France From Inside Cycling and Wine Tours France

Cycling, Wine and Cultural Tours in the Dordogne, Pyrenees and Southwest of France.

Join email list

In the news

News Letter - Blog

Chateau de Pitray
Chateau de Pitray

No more numbness and pain on your genitals!! And better mechanical leverage to ride faster.

How to modify your road bike seat to eliminate groin pain and numbness from pressure!

Most cyclists, if not all, suffer from pressure in the groin region that compresses the pudendal nerve and artery when they ride. That is why you get numbness in the genitals. It is a physical fact that when you sit on a bicycle there is pressure on the groin/pelvic region from the horn of the seat. Evolution did not require the human body to develop with the need to sit on a bicycle. We evolved to sit on our seat bones (ischial tuberosities) - as we do when we sit on a chair, curb, or any other surface - with nothing in between our legs, and most certainly not the horn of a seat. So when you sit on a conventional bike seat there is pressure on your pubic region and that is bad news because it causes injury to the pudendal nerve and artery. I had that problem and I almost gave up cycling until I modified my bike seat.

Modified bike seat

With a modified seat like this you can eliminate pelvic pressure and injury to your pudendal nerve and artery.

10 years ago I was on a quest to find a seat that would not cause discomfort and injury to my groin. Unfortunately none of the seats I tried, and I tried a lot, worked. I was exasperated and unhappy because I was considering giving up cycling due to the consequences of continuing to ride on a normal bike seat. In my desperation I was compelled to think outside the box and that is how I solved the problem. Up until then I was trying to find a solution that respected the traditional shape of the seat. The change in perspective happened when I approached the issue with the “standard of the result” as the guiding principle. The result I wanted was “no pressure,” and that is when I realized that the only way to achieve that standard was to have zero pressure. And the only way to achieve zero pressure was to have an open space on the horn of the seat in the area that puts pressure on the pubic region. I cut out the foam on that part of the seat, went for a test ride and happily discovered the problem solved.

With a seat like this you can stay seated on your seat bones, free to move your pelvis into an anterior title without putting pressure on your pubic area. Get in the drops pain free, keep your spine neutral and load your hip extensors pain free. Ride faster and with more power.

The modified seat allows me to have the benefit of zero pressure in the groin, and consequently I can ride with more power and better posture. As I discussed in the previous blog, good posture on the bike requires that you keep your back neutral as you ride. In order to keep your spine neutral you need to tilt your pelvis forward but that will amplify the pressure in the groin on a seat that is not modified. With the seat modified the forward tilt of the pelvis is uninhibited. Not only will your back be comfortable but you will also load the extensor muscles of the hip thereby recruiting them more effectively. And that means you can pedal with more power!! When you stretch the glutes and hamstring muscles with a forward title you give them a greater range to contract, in other words you can now use them to their fullest potential.

Bike seat modificition

It may seem obvious, but some make the mistake of sitting in the cut out space. Don't do that! Sit on the the back of the seat, the padded area.


Ride Across the Pyrenees