Numbness of the genitals

Feelings of numbness while riding a bike?

Permanently high pressure on the perineal area when cycling often results in numbness and less often in pain. Special nerves, fibres and vessels in the perineal area can reduce the blood flow if the saddle is too narrow, soft or unsuitable. SQlab step saddles in the right width offer more freedom.  

Causes of numbness

Saddle too narrow

Saddle with a wrong shape

Saddle too soft

Numbness often appears as a symptom for compressed nerves and/or reduced blood flow in the perineal area. Special nerves and blood vessels in the perineal area of men are responsible for the erection. 

If the blood supply to these is reduced or they are compressed for any extended periods of time, this can lead to reduced sexual performance. This process is reversible, as after a longer period off the bike this process is usually reversed and the usual sexual performance returns.

Caution!The problem can become chronical. Numbness is an alarm signal! Those who listen to their body can minimise the risks so that the positive effects of training prevail. Cycling is a fantastic heart-circulation-training and hence improves sexual performance.

Saddle to narrow 

Cause - saddle too narrow

leads to discomfort to the sit bones and an increased pressure on the perineal area

SQlab Solution 

Sit bone measurement to determine the individual saddle width

A saddle should fit like a pair of shoes! If a saddle is too narrow, then it presses exactly in the spots where it shouldn’t. Back in 2002, SQlab was the first saddle manufacturer to introduce a system to measure the distance between the sit bones and to calculate the optimal saddle width. As a result, all SQlab saddle models are available in up to four different widths.

 This guarantees that your sitting bones lie completely flat on the saddle. This is the only way to relieve pressure to the sensitive areas in both men’s and women’s bodies that are affected by hard saddles. > Read more about the sit bone measurement 

Wrong saddle shape 

Cause - wrong saddle shape 

leads to an increased pressure in the perineal area 

SQlab Solution 

Step saddle with an optimum pressure distribution in accordance with medical advice

Persistently high pressure on the perineum expresses less in pain but more in feelings of numbness. However, this alarm signal should always be observed. Even if “deaf” means at first that nothing is felt, so it is not a direct pain that otherwise warns us of dangers for the body.

The pressure on the sit bone can be a little uncomfortable at first – until you get used to it – but it is a sign for the right saddle.  For men who need a little more space, the SQlab step saddle creates more free space and is therefore ideal. > Read more about the step saddle concept 

Too soft saddle 

Cause - too soft saddle 

leads to sinking sit bones

SQlab Solution 

SQlab saddle models in different saddle firmnesses adapted to riding duration and area of use

Sit bones get used to the load

Deep-seated muscles and tendones are stimulated by soft pads

A too soft saddle usually becomes very uncomfortable after approx. 30 – 45 minutes on the bike.

The sit bones sink in so far, that sensitive soft tissue such as muscle and tendons are aggravated. After approx. 30 – 40 minutes a dull deep pressing pain sets in.

The sinking in of the sit bones also causes the perineal area in men and the lower positioned pubic bone arch in women to be subjected to higher pressure. Specifically, soft padding will effectively stop the blood flow. It is rare that the padding is so soft that the saddle shell causes the discomfort.

SQlab Solution
Soft saddles are generally only suitable for short distances!