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What is the purpose of the channel in my seat? Is it just for comfort or does it have some medical benefits?

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up vote 12 down vote accepted

The purpose of the channel in a bike saddle is to reduce pressure to the perineum, which can cause numbness and other long-term problems. This is a matter of both comfort and health, although not everyone is affected. Individual body type, saddle design, bike fit, and riding style work together to make saddle fit a very personal issue.

On a related note, some of the worries about erectile disfunction seem to be overstated, though this is still an open area of research. See: Saddle Seats and Erectile Dysfunction - The myth Exploded.

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+1 Totally agree. As I noted in my answer on David's other question, you just need to find one that works for you. (bicycles.stackexchange.com/q/10689/2077) –  Rory Alsop Aug 9 '12 at 9:12
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The ED question is also addressed on skeptics.SE. –  Mike Samuel Aug 17 '12 at 16:10
    
Also on bicycles.stackexchange.com: bicycles.stackexchange.com/questions/5102/… –  amcnabb Aug 17 '12 at 16:13

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