Publish date:

Saddle Sore


Who Would have guessed that riding a bike could jeopardize your
plans for a family? It's no laughing matter for male and female
cyclists, who sometimes struggle with sexual dysfunction, along
with numbness or soreness in their backsides, after taking long
rides. It turns out that tiny seats, and not tight pants, were
making the term numb nuts more than just a put-down at the Tour
de France.

Conventional saddles, which are often padded with gel or foam,
lose their form when you sit on them, bulging upward and
pressing against the nerves and arteries that run along the "sit
bones." Body Geometry Saddles, which are made by Specialized
Bicycles, of Morgan Hill, Calif., are designed to correct that
problem. The rear portion of the saddle is split in the middle
to avoid contact with a rider's most sensitive areas, and its
surface is flatter so that padding doesn't bunch up in the
middle. Saddles, which come in men's and women's models, cost
from $40 to $130, depending on the style.

For riders who experience numbness and soreness in their hands
from handlebars putting pressure on the ulnar and median nerves,
the company has designed gloves that are strategically padded.
Gloves cost from $20 to $40. For more information visit
Specialized Bicycles on the Web at

--Mark Beech