Seat height for different riding styles?

As far as trials/street/freestyle uni’s…how high do the seats typically go? Everything I’ve read says that “your knee should be slightly bent when the pedal is all the way down,” but a lot of videos of street riders I’ve seen show that their seats are significantly lower than this, almost like they’re sitting at a desk chair. Personal height/weight/preference obviously play into it, but are there things that (typically) always apply? Such as: street riders usually have their seats lower, trials riders have them higher, etc?

I would assume for MUni/road uni’s, you’d want your seat at the highest possible point so that your leg can maximally extend and exert the most force when it pedals possible, correct? The seat on my 20" is about this high (the top of the seat is maybe 2-3" above my waist when I’m holding the uni next to me. I definitely get the most force out of every pedaling motion, and can ride pretty well, but I’m having trouble with some more technical maneuvers, like getting the seat out from between my legs, for example. Having the seat lower would probably make this action smoother and easier, but at the price of less pedaling power.

Thoughts? Thanks!

Order, high to low (as I see it):

On my freestyle uni I have my seat as high as possible, on my muni I need some inches for “knee-suspension” …

The first version I ever saw of that “knee slightly bent at the bottom” guideline said it was the highest you’d ever want to set the seat, and how much below that you went depended on what kind of riding you’re doing, personal preference, etc.

Eric’s ranking looks good to me, with freestyle position being up around that guideline.

…hmmmmmm…sighhhhh… on my 36er muni I"ll take whatever inches it got…and thats not much…sigh…:D…oh well.

Thanks! :slight_smile:

For road riding, the maximum practical seat height can be determined by riding across the maximum expected side slope.

The rider moves across the seat to compensate for the slope while still needing to reach the pedal on the “long” side. Adjust accordingly.

In addition, the seat is lowered progressively to provide “suspension travel” as the terrain becomes rougher.

The ultimate rough terrain is Trials, hence the lowest seat.

The seat is highest in Freestyle because the maximum side slope is zero and the terrain is smooth.

Trial will be higher in general than street and flat because you need the extra height to hop set in front without bending forward

@_@ Which is it?

If you are riding seat in you’ll want a lower seat but when it comes to seat in front with proper technique the seat should be higher. Look at the difference between a high seat in rolling hop and a high seat in front side hop.

Sounds like some riders could use an “adjust as you ride” seat post driven off the hub. :wink:

It’s available for mountain bikes, so why not?

Wow they look quite practical for uni if they can take the bashing a uni seat gets. It appears they are basically a gas strut with a control valve.

Of course we would need a model with a different bolt pattern. There was a thread a while back about a new company that makes an adapter to fit a uni seat to a plain post so it would do nicely if the sizes worked out.

It seems to be technology on the cusp of acceptance. The price certainly suggests this stage of its product cycle. I’d be waiting for prices to drop.

This one might even be adaptable to the seat plate of a KH adjustable.

Been looking further into it.
Here is the English manual. Look at page four.

Anyone seen one in action?

How low for trials/street?

Lets say a rider has their seat set at 31.5" for learning and general riding around. How much lower would they set the seat for trials/street? One, two, three inches?Would buying a long neck unicycle limit a shorter rider from being able to do trials/street riding? Let’s say they could only lower the seat two inches. Is that enough?

I’m not a Trials expert by any means, but you would definitely want to lower your seat more than two inches to get leg compression for hops. Seat heights for Trials/Street/Flat basically follow a different set of rules than “mostly seated” riding.

Check out some trials videos on youtube, when they’re not jumping, they ride pretty low indeed.

My impression of trials unis is they have a big padded handle that the rider sits on occasionally. :wink:

Ok that’s what I thought. I’ve considered the Equinox unicycle that comes in a street or freestyle version as a good 20" unicycle to buy because it can be switched from one or the other type. The only downside is the long neck, especially for short riders.

There is little to no downside to having a longneck frame, especially if you are willing and able to make some minor simple modifications if it does prove to be too tall.

If you are going to want to have the wide range of seat heights necessary for all those disciplines on a single unicycle a short neck simply won’t have enough room for adjustment with a single seatpost.

A 300mm longneck will give you about 25 cm of adjustment, a standard 150mm seattube length will only give you 10 cm of adjustment.

Lets say you want your seat-base 450mm over your crown for practicing standard skills, you could use a standard frame with 350mm (standard-uncut) seatpost extended to it’s maximum but you would only be able to go down to 350mm as your minimum height with that seatpost.

If you used a longneck frame and a 300mm seatpost you would be able to adjust all the way up to 550mm (100mm higher than before) and down to 300mm (50mm lower). this is how I have my 19", It’s great having the extra adjustment

And here is where modifications come in. If you are short and want your seat down to 250mm for trials but still want to be able to adjust it up to 450mm for practicing your standard skills then you can cut both your post and seat-tube to 250mm giving you the whole adjustment range you want, which is not possible with the standard short-neck frame.

I’ve often wondered why dropper seatposts haven’t caught on with unicyclists, since it seems like they’d be very useful. (And unicyclists love a fiddly piece of gear which costs more than the uni itself.:slight_smile: )

They don’t fit?
They’re not reliable?

I’m sure someone will chime in and explain this…

Wow thanks for laying this all out. This gives me more ideas to ponder.

In reality I’ll never do any trials or street riding. My one regret in life will be not learning to unicycle when I was younger. I had the chance but like many people, gave up after 20 minutes. I wish I had the energy that Terry has. In my own way, I’m trying though.

I’m itching to get another unicycle although I don’t really need one. Like many riders, I’d like to buy a nice one that suites multiple needs which is difficult to do. I thought about getting a long neck and then shortening the seat tube if I needed that flexability. I’m not sure how difficult or easy that would be with an aluminum one. I’ve been browsing old threads for that info.

There is actually an 200mm equinox frame but UDC US doesn’t carry it. I wouldn’t hesitate to buy an equinox if they offered it with that size frame. Riders in the UK are lucky to have UDC UK. They seem really keen on helping customize unicycles. They even offer to cut seat tubes.

So I’m dreaming. Should probably by cheaper version. It’s good to know that, in theory, I could get a long neck and shorten it.