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Long suspected by the 5 million recreational bike riders and sexual medicine experts, bicycle seat design—shorter noseless seats versus the standard protruding nose extended seat—can directly affect a man’s sexual function, based on the nation’s first prospective study of healthy policemen riding bikes on the job. The study is published in the current issue of the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

Dr. Irwin Goldstein, director of the Sexual Medicine Program at Alvarado Hospital and editor-in-chief of the journal wrote an accompanying editorial “The A, B, C’s of Awareness, Bicycle Seats and Choices.”

“For the first time, we have a prospective study of healthy policemen riding bikes on the job, using wider, no-nose bike saddles for six months. Not only did their sensation improve, their erectile function also improved. Changing saddles changed physiology. This is a landmark study for our field that that is important for future riders, and modification of lifestyle showing improvement without any active treatment,” he said.

Ninety bicycling police officers from five metropolitan regions in the United States (Northwest, Southern, Desert West, Midwest, and Southeast) using traditional saddles were evaluated prior to changing saddles and then again after six months of using the noseless bicycle saddle.

The findings show that use of the noseless saddle resulted in a reduction in saddle contact pressure in the perineal region. There was a significant improvement in penile tactile sensation, and the number of men indicating they had not experienced genital numbness while cycling for the preceding six months rose from 27% to 82% using no-nose saddles.

Use of the noseless saddle also resulted in significant increases in erectile function as assessed by the initial evaluation, but there were no significant changes noted in Rigiscan® measures, a method used to record penile rigidity while the subject sleeps. With few exceptions, bicycle police officers were able to effectively use no-nose saddles in their police work and 97% of officers completing the study continued to use the no-nose saddle afterward.