Perineal Pressure – Take a Seat!

Have you ever been riding a bike and felt uncomfortable sitting in the saddle? Even worse, have you been riding your bike and become numb in your crotch area or into your extremities? Chances are you are suffering from the result of pressure on the perineum and you should know, this is not a good thing for any of us, and can lead to bicycle seat neuropathy.

“Bicycle seat neuropathy is one of the more common injuries reported by cyclists. The injuries and symptoms are due to the cyclist supporting his or her body weight on a narrow seat and are believed to be related to either vascular or neurologic injury to the pudendal nerve.”  “The pudendal nerve exits the canal ventrally, below the symphysis pubis, and innervates the genital and perineal regions.” ~ http://www.rido-cyclesaddles.com/bicycle-seat-neuropathy-c274.html (check out this article if you want to know more)

Luckily, biking industry companies have heard the call and are addressing the sitting issue. Alleviating the pressure on the perineum is at the forefront of saddle design. As far as I can tell, all of the manufacturer’s are on board.

The following excerpt from www.imseat.com explains the crux of the issue for both men and women:

“On an annual basis, bicycle riding involves several hundred million people worldwide. Studies have linked perineal pressure caused by straddling traditional bicycle seats to numbness, urinary tract and yeast infections, prostate inflammation and impotence. For male riders, in addition to the discomfort and numbness associated with a traditional saddle, there is an increased susceptibility to restricted blood flow, which can lead to arterial occlusion and permanent erectile dysfunction. For women, the restricted blood flow and hardening of the genital arteries can lead to an inability to reach orgasm. It has been found that as little as 11% of a person’s body weight can compress the genital artery!” (source – http://www.ismseat.com/technology)

As you can see, it is super important that pressure to the perineum be relieved. Unless your bike has a seat that resembles one of the following, I highly recommend that you go to your local bike shop and ask for options the first chance you get!

http://www.ismseat.com/saddle/adamo-time-trial

http://www.bontrager.com/model/09862 This is the seat I use. I got mine at Action Sports!

http://www.bontrager.com/features/hilo_rxl_speed_dial

http://www.selleitalia.com/se_it3/prodotti/road/pagina_max-flite/

Interesting article from NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health)

http://www.ismseat.com/files/WS_no_nose_2009-131.pdf

Other articles on the subject:

http://www.bycycleinc.com/pages/lowe_4_saddles.pdf

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15179177

http://www.rido-cyclesaddles.com/get-that-pressure-away-from-your-perineum-c267.html

Happy Riding!

SRAM Red – 2012 Gruppo – Product Review

SRAM RED CHANGES EVERYTHING. New SRAM RED represents the pinnacle of road racing technology and delivers countless performance advantages to the professional and enthusiast alike. For 2012, the new RED continues in the SRAM tradition as the leader in light weight, flawless shifting, and ergonomic advantage with gorgeous aesthetic styling. How did we improve on the world’s best mechanical gruppo? We started with everything we knew, and then designed a brand new drivetrain from scratch. Each part was engineered with the twin goals of eliminating the superfluous while focusing on an overall synergy that translates into unmatched performance. Elegant and simple, RED perfects the riding experience through genuine innovation. SRAM RED changes everything.” – http://www.sram.com/sram/road/family/sram-red-_-2012

This is the gruppo of the future today! SRAM said it best when they used the word “gorgeous”. I must agree! In triathlons or time trials, the name of the game is light and fast  almost to the point of sacrificing strength. This translates into $ – bottom line. Without spending the money, you rarely get the benefit. I believe that SRAM provides an exceptional product at a fair price. SRAM Red are the components that I will be upgrading to as soon as possible with some minor exceptions. I won’t need the brakes or the shifters. The Trek Speed Concept 7.0 has an integral rear Bontrager brake and the existing SRAM Apex brake is sufficient for the cause. Also SRAM manufactures another shifting component I will be recommending, the R2C Aero Shifters, and with which I am completely enamored.

The following is a list of links to the components that I recommend for immediate purchase (all items can be ordered at Action Sports in Bakersfield):

SRAM RED Crankset – 2012 

SRAM RED Front Derailleur – 2012

SRAM RED Rear Derailleur – 2012

 R2C Aero Shifters

SRAM XG 1090 Cassette

SRAM PC 1091R PowerChain™

Happy Racing!