Introduction - Comfort is a pain in the ass

Hello everyone, I’m Jormungandr. I’ve been unicycling for for 7 years, but I don’t get the chance to ride around regularly, so I’m not very good and can’t do tricks.

Over the next 12 months, I will be working on a unicycling project which will be submitted to an examiner. I intend to improve the comfortability of unicycling, which for me is all about the saddle, because I’m pretty bony and the seat crushes my pelvis bone and crotch at the same time. What’s the biggest issue regarding comfort for you? Do you have the same problem I do?

My main problem (by far) is friction induced irritations on the inside of the cheeks. It happens on long to very long rides (6-8 hours and more).

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I have had the same issues over the last years. It was mainly due to the banana shape of the usual unicycle seat. Using a Fusion One seat with a t-bar helped a lot, but it was not a panacea. I still had irritations issues such as Aurelien.

It’s now been almost 2 months since I have put an ISM saddle on my G36er. Although the first weeks have been hard - time to accommodate to the saddle -, my last rides make me say that it may be the best solution so far. No soreness, no irritation. I still have not done a long flat ride though. But I have done a similar 120 km/4 000+ m of elevation gain last year and this year and I had far less issues this year.
I plan to go for a ~12 hours flat ride in the next days to check whether the saddle is really as great as I currently perceive it :crossed_fingers:

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Exactly. Main comfort issue for general riding is the (wide) shape of a regular unicycle saddle - and to some extent that almost all your body weight is on the saddle.
The fix is to use a nice (narrow) bicycle saddle and a handlebar to put less weight on the saddle and more weight on your wrist (but obviously you need the skill to ride with both hands on the saddle most of the time).
An ISM saddle seems to be the safe choice but a regular (non split nose) saddle can also work nicely. A picture of two of my unis for inspiration.

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Thanks for your response. What ISM saddle do you think would be the most comfortable for long distance rides? I only used the seat that came along with the rest of the unicycle before so I don’t know much about saddle types.

I don’t know much about ISM saddles, but I think an important point to answer this question is “What do you call long distance ?”.
Due to the difficulty of unicycle, this concept isn’t the same for everyone. For some, 1 km is really long, for many long is double digits and some don’t feel a ride is long unless it has triple digits.
Another point is “For which kind of ride ?”. Do you think about muni, gravel, road, flat road or hilly road ?

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Aurelien has some really good questions you should ask yourself before we can answer.

Regarding the saddle model, even though you would already have answered all of all Aurelien’s questions, I must say that I don’t know much. I ride a PN 1.1, as that’s what others also ride. It is surprisingly narrow at first and can make some turns harder, but you definitely become used to it after some time. I think you shouldn’t go for a smaller saddle, but a larger may also work.

BTW, as ISM saddles do not have the usual 4-bolt front handle, it isn’t possible to directly use a standard KH T-bar or URSLI bar on them. As a handle seems mandatory to ride such a saddle, you’ll have to figure out how to set up such a handle.

With any bike saddle you need some way to hold yourself back on the saddle. Most use handlebars to lean on but here is another option. I’ve did a nonstop marathon (26+ miles) with this saddle set up with absolutely no issues.

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Although I would have agreed with you previously, I find myself able to ride my bike saddle without any handle. I’m not sure why, as I would have expected this issue to happen.
However, I must say it’s not really pleasant to ride without a handle. On that point, it is similar to any uni saddle.

Yes if the bike saddle is tipped nose up you should be able to ride without handlebars. However that puts pressure on more sensitive body parts. Bike saddles are normally used on a bike with a slight nose down angle and that is how they are designed to work. That puts most all the pressure on the sit bones and off more sensitive areas.

Mine is perfectly flat. No nose up, no nose down. I can’t really say why that works.

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