The Bumpy Relationship Between Cycling and Our Gonads

And how best to ensure a smoother ride.

09 cycle vs balls

Sitting hunched-ver for hours on a razor-thin seat whilst navigating the lumps, bumps and jumps of the UK’s road system can play havoc with your nutsack. Everyone knows this. But there a few very simple things we can do to ensure a smoother ride…

Ill-Fitting Seats Can Cause Impotence!
Constant pressure on your pudendal nerve—the bit that carries sensation from head office to the depot—can lead to pain, discomfort or numbness. However, according to the brilliantly titled study “Great Balls of Fire and the Vicious Cycle: A Study of the Effects of Cycling on Male Fertility,” this can be easily avoided. “Accurate set-up of the bicycle with regard to saddle height in relation to handlebar height, and the use of a wider, more padded seat would seem to alleviate the symptoms in most cases,” writes study author Tom Southorn. Phew!

Saddle Sores Are a Thing, and They’re Not Pretty
“Saddle sores” refer to infected hair follicles, chafing and ulcerations caused by your bike seat. Here’s three ways to sidestep them…

  • Invest in Chamois Cream: It reduces friction between your skin and your cycling shorts.
  • Don’t Shave Your Pubes: Doing so can result in razor bumps, ingrown hairs and infected follicles — all of which will be made worse by constant friction.
  • Don’t Wear Underwear: Approve or not, bike shorts are designed to be worn kecks-free.

Remember to Keep Perspective
A recent study of more than 2,500 cyclists by the Journal of Urology argues that cycling doesn’t cause long-term damage to sexual or urinary functions and that high-intensity cyclists actually have fewer cases of erectile dysfunction than swimmers and runners. As study author Benjamin Breyer told The Guardian. “My sense is that, for many, the cardiovascular benefits of the exercise will actually support and potentially improve their performance, not hurt it.”