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  1. #1
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead! Cycling and impotence

    I thought I'd start this thread because I recently had a bout with erectile dysfunction that I can only attribute to my bike habit (my physician agrees). I turned to mtbr.com first and didn't find much info on the subject, so perhaps others can benefit from and/or add to my experience.
    I've been an avid rider for about 10 years and I'd estimate I'd spend roughly ten hours per week in the saddle. Never had any problems whatsoever with getting it up until, to my and my wife's dismay, a few weeks ago. As it turns out, I switched saddles a few months ago and apparently the new saddle didn't agree with my anatomy. I went to the doc who suggested taking a few weeks off and prescribed me some Cialis. I've since switched to a Specialized Body Geometry 155mm saddle and I can now get it up again without the aid of prescription medications.
    Needless to say, it was NOT a pleasant experience. But I'm happy to report I didn't have to make a choice between bikes and sex. I guess my only advice to you all is make sure your saddle fits. Numbness is not something to live with!

  2. #2
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    Great, now I'll never look at "Rider Down" in quite the same way. Thanks a lot!
    [SIZE=1]"The mouth of justice contemplates wisdom."[/SIZE]

  3. #3
    Flying Goat
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    oooo... o never thought impotence could directly be connected to biking... what kind of numbness are you talking about and which areas???

  4. #4
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    I assume you're wearing cycling shorts and all while you were riding?

  5. #5
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    Don't worry penske1, I myself have experience the same thing. I contribute my weight and lack of fitness to my problem. It takes guts to admit somthing like this publicly.

  6. #6
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    Congrats

    Quote Originally Posted by penske1
    I thought I'd start this thread because I recently had a bout with erectile dysfunction that I can only attribute to my bike habit (my physician agrees). I turned to mtbr.com first and didn't find much info on the subject, so perhaps others can benefit from and/or add to my experience.
    I've been an avid rider for about 10 years and I'd estimate I'd spend roughly ten hours per week in the saddle. Never had any problems whatsoever with getting it up until, to my and my wife's dismay, a few weeks ago. As it turns out, I switched saddles a few months ago and apparently the new saddle didn't agree with my anatomy. I went to the doc who suggested taking a few weeks off and prescribed me some Cialis. I've since switched to a Specialized Body Geometry 155mm saddle and I can now get it up again without the aid of prescription medications.
    Needless to say, it was NOT a pleasant experience. But I'm happy to report I didn't have to make a choice between bikes and sex. I guess my only advice to you all is make sure your saddle fits. Numbness is not something to live with!

    Not an easy topic to talk about. Congratulations on finding an easy fix and ending up with good health.
    Thanks for the information.
    BoiseBoy

  7. #7
    Double-metric mtb man
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    My understanding is that it is a little more common in the road biking fraternity due to the roadie seats being even longer nosed and narrower than mtb seats....that being said, it is something that we can run into.

    The numbness to be worried about is related to (Moderators please note: this is for proper discussion purposes, not something dirty...please don't kill the post) the scrotum and penis. There are nerves (pudenal and cavernous) and blood vessels that run along the perineum (the area that men sit on when on a bicycle seat, as in between the anus and the scrotum).

    Most manufacturers have added a channel of some sort to try to eliminate the pressure on the nerves and blood vessels. If the saddle doesn't quite fit, pressure can be applied to one, the other or both causing numbness. If you ignore the numbness, it can lead to damage and impotence.
    As if four times wasn't enough-> Psycho Mike's 2013 Ride to Conquer Cancer Page

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  8. #8
    Flying Goat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psycho Mike
    My understanding is that it is a little more common in the road biking fraternity due to the roadie seats being even longer nosed and narrower than mtb seats....that being said, it is something that we can run into.

    The numbness to be worried about is related to (Moderators please note: this is for proper discussion purposes, not something dirty...please don't kill the post) the scrotum and penis. There are nerves (pudenal and cavernous) and blood vessels that run along the perineum (the area that men sit on when on a bicycle seat, as in between the anus and the scrotum).

    Most manufacturers have added a channel of some sort to try to eliminate the pressure on the nerves and blood vessels. If the saddle doesn't quite fit, pressure can be applied to one, the other or both causing numbness. If you ignore the numbness, it can lead to damage and impotence.
    thanx for the explanation... i know what to look out for now...

  9. #9
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    Bonking ... not feelin' well Pummelled Perineum

    The New York Times published an alarming article on this subject last [URL="http://http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/04/health/nutrition/04bike.html?ei=5088&en=8279186f16a1ca32&ex=1286078400&pagewanted=print"year[/URL].

    The progonosis looks bad, and channeled seats can make it worse. Has anyone tried their remedy, noseless bicycle seats?
    Last edited by 2wheelsBetter; 12-16-2006 at 04:07 PM. Reason: URL not linked

  10. #10
    Double-metric mtb man
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    I have a "comfort seat" that I had used on my hardtail and it is one of these "nose less" jobs....wide, short nose, gel padded...all the "protect the grandkids" type stuff that my mother (who bought it for me) thought was good. It is comfy enough.....but don't even think about trying to get behind the seat for a DH section! I tried it once....got back and bagged myself trying to get in front of it again.

    Instead, I try to use a "regular" saddle and stay away from the ultra-light, narrower race saddles. On rare occasions, like when a leg or knee is acting up on me, I occasionally get a little numb....mostly from just sitting on the thing wrong when by body tries to compensate for the leg pain. When it happens, I pull off and give the seat, leg and my privates a break as soon as possible.
    As if four times wasn't enough-> Psycho Mike's 2013 Ride to Conquer Cancer Page

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  11. #11
    The Real Blade
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    Balls of Fire

    I haven't had E.D. but I was having to be careful of jewels.I felt like I got kicked lightly but it was unpleasant.I started wearing breifs and it made a difference but not enough.So now I have a cup that I got at a sporting goods store.I wore it around the house for a day to test the comfort factor.It is fine.I will ride soon.I can tell that it will work fine and save me from injury in a normal crash as all body armour does.I'm surprised that ball guards are not standard gear.Or is it a mystical secret?I usualy wear a full face helmet because of my moto-cross experience.I would not be here if my Bell were not on my noggin.I'm new to MTB but not to going balls out.But now it will be balls in.I'll give a report after a real ride. :

  12. #12
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    great, now you scared me into going to get a new seat tomorrow. I numb up all the time, I thought you just get used to it over time. So what causes this problem the way you sit on those nerves as stated before, or the seat being too hard and narrow? My GF's seat is like a couch, but my stock C dale seat is very narrow and not padded well.


    Steve

  13. #13
    Double-metric mtb man
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    Quote Originally Posted by jetfan2207
    So what causes this problem the way you sit on those nerves as stated before, or the seat being too hard and narrow? My GF's seat is like a couch, but my stock C dale seat is very narrow and not padded well.

    Steve
    It can be a combination of both. A long, thin, hard seat is more likely to give you problems, but how you sit on it has influence too.....it is part of what makes saddles such a personal choice for riders.
    As if four times wasn't enough-> Psycho Mike's 2013 Ride to Conquer Cancer Page

    Moran? Let your opinion be free -> F88me

  14. #14
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead! Have a look at this..

    I am a believer in these saddles. They made a big difference for me...

    Apart from being super comfortable to ride on, they help protect your reproductive organs.

    These are THE most comfortable saddles that I have used in over 50 years of all types of cycling.

    Link:

    http://mcmwin.com/saddle%20shop%20new.htm


    R.
    It is inevitable ...

  15. #15
    just along for the ride
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    Get a couple kids then you will be happy when its not happy time again, get it? LMFAO

  16. #16
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    I'm glad to see all the feedback on this thread. I started it because there just isn't a whole lot of real world info out there on the subject. Sure, you can google the topic and get tons of results. Problem is, most of those articles are written by someone who wants to sell saddles, magazines, newspapers, etc. This was intended to provide practical advice on a subject none of us likes to talk about. I appreciate everyone's responses. I ride with some great friends, but I still wouldn't say in the pre-ride gathering, "Hey Bob, I couldn't get it up last night, that ever happen to you?" I'm glad this forum is here to discuss this in anonymity (I hope! ) Thanks all!

  17. #17
    POG
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    Another issue I think...

    is that everyone is anatomically unique and that extends to the sit bones and other equipment. I have a friend who tried every saddle in the book and he could not find anything that didn't cause problems. He just had to give up cycling. I seem to be able to ride any saddle with no problem (so far).

  18. #18
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    My wife won't let me touch her any more, so i guess I'll just keep on cycling! On a serious note, I have experienced numbness on my road bike in the past. I was using a Flite saddle at the time and switched to a saddle with a slightly wider mid-section and wider whale tale with a center relief. The saddle made a big difference and I only experience discomfort occasionally on rides over 60-70 miles.

  19. #19
    Nu-School Trail Rat
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    This thread has become a little flacid.


  20. #20
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    BG Saddles

    The Specialized BG saddles allow you to ride on your sit bones and not your perineum. It's the only saddle I've found that doesn't cause numbness.

  21. #21
    Spotty Fire-jumper
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    A buddy of mine (no really!) had this issue over the past year. He is a Clyde (6'5" 240) and tried about five different saddles. Finally, after almost giving up the sport that he has really grown to love, he special ordered a wide saddle from WTB or maybe Specialized. Apparently, the width of his pelvis was causing his sitbones to be off the sides of most saddles (ouch!) and his perineum was taking a beating. Once he switched he immediately saw improvement. Just thought I'd pass the info along. It could save someone a lot of problems.

    Keep it up gentlemen! :~)
    'Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.' - Robert Hunter

  22. #22
    kraddick
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    Selle SMP seats work pretty good but expensive.

  23. #23
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    It just comes down to fit. The group I ride with, most of us ride MTB and road and so we all have a few different saddles. We trade the spares until a good fit is found and then have a better chance of purchasing the proper fit. I can't ride with a wide saddle, the skinny ones are my best fit. Believe it or not my favorite saddle is a Performance pro, looks like a wedgie waiting to require surgical removal from the rectum but it's really comfy for me.

  24. #24
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    I had an episode from a SHORT ride on bike with a bad saddle. This was litterally a 3-minute ride tops. Situ: Road bike, slightly large for me, that I was test-riding after performing a tune-up on it. Very nice bike, with a Fizi:k Arione saddle. The seat was about 1/2" too high for me for my "normal" position - but close enough I could ride it with no real discomfort. I rode about 4 blocks, and hit a small depression in the road - not even a pothole. I felt an impact on the "ABC Joint" (A$$-Ball Connector, or Perineum for you medical sticklers). It hurt a bit but not too much - just an "ouch!". Three days later, I am in some significant discomfort, and two days after that went to the hospital with an inflamed prostate. Almost impossible to pee (and very painful at that) and for a couple of days I don't know if I could get it up, 'cause the thought of that was enough to keep it down! Lots of probing, lots of tests, a finger where I don't want a finger to be, and eventually a diagonsis of what they called "Prostadynia" - a non-bacterial inflammation of the prostate. Heavy-duty anti-inflammatories, rest, hot baths and off the bike for about a month. Talking to a few people, I am not the first to have that symptom from that saddle. But again, what causes problems for some can be the best in the world for others... FWIW I have ridden Selle Italia, Brooks, Terry, Avenir, Specialized and WTB saddles for almost 40 years on the road and MTB (over 30 years) with no problems. Now I will be very careful of saddle feel as soon as I get on something that I am not familiar with. I was just trying to be careful with not dropping the guy's saddle to change his position. Never again! Current saddles are WTB and loving them.

    Just starting to get back to 100% sitting ability again - and it has been almost 8 weeks...
    R.I.P. Corky 10/97-4/09
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