After I sent the bike shorts back, my genital numbness started again, but this time due to the Respiro bike seat. I had to find the right seat pronto! I could feel the negativity creeping in my psyche. I was thinking perhaps the Schwinn 130 isn’t the right fit for my body and maybe it was more trouble than it’s worth. Maybe I was making this a bigger deal than what it was? Then I began to research every day because it’s a big deal!
It took roughly a month to get warmer to what kind of bike seat my anatomy needed. I finally came across this awesome website geared for cyclist women called Total Women’s Cycling. Here they spoke freely about genital numbness cream, soft tissue issues, hot spots, bike shorts and pelvis structure. It was here where I stumbled upon if I’m an “innie” or “outie.” It was here that I questioned: Where are my hot spots? Do I sit laid back or upright on the Schwinn or do I sit forward and aggressive? Are my knees too bent when I’m pedaling or am I hyperextending? Are my sit bones small or wide? Does my hip movement have too much movement?
Based on what I’ve research and on the shape of my body, I’m an outie. This means I have more soft tissue than the next woman. It’s no wonder why the bike shorts did me wrong. It’s because I have my own padding, so to speak. I also have wide sit bones (about 168mm). I’ve tried seats close to the size of my sit bones, but it didn’t feel quite right especially with a traditional seat. Even though, I did measure my sit bones at a bike store, I searched for a YouTube video of a man who says you can measure your sit bones right at home with a few items. What I took from him was: Add 20mm to his/your sit bone measurement for comfort especially if you’re planning on going longer distance. I added the extra 20mm to my size.
After I answered a lot of my own questions like the ones above, I still needed to find a good seat. So, on this same website I learned about this company ISM. I bought my next 2 bike seats from them. I love them both! The ISM seats are designed with a split-nose. They’re not traditional looking seats. I think that’s what makes them super cool! Anyhow, these seats, the brains behind ISM and the technology itself is smart, innovative, unisex and efficient in my opinion. I’ve tried a few traditional seats long before I thought about buying a stationary bike back when I did cycle for about 6 months out in the city streets, and I always had a problem with my lady parts being numb, sore and very tender during the ride and majorly the next day.
With the split-nose it cuts out the pressure it can add to the lady part. So, whether I’m upright or forward, there’s no additional cushion/padding where my padding is. It’s invisible. It’s beautiful. It’s all I want! Pain-free! Pedaling smoothly. I want the traditional nose out of the equation because it brings more trouble than what it’s worth. With the split-nose, circulation IS better. It’s not cutting off my circulation and putting my lady part to sleep. And when I get off the bike, it doesn’t feel like I broke my clitoris and everything else around it I shouldn’t have.
The first bike seat I bought from them is called Touring and it’s under the Comfort category (Comfort City) on the ISM website. Instantly, I felt the difference when I sat down. I notice that the front nose of the saddle felt like it wasn’t there. It feels almost like there’s a gaping hole in the center, but not really. I don’t feel anything digging into my lady part. The Touring seat is smaller than what the picture has you believe. And when you sit on it, it feels like there’s only room for your sit bones and nothing else.
I ordered the Berkley which is also under the Comfort ISM category (Comfort Fitness). This seat feels wonderful, too. I like this seat more because now it feels like my ass has a place to actually sit on. Touring is simply for your sit bones only with not enough pad to go around your ass although it has a good amount of padding thickness to make you feel like you’re floating on a piece of cloud. I don’t need bike shorts with this seat. I don’t need genital cream. This could always change once I buy a bike that isn’t stationary, however. But I’m hoping not! Maybe I’ll just try one of the ISM performance seats.
All of ISM’s bike seats are unisex. I know some people who have a problem with the split-nose design, but I think it’s perfect! I’ve read horror stories of men and women who injured their genitals, their nerves and even experience erectile dysfunction or can’t have sex because of the wrong bike seat. Maybe trying something out the box will save more nerves, genitals and sex lives then we know?
And to think, there was this woman whose supposedly certified to do bike fits tell me she would do my fit for $120 bucks. Yet, when I spoke to her about the split-nose design, she acted like she didn’t know what I was talking about. They didn’t even sell it in her store. She sold me the Respiro seat, and it turned out to be horrible. So, I just couldn’t trust her certified ass. I was confident in my own research.
Signing off with a happy seat.
Do you guys name your bikes?