Hey everybody… When I fitted my newly purchased Zero I experimented with riding with a longer reach on the t-bar which I found very comfortable for riding long distance.
I would have liked to extend the t-bar forward even more but felt myself tilting forward too much. The answer I think is to set the saddle further back so that my centre of balance is in line with where the tyre makes contact with the road whilst riding with a more horizontal torso.
I’ve just finished constructing a set up which enables me to sit further back and reach forward more. I’m aiming for a ‘Tour De France’ type posture which is more aerodynamic and affords better three point weight distribution over the wheel.
The ‘Longrider’ is made up of an oak bar with a pine saddle and a unicycle touring bar fixed onto the oak bar. I cut out a curved inset so that the seat post bracket sits snugly with no movement and then secured it with four screws fixing the bracket to the oak bar.
This is just a prototype and I haven’t even tried it out yet but I thought I’d just put it on the forum and see what you guy’s & gals think.
I might give it a test run tomorrow and see how it goes.
Hello Muni 123, I was considering putting a bike saddle on but decided on making this saddle.
I used the saddle on my Specialised Tarmac Pro (the most comfortable bike saddle I’ve ever rode on) and made a template. While cutting the saddle I accidently cut the rear of the saddle a slight bit too narrow.
Interestingly my Tarmac saddle is very hard but I’ve cycled many long journeys with no saddle soreness.
The correct set up contributes greatly to overall comfort so I’ll be experimenting with saddle and handlebar location if needs be and I’ll be wearing my cycle pants. Spreading my weight over three point will mean putting less pressure on the saddle.
Having said all that I reckon that when I’m happy with the set up I’ll put covering on the saddle with a groove running down the centre.
This is just a prototype I put together today so after I give it a test ride I’ll probably cushion the seat.
You do realise that there is an extra degree of freedom when fitting to a unicycle, which means that tilting the saddle has the same effect as moving it backwards or forwards? Hence you could achieve the same effect by using a saddle mounted to the top of a standard seatpost but tilted forwards. Clearly you’d need to use a longer extension on your T-bar as well, though I’d have thought just extending that might be easier.
Hello Aracer, the problem for me is that when I extend the t-bar too far forward I feel that I’m going to fall forward over the wheel. Tilting the saddle backwards may help redress this but tilting it too far back would result in discomfort with all my weight resting on the saddle. I want to spread my weight out more and I want a more aerodynamic posture with a lower centre of gravity which I think should give me increased stability so that riding long distance is more comfortable.
I’m gonna test ride the long rider now. When I get back I’ll let you know how I got on:)
You’re missing the point. I’m suggesting tilting the saddle (and T-bar) down, not up and then rotating the whole uni backwards around the axle (as you can do with a uni). This would achieve exactly the same saddle and bar positions as you have in your setup. I posted some pics here to help explain this a while ago, I’ll see if I can find them…
Hello Aracer, I understand what you’re saying… Tilt the saddle forward with grab handle facing downward and consequently the t-bar will point forward and downward so that by rotating the frame backwards the seat will have moved backwards somewhat and both the seat and the handle bars will have moved into a more horizontal position.
This sounds good but at best the rearward re-positioning of the saddle is limited to the length of axis afforded by the frame and post etc., and maintaining the horizontal position requires putting more weight on the saddle.
Anyway I did a test run and noticed that I was sliding forward onto the narrow part of the saddle. I thought that the saddle was too flat and too smooth but there was a distinct feeling of being thrown forward which made me question the set up.
I looked at the saddle thinking I should move it back even more but then I noticed that the cross bar was tilted forward slightly on the saddle post. I had it in a fixed position and couldn’t make any casual adjustments on the spot so I called it a day and will make some adjustments later.
The good news is that I think I’ve got the correct fore and aft ratio so the set up should be very balanced once I set the cross bar at an accurate 90 degree angle to the frame.
So by accident I tried Aracer’s suggestion but it didn’t work for me especially with the flat smooth saddle.
The ideal I’m aiming for is to to cycle in a low aerodynamic position with the frame perfectly vertical and the cross bar perfectly horizontal (on level terrain) without the body having to compensate for the set up. Meaning that my weight is properly distributed over my hands and butt leading to better overall balance and comfort.
I’m not sure you do, because you still seem to be suggesting that you end up with something different with your solution and that what I’m suggesting is somehow different. If you’re not finding my setup working for you then you won’t find yours working either (I’m trying to avoid being negative about the idea because I think it’s worth trying, though suspect there’s a fundamental flaw in that you have to have significant amounts of weight on your handlebars to move the saddle back like that).
Regarding how far back you can put the saddle being limited by frame and seat post length - well the distance from saddle to pedals is limited by your leg length, and this shouldn’t be significantly different than the distance from saddle to pedals with the saddle positioned directly above the pedals. Hence the frame and seatpost length isn’t limiting anything.
Hello Aracer, I had a look at your diagram and it clearly shows that when the frame is not directly above the hub then it is in free fall backwards. This means that the rider has to compensate and is constantly making corrections to remain balanced.
The unicycle is most balanced and therefore more stable when the frame and seat post are in the vertical position. The Longrider allows me to cycle whilst retaining the frame in it’s optimum position.
I agree with Aracer pretty much - I think the only thing the T-shaped setup has going for it is less stress on the handlebars when they’re extended so far out. But that’s sort of balanced out (heh) by the seat being wayy back too. I reckon the best way to fix both of these problems is a V-frame, or just get a handlebar setup that’s strong enough to support itself
If I am correct, and from what I gather from others on here it seems I am, a unicycle has only one tiny contact point on the ground. In order to ride forward the weight has to be a bit forward of the ground contact regardless of the unicycles shape. If the bars go farther out the butt has to go farther back to keep the weight in the correct location over the ground contact.
A “V” frame would take away the leverage on the seat post but has no effect on rider position. I wonder if the visual of the frame leaning back is throwing you off, making it seem off balance. It’s not possible, but if you could ride blindfolded there would be no difference between your T-bar style, a “V” frame or a long handlebar mounted to the seat post except for the flex.
And while I’m at it, let me suggest that the standard unicycle saddle makes it more difficult for first time learners because the the wider sitting part of the saddle should be positioned directly above the seat post and not aft of the seat post which causes the learner to have to work harder to find a more balanced position.
Oh yeah! let’s make it more difficult for the learner by causing him to sit off centre so that his body is out of line with where wheel makes contact with the ground. Ha ha it’ll mean that he has to struggle more to prevent himself from falling backwards. Yeah! we’ll make sure that unicycling remains an elite sport.:D:D
Hello Jonah, I think one of the reasons we lean forward is to bring our butt in line with the tyre’s point of contact with the road. Of course as with running we naturally lean forward when building up speed.