How To Keep Cycling After Iliac Artery Endofibrosis And Other Bike Seat Issues

It’s no secret that a traditional bike seat can cause a lot of pain. From simple discomfort while riding to serious arterial conditions, bike seats present risks for riders of all levels. One particular condition came back into the headlines when a champion cyclist had to undergo surgery.

Marianne Vos is one of the most accomplished cyclists to ever compete. Marianne won two stages of the 2022 Tour de France Femmes. She earned a gold medal at the 2012 Olympics in London and has won multiple World Road and Cyclo-cross Championships. In January of 2020, Marianne had to temporarily step away from competition after being diagnosed with Iliac Artery Endofibrosis, a condition that can strike both professional and recreational cyclists.

Marianne had surgery that same month and began training on an ElliptiGO bike just two weeks later. She shared photos and videos on her Instagram, noting that she felt “one with her ElliptiGO” bike and that she was “happy to do a bit of alternative ‘training’ during the recovery process.”


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Marianne isn’t the first rider to turn to ElliptiGO bikes after receiving this type of diagnosis. With no bike seat and an ergonomic, stand up riding position, ElliptiGO bikes are an amazing option for those suffering from Iliac Artery Endofibrosis or any other bike seat-related injuries. We talked to members of our community to learn more about this unique way to rediscover cycling after suffering from pain or injury from a bike seat.

Meet Dr. David A. Nachamie, M.D.
Dr. Nachamie is an avid ElliptiGO rider and a retired urologist. He first discovered ElliptiGO while flipping through the pages of Runners World magazine and bought his first bike in 2013. He isn’t surprised that folks dealing with these issues are finding relief in ElliptiGO bikes.

“During my 37 years in the private practice of Urology, I was well aware of problems caused by bicycle seats and treated many patients for the same,” he told us. “Even the improved seats that put less pressure on the perineal nerves and vessels do not solve the problem. The pressure on the perineum from the bike seat can damage circulation and cause numbness. This can result in urinary and sexual dysfunction in both men and women and prostate problems in men.”

Dr. Nachamie shared that he often recommended that cyclists with these issues stop riding their traditional bike until their symptoms subsided. In the past, he would suggest they try different seats or padded shorts, but he said ElliptiGO bikes are the best solution.

“[The ElliptiGO bike] eliminates the cause of the problem: the bike seat. Also, you don’t have the Iliac artery injuries since there is no bending from the hip.”

Meet Judy Dixon
Judy is an avid cyclist. She and her husband Juan have enjoyed both single and tandem bicycling together for the last 25 years! While Judy has such a deep love for the sport, she couldn’t deny that an issue was creeping up. 

“At first, it was just tired legs all the time. I thought I had a knee issue and went to a sports doctor here in Charlottesville. She did a CAT scan and told me she didn’t see anything, even said she couldn’t find any arthritis,” Judy told us. “When this problem started, my ability to power through and recover from the hardest efforts was compromised to the point where sometimes I would have to just get off the bike and rest in order to continue.”

Early last year, she hit a breaking point after participating in a virtual Zwift race on her bike trainer. 

“It was like the artery just shut down overnight,” she described. “ Juan spent some time one night after I complained about struggling to just feed the dogs because my legs were just so tired and dead. He found a few articles about other athletes that experienced the same pain and loss in power that I was describing to him.”

She continued, “By then, I was also experiencing the numb feet, pain in the buttocks, and tourniquet around my leg feeling that other athletes described who had external iliac artery endofibrosis. He sent the articles to me and I remember reading them and just thinking, ‘This is what I have been dealing with for all these years and didn’t know it!’”

Judy would discover that the artery in her right leg was completely closed and she would need to have surgery.

“I knew that after surgery I would need to recover without being in the bent-over position a bike puts you in. I also knew that other athletes had gone through this same thing, so I started googling my disease and recovery. I came across an article about a young pro mountain bike cyclist who was recovering from surgery using an ElliptiGO bike.”

Judy was able to take a test ride and loved the experience. She bought an ElliptiGO bike right away, and was able to stay fit and keep moving during the five months before her surgery. She continued to ride during her recovery and still utilizes ElliptiGO bikes as a part of her training to prevent injury, splitting time equally between her 11R and a traditional bike.

“I love riding my ElliptiGO bike. It is so nice being able to switch between a traditional bike, an ElliptiGO bike, and running. I actually believe that the workout of standing on the ElliptiGO has improved my standing strength on the bike.”

Beyond Iliac Artery Endofibrosis
Curious about other bike-seat-related conditions that can be curbed ElliptiGO bikes? 

Some of the most common injuries, as Dr. Nachamie mentioned, occur in the groin and perineal area. This can greatly impact your sexual health. It’s time to have the talk about the birds, the bees, and the bikes!

A couple years ago, we sat down with world-renowned sexual medicine expert Dr. Irwin Goldstein to learn more about why ElliptiGO bikes are the best way to ride outside without jeopardizing your sexual health. 

Watch the interview here: ElliptiGO Bikes And Sexual Health? A Match Made In Heaven!

Curious about ElliptiGO bikes and how they could help you as you navigate issues and injuries caused by bike seats? Here are a few ways to learn more:

Discover all of our bikes online and engage with our amazing customer service team to see which is right for you!

One Response

  1. David A Nachamie M.D. says:

    Thank you for mentioning me in your article about bike seat injuries Yes Dr. Goldstein was the Urologist i was trying to remember who did the research on bike seat problems. Dont forget that the Elliptigo is a runners best friend .

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