB Volt SLT. If anyone has had these before I would like to hear some input on them...is the "comfort zone" and "love channel" a real deal or is it BS?
    Bike seats are very personal, you have to try a few to know what direction works best. All the major brands have followed WTB's original "Luv Channel" design. It adds comfort and much less tingling from nerve pinch on long seated sections. The Volt is the most comfortable seat I've used.

    WTB has many seats, and a seat demo program in some shops, for no cost. Look for a shop with a WTB demo program, try a few, each for a good ride to know what happens after a few hours.

  39. #39
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    Update

    Heath problem with mountain biking for men?-006.jpg


    Just to give those who gave advice to me a update (maybe someone else is having the same concern), I bought the ISM saddle and it does what it is suppose to. This saddle is light, gives great control and does not restrict blood flow. The only downside is that my ass hurts on my sit bones.

  40. #40
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    Don't believe the hype! I heard this kind of news in the 90's when everyone and their mother was riding a Flite saddle! This report came out and everyone that wasn't a biker and wanted to give their 2 cents said that your noodle will go limp. Then all of a sudden the market for a channel seat came upon us and has been here ever since. This kind of scare tactic happens in many industries. Remember Y2K survival kits? Get the picture. Now don't get me wrong, the channel seats are comfy and I do ride one. As for having sexual problems, its all in your head. I have a 1 year old, have never had any impotence problems, and I am 43 years old. Ride your bike!!

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    If it ever gets to a point where I can't get it up, I will make a splint with two popsicle sticks and rock on.
    Wife says: "OUCH!"

  42. #42
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    You gotta look at the other side of the coin too -- getting in shape will work wonders for your sex life. Sure, there are other ways besides biking to do that, but if it isn't fun, who's going to stick with it? Not me. And besides the exercise, female cyclists are the hottest

    That said, going numb down there can't be good. If you find a saddle that has the right sit-bone width, isn't too soft, and isn't tilted back too far, you might get a sore butt, but it isn't going to pinch nerves or cut off circulation to anywhere that matters.

  43. #43
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    You never said it was a problem for you, so don't worry about it. If you need things to worry about, I can send you a list!

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    Quote Originally Posted by MSU Alum View Post
    You never said it was a problem for you, so don't worry about it. If you need things to worry about, I can send you a list!
    HA! No thanks MSU, I have too many worries as is. I am a 32 year old guy without kids yet, so that is why I was concerned. That saddle I got took care of that though and I just thought I would let everyone know that they work. The pressue is pushed to your sit bones (which is where you want it).

  45. #45
    It's about showing up.
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    I've been mountain biking for over 25 years. The biggest challenge is that it has made me older.
    I don't rattle.

  46. #46
    ENDO!!!
    Reputation: The Yetti's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    682
    Never had an issue, although I could see saddle adjustment being crucial. Went for a ride on the SS a couple weeks back, I had been playing with saddle adjustment and got the nose a degree or two too high. No numbness, but a "uncomfortable" feeling. Adjusted it, and no issues. I think any discomfort out of the normal soreness from a saddle means you need to adjust or change saddle.s
    Just circles turning circles....

  47. #47
    On wuss patrol
    Reputation: Glide the Clyde's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    if it ever gets to a point where i can't get it up, i will have more time to ride.
    fify
    Sometimes, you need to go fast enough that the trail is a blur to find clarity. -- Wild Bill

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