cycling and men

Here’s a news story about a U.S. health study that male unicyclists should
find interesting. It’s a good news/bad news story, depending on your age.
The article appeared this week in several Canadian newspapers.{4B0877DF-9B88-47B2-8251-52F310F5

Re: cycling and men

Sorry, for some reason the link didn’t work, so I’ve cut and pasted the
story below:

One in 3 young male cyclists impotent
Finding of new study ‘surprising and alarming,’ says researcher

Aaron Derfel
Southam Newspapers; Montreal Gazette

One young man in three who cycles regularly is at risk of developing some
form of impotence – a finding that has stunned sex researchers at an
international conference here.

The study of more than 700 cyclists in the United States also found that
wearing padded shorts doesn’t protect men from erectile dysfunction.

“It’s surprising and alarming to find a high rate of erectile dysfunction in
cyclists who are 18 to 30 years old,” said Dr. John Taylor, lead author of
the study.

The study found that 27 per cent of cyclists in that age group reported
varying degrees of erectile dysfunction. Among non-cyclists in that age
range, the prevalence is only three to eight per cent.

Researchers were at a loss to explain why young men are so vulnerable.

“Is it because they’re experiencing genital numbness more often while
cycling?” Taylor asked. “Is it because they’re not as seasoned as the older
riders? We don’t have the answer to that question right now.”

Paradoxically, cyclists in their 50s have a much lower risk of erectile
dysfunction than the general population, Taylor’s research suggests. His
study found a 21 per cent prevalence in the 50-plus group, compared with 50
per cent among non-cyclists.

“You could say that it’s the cardiovascular benefits of cycling that is
reducing the older population’s prevalence of erectile dysfunction,”
explained Taylor, a urologist at the Walter Reed Army Medical Centre in

One of the underlying causes of erectile dysfunction is hypertension, which
restricts the blood flow to the genitals. Thus, in men older than 50, the
health benefits of cycling far outweigh the risks.

Another study cited at the conference estimated that five per cent of
cyclists suffer permanent erectile dysfunction. In such cases,
revascularization surgery is the only solution.

Some studies have warned of a high risk of erectile dysfunction from
cycling, blaming the bike saddle for putting too much pressure on the

Taylor’s study, however, provides more nuanced results: a high risk for
young riders and a low risk for older men. The overall prevalence of
erectile dysfunction was 17 per cent, which is considered relatively low.

Dr. Ridwan Shabsigh, a co-author of the study, said that young men shouldn’t
be scared of cycling despite the new findings.

“Let’s not forget that the populations in the industrialized modern world
are at risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity,” said
Shabsigh, associate professor of urology at Columbia University in New York.

“So it would be irresponsible to advise people to stop an exercise like

Taylor recommends that if cyclists feel genital numbness while riding, they
should readjust the saddle to feel more comfortable and stand up more often
while pedalling.

Taylor’s study also found that measures thought to reduce the risk of
erectile dysfunction – like padded shorts and elongated “aerobar”
handlebars – didn’t appear to work.

However, bike frames made of titanium and carbon fibre are better able to
absorb road shock than the common steel frame.

The men who responded to Taylor’s questionnaire included recreational
cyclists who bike on weekends, amateur cyclists and professionals.

He presented his findings at the 10th Congress of the International Society
for Sexual and Impotence Research.

Yeah, I read that in my local newspaper yesterday. Doesn’t sound like a good thing for us unicyclers.

I think unicycle saddles put pressure on different bits, so might not have the same effect. The pressure on a bicycle saddle is much further forward as you are leaning forward. Short of catching your 'nads awkwardly doing a jump or a mount then I don’t think there’s much chance of any problems (none here at least:) )

I’m very surprised at the results from this study, I’d be really interested in reading more into this particular piece of work as similar studies in the past have not turned up anywhere near such a scary figure. Maybe it’s just a case of poor/biased analysis (which is much more common in such studies than you would hope).

Have fun!


Re: cycling and men

An evolutionary biologist could make the case that
since there are far fewer unicyclists than bicyclists,
that reproductive disfunction must be even higher among


The study was from ages 18-30. Hmm. I’m 35. I wonder. I guess if you ain’t usin’ it, it doesn’t matter, does it? :slight_smile: Still, I’ve noticed no problems in test runs.


Re: cycling and men

> I think unicycle saddles put pressure on different bits, so might not
> have the same effect.

Yes. Long Coker rides give me numb buns not sad nads. :wink:

Re: cycling and men

On Mon, 30 Sep 2002 12:40:54 GMT, wrote:

>An evolutionary biologist could make the case that
>since there are far fewer unicyclists than bicyclists,
>that reproductive disfunction must be even higher among

No I think we are a new species. Our numbers are rapidly increasing
and we will eventually supersede bicyclists. I’ve contributed by
siring two unicycling children, and many others have too. Now it’s
only to hope that the 18-30 year olds will be able to do the same. :slight_smile:

Klaas Bil

If you had this signature, I have forged it.

I’ve been recruiting some people in my area, and I think in around two months I have been able to convince 3 or 4 people to get unicycles! YAY! One has started for sure, another says he will get one as soon as he has the money, and a pair of twins say they really want one and are planning on getting one. The key trick is letting people try the unicycle, and then demonstrating to them what is possible! I hope this helps you guys with recruiting more people to the world of unicycling.

this discussion has reared it’s head (no, i couldn’t think of a less applicable metaphor :wink: ) before
there have been some suggestions that previous bits of research was skewed in the interest of the marketing interests of a new saddle
no comparable research have been done on unicyclists and yes, the saddle does place pressure on different bits
i can only imagine an airseat must make this concern purely academic

are we all brave and honest enough to start a poll on here to duplicate this research for unicyclists?
if we do, i want to suggest that we ask yoopers to word the question
he can be sooo diplomatic in his posts, i think we need that touch on something like this


Re: cycling and men

On Tue, 1 Oct 2002 01:39:06 -0500, GILD
<> wrote:

>are we all brave and honest enough to start a poll on here to duplicate
>this research for unicyclists?
>if we do, i want to suggest that we ask yoopers to word the question
>he can be sooo diplomatic in his posts, i think we need that touch on
>something like this

I second what you said about Bruce E. Maybe he would want to not only
word the question, but also harvest our personal data via e-mail
(somewhat like he does the captions on the faces gallery) and publish
them anonymised?

Klaas Bil

If you had this signature, I have forged it.


I had not been chasing this thread but just today found that perhaps I should have been. Before we go a-pollin’, first allow me some input with a comparison.

Although it may be true that cyclists tend to suffer from symptoms or conditions caused by their posture during the activity (I’ve experienced it myself especially on exercise bicycles of all things), as a unicyclist, I don’t experience the same. I’ve also never really had a time after the initial learning curve where things “got in the way” during a mount. Maybe it’s the same as when I was painfully hitting my anklebones during mounts. I don’t remember when the ankle-hitting went away but it did. Today, it seems that my body has acquired some muscle memory enabling me to land in the right position on the saddle. I really don’t think about things “getting in the way” any more now than I think about trying to keep my balance during the ride.

My wife suggested this comparison. America’s history was built substantially on the wild, wild west. I’m sure there were a lot of lonely times out on the vast wide-open prairies. The obvious associated nightly entertainment seemed to have endowed our nation with a very prolific time in our history. It seems to me that the posture of unicycling is much the same as that of horseback riding. I probably exist today because hours and days of horseback riding had no effect on the “ability” of my forefathers.

So much for diplomacy…should we cast a poll?


let’s just release shocking figures of male unicyclist impotence, hopefully conning some (traditional bicycle-)saddle manufacturer into believing there’s a massive market for ‘keep-it-up unicycle saddles’
we might get some R&D money spent on the development of some kewl uni saddles

marketing people mess with our heads all the time

time to return the compliment?



lol im almost 18 and i certainly have no problem with getting it up, ive been rinding a bike since i was 6 and unin for a few years to.

Re: lol

Somehow the name “brokenframe” and the image you have implanted in our minds with the above don’t go together. But seriously, thanks for sharing. If you don’t mind my asking, are you regular as well? :smiley:

Raphael Lasar
Matawan, NJ