I've experienced numbness after long rides in a bike saddle, I'm not afraid to tell you.
But that happens when experimenting with new saddles. You have to find the right saddle for your body and adjust it properly, and doing this can take time and cause some frustration. My guess is that a lot of people get fed up with searching/adjusting or just think that saddles are supposed to be uncomfortable, so they settle.
Here's yet another article
quoting this guy Dr. Goldstein (again) warning against the impotency dangers of riding a bike. I don't argue that some men have experienced impotency as a result of using the wrong saddle for them. However, what Dr. Goldstein should be researching is proper fit instead of using inflammatory language to get attention.
I ride a paper thin Selle Italia SLR
on my road bike. Yes, it's light weight and looks fuggin' cool, but it also properly supports my sit bones (the ischial tuberosities, if you will), which are the points of contact that matter when fitting a saddle. Many people cannot stand the SLR - b/c it doesn't fit them!
On my everyday bike, I rock a Brooks Pro
, of course. Because the thing fits my ass like an ass-glove.
And none of this has to do with how big the saddle is, or (shudder), how gel padded it is. At least the article mentions why gel saddles are not
We can partly blame researchers like Dr. Goldstein for the bike industry's production of them, however. The industry caters to the fears of its consumers. Nothing like aiming at the crotchal area to scare a man.
Check out Mr. Brown's article
for the lowdown on saddles from a guy who knows the subject well.