Ok, going to lay it on the line. I'm 48, been serious MTB riding for about 15 years. Before that I rode in CO in the 80's.
I started getting numbness in the netherlands aka my testicles, nuts, the guys, etc. about 1.5 years ago. This had happened in the past and a seat change cured it. Last time a Terry Liberator Y saddle with a nice love channel saved my life. Could not find that saddle again so I tried a Brooks, a WTB Rocket V, and ISM Adamo Peak. This timenothing helped, so I saw a my GP, who sent me for Dopler Ultrasounds, then a Urologist. He said all is cool. No problem on the Ultra nor upon inspection.
Talked this over a lot with my biking buddy Mordechai who is also a Neurologist. He does not practice here in Israel so I saw a local. He conferred with Mordechai who thought I may have damaged my pudental nerve.
Stayed off the bike for about three months. During that time I had a professional bike fitting and consulted a lot by email, phone and video with Dave Schindler at ISM. He gave me adjustments to make that were specific to his saddle that the fitter may not have known.
Upon Dave's advice I tried a short 2 km ride, no pain. Tried a 9 Km ride and 1.5 months later I am still suffering.
Let's talk about this pain. While I am riding a don't have any discomfort or numbness. Later in the day or the next day it will get painful. My nuts usually feel the way I do about 10 minutes after I took a hit there. I lived like this for over a year. When it got to the point were I could not tell if I had climaxed with my wife, I stopped riding. Most of my life I did not have an awareness of my nuts. Since these pains have started they are always on my mind. Sometimes it was bad enough to take Ibuprofen or Tylenol. Tried hot baths, pulsing shower, yeah hold your comments.
Nothing seems to help.
Checked with a sports Dr who sent me to another Urologist who specializes in Sport Med and rides too. He also threw up his hands. Was checked also by a surgeon to see if I have a hernia. Nope.
It's been about 6 months since I've ridden, except from those two trials. I'm going nuts! My 11 year old can seriously ride and I just want to spend time with him on the trails!
Last edited by Riding In Israel; 05-29-2016 at 01:24 AM.
Have you tried riding without cycling shorts/padding?
A few years ago I had similar issues, though not as bad as yours I don't think. I actually asked the doctor if they could just remove my nuts as I don't really need them any more! ;0) He gave me a glassed look and said "No, we're not in the business of removing healthy body parts".
For me the answer seems to have been variety. I still wear padded shorts/trousers but a lot of the time I just wear normal shorts with no padding. Lycra holds all your bits quite tightly which seems to be bad for circulation and keeps pressure on the same points all the time. Looser shorts let your junk move a bit and there is more airflow to keep you cool. I don't have any issues these days.
I'm the same age as you and ride both on and off road. I ride most days and probably average about eighty-miles a week. My hard-tail has a Charge Spoon saddle, my full-sus saddle is very similar and my commuter has a bit more padding on it.
If that doesn't work there is another option. When I first started having issues I took a saddle I had which had thick padding on it, peeled back the front of the cover and cut off the foam on the nose. I put some very soft foam in to try and hold the shape but it just squashed down. The saddle looked odd with the step-down nose but it did work. It reduced/removed the pressure on your stuff while the lower part of the nose was still there to locate the saddle between your legs. I would describe it as completely effective. I stopped using it because it looked stupid and I found that with other measures I didn't need it any more.
So hang in there. It's a fight you can win :0)
Thanks. Maybe a picture of your doctored saddle?
Are you familiar with the Terry Y Liberator?
or the ISM Adamo Peak
Originally Posted by Riding In Israel
Sounds very consistent with pudendal nerve pain.
Do some research on that one.
Sure, I'll be in the shed somewhere.
Originally Posted by Riding In Israel
I've seen that second saddle, it's pretty distinctive. I knew of special saddles at the time but I was not about to drop a lot of money on something that might not fix the problem. That's why I butchered an old saddle that I already had.
I'll dig the saddle out later.
ISM claims that their saddle can be ridden while healing from this type of injury but that was not my experience. Can anyone suggest another saddle? Or solution?
I know this Alternative might be harder to accomplish. But if it was not riding or this. Have you thought about riding standing up the whole time. I know at first it would be really hard. Even just a couple miles you could at least ride with your boy
The solution that worked for me is slack seat-tube bikes with modified seats
Originally Posted by Riding In Israel
When I ride a bike with a seat-tube more than 70 degrees on road for any amount of time, I often find that the pain lasts for up to weeks later.
When I ride a bike with a slack seat tube I can ride aggressive off-road on a rigid frame with no ill-effects the day of or the following day.
Not a guy here but i've had some hubby experiences with this one and my own versions. For an occasional review I try other saddle types to see if it makes a difference and it can sometimes be counter intuitive. The Terry liberator Y is a wide platform with a large inner thigh contact patch. A saddle like a terry Butterfly or a Selle diva('girly' kind but its shape not names...) has less inner thigh which places a lot less pressure on the nerves that flow down the leg joints. Has there been any weight loss lately? If you loose inner thigh fat or gain tone there it changes the needed width/shape of the seat that will work right.
In college I swore by the Liberator series for 20+ mile trips but when I tried it the other day after doing the Butterfly for the last few years it was almost immediate soreness in the nerves after stopping the ride.
'93 Giant Sedona ATX custom
'93 Giant Sedona AtX aero-edition
'73 Schwinn Suburban
'95 Fuji Suncrest
Pictures as requested.
I'd forgotten what a monstrosity this saddle is! ;0) It's like a tractor seat. You can see where I removed the thick foam at the front of the saddle. I put in soft foam but it did not fill the space, it was too soft to hold the shape. It does however lift the cover up a little but offers no resistance when you put pressure on it. It's like there is nothing at the front of the saddle.
Despite appearances this saddle was pretty comfortable and solved my numbness and pain issue. I did fifty+ mile rides on it no problem. I stopped using it because it was useless for off-road, too big to move around, and I found I no longer needed it. It also looked idiotic and weighed a ton.
But it does work. Taking the nose off the saddle removes the pressure on your sensitive parts and, surprisingly, doesn't feel weird to sit on. All you need is a saddle that has padding thick enough to create a useful space when you take it out.
I have been dealing with a similar, but less severe, problem for a while now. I ride mostly road (tarmac and dirt), not proper mountain biking; after an hour or so my family jewels get numb and sometimes pins and needles. The longer I ride the more numb they get, and the longer it lasts when I stop. It's usually back to normal within a few minutes off the bike however. I think I must be trapping a blood vessel, as it is very similar to when your leg falls asleep. I've recently been using a Brooks B17, but it's also happened with Fizik Aliante and Antares (all ridden with padded shorts).
I haven't ridden seriously for a couple of years for other reasons, although when trying for a baby we saw a fertility reflexologist who strongly advised against cycling. I'm in the market for a new saddle anyway as my Brooks got a bad case of mould. I was thinking of a cutaway Brooks instead (either a B17 or a C17) to reduce the pressure. Any thoughts from anyone (tilt, fore-and-aft position, cutaway or not)?
Last edited by Joe Nation; 07-18-2016 at 05:11 AM.
You said that you tried a Brooks was it a Brooks Imperial? The one with the open slot down the middle.
I know that Rivetcycleworks, also having a slot in the middle, has a demo program to try their saddles. Debra is great to work with.
We all know how saddles are a personal item. I had to bail from riding the TD due to an intense heat rash that was saddle related. When I found the Selle Anatomica and other leather saddles with the center cut open, I knew that I had to try them out. They take some getting used to but I am to the point of not even wearing chamois shorts any more. I want to make sure that the nether regions stay cool and as dry as possible.
I know that you said you already tried the ISM Adamo Peak, but for other male readers with similar issues, I can't recommend it enough. All my numbness went away after switching to it several years ago. It is an odd shaped saddle, and will get weird stares, especially from the younger generation at bike parks, but who cares. Protect those jewels !
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