I’m getting a new road bike saddle: perineum compression causing numbness.
I’ve been using the WTB Devo saddle on both my mountain bike and my road bike and, overall, I’ve been pretty happy with it. I think as a mountain bike saddle the Devo is perfect for me, but now that I’m doing long road rides pretty regularly, I’ve found the Devo to be unconformable as the rides wear on.
Also–and this is a major concern–when I do trainer rides I’ve noticed that my junk goes numb. This is because the design of traditional saddles restricts blood flow and compresses the perineum. From http://www.medicinenet.com:
“The perineum is the area between the anus and the base of the penis in males and between the anus and the vagina in females; it contains both blood vessels and nerves. Compression of the perineum can lead to nerve damage, swelling, artery insufficiency (lack of blood flow through the vessel), and even occlusion (blockage) of blood vessels, which in turn can lead to temporary or permanent groin numbness, tingling sensations, decreased penile blood supply, erectile dysfunction (impotence), decreased orgasm sensitivity, and pain.”
Guys, as we age I think we’ve got more than enough to worry about in that department without doing things to make problems even worse. The numbness is a huge red flag, and I’d be foolish to ignore it.
When I was riding with Harv the other day, during a break we were talking bike equipment. Harv was using a saddle with a cutout, which is designed to completely eliminate pressure on the perineum. He bought it from Performance Bicycle, and I believe it was their house brand, Forté. If I recall correctly it was the Forté Pro XFR Saddle (sorry if I got this wrong, Harv–email me and I’ll edit), which is a steal at around 60 bucks.
Towards the end of the ride Harv offered to let me ride his bike around and check out the saddle. I think at that point I had ridden around 60 miles, and my butt was a little sore. I was pretty shocked by how much more comfortable Harv’s saddle felt compared to mine.
So the Forté is definitely one option. Another is the Adamo series of saddles by ISM. I know some of you swear by Adamo saddles, and they seem to be extremely well regarded.
The design of the Adamo saddles looks a little funky, but if they are comfortable on long ride and eliminate numbness that’s fine by me. I’ve got big legs, so it seems like the Podium might be the better choice because it’s a little more narrow than the Road saddle?
The price on the Forté Pro XFR Saddle is extremely low, so that’s a huge plus. Harv remarked at the end of the ride that he’d not even thought about the saddle the whole way. That’s a good thing.
Thoughts on all of this? I’m especially interested in hearing from those who use Adamo and Forté saddles, as well those who use other brands of cutout saddles.