About seat height

I am looking for thoughts on seat height for my 2 unis. I own a KH24 and a 24" Semcycle XL.

For my KH24, I am working on trials but also want to use it for longer trail rides and have plenty of hills in SW PA. Lower seems better for trials, higher would be good for distance and higher seems better for climbing hills. I am starting to work on seat out hopping to allow a higher seat height and still get good hopping height.

On my Semcycle I am working on freestyle, speed and some road riding. A lot of the use seems to favor a higher seat height, except for the tricks involving seat in and out. I am also doing some sprinting and speed workouts around the perimeter of the gym and it seems a max leg extension might help with smoother pedaling as I near my fastest rpm.

I do not like to change seat heights, so I’m looking for one setting for each uni.

Is it best to try to keep both unis around the same seat height or should I set the seat specific to needs of each uni? From bicycling, I thought it was best to keep seat height changes to a minimum to prevent knee problems. Is that a concern for unis?


Re: About seat height

On Fri, 19 Dec 2003 21:27:05 -0600, billham
<billham@NoEmail.Message.Poster.at.Unicyclist.com> wrote:

>Is it best to try to keep both unis around the same seat height or
>should I set the seat specific to needs of each uni? From bicycling, I
>thought it was best to keep seat height changes to a minimum to prevent
>knee problems. Is that a concern for unis?

I see no reason why the two unis should have the same seat height. My
(4) unis serve different purposes and seat height between them varies
accordingly. I have no problem switching from one uni to the other,
the more so since I usually don’t do that rightaway.

For the KH, I think you’ll want to have the seat lowish because trials
seems to be your primary use. Climbing with a lowish seat requires
more leg power but is mostly a matter of training. For short stretches
you can stand on the pedals. Distance with a low seat - not ideal. If
you do a lot of distance and trials on the same uni, you might wonder
if another uni is in order. Or, as yet tweak the seat height for the

For the Sem, I’d say set the seat high and work on putting seat in and

Knee problems are a concern to quite a few unicyclists. I have no
personal experience, but I would think switching seat heights in
itself doesn’t cause or worsen problems. The height of the seat does.
Some knee sufferers have problems with a high seat, others with a low

That (I mean yours) was a very well worded post.

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

“Friends don’t let friends drop to flat - Kris Holm, discussing large drops to flat ground.”

Bike setup is much more fickle than uni set up. With the bike you not only have seat height but also the front-back setting, and then there’s the whole stem length and height issue. Once I get a bike dialed in I am loath to change it. For me, knee and allignment problems on a bike are associated with being clipped in, when I ride unclipped it is not an issue.

My experience is uni setup is not so fickle. I keep my freestyle fairly high, my Muni a tad lower and my Trials a bit lower still.

I tend to do most my riding with my arch over the pedal. For taking the seat out I shift my feet back so the balls of my feet are on the pedals to allow a bit more height.

I don’t think it matters as much on a unicycle either.

Long distance bike riders are very well adapted to one particular motion and suffer whenever changes are made. A typical bike ride can last for five or six hours. That’s 30,000 to 40,000 repetitions of the exact same motion! Chaning the seat or stem position by even a centimeter throws off the fine tuning and is likely to trigger a repetitive motion injury, so the rule of thumb for trained bike riders is to change things slowly and over a long time. Greg Lemond said that he spent a couple of months raising his seat position by 3 centimeters.

The only unicycle riders who even come close to this style of riding are the long distance Coker riders. In comparison, most unicycle rides last only a few minutes, are very dynamic, and use wide-ranging, whole-body motions.

It seems that having the seat high (long distance biker setup) is useful for long-duration efficiency, and low (BMX setup) whenever dynamic agility is important, regardless of how many wheels you are riding.

Thanks gentlemen. It’s so nice to have this forum to help with a few thoughts here and there. Ideally, I like to get this feedback in person, but alas, at present only the forum is here to help me.