Long distance bicycle riding causes prostate-specific antigen to increase in men aged 50 years and over

PLoS One. 2013;8(2):e56030. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0056030. Epub 2013 Feb 13.


Objectives: To investigate whether bicycle riding alters total prostate-specific antigen (tPSA) serum concentrations in healthy older men.

Methods: 129 male participants, ranging in age from 50 to 71 years (mean 55 years), rode in a recreational group bicycle ride of between 55 and 160 kilometers. Blood samples for tPSA analysis were drawn within 60 minutes before starting, and within 5 minutes after completing the ride. The pre-cycling and post-cycling tPSA values were log transformed for normality and compared using paired t-tests. Linear regression was used to assess the relationship between changes in tPSA with age and distance cycled.

Results: Bicycle riding caused tPSA to increase by an average of 9.5% (95% CI = 6.1-12.9; p<0.001) or 0.23 ng/ml. The number of participants with an elevated tPSA (using the standard PSA normal range cut-off of 4.0 ng/ml) increased from two pre-cycle to six post-cycle (or from five to eight when using age-based normal ranges). Univariate linear regression analysis revealed that the change in tPSA was positively correlated with age and the distance cycled.

Conclusions: Cycling causes an average 9.5% increase in tPSA, in healthy male cyclists ≥50 years old, when measured within 5 minutes post cycling. We considered the increase clinically significant as the number of participants with an elevated PSA, according to established cut-offs, increased post-ride. Based on the research published to date, the authors suggest a 24-48 hour period of abstinence from cycling and ejaculation before a PSA test, to avoid spurious results.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Bicycling*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / blood*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / blood
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Reference Values


  • Prostate-Specific Antigen

Grants and funding

The Victorian Institue of Sport (www.vis.org.au) funded the blood analysis. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.