General Practice

ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.310.6995.1643 (Published 24 June 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:1643

THE SADDLE OF THE LADY'S BICYCLE.

That bicycling undertaken in moderation is conducive to health and vigour in women is now undisputed. The French physicians have pronounced decidedly in its favour, and M. Lucas-Championniere is a warm advocate of women bicycling. The fatigue in moderate bicycling is slight, the muscles are exercised, and the lungs are well inflated. The charm of the “wheel” is moreover so great that it induces women, who would otherwise be indolent, to take healthful exercise and long runs into the country. There is, however, still one desideratum in order to make bicycling quite safe for women, and that is a satisfactory saddle adapted to the anatomical necessities of the case. In bicycling the body is often tilted forwards, and in the pressure brought to bear on the treadles and steering rod, the weight of the trunk is thrown on to the peak of the saddle, which thus gives direct support to the lower rim of the pelvis. The position is an unnatural one, and may, combined with the incessant movement of the legs, cause irritation and discomfort, if not more serious mischief. The correct saddle has yet to be devised for women bicyclists, and it would be well for bicycle manufacturers to give their attention to this detail. (BMJ 1895;ii:551.)

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