I couldn’t find a thread on this topic regarding air saddle so I’m starting this one. I’m going to document my journey of riding with it to give impressions and communicate if I believe it is worth the price.
I had seen the description online, 3 reviews, and the suggestion Ed Pratt enjoyed the experience on the prototype and wanted to create a hub for my experience and more information.
I bought it because I tend to lose circulation while doing distance riding in the gonads and wanted to reduce this to decrease breaks needed. Most circulation issues tend to happen for me after 2 hours of riding weather wearing good underwear or bike shorts.
My experience with saddles has included:
- M4O Comfort Saddles (my favorite, great circulation but small bumper)
- Nimbus Stadium (great handle, no lack of circulation but kinda uncomfortable after an hour)
- Qu-Ax Eleven ( Great for Muni and firm but tend to lose circulation and has too much pressure)
- Air Saddles.
My current fleet it a 24" with a stadium, 29" with air saddle, and G29 with Air Saddles.
My First impression after an hour of riding on it is that it feels just like a stadium saddle but I did notice a relief in pressure in the middle. I’m hoping to take a longer 4-6 hour ride with the unicycle in the next few weeks and take it in to work with a backpack to help determine its value.
As of right now, I have positive feelings on it.
I have no experience with the air saddle but I do with the air saddle cover. I am a fan and a believer in it and as I have posted in the past and will continue to, it will make almost any saddle more comfortable.
That being said my only complaint is I wish they would offer it in more colors.
I have one on my Oracle 36. Overall I’m quite satisfied, it’s firm but comfortable, has good support; I didn’t have any circulation issues on it, even on a 60km trip, which is not the case for the KH Fusion One on my KH26. Then again, a 36er and a 26er are apples and bananas, I didn’t have the chance to compare these saddles on the same unicycle back to back. Also as the Air Saddle is the most premium one in the market, I think it’s more valuable if someone can compare it with the long praised KH Freeride saddle.
It interesting to note that Ed Pratt initially reported that he liked the saddle but later on in his trip up the east coast he reported he was in pain again.
About air saddles in general, if you look back a several years on this forum when home made air saddles were popular they kind of died out. The impression I got was that the air saddles did put a uniform pressure on the sit bones and sensitive parts and after the initial comfortable feel the idea of long term equal pressure was not good.
It is not clear to me if the new Nimbus air saddle has individual air pockets or if the air pressure is the same over the entire surface. If they are separate chambers that may put more pressure on the sit bones and less on sensitive parts, that would be a good thing.
I think this is perfectly understandable, for such a long distance riding, there would never be a saddle that could guarantee pain-free.
The air bladder is constructed from a super tough highly flexible plastic which contains a series of interconnecting pockets in 3 sealed zones; front, middle and rear. This allows the air to move around the bladder and give a more cushioned feel to the rider without bottoming out.
So I guess there are chambers, but not totally separated.
I think you are correct for normal uni saddles. For real pain free long distance I believe you need to think outside the “normal” box. For a real pain free saddle my noseless air saddle is hard to beat for saddle comport but there are some concessions on the relationship between the saddle and pedals.
For 100% of the weight on the sit bones and no weight on sensitive areas or chafing issues my front support saddle works well. I have put several hundred miles on it with the longest non-stop ride of 26+ miles with no adverse effects.
Agreed, I think for each rider it will be a bit different. I ride with close fitting pants or hiking shorts so loss of circulation is my main issue over pain and chafing.
The air saddle does feel like it has less pressure overall and has been holding up on the first few rides so far. It shares a similar shape as the stadium saddle as well so less curved and wide than my Qu-Ax Eleven. I think this profile would help reduce chafing but any ride over 3 hours I’m usually wearing my cheap Amazon padded shorts so these help too.
Neither my ass nor privates have a brain. They do not over think things, they do not know how to do equations or calculations.of any kind All they know is riding a unicycle is brutal on the above mentioned parts and they know when they hurt and can’t take a minute more. I am here to say that the nimbus air saddle cover will save your ass and other important parts. If you want to ride foran extended period of time this cover will save your ass and your bacon
Before you go trying every saddle on the planet, buy one of these for $50 and put it over what ever saddle you have. You won’t be disappointed.