chinese legs

i have a 24" torker with an 11" seatpost and am 5’6". i’m barely able to ride it, even with the seatpost all the way down. i’ve read that that size post is for people between five and six feet. i can’t think of any reasons for this except that maybe my legs are shorter than normal. anybody ever hear of chinese people having short legs?

To create more clearance, cut the seatpost down a bit with a hacksaw, or have it done in a bike shop. I have a sub-28" inseam; I have to cut down all my seatposts, and, on my larger unis, the frame top tube as well.

As to whether this is the result of my being part-Asian, I couldn’t really say. I think I just got the short end of the stick.

Good luck.

Thinks: is that last sentence a trick question? :0)

A serious answer: I have no data, evidence or references to support this, but I do think that there is a tendency for Chinese people to have long torsos (trunks, bodies?) in relation to their height. I suppose that means shorter legs, compared to a westerner of similar height. I have one work colleague and one fencing friend who are racially oriental, and both appear to be long in the body and short in the leg. I guess if anything this is a tendency rather than a universal rule, though.

Be that as it may, you, as an individual, are the person experiencing the problem, whatever the cause. So, what can we do to help?

Firstly, what do you mean by ‘with the seat all the way down’? You could mean two things:

  1. The seat is so low that the bottom of the seat is almost touching the top of the frame, near the clamp.
  2. Or the seat is so low that the bottom of the seat post is sticking out of the fork crown and catching on the tyre.

If it’s the second case, it’s easily addressed by hacksawing a couple of inches off the seat post. As long as you have at least 3 inches sticking in to the top of the frame, the seat post will be long enough to be secure and safe.

If it’s the first case (the base of the seat is literally all the way down to the clamp) then what else can you do?

You could put slightly shorter cranks on. If you have 150mm cranks on now, you will find the pedal (at the bottom of its travel) is an inch nearer if you put 125mm cranks on. That’s similar to lowering the seat by an inch. 110mm cranks will achieve a further inch. 110s are a bit of an acquired taste, though.

You could try a narrower seat (a wide seat will tend to spread your legs out sideways a bit, so you lose a bit of effective length). You could even conider stripping the seat and removing some padding, although the height reduction would be marginal.

A different model of seat also might be a bit lower. I need more seat tube showing when I use a Viscount saddle than when I use a Velo saddle. Conclusion: the Viscount is a lower saddle than the Velo.

You might also make a small gain by wearing shoes with thicker soles. This really depends how big the problem is. If you’re not quite comfortable, then a pair of thick-soled boots or trainers might be enough to make the difference. You could also experiment with deeper section pedals. In an exteme case, you could consider ‘thickening’ the pedals with blocks. You wouldn’t be the first.

Failing all that, you might need to change your frame. A frame with a shorter seat tube (not seat post) would almost certainly do the job. Unicycle frames are fairly cheap. Just for comparison, it is 49 centimetres from the centre of the wheel axle to the top of the seat clamp on the frame of my Nimbus 24. A frame often costs less than a seat, and usually less than a wheel and tyre. Don’t rush to buy a complete new unicycle!

How high do you want the seat though? Try this test: sit on the seat, resting comfortably against a wall, so that the unicycle is vertical. Sit properly on the seat, with the cranks in the vertical position. Put your heel on the lower pedal. Your leg should be straight but not stretching. Now lower the seat by about a centimetre. That’s roughly the right height for general riding. Put it back up a centimetre for fast riding, and down a little bit for off roading.

Hope some of that helps. If in fact you are an 8 foot 3 inch Bantu with legs up to your armpits, and I have fallen for a wind up, well done. :0) Enjoy your riding and good luck.

the seat tube has a bottom, so the post can’t go lower than that. in other words, the bottom of the seat post is even with the bottom of the crown. and my seat is that skinny kiddie-sized torker one. it doesn’t really hurt that much anymore

with the cranks vertical, i can’t touch it with my heel, and have to point my foot downwrds to get it with the part behind my toes. means i can’t even try to idle and have trouble freemounting. and i ride with somewhat thick-soled sandals. i’m looking into getting some 102mm cranks, used. i don’t know what i have now since i don’t have a ruler, but i saw somewhere that torkers have 5.5 inch cranks. now i’ll try to find somewhere to chop my post. thanks

if you plan on putting those 102’s on your uni,dont cut off to much.with shorter cranks you’ll need to raise the your case,the current seat hieght may be perfect once the 102’s go on there.

on my uni? why would i do that? they’re for my ears %}
yeah, that’s what i was thinking about the cranks

The suggested rider height for the different seatpost sizes is not that accurate. They’re just ballpark figures.

The actual seatpost size that would fit you would depend on the unicycle wheel size (20" or 24"), the length of the neck on the frame, the length of the cranks, the thickness of the saddle (KH saddle vs. Miyata saddle), whether you like to ride with the seat high or low, and your inseam length with your riding shoes on. could write up a web page that asked for the necessary data, plugged the data in to a formula and then spit out your suggested seatpost length. However that would be very confusing to everyone involved.

My only complaint with the suggested rider heights for the different seatpost lengths that has is that they don’t take in to account the wheel size on the unicycle. You’ll need a longer post on a 20" unicycle than on a 24" or a 26".

My strategy when getting seatposts is to get them longer than I think I will need then cut them down to my size. You can always cut a post shorter, but you can’t cut it longer.

:stuck_out_tongue: That’s great!

As for cutting seatposts, there’s a tool you can use that’s really quick to use and makes a really clean cut. It got a couple of little rolling bits and then a rolling ‘blade’ or something that cuts the post. You set it up and then spin it around and tighten it every now and then. They make a really clean straight cut.


It’s called a pipe-cutter, I’m just full of semi-useful information today :slight_smile:

Also known as a pipe cutter. You could use a hacksaw instead if you are not fussy. Both methods require a bit of cleaning up of the cut afterwards depending on how snug your seat tube is.

Yes, but if you’re as uncoordinated with a hacksaw as I am you’ll definately want to go with a pipe cutter. :slight_smile:


There is a bike shop tool for cutting seatposts down, that you slide over the seatpost, and has a slot cut out of the middle of it, which you then clamp up at the desired point. You can then clamp the tool firmly in a vice, and proceed to go at it with a hacksaw. The clever bit is the guide for the hacksaw blade that is cut down the middle of the tool. This way you always get the cut at 90 degrees to the post.