Urban Velo

LA Times reports on Bone Loss Risk for Cyclists

broken-hip Concerns about bone density amongst cyclists comes up now and again, but as compared to supposed sexual disfunction in cyclists gets little attention. Seems like it may be traced to a combination of factors – slight body builds, the low-impact nature of cycling and even potential hormonal effects of long term training and fitness.

As reported by the LA Times:

A recent study in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that competitive male road cyclists had significantly lower bone mineral density in their spines than a control group of men who were moderately physically active while doing other recreational activities. They were also more likely to have osteopenia and osteoporosis than those in the control group, despite the fact that the cyclists had a greater calcium intake.

Another study, published in the journal Bone in 2002, found that male road cyclists had lower bone mineral density than male mountain bikers after adjusting for body weight and controlling for age. The difference there could be that mountain biking, with its bumps and jumps, perhaps provides more impact and stimulation for bone growth than does road cycling.

Read the entire story here.


  1. Little Tiny FishFebruary 20, 2009 at 11:16 am

    Get a dog and walk it twice a day. Walking is great for bone density and adopting an dog in need is great for that dog.

    Of course then there’s the temptation to bike while the dog runs…

  2. MikaelFebruary 20, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    Fortunately the vast majority of cyclists in the world don’t ride racing bikes with razor thin saddles so this can hardly be worrisome for the masses.

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  4. JosephDecember 3, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    Cross train with a jump rope. That’s solid for bone density.


  5. JohnDecember 7, 2009 at 5:10 pm

    You’ve got to put stress on your skeletal structure with weight bearing exercise. I do strength training 2x per week….Leg presses, chins, dips, lumbar extension, and 4-way neck. Takes about 20 minutes and works everything..or at least feels like it does.

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