seat comfortability

Hey guys,
I’m a relatively new unicyclist with a 26 inch unicycle. My goal right now is to ride a 50 mile trip both ways from san jose to san francisco. My problem right now is that my seat is really uncomfortable. after going about a mile or two i have a really uncomfortable pain from my seat. Is the problem from my seat or is it because i’m riding wrong? If possible what seat or unicycle should i look into getting?

links & thoughts

Hey Madslick;

Welcome to the forum.

Seat comfort has been addressed in several other threads including

just to name a few. Check these threads out and see what you can learn.

Also, another part of seat comfort comes down to conditioning. The more you ride, the less discomfort you will experience – up to a point. Having said that, I’m still trying to figure out if I can ever take the discomfort of a century ride (or if it might do some permanent damage). I’m thinking I might pick up a KH Fusion Street for my Nightrider 36 and see if it doesn’t help with distance riding. Others have suggested that it will.

Meanwhile, keep increasing the time in the saddle little-by-little and see what happens.

Happy riding!

UPD in Utah

Beyond that, why not tell us what seat you’re using, and what kind of bike shorts you’re wearing? Then we can give more specific advice.

San Jose to SF and back is not only a long ride for a 26", it also sounds like one with lots of intersections, stops, traffic, etc. This is actually not such a bad thing, as stopping gives your crotch a chance to be off the seat. For road riding, people are going more and more to handlebars these days to take some of the weight off the crotch.

I found I needed to modify my seat to make it more comfortable. But yeah, seat time is 85% of it. A really handy thing, and not too hard to learn thing, is to learn to pedal standing up. Just grab the front handle and push down while you push down on the pedals and you will get a couple of inches of air between you and the seat. Even 10 seconds will help. 20-30 seconds even more so. It takes more leg strength to pedal like that so I don’t do it for long periods of time. But it sure comes in handy while your backside toughens up.

I cut a long strip of sheepskin. Twice as long as the seating I need, fat in the middle and narrow at each end. I then fold it at the fat middle and then attach it to the seat with elastic bands. Pictures below.

The fat middle is the width of the rear of the seat and the narrow ends match the front end of the seat.

When it gets a bit grotty or flat I turn it over and refit. SOmetimes I move it an inch to move less pressed parts under my tender regions.

And I have several so I can wash and alternate them. I am probably capable of getting many thousands of km off each with washings. I have ridden aver 10,000km so far on an ungeared 24" so on a larger wheel or geared uni a single sheepskin cut up into many pads should do you for a lifetime.

Yes to conditioning. But also, and maybe you are already ok with this, but eventually you will be capable of and automatically will adjust yourself on the seat as or after you freemount, putting all your weight down on the pedals and shimmying your tush into the comfortable position.

Without tribars/aerobars you will still likely have to hop off and walk for a hundred metres or surreptitiously adjust your tackle. I find that this is mostly necessary only on smooth easy bike paths where you can settle your bum fully on the seat for extended periods of time.

(Adjusting your tackle has the dubious advantage of maybe making you famous on youtube if someone with a mobile phone catches you out.)

Wow that’s really interesting. I can’t believe that its just about getting used to it… I understand how muscles get stronger or build more endurance but how does that area build endurance if it’s just a discomfort. You just get used to it i suppose?? I’m gonna see how it goes after i get a good unicycle. Right now i have a cheap unicycle compared to the ones i have heard of on these forums. It’s a cyclepro and it has a generic seat.

Thanks for the tip on the sheepskin, that looks really helpful. I will take your guys’ advice on the endurance. You guys are much more knowledgable on unicycles than i am.

It shouldn’t really be a surprise - it’s much the same as starting out riding a horse.

Some of it is conditioning the skin and muscles you alude to. But mostly it will be working out what riding positions work, what adjustments you need to make during the course of riding and improving your ability to make those adjustments while on the fly. That all comes about with time and distance.

On the periphery, what clothing works best (a big one in my case), and maybe try some salve for a while.

I would emphasise the need to establish how often you need a break. I can be losing some feeling in the nether regions but I am not necessarily aware of it while it is happening. It is only when I stop for a break and, in the course of adjusting my valuable tackle down low that I become aware of some tingling or reduced feeling. It is NOT a good thing to regularly go beyond the point of good circulation.