I’m new to Unicycling and I wonder about the long term effect on males in the crotch area.
Not safe at all. That’s why you only see women unicycling.
Unless cyclists put the majority of their weight on the handlebars I don’t see what the difference is?
I have been unicycling for over 50 years and am now a woman.
I was hoping unicycling would make me sterile. So far, no luck.
Kris Holm has ridden since childhood and fathered a beautiful daughter. …If you are asking how to ride comfortably and keep from crushing delicate parts that’s a different question. .to which there are pages of good advice. . In brief unicycling can be safe for men …
Hell of a first post. Welcome to the community!
To actually address your question, in my many years of riding I’ve done far more wear & tear to my actual crotch than to any of my “man parts”. Any type of extended riding can do this, especially hours of cranking away on a Road ride. Or most types of riding in high humidity.
Not to say I’ve never smashed anything important down there, but with practice, and a good pair of bike shorts, you learn to avoid most of that.
All of this is meant to be read in a very high pitched voice.
Oh well. Keep trying, I guess…
And a damn sexy one too.
The answer is no.
But it allows me to live the dream and I’m looking forward to a career as a world class sopranist.
Welcome to the forum. Looks like you’ve got quite an initiation with this bunch!
I think your question is valid and would be good to have an answer for, but I’m not sure there’s any real data specific to unicycling being that it isn’t what I could call a mainstream sport. Probably the next best thing would be to look for data on male health related to cycling. Obviously the two are different in significant ways, but it might at least give you some idea of what to expect.
There seem to be numerous studies that indicate that cycling can reduce sperm count, but as mentioned above, that may not be an issue or concern for many. There’s also concerns about prostate health. If you are truly concerned, I think your best bet is to search for issues related to cycling, and then talk to a doctor that you trust and have regular exams. They will likely not be familiar with unicycling, so you might want to show them a picture of a unicycle saddle, or bring it in with you and discuss the pressures exerted on your crotch and see what advice they have. I think overall, they’ll be happy if you’re just exercising regularly even if there are other, minor concerns.
For me personally, I just don’t care. I know that sounds cavalier, but I’m pretty healthy in other aspects of my life, and if there are negative aspects to this, I’m willing to deal with it. Unicycling is my main source of fun and exercise, as I think it is for many, and there’s always a possible downside for any sport or activity, so I pick my battles. I don’t smoke or do drugs, I rarely drink (man, have I gotten boring in my old age!), and I eat pretty healthy. If the most dangerous thing I do is unicycling, I’m fine with that. I HATE exercising just to exercise, and I’m lazy, so if it’s not fun and if it doesn’t keep me engaged, I’m not going to do it.
If unicycling is what gets me off my butt and outdoors to exercise, I’m willing to take the risks. It’s probably more dangerous to breath the air in my house or outdoors than to ride my unicycle, and something someday is gonna kill me, so I just don’t sweat it. I’ve made what I feel are reasonably healthy choices with my life, and for the rest of it, I’d rather live it up doing what I enjoy.
This is me all over! Ditto what he said.
My observations re: “male issues” and unicycling. For most riding (muni, freestyle, etc.) it’s not an issue. You’re just not in the saddle long enough for it to be an issue. Where it does get to be an issue is with road/distance riding. In this case, you can be in the saddle for hours at a time, and it does get to be sore/numb in the saddle interface area. The solution is to just get off and walk for a few minutes. Get the blood flowing again. I think you’ll find that in the articles regarding prostate damage when bicycling, the problem only arises after many, many hours and many, many miles of continuous riding. People injure themselves when they ignore what their body is telling them. (my opinion)
That being said, if you’re new rider, it will take some time to get used to being in the saddle for even a short time. That’s life, just keep riding and you’ll get used to it after a while. (It’s worth it.)
(PS. These are some of the most entertaining posts I’ve read in a while. You guys are great!)
As usual, I will agree with Lance on this. My big issues are chafing and saddle sores which are not male-specific and problematic for all type of riding. On distance rides I’m wary of numbness and take out-of-saddle breaks when necessary. Leaning on the handle or handlebar can give you a break while still riding. I only do this on steeper uphills.
Lots of good any funny answers.
To try to actually address the question: in short, it is safe for males and roughly equivalent to cycling, actually less bad than cycling.
As I used to do lots of cycling I had done some research in the past and also had the privilege of attending two presentations from experts concerning the effects of hours of extension cycling, which was defined as an average of SIX HOURS of cycling per day: that’s a lot of cycling and basically only possible for professional cyclists (when I was doing amateur racing I was averaging at most 4 hours per day and more like 2 hours with the exception of multi-stage races with 3-10 days of 8+ hours of saddle time).
If I remember correctly there were 2 different types of problems, neither of which were highly significant but nevertheless more statistically likely as compared to a groups of people who did not sit on a thin bike seat for 6+ hours per day. The two types of problems were: 1) injury or dysfunction due to trauma: e.g. a bike crash where you absorb a high impact force on the seat or the top tube. Interestingly, the study suggested that the highest incidence of long-term damage here was not from the professionals training but occurred during adolescence: e.g. 13 year old boys riding a bike maybe too large and landing on the top tube (I think most boys can relate to this experience) and 2) problems related to extended periods of compression of the blood vessels in the seat area.
#1 was only a touch higher among the extreme cyclists, but #2 was quite a bit higher. However, most of these cases were also accompanied by many other minor issues like extreme discomfort and numbness, suggesting that you should be “aware” if you are doing any damage, as you will notice that you are numb down there and/or have major pain.
My major takeaway from all of this was: 1) extremely long periods of cycling can be a problem and if you have any significant numbness of pain then you should not just blindly continue, but either reduce time in the saddle or try a different seat or change your riding position with more weight on the handlebars. And try not to sit in the same position for >30 minutes and build in breaks and consciously change your sitting position every once in a while (like waalrus suggests above).
In my opinion unicycling is a little different and I think actually maybe a little less severe concerning #2 for 2 reasons: a) a unicycle seat is actually much wider than a racing bike seat and the weight is spread over a much larger area, b) for other issues it is not so easy to put in so many hours on the unicycle. I would guess there are only a handful of unicylists in the world who are averaging over 6 hours/day sitting in the saddle (notice, this doesn’t really include muni, trial, flatland or freestyle as you spend a lot of the time not sitting, but is really only relevant for distance unicylists).
As to the impact trauma, I think beginners do have a higher chance of landing on the seat in a not so good way. However with experience I think this decreases a lot and is then not so much different than a lot of other sports and activities (e.g. in skateboarding it is not so uncommon to do a trick and launch the board into your crotch area, likewise with lots of ball sports where the usage of a protective cup is now standard, like hockey or lacrosse – i know a skateboarder personally who lost a nut this way).
Summary: If you are experiencing numbness and such problems then change something an/or see a doctor!
As has been said above, if the issue is discomfort, then there are lots of threads on this issue.
No problems whatsoever.
Just to be safe, learn everything seat-in-front.
S.I.F. = Save Impacted Friends