Noseless Seats: Tour de France Riders Might Not Like Them, But You Should

“If an erection lasts more than four hours, call a doctor immediately,” said the announcer on TV, giving some of the warnings about the unintended effects of Viagra.

I think hearing this, and other things like it, over and over, day after day, has affected the American psyche. Speaking in a matter-of-fact way in public about our privates has now entered the mainstream of our culture.

Last week, for example, world-class cyclists headed off from the U.S. to start the annual Tour de France. The men—they are all men—sit on their bicycles leaning forward and, according to The New York Times, they seem unaware of the dangers involved in sitting on them. They pedal and pedal and pedal. And soon the part of the body that sits upon these seats—the seats are not much different from the bicycle seats you and I buy—become numb.

There have been studies done. A great proportion of the men report numbness. But do they care? No. It’s all about winning. What do they care? [expand]

Well, the article in question appeared in the Times, a publication, which used to be referred to as the Old Gray Lady, and according to its author, John Tierney, they should care. After they go to sleep at night men who get this numbness also have fewer erections than those who do not get the numbness. I sat up straight when I read this.

Tierney interviewed some of the men who made the studies that prove this.

“That part of the body was never meant to bear pressure,” Dr. Steven Schrader told Tierney, referring to what is called the perineum, the place between this and that. I imagine Tierney was taking notes furiously. “Within a few minutes the blood oxygen levels go way down.”

Dr. Schrader is a reproductive scientist at NIOSH, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

Of course it is not scientific to just ask cyclists if they feel the numbness and have them say yes or no. Dr. Schrader needed statistical accuracy. And so, obtaining funds for the work, he went about building contraptions to be able to measure the numbness and the shorter erection times.

Dr. Schrader uses two devices to get the facts. The first is a Bio-Thesiometer.

“The volunteers (go bike riding and immediately afterwards) set their penis into a trough, and the trough slowly starts to vibrate,” he said. As time goes by, the vibration gets stronger and stronger. “The volunteers push the button when they can feel the vibration.”

By correlating the button push with the level of vibration, Schrader could prove that just over 75% of the men experienced numbness after bike riding. He had another device. It’s called a Rigiscan. The Rigiscan is a machine that the volunteers wear at night that grabs the penis every 15 seconds to see if it is erect. Most of the time it is not. Some of the time it is.

I cannot imagine what Dr. Schrader pays these men, if anything. It sounds awful. But then it’s all being reported in The New York Times.

Of course, there’s no sense measuring numbness and erectness if you do not have something to compare it to. Turns out, Dr. Schrader had a new-fangled thing called a “noseless bicycle seat.” The noseless seat not only doesn’t have a nose in the front, which does away with any weight bearing of one particular part of the body, it also has two elevated areas on each side of the middle that take the weight off the “soft tissue” on the male bottom and puts it on the pelvic bones, which now rest on the elevated areas.

Dr. Schrader even measured weight in his calculations.

“When you sit on a regular bicycle seat,” Dr. Schrader said referring to a scale device he’s built, “between 25 and 40% of your weight sets down on the seat.”

Dr. Schrader had men, the same men, now ride the bicycles with the noseless bicycle seat. They pedaled and pedaled and pedaled. And guess what? They had less numbness and they had more time erect at night. The total of 75% numbness dropped to 25%. And the amount of time erect during the night afterwards went from 18% of the time to 28% of the time. This is a very great increase. This is progress. Every man should use a noseless bicycle seat. It’s a no-brainer.

Who is paying for this sort of study? The taxpayers? A urologist research foundation? Do they have a fundraiser in the Hamptons for this? Maybe the manufacturer of the noseless bicycle seat has made a donation. That could make sense.

Dr. Schrader has a study out. It’s called Cutting off the Nose to Save the Penis. I’m not making this up. You can see it now, going viral, climbing up The New York Times Best Seller Lists—the “How To” List.

Now here’s another interesting thing about this. It’s not just a man problem. Two urogynecologists at Yale, Dr. Marsha Guess and Kathleen Connell, conducted similar studies with women, with the results that 60% of the women suffered numbness.

It’s not quite at the level of the men, but then of course women’s anatomy is different than men’s. Right?

(I have a friend who went to Catholic school, and she can sing a little song she learned in third grade. Part of the lyric goes “boys are fancy on the outside, girls are fancy on the inside.”)

I don’t know what the world is coming to. But if you’re in favor of less numbness and longer erections—and who isn’t—it makes sense to run right out—just leave your bike with the nosy seat in your garage—and buy one of the fancy new models with the seat without a nose.

You’ll be glad you did. [/expand]

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