Choose a better saddle for distance riding

Since many years I’ve had a Kris Holm Fusion Freeride saddle on my 29" distance unicycle.
When I bought it, the seat had one of the shallowest curves available at the time. But I think that the curve is still to deep for my liking.
See pictures for my current setup.

I’m looking at the Kris Holm Fusion One saddle to replace it, or perhaps the Nimbus Stadium.
What I’ve heard is that the Stadium is quite hard, which I guess might be too hard for my liking. (Word is that the new Stadium is softer, but not yet available as a separate purchase.)
The Fusion One is softer (its predecessor the Fusion Zero was harder too), and is probably more comfortable for me. But its basically flat, which might feel unstable.
I run rather short handlebars, because I don’t like (or so I think) the feeling of resting my hands too far out.

Who has experience with the Fusion Zero or One, or the Stadium (old or new version) on a distance unicycle?
How do they compare on comfort for long rides (several hours without dismounting)?
How long would it take to get used to? (I ride 50 - 100 km per week, that’s some 30 - 60 miles.)

I have a carbon fibre base on my 36er saddle. It is flatter than the Freeride. When I first started riding it, I was fine with the flatter saddle but as soon as I got onto hills it didn’t work for me.

I eventually tilted up at the front right to the limit of the KH adjustable post. I have always relied on controlling the nose of the saddle between my legs when I get up out of the saddle. I couldn’t get the same stability with the nose lower.

I use KH short bars and I suppose I could control more though them but that would mean require more lateral force through my upper body.

You could experiment by flattering your Freeride. There are several threads on this site about doing it with hot water.

Hi Klaas,

I have had a Fusion Zero on my 36er since I got it 3 years and 3000km ago. I have it set flat (nose not tilted up at all) with a handlebar. Each week I usually do a ~2 hour ride along with several shorter ones, time permitting. I wear bike short liners (from a pair of two-piece mountain bike shorts) for rides over about 30 minutes.

I find it pretty comfortable. To be honest I’ve never really found any unicycle or bike saddle to be the height of luxury, but I don’t have any complaints. It’s much better than the Nimbus Gel which I used on my first uni. If I was buying a new 36er today then I might get a Fusion One instead just to compare them.

I also have a v1 Stadium on my muni, with no handlebar. I like it too, but that uni doesn’t get ridden very often or for very long these days.

One thing that I really like about the Zero is the narrow waist. I find this to be just as significant in contributing to comfort as the curvature.

I ride about 40-60km of X-country muni per week at our local bike park.

When they first came out I tried the Zero on my 29" Oracle for about a month and then I couldn’t do it anymore.
Standing was OK but sitting was not comfortable.
Back to the Fusion Freeride.

I bought my KH29 with a Freeride on it too.

The Freeride works for me and I am standing a lot when I ride.
I’m using the 127 holes and a nice big cushy 3" Minion.
I also use short handlebars.

When I ride the right line it’s like sittin’ in an air-ride seat for comfort.

I’m on the Stadium saddle, the hard/older one. It took a little getting used to but I’ve grown to really love it. I ride about 3 hours a week and I have no problems with saddle soreness.

Also what length cranks are those on the 29er?

Not helpful, but my most comfortable distance saddle is my old Miyata. No longer available.

I like the Stadium too, you have to be aware that it’s narrower than most saddles at the rear AND at the middle. So if your sit bones are on the wide side, you might not like it.

After getting past the initial getting used to it phase, probably 50 miles, I love the Zero! I’ve been using it a couple of years now, on a couple of different 36ers, from Rocky downhill to smooth 60+ mile road rides. I wouldn’t worry too much about what handlebar position you have because I’m just as happy using the Zero hands free, whatever terrain I’m riding :slight_smile:

E2A On the distance for many hours thing… My longest ride, without dismounting or stopping for any reason, is 28 miles. This was after riding 26 miles non stop on the way out :smiley:
I’ve ridden 82 miles in a day on the Zero too.

Thanks all for the responses so far.
I have asked the same question in Unicycle Chat (facebook) as well. It seems to me that the two groups (here and fb) don’t overlap so much - but I might be wrong. Anyway, combining the two groups’s responses so far, there are hardly opinions/experiences on the newer versions of the KH (Zero One) and Nimbus (Stadium v2). I hope for some more of that, because that’s what is available right now (oh well, the Stadium v1 is still for sale).

What emerges so far is that seat preferences are very personal, no surprise there. Quite a few people think that the firmness of these flat seats is something to get used to, thereafter they are (very) comfortable.

Some specific replies:

Thanks for pointing that out. But I prefer not to meddle in this way with a seat, with uncertain outcome, if I can buy something off the shelf.

It could well be. I don’t have chafing issues though on the side of the saddle - or anywhere for that matter. My main problem is numbness (getting 100% numb after more than an hour) in the genitals and general crotch area. Turning into painful numbness, if that is a thing.

I ride less XC than that, although it depends on the season. For XC I use a Freeride too (on another unicycle) and have no comfort issues with it. Every now and then you have to get out of the saddle and that seems to restore blood flow or whatever.

102 mm. I ride in a flat area, and am training for the marathon and 100 km races at Unicon in Korea which are also more or less flat.

I have never used one, but I remember that some 15 years ago they were known as the most comfortable saddles.
Side note: many people converted those Miyatas to ‘air seats’, by stuffing a lowish-pressure tube under the seat cover. The idea was to make them even more comfortable, but after a few minutes or maybe 15 minutes the even support of the air seat caused a decrease in comfort. The whole idea of air seats is abandoned, AFAIK.

I have no idea about my sit bones. The KH Fusion Freeride doesn’t feel like it’s too wide for me, though.

That’s a shorter break-in than most people report.

How to you keep the seat under you, it being as flat as it is?

I figure that the seat must be comfortable.

KH One

I have a little experience on the KH One from a year ago

I was given the One saddle with the intention of “un—flattening” it. When after getting it home and examining how it is molded I decided not to modify it until I had given it a fair trial ride.

First I put about 50 miles of commuting on the One in one week and then did this ride. My impression was that the saddle never was comfortable but also never horrible either. Five miles of discomfort on a five mile ride. Yet also never all that bad during the breaking-my-butt-in period.

On the day road crews finished clearing the road to Artist Point I was off on the One for a nice day’s adventure. Once again, not comfortable but not horrible either for the entire 122 miles.

It didn’t seem to get any worse.
I still don’t really like it.
I went back to my old saddle before my next commute trip.
The One was left home to collect dust and has been in storage ever since.
No, I decided I would not “un—flattening” the One.

Your most likely looking for someone with more experience to reply.

Regards,
JM

PS The road to Artist Point opened two days ago with me sick in bed. :frowning:
So, this year I’ve missed opening day again.

2 Likes

I got the Fusion Zero with my new KH Muni at Unicon in San Sebastian. My intent was to put the Zero on my 36" later. Until I did, I definitely did not like it on the Muni. The Muni has no handlebar, and I wasn’t putting enough hours on it to get used to a “different” saddle.

Then I finally got it switched to the 36", which has the Nimbus handle set low and long. I could feel that it was trying to “do the right thing” for my crotch, but I still didn’t develop any love for it. So about a year ago, I swapped it out for the Fusion One, which is still on there. I think I was starting to adjust to it when we were out riding more, but since December there have been way less Road rides (Jacquie knee replacement). So the saddle still pains me on the rides we’ve been doing. I get the feeling it’s not quite the right fit for my bone structure, but that if I were riding more hours per week, that might be different.

Reading this thread reminded me of how diverse our crotches are. Or just our attitudes about what’s a comfortable saddle. People who like the Fusion One! I have one available for sale, here in California… :slight_smile:

I kind of get that. Again, I can feel the Fusion One is trying to do the right thing for my crotch, and I think it would be decent for much longer rides. But usually we top out around 21 miles or so, and I’m still not loving it. I might end up switching to… uh, depends if I have a post that works with the basic Schwinn/KH mount. Probably an older saddle…

Based on the volume of riding you do, I think it would be worth a try, and I hope it’s a good fit for you!

Stadium Saddle

Hi Klass

I am not sure if this will help or not but i bought my Nimbus 36" Sept 2017 which came with the stadium saddle i am not sure if this is version 1 or v2.
But i have been very happy with it pretty much from day one. Before that i was using a KH freeride on a 27.5 Muni. I would definately buy the Stadium again.
I also add that wearing good quality cycling shorts makes a big difference to me. If anyone knows i would be curious which version of the stadium i have.

Regards Phil

Stadium v1 or v2

Me too :slight_smile: I’d like to know whether your positive ‘review’ pertains to v1 or v2. Did you buy at unicycle.uk.co? Maybe they can tell? Not sure if the v2 was already available in Sep 2017, but otherwise there is likely some feature to tell them apart.

In July 2017, Roger unboxed a 20" in front of the camera. He shows what is v2. Or is it v3?

Oooops, I think I mixed things up altogether. It’s not a Stadium on that video. Having said that, it looks interesting too for a regular uni!

Hmmm maybe not indeed. From pictures found on the web, I think the Stadium is flatter still, and has a longer front handle/bumper.

Yes, I find that I have a much more comfortable ride if I handle it such : “Why, hello there Freeride. Don’t you look lovely today. No other saddle cradles my bum as well as you. You’re so strong and your curves so sexy. I don’t want any other saddle between my legs. Please carry me away; I’m yours.”

Yes i bought from UDC UK

But did you use hot water in your flattering, as suggested? :slight_smile:

One thing I haven’t seen touched on yet is seat cover material. A few years back KH was using a mesh cover but then went back to a non-porous vinyl top. I’m glad I kept my mesh covers which I use currently for their breathability. Nothing is worse then doing long miles on a saddle that doesn’t breathe and traps in heat with no way for it to disperse. By the way I’m still very happy with my nnc flatfish. For me it has just the right shape and the foam seems to be the perfect firmness. Foam that is too soft causes your sit bones to sink in so far that it causes pressure on the tissues between them and around them, leading to discomfort and numbness.

Aha! Now I understand how those flat seats work. I have tried one out once or twice, and felt my sit bones poking into what felt almost like a board. It was sort of uncomfortable, but now I see how you might be able to adapt to it, and that especially for long rides, it would be a big improvement. Do those seats help with any other styles of riding?