Here’s How to Ride a Bike Without Crushing Your Dick

Researchers suggest penis-havers stand up on their pedals every 10 minutes while riding a bike to reduce negative effects on your precious reproductive bits

Mature cyclist riding bicycle on coastal path, Kent, United Kingdom
Excellent dick-saving form here.
Compassionate Eye Foundation/David Oxberry

Despite being at this advanced stage of my career as both a person who writes about sex for the internet and one who has most of that sex with men, I still have a few questions about penises. Most of them just have to do with the day-to-day logistics (and, I would imagine, challenges) of having your junk just hanging out all the time (as opposed to people with vulvas, whose reproductive organs are neatly tucked away in a much more civilized manner). For example, I’ve sometimes wondered how you penis-havers ride a bicycle without crushing your genitals. As it turns out, I guess you kind of don’t. A scientific review published in the journal Sports Medicine found that men are pretty much just out here crushing their junk on bike seats, and spoiler alert, it’s not great from a health perspective.

According to the research, which compiled and reviewed 22 recent studies on pain and injury caused by bicycle seats, too much time sitting on a bike seat can harm your reproductive organs, leading to erectile dysfunction and nerve damage. Fortunately, there are ways to reap the physical (and often economic and eco-friendly) rewards of cycling without sacrificing your reproductive capabilities.

The researchers analyzed a number of potential strategies to help combat the adverse effects of bike riding on the genitals, evaluating factors such as seat cushioning, bike shorts and handlebars. Ultimately, researchers landed on two primary strategies that could prove most effective. The first is riding a bike with a “no-nose saddle,” a bike seat that doesn’t include the narrow portion at the top. Per the review, one study of bike-riding police found that the number of those who said post-bike ride numbness was not an issue rose from 27% to 82% after switching to a no-nose seat, while experiences of erectile dysfunction declined as well.

But riding with a no-nose seat can be tricky to master. If you’d rather keep your nose but still don’t want to sacrifice your dick, researchers suggest penis-having bike readers stand on their pedals every ten minutes during a bike ride to alleviate the pressure on the genitals and hopefully prevent long-term damage. “Current evidence supports the use of no-nose saddles as a means to reduce the negative impact of cycling on penile oxygen pressure. Standing on the pedals every ten minutes might be an effective and potentially widely applicable strategy,” the report concluded.

So if you’re an avid bike-rider in possession of a penis who would like for it to continue working properly, remember to stand up every now and then and give your balls a break.

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