My crotch hurts

Recently decided to get back into unicycling after a long hiatus, and got myself a 36" nimbus oracle wheel. It’s a bit of a jump from my last 24" wheel, but I’ve figured it out and am enjoying it, except for one thing: my crotch hurts. After riding for a few hours, it gets unbearable and i have to take a break for several days. Holding onto the saddle and shifting weight onto my arms helps, but it’s still quite hard. Any advice?

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Do you have handlebars, and are you using a comfortable saddle? Some are much better than others. Padded bike shorts also helps.
Ps. Riding a few hours is already good, but unbearable crotch pain for days afterwards is really bad…

My advice? Your sense of balance and ability to ride has surpassed your crotch’s ability to withstand the bumping and jarring of four hours of riding. So, my advice is:

  1. to ride shorter distances that allow you to ride every day. Or, every other day. Then work up to every day. Then, build your distance. It may seem frustrating and maybe too easy, but you may get to riding longer distance quicker without pain this way.

  2. Maybe shorten your seat post by an inch. If it is too high, my experience is that it will place more pressure on your sensitive bits. Imagine straddling a bridge railing and just hanging your legs down while large trucks drive over the bridge. Ouch. Now, imagine having your sit-bones supported on that bridge railing, with your legs bent a little bit. Your weight will rest more on your sit bones than your sensitive bits.

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It’s the one that came with the unicycle which appears to be Nimbus Stadium Saddle - Black | Unicycle.com. Is this one of the bad ones? Which are the good ones?

No, does that help a lot?

It’s currently the lowest it can go on a 200mm post (hacksawed down from 300mm) so I would have to hacksaw it again to lower it more. But might well be worth a try.

  1. Not all saddles or riders are the same. Some saddles work better for some riders then others.
  2. Take a short break every so often or ride with no weight on the saddle for a few cranks every so often. I can ride a 100 mile day as long as I take a short break ever 15 or 20 minutes.
  3. The more you can raise the nose of the saddle, the more weight will be transferred back to the sit bones and less on the more sensitive perineum area. If you hold the uni in the riding position and note the lowest part of the saddle, that is where most of the pressure will be. Also, the flatter the saddle is, the more you can raise the nose.
  4. If you really want to think outside the box, this will essentially eliminate all pressure on sensitive areas (details here):
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I really don’t like that saddle. Try KH Fusion freeride, KH One (different seat post needed though), KH Fusion street, QX Eleven.

Your mileage may vary….

Welcome to the club and the inescapable reality of pain in the nether regions.

In my experience more frequent but shorter rides help to build some tolerance. Padded cycling shorts are essential and a flat KH Fusion saddle really helps.

I’ve tried to raise the nose, but it will only go so far with the seatpost I have. I think I’d want the back to be more or less horizontal, but as it stands the lowest point is very much not near the back.

That looks like it’s pointing pretty far down.Have you tried unbolting the seatpost and turning it around? Some are asymmetrical by design.

More to the general question: some saddle pains after a few hours is relatively normal (even with a great setup), at least in the beginning. Weight on handle/handlebar can help, seat angle, bike shorts. Which seat works for you is unfortunately pretty dependent on you personal preference/body geometry, but the stadium seems to be not very loved. (Although that may also partially be because it’s often the first saddle people try longer rides on).

But getting used to sitting on the saddle for longer is always also a part of getting comfortable. Numbness seems to be something you absolutely need to fix with a different seat setup, chaffing with better clothing, but pain due to pressure can sometimes disappear just from getting used to that pressure.

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You can add spacer washers on the front between the seat post and saddle to raise the nose more.

I had a Stadium saddle on a new 36er I bought. I lasted about 1/4 mile on it have have not rode it again. Every one is different but I use a UDC Club/Trainer saddle now.

Took a closer look, and…huh! apparently last time I adjusted the seat on the post I thought I was putting the nose all the way up, but I put it all the way down! Fixing that might help a lot!

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The crotch issues you mention and a bit of back pain, are the reasons why I had to give up unicycling regularly.

I’ve still got a 36er, but I’ll only ride it every now and again, just to keep my hand in, so to speak.

I strongly advise that you see a doctor. Doing so could prevent something more serious happening to your crotch in the long term.

Seeing my doctor, saved me from some serious consequences. Sadly, it also meant that I had to drastically reduce my unicycling, but at least, riding every now and again, is much better than having to give it up completely.

OMG! That’s depressing news. Assuming that it isn’t embarrassing, may I ask what the Doctor’s findings were? Perhaps there are preventative measures we can take to prevent that from happening.

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Yes it is embarrassing, for me, hence why I’ll not disclose on a public forum. I was having very similar symptoms, pain and recovery period as per the original poster.

I literally did everything I could to alleviate the pain, from padded shorts, change of saddle, gels before and after riding, etc, etc. You name it, I tried it, just to keep on unicycling.

Eventually, my partner forced me to go and see the doctor, and let’s just say, it was a good thing that she did!

These sort of pains and discomfort shouldn’t be ignored or brushed aside. Unfortunately, this is what a lot of us men tend to do all too often!

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