Perineal Pressure & Numbness

Hip Priest

Veteran
It's an embarrassing thing to admit, but I'm a sufferer. It's something that I barely notice out on long rides - primarily because I move about a lot, but when on the turbo or time-trialling, the discomfort is almost too much to bear.

I've experimented with my position, but to little effect, so I've decided to order a Selle SMP saddle.

Has anyone experienced similar difficulties? And how did you resolve it?
 
I had some numbness when spending beyond a couple hours on the saddle which came with my bike. Did some (OK, a lot) of research and ordered a Selle SMP Composit. An excellent choice! I've never felt remotely uncomfortable since, on rides up to 9-10 hours (mostly around 5). It is worth experimenting a lot with exactly how much [forward] tilt you use as there is a definite 'sweet spot' with Selle SMPs (personal experience, as well as lots of people also saying that). That said, it was remarkably comfortable from day one; the minor tweaking just optimised it.
 
OP
Hip Priest

Hip Priest

Veteran
I had some numbness when spending beyond a couple hours on the saddle which came with my bike. Did some (OK, a lot) of research and ordered a Selle SMP Composit. An excellent choice! I've never felt remotely uncomfortable since, on rides up to 9-10 hours (mostly around 5). It is worth experimenting a lot with exactly how much [forward] tilt you use as there is a definite 'sweet spot' with Selle SMPs (personal experience, as well as lots of people also saying that). That said, it was remarkably comfortable from day one; the minor tweaking just optimised it.
Very reassuring. Let's hope it's as comfortable for me!
 

Hugh Manatee

Veteran
Beware and be careful. It looked for a while that I would have to give up cycling altogether. I noticed I was numb after roller sessions on my fixed during winter 2012/13.

I couldn't be bothered to master rollers so fitted a device that holds the front forks so the whole thing acts as a sort of turbo. I fitted a big gear and went for it all winter.

It was early summer that I noticed pain in the (un)happy sacs. It wasn't a sharp pain, more of an ache that just wouldn't go away. I waited two weeks and then went to the doctors.

Thus began a time where more men cupped my nadgers than a gay porn star.

Doctors, consultants and scanning expert; they all had a go as it were.

Eventually, I was told everything (more or less) was normal. I had what was described as varicose veins in the testicals. They might get worse in the future but, then again may not. I decided on a self imposed embargo on riding during what was a glorious 2013 summer and didn't ride again until Spring 2014.

I have kept rides shorter than of old and have avoided the fixed totally.

I believe it to be a combination of the following:
1. The stem was too long on the fixed (155mm).
2. Position not having to change on the rollers.
3. Never standing up on the pedals as you would on the road.

I use the same type of saddle on all my bikes (Turbomatic II, III or IV) and don't believe that to be the problem. You cannot believe how much I wish I hadn't ignored it. My personal advice would be if on the turbo get off and walk around to get the blood moving again. Once the numb/tingling sensation has gone, carry on.
Look at your position rather than the saddle assuming it doesn't bother you normally and you use the same type on all your bikes.

Sorry for the rather long post!
 

deptfordmarmoset

Full time tea drinker
Location
Armonmy Way
It appears to be that stage in life when this becomes an issue for me as well. Thread on watch. I feel your pain, though you'll be relieved to learn I don't feel your perineum.
 
OP
Hip Priest

Hip Priest

Veteran
I use the same type of saddle on all my bikes (Turbomatic II, III or IV) and don't believe that to be the problem. You cannot believe how much I wish I hadn't ignored it. My personal advice would be if on the turbo get off and walk around to get the blood moving again. Once the numb/tingling sensation has gone, carry on.
Look at your position rather than the saddle assuming it doesn't bother you normally and you use the same type on all your bikes.
I agree the saddle itself might not be the problem. Certainly my weight is an aggravating factor, but that requires long-term effort to address, and I need a solution in the short-term so I can nip the numbness in the bud. I love cycling, but if there's one thing that'd put me off it's the prospect of permanently damaging my bits.

I've only ever ridden the stock saddles which came with my bikes, so perhaps it's good for me to experiment a bit.
 

ayceejay

Guru
Location
Rural Quebec
Interestingly Fizic rate their saddles as Snake, Chameleon and Bull, the difference being flexibility of the spine not mentioning weight, they say that inflexibility leads to a position that puts pressure on the perineum. Google "Fizik Kurve bull" to see what I am talking about.
I have an SMP light 209 and once you have played with the fore and aft and the tilt with proper shorts and other positional questions addressed you can arrive at that "sweet spot" but I doubt you will ever find a jump on and go solution.
Do you remember all those old jokes about visiting a tailor who was interested in which side you 'dress', well I think this is important because if you are riding straight up and down you will have problems and if your tackle does not move freely you may need to use a chamois cream on your scrotum.
 
OP
Hip Priest

Hip Priest

Veteran
Interestingly Fizic rate their saddles as Snake, Chameleon and Bull, the difference being flexibility of the spine not mentioning weight, they say that inflexibility leads to a position that puts pressure on the perineum. Google "Fizik Kurve bull" to see what I am talking about.
I have an SMP light 209 and once you have played with the fore and aft and the tilt with proper shorts and other positional questions addressed you can arrive at that "sweet spot" but I doubt you will ever find a jump on and go solution.
Do you remember all those old jokes about visiting a tailor who was interested in which side you 'dress', well I think this is important because if you are riding straight up and down you will have problems and if your tackle does not move freely you may need to use a chamois cream on your scrotum.
Interesting stuff. I went on the Fizik site, and I'm definitely a 'bull'. Although I've started a stretching regime to try and improve. Something to bear in mind, cheers.
 

Dirk

If 6 Was 9
New bike I bought came with a Fizik Arione R7. Couldn't do more than 10 miles before I went numb.
I changed it for a Charge Spoon, temporarily, and the problem disappeared. I think the problem was caused by the flat platform of the original saddle - the Charge rises towards the rear and takes the pressure off.
When I can afford it, I'll change the Charge for a Fizik Aliante which has the same profile. Fortunately the LBS will let me try one out first before parting with any cash.
 
OP
Hip Priest

Hip Priest

Veteran
Well I installed the new saddle last night and spent a bit of time on the turbo. It took me a while to get the position right and get comfortable, and to be honest I've probably not got it perfect yet, but I'm pleased to say there was no numbness. Recently I've been getting numb within 10-15 minutes on the turbo.

£130 well spent if I can enjoy cycling with worrying about impotence!
 
I used to suffer but I find tipping the nose of the saddle up very slightly helped me enormously. So much so that last year I did a London to Paris ride spending up to 7 hours a day in the saddle over 3 days with no pain at all.
Not the conventional position I know but it works for me.
 
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