Dumb Exercise Bike Question...

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    Nov 30, 2013 5:51 AM GMT
    I am going to post a dumb question. I didn't see a thread that talked about this, so I guess I'm going to be the one to make it.

    I am using an exercise bike at the gym as my primary cardio at the moment. Of course most of you know why - I am recovering from an injury - primarily broken bones in my ankle. The treadmill and elliptical are both out of the question right now and I don't swim, so I don't really know of another form of cardio that I can physically do.

    Anyway, I am using a stationary bike that is designed similar to a spinner bike. However, I don't have enough strength in my ankle to stand as I ride at this point. The seat is murdering my junk. In fact, my balls are completely numb after about 20 minutes.

    So, is there anything I can do because I am pretty sure it will be a matter of months before the elliptical becomes an option again and I need to get my cardio on - now?

    Thanks.
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    Nov 30, 2013 2:33 PM GMT
    Use a machine with a better seat! Bring extra cushion.
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    Nov 30, 2013 3:03 PM GMT
    Adjust the saddle height and horizontal position. If your junk is going numb, it's probably too far back.
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    Nov 30, 2013 3:20 PM GMT
    TheQuest saidI
    ...my balls are completely numb after about 20 minutes.

    So, is there anything I can do because I am pretty sure it will be a matter of months before the elliptical becomes an option again and I need to get my cardio on - now?

    Thanks.

    The seat angle may be incorrect, not uncommon with gym equipment. The nominal starting point for a bike saddle, stationary or road, has the seating surface parallel to the ground or floor. A saddle with the front elevated too high may be causing your problem.

    See if the saddle is misadjusted. Some will have a quick-adjust lever you can set yourself. Others will require the gym staff to adjust with tools, if they are cooperative.

    Another problem could be with your own "equipment". You should be wearing snug & supportive briefs or a jock, that lift your balls up.

    Also, some men will experience groin numbness because of pressure on the perineum, the anatomical place where your weight is supposed to rest on a bike saddle. In some cases this diminishes with time. But some urologists warn that prolonged bicycling can cause permanent nerve damage, loss of sensitivity, and even erectile dysfunction.

    What serious road bicyclists do, with much narrower & harder saddles than your stationary bike, is to wear a chamois. This is a padded crotch section, usually of gel material today, sewn into lycra riding shorts, like compression shorts. You can also buy underwear briefs with a padded chamois at bike shops, one brand being Andiamo. This lets you wear ordinary loose gym shorts over them.
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    Nov 30, 2013 4:00 PM GMT
    TheQuest saidI am going to post a dumb question. I didn't see a thread that talked about this, so I guess I'm going to be the one to make it.

    I am using an exercise bike at the gym as my primary cardio at the moment. Of course most of you know why - I am recovering from an injury - primarily broken bones in my ankle. The treadmill and elliptical are both out of the question right now and I don't swim, so I don't really know of another form of cardio that I can physically do.

    Anyway, I am using a stationary bike that is designed similar to a spinner bike. However, I don't have enough strength in my ankle to stand as I ride at this point. The seat is murdering my junk. In fact, my balls are completely numb after about 20 minutes.

    So, is there anything I can do because I am pretty sure it will be a matter of months before the elliptical becomes an option again and I need to get my cardio on - now?

    Thanks.


    Are you wearing good quality bike shorts? I also recommend getting yourself a good road bike and hitting the road. And on days when the weather is bad, you can ride your bike indoors on a bike trainer.
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    Nov 30, 2013 11:02 PM GMT
    SlickJock1973 saidIs there an acceptable seat angle, some kind of general range, say 15 to 40 degrees that is optimum?

    The seat angle depends on personal anatomy & preference, the kind of bike, and riding style. As a general rule of thumb, as I wrote above, start with the saddle surface parallel to the ground or floor, and adjust from there. This "flat" position usually works well with the broader comfort seats common on stationary gym bicycles and boardwalk cruisers.

    More competitive road bikes, with the drop handlebars well below the height of the saddle, may see a seat angle of 5 or 10 degrees down at the front, or pummel portion of the saddle. But again, this can vary by rider, and there is no strict rule of degrees. Saddle angle is dictated by individual rider comfort and pedaling efficiency.

    The OP asked a very good question (not a "dumb" question at all), and based on the pain he describes I'd hazard a guess that the stationary bikes he's using have saddle angles that raise the forward pummel section too high.

    That, and the seat post height may also be off, but that's usually easy to adjust with a cam lever. It amazes me that many people choose too low a saddle height, like they're riding a kiddie bike, which is hard on the knees, is less efficient ergonomically, and can also cause saddle discomfort.
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    Nov 30, 2013 11:59 PM GMT
    Bikes made for spinning are made for spinning. The geometry of the bike and the seat aren't very accommodating for traditional bike riding position. The spinning bikes at my gym have ridiculously hard/narrow "seats" and have limited adjustments.

    How about a recumbent bike instead?

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    Dec 01, 2013 12:28 AM GMT
    [quote][cite]xrichx said[/cite]

    How about a recumbent bike instead?


    There is one of those, too, but believe it or not, the angle of the recumbent bike puts too much pressure on my ankle. I had a very hard time adjusting it to where I could do 15 minutes, much less 30.

    This is the closest pic to the one I am using. It's not exact. Mine looks even more like a spinner bike, but the same concept.

    41YAdeXIwFL.jpg The seat is the same.
  • kew1

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    Dec 01, 2013 2:03 PM GMT
    Can you use battling ropes?
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    Dec 03, 2013 5:03 AM GMT
    Forgive me for taking this in a different direction. You say you "don't swim." You don't actually have to swim to get a great low-impact workout in a pool. If you have access to a pool, I personally think it's a better form of exercise, considering your current state. There are a lot of ways to exercise in a pool without actually swimming.