I have recently started doing longer rides on my Wahoo Kickr Bike, and have started developing a numbness in the perineal region. I have tried adjusting things slightly on the bike (such as pointing the nose of the saddle down, lowering my seat slightly, and reducing reach), but I haven’t been able to take much of the pressure off of this region.
As there is a vast array of conflicting information online regarding bike position, I was wondering if someone with in-depth knowledge could provide me with some tips regarding how my body should be positioned, and what angles I should approximately be seeing. (Note: I am trying to mimick a racing position on the bike, so please keep that in mind with any recommendations).
My advice is go for a professional bike fit by a reputable fitter. It’s pricey but worth every penny. As you already know the cause can be a huge number of things including saddle type itself. A good fitter can help you dial in your optimal position and if you’re still having problems after that, then it might just be the saddle itself and, depending on your local shop you can often try one for a reasonable amount of time before you buy.
Edit: notwithstanding the above, Riding indoors is brutal and doesn’t offer much relief. Fwiw, I would change position often as well as get out of the saddle every few minutes when doing longer rides (greater than 1 hr).
Definitely good advice regarding changing position and standing frequently whilst riding indoors. I did the full 3 hour stage of the Wahoo RGT Santos Festival Of Cycling 2022 Women’s Stage 1 in Australia in magic roads the other day and because of the constant effort changes and climbing/standing I had no saddle/numbness issues at all but I can suffer a bit on a normal 1 hour turbo sessions where I remain seated. Out of interest, do you get the same issues when you ride outside? if not try setting up you Kickr bike to the same specs. I may just be the saddle or try your road bike saddle on the Kickr.
Thanks for the info, and I do not seem to get the same issues outside (so it may just be down to the saddle). The Kickr Bike saddle definitely doesn’t have a very big pressure relief channel. I will give all of the methods a go
Firstly numbness in the perineal region is a bad sign, don’t ignore, it can lead to all kinds of horrible medical complications, including urinary and or bowel incontinence, impotence and pudendal neuralgia. Revert back to your original position that was pain and numbness free before doing any damage.
+1 for a bike fit or in the very least a saddle fit, I finally found the time to go and visit a bike store recently and got my sit bone width measured and went up 2 width sizes! My first ride on the new saddle was a revelation it was the first time in my life that I felt like I was sitting on a saddle rather than the saddle sitting in me.
I ride a totally solid(no padding) carbon saddle (95grams) on my outside bike which has a slight relief channel but no complete hole/slot on my outside bike and I completely forget about the saddle. No way would I ride that on an indoor trainer!!
Yep. In the middle ages they used a torture device called the wooden horse or Chevalet, which was much like the modern bike on a trainer. It was very effective. (google it)
I can ride for hours outside with no/little saddle discomfort, but on the trainer, it can turn into torture. Adjusting my position on the bike and use a fatter more cush saddle helped, but the the big difference was getting a full motion platform. Now I can ride the trainer in the same position and with the same saddle as I do outside. The fact that the saddle isn’t unyieldingly resisting my movement is what made the difference for me.
Just another question, after finishing Nine Hammers (first attempt in a while), throughout each interval, my quads were burning excessively. Is this normal, or is my seating position wrong (as I don’t feel like I am engaging my hamstrings sufficiently)?
Another reason for a proper bike fit and then to replicate that position on the Kickr Bike.
For me, burning quads come with lower cadence work. It’s been ages since I’ve done 9H (I shall report to flogging station #275 forthwith) but I don’t recall there being a lot of low cadence stuff. Also, if memory serves (and it often doesn’t) you may be too far forward if your quads are burning excessively in each interval. Or is it too far back? I dunno. I’m not a bike fitter.
@Beau_Goddard Are you doing a warmup before your workouts? What cadence are you generally using on the MAP efforts. Are you doing the workout on new 4DP numbers?
Bike fit could be the issue but there are definitely some other potential reasons that may be contributing. For your next workout be sure to write down some notes after the workout about what you are experiencing and then experiment with a longer warmup or doing a faster cadence and see whether the issue gets better.
In my experience, hamstrings aren’t worked much when cycling, which is mainly quads and glutes. The only time hamstrings are significantly worked is in very hard very short efforts (sprinting, very short very steep pitches, climbing technical obstacles) where you supplement pedal torque by pulling up on the back pedal. Otherwise, hamstrings are only used to help bring the bottom pedal back and up (spin) without providing significant power. During a hard ride, you’re always balancing muscles “burning” vs lungs “burning” by selecting an optimal cadence where higher cadence burns the lungs more and lower cadence burns the muscles more. You’ll sometimes change cadence to give one or the other a rest and chance to recover. In structured workouts with power and cadence targets, cadence is sometimes specified to be high to increase lung burn, or low to increase muscle burn for the purpose of training these systems.
Other than a bikefit, personally, i have opted to use my best kit (bibs) on the trainer as on the trainer one is more static than on the bike. I’ve heard some people use the “cheap” or older kit indoors. But for me that doesn’t work, as I also got numbness. Change to using my better kit and solved the issue. But my position was ok. And don’t forget chmois cream!
The position you should adopt on a bike depends on a number of factors, such as the type of bike you are riding, your level of experience, your fitness level, and your riding goals.
Did you choose the right bike? You can read the article https://www.bikethesites.com/mens-vs-womens-bikes/ it can help you, there is useful information.
One thing that’s immensely helped my butt endurance is a full motion platform. Instead of my irresistible butt running into an immovable saddle, the saddle moves! Overall, my bod also feels better during and after a workout on the platform than on a rigid setup. I have a Saris MP1, which can provide a lot of motion, but the vast majority of time a lot isn’t generated or needed, so I would think a simpler platform, perhaps one based on inflated balls or donuts would be plenty good…or even one of those home brew tennis ball platforms. There are many on the web found by searching “rocker plate” or “trainer platform”.
A great thing I use for indoor but not om my outdoor rides is a gelcover over the saddle. I brings some movement to a otherwise static position. But I will say that changing position och a great fit is at least as important, if not more. But it helps me on my medieval torture device