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certain area goes numb.

Jul 20, 2009
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last Thursday i was riding with a group of guys and we were doing 37 miles. I was riding on a long flat road and it felt like my penis went numb. this is the second time this has happened and i dont like not having feeling in that particular area. this is the second time it has happened and i was just wondering if this happens to any other men. (no we discuss our penis's ha!)
 
Jun 9, 2009
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The pudendal nerve is the nerve responsible for receiving sensation from the penis. If your penis went numb, it is most likely because you are compressing your pudendal nerve while riding. A google image search of the pudendal nerve will show you the path it takes through the pelvis.

Some things to consider regarding equipment are choosing a good pair of cycling shorts with ample padding. A saddle of the appropriate shape is equally important. Having the saddle positioned properly is the third consideration (a fit expert can help you with this). I find it best to avoid overly padded or gel-type saddles and choose a firm saddle that is shaped properly for your body.

Another factor to consider is remembering to stand and pedal periodically. When group riding, especially on flat roads where the riding position is more static than during climbs and descents, I make sure to stand and pedal whenever I am rotating to the back of the group. Ten seconds of standing on the pedals is enough to ensure that blood flow is increased to the perineum and compression is decreased.
 
Jul 7, 2009
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edwin31 said:
thank you i appreciate this detailed explanation. Has anyone else encountered this though?
Everyone has encountered it :)

Where I live it is pancake flat.... it happens. I found that tilting my saddle down a touch helped, getting good quality cycling shorts helped, and time in the saddle helped.

I used to go numb on a 20 mile ride, now I ride 100+ and I have no trouble. I think you learn how to sit on your saddle, you get the right saddle, and you build up tissue and muscle in the area.
 

Dr. Maserati

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Jun 19, 2009
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edwin31 said:
thank you i appreciate this detailed explanation. Has anyone else encountered this though?

Yip - I had it happen when I was 15yo. Thankfully another teammate spotted my saddle was not level and was slightly raised on the narrow side.

I never mentioned it to anyone - so I was glad when they brought it up.

Since then I have always kept my saddle absolutely level and parallel with the top-tube (unless you have a sloping tube!) and have never had any problem since - irrespective of different saddles or shorts.
However I will add that a good pair of shorts with proper padding is a great investment for all round comfort.

PS All Puns intended :D
 
Jul 30, 2009
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Saddles with a hole in about where the old chap is help with this - I like SLRs and have the gel flow team edition on the bike i use for long distances/best. Its a lot of dosh but the main point of contact with the bike and you put the one that came with it when you bought it back on when you sell the bike. **** luxury is worth a few quid/bucks/euros.

And they look pimp so what's not to like?
 
Jun 18, 2009
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I would recommend a Fizik saddle. Easily the most comfortable saddle I have used. I use mine very slightly tilted forward.
 
I went through the same issue on the bike, but the numbness did not go away while off the bike. I got some good advice that helped resolve the problem. The saddle that came with my road bike had a slight banana shape to it which caused the front area of the saddle to press too much on the jewels. I swapped it out for a saddle which has a flat profile from front to back. With the saddle level, I can now sit where it feels most comfortable and can stay there without feeling the pressure. I also found that cheaper shorts have fabric that constricts too much. After switching to better quality shorts, I have not had the numbness issue off the bike.

Hope this helps.
 
Apr 8, 2009
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Agreed. This happened to me a few times when I first got into road cycling. After buying quality cycling shorts and getting the Selle Italia Flight Gel Flow saddle for all my bikes, I no longer have this issue.
 
Jun 19, 2009
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Cobber said:
I would recommend a Fizik saddle. Easily the most comfortable saddle I have used. I use mine very slightly tilted forward.

Over 20 years of minor discomfort had me believing that was the status quo for me. Though I never went numb I adjusted everything in an effort to handle all conditions. It finally dawned on me to move around the saddle for different types of riding and while that helped; it didn't cure all discomfort. The right position, chamois and a Fizik saddle was the final combo. Many guys of all body types like them.
 
Jun 18, 2009
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What everyone else has said.

I've had it happen a couple times when I first started many years ago. But I can't remember the last time it happened.

Good shorts and a saddle that feels comfortable. I ride the Selle Italia SLR with the nose just slightly up and have no problems. I think saddle level also depends on your lower back flexibility (I'm not a flexible person). Plus the SLR has a flexible shell and with it level, I find myself sliding off the front.

I've heard great things about the fizzik too.

Not related, but wondering if you use chamois cream too? Makes a huge difference no matter which shorts you ride (though won't help numbness).
 
Jul 30, 2009
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decent shorts

I was pretty amazed when I tried on 8 panel bib shorts after regular shorts and baggies, the guy in the shop recommended them at 80 quid (!!!) and i was sceptical but after a direct comparison with 6 panel shorts it was very obvious they were much more comfortable and worth the extra. I dare say you can get 8 panel shorts from one of the less poncy brands for a lot less than 80 quid (I just got some 8 panel Castellis for £60).

Decent chamois cream is worth a tenner too - in fact you may find yourself putting it on just to go to the shops :eek::rolleyes::D