narrow seats

I’ve been riding a fair bit recently, today did a couple of hours and am pretty sore at top of right thigh.
I remember reading a bicycle article that said that beginner cyclists preferred big padded seats, but that the more experienced move towards hard narrow seats.
As an experiment I got on my racing bicycle and found that its narrowness meant that there was no irritation on the sore part, whereas my uni seat hurt.
My uni seat has an inner tube in it and in terms of pressure is no problem, its just the soreness which I think is due to friction.
I’m wondering if any of you have experience with hard narrow seats on a uni.
I did consider putting my racer seat on the uni, but the seat post is a different width.

Re: narrow seats

On Mon, 14 Apr 2003 16:32:36 -0500, onewheeldave
<> wrote:

>I’m wondering if any of you have experience with hard narrow seats on a
Interesting question. Mostly the softer uni seats are appreciated
more. Some complain about too wide seats but most seats are roughly
equal in width except for the cheap Torker which is considered too
small for adults. I guess the hard and narrow variety would be worse
for uni than it is for bi because on a uni often almost all of your
weight is on the seat.

>I did consider putting my racer seat on the uni, but the seat post is a
>different width.
The typical bike seat does not (or hardly) curve up at the front and
rear. That means you will have to work to keep the seat from slipping
away from under you. Bad.

All in all, the traditional uni seat seems to have more or less
optimal shape. The shafing of the inner thigh is a known problem. Bike
shorts help, some other things like butt butt’r or cornstarch are
propagated by some. And, if you ride enough your skin will harden to
it locally.

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

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Re: narrow seats

Ed Mosimann (the guy at Creative Geckos who makes some very creative unicycles) rides with a downhill bike saddle instead of a unicycle saddle. You might want to email him about his experience with the DH bike saddle. I’m not sure if Ed reads this RSU forum. His contact info is on his web page.

Do you get the same chafing and soreness when using a regular Miyata seat with just foam and no inner tube?

Anyways, about your air seat. The tricky part in making an air seat is making sure the tube doesn’t bulge out in the narrow part of the unicycle seat. The first air seat that I made bulged out too much and made it uncomfortable to ride. The middle of the seat just got too wide.

The solution is to stick the inner tube in an air pillow. The air pillow restricts the tube to keep it from bulging out where it shouldn’t. See the Empirical MUni at and scroll down to the air pillow. sells a dogbone air pillow that is designed to be folded over and create a double height air seat. I found that a single layer air pillow with a little foam on top works much better for me than the double height dog bone style. Other people have used duct tape instead of an air pillow to keep the tube from bulging out where it shouldn’t.

It’s been well over a year since I used a foam seat, I remember it not being too comfortable!
I just looked at my seat and think you’re probably right about making it narrower in the middle. I’ve wrapped some tape round the inner tube in the center and put it together and I’ll see how it feels tomorrow. Also going to try some vaseline.
Today I angled the seat slightly to the left and that seemed to help a little.
Cheers for your replies guys!

Hard narrow racing bike seats work because they support your sit (pelvic) bones while allowing you freedom of movement without friction on the sides. I don’t know if this can be duplicated with a unicycle seat for three main reasons:

  1. Pelvic area is at a different angle, so it might not be appropriate to still be sitting on something hard with it
  2. 100% of rider weight is on the saddle, rather than the 60-80% you have on a bike.
  3. The bike makes it easier to stand up when going over bumps. With the unicycle, though you can still stand up, it’s not as convenient, and often you are forced to ride over lots of bumps

Usually leg chafing comes from the bottom edge of the saddle, not necessarily a too-wide air seat. Many people have had this issue with Miyata and other types of saddle over the years. I remember once when my mom, who was doing the first-aid at the time, had to bandage up Joakim Malm’s leg after the one-mile race. This was at the 1983 USA Nationals, and the track was indoors, meaning eight times around and mostly curves. Lots more saddle friction. He had what looked like a burn on the inside of his leg. Joakim Malm, by the way, is the inventor of coasting.

Due to the manufacturing process, many unicycle seats are at their widest at the bottom edge. In the case of the Miyata, this is partially to do with the molding process. In any case, there’s a friction point there.

Combine the friction point with the fact that we unicyclists tend to squeeze the seat more, and you have a tendency for too much friction. Unlike bicycles, we use our legs to steer. So the optimum unicycle seat probably has to be a balance between enough width for comfort, and not so wide as to rub too much.

That’s an interesting point. If the seat base is metal then it may be possible to hammer it in to make it narrower?
If the other options don’t work I’ll give it a try.

I know you guys seem to like to have the front of the seat higher then the back (the seat angled upward). I see how this would help. The problem I have is that the post I’m using, on my stealth Torker, can’t be angled any more. I’m thinking about using washers on the front two bolts as spacers. I wanted to know if that’s a good idea or if it would weaken the whole setup. Any one have any better ideas? I would get a new post, but I’m not sure if I’m going to like my seat angled higher, and shipping to Hawaii is killer.

The other problem I have is with chafing from the bottom edge of my Miyata seat. What’s worse is that I have a large-ish tear in my seat cover along that same edge. I’m worried about the tear growing because of the rubbing, and the tear causing more chafing. Again, any suggestions?


I have done it…

Onewheeldave !..I have done it and …it was not working. The seat…
was escaping from under my a.s.:slight_smile:

I have nuts under the front two posts of my Velo.

(one nut there to hold the bolt in place, the other to equal it out.

It’s been like that for long enough now to be considered fine