Author Topic: bikes hurt my balls  (Read 9106 times)

pmm

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bikes hurt my balls
« on: September 23, 2015, 11:04:07 AM »
i've started bicycle commuting a lot over the last year. ive noticed some extra pain 'down there'. any advice on a good bike for this?

Nate R

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Re: bikes hurt my balls
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2015, 11:05:13 AM »
Good bike fit is important. Good bike shorts. You may need a different seat or your seat position adusted. Chamois cream.  Just buying a different bike may not fix anything.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: bikes hurt my balls
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2015, 11:11:00 AM »
They make seats that have special ball grooves. It helps a lot.

Retire-Canada

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Re: bikes hurt my balls
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2015, 11:31:24 AM »
i've started bicycle commuting a lot over the last year. ive noticed some extra pain 'down there'. any advice on a good bike for this?

To commute by bike you don't need padded shorts, cream, lotions or anything other than:

1. a saddle that fits your anatomy
2. a reasonable body position on the bike

Any competent bike shop [don't assume the one you deal with is competent shop around] can get you positioned on the bike.

Finding a suitable saddle is much harder. You can't figure this out any other way than to use a bunch of saddles and figure what you like or don't like. The saddle that's perfect for me could be awful for you. A good bike shop will let you try and return saddles as long as you keep them in nearly new condition. Anyone who tells you they know what saddle you will like is full of shit. The folks that get you to try saddles and use your feedback to suggest the next one to try can help you.

Syonyk

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Re: bikes hurt my balls
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2015, 11:42:49 AM »
Several suggestions:

1. Angle your saddle more forward.  There's usually an adjustment for angle.  If you can't adjust the angle, this is a good clue that you should buy a better saddle.
2. Go with an "ass hatchet" saddle (a thin, hard saddle), not a big, wide, comfy, padded saddle.  The big ones are *awful* to ride on for any length of time, chafe, and are generally miserable.  Your body gets used to the thin, smooth ones.  I've also dealt with wide, comfy ones that "cup up" in the front, and... yow.  I think they're fine for women, but it puts a lot of pressure in areas that really shouldn't be taking pressure in men.

It sounds like you're dealing with a combination of a bad riding position/saddle position, and perhaps a crappy saddle that just doesn't work for your body.  Fix both, and you should be fine.

2ndTimer

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Re: bikes hurt my balls
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2015, 01:24:07 PM »
Try a split seat.  You can find them in almost any bike store and they do help.

pmm

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Re: bikes hurt my balls
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2015, 02:29:21 PM »
thanks, everyone!
i'm a little skeptical that it's about the seat- i stand when biking most of the time anyway. could it be the (lack of) suspension?

sol

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Re: bikes hurt my balls
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2015, 02:39:38 PM »
thanks, everyone!
i'm a little skeptical that it's about the seat- i stand when biking most of the time anyway. could it be the (lack of) suspension?

Very unlikely.  Your legs absorb way more shock than any suspension system, at least they should if you're not riding like an old lady who actually sits on the seat and only pedals occasionally.  Your body weight should not be on the seat when you are on bumps.

Usually, saddle pain is from doing long rides on a soft ass, and a week or two of riding should toughen that up.  I only ever have saddle problems if I have to stop biking and then go back to it suddenly without easing into shorter rides first.

Easye418

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Re: bikes hurt my balls
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2015, 02:41:51 PM »
This is why I don't ride bikes anymore.  Too nervous about the lasting effects on ability to have a child (not sure if its proven or not).

FLBiker

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Re: bikes hurt my balls
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2015, 02:51:12 PM »

2Birds1Stone

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Re: bikes hurt my balls
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2015, 02:57:18 PM »
I use an ISM Adamo saddle. They are designed to remove pressure from the perineal artery and therefor the pain/numbness from a typical saddle.

electriceagle

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Re: bikes hurt my balls
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2015, 04:28:47 AM »
The Amazon reviews are mediocre, but I swear by the easyseat:

http://www.amazon.com/Hobson-Easyseat-Ergonomical-Bicycle-Saddle/dp/B000GBK4Z4

frugaliknowit

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Re: bikes hurt my balls
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2015, 09:58:46 AM »
If your balls hurt, you're in the wrong saddle.  You need a "split saddle":  https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=split+bicycle+saddle&tbm=shop

Mr FrugalNL

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Re: bikes hurt my balls
« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2015, 11:11:24 AM »
This is why I don't ride bikes anymore.  Too nervous about the lasting effects on ability to have a child (not sure if its proven or not).

Don't know about the ability to have a child, but it can seriously hurt the flow of blood to certain important anatomical bits and bobs.

http://www.guidetogettingiton.com/bike-seat-damage/ (NSFW if your work place disapproves of non-erotic photos of human genitalia on bicycle saddles)

The tips about adjusting the angle of the saddle or trying a new one sound good to me.

Louisville

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Re: bikes hurt my balls
« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2015, 11:27:01 AM »

Here's what my saddle looks like. I couldn't ride without it.

Bob W

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Re: bikes hurt my balls
« Reply #15 on: September 24, 2015, 11:33:39 AM »
Try a split seat.  You can find them in almost any bike store and they do help.

+1   Don't tell the bikers here but most of the men are doing permanent damage to the main vein running to the penis.  In 10 years they will be wonder why they can't get it up. 

hyla

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Re: bikes hurt my balls
« Reply #16 on: September 24, 2015, 01:42:57 PM »
Most likely a saddle issue.  Bike saddle preference is really personal, different ones work for different people, but here are several general points to keep in mind:
- super cushy saddles that feel great for 5 minutes when you sit on them in a shop or go for a quick test ride tend to not be comfortable on long rides cause they conform to your body and rub everywhere.  Harder saddles, which focus weight on your sitbones and not soft tissue, may seem uncomfortable initially but are often more comfortable on long rides.  Cutouts or depressions in saddles can also help take pressure off soft tissue, but you will need to try out different kinds to find what shape works for you. 
- most bike shops sell narrow saddles that are well suited to the aggressive position you will be in on a road or mountain bike, but are not the right shape for more upright bicycles - if you do have a city or cruiser type bike where you sit more upright wider saddles are worth a try.

As others have said, if you can find a local shop that lets you try and return saddles that would be ideal. 

zoltani

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Re: bikes hurt my balls
« Reply #17 on: September 24, 2015, 02:05:29 PM »
All you need/want to know about saddles:

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/saddles.html

Hurts from standing up biking....do you have exceptionally low hangers?

zoltani

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Re: bikes hurt my balls
« Reply #18 on: September 24, 2015, 02:07:07 PM »
Try a split seat.  You can find them in almost any bike store and they do help.

+1   Don't tell the bikers here but most of the men are doing permanent damage to the main vein running to the penis.  In 10 years they will be wonder why they can't get it up.


From the link I posted above:

Impotency/Prostate Issues

There has recently been a great deal of hysteria on the subject of cycling-related impotency. The thrust of the argument is that the rider's weight flattens the penile arteries against the saddle, reducing blood-flow capacity of these articles, which are required for tumescence.

I can't claim any medical expertise, but it is my opinion that these problems in most cases are related to poor adjustment or poor choice of saddles, such that the rider's weight is not being carried properly by the "sit bones." In particular, having the saddle too high or tilted down too far, will lead to the rider's sitting on the narrow part of the saddle, which may block these arteries, and also possibly do nerve damage. This sort of mismatch can also create pressure on the prostate.

Cyclists who have problems with this, or who regularly experience numbness, should experiment with saddle position so that the sit bones are carrying their share of the load. Cyclists with persistent problems should consider switching to a recumbent, since recumbent seats are thought to eliminate this sort of problem.

[These problems, and many others, can be caused, or worsened, by obsessively riding long distances, well beyond when pain begins. Listen to what your body is telling you! I used to have moderate penile numbness after riding more than 75 miles, but it went away within a day or two. This no longer happens -- possibly because I use better saddles and am better at adjusting them, and probably also because I rarely ride more than 60 miles in a day. -- John Allen]

Split Seats

One "solution" that has been tried and abandoned many times over the decades is the split seat. This type of seat has two roundish pads, side by side, usually on a horizontal bar. Frequently the pads can rock up and down within a narrow range. This type of seat has no central "nose" and for this reason it is sometimes believed to be a good choice for riders with prostate or penile numbness issues.

Unfortunately, this type of seat commonly causes more problems than it "cures."

The lack of a nose can compromise lateral control in some cases.
The pads must be angled downward, which tends to make the rider slide forward. This is liable to lead to hand/wrist/neck problems as the rider braces on the handlebar to keep from sliding forward off the seat.
If the pads are not angled downward, they tend to cut off circulation to the thighs, and to interfere with the thigh muscles.
This is a design that looks good on paper, but works poorly in practice.

mitko

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Re: bikes hurt my balls
« Reply #19 on: September 25, 2015, 11:55:26 PM »
Here is the seat I have been using for the last few years and am very happy with it.
It feels good on both short and long rides.

Ive done some longish rides spanning about 8 hours,  and countless shorter rides about 2 hours.
On long rides I also wear bike shorts with padding. I do sometimes feel sore under the balls after a long ride.

Planet Bike Men's A.R.S. Anatomic Relief Bicycle Saddle (Black/Black) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000C17L2W/ref=cm_sw_r_awd_6fJbwb796R99M

My wife has had the same with no problems.

Added benefit is that this saddle says ARS on the side - now I need to find pedals which say "feet"

Mr FrugalNL

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Re: bikes hurt my balls
« Reply #20 on: September 26, 2015, 12:15:54 AM »
Planet Bike Men's A.R.S. Anatomic Relief Bicycle Saddle (Black/Black) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000C17L2W/ref=cm_sw_r_awd_6fJbwb796R99M

That saddle looks just like the kind that the site I linked to above warns of: 'Contrary to what the bike industry claims, seats with cutouts only make the problem worse. They focus the pressure on an even smaller area, causing even more nerve and artery damage.' If you're happy with it then good for you, but I'd reconsider my options if I were in your position.

SCUBAstache

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Re: bikes hurt my balls
« Reply #21 on: September 27, 2015, 11:54:36 AM »
Boyfriend uses one like this:



mitko

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Re: bikes hurt my balls
« Reply #22 on: October 03, 2015, 12:41:48 PM »
Planet Bike Men's A.R.S. Anatomic Relief Bicycle Saddle (Black/Black) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000C17L2W/ref=cm_sw_r_awd_6fJbwb796R99M

That saddle looks just like the kind that the site I linked to above warns of: 'Contrary to what the bike industry claims, seats with cutouts only make the problem worse. They focus the pressure on an even smaller area, causing even more nerve and artery damage.' If you're happy with it then good for you, but I'd reconsider my options if I were in your position.
Do you know any way to assess the damage? I generally feel pretty good and dont want to jump to buying other seat if I don't have any evidence of damage. Though I completely understand that damage could have been building up silently...

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Tapatalk


Mr FrugalNL

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Re: bikes hurt my balls
« Reply #23 on: October 03, 2015, 12:52:18 PM »
Sadly I don't. Nor can I really evaluate the accuracy of online information on the topic. I can relate to not wanting to buy a new saddle for uncertain benefits though.