Air saddles versus other saddles

I found this link about distance saddles to be informative. I just recently had my third air saddle flat in about six years on my Coker. One flat every two years is not so bad and it’s easy to replace the tube but I have read about other distance alternatives. Is the KH Fusion Freeride (without air conversion) considered better than the homemade air saddle for long distance by many riders? Are other distance riders using saddles that they consider to be superior to air saddles?

Use the search function.

Ohhh! Just got told.

After switching from an air saddle to a KH Fusion Freeride, I’m never going back. Although the air saddle did a fine job for 10-15 mile rides, it just doesn’t work for 40+ mile rides as you really can’t adjust your sitting position.

No matter where you sit, the air saddle conforms mostly to your body, activating the same pressure points. The Freeride allows you to sit in different places on the saddle to achieve different pressure points. This can provide much needed relief on those long days

While the Freeride is still far from the perfect unicycle saddle, it is the best I’ve tried so far (even in comparison to the Scott Wallis’s Road Relief saddle). It offers a good compromise in terms of firmness, width and contour… at least for my body.

Don’t use the search function. You have an excellent question.

I’ve been using my Wallis Road Relief saddle for a few years. It has an air bladder, but is really really firm; a little too firm for my taste. I don’t like the true air saddles; they are too gooshy and soft.

So I like the Road Relief saddle, but I think I like the Fusion Freeride on my muni better; I just haven’t ridden it for > 11 miles at a time.

Having said that, I think it is still a matter of personal preference.

But, the thing that has helped my saddle soreness more than anything else: the geared 36, in high gear. It lets you put more weight in your legs as you muscle the uni around, and takes pressure off your crotch. It makes road riding much more bearable, especially for long distances. And, I rode some long distances on it not too long ago :slight_smile:


Thanks for the replies. This is the kind of info I’m looking for.

Thanks. Those were two excellent links that I didn’t find.

Everyone has excellent questions. I never use the search “feature” before starting a new thread/asking a question, because all my questions are excellent too.

(not kidding)

The Fusion Freeride is pretty comfortable, as unicycle saddles go. Certainly in the same realm as a good air saddle. Considering how much less of a problem it is to deal with, I wouldn’t install a new air saddle at this point.

I just recently switched from an air saddle to a non-air Wallis saddle. I had gotten pretty used to my old air saddle and thought there might be some switching challenges, but I’m definitely preferring the non-air for some of the reasons Maestro8 highlights…easier to shift around your sitting position. Plus I’ve saved major poundage versus my old one with the GB stiffener plate.

With JC’s help–alright, maybe he just did all the work–I also used a KH Freeride cover and foam on top of a Gemcrest CF base to make a new saddle for my GB4 29. We had to do a bit of foam manipulation to try to get a relatively flat saddle on the curvy miyata-style base. But it came out great, and I’ve done comparisons to my muni air saddle, and much prefer the non-air.

Don’t think I’m switching back, but if you’re lacking a saddle right now, you can definitely borrow one of the two that I have for as long as you’d like. I’ not riding muni right now, and my air coker saddle is now sitting idle. LMK also if you want to try one of the non-air. I think the seatpost on the 29er will go up far enough for you.

Simple is best. Don’t need to over-think it. Like Jimmy Cagney used to say: “Know your lines, stand on your mark and say it like you mean it. No strain”. In other words, just do it. Fusion freeride is currently best imo, mostly due to the channel in the center and the flatter profile. The seat base is identical to the older, banana curved, thicker freeride saddle. only the foam is different.

Just how heavy is this stiffener plate? I just bought a Miyata air saddle with reeder handle and stiffener plate in hopes that the set-up would be a bit lighter than the t7 with rails and Freeride set-up.

Thanks for all of the informative replies. As I said, repairing an air saddle leak is no big deal so I already did that part. Just buy a new tube, take the saddle apart, stuff in the new goods, and wrestle that noodle for an hour trying to re-assemble it so it’s moderately straight and comfy. I had to do that because I may ride Saturday and I know I’m riding Sunday.

For the $54 I think I’ll try one of the KH Fusion Freeride saddles. It seems like a cheap upgrade for what may yield great rewards in terms of comfort. Almost all of my riding these days is on the big boy and, if my knees are going to hurt anyway, something else may as well be pampered and spared.

I don’t know the condition of your knees, or what size crank you are currently using but switching to a shorter crank length may be easier on your knees as you will be taking smaller pedal strokes. It’s obviously going to require more force on your knees while stopping but a brake would certainly alleviate that.

The condition of my knees is that they are approaching 56 years of operation with close to 4 decades of basketball on them. Shorter cranks mean less stroke but also less torque which means more required leg force. I have long legs and have always used 150mm cranks on the Coker. Reps hurt my knees as much as climbs and descents. Walking is more difficult than riding because of the impact. They sound like a package of ladyfingers on Independence Day when I stand up. I’m thinking about machining a new pair.

Might we be seeing a geared Harper knee in the not too distance future? A Gknee if you will?

I had a super modded KH air seat

I held the tubes in the perfect position, while my friend duck taped them just so.

Then I held a foam pad over that, while my friend duck taped it just so.

You don’t have enough hands to do this yourself IMHO.:wink:

Then putting the draw string seat cover back on is a piece of cake of course.:slight_smile:

After a year and maybe 1000 miles, it got all misshapen, and I swapped it out for a KH free ride.

The foam I had taped over the tubes got all compressed to crap.

I will rebuild it, despite liking the KH free ride.

With newish closed cell foam, over the taped air seat, it is nice. Nothing in seats is perfect, but I will rebuild my old air seat. It’s a fussy thing that isn’t bolt on great like a free ride, but it is the best I have ridden so far. :slight_smile:

I switched from 150mm to 140mm on my big one and, though it could be psychological, it made a difference for my old knees (note that those cranks have also absolutely no Q-factor). I have short muscular legs (but cannot freemount with 125mm)

I have really enjoyed this thread. I have run into the same “shifting problem” with my air saddle. Given I have never ridden with another unicyclist, the only 36 I have seen is mine so here is another question… Can the free ride saddle be swapped out? I have a t7 on my nimbus, do I need another seat post/ different setup? Can I still use the t7? Thanks

If nothing else this would be worth pursuing for comic relief alone. The image of a foot taking two steps for each stroke of the thigh might be more entertaining than watching a unicyclist.

I have one of the “dog bone” socks. It’s supposed to do the tube holding. It’s not quite perfect and the two-man duct tape technique sounds like a good one. It would be hard to find one of the SARs boys with enough grit to hold onto parts that I had sat for for years, though.

I think that short legs means using short cranks is more desirable. There is less exaggeration in the bend of the knee that way. For my long legs, running 150mm cranks at moderate speed doesn’t make me look like a barely controlled machine from Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. A short legged guy is going to really be pumping those 150’s.