While biking has well-documented cardiovascular benefits, riders are often forced to put up with some terrible symptoms such as pain and numbness in the groin. However, proper saddle designs like the one so prominent in the best bike saddle for numbness can severely reduce your risk of suffering cycling-associated numbness.
For many long-suffering riders, these saddles have proven to be very good news.
Their special design limits perineal pressure, significantly reducing the incidence of poor positioning which is the number one cause for biking-related numbness.
They also distribute weight to where it should always be -the ischial tuberosities (sit bones).
Groin Numbness and Bike Riding or Perineal Numbness from Cycling
Perineal numbness is triggered by compression of your nerves and surrounding blood cells, limiting blood flow to your perineal area.
An ill-fitting saddle, poor positioning, and failing to switch between standing and sitting while riding primarily cause numbness in private parts for most cyclists.
What Is Perineal Numbness From Cycling?
Perineal numbness from cycling manifests itself in a forthright way. After cycling for some time, you sort of lose your feeling in the perineum. (The area just below your pelvic diaphragm and in-between the legs). The zone grows numb and you no longer feel the usual exciting sensation when you touch it.
If not addressed, it can bring serious issues such as erectile dysfunction in men.
Causes Of Perineal Symptoms
Medical professionals have discovered several triggers of perineal numbness, one of the commonest side effects of bike riding.
1. Issues Surrounding The Sexual Organs
Although the statistics are still hazy, it’s believed that many men riders experience testicular pain after cycling, especially for long distances.
Women riders who have suffered genital numbness have also reported vaginal itches or burning and occasional vaginal discharges.
This is because as you pedal, the bike seat applies pressure on the sensitive perineum zone.
This eventually squeezes blood vessels and the many nerves which provide feelings to your manhood or the vaginal area, causing numbness and discomfort.
There are other helpful measures (more on this later) but the best bike saddle to prevent numbness is a great start.
2. Cycling Postures
For both sexes, your overall riding position can trigger groin numbness.
Riders who shift around a lot wrongly may notice that tingly feeling as they change positions since, as I mentioned earlier, some posture affect circulation.
Now, it’s advisable to keep switching positions, yes, but always maintain the right angle.
Also, ensure the handlebars are properly positioned.
3. Riders Reach
If you lean forward too much, there will be more pressure on the perineum because you transfer your weight to the wrong areas.
To correct this, aim at ensuring your arms always remain perpendicular to the torso, your elbows slightly bent while resting on your bike’s handlebars.
This gives optimal reach naturally for both men and women.
4. Issues Surrounding the Bike Saddle
There are plenty of reasons why a comfortable bike saddle should come first when upgrading your bike.
If the nose of your saddle points upwards too much, it triggers pressure whose eventuality we all know too well.
Again, if you have set your saddle’s height incorrectly, you will be in for a rough ride seeing the amount of pressure that lands on the perineum.
First, get the best cycling saddle for numbness. Then, ensure proper height fitting and sitting angle.
5. Seams In The Shorts
Unknown to many, the ‘innocent’ seams in your biking shorts can provoke saddle sores, pinch nerves or worse still, the blood vessels in your crotch.
The best quality cycling shorts are typically seamless and padded and will solve the issue.
Perineal Symptoms Suffered By Cyclists
Besides male and female numbness after cycling, perineum zone compression can set off multiple other symptoms including…
- Erectile dysfunction may evolve from genital numbness.
- Testicular discomfort (due to the micro-traumas).
- Reduced fertility (precipitated by raised scrotum temperature).
- The vaginal labia may suffer ulcerations.
- Inflamed/painful prostate gland( Prostatitis)
- Urination difficulties.
- Damage to nerves, veins, and arteries.
- Chronic perineum pain.
- Ulcers (small crater-like lesions)
- Tingling and tightness
How to Prevent Numbness on Your Next Ride
You should add the following measures to the specific fixes we have so far recommended;
- Take regular few-minutes breaks while riding.
- Get a nice professional bike fit.
- Avoid overexerting yourself and instead, increase your cycling mileage gradually.
- Always wear form-fitting cycling shorts.
- Grab one of the wider bicycle seats that protect the perineum. Such seats have extra padding which cushions the perineal area.
How the Best Bike Saddle For Numbness Helps Your Ride
The best scenario is when the majority of your body weight is resting on your “sit bones”.
But never on the soft tissues, your riding position notwithstanding.
This calls for the most comfortable cycling saddle.
The saddle will conform to your body shape and ensure that it supports your weight on the sit bones sparing the soft tissues and your perineum.
Best Bike Saddle To Prevent Numbness
Advanced engineering studies have led to the development of various seats to prevent and/or limit numbness-related disorders…
- Padded Bicycle Saddle with Soft Cushion
Their tailored cushioning protects you against prostate problems, numbness, and chronic back pain.
Most have a deep center cutout and will distribute pressure away from the sensitive areas and back across the saddle’s surface.
The cushioning also enhances their anatomic support helping in preventing sit bone pain.
2. Gel Bike Seats
The silkier Gel pad covers also don’t stick on bare skin so chances of friction as you pedal are greatly reduced.
Now, Zacro is one company that seems to have mastered the art of making premium Gel bike seats. One of their modes, the Zacro’s gel bike seat has repeatedly outshone most of the competition because of its wider design and excellent support for your butt and the crotch.
Additionally, they have an excellent gel bike seat cover
3. Bike Saddles For Long Rides
Cozy leather saddles work best for longer rides.
Typically, these saddles are padded by thickened and wider high-density memory foam which acts as a superb defense for your buttocks!
They also sustain perfect weight balance and successfully keep numbness away.
The only drawback is the essential break-in time.
To better understand this type of bike saddles for numbness, check out this example from amazon
4. Bike Saddles For Women
All women saddles for numbness hence have more width to ensure the required balancing of weight on your resilient sit bones.
And the majority, including Daway’s saddles have a contouring shape to match women’s unique anatomy. This construction reduces pressure on the entire perineum.
5. Bike Seat To Prevent Perineal Numbness in Men
This design is charged with reducing the strain on your perineum on top of preventing nerve compression and/or numbness in your genital region.
How Do You Know Which Is The Best Bike Seat For Numbness?
So many bike saddles are marketed as the best road bike saddle for numbness. Ignore the hype and focus on the following couple of items to be sure.
- Shape, Size, and Design
To tell whether a bike seat is truly the best bike saddle for groin numbness, you have to look at the contouring.
If it doesn’t adapt to your butt shape (and weight), it doesn’t have any business being in the market for bike saddle numbness.
Saddles with a large “cutout” and a downward facing nose are more recommended.
The built should incorporate sufficient padding and fit.
- Test Various Saddles
Proper seat design will minimize the risk of biking-associated perineal numbness and possibly reduce related symptoms.
Since the saddle design that may fit my anatomy may not necessarily support another rider, you should take time to sample the available options.
Try Gel saddles, men extra-large saddles for numbness, and the rest before settling on the comfiest.
- The Type Of Bike/Riding
While a number of saddles can work with different types of bikes, some are specific.
For instance, I have encountered some saddles for numbness labelled “road” or “mtb”. And surely, I found the mtb ones cozier on a mountain bike. The road saddles felt easier on road bikes too.
It’s true the standards may not be that different but a saddle specially made for your bike type is likely to be more effective.
Some discomfort is normal in the early days of your bike saddle as you try to locate the best fit.
For the best results, the best bike seat for numbness should allow proper adjustment angle-wise, height-wise, and any other needed fine-tuning until the stress on your perineum ceases.
No evidence has been published as yet that gel saddle covers help diminish perineal symptoms.
In fact, too soft a cover can be more discomforting than a reasonably firmer saddle.
Even so, a gel covered seat may be better for short rides like running errands or commuting.
For longer rides, you require the best bike saddle for long rides. Here, firmer foam works better as it doesn’t compact easily.
- Cutout vs Indentation vs Zero Accommodation?
Many of the models considered in the best bike saddle for numbness class are purpose-built to shield your perineum.
However, you and I probably have different anatomies meaning that you may find awesome relief in a saddle that has a perineal cutout.
I, on the other hand, may get healing from saddles that come with a small indentation.
We even have types that don’t provide such accommodations.
The pressure-relieving design that will benefit you as a man or woman is, therefore, a matter of personal preference.
Perineal Numbness Treatment
A reader had asked about perineal numbness treatment.
Well, whether you will rediscover feelings in your nether region depends on the real cause of the condition.
If it’s biking, you should experience gradual change as soon as you cut back or change your bike’s seat type and setting.
If the body is taking longer to restore your feelings, it may be best to see your doctor for a treatment that works.
Sore Testicles And Pain From Cycling| Bike Seat Hurts My Balls!
Apart from numbness, most men dread sore or painful testicles when riding. Unfortunately, hurting balls are a painful reality with poor saddles and riding styles.
How To Identify Sore Testicles
Self-examination will do. You can also visibly see signs of redness and inflammation or feel the torsion. Pain in both or one testicles, swelling, and tenderness of your testicles and/or scrotum are also sufficient signs.
What Causes Testicular Pain From Cycling?
When pedaling, the friction or pressure applied on your testicles and the scrotum by the saddle can trigger pain.
Testicular torsion (twisting of your testicles) and testicular traumas are, on the other hand, mostly caused by factors such as crashes that land a blow to your testicles.
How Can You Prevent Testicular Pain?
A couple of measures can help ease sooth your aching balls.
- Wear supportive clothing: consider wearing recommended items such as an athletic supporter. These deliver more support to your scrotum and will ease the pain gradually.
- Put on Protective equipment: To protect your underworld from injuries during crashes, wear protections like extra-padded bicycle shorts.
- Install the best bike saddle for long rides (or short distances): depending on your usual rides, get the best saddle. It helps promote a proper angle and to deflect pressure from the testicles.
The road to the best bike saddle for numbness can be long and winding but very rewarding on arrival.
Crucially, what works for you may not work in my case. Again, so many factors matter.
The conventional wisdom is that you should wash, rinse, and repeat until you get to the saddle for numbness that suits you.