Is it me or is UDC making a science of saddles?

I’ve tried a Velo stock saddle, and I’m currently riding a KH Fusion One. The latter has solved many problems but it’s killing my sit bones so I’m still searching for a better alternative.

Whilst browsing through the saddles section on UDC, I notice a lot of saddles that are presented as if they were different products, are in fact permutations of a rather limited set of elementary parts. For example, the Impact base, handle, and bumper are used in many of the available saddles. So I’m just endlessly scrolling up and down, reading reviews and comments here and there, and I’m still non the wiser as to which saddle I should buy (looking for a comfy distance saddle BTW).

Since there is so much overlap between the various models, it would be extremely helpful if the product description could describe saddles in terms of its elementary components rather than presenting the saddle as if it was some sort of indivisible chunk of matter.

Vague descriptions such as “softer”, “wider” or “moderate foam thickness” are practically meaningless compared to scientific durometer readings and unambiguous millimetre dimensions. We also need a way to visually compare the front, rear, side, top and bottom views of any two saddles side-by-side.

The reviews and comments here on this forum are helpful but still very subjective.

Just my 2c.

UDC and saddles is very weird and difficult right now. They completely changed the Impact saddles, and not a single one of the team riders is using it. An absolute catastrophe in marketing and product development. There is literally no current offering from UDC I can recommend when it comes to trials, street and flat. I’m not even saying they are terrible (which they might or might not be), but if you completely redesign a product, you should better show me it works, by having the team ride it… I really don’t understand what is going on there. I don’t think any trials/street/flat rider complained about the old saddles, the only issue has been the inexistance of carbon bases lately.

Only slightly on topic rant over. I agree with you, more hard data on seats would be nice. Even a single picture showing all current saddles on a side view together to show curvature would help a lot.

I think the saddles everyone knows are uncomfortable should be named things like:

Spanish Donkey
Danni’s Stool

So there is no illusion of how comfortable they will be.

I do love my KH Free Ride though.

A sit bone issue may be a good thing. Over time the sit bones will toughen up but other more tender parts will not.

Here is a reasonable comparison of older saddles. Something updated would be helpful.

I agree a more precise description would be helpful also. Maybe the radius of the curve front to back, the maximum and minimum width and cut cross section of the padding.


I had seen that picture, but a lot of those saddles are older models. This is something UDC should supply as they have access to all available saddles, unlike end users who usually will compare 2 or 3 models at most.

I would suggest to UDC that they have a look at, the world’s leading online trials bike shop, as they have done a really good job with the way they present product info on their website. In many ways UDC is to unicycles what tartybikes is to trials bikes.

Today I rode for 1h15m and wore two pairs of cycling pants just to see what would happen, and it was my most comfortable ride so far, so I’m thinking I might get a KH Freeride which a lot of you say works good for distance because it provides more cushion. I’ve read it can be flattened by placing it in boiling water. Since it has a removable cover, it basically lends itself to hacking—a bonus.

Some saddles are more comfortable than others, but no saddle will be completely painless on a long ride.

I often sit on my saddle for an hour or even two without a dismount. It starts to be uncomfortable after 15 or 20 minutes, and after 2 hours, I need to pedal standing up for short periods. That’s unicycling.

I also have a gravel bike, a fixie and a motorbike, and none of my unicycle saddles is noticeably less comfortable after an hour than any of those other saddles.

It’s not meant to be comfortable.

I am sure they are meant to be as comfortable as possible. It just turns out this is incredibly hard to acheive and basically no manufacturer does. :stuck_out_tongue: But hey, they are trying and for the most part they are getting better.

Then again, I am pretty sure that the designer of the original saddle on my old Pashley 28”, purposely intended for it to be uncomfortable and he or she definately acheived that goal! :wink:

It’s you.

Thanks Atsmohali, and welcome to the Forums! I wonder if you even noticed we’re talking about one of the other types of saddles that exist in the world. :slight_smile:

At least we don’t have to worry about communication with the horse; our unicycles stay pretty rigid and for the most part, don’t get pissed off or ornery with us. I know it seems otherwise, but that’s the truth.

Yep, unicycle saddles are an evolving “science”, and anything that is mass-produced is aiming at the “median” crotch and hoping to score well. Problem is, all crotches are not created equal, so the choice of “best” saddle is a very personal one. Some people actually liked those Pashley “gravy boat” saddles. It involves your physical dimensions (mostly relating to your sit bones I think), type of riding you do, and of course, personal preference. And I assume gender is a factor as well, though so far, all unicycle saddles I’m aware of are “uni-sex”.

I haven’t given up on my KH Fusion One on my Road uni. Though my crotch isn’t thrilled with it, it really hasn’t been that thrilled with any saddle once you reach the 20 mile mark. But I wouldn’t want that saddle on my other unis, where I’m on and off more, and moving around more on the saddle.

The great thing about today’s point in the development of unicycle saddles is that there are multiple entities making them for “us” (people who ride a lot), and constantly looking to improve them. This didn’t used to be the case. There was Schwinn, who I believe patented their saddle in 1967, and later Miyata, who had something great when they started using plastic bumpers around 1980 (before that it was thick steel wire bumpers). Most everything else on the market back then was a rectangle, or other basic shape that provided curved support, but not much else. We’ve come a long way, and the future looks bright!

After riding almost about 4-5 times a week for about two months, usually about 1 hour per ride, critical areas seem to have finally become friends with the KH Fusion One saddle, which initially seemed to hard. I still think it’s too hard, but now I can ride alright even with regular shorts.

I’ll spare you the details of how exactly, but my 19" Velo saddle broke and I threw it away, so in order to be able to ride both the 19" and the 27.5" unis I’ve been swapping the Fusion One saddle between the two. This is very inconvenient so I want to buy another saddle.

I’m quite happy with the Fusion One but I would like to learn to ride backwards and learn a couple of basic street moves, and I’m not sure the Fusion One is designed for that, because it seems to be designed specifically for forward riding, but I could be wrong.

I need a bit of help choosing a good saddle for my 19" uni. I’ve identified the parameters that I need to consider to make my choice, from most important to least important:

Brand > Base design > Padding thickness > Removable cover > Base material

1. Brand based on local availability: KH / Impact / Nimbus
I’m brand agnostic but I want to limit my choices to brands that are locally available in China, that’s why I’ve included the ‘brand’ parameter at the top.

2. Base design: KH / Impact-Nimbus
There are only two base designs, the KH and the Impact-Nimbus. The various saddle variations are just combinations of these bases and different padding thickness, covers and base material. I have no idea how either of these bases feels. Fusion One is not included here because I already have one.

3. Padding thickness: Thin / Medium / Thick
Which thickness would you recommend for a street uni? Does thicker padding also make the saddle wider at the centre? Can thin padding be comfortable? What are the advantages of thin padding vs medium padding?

4. Removable cover: Yes / No
I like the idea of a removable cover, although China don’t sell them on their website…

5. Base material: Regular / Reinforced
Not really bother about this one. AFAIK, only the Impact Naomi saddle base is made of a reinforced material, the gray plastic. All things being equal, I’d take reinforced, but comfort takes precedence for me.

So basically I need help with points 2 and 3. Thanks!

I think that the base design/shape and padding thickness have to work together. The better the shape of the base, the thinner the padding can be and the more control over exactly where the pressure points are. The unicycle bases available are essentially flat in the crosswise direction with maybe some curve front to rear. Compare that to quality bicycle saddles that are shaped so well to match the shape of the rider that some have no padding as all.

When considering the amount of design effort and money put into bicycle saddles compared to unicycle saddles it is understandable that the unicycle saddles are still in the stone age. With the relatively low demand to unicycle saddles I don’t see that changing. I’ve did some testing of a made from scratch, shaped to fit me base with very little or no padding, it works pretty well. For now I’m using an off the shelf unicycle saddle with padded shorts and rest breaks or occasional stand up pedaling for longer road rides.

Still, I need to pick one. Even if it’s not ideal.

I too have been in the ever search of saddles. I’ve been using the KH Freeride. I like it because the cover is easily removed which has allowed me to shape the foam to my liking. I knocked out a 45-mile ride Saturday morning on the 36er in 4.5 hours which meant the time during my three pdm’s and two upd’s were kept to a minimum.

I noticed that Ed Pratt switched from the fusion to the freeride at some point in Australia. I would suspect he didn’t take any time to do some custom shaping so maybe the key like in all of unicycling is just to keep pedaling.

Ed switched from a Fusion One to the Freeride? That says a lot about both of these saddles, coming from someone who’s unicycled around the world. Unigeezer flattened his Freeride by putting it in boiling water and said it was the best saddle he’d ever ridden. I think the Fusion One base is excellent, but the foam is still a tad too hard. Here’s where Kris is getting this wrong: First came the Fusion Zero, which most considered to be too hard, so he released the Fusion One, a softer version. Still, some people think it’s too hard (even if it’s just me), but others think it’s alright. What he should do is just have a basic “Fusion Flat” range sharing the exact same base, grip and rear bumper, and differing only in the stiffness of the foam. Perhaps: extra-soft / soft / medium / hard / extra-hard / inquisition.

Coming from a cycling background I agree with Jim that the shape of the base is important. My favorite bicycle seats have always been very firm…almost solid. The key is they fit me just right.

Now that I have a seat shape on my unicycle that fits me well, I would love to have it be a lot harder foam than what the freeride is. I suspect that the foam compresses over time on the ride and the occasional short break also allows the foam to rebound.

Not answering the specific question, but if you like the One then you’d probably prefer a flatter than traditional saddle, in which case the Nimbus Stadium might suit you. Well I suppose it does answer point 2 - I’d recommend trying a saddle with the new Impact/Nimbus base. I think the other options are the Nimbus Flat or the Impact Athmos (maybe the Naomi - not sure what base the current one uses), both of which are less padded than the Stadium. Less padding seems to be popular for a street uni so one of those might be a good choice.

In Madrid (Spain) at the moment. There is a unicycle shop there so I dropped by to have a look at saddles. They had the full KH range in stock but none of the Nimbus/Impact stuff. I can comment on the KH stuff:

Softness: The Fusion Freeride and the Fusion One seem to employ similar padding material, I would dare say the Fusion One was a notch softer. The Street and Slim use stiffer foam and the Slim feels even harder because the padding is thinner.

Curvature: As mentioned previously, the One is flat and the others are banana-shaped, however the Freeride has more foam in the centre which makes it feel flatter.

Width: The Fusion One is very thin at the centre, while the Slim, Street and Freeride are a good 2cm wider. My first saddle was similar to the KH slim in terms of width, and I got chafing in my thighs. As soon as I switched to the KH Fusion One the chafing went away, even without cycling pants, but it could have been that I’ve hardened up.

Range of adjustment: The One wins here as . The others all use the same saddle base and allow about 1cm of adjustment. and the rear of the saddle cannot be adjusted so that it’s horizontal, in other words, the rear of the saddle is always ever so slightly pointed upwards, which my cause the rider to slide forward towards the centre of the saddle.

Attachment: I am a big fan of the pivotal system, although I believe the 4-bolt system is stronger.

Of all these saddles, I felt the Fusion Street was the best all-rounder, but before I go ahead and buy one I have some questions:

1. Does anyone use the Fusion One for street? If not, why not? Why banana-shaped for street? That is, how does the curvature actually help?

2. Is the wider centre section of the Fusion Street less comfortable than the much narrower Fusion One? Will it cause chafing?

3. Is the Nimbus Stadium as wide as the KH Freeride at the centre?


I would disagree pretty strongly with that - those 4-bolt posts have been the weakest part on all my unicycles (at least the high quality ones). I’ve broken a bunch of them, and I’m not an aggressive rider. They always break up at the flange area, which takes a lot of load and flex.

The pivotal system, with no flanges sticking out, looks a lot sturdier to me, though I don’t have any data beyond “none of mine have broken yet”.

Only you can answer those questions, everyone is different. That is a disadvantage of selecting a uni saddle, ideally a rider should be able to try all the saddles that are available and select/buy only the one the works the best.

The minimum width of a Stadium is 69mm, I don’t know the width of a Free ride. In my case I use a UDC trainer saddle that is a little flatter then a Freeride and a little wider (74mm) then a Stadium. For me it works very well, it is very secure, comfortable and I’ve put 50 miles on it in a day with absolutely no problems.