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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Arizona
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    9

    Need a noseless saddle...help!

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    Hi! Relatively new to road biking have been riding almost a year and adore it. In the past few months i've experienced (and yes this is totally embarrassing) slight incontinence and bladder problems, such as having to pee nine hundred times a day, after going to my internist and now onto a urologist, after ultrasounds etc...it's been determined my bladder problems are from cycling. The urologist has recommended I stop riding for a few months and it's killing me to not ride. In researching this condition i've learned i'm not alone and it's a common thing. My question is, if I switch to a noseless saddle, thus taking all of the pressure off the perineum and other sensitive lady parts will that work? I've been searching for noseless saddles and it seems like there are so many, has anyone tried one? or knows anything about them? I would certainly appreciate it. If I can't find an alternative, I will have to give up cycling

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,501
    Have you read the saddle threads? Is your urologist a cyclist (and if so does she know anything about saddle fitting)? What size and shape saddle do you need, and which ones have you tried so far? Start here if you haven't already. I would at least attempt to find a traditional saddle that fits you well, before inviting all the handling issues a noseless saddle will introduce.

    Rest and heal - once you've narrowed down your saddle search you can probably just sit on a few saddles in the bike shop occasionally, while you're healing. Unfortunately it does take some riding to know for sure, but just measuring will eliminate a whole lot of saddles from consideration, and just sitting will eliminate more, so when you're healed up you'll have a smaller pool of saddles to test.
    Last edited by OakLeaf; 11-24-2012 at 05:48 AM.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    4,516
    Have you had a bike fit done? I started getting UTI-type symptoms when I measured incorrectly and my bike saddle was set up to high. You have gotten good advice above. Noseless saddles might be an option, but I bet it isn't necessary. A cut out might well help. Noseless saddles feel terrible to me because I use the nose of the saddle to steer - hard to explain, but I do...
    Most days in life don't stand out, But life's about those days that will...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    WA State
    Posts
    4,364
    Quote Originally Posted by Blueberry View Post
    Noseless saddles feel terrible to me because I use the nose of the saddle to steer - hard to explain, but I do...
    Everyone does (use the saddle nose to steer) - noseless saddles are a danger unless you never go more than a few mph.... you steer a bike with your core, your pelvis and your thighs - not your arms. The handlebars of a bike are only used to steer if you are going very slowly - turn the handlebars at high speed and you crash.

    +1 to Oak rest, heal and then go and 1. get a good bike fitting 2. get a good saddle fitting. 3. get good clothing 4. practice good chamois habits

    Make sure your bike fits you well- for example, if you are stretching too far to reach the handlebars you could be rotating your pelvis too far forward and that can certainly cause saddle irritation. Make sure your saddle is the correct width. Get one with a cut out if you require it. Get yourself some good shorts - and that doesn't necessarily mean the ones with the biggest pad..... cycling shorts are meant to prevent chafing, not really to "pad" your backside. Shorts with a big diaper like pad that isn't anatomically shaped can cause more problems than they solve. Find some good shorts with a women's specific chamois that works well for your body. Lastly - get out of those shorts pronto when you are finished riding - don't re-wear shorts without washing them and shower as soon as possible after a ride (if that's impossible, use a baby wipe)
    "Sharing the road means getting along, not getting ahead" - 1994 Washington State Driver's Guide

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
    Posts
    6,763
    I would invest in a recumbent bike before I'd:

    1) Ride an upright bike with a noseless saddle. Have heard nothing but bad things about them re. control, stability, and safety.

    2) Give up cycling.

    Recumbents are cool! Something else to think about if all the excellent suggestions from the ladies of TE above do not work!
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
    Posts
    4,259
    Another suggestion is to consider your core strength. When my core is strong my on-bike posture is better and my pelvis is rotated upwards so that my girl bits are not under any pressure. When my core is weak I tend to end up with my pelvis rotated anteriorly and end up with ouchies. Plus having strong core muscles generally helps keep the PC muscle strong, which also helps with incontinence.
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    9

    Thank you all!

    Your responses have been quite helpful, I should have posted in my original, I have a Trek Domane which comes with a stock bontrager wsd saddle (but without a cut out), I always wear padded shorts when I ride. The specialist told me that a womans urethra is very short to sitting on the pelvis can irritate this lady part, especially in cyclists (or so he said) which can lead to bladder problems and kidney issues. I'm just not sure if I should go noseless or cut out. It's kind of a painful problem (meaning kidneys just ache) and i'm finding tons of info on mens issues with saddles but not many on womens. Saddles are so expensive and rarely returnable from my inquiries. I was just wondering if having a seat with no nose, would simply solve the problem. It's not a pain nor numbness issue, have neither problem when I ride. Was just throwing it out there since so many of you having been doing this for so long and your wealth of knowledge is so helpful. I've asked at 3 bike shops (all of which are staffed by generally young guys) and they just kind of look at me like i'm crazy and really have no idea what i'm talking about and turn around and suggest a Terry Butterfly, which i'm finding an amusing answer since it's the one all three stores came back with.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,501
    It may even be that you don't need a channel or cut-out, and that if your sitbones are supported, your "parts" will be lifted off the saddle. That's the principle behind Knott's cut-out test.

    Not only is the Butterfly overly padded for me, all Terry saddles are too wedge (pear) shaped for me. What happens with me, apparently with a minority of people on a saddle too wedge-shaped, is that the pedaling motion forces me forward along the transition area until my parts are sitting on the nose. So no matter how wide the rear of the saddle or how generous the cut-out, if it's too wedge-shaped, my sitbones won't be on it, and my soft tissues will get ground to hamburger meat.

    Besides the return policies Muirenn mentioned, Wallingford Bikes offers a 6-month trial on Brooks saddles (you might be surprised), and you could google Selle Italia for a local shop who has one of their test kits. Last I looked, not all SI saddles were included in their test kit (they have a very extensive line), but if there's one of their saddles that's the right shape and size for you, that could be a way to test it also.
    Last edited by OakLeaf; 11-27-2012 at 12:21 PM. Reason: wrote between when I meant behind. good grief
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Boise Idaho
    Posts
    1,162
    We also offer a six month return policy at Bike Touring News

    Width, cut out, tilt, core strength, kegels - all sorts of great ideas to keep you on the bike.
    Sky King
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    WA State
    Posts
    4,364
    Maybe I'm getting it a bit wrong... but kidney pain without noticeable urethra irritation (at least as a precursor) sounds fishy to blame it on the bike saddle? That there's been no saddle pain/pressure and no UTI like symptoms from saddle pressure makes me wonder.
    "Sharing the road means getting along, not getting ahead" - 1994 Washington State Driver's Guide

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  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,897
    Quote Originally Posted by Muirenn View Post
    That stock Bontrager saddle is one of the more hated saddles on this forum. Though many people love the Bontrager Evoke and Inform.
    The stock Bontrager saddle is not the same one that used to come on their road bikes. It's the Affinity 1, sold individually as the Affinity R, which is the most padded version of the three Affinity saddles. I found it to be too padded but I gave it to a friend who preferred it to the Affinity RL (which is less padded). I think the mid-width version is the stock saddle but I'm not sure; it would be the 144mm width if I'm right. If there's no pain, then the width is probably okay.

    - Gray 2010 carbon WSD road bike, Rivet Independence saddle
    - Red hardtail 26" aluminum mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle
    - Royal blue 2018 aluminum gravel bike, Rivet Pearl saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver 2003 aluminum road bike
    - Two awesome worn out Juliana saddles

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
    Posts
    6,763
    I would try a saddle with a cut out way before a noseless saddle! I get urethral irritation/chafing with saddles without cutouts, including a WTB Speed She saddle with a channel that I was hoping would work, but it made me sting when I peed or was showering after a ride. For me, the Terry Butterfly works well, and no more irritated urethra.

    I had the same problem when I moved down here and started riding a beach cruiser with a cushy saddle. My urethra and clitoris were very irritated after riding the saddle for awhile and actually hurt. I bought a cheapie saddle (no name brand) with a cut out (the best I could do here as the selection is extremely limited), and altho my sitbones had to get used to a harder saddle all over again, the pain/irritation "in the middle" of my lady parts went away immediately.

    But I do agree with Eden -- kidney pain without urethral irritation or bladder infection sounds strange to me as well and may not be saddle-related.
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Between the Blue Ridge and the Chesapeake Bay
    Posts
    5,203
    Quote Originally Posted by Eden View Post
    Maybe I'm getting it a bit wrong... but kidney pain without noticeable urethra irritation (at least as a precursor) sounds fishy to blame it on the bike saddle? That there's been no saddle pain/pressure and no UTI like symptoms from saddle pressure makes me wonder.
    I wondered the same thing. Also make sure you are staying hydrated. It is possible that you began riding but didn't increase your water intake. Something else to think about!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    6
    I have a Spiderflex noseless saddle on my hybrid. My original cushy saddle rubbed on my girl parts, and the Spiderflex definitely solved that issue since your crotch is totally "free"... lol. I don't have control issues with the noseless saddle on the hybrid, but I've never tried it on my road bike. The saddle does take time to get used to and figure out the right position.

    On my Ruby road bike, I have the Specialized Lithia Gel Comp saddle, which has a nice cutout. My sit bones hurt at first with it, but never my girl parts, and now it feels great.

    There are cyclists who use Spiderflex saddles on road bikes, but I would say in your case it should be a last resort.

    Spiderflex does offer a 30-day return policy. Here's the website: http://www.spiderflex.com

    Good luck!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Bolingbrook, IL
    Posts
    21
    Quote Originally Posted by Muirenn View Post
    That stock Bontrager saddle is one of the more hated saddles on this forum. Though many people love the Bontrager Evoke and Inform.

    The Terry Butterfly works for some people, but others find it too bulky. (Like me, it causes compression in the lady bits due to having too much padding).

    Specialized has a 30 day return policy. (Definitely my favorite). Start with the Jett, the Ruby, or the Oura. Jett has the most padding.

    Performance and Nashbar have great policies. As does Competitive Cyclist. Very generous, but would have to look them all up. I know CC's is now indefinite.

    It's worth looking into that Bontrager Inform and Evoke. They have channels instead of actual cutouts; for some people, the cutout itself actually causes chafing, but they need something to relieve pressure.

    Back to the original advice. Measure your sitbones, then it will be easier to start with some good recommendations.
    Hi there, new biker, trying to absorb as much information as I can. How does one measure one's sitbones?

 

 

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