UIC Logo In a period where bike riding has become a style quotient for men, should its health implications be considered? Long term bikers experiencing sexual dysfunction was once the talk of the town. Is this a myth or reality is soon to be unleashed as scientists from the University of Illinois have studied this aspect closely.

How much pressure does a bike seat exert during a ride has been an unanswered question for quite some time now. Some previous studies calculated the force applied on the bike, but did not unfold the pressure on men’s anatomy.

Dr. Craig Niederberger, professor and head of urology at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine commented, “So far, we’re seeing a surprising amount of variation in how different seats affect different men, depending on their anatomy, their riding posture, and their riding habits. The question we would like to answer eventually is whether we can design a universal seat that is good for each and every man.”

This study has been specifically formulated to gauge the pressure exerted on the male anatomy. Subjects were told to ride the bike in the street while a specific instrument recorded the data in real time, as they experiment with 6 distinct seat designs.

The device can apparently calculate the pressure on the artery delivering blood to the penis. These sensors are thin and flexible as well as convenient to sport. A radiologist accessed ultrasound to measure how much pressure entirely impeded blood flow in every volunteer. This amount is apparently variable for each person.

With four sensors clinging to the skin above the blood vessels, the men were told to ride the bicycle for a span of 5 minutes on the 6 seats. Some of these seats were classic, while others had a modified shape and some arrived with padding to enhance the comfort level.

The investigators found that different seats influenced the participants differently based on their anatomy, riding posture and riding habits. However, the team ended on an interrogatory note, ‘Can we design a universal seat that is good for each and every man.’