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.
Update for everyone, after a few weeks o f riding in definitely in love with the saddle. I went on my first 4-5 hour ride without a pack and it performed really well.
The stadium saddle normally gives me some ball pain and there was a bit with this saddle but after doing some comparison to the normal stadium in my 24" I definitely agree that it works as advertised.
I’ve had a chance to commute about an hour to work on it as well and the performance with a pack has been great.
My first trip with saddle will likely not be until April or May when the temperature rises above 0 here in Canada, (there are parts that the snow lasts October to May, glad I moved away from there) but I still have had great expectations that are continually being met.
Big question, is it worth the price tag? If you want to throw money at the problem then yeah, but I’d recommend checking out a Mad4One Comfort Saddle or KH saddle first. For the price difference between it and a KH saddle though it’s a worthy upgrade in my mind if you already have upgraded your cranks/pedals/other uni aspects first.
The air saddle cover is only $50 And will .make any saddle more comfortable. On top of that you can move it from uni to uni as desired. I’ve made this post over and over and will continue to until I see people receptive to it. You can complain about your ass hurting or putting your family jewels in perel all you want or you you can pony up $50 and start enjoying your rides. Those snobs out there that avoid it generally sleep with ice packs on their private, I do not know
Very good point too, the air saddle cover I imagine is a great option I’d want to highlight in this post too.
My intention is not to push people to the higher end stuff when this is already a fairly expensive sport if your into higher end stuff. Legitimately most of my riding could be done on square taper, I just have expensive taste so Isis everything lol.
Very good option would be adding the air saddle to existing saddle you enjoy.
Other than my fanatical endorcing
of the air saddle cover I have also been a proponent of the udc trainers and titans with squared tapered cranks. Over 4 years I was able to ride nearly 2000 miles on a second hand udc 29er. This is a reliable and adaptable uni, I have worn out several tires but no hubs or cranks. I have since acquired a fleet of unis including a nimbus 29er road a nimbus 26er muni, an 24 oracle a 32 titan and a coker 36er The 29er remains my favorite size.
My point is the latest and the greatest does not result In huge gains in speed, reliability or performance.
While I ride my nimbus 29er I istill own and ride my udc trainer, y it is in great condition and has many miles of riding to go.
I just want people to start riding without breaking the bank or being intimidated and also achieve a level of comfort without having to experiment like most of us have had to do.
100% agree with you, I just have expensive taste lol.
Since we got on to talking about keeping things cheap and simple, I think it’s time to talk about my ol’ faithful Club 24” again. I got the thing summer 2020 after learning to ride on a Schwinn 20” from the ‘70s. Over the course of that summer I estimate about 1000 miles were put on it, and another 500 through the fall, winter, and spring. The next summer I put another 500 or so miles in and got a 29” in September, at which point that became my road uni and the Club was used only for some trail riding, rather than absolutely everything. So that’s about 2000 miles(I wish I had an exact number, but I didn’t add a cycling computer until fall 2020 I think and then it fell off in the ice of winter). 2000 miles on a $150(at the time) unicycle, not bad! And it’s got a lot of life left in it too. Quite a few of those miles were on trails and it’s taken a lot of drops, both in terms of upds and riding over picnic tables and such. I only changed a few things on that uni, I added pinned pedals, boiled the seat flat and added extra foam to it, and added a water bottle holder. This Club 24” is the reason that if I could have only one wheel it’d be a 24”, and a square taper hub with ~2” tire at that, to make it capable of everything.
I think that one thing prospective buyers of an air saddle should be aware of is that except for the writing on the side, outwardly it will look and feel exactly like a Nimbus Stadium. Apparently there are air bladders on the inside that will provide more comfort on a longer ride, but be aware that when you get one you will not be able to spot an immediate difference and it won’t feel like you have a big cushy air bladder between you and the saddle.
Agreed, having both stadium and air, they ride and feel pretty much the same but I do notice there’s less pressure on my body at that contact point with the air saddle. A similar effect could probably be achieved with the cover and a regular stadium.
So I did my first real test of the air saddle today with a Unipacking trips. 60km total over 2 days with a 20lbs pack and riding with cheap Amazon padded bike shorts.
So was the Air Saddle worth the money? Kinda
Compared to my Qu-Ax Eleven, KH saddles and M4O comfort saddles I wasn’t losing as much feeling in my groin as I usually do. It definitely made a difference.
Is it worth twice as much money as normal KH saddles?
Not really in my mind. I’m really happy with my results but as other have mentioned above the air saddle cover has good reviews and can be swapped easily between unis. It went on sale on Black Friday from 94£ to 75, and I’d say that’s a bit more in line.
Am I happy with it performance?
Yeah, I spent a lot of money on 2 of them though and have really noticed a difference when I’m just riding around my neighborhood. I really like the big handle because it’s great for long rides and means I don’t need to install my Qu-Ax handlebar. The nimbus Stadium has the same handle though. A stadium with a air cover would be cheaper though.
Should you get one?
I’d say try cheaper saddles first, try a handlebar maybe for long rides to help with pressure, and try some bike shorts.
If I had the choice to do a 100km with or without one I’d get one hands down.
@rogeratunicycledotcom You and the team definitely made a good product!