Cross Post: Nut pains, numb dingus, questionable anatomy of a seat- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Cross Post: Nut pains, numb dingus, questionable anatomy of a seat

    When I first started pedaling again this year I quickly developed some shooting pains in the bits. Turns out I was on too small of a frame and my hips were moving up and down causing my danglies to impact the seat. That being said, while trying to figure out what was wrong I did a fair bit of research on the awful nature of a bicycle seat.

    Bicycle seats can lead to impotence and a real decrease in your ability to receive pleasure down there for both men and women. It seems as if there are no real seats being designed to help with this, with the exception of the following:

    http://www.ismseat.com/
    Revolutionary Noseless Bicycle Saddle -
    Nexride Noseless Bike Seat - No-Nose Bicycle Saddles

    The second one is super expensive and heavy. The third one seems like it would be for cruisers only. The ISM seat has some potential and I plan on demo'ing one at the start of next season. Just wondered if anyone had found any other seats that help prevent damage to the sensitive anatomy down there.

    I have tried angling the nose of the seat down which helps, until you notice that you slip a bit, especially if the saddle is wet with sweat or ran/mud. I've tried seats with a cutout and that doesn't do too much as the nose still presses in a bad place when you have to get over the front of the bike. It seems as if a slightly pointed down nose with a raised rear lip w/raised contact points for the sit-bones is the key to getting off the sensitive area for long periods. I realize that you don't spend a ton of time sitting while riding, but the time adds up over the weeks and years and besides using the nose to steer/control the bike a bit I can't think of any reason why it exists. The nose is a nuisance on climbs, particularly extended ones, and it has a habit of smashing you in the genitals if things go awry.

    Curious as to other people's solutions, thoughts, or other saddles that have helped/might help with the aforementioned issues.

  2. #2
    Why so uptite?
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    See if you can demo a Ergon saddle some where local. They come in different widths based on your sit bones. I found getting the right shape & width supported me better and alleviated some of the items you mentioned.

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  3. #3
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    Measure your sit bones, getting the right width is important.

    It can also limit your choices, so you need to know it first. I need a really wide saddle- 155mm, not much choice in that width.
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  4. #4
    Ride More - Suffer Less
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    I've had good luck with Sella SMP Saddles. The drop nose is great for climbs.

  5. #5
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    Have you tried moving the saddle around?
    Up, down, back, forth, tilt.............



    Oh wait, your saddle is giving problems when you try to, um, do the above?

  6. #6
    App-a-LATCH-un
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    I have never been totally comfortable on any saddle. Wider saddles got close: Specialized phenom and henge in 155mm, WTB volt in 150mm. I got an ergon smc3 in 155 and like it so much that I bought another backup just in case they quit making it.
    Fifty-two, I mean fifty-four bicycles on the wall
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  7. #7
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    Full suspension anyone? Proper bike fit?

  8. #8
    Formerly of Kent
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    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    Full suspension anyone? Proper bike fit?
    This.

    Sounds like poor bike fit, and perhaps questionable saddle and clothing choices.
    Death from Below.

  9. #9
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    Hmmm, bike don't fit? Blame the saddle. How about a pic of the bike and you on the bike? 10 bikes for me, no issues. Bike shorts?

  10. #10
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    nervermind
    Ripley LS v3
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  11. #11
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    Yes very much proper fit and proper clothing. I remember the days before riding shorts. Wearing briefs. You know they turn into a knotted rope? What it feels like.
    But I was never a kid.....

  12. #12
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    Cross Post: Nut pains, numb dingus, questionable anatomy of a seat-max-slr-gel-flow_black_ti316-bollino.png
    A bad day of cycling is better than a good day at work

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  13. #13
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    Initial problem was improper bike fit. I wear bike shorts, and am always looking forward to a better fit on the bike. Don't have pain as much anymore, but long and steep climbs leaning over the front always lead to an awkward and uncomfortable pressure. Always curious to learn/know more from the many minds on here.

  14. #14
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    try lowering the nose a bit. And on long climbs, get out of the saddle for a bit and get blood flowing again.

  15. #15
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    Nose is already tipped pretty far down. Others have linked to saddles w/noses tapering/already lowered so I may try one once I get a proper sit-bone measurement. None of the climbs here are longer than ~20 min with plenty of tech stuff that gets you moving around the bike.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by stonant View Post
    When I first started pedaling again this year I quickly developed some shooting pains in the bits. Turns out I was on too small of a frame and my hips were moving up and down causing my danglies to impact the seat.
    So it sounds like this part of your problem was resolved already by a better fitting bike, correct? In addition, I'd like to add that with snug fitting bike shorts keeping your wedding tackle in check, your testes will ideally be securely up and out of the way of the common impact zone with the seat. If not, re-evaluate your shorts. Fun fact: Back before the invention of lycra, you could not count on the support of the short to keep the boys out of the way. Based on the historical accounting I saw, the jock strap was actually invented by 19th century cyclists to keep the testes up and out of the way of the saddle while riding the nasty cobbled and potholed roads of the day.

    Quote Originally Posted by stonant View Post
    Bicycle seats can lead to impotence and a real decrease in your ability to receive pleasure down there for both men and women.
    This is a separate problem from the above issue with impact to the boys and is thought to be caused by pressure and trauma to the nerves and vasculature of the perineum, which unlike the testes, is commonly in contact with the saddle in normal riding. It requires a different solution.

    Quote Originally Posted by stonant View Post
    I have tried angling the nose of the seat down which helps, until you notice that you slip a bit, especially if the saddle is wet with sweat or ran/mud.
    If slipping is the only issue you have with this setup, you can try a similar saddle but with a cover that has a more grippy material. You can also have a cobbler put a new cover on your saddle (or DIY). Saddle "grippyness" varies greatly. Combining that, with adjusting the angle to the absolute minimum effective angle to reduce pressure on the nose, might get you where you want to go.

    Quote Originally Posted by stonant View Post
    I've tried seats with a cutout and that doesn't do too much as the nose still presses in a bad place when you have to get over the front of the bike. It seems as if a slightly pointed down nose with a raised rear lip w/raised contact points for the sit-bones is the key to getting off the sensitive area for long periods.
    Agreed that the minimal cutouts in one region do nothing for the nose of the seat. If you find yourself having to get over the front end of your bike a lot (not just on the steepest of climbs) you may have too long of a reach to the handlebars. It's tough to be more specific here, but this could perhaps be aided by sliding your seat forward on the post or a shorter stem. If you are just talking about steep climbing, the ISM line of seats that you linked to are the only ones that I have found that allow extended time on the nose of the seat without excess perineal pressure. SMP saddles, and a few others like some Cobbs and Koobi's have a cutout that goes all the way to the front of the nose, but the nose is still narrow, and the area on the sides of the cutout somewhat firm. I'd say they're better than a traditional saddle when on the nose, but not anything you'd want to spend more than 1min on at a time, wherast ISM saddles can be ridden for 30min or more on the nose, without standing and without numbness.

    Quote Originally Posted by stonant View Post
    besides using the nose to steer/control the bike a bit I can't think of any reason why it exists. The nose is a nuisance on climbs, particularly extended ones
    If you try riding a saddle that is truly noseless, it really sucks! You can slip laterally on the saddle, as nothing anchors you side to side. On climbs, the nose is helpful to guide the bike, but also to provide a little bit of a reduction in the stress on your legs, if it can be ridden without discomfort. Again, those ISM saddles are the only ones i've seen that can be ridden for extended periods on the nose comfortably.

    Quote Originally Posted by stonant View Post
    and it has a habit of smashing you in the genitals if things go awry.
    Agreed! When things go ary, all notions of correct bike fit and anatomical correctness go out the window and any part of the bike can become a liability. Some of the studies I have seen on cycling related impotence have referenced impacts with the top tube and stem as well, so there are many potential risks to going fast with a bunch of angular metal between your legs.

  17. #17
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    ^^^^ We need a Table of Contents.
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  18. #18
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    Haha, it was a great response! Addressed most of the issues. I am going to try out the bib game this next season to see how it goes. I've tried on 4-5 different brands of shorts and although they help, none fit me all too well. I'm a hockey player so my legs are not the typical size of most cyclists, and they tend to not fit great in one way or another. Hoping that some bibs may be different.

    Also going to drop my front fork from 150 to 140 and bring it back to the 'stock' geometry. Lowering the front end a bit should prevent me from having to get so far forward on the technical climb.

  19. #19
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    Yes, you might find that the suspenders of bibs give you the lift you need. Remember that it is a piece of cake to have the length of the suspenders cut down or extended by anyone with even a modicum of sewing skill, which can give you more or less lift.

    ISM makes a wide range of saddles, including some MTB specific ones, but they are all pretty pricy. If you do want to try a ISM style seat, but don't want to spend an arm and a leg, I'd suggest you cruise ebay. You can find their basic models for sale used on there, and you can also find a lot of Chinese knockoffs. The quality on the knockoffs is not great, but they are serviceable enough to see if the general concept is worthwhile pursuing for you.

    I have used one of the knockoffs on my road bike and really like it from a pressure relief perspective when riding in a lower "aero" position. The width can start to chafe the thighs after a few hours if you have a thicker build and/or pedal with your knees close to the top tube, but I suspect that on the MTB it would be less of an issue as you would be standing and moving about more.

    I also just remembered the SMP makes a wider and cushier padded model called the TRK, which looks like it would probably be better while riding the nose than the other "performance" SMP models. It is also one of their least expensive models.

    All of the SMPs have a swayback profile though, which means as you slide forward the relative angle of the seat will change to more nose up (at least until you are on the very tip), whereas the ISMs are all nearly flat, which gives a more consistent feel regardless of how forward you get.

  20. #20
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    ISM offers free demo seats so I'll probably give them a go before I decide to pull the trigger on anything. SQ lab also makes some forward thinking /ergonomic saddles, but they are based in Germany and their saddles are quite expensive as well.

  21. #21
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    You'd be surprised what a difference 10-15mm of width can do for discomfort while riding and after. There's a hell of a lot of riders out there suffering on 130-135mm saddles because they don't know there are other options.

    I'm not a big guy but anything less than 145 is a non-starter for me.

  22. #22
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    Yeah I bought a SQ lab 14cm seat based on the fit kit that they send out. Happened to be near a bike shop today and my actual measurement is 15cm, so going to swap out for the larger one. I think this will be the turning point for long ride comfort

  23. #23
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    Seat width is not always accurate. Saddle manufacturers measure seat width at the widest part of saddle. The width will be as claimed, but you need to consider saddle profile. A domed saddle like a Fizik Aliante has a width of 143mm at it's widest point, but because of the domed profile and how much it drops off on the sides you don't get the full real estate of that 143mm, like a flatter saddle of the same width will give you. I've been down this road and found that a slightly flatter saddle gives me better support keeping my weight on my sit bones rather than my taint. Also a saddle that's too soft or has too much padding will cause compression of the soft tissue thus causing loss of blood flow and potentially pressure on the nerves causing numbness. Finding the right saddle can be frustrating. I found the saddle that works best for me unfortunately the manufacturer discontinued that line of saddles. So the search begins again. Hope that SQ labs saddle works out for you.

  24. #24
    Ergon Bike
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rngspnr View Post
    Saddle manufacturers measure seat width at the widest part of saddle.
    Ergon is an exception to this common industry measurement. Our saddle measurements are for the "sweet spot" or the area in which your sit bone contact. From our experience fitting riders in the lab and at events, many riders are on saddles that are too narrow for them, which offer no support.

    We offer 3 widths which is based on rider the sitbone measurement, not overall saddle dimension

    Small - 9-11cm
    Medium - 11-13cm
    Large - 13-15cm

    Online Saddle Selector

    Obviously, there are a lot of saddle options out there. While we hope you choose Ergon, we also realize that everyone is different in their body shape and needs. Happy saddle hunting!

    Jeff K
    Ergon Bike US

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by ERGON View Post
    Ergon is an exception to this common industry measurement. Our saddle measurements are for the "sweet spot" or the area in which your sit bone contact. From our experience fitting riders in the lab and at events, many riders are on saddles that are too narrow for them, which offer no support.

    We offer 3 widths which is based on rider the sitbone measurement, not overall saddle dimension

    Small - 9-11cm
    Medium - 11-13cm
    Large - 13-15cm

    Online Saddle Selector

    Obviously, there are a lot of saddle options out there. While we hope you choose Ergon, we also realize that everyone is different in their body shape and needs. Happy saddle hunting!

    Jeff K
    Ergon Bike US
    Thanks for responding to this thread. I just ordered a new Fizik Antares large, hoping it will be the same as the Kurve Chameleon I currently ride. If things don't go the way I hope they will, I will definitely consider one of your saddles.
    I've looked at your website and like your approach to saddle fit. I also like that you've reached out on a forum like this. BTW I already use your GE1 grips, like them very much.

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