Cycling and Men’s Health

Bicycling has never been more popular. Today, we’ve got cycling tips for you, focusing on the potential effect of bicycling on your urinary and sexual health. 

While Cycling Canada is your go-to for practical information about the sport, we’ll talk about the risk of erectile dysfunction and whether issues like saddle sores from bicycling may be a problem.

Does Cycling Increase the Risks of ED?

Studies that do show a risk between cycling and ED usually mention specific issues that affect the perineum. In men, the perineum is between the scrotum and the anus.

This area contains a web of nerves and arteries. When a man sits too long on a bicycle seat, it can restrict blood flow in the perineum and make the penis feel numb.

What Else the Research Says

In 2018, researchers studied men in various sports. There were 789 runners, 539 swimmers, and a total of 2,774 male cyclists who participated.

The study was a collection of several questionnaires about the sexual health of the athletes, any prostate symptoms or genital numbness they felt, and whether they experienced urinary tract infections.

In the cycling group, the researchers noted if men got saddle sores cycling.

When we looked at the findings, we focused on the cycling group:

  • High-intensity cyclists in the study had more than two years of experience, went for rides 3+ times a week, and averaged 25 miles on each ride
  • The other cyclists were low-intensity riders.

Criteria for the cycling group included:

  • What kind of bike they had
  • What kind of saddle (seat type and angle)
  • Whether they wore padded shorts
  • How long they cycled standing up 
  • The type of handlebar on their bike
  • And what kind of surface they cycled on.

What do you think the results were among the cyclists?

The answers might surprise you!

Five Findings from the Research Study

Cycling isn't an ED cause

Here are five things that the research study discovered about the male cycling group:

  1. The high-intensity group of cyclists had better functioning erections than the lower-intensity group.
  2. The cycling group experienced twice as much scarring or narrowing in the urethra compared to runners or swimmers (a condition called urethral strictures).
  3. The sexual and urinary health of the cyclists was similar to all the athletes.
  4. When cyclists stood up in the saddle for more than 20 percent of their rides, they reduced feelings of genital numbness considerably. 
  5. Lower handlebars on bikes (lower than the seat height) seemed to increase genital numbness and saddle sores from cycling.

So what does this mean?

This research indicates that bicycling is not a direct cause of erectile dysfunction.

However, certain habits can increase symptoms that might feel like ED.

Cycling Canada Is Not Telling You to Quit!

As Cycling Canada says, bicycling can positively affect your physical and mental health. So we don’t want anyone to give up bicycling! 

These practical tips can minimize pressure in your penis and groin area from cycling:

  1. A properly fitting bicycle prevents injuries or numbness. Choose the right frame for your height and weight and a higher handlebar than your saddle position. 
  2. Consider altering the angle of your seat to be either parallel to the ground or angled forward slightly. This alteration can avoid pressure on the perineum. 
  3. Consider replacing the typical bike seat with a “no-nose” saddle. This saddle puts your weight on a more robust area of your buttocks.
  4. Other seats include wider saddles or a cut-out in the middle that helps to take pressure off the perineum and redistribute your body weight.
  5. Changing your bicycling style can reap significant benefits, so try standing up during rides, especially on longer trips.
Cycling pro-tips

Bicycling has many positive effects on your mental and physical health. There are benefits for your sexual health too!

Five Benefits of Cycling on Men’s Health

Cycling has five known health benefits that can positively affect your well-being, including your sex life.

Cycling May Improve Vascular Health

Better vascular health makes your muscles more coordinated. During sex, better muscle coordination can strengthen your libido.

Cycling Can Lower Stress and Depression

Studies link cycling to lower stress levels and depression. When your stress hormones get regulated, your body can focus on enjoying sex more.

Cycling Can Boost Your Mental Health

Positive mental health makes you feel better physically and more desirable sexually. In addition, a regular cycling routine for exercise can combat any anxiety you feel.

Cycling May Lead to Weight Loss

Some cycling tips concentrate on burning calories, but start your exercise program sensibly and build on your strength and speed. 

When you begin a cycling program, you should lose weight and combine it with better eating habits!

Cycling Can Reduce Your Cancer Risks

Cancer rates and heart problems are a big deal for current generations. Many people aren’t sticking to a healthy diet, increasing the risk of serious diseases or illnesses. 

If you enjoy bicycling, stick with it! Research proves that cycling boosts the immune system and improves blood circulation, and this can decrease your cancer risks.

Cycling benefits

OHN Promotes Cycling the Right Way for Men’s Health

Good bicycling form is an excellent exercise for your health and well-being!

While cycling can pose some risks to the perineum or cause genital numbness, we’ve shown you good techniques to adapt your cycling style and the kind of bike you ride. 

So you reap the health benefits while cutting back on the risks!

We Know the Risks of ED

Oakwood Health Network is run by a team of men’s health specialists. 

OHN is here to help you avoid erectile dysfunction. Click here to learn about the leading cause of ED.

We’re pleased to offer you a free consultation with a specialist if you have any concerns or issues with your sexual health. At OHN, we give you the world!

Downey, C. (no date) Is biking bad for the bedroom?, WebMD. WebMD. Available at: (Accessed: January 13, 2023).

Hitti, M. (2005) Studies link bike seats, erectile dysfunction, WebMD. WebMD. Available at: (Accessed: January 13, 2023).

Salamon, M. (2018) Cycling won’t sabotage a man’s sex life: Study, WebMD. WebMD. Available at: (Accessed: January 14, 2023).

Valeo, T. (2007) Biking and erectile dysfunction: A real risk?, WebMD. WebMD. Available at: (Accessed: January 13, 2023).

Williams, M. (2021) 14 benefits of cycling for men, Bicycle 2 Work. Bicycle 2 Work. Available at: (Accessed: January 15, 2023).