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Is Biking Bad for the Bedroom?

If the Seat Fits

More Studies, More Seats continued...

 

To test the seat, the firm consulted with Robert Kessler, MD, professor of urology at Stanford University Medical Center in Palo Alto, Calif. In March 1999, Kessler recruited 25 cyclists. Each one regularly rode at least six hours weekly, and all had suffered from perineal pain, numbness, and erectile dysfunction. The cyclists used the new seat for a month and then shared their results.

 

"Fourteen had complete relief, nine had almost complete relief of their symptoms, one had partial relief, and one indicated no change," says Kessler. Kessler presented his findings at the 1999 annual meeting of the American Urological Association.

 

Diamondback and Avocet Inc. also manufacture seats designed not to compress the perineum.

A Little Padding Helps, Too

A study presented at the same AUA meeting found that unpadded seats reduce penile blood flow more than padded seats. The width of the padded seats wasn't a factor.

 

"Of course, not every bicycle rider develops erectile dysfunction, just as not every smoker develops lung cancer," says Taylor. "But a standard seat is a risk factor."

 

Other risks, according to Taylor, include being overweight, having wider than average hips, and leaning forward over the handlebars while riding -- all of which put extra pressure on the perineum.

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