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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
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    Riding - and decreased sensation during sex (?)

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    Hi ladies,
    This is embarrassing, but here goes...
    I'm 55yo, post-hysterectomy in 2007, have been riding since about July, and purchased a road bike in the past month (Trek Domane - beautiful). The saddle is Bontrager Affinity WSD, recommended by a girlfriend. After riding I have some soreness in my sit bones and a little dull discomfort in the nether regions, but no numbness or pain-pain there. I've also started dating a lovely man in the past couple of months, and spent the night with him this past weekend. All good so far.

    But what I noticed was, I didn't feel as responsive as usual - a sort of dullness of sensation in my lady bits, and an orgasm was a long time coming. Fortunately no pain. I would chalk it up to just lack of practice, except for the dullness of sensation, and am wondering if it could be related to riding, and/or my saddle. Has anyone else experienced this? Thank you for your thoughts.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Oslo, Norway
    Posts
    4,083
    Hi, and welcome :-) And congratulations on your date :-)

    I think a certain amount of numbing is not unusual, no matter the saddle, but not enough to be a problem. If you ride every day, you might want to take a day or two off every now and then and see if it feels different. Sitting on any saddle does toughen up some parts not usually toughened up, to put it that way.
    Winter riding is much less about badassery and much more about bundle-uppery. - malkin

    1995 Kona Cinder Cone commuterFrankenbike/Selle Italia SLR Lady Gel Flow
    2008 white Nakamura Summit Custom mtb/Terry Falcon X
    2000 Schwinn Fastback Comp road bike/Specialized Jett

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,099
    This might be a combination of menopause/lack of hormones related changes and riding together. I had to see my gynocologist about a slightly different, but similar issue.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Tampa Bay area
    Posts
    27
    Thank you ladies, I appreciate your thoughts.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,446
    You might want to look into a saddle with a cutout. I like Specialized. They are essentially unisex, just go by width. I like the Romins for the extra large cutouts. They are quite minimal for someone who hasn't been riding a lot. One of the models, though is a little less extreme, but still minimal with a wide cutout. The Romin Comp Gel. Maybe be completely wrong for you. But worth checking out that line of saddles.
    Last edited by Muirenn; 11-25-2014 at 06:53 AM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,099
    Yes, when I initially had an issue, I was riding with a terrible stock saddle on my first road bike. Thankfully, my gyn was a tri-athlete and when I told her I thought the riding was making my already thin membranes worse, she knew exactly what i meant! I had not needed a perfect saddle when I started riding on a mountain bike, but the position on a road bike quickly changed that.
    I can't imagine riding without a cutout now.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Boise Idaho
    Posts
    1,192
    Are you taking any medication or anti-depressant - if so that may be the factor over you bike riding. Also for me, I enjoy intimacy more in the morning than I do in the evening. Alcohol affects me now where it never did in my younger days. Hey, at least I am still enjoying the green side.
    Sky King
    ____________________
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    Empowering the Bicycle Traveler
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,446
    Looking at your setup, you have at least 3 cm of saddle to bars drop. That means you are putting more pressure on soft tissues than some. A lot of women tend toward less saddle to bar drop due to shorter arms, and the like. Also for overall balance of the bike. Accoriding to Georgena Terry, because of the weight being carried in the hips. There are other fit reasons, too.

    This version of the Specialized Romin is a cross between the Specialized Ruby/Toupe (womens/mens) and the Oura/Regular Romin. (Specialized saddles are essentially unixex, just look at the width you need).

    The regular Oura/Romins (womens and mens versions) are kind of extreme with a sharper cutout and raised rear, and probably not good unless your 'hide' is tough from regular riding. (I love them, btw). The Ruby/Toupe is good, but I found the cutout to be too small in the drops. The saddle I linked to has the overall gentle, flat shape of the Ruby/Toupe, with the large cutout of the Romin/Oura.

    Something I discovered by accident. I think it's a good option between the two styles. I have the more extreme Romin on my regular road bike, the Romin I linked to on my old steel bike, and the Toupe on my cyclocross, which I don't have as much of a saddle to bars drop. (My regular road bikes have a 7 cm drop, not sure about the cross, but it has a higher head tube, and I wanted to be more upright on that one).


    I've used the Ruby before, it wasn't any different than the Toupe, and the Toupe and Romins come in many more styles, thicknesses, and pricepoints. I rode the Ruby/Toupe for about 4 years before trying the Romin. Wish I'd tried sooner.

    Another option is the Selle SMP. They cost more, and are a little different in fit than other saddles.
    Last edited by Muirenn; 11-25-2014 at 07:14 AM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    4,556
    Is your saddle level? It looks like it might be a smidge nosed-up. If it is, that can make issues worse. If you have a fit reason to do that, ignore me It might also be an optical illusion.
    Most days in life don't stand out, But life's about those days that will...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    3
    take that affinity saddle off your bike and throw it in the trash... or sell it on craigslist.
    i purchased a domane last march that came with that saddle. it was an instrument of female torture!! after many tears and short rides, i purchased a specialized oura. specialized will give you 30 days to test a saddle. i am riding with a big smile on my face after a professional bike fit. a fitter can get the position and angle of the saddle set up right. the fitters sometimes have test saddles. another brand may suit you better than specialized.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,446
    Quote Originally Posted by marmac51 View Post
    take that affinity saddle off your bike and throw it in the trash... or sell it on craigslist.
    i purchased a domane last march that came with that saddle. it was an instrument of female torture!! after many tears and short rides, i purchased a specialized oura. specialized will give you 30 days to test a saddle. i am riding with a big smile on my face after a professional bike fit. a fitter can get the position and angle of the saddle set up right. the fitters sometimes have test saddles. another brand may suit you better than specialized.
    Actually, there are a few TE'ers who use the Affinity. You could probably sell it on here if you decide to switch.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blueberry View Post
    Is your saddle level? It looks like it might be a smidge nosed-up. If it is, that can make issues worse. If you have a fit reason to do that, ignore me It might also be an optical illusion.
    I was thinking that, too.
    Last edited by Muirenn; 11-25-2014 at 11:51 AM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Tampa Bay area
    Posts
    27
    Wow, what wisdom! Thank you ladies for sharing! I never considered the nose being up, that will be easy to adjust. And yes, I may well need another saddle - will check into that Specialized Romin, Muirienn, and thank you for the suggestion. After riding a hybrid for a few months, it still feels a little odd down there, bending over like that on the road bike. I'm tall (5'9") with long arms, perhaps that's why the saddle-to-bars drop is the way it is. The bike was fit to me at the Trek shop, and honestly, I don't know anything about fitting a bike. But I'll try one at a time - adjust nose, different saddle, adjust handlebar height. I've seen passionate discussions on saddles with regards to chafing and saddle sores, but not so much regarding dullness of sensation - but I think I'll re-read them.
    Livin the life!
    2014 Trek Domane 4.7

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,446
    Quote Originally Posted by BlessedB View Post
    Wow, what wisdom! Thank you ladies for sharing! I never considered the nose being up, that will be easy to adjust. And yes, I may well need another saddle - will check into that Specialized Romin, Muirienn, and thank you for the suggestion. After riding a hybrid for a few months, it still feels a little odd down there, bending over like that on the road bike. I'm tall (5'9") with long arms, perhaps that's why the saddle-to-bars drop is the way it is. The bike was fit to me at the Trek shop, and honestly, I don't know anything about fitting a bike. But I'll try one at a time - adjust nose, different saddle, adjust handlebar height. I've seen passionate discussions on saddles with regards to chafing and saddle sores, but not so much regarding dullness of sensation - but I think I'll re-read them.
    Chafing is usually at the back upper part of the leg in the crease between thigh and buttock. A lot of people have issues with that (I don't, lucky, I guess!). Usually fixed by having a more 'T' shaped saddle, so an abrupt transition between rear and nose. Unfortunately, wider saddles often need a gradual transition to support the weight. This is why it's a big issue with women's saddles, and not mens.

    Sensitivity to the soft tissue is where a cutout is probably needed. I think most people put that as 'to much' sensation! But you meant after-the-fact. (Made me wonder if a nerve was being pinched, to be honest. But first thing is to make sure it's the right saddle, and that it is level. Also make sure the nose is centered over the top tube, and not canted slightly left or right.

    I'm 5'7" with long arms. Definitely have quite a drop. I'm assuming that at 5'9" with long arms, that bike is not women-specific? What size is it? I'm curious. (It's a very nice bike!).
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Tampa Bay area
    Posts
    27
    Hi Muirenn,
    She's 56cm, a 'show bike,' so she has some upgraded components - definitely a bike I will need to grow into as a rider. She's not women-specifc. I looked at a few women-specific bikes but honestly, being the same size as an average guy, I figured it's not critical for me the way it can be for my more petite sisters. I had also tried a 54cm and it just felt too cramped all over; even front to back As soon as I sat on the 56, i said "Aaahh." A little odd, as my partner Dan is 6'1 and also rides a 56, albeit with a seat adjusted up a lot. But I tried quite a few of both with the same response, so 56 it was. What size is yours?

    I do think you're right about needing a cutout. While riding I feel pressure there in the soft tissues - not pain, but definite pressure. Some sit-bone discomfort as well, which I'm just chalking up to being unfamiliar with a road bike. Other than that, I cannot even describe how good it feels to be on that bike - what a delight! I feel like a cyclist again, and what a joy that is! Thank you for your wisdom!
    Livin the life!
    2014 Trek Domane 4.7

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,446
    My unisex 'mens' road bike is a 51.5. The number to look at is the top tube, though. It's 53.5 cm. your front end design is a lot taller than mine. That's why you and your SO/BF use the same size, you are more upright than him. There is a lot about my bike's geometry that is different from yours, so just saying it's the number is misleading.

    Basic sizing: my top tube (horizontal bar) is 53.5, I looked it up, and yours is 55.4, so your bike is less than 2 cm longer than mine. My head tube, though, (front vertical top part) is 13 cm, and yours is 17.5. That is proportionately much taller and more upright. That would be like my smaller bike having a head tube of around 15 cm, which is very upright. The size 54 you were looking at had only a 54.2 top tube, which is pretty small for someone who is 5'9".

    This means I'm more stretched out through the spine, and leaning forward more. Especially since my bars are set to a lower position.

    Not sure if you are familiar with the terminology for bikes (top tube, head tube, etc). If not, this picture might make it easier to follow the below.

    If you look at a bike from the side, you see that the taller the fork and head tube are, the closer the handlebars sit in relation to the saddle, so the smaller the cockpit is. This works with the saddle position, too; the higher the saddle, the longer the cockpit. These things affect your position on the bike in how you contact the saddle. If they are off, pain results. Luckily, these things can all be adjusted.

    There are other factors that affect cockpit length, like handlebar stem length, and seatpost offset. Personally, my seatpost has no offset, so that brings my position forward by a good 5 cm compared to the seatpost that came with the bike. To compensate for being so far forward, I have a longer stem. (Someone with longer femurs may have a very offset seatpost so that their knees can be properly centered over the pedals, and a shorter stem. I guess I'm the opposite, because I need a zero offset seatpost so I can be centered farther forward). Anyway, not what you asked for, but it took me a long time to piece together how seatpost, top tube, head tube, and stem length work together to create cockpit length, so I tend to mention it often. I notice your saddle is pushed all the way back, and I can't see any offset in your seat post.

    BTW, Stack and Reach are also very important to the geometry, but I always look at other things, first.


    In the below picture, the seatpost on the left is setback (offset) about 20 degrees or so (the seat post is at an angle, hence the degrees vice cm's), the one on the right is a zero offset. I always need 0 due to my short femur length in proportion with the rest of my leg. My legs are long, but I guess I have long tibias in proportion. It's quite common for the femurs to be longer in proportion, which leads to an offset seat post to achieve knees over pedals).

    Attachment 17468

    Looking at the picture of your bike, it looks like the saddle is pushed very far back, in fact, maybe the rear clamps are forward of the 'safe' area, you know, the marking on the saddle rail. That could be a weak point, ie. unsafe. Maybe you need a different seat post? One with more setback? (I'm not sure, it's hard to see with the saddle bag obscuring the area). If that is true, though, that would improve your bike fit. Even if you do have an offset seat post, there are different amounts of offset available, and I think it looks like you need one with more offset. (Again, can't see too clearly on that picture).

    Not what you asked for, but it is easier to adjust the saddle if you have the correct seat post. And safer, too. (I should note that a lot of fitters kind of skip the seat post offset as a requirement. I spent almost 4 years being very uncomfortable on an offset seat post before I found a fitter that pointed it out and fixed it. Did you have a good, long bike fitting? Like more than 2 hours or so? Do you think your fitter was very good, or is it possible you need to find someone to fine-tune the fit?

    Also, if your saddle nose is not level, that may be causing the pressure in the soft tissue. So that may need to be addressed. Perhaps you'll even like the saddle if that is the problem.

    Anyway, my bike is a Pinarello Quattro from 2012. I LOVE my bike!
    Last edited by Muirenn; 11-27-2014 at 10:25 AM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

 

 

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