Bicycles aren't just for kids anymore. As consumers look for ways to cut costs and reduce their carbon footprints, they're hitting the open road on their bikes and leaving their gas-guzzling cars in the driveway. A quick commute on a bike can cost a rider nothing at all, and the buzz from the workout could help that commuter focus at work and perhaps handle day-to-day stresses just a little bit better. It all sounds ideal, but men who ride their bikes for more than three hours per week, researchers say, could be setting themselves up for long-term penis problems, including erectile dysfunction. By using proper penis care, and perhaps investing in a proper bike seat, men could keep their bike rides without sacrificing their bedroom performance.

Bike Seat Mechanics

A standard bike requires a rider to place all of his weight on a tiny area of the body that contains nerves and blood vessels that supply the penis. This particular spot on the human body was never designed to support any weight at all, but a bike places the entire load of the body on this one, tiny spot. After about 30 minutes of riding on a bike, the blood flow to the penis could be completely cut off. When a man hops off that bike, the blood can flow into the area once more, but the damage might already be done. Areas that aren't fed by blood tend to clog up with cholesterol, and these blockages can impede blood from flowing freely to that area in the future.

Without prompt, free blood flow, an erection can be difficult to achieve and/or maintain. Studies of the problem have brought back sobering results. For example, one study conducted for the Journal of Sexual Medicine found erectile dysfunction in about 4 percent of people who rode bicycles, compared to only about 1 percent of runners. That's a staggering difference, and it could lead some men to rethink the way they use their bikes.

A New Way to Ride

Recumbent bikes could provide men with an alternate ride that doesn't damage the penis. Here, a rider rests directly on the large gluteus muscles and no pressure is placed on delicate nerves and blood vessels. The workout can be slightly hard to get used to, as bikes like this require riders to use different muscle groups for movement and steering, but some men find that these bikes solve the pressure problem without impeding their exercise routine.

Men who want to remain upright may choose to modify their bikes by investing in new seats. So-called "noseless saddles" force a rider's weight back onto the seat, once again removing pressure from delicate nerve endings and blood vessels. The seats are relatively easy to find on the Internet, and while many riders report that they take a few weeks to adjust to, those who have made the switch often report a comfortable ride.

Changing Habits

Small adjustments in a bike's setup, and a rider's habits, could also be protective. For example, men can:
          • Wear padded biking shorts
          • Move handlebars up, so riders are sitting relatively upright instead of hunched forward
          • Take breaks during long rides
          • Ensure that the seat isn't tilted up

At the end of a long bike ride, men may also be able to restore blood flow to the penis by using a penis health crème (most medical professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil). The vitamins, amino acids, antioxidants and nutrients in a crème can help to increase capillary action and allow blood to flow back into starved tissues. In time, with the proper bike modifications and use of a good health crème, men can restore what was lost without leaving the cycling lifestyle behind them.