Saddle tilt

Hi everyone,
First message here, I spent some time reading first but couldn’t find an answer.
I started unicycling (again) last summer, but it’s really this year that I can practice a lot. I have a Nimbus muni 24", and a basic Kahero 20" for home practice. I sort of master the free mounting with one foot down, thanks to a thread on this forum.
I have a saddle question. Height was easy to adjust, roughly like a normal bicycle, plenty instructions out there. But the saddle tilt puzzles me. The guys at told me that each his own taste, but that’s a bit vague. I kept mine as it was when it arrived: pointing up. It’s sort of comfortable, though sometimes my nuts tend to feel compressed!
But really, does the tilt affect the riding? I find myself doing a lot of zigzag whilst riding, and sometimes when I go (reasonably) fast, it feels like the uni is a bit out of control. Would I be better off, putting the saddle more horizontal, or won’t it make a difference?
Sorry if it’s a subject covered by dozens of threads, but feel free to share your experience re: saddle tilt.
Pierre, in Belgium right now.

I try to set my seat angle so that my “sit bones” are on the most padded part of the saddle, too far bak and the “fall off” the seat, too far forward and I start to get pressure on the jewels.

If you have the standard seat post that is only adjustable by slide the seat on the post base, then most people will run the seat all the way up/forward.

If you have an adjustable KH seat post, you have far more choices.

Thanks for your reply!
The saddle on mine are roughly adjusted as you say: front is almost at its maximum position. I guess the zigzag motion is inherent to unicycling and will reduce as I progress.

Right- that’s you stomping on the pedals. As your balance improves, you’ll spin the pedals more and stomp on them less.

Seat Tilt

Someone advised me to place a few washers under each front seat screw. It tilted the front of the seat up. This worker out really well for me. I think I placed two washers on each screw.

And that explains why I do it more on the 24" than on the 20" on which spinning smoothly is much easier.

The key to reducing the side to side “swing” is to spin the cranks vs push down on the pedals, a subtle difference, but it makes a big difference.

And yes, a couple washers will jack up the nose of the seat, but if you are running a Nimbus saddle and are having “crushed jewels issues” it is more likely due the seat being curved in the waist in contrast to a KH Freeride which is flatter through the waist.

Try the washers, jack it way up, then see how it feels. You’ll know it’s too much if your sit bones are falling off the back of the seat.

But right now, it’s hard for me to visualise the difference, to be honest!

Funny to resurrect this thread, 2 1/2 years later.
I’m now a better rider, but still not 100% with it, especially on tarmac.
I can’t edit the title of the first post, but I guess this could be my journal.

Went riding the 29" last weekend, and my girlfriend filmed me, for (self)educational purpose.

From what I see, I find myself a bit stiff in the upper body. And probably stomping on the pedals a bit much (the soles show that, they have a little bend which can be seen in the slomo part).
A bit later on that day, I extended the handle more, lowered it a bit. And things clicked into place, my brain seems to finally understand how the upper body can control the balance - leaving the legs to just spin. It was a series of short bursts, and I’m sure I’ll be able to get better at it. Now that I’m beginning to feel it.

Any other advice and feedback welcome!

Also the unicycle is angling backward and you seem to be leaning forward. This may also influence the preferred setting of the saddle.

I couldn’t rename this thread, and didn’t realize it wouldn’t turn into a journal without the right title.

Interesting observation. I don’t know if I do it all the time, it could be that I’m here on packed gravel. When I ride rough(er) terrain, I angle a bit so that if I hit an obstacle, I won’t be thrown by hit. The angle gives me the opportunity to dampen the impact.

People with handlebar, what’s your position like? I’ve seen photos of unis with handlebar, but none with the rider on it…

I prefer to ride with a straight back as much as possible on a smaller uni. I have the feeling that it allows for more control at low speeds and increases the ability to turn. Also in anticipation of a bump such as a low curb angling backward with a straight back allows me to ride over it without losing speed.
I haven’t filmed myself to see how this pans out exactly though so i can’t really compare.

With a 36 inch and a handle bar the length of the crank is an important variable. With shorter cranks the ability to control through pedaling is reduced. This forces me to balance using posture and i guess i also lean a bit forward with the uni angled backward…

That makes sense. I’m on a 29" on that video.
Would be interesting to see what I do on the 24".

Spinning is mostly a mental image. In fact most of the action on the cranks really does come down pretty much to stomping as there are considerable sections where force can not be effectively applied.

The difference with an experienced rider who can avoid swerving is the ability to apply compensating sideways forces during the stomp.

The other aspect is the ability to hold the uni straight during the pedaling dead spots where the trail on the wheel is not effective at stabilising its direction.

It would. Angling the uni back increases stability in the same way as increasing the rake angle on bicycle forks. It increases the trail in the steering geometry.

The trade off is decreased responsiveness. The more upright the uni the sharper it will turn.

Any amount of lean on the uni must be compensated for with a forward lean of the body or the point of contact would no longer be under the centre of gravity.

I’m not in a good enough position to give any advice, but it’s an interesting thread :slight_smile:

I feel I sit bolt upright on my unicycle and my bum/seat is behind the centre of gravity. I think this is because I have my seat tilted sooo far back for comfort. So far back that it is difficult to freemount if I have lots of clothes on and I’m close to slipping off. But that is the comfiest position for me.

But now I am changing my ideas and I repositioned my seat on the last ride on my 29". It was a heck of a lot easier to freemount :slight_smile:
The reason I’ve repositioned my seat is that when I get on my 36" in a few months, I do not have the space for the luxury of my adjustable seatpost. I have to ride the unicycle as it comes, stock, so I need to break myself into riding that position.

With the seat more level I find myself leaning forward of the unicycle.
As soon as start to lean forwards the unicycle is in race mode so I have to lean back to slow down.
I’m wondering should I go back to standard non adjustable seatposts on all my unicycles so I get into just one riding position.

I’m not sure if I stomp on the pedals, my uni shoes have a thick sole and don’t really flex. But my left leg is almost a dead weight and I can’t lift it up off the pedals at all.

That’s why my only freemount is the static one so I put my left foot exactly where I want it before I start.
When I need to reposition my right foot, eg going uphill etc I tell myself that at least I have one foot in the best place so I’ll be okay.

Hope some of this makes sense.