Flat Aluminium Saddle Frames. Opinions? Interest? Comments?

I played with mini cell foam and it was too firm, I also didn’t like the Nimbus flat foam, the freeride and gel work the best for me.

I don’t think the existing seats or handles are bad, they just aren’t that great.

If all I had was my current set up, I’d be fine. To date, the NNN base is the best in terms of weight and strength, and I like my handles :slight_smile:

At this point there are plenty of hints that production flat seats are coming, so it might be worth holding tight for more information.

I’m setting here waiting

I havent see any confirmed production advancements on flat saddles. That probably indicates it will be a fair way off

I like the Spectra/ dyneema idea. Coming from power kiting and my kite buggy days, harnessing in seat belts and cords and straps everywhere, kite lines like piano wire ect. i wouldnt like to have a hand or finger twisted or caught in a cord attached to a uni in the imminent event of the UPD…

freeride foams are very soft and deep. it will be hard to maintain this ‘channel’ effect relieving pressure along the center even with a saddle cut out. wont the foam with riders weight just squash down and fill any spaces. I could see it work ok with the slim foam. not sure about anything thicker or softer. even the slim i imagine i need to cut away most the exsisting channel of foam to kind of create 2 saddle foam halves. I will leave 5 or 6cm in the front of the foam and 2cm in the back and fully cut away the middle. even then it will want to collapse inward. Is a channel in the saddle base itself worth the trouble to make?
so i need to sacrifice in using very hard foam or just use the plush freeride foam and never worry for a relief channel cut out because direct pressure wont be much there.
If i do any distance i like padded shorts and road treadlies roll with stiff rock hard saddles for 40km+ most days. For a proper effective channel in the center of a saddle i see firm foam is really the only way or is it?

Shroud it.

And/or attach it behind the handle.

It took a couple of rides figure that out.

I realised it was slipping backwards when I climbed out of saddle because I was pushing it backwards! You do exactly the same thing with a curved saddle, except you are wedging it against your crotch.

Once I got out of that habit I had no problems at all.

So once the habit is broken precious concentration can be put back to that task at hand I guess eventually rendering a flat saddle with time possibly ok for occasional climbing without fear of creeping back or loss of concentration?
Appreciate the insight here cheers

Re training the brain and muscles is hard work though!!

Got some matt foam today, its dense and about 1cm think. While at work later going to glue up 3 or so layers and cut it out including the relief channel. It seems firm yet kind of memory foamish. Recovers slow so I hope it gives support and comfort that I look for. Otherwise I will just run with slim foam which I like but question affectivness of the soft foam for a proper center channel.

With the Thompson posts and cracking bracket after staring at them for a while I believe using saddle post nuts that are round and fit snug in the top bracket. If the are not perfect fit this will affect strength of the mount where their located. I would imagine it transfers some force through these round nuts. Loose fitting Thompson nuts may adversely affect this breaking heaps easilyer. If that’s even a word ‘easilyer’?

It’s not just ‘ok’ for climbing, it does it better, because you have have more freedom of movement- especially on bumpy climbs- there isn’t a seat wedged against your crotch to buck you off.

The ‘slip forwards’ effect is not a slip forwards effect, it’s a ‘push back’ effect. ie- your bum is not slipping forward on the seat, your hand is pushing the seat backwards. If you find that happening, it actually helps to sit further back on the seat, which means if you ‘push’ with your arms against the handle, it’s in the forward rather than backward direction.

Another trick to try is to stand up off the saddle when climbing a hill, and then try to hold the saddle as lightly as possible (perhaps with just a finger). You’ll notice how easily it pivots the frame forward and backward when the seat is unweighted.

Yes, the seat slipping thing is probably due more to habits developed while using a curved seat, so once you adjust to a flat seat it is more comfortable and allows more freedom. How long have we been riding flat seats now?

I rode a big loop last night on my 36er, a mix of gravel road and single track, it’s been a while since I rode out there (pre flat seat) so I decided to see how hard I could push. I went as long as I could without getting out of the seat or stopping to rest, which forced me to adjust my bottom on the saddle as I rode.

With a flat seat I can place my bottom anywhere I like and it will stay in place without significantly affecting the trim of the uni, whereas on a curved seat this was not the case. In the end I decided that I probably need a little more padding for distance riding, this was a NNC with a modified Nimbus gel pad. I’m thinking that I need a little more width and thickness in the center where I thinned and narrowed the pad.

The loop I rode last night has a very steep and sustained climb on gravel, gains about 500’ in less than a mile, loose in places, steeper in places, some flattish portions. In the past I walked chunks of this hill, but last night I forced myself to stay in the saddle, slowing to recover on the flatter sections, and lo and behold I cleaned the hill for my first time; I’ve been riding this hill for five years :astonished:

…and then I cranked out the rest of the gravel road across the ridge and did another first, I cleaned a long single track downhill without stopping!!

I slept well last night :stuck_out_tongue:

Ooooooo well try try again. thanks

2 agree on positive flat saddle climbing. Nice to hear you dedicated and took on your Hill. No excuses you cant tackle it every time now. only gets easiler lol

Flat? Way of the Unicycle future?

Any ideas on needing a channel in the base not just the foam?

Advancements on bracket breakages. dont plan to be able to break mine. I possibly see why they break using Thompson posts. Anyone broke a standard setup adjustable seatpost mount? I like to think my frame will crack before my alloy saddle or correct tensioned post mount gives up. If i break or crack anything in this area between the actual post and saddle its going to receive a weld in place where it meets the post and top piece. I rarely play with my seat angle. Unlike on b i c y c l e seat tubes are different angles on most models and have suspension to consider!


i think i just sold my self off the idea of a channel in the saddle base itself.

proving the foam isnt collapsing inward on compression
(slim foam doesnt much at all, havent checked what the freeride does exactly yet)

even once fully compressed from rider weight the foam still sits us higher than the saddle base? and is higher than the thin foam remaining in the channel ei. the thinkness of the fully compressed foam still stands somewhat?

The channel is always there in this instance just varying in height. Nerves and arteries arent a big diameter down there so the purpose of a uni foam channel is still functional even fully compresses. I dont want a wind tunnel there or find the need for more than a 1cm or so depth to relieve saddle pressure.

Foam cut outs seem to work fine. Im dismissing the need to fabricate a channel into an alloy saddle base. Like wise with carbon bases. they should never need a relief channel made into the base. They would have already if they found any problems. cast your view if you follow, dont or dont agree even.

Also is 4mm (i think it is) aluminium overkill for my saddle base?

3mm material strong enough maybe?
4mm plate and 3mm skirt perhaps?

Cross drilling for weight reduction?
everyone like to drill things out these days…

The following can be done with a flat base as well.

Years ago I fashioned a mesh top for mt ffr (before they came on the market) that actually attached to the inside of the channel, (which I enlarged as well) all the way down into it, retaining the open channel shape during riding. My objective was to make the channel actually work, to reduce pressure, vs a tight, vinyl cover that basically closed off the underlying channel.

Here’s the tutorial on how I made it.

impressive yet again Terry! Great work thanks for sharing

Ideas on how to apply this to non plastic saddle bases? Staples are out. maybe a length of some thing running through the channel along the entire saddle holding upholstery into the channel. attached under front and rear bumper or a screw in the top either end?

I like Terry’s idea. Very practical. Im giving it a go. durability for muni with custom fabric may be my only concern.

Thanks mt! I haven’t found the channel mod really necessary for MUni since I’m up off the saddle quite a bit, but for long distance it makes all the difference! :slight_smile: As for affixing the cover material to a cf base, I would sew a flap all-way around and insert a drawstring like the ffr and other covers. Other than that, only the foam and cover come into play for making the channel mod.

distance and muni i require
Wildside Mtb race… over 200km… 4 days…

Channel for my Muni ride might be beneficial somewhat and we will have cruising stages between race start points. These are sealed and gravel roads

Might have to get out the silly old sewing machine!

Again thanks Terry and hope you like the others experiences they gave about flat saddle climbing. Admire all your videos and ideas btw. Specially Aero Bars!!

Interesting - I thinned and narrowed the foam in the center based on my experiences of riding with a normal curved seat, and am feeling that it’s now a bit too narrow for a flat seat. I’m confident that my sit bones are on the wider part of the seat at the back (I’ll try not to restart the discussion about tilt vs shift :wink: ), but it seems that even with a flat seat I have more weight coming onto the saddle further forward than I do on a bike seat. Not sure of the solution, as I do need the foam thinner there to avoid uncomfortable pressure on the inside of my thighs - maybe I just went a little too far. This foam is going to take some experimentation - I was also wondering about completely custom foam, maybe I should try cutting up some sit mats as I have plenty of bits of them around.

Please let us know what you find if and when you get a chance to change/ alter your saddle foam in any way shape or form. cheers

I think one aspect of this discussion that is not being addressed is that of handles. I feel that a flatter seat profile is best used in combination with a substantial handle- this way you have another point of contact with the unicycle to help with handling- and most importantly weight redistribution/reduction and placement of the rider on the seat itself. With only a small plastic front grab handle I can see it as more difficult for the rider to maintain a good butt position on the saddle and could have more issues with the seat ‘slipping in and out’ when they are out of the saddle on climbs or descents.

For example- I very rarely ride muni without at least one hand on my handlebar- and a lot of the time in XC situations with both on there. I have noticed that when I have to remove both hands from the handlebar to adjust my camelback/get a gel from my jersey etc that my body wants to slip forward on the saddle and the pressure shifts from my sit bones to the softer more sensitive areas further forward. Once I can get my hands back to the bar the slight forward pressure is enough to help get the weight back in the right spot.
Just an extra thought to make the discussion even more complicated.

Agree. Balance and control changes a fair amount with flat saddles.

Terry and Ben i think touched briefly on this. Ben’s Muni handles seem to be affective and popular from reports in the review section of the forum.

Im toying with the idea of using the KH touring bar bracket, Cutting back a front handle and using one side from a EBay Trans X aero bar to essentially make a similar muni bar.

I like the down swept center handle idea and got to try it.

So seat position, control and climbing show good benefits with a good solid handle along with the flat saddle.

Fancy curved saddles and intricate bars up front are being swapped out for simple modified versions. This alloy saddle seems to be holding up pretty well so far. Its taken no big knocks on the ground yet or bucked me but i will be very surprised if it has any issues. Wouldnt mind it a little lighter but now im just being too fussy.