Gemcrest Leather vs Roach seat cover?

There’s a ton of useful posts on this topic - I wondering if there are new opinions or changes in design.

My Roach cover withstood 2 yrs of abuse, now it’s falling apart at the seams. To sum up what I’ve read here:

Adequately durable
Handles moisture well
I see on the picture at that it has a new attachment design which looks like it is hopefully an improvement over the original design. Anyone have any experience with the new design?

Gemcrest Leather
Rated the most durable, and reviews here seem to back this up.
I’m concerned about how it handles heavy sweating, and other moisture. Is it more comfortable? Less chafing than the Roach? I’ve gotten some bad-ass chafing from my Roach.
Snug fit due (I think) to drawstring design.

Does the new, higher profile design still fit more snugly than the Roach?

Also, now that I’ll be dismantiling the seat, I believe that my air pillow is history (like it’s shredded and turned to dust). Since I’m going through all this effort, I want to get the best innards too. I read the John Childs/David Maxfield comments on using a 12" tube with various foam and gels. Is this still state of the art in seat guts?

All in all I’m leaning toward the Gemcrest, though the Roach served me well. Anybody have any recent experience with this?


Joe, the Gemcrest leather cover is way more durable than the Roach - those were only lasting me 12 months or less before blowing out at the seams. The Gemcrest is not only more durable, but it handles water better. Drop it in a river and somehow it seems to be dry soon after and never chafes. An awesome product and well worth the price if you want the best.

And yes, replace the air pillow every year or so - they get amazingly blown out. I always used 20" tubes in these seats, with low inflation. Maybe a thin layer of foam on top for shape, but definitely no gel.

Corrected URL for the Gemcrest cover:


I have the Gemcrest Leather on my Muni. It is HUGE, that is: very tall.

I tried a 12 and 16 and couldn’t get them to work quite right. The 12 was too small and the 16 folded in the Childs’ “W” was too wide in the back. I think with the extra height it just went too wide. A lower Roach would probbly contain the 16" tube better.

The folded 20 works well. Right now I have it wrapped in tube socks, I am going to buy or make a proper 20" tube wrap.

It is comfortable.

I would be interested in other’s methods for tubes in the Gemcrest too.

(I see Nathan got in a post while I was composing)

I should add that I only have experience with the older, first generation Gemcrest. I have that on 3 unicycles: KH24, 29er and Hunter36. I like the low-profile design, but I’m sure the higher-capacity one is fine too.


i have the older Gemcrest,its alot lower.i have a 12" tube and Miyata foam on looks real shaply and the comfort is great.\

the newer ones are to tall and get floppy.i hope they make some of the older style again someday.what is a person say on a freestyle uni that wants one sopposed to do with all that volume?

on the other end,a little needle and thread can help a Roach go a long way,its not that hard to sew that seam back together.

They still make the low profile ones - that’s what I ordered. Looks like it will work. Russell at mentioned that the new ones can be sloppy.

Glad to hear that the low profile cover will work for Muni.

I’m looking forward to losing the chafing.

Thanks for the comments.