Long distances between dismounts

Uni Saddle Design & Comfort

Scott, I hope you succeed in finding better saddle internals for added comfort. Thanks go out to all designers who have made the improvements we now enjoy.

I have been thinking some about this, because better and longer comfort would be a real benefit. Seems like the b*ke world is moving to firmer saddles, especially hard underneath your sit bones. The goal is to suspend more of the rider’s weight on bone, reducing the pressure on softer tissues, which protects blood flow and adds to comfort.

I am thinking that unicyclist saddle comfort might improve using saddles that are much firmer underneath the rider’s sit bones.

I’ll be staying tuned to your write-ups, as well as comments from long-time unicyclists that have been refining seats for some time.

I’ve also had good luck with doubling up on shorts on my longest rides. Actually what I do is wear a pair of Andiamo “skins” for underwear, then my thickest pair of lined baggies over the top.

I’ve been riding with a pretty firm cushion, but it’s continuing to bug me after only a few miles, so the last couple rides I’ve lowered the pressure. It’s feeling better, although I don’t have my new seat height quite dialed in.

So to not have this be a complete threadjack…Scott, I’m going to try some longer distance w/o dismount this weekend with the lower seat pressure. Will let you know how it goes.

I just tried the double cycling shorts thing for a short 10 mile ride today. It’s the first time I’ve tried the two layer shorts thing. It didn’t work out for me this time. It felt like one layer of the shorts was folding over and created a ridge that would have caused chaffing on a longer ride. I’ll try it again with a different brand/style of shorts and see if that fixes things.

The two layer cycling shorts thing is something that you would need to try out on a couple of shorter rides before trying it on a long ride. It’s best to work out problems on short training rides than a long ride.

I’ve never had a chaffing problem when using a single layer cycling short. I’m trying the double layer idea to see if it makes the seat more comfortable. We’ll see. It’s worth the experiment.

Distance seats for the ladies

Hi guys,

This has been an interesting thread. I’ve been recently going for modestly long rides with my coker (10 miles daily) and can’t help but wonder if other females have saddle soreness too.

I know the the two-wheelers are making different seats to accomodate the different anatomies.

I have a torker inflatable seat. I’ve played with the pressure, but after 10 miles, wow, I am ready to stop, even taking stand up
on the pedal type rests at rails along the pathway every few miles. Does this lessen with time and experience?

It sounds as even the most experienced of you contend with this problem.

Thanks for your thoughts.
Blake (Yes, I’m female, I know I have a typically guy’s name.)

Another thing we’ve been talking about here is seat height and how it might relate to long distance comfort/discomfort. One theory is that if you are able to ride with the seat a little higher than you might think is right at first, that you won’t get as sore. I seem to be riding with the seat a bit higher than last year (maybe 1cm). Yesterday I rode to work, a little over 10 miles without a dismount. Not only without a dismount, but without ever taking my full weight off the seat. And when I got to work, I felt no discomfort, no need to stop - could’ve kept going and going.

I don’t know the answer and I assume it’s different for everyone, but it’s interesting.

—Nathan

The two pair of shorts thing:
When I wear 2 pair, the bottom layer is the type with the very soft and flexible padding (cotton?) -the type in cheaper shorts (but fit very tighly). The outer pair is the type with the thick “stand on their own” chamois that is found in better cycling shorts. My theroy is that one pair rubs against the second, at the top of the leg and prevents some discomfort. They have no effect on the saddle soreness from the ‘sit bones’.

It does seem to get more comfortable the longer you do it.

Seat height:
I used to start a long ride with the seat at the normal height. Each rest stop (at 10 miles) I’d raise it another 1/4 or 1/2 inch and it always seemed to feel better. Now I keep it very high and it seems to work best -unless I’m trying to idle or hop (it seems too high and I lower it back to normal).

I rode 35 miles off road today on my muni. At 8:30AM when I started, it was 74 degrees. When I quit after 4 laps, it was 95 degrees at 3PM. I wanted to do 6, but the best biker only did 7, so I don’t feel too bad. I always try to make a lap without a UPD or dab, but can’t -some sections are too technical, and though I can make all of them, doing them all on one lap is really tough.

Jer

I know this thread is a little old, but I noticed nobody answered Blake’s question.
I have done some distance riding (Uni Across MN in 1999) and have starting going on much shorter rides in the last year or so. As a female rider, I don’t use any of the conventional solutions. No padded shorts at all (I found they made soreness WORSE). My seat isn’t an air seat, nor a KH, nor does it have extra foam. I do get a little sore (I’m not sore today after riding a short parade on my 8’- using a saddle style that would make all of you cringe, then a 15-mile ride on my Coker - with an old-style Miyata seat).

I guess the question is: how do I do it? I think the biggest thing for me is being able to keep pedaling while standing up off the seat for a little. That and riding a LOT over the years. My knees and achilles give out loooong before I have to quit because of saddle soreness. (and for those who will suggest putting my seat up so my knees don’t hurt or putting my seat lower so my achilles don’t hurt - I’ve done both, which is why they both have had problems for distance riding!)

The two women going on the Alps Uni Tour (aut.unitours.org) both wear padded shorts. I cannot remember if they have airseats or not.

Connie