Cycling Does Not Weaken Bones

One widely reported study showed that bicycle riders have bones that are less dense than people who don't exercise at all. A science writer for a major newspaper made the ridiculous recommendation that bicycle riders should therefore lift weights to strengthen their bones, or change sports. Bone density tests do not necessarily measure bone strength. Birds have unbelievably thin bones that are extremely strong, and are far more resistant to fractures than many mammals that have much denser bones.

There is no evidence that bicycle riders or racers are at increased risk for bone fractures. Racers crash all the time. Lance Armstrong spends as much time on a bike as anyone, and he has had several high impact crashes. If he had weak bones, he would be in a wheelchair, and not be the greatest bicycle racer in the world.

February 1, 2006

Checked 9/28/08

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