Cycling Health and Safety

At Cruzbike, we are all about cycling more and enjoying it. Maximizing health and safety on the road is key to achieving that. Here we present some of the data that support not only the health benefits of riding a recumbent bike, but also the significant safety advantages of Cruzbikes over traditional road bikes when sharing the road with motorists.

If your cycling has been limited by saddle, back, neck or wrist numbness, pain or injury, you are not alone.

85% of recreational cyclists report pain in their wrists, back, neck and/or groin after a ride.
(Source: International Journal of Sports Medicine)

Liberating comfort and healthy cycling

Load your panniers, not your neck

"You don't need an injury or an excuse to ride one of these bikes. All you need is a passion for the open road."

Long time cyclists will all tell you that there is one truth: If you ride bikes, you will fall off. It is just something we accept. Heck, most of us have been falling off from the time we learned to ride. I certainly excelled at it as a child. Nevertheless, for 27 years I road without crashing, and in-spite of that I did wear the helmet for the last 12 religiously.

All good things end; when it was my turn to crash I did it subtly and quickly. I was on a solo ride on a summer day. I crested a small hill, and was accelerating back down it. That is when the forks on my road bike simply failed.

The crash was over in a second, and so were my traditional road biking days. In the end, my neck had two fractures at the base of my skull. 

Months of research introduced me to the recumbent scene and it slowly became apparent there might be a way to ride with a pre-injury level of risk and no pain.

Today I ride the Cruzbike V20, Silvio and Q. The bikes are fast, fun and fabulously comfortable. Most importantly they allow me to continue to do something that I have enjoyed all my life; riding free, under my own power, and on my own terms.

I am firm and fast in my belief that everything happens for a reason. If you told me today that I could go back to my traditional road bike, I would smile and politely ask, "Why would I want to do that? I am enjoying this far more."

I think this is going to be fun for years to come and and thankfully I'm far from done with this adventure. You don't need an Injury or an excuse to ride one of these bikes; all you need is a passion for the open road. Come ride with me and see.

- Bob Pankratz

The saddle problem

Physician and Cruzbike founder Dr. Jim Parker answers the most common health questions he fields from cyclists riding traditional road bikes.

“My saddle is uncomfortable at first, but then I go numb and it doesn’t bother me. Anything wrong with that?”

The answer is, yes, something is terribly wrong. Numbness is your body’s way of telling you its nerves are compressed and at risk of cell death. According to numerous peer-reviewed medical articles there is a real risk of serious injuries to the perineum in cyclists who ride more than a few hours a week. The perineum is made of "soft tissues" such as blood vessels, nerves, fat, and muscles and is not well-suited to weight-bearing.

"Is Erectile Dysfunction a real risk for cyclists?"

Another yes, here, unfortunately. An analysis of 21 published reports on cycling and ED concluded that more than 3 hours of bicycling per week was an independent relative risk (RR) factor of 1.72 for moderate to severe ED. Researchers in Germany found 19% of cyclists who had a weekly training distance of more than 400 km (248 miles) complained of erectile dysfunction. Another study found a 4.2% rate of ED one week after completing a single cycling event of at least 320 km (198 miles) in men who were free of ED prior to the event.

If you are experiencing any pain or numbness in the saddle you may be increasing your risk for ED.

"Do saddles with cut outs solve the problem?"

No. They do not. The problem is not directly caused by the shape of the saddle. The real culprit is the bicycle’s design that places body-weight directly over the perineum. This is why bicycle saddles with cutouts do not eliminate the problem. Researchers found that, in fact, some of the cutout designs may actually cause the oxygen level in the genitals to drop even faster because the arteries and nerves run horizontally through the perineum and are subjected to greater pressure where they cross the cutout edges.

If you must ride a traditional bike with a saddle, only use the saddle intermittently and briefly. Unfortunately, this technique is difficult to maintain and transfers the body weight elsewhere, often leading to stress injuries in other areas such as the wrists, neck, shoulders or back.

The solution

Ditch the saddle. At worst, the bicycle saddle can cause serious injury and at best, it's not very comfortable. Neither of those options worked for us. So we've ditched the saddle but kept the best of performance road bike technology.

Designed for safety on the road

Cruzbike's design not only protects the neck, back, wrists and saddle from the common musculoskeletal issues associated with riding a traditional road bike, but also keeps cyclists safe on the road.

Ride safely and comfortably at eye level with drivers

No more neck fatigue

If you’ve spent any time training on a traditional road bike, you know what it's like to stare at the pavement next to your front tire. That's because no one can maintain full neck extension indefinitely. Many accidents on traditional bikes are caused by this neck fatigue, which leads to dropping the head and temporary loss of view of road hazards and traffic. One tragic example of the dangers of neck fatigue on road bikes, was the loss of 16 year-old champion cyclist Grant Davis, who died of a massive head injury despite wearing a helmet when he rode head down into a trailer parked on the side of the road. The Cruzbike allows cyclists to maintain an excellent view of traffic and road hazards without neck fatigue

Safe riding position

"I have been riding the Cruzbike Vendetta for five years and it improves my life with excellent mechanics, fun and physical fitness every day. One month ago, it also saved my life with its unique design.

I was cycling 12 miles from home in farm country. I was going 18 miles an hour on a two-lane highway. A car passing me at highway speed, failed to yield and move over. Its mirror struck my left hand fracturing it and sending me off the road into the grass. The impact was so intense, it smashed the car's passenger side mirror off the car into fragments on the road. Due to the outstanding design of the bike, it pushed me safely off the road into a field. On a traditional road bike, I would have gone flying over the handlebars and damaged my head, shoulders and spine. In my case, only my left hand was fractured. My body and my Cruzbike were intact and in working condition. Thanks to Cruzbike for making this fun, efficient, and outstanding travel fitness machine."

- Dr. Craig M. Wax


An epidemiological analysis of overuse injuries among recreational cyclists. Int J Sports Med. 1995; 16:201-206. Wilber CA, Holland CJ, Madison RE, Loy SF.

Impotence and genital numbness in cyclists. Int J Sports Med. 2001; 22(6):410-3(ISSN: 0172-4622); Sommer F; König D; Graft C; Schwarzer U; Bertram C; Klotz T; Engelmann U; Department of Urology, University Medical Center of Cologne, Germany.

Nocturnal Penile Tumescence and Rigidity Testing in Bicycling Patrol Officers; Journal of Andrology, Vol. 23, No. 6, November/December 2002 SCHRADER SM, BREITENSTEIN MJ, CLARK JC, LOWE BD, TURNER TW; From the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Cincinnati.

Erectile dysfunction after a long-distance cycling event: associations with bi-cycle characteristics. J Urol. 2004; 172(2):637- 41 (ISSN: 0022-5347; Dettori JR; Koepsell TD; Cummings P; Corman JM; Department of Epi- demiology, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Washington and Department of Urology, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, USA.


“Serious Riders, Your Bicycle Seat May Affect Your Love Life”. The New York Times, October 4, 2005. Sandra Blakeslee.

Genital Sensation and Sexual Function in Women Bicyclists and Runners: Are Your Feet Safer than Your Seat? Marsha K. Guess MD, Kathleen Connell MD, Steven Schrader PhD, Susan Reutman PhD, Andrea Wang MD, Julie LaCombe MD, Christine Toennis PhD, Brian Lowe PhD, Arnold Melman MD, Magdy Mikhail MD (2006) The Journal of Sexual Medicine 3 (6), 1018–1027.

The vicious cycling: bicycling related urogenital disorders. Eur Urol. 2005; 47(3):277-86; discussion 286-7(ISSN: 0302-2838) Leibovitch I ;Mor Y; Department of Urology, Meir Medical Center, Affiliated to Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, 59 Tchernichovski st., Kfar

A humorous take on the saddle problem.

From the cruzbike video archives