Seat height for comfortable distance riding

I did a search on seat height but most threads mix distance, muni, and trials heights. When my AX-29 comes in, I’ll have to make a decision on how much to cut off the seat post and can be fairly sure noone around will be able to help me much. I plan of course to have the bike shop cut only a little at a time, but I would like some idea of what it should feel and look like.

The noname I am riding is too low. But I can’t use it to gauge how high it should be because the post is too short to be raised much higher. I recall that the Swinn I road in the late 70’s was high enough for my younger brother to reach the pedals while barely bending his knee. The same uni (we had only one between us) on me was of course a little smaller in comparison.

For distance riders…please post your inseam and seat height. Let’s measure between the cranks and seat.

OK, on my 29KH, I have the center of the seat 33 1/2" up from the top of the pedal when in the 6 o’clock position. My inseam (wearing my riding boots) measures 34 1/2" from the floor.

Keep in mind you will need the post lower for longer cranks, and higher for shorter cranks, if you ever plan to change out the cranks. So if you have 165 cranks, make sure to leave enough in the tube to raise the seat if you ever move up to 125 cranks (almost 2" difference).

Oh, ya… I forgot about the crank length…

ok… lets measure from the top of the pedal in the 6 o’clock position. :slight_smile:

Now I gotta think about crank length… ah… so much to think about when you are getting ready for a new baby. :smiley:

With each unicycle I’ve had I’ve found that I’ve started off at a relatively low position but as my confidence has increased I have naturally found the need to raise the seat. So get them to cut off as little as you can get away with but have the seat where you feel comfortable. I think distance riders have their seats higher than for other types of riding.

Sorry, this is probably too vague to be of any use.

I don’t have any measurments to post but I can say I do alot of distance riding and I like to have my seat higher.

If you buy (or borrow) a pipe cutter (hack saws also work) you can cut ityourself. That way if you start conservatively, you don’t have to bring it to the shop to be cut again.

Pipe cutters are super easy to use and make very clean cuts.

Vague. Of course not. Your message is that precise measurements are fine but in the end it must be what you are comfortable with. :slight_smile:


as high as you can while still being able to pedal, or just slightly lower. the reason for this can be explained better in an analogy. it is harder to walk with bent legs than it is to walk with straighter legs.

edit: bent at the knee, not bent as in broken.

Remember to file down the sharp edge when you are done cutting it with a saw or pipe cutter. It helps to put it in your frame, and lessens the chance of cutting yourself.

Ok then I guess the rules for height are the same as if I were touring on a bike. Is that safe to assume so I can listen to the bike shop guy’s advice and suggestions? (bike shop guy doesn’t uni)

Yes… I know for some that is a 4 letter word. :smiley:

I think do a fair bit of ‘long-distance’ road/muni-cycling, whatever that means.

The way I set up my unicycle for road unicycling is exactly as I would for my road bike. Knees very slightly bent at it’s lowest position on the pedal stroke. You lose a lot of power if the seat is too low, but if it’s too high it’s harder to stand up and can be painful from overextending.

On a Muni I set it up with slightly more bend in the knees so I have more maneuvaribility.

if you are going to listen to anybody, he is most likely your best bet.

have it so that your legs are almost straight when you are seated, but make sure you can still stand and ride for larger bumps (ie. curbs, roots, etc).

I have my seat like this on my 24" and it is perfect for me.:slight_smile:

note: i only ride on the road with my cruiser, so if you plan on doing M-uni or light offroad, discard what i have just said;)

if your planning on road riding, buy shorter cranks. 170s are way to long for road riding. buy like 114s.

NOTE: That’s a good pipe cutter. All the ones I ever had were cheapies, and only cut spirals. Those are probably okay for (occasionally) cutting copper plumbing pipes, but seat posts are a little heavier, so don’t buy the cheapest pipe cutter you see! Someday I’ll get a proper one for myself. Until then it’s the hacksaw, but a pipe cutter makes a much nicer, easier cut.

Yup. If unicycling has a Lance Armstrong, Ken is the closest thing to it. Plus, if you know the rules for bicycle seat height, that’s a great rule of thumb. If anything, unicycle seat height is more critical because we pedal more, and because we don’t get to stop pedaling. I agree with Ken on the high seat, which you may lower if the ride is rough. I lower mine quite a bit for serious MUni, but when I take the Coker on the trails I’m not aiming for super-technical so my seat height stays put.

With all this advice all I need now is the uni

Thanks. So it needs to be a nice balance between comfort for distance and maneuverability.


The AX-29 comes with 152mm cranks. This is what I am used to so I’ll leave it at that for now while I get used to the wheel (and mounting it). But I’ll keep this in mind for later. 114s? :astonished:

Ok… if you take your Coker onto trails without adjusting the seat then someday I should be able to do this with the 29. um… “someday” :wink:

on a 29er with 115mm cranks I started with an height of 83cm from the lower position of pedals and ended on slightly less than 85cm.
since my ancestors evolved from wild beasts later than other people I really have short legs … (so the values have no meaning unless you share the same physical features)
same advice: for muni it is still 83 cm.
conclusion: try and try again until you feel comfort

edit: do not be shy on 114 on a 29er I am an awful rider and I can manage it!

Re: Seat height for comfortable distance riding

When I had a knee problem (after riding a Coker) I was advised to
raise the saddle (to about the point where the leg is fully extended,
or very nearly, at six o’clock). It seemed to work. But the same
unicyclist warned that with your saddle too high (which may be just
right for the knees), your ankles start to hurt.

Later, my physiotherapist said that these both made perfect sense. (I
remember that the knee issue is because the vastus medialis muscle
only works when the leg is nearly straight, and it needs to be
exercised too. Not sure what brings the ankle problem on.)

You’ll never go back. I’d at least shorten them to 125s. Then when you revisit 152s you’ll think they’re unbelievably long and clunky. At least make sure you leave your seatpost long enough to allow for short cranks.

Perhaps the idea then would be to experiment within certain parameters and listen to your legs: if they hurt, ajust slightly.