I recently picked up a 36" Nimbus for a steal and want to upgrade the saddle. I’m interested in pursuing longer rides (100 mi). I tried the air cover with a Stadium saddle on a 30 mile ride. It was a let down. Plus the current handlebar setup (the old t bar) doesn’t allow for much flexibility in seat angle.
I am interested in the KH Fusion One with a bar or the Large Handle Saddle for some additional comfort. Is there some winning combination out there that I haven’t found scouring these forums?
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To answer your question; no, there is no one solution winning combination that works for everyone. There are some that seem to be better for many riders but it is kind of a trial and error solution. I tried the Stadium saddle that came on a new uni and made it about 1/4 mile before I said, “this is not for me”.
My current “normal” saddle is a older Club saddle that may be different then currently sold. It is good for a 100 mile day with no padded shorts or butt butter as long as I take a break every so often.
You’ll need a saddle with a flat profile for a long distance ride. KH Fusion One is very flat but also very hard, once you get used to it I think it would be a good choice. KH Freeride is generally praised, it’s softer but I don’t have as many mileage on it as the Fusion One. The Nimbus air saddle is good, I have one on my Oracle 36 and done several long rides with it. Not sure how it differs with the air cover.
Note if you are going for KH Fusion One, you’ll need to replace your seatpost too.
To me cycling pants are essential to long rides, no matter what saddle you choose. Without one, your sweaty underpants is actually what brings most pain.
For me, my KH36 setup helps to reduce chaffing/groin point load irritation by taking some of my weight off the butt/seat interface.
With Aero bars, my weight is spread between the elbow/hands on aero bars, butt on seat (KH Fusion one, standard with the unicycle) and feet on pedals.
I normally ride pushing forward/down on the aero bars which moves the seat up supporting my my butt. So I feel I’m not sitting down on the seat, I feel I’m pushing the seat up to support my butt, taking load off my leg muscles. I find this is also less tiring when hill climbing 2% to 6% grade hills.
Pushing forward against the aero bars I am able to slide way back on the seat almost to making contact on the back edge. This really helps with balance control and having the default balance position as backwards biased, so if I go too fast or lose balance a bit the default is to be falling back or slowing down. I got to be mindful of having straight back with aero position and find some YouTube videos about good posture riding bikes helpful.
I got a KH Fusion Free ride for my KH29 which I ride more upright and that is quite comfortable, but I don’t ride long distance with that.
It would not be good for the aero bar setup mentioned above because it’s too wide. The KH Fusion one is perfect for me for that setup, being quite thin in the middle, so I feel there is no contact with my inner thighs to cause chaffing.
I also always ride with a decent pair of cycling/bib shorts.
Fusion one seems to be really good for those who can get used to it - however, some others don’t seem to ever get used to it. If you have the money (or otherwise opportunity without buying) to try it, I think it is definitely worth it, it seems to be the best “standard solution” for many distance riders.
KH T-bar vs. Handlesaddle: I want to point out that you can’t adjust the angle etc. with the Handlesaddle wheras for the KH t-bar you can try out many length and angles and find the most compftable position.
I personally ride a QX eleven with KH t-bar. But KH one with t-bar sounds like a good way to go to and liked by many distance riders!
There is no magic saddle that will be super comfortable for all.
A handlebar setup where you can distribute a decent amount of force to your hands will make the saddle more comfortable.
I believe a (flat) KH Fusion One and a KH T-bar is a good place to start for an out of the box solution. It is very customizable but lacks a bit of stiffness.
Ultimately a distance rider needs to get some of their weight off the saddle . Do this with short cranks which require more force. Ride hard too. Handlebars can also help. Hills are great because they put weight on your feet.
This may sound contradictory to the “weight in the seat” mantra that new riders often use. That is different. As one becomes a better rider, repositioning in the saddle while riding becomes a possibility especially with flat saddles. Being conscious of the pressure points and moving them to different locations while riding can help a lot.
I totally agree! By increasing the force applied to the pedals, we improve the comfort on the saddle.
Although the unicycle is associated with high velocity, velocity without resistance quickly causes discomfort because you put all your weight on the saddle. Short cranks or geared hub increases comfort.
For me the use of a handlebar is also essential, as rigid as possible.
I really like the handlesaddle L + ISM bike saddle combination, and even more the use of a custom frame that allows you to use the saddle of your choice and an aerobar.
Thank you all for the advice and wisdom. It’s good to know that a comfortable saddle design is somewhat of a white whale. @JimT your custom design is sweet thanks for documenting that process.
I’m going to put a little more effort into playing with the seat angle and a new bar set up prior to throwing money at the problem. I noticed yesterday that putting a lot of weight in the hands ameliorated some discomfort but my current short bars don’t allow for that over long rides. My goal is to complete a century ride this summer and at this point the limiting factor is not leg strength but stamina in the saddle.
I notice that the Fusion One gets pretty consistent high praise on here, but they’ve been out of stock in the US since at least last June from what I’ve observed. Does anyone know when some new stock will appear?