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Numb bum threshhold

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by Lightsaber, Mar 5, 2012.

  1. From a year’s bike riding experience so far, I’ve found I generally don’t have riding comfort issues or problems when riding in suburban traffic, with a mixture of slow and fast speeds, practicing, etc, for periods of up to two or more hours at a time.

    However, based on some great but modest country rides I’ve ridden so far, on 3 separate occasions, 2 totaling 150km and the other over 200km, on each ride my backside became fairly numb and sore (just from sitting on the seat, OK!!) around the 45–50 minute mark, really necessitating stopping. After only 5-10 minutes rest, no more soreness, and all’s good.

    I assume things like faster speeds over bumps and undulations, through twisties, increased and longer concentration levels, wind, buffeting, etc, all magnify their effect on the bike and the body at all the contact points, obviously contributing to need for that rest sooner.

    I’m wondering if this time frame is normal on a these sorts of rides. Does more experience extend the time and distance comfort level threshold? I realise individuals vary, but I’m wondering if 45-60 minutes is fairly typical of a normal riding stint between breaks on longer rides.

    I’m asking because I’m at work not thinking about work!
  2. What sort of bike? The reason I ask is that for me it varies...

    On my Moto Guzzi Norge GT tourer I could ride for 4 hours before numb bum set in.

    On my Moto Guzzi V11 LeMans I could only ride for an hour or so before numb bum set in.

    On my Suzuki Bandit 1200S I could ride for 2 hours before numb bum set in.

    On my KLR650 I could only ride for an hour before numb bum set in with the stock seat but since I've replaced it with a Sargent after market seat it's good for 2 hours plus.

    So... I ask again? What sort of bike?

    Tourer? Sports Tourer? Naked? Sports Bike?
  3. Remember that around town you are stopping and starting, putting one or both feet down and taking weight off you're bum. You moving your weight around without realising it. On a longer ride you probably aren't moving your bum on the seat so circulation is affected and your bum goes numb.

    On straight stretches shift your position a bit. Move forward or back a little, support your weight on the pegs for a few moments or, as you've mentioned, get off and walk around for 5 minutes. I'm sure the road racers will be along in a moment to tell you to move side-to-side on the seat in corners and stick your knee down. I'm nowhere near that level of experience or confidence and you might not be either.
  4. According to seat guru John Moorhouse (ERGO Seats Brisbane), most manufacturers make their seats too soft. This means they feel comfy in the showroom but don't offer the right support on longer rides. He's done my last two bikes, and while my Honda is now an all-day proposition, it wasn't too bad to begin with if I swiped my wife's sheepskin topper. But my previous bike, a BMW R1150R, was a shocker. The seat was murder after about an hour. Thanks to John, it too became an all-day ride. Key to good seats is firm foam, spread support for the bones of your ar$e, and shaping to ensure you're neither sliding forwards or backwards. After the first time you've paid an expert to re-do your seat, you'll never quibble about the price of having the subsequent ones done.
  5. I read on Adventure Rider John had a heart attack and is on light dutys for a while.He did the seat on my Laverda,made it 25mm wider and much more comfortable.I still need my Air Hawk on big days as the vibrations still give me numb bum without it.Try avoiding expressways,you tend to move around on windy bike roads and last longer
  6. 600 to 800 Klms days for me, I use a Lambswool seat cover, No Numb Bum.

    Thats 6 to 10 hours actually riding, Depending on Terrain,

    Just stop every hour or so, Have a walk around, I do mean walk around, It gets your legs working again,

    Or try sitting in different positions and move your feet around as well. Balls, heels and toes on the pegs,
  7. Thanks Zim; I haven't spoken to John in a while as he did my Honda a couple of years ago. I'm glad he's on his way back to form, as he really knows his stuff.
  8. I rode from Brisbane to Phillip island and back again a couple years ago, try standing up on your pegs or taking your feet off the pegs and stretching out your legs every now and then. I did 900ks in one day, that's the most I've ever done on a single day. just rode till it needed fuel then filled up and kept going lol.
  9. Thanks for the various replies. A few things there I hadn't considered, eg different bikes (and from that I gather seating positions, etc) affect the rider in different ways.

    It seems it's not an uncommon side effect; just need to learn different ways to deal with it, adopting some of the tips provided. Still, it's interesting to see the wide range in times before numb bum sets in across different riders.

    I've been "pre-invited' to join a 500km+ ride over 2 or 3 days, planned to happen in a few months, so there's a few things to consider, as well as gaining more experience in the meantime.
  10. I run out of petrol before my ass goes numb, yet another reason to buy a street triple!
  11. I use an Airhawk 2 cussion on my BMW G650GS, and managed an 1100+ km day between Waikerie and Lithgow via West Wyalong and Cowra. Would have gone further but ran out of money. Most serious riding days were usually a minimum of 500km with that trip. No problems.

    Before I got the Airhawk I was moving all over the bike after an hour, leaning forward on the pillion pegs, standing up, doing all sorts of silly things. None of that with the Airhawk. Just a normal cruising position. I do take more breaks than most, being a smoker, but I wouldn't go touring without it.

    Last thing I want to be thinking about when riding is my arse.
  12. It wasn't my arse that was giving me hell when I rode to Adelaide, it was my feet. Really painful. Even on shorter rides I have to change my feet around (doesn't help much tho).

    Any suggestions anyone? My boots are quite comfy and have pretty good padding, but wondering if I should put some sheepskin stuff in to combat the vtwin 250cc vibration.
  13. Another thing to note apart from your possible seating position on your bike is that you're a noob and your rear still needs some conditioning (I'm being serious here now)..

    Building your k's will see your body start to adapt to riding longer.
    At this stage stage in your riding, 200k seems a long ride but in reality it's only a couple hours riding on the main hwy..
    It's not that long and something you'll get easily used to the more you ride so ride as much as you can..

    Then you may find that your rear is the least of you problems when realise other areas like neck, wrists, hands, knees, blah blah blah start coming into the pain barrier..

    I made a lot of little changes to my bikes as I started to increase build the distances and do look at this for yourself but a lot of it is some hardening up too..
    I can now do a direct Melb-Syd via coast only stopping for fuel and food breaks and honestly I get home and could have gone further..

    Good luck with it all..

  14. 10 minutes on the wr250f and numb bumb sets on,
    it doesnt on the vtr250, i get a sore kneck, sore back and sore feet before it even has a chance
  15. Whoo, gravity really has that much of an effect in old age ........your balls reach the pegs???
  16. Can't say I've ever suffered from numb bum. Most of my riding has been 1-2 hours at a time on country roads.

    Maybe all the vibrations from a 250 give it a gentle massage. Legs get a bit stiff though, so usually need a bit of a walk around when I stop, but after that fine.
  17. Also, it wasn't my arse that was getting numb, it was the bones in my crotch about to break thru! Adelaide-Melbourne in one day is a bit long for me, I found...

    One of our group had, I thought, a very novel way of dealing with the excessive wind. His bike was leaned over into the wind and he was sort of "perched" on the top edge. I tried it (I hate wind), and later asked him about it. He said it wasn't for the wind, it was an attempt to renew the circulation in his arse. So obviously I wasn't the only one.

    But the feet were the worst.

  18. You said you wouldnt tell any one,.