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Recent health study, IMPOTENCE in cyclists

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Recent health study, IMPOTENCE in cyclists

Old 10-04-05, 11:03 AM
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peripatetic
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Recent health study, IMPOTENCE in cyclists

Showed up from my girlfriend in the email today, guess she's a little worried :

https://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/04/he...=5070&emc=eta1

They're covering a fairly comprehensive health study. Anyone know what kind of saddles are best for relieving pressure on those "sensitive" areas? (I mean, other than just cut-outs--are there specific brands or models people like?)
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Old 10-04-05, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by peripatetic
Showed up from my girlfriend in the email today, guess she's a little worried :

https://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/04/he...=5070&emc=eta1

They're covering a fairly comprehensive health study. Anyone know what kind of saddles are best for relieving pressure on those "sensitive" areas? (I mean, other than just cut-outs--are there specific brands or models people like?)

Just ask her to test you regularly... for any signs of a problem.
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Old 10-04-05, 11:36 AM
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OK - how many professional, married cyclists are childless?

Chris Boardman has five kids, by the way
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Old 10-04-05, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by peripatetic
Anyone know what kind of saddles are best for relieving pressure on those "sensitive" areas? (I mean, other than just cut-outs--are there specific brands or models people like?)
Best way to "relieve pressure" is to make sure you're sitting squarely (and FIRMLY) on your two sit bones (Ischial Tuberosity)
.


Squishy seats defeat this strategy, because your SB's (or IT, if ya like) sink into all that foam, and pushes it up into the "taint" area.

Bad Voodoo.
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Old 10-04-05, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by atbman
OK - how many professional, married cyclists are childless?

Chris Boardman has five kids, by the way

Kind of off the mark. How many people among all those who ride a bike fairly frequently are professional cyclists? From what I read in the article, it's not the majority of cyclists, but it's a fair percentage who ride frequently and for long periods. Let's not forget that one extremely famous cyclist suffered from a little problem called testicular cancer, and let's face it, no one's quite sure how people get different forms of cancer. And hey, who knows, maybe there are a lot of pro cyclists using Viagra or Cialis, or developing problems when they're older. Most professional athletes are on the younger side. I'd be curious to know if one took a survey of retired and older cyclists, how many would turn out to have suffered some form of erectile dysfunction or impotence. I bet the findings would be a little surprising and worrisome to many of us.

I didn't post this to get into arguments about it, I just thought it'd be an important point to discuss. The article points out that cyclists usually get defensive when they're apprised of the risk, and also that the bike industry is aware of the potential problem but hasn't really fixed it. Maybe it would be good to remain critical and demanding consumers and keep ourselves aware, rather than blindly ignoring the potential simply because it might "impinge" (pun intended) on our enjoyment of this activity. Personally, I don't think it's all that far of a stretch to consider that circulation cut off to the penis and scrotum might have adverse effects over a long term.

So, Bikepacker, just wondering, would something like a Brooks saddle satisfy the criteria of relieving pressure to the perineum and "taint" area? I don't have one, and have never ridden one, but have been considering it. I just don't know if it conforming to my sit bones would also help relieve the pressure to other areas.

Also, anyone ride on one of those noseless saddles?

Last edited by peripatetic; 10-04-05 at 12:00 PM.
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Old 10-04-05, 11:59 AM
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I couldn't imagine a noseless saddle. There is a good reason for the nose; it's for control.

I used to get a bit of numbness when riding long distance on a Speciallized Body Geometry saddle (the one with the upturned nose and slot down the centerline). I think it was the wrong shape. I've switched to a Selle Italia with the gel and the cutout and haven't had much problems. I think the key is to get a good quality hard saddle, and adjust it so there is little or no pressure on the perineum. Your sit bones will be tender for a little while from taking up your whole weight, but it helps with the pressure.
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Old 10-04-05, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
I couldn't imagine a noseless saddle.

Yeah, I'm not really hot on the idea, either, but I did see one posted in the forums one time. I think it was on a folding bicycle. Made by some Northern European manufacturer, I think. It did look comfortable, but that was for a folding bike with an upright rider's position.
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Old 10-04-05, 12:43 PM
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How about a simple approach... adjust the saddle so you don't get numb.

Originally Posted by from the article
Dr. Goldstein added, "Numbness is your body telling you something is wrong."
Also note the the issue does not effect every cyclist...

Originally Posted by from the article
Just as many smokers do not get lung cancer, many cyclists will never develop impotence from bicycle seats, the scientists said. What makes one person more vulnerable than another is not known. Body weight seems to matter: heavier riders exert more pressure on saddles. Variations in anatomy may also make a difference.
Gee I wonder if there is any connection between this and the Fattening of America...
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Old 10-04-05, 12:52 PM
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Maybe it's about time Viagra sponsor a masters team
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Old 10-04-05, 12:57 PM
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My solution to this and other bike related problems.



Taken at the last of 5 passes on the Markleevilee Death Ride. 15,000 ft of climbing in a day. So recumbent bikes can indeed climb. And boy-o-boy can they desend.
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Old 10-04-05, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by genec
How about a simple approach... adjust the saddle so you don't get numb.

You know, I know that everyone here on bikeforums and most hardcore cyclists for that matter fancy themselves supremely competent and unsurpassingly knowledgeable. But I have to figure there are some of us out there who might be suffering a bit and not really aware of it. The article also mentioned many people, including a 28-yr-old, I believe, who didn't even think there might be a connection between decreased sexual potency and their cycling. Personally, I'm a 33-yr-old healthy male, and I haven't had any serious sexual problems ever, but I have noticed the inevitable decline in my sex drive since I was a ripe and randy 21. Who knows if this is merely a matter of age or other things--like a bad saddle. But maybe we should at least let other men who ride frequently know that this is a potential hazard.

And as simple as it may sound, I'm guessing that a lot of guys who ride long rides frequently might not notice after a few hours of hard riding that they're numb down below. I mean, numbness is kind of the absence of feeling; who hasn't felt that after a long, arduous ride, whether or not they were on a bad seat? Now that I'm aware it's a problem, I will approach it like I do the potential for getting thrombosis on airplane flights: I will encourage myself to get off of the saddle from time to time and make sure that the blood is flowing; maybe even use it as a good reason to take breaks from actually riding and get off of the bike. I would guess that could help as much as anything else. Sounds simple, yes, but if you're not aware that it could be a problem, you might easily dismiss the solution as unnecessary.
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Old 10-04-05, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by peripatetic
You know, I know that everyone here on bikeforums and most hardcore cyclists for that matter fancy themselves supremely competent and unsurpassingly knowledgeable. But I have to figure there are some of us out there who might be suffering a bit and not really aware of it. The article also mentioned many people, including a 28-yr-old, I believe, who didn't even think there might be a connection between decreased sexual potency and their cycling. Personally, I'm a 33-yr-old healthy male, and I haven't had any serious sexual problems ever, but I have noticed the inevitable decline in my sex drive since I was a ripe and randy 21. Who knows if this is merely a matter of age or other things--like a bad saddle. But maybe we should at least let other men who ride frequently know that this is a potential hazard.

And as simple as it may sound, I'm guessing that a lot of guys who ride long rides frequently might not notice after a few hours of hard riding that they're numb down below. I mean, numbness is kind of the absence of feeling; who hasn't felt that after a long, arduous ride, whether or not they were on a bad seat? Now that I'm aware it's a problem, I will approach it like I do the potential for getting thrombosis on airplane flights: I will encourage myself to get off of the saddle from time to time and make sure that the blood is flowing; maybe even use it as a good reason to take breaks from actually riding and get off of the bike. I would guess that could help as much as anything else. Sounds simple, yes, but if you're not aware that it could be a problem, you might easily dismiss the solution as unnecessary.

Nothing wrong with a good common sense approach.

Me, when I'm out on long tours in the countryside, I like to fantasize about good looking farm girls riding bareback and...

Well, you get the idea.
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Old 10-04-05, 04:17 PM
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I am a biomechanist, physical therapist and cyclist who has researched bicycle seat design at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and written the book Finding the Perfect Bicycle Seat. (see Amazon.com link below) I was also recently interviewed for the NYT article.

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...books&n=507846

or E-book format at https://www.roadbikerider.com/pbs_page.htm

In addition, I have developed a new saddle design that improves penile oxygen levels 4x over a traditional “teardrop” shaped saddle while riding a bicycle with hands in the "drops" (a forward, aerodynamic posture). This position is a much greater test of a saddle's ability to maintain blood flow, since more weight is shifted to the front of the pelvis as compared to more upright positions. The saddle is now available through Performance Bicycle Inc. (see link below)

https://www.performancebike.com/shop/....cfm?SKU=20853

More information regarding the benefits and changes in the saddle’s design can be found at:

https://www.unlimitedsportsanalysis.com/Infopage.html


The main components that people need to look for when choosing a bicycle seat to avoid unnecessary compression of the pudendal arteries and nerves along the medial borders of the pubic rami of the pelvis (that can lead to ED) while cycling are:

1. Wide rear support surface to support the sit bones without sinking into the soft tissue between them.

2. Firm and moderate padding. Too much will push into the central pelvis and compress sensitive anatomy. Too little creates high pressure spots. Excessive amounts of padding or gel actually increase compression of nerves and arteries by displacing under pressure.

3. Flat rear support surface with a large effective sitting area that avoids upward pressure into the soft groin tissue.

4. Abrupt transition between the rear of the seat and the nose section to allow the rider to sit further back on the seat in a well supported position that avoids placing pressure on the arteries and nerves in the pelvis as they run forward along the borders of the pelvic bones.

5. No cutouts. Complete cutouts and deep central depressions may increase discomfort and pressure on the edges of the hole and decrease blood flow to the genitals since the arteries and nerves are actually located along the sides of the seat as the rear transitions to the nose, not directly in the center where the cutouts generally are.

These recommendations hold true for men and women, since both sexes share analogous artery and nerve distribution. As a result, women display similar artery and nerve compression from traditional seat designs – and often complain of similar discomforts and symptoms as a result. In addition, by supporting the pelvis on a flatter surface, the female genitalia is elevated above the seat to decrease pressure and irritation.

I would be glad to answer any further questions you may have about my book, saddle, or bicycling and its relation to ED in general.

Sincerely,

Joshua Cohen PT, MS
Joshuacohen1@hotmail.com

P.S. Keep in mind that erectile dysfunction does not mean sterility when you start naming off all the cyclists you know with hordes of children. The changes that occur in the penile tissues from long term arterial compression make it difficult to create and sustain an erection, but you can certainly still create a child even if your not a man of steel.
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Old 10-04-05, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by genec
How about a simple approach... adjust the saddle so you don't get numb.



Also note the the issue does not effect every cyclist...



Gee I wonder if there is any connection between this and the Fattening of America...
A German study, and some of the studies referenced in the article I read, measured blood flow as part of the study. Even in cyclists that didn't feel numb, blood flow was reduced while on the seat.
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Old 10-05-05, 04:54 AM
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This is not NEW it came out over 20 years ago. I remember the girlfriend at the time being worried. 20 years later now married, different women, still no problems.
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Old 10-05-05, 10:24 AM
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This is why recumbent riders refer to upright bikes as, upwrongs, wedgies, ass-hatchets.
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Old 10-05-05, 05:30 PM
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OMG, I was at my parents house yesterday and my dad was harassing me about this!!!!

I only stay there during the week but it was madness! He just sat next to me while I was on the computer doing research and kept telling me, "You should read this, It is very important". I read the title and told him "BS". He looked at me and demanded that I read it. We actually got into an argument

That study is like any other study. They try to scare people about nonsense. It happens to a small portion of cyclist who do not adjust their seat correctly or are riding a bike that is not fit to them. I have been on 4-5hr rides and I felt absolutely no numbness.

Argh, chainmail spam once again
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