Pain while riding (as a woman)

Hi everyone,

I’ve been teaching myself how to unicycle recently and I’m really enjoying it. I’m at the stage where I can ride for a few kms (road riding; not really interested in muni) but I’m finding that I’m struggling to ride further due to pain in my genital area. I’m just wearing shorts and have a club unicycle (so nothing fancy but it’s not too bad either). I find that there’s just rubbing down there and after a certain point it starts hurting and I don’t want to ride any further. My genitals feel numb and sore/sensitive for up to 1-2 days after too (depending on how long I ride, which is generally anywhere from 30-60 mins) which isn’t great.

Does anyone have any suggestions? Bike shorts? Better saddle? I’m in Australia in case it makes a difference (as I probably won’t have access to everything that’s available to riders in the US/Europe, for example).

Thank you in advance for any suggestions!

The basic dynamics of what we’re doing as we ride are the same for both male & female, we’re essentially crushing our groin against the saddle by putting our weight on it rather than the pedals. But it’s also essential to our riding, unlike our two wheeled friends.
Cycling shorts are a well proven help, I wear two pairs and they make a big difference. For chafing, there are special creams you can buy from any decent bike shop, and they do help.
Saddles become a personal issue and everyone on here has their own views on them. I don’t know of any gender specific saddles, but I am a big fan of the KH Fusion Zero and Fusion One which can both be used almost flat, which eases some of the crush from a regular banana saddle.

Apologies for jumping in as a bloke.

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Another male opinion, sorry!

I have read that @Becky98 recommends the Qx Eleven saddle as being the best for women. She’s an amazing rider who can endure a lot, so I can’t say for sure her advice may apply to anyone… But you could try such a saddle :grin:
Another important point is to ride with a handle - either KH T-bar, Qu-ax handle or URSLI bar. It lets you put more weight in your arms and hands and less on your soft tissues. It also makes it easier to stand up on the pedals to rest the sore parts of your anatomy.
Following the handle, a set of aerobars may also be a great help to adopt another position on the saddle. But that requires much more training, so that’s not an immediate solution.

Regarding the flat saddle mentioned by @Dino: I wouldn’t recommend it. Two of my female friends had a try to the Fusion Zero and they both had a really bad moment. They told me this saddle was worse for them than the traditional banana-shaped saddles.

Thanks @Dino and @Maxence for your input. I was hoping to get some input from some ladies but I’ll experiment and hopefully find a solution.

Some things apply to both sexes. Use relatively short cranks because this requires more force on the feet, relieving the sitting pains. Similarly, riding on hilly terrain.

I used to ride a lot of hills but got out of practice. When I got back into it, I would go out on my easier routes and still have leg pain for days afterwards.

Then we got our new rail trail and it is very flat so no stress on the legs but no relief from the saddle either. Makes a big difference.

For long distances it is important to learn how to move around on the saddle and put the pressure in different places. It takes considerable skill to learn to do this though.

No matter what gender, raising the front of the saddle higher is something to try. The higher the nose of the saddle is, the more weight is shifted to the back of the saddle and more weight on the sit bones where it belongs. Some saddles are quite limited in how far they can be adjusted but spacer washers can be added to increase the amount of adjustment.

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I was going to mention the KH adjustable seat post but they don’t seem to be available any more.

I am a female rider, but in no way an expert. I will suggest that you first of all try some bike shorts. Go to a shop and try them on (important). I once tried a pair of bike shorts which according to the label was designed to women, but I didn’t like them at all and ended up buying a pair for men. So just get what fits you best :slightly_smiling_face:
Good luck with your riding!
Best regards,


@Gockie? Any thoughts?

Hi @theantexplorer ,
I’m also in Australia and female! :slight_smile:
Feel free to mention what part of Australia you are in. I’m in Sydney.

Firstly, i hated the standard Club saddle. I couldn’t stand it, extremely uncomfortable! I like the KH fusion freeride or the older nimbus gel saddles are pretty fine imo.

I’m not a super quick rider, when I rode the marathon at the last Unicon my groin was quite sore from lap 2 of 3 (14km laps). Eventually in lap 3 I decided to dismount 3 times to give my groin a break. I didn’t feel confident enough to try to just stand on the pedals and ride so 3 short breaks it was! Really great relief.
I finished in just under 3 hours.

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Thanks for chiming in, ladies, there are still not enough of you here. :slight_smile: Also take the advice of @Becky98 seriously. Rebecca Widener (spelling might be wrong) has been very deep into unicycling for many, many years, and does tours of daily riding.

If your uni uses a seatpost with slots for the bolts, this allows you to change the angle some, which can make a useful difference. This seems to be the most common post style now on; I would call it Schwinn style, based on that company being the original source of that spec.

Don’t get mixed up with a handlebar unless you want to get into long rides. But a seat with a handle on the front is something you can lean on, to take some weight off the seat. Also yes, change your position from time to time, this will give some relief. There is also a level of “you get used to it” but this varies by individual (male or female). And the more you ride, the more your body “adjusts” to the longer saddle time.


Thanks everyone! @Gockie I’m also in Sydney :slight_smile: I only started a few months ago so very much a novice but loving it so far and hoping to go on longer rides gradually. Are there group rides in Sydney? I know there’s lots of unicycle hockey meet ups but I’m not so keen on that.


Cool! There hasn’t really been anything going on in Sydney in terms of group rides, but I am absolutely happy to meet you and go for a ride together (if you feel ok with that). I’ll send a pm.


I wear 2 sometimes 3 bicycle patting shorts and that helps tremendously. When I remember I’ll put a little petroleum jelly on both sides of my inner thigh and I’m good no pain and no sourness :+1:t5:

Chris you need to get an air saddle cover for that big wheel… I don’t know how much more enjoyable your ride can get but a an air saddle cover will certainly help.


I will have to look into that, but my rides are more comfortable now than they were in the early years of riding.

I’ve had trouble with padded shorts. Surprisingly, they make things worse for me, causing more rubbing and discomfort where I really don’t want it.
Last year, I found something that works well for me: Seducci’s equestrian underwear, but the version without padding. These are great because they don’t have seams in the sensitive areas. I’ve been using the “Jane Zero” Shorts ever since. They work as my cycling shorts and I wear seamless underwear unterneath.

I also kind of like the Mad4One Handle Saddle even though it’s quite expensive. It’s not banana-shaped like the club saddle (causing you to fall forward and sit on your pubic bone) but still wide enough to support a wider ischial tuberosities distance unlike some flat saddles like the Kris Holm Zero.

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