Unicycle Seat Questions

I have been riding the unicycle for a couple years now and more recently I have been attempting longer trips. I have always found the seat to be extraordinarily uncomfortable, but I assumed it was just part of riding the unicycle. I am beginning to find out that there are ways to make it more comfortable. I know I could get a gel seat, an air seat, or touring handles, but I am not sure which type of solution is most effective. The unicycle I am currently using is an avenir 20 inch mountain bike unicycle. Does anyone have any suggestions or opinions regarding this? Thanks in advanced for any responses.

There are a couple things you can do to make longer rides more comfortable. First I would suggest getting a unicycle with a bigger wheel. When I first learned (on an inexpensive 20"), it was misery trying to make it to the 1 mile mark. When I got there, I bought a used Nimbus 26" from another forum member on the Trading Post. My distance went to 5 miles almost overnight.

A better quality saddle will make a big difference. Which one to get is up to the individual rider, it’s very subjective. Personally, I like the KH saddles, and I find that they are much more comfortable when they have been “flattened.” (Use the search feature to see much discussion on flattened saddles.) The two unis I ride most now (muni and road) have flattened saddles (do-it-yourself flattening jobs).

Good luck!

Thanks for your response! I will definitely look into getting a new unicycle as I have had this one for quite a while now.

Yeah, the Nimbus 26 is a fairly nice unicycle - just did 12 miles on mine, while a month ago my legs were screaming trying to do two laps of the office on a 20.

That said, if I’d waited a little longer I might have talked myself into a 29, which I now kind of wish I had gotten instead.

But finding the right seat is still on my to-do list - have to take a day or two off after multi-mile rides.

Cool, I’ll definitely take a look at nimbus unicycles. They look fairly reasonably priced and high quality.

“Instead?” You know you can’t have too many unicycles, right?

And if you buy it from one of the recommended shops (where are you on this planet?), you should be able to negotiate a swap from the stock saddle on the Nimbus to a KH.

That’s an interesting idea. I live in massachusetts, so it looks like there are a couple shops nearby. Negotiating something like that would make the whole process a whole lot easier and potentially cheaper.

You may want to try re-adjusting the angle of your saddle, and grab a pair of bike shorts if you aren’t already using them.

You shouldn’t be having that many issues after only a couple of miles.

Already at maximum nose up (and in contrast to the suggestion elsewhere, I don’t really want to add washers, as I don’t think it is designed to be supported at just four points, but rather by the whole curved mounting plate).

The irony is I bought a KH adjustable angle seatpost at the same time, but it won’t fit as it tapers out to nearly 50mm and the current nimbus gel base has a molded depression for the plate that is more rectangular. And the captive bolts aren’t long enough for a stack of washers or more form-fitting spacer to place it outside the molded depression. I haven’t decided between selling it, sawing/maching off the expanded part of the wings so it will fit, or using it with some entirely scratchbuilt seat where that won’t matter.

The ones I have tried so far actually made things worse, as the padding pushed me forward so I noticed even more pressure - they seem to be designed to fit a narrow bike seat (or to be used with reward pressure from handlebars), not for sitting upright on a huge unicycle seat

That would be a nice thought (though 12 miles is more than “a couple”) but I’ve been brainstorming different seat ideas today in hopes of finding something that works better.

Maybe you can flatten the saddle a bit, did you search the forum with that word? There are a few threads about doing so, at home in the oven.

Yes, was just reading those. But I think I’m more tempted to try to build one up from scratch than destroy a basically new saddle (as much from the time to get a replacement if it proves worse than stock as the cost of the thing)

If you soften the plastic using boiling water then it’s pretty hard to destroy it. I think most of the people who destroyed their bases used an oven.

None of the above. Buy a KH saddle and put the Nimbus gel saddle on the 20 inch.

Good call!

Which one? They all seem to have both proponents and detractors.

Realistically, that might happen if UDC brings a variety to unifest, but it probably won’t happen before then.

Just looking at the KH Freeride, it’s clear how the curve is less pronounced than a Nimbus:

And I’m not even talking about the Zero which is basically flat - but requires some serious riding to be enjoyed, and is made for riding with a hand on it (if not a handlebar). On its page on the KH website, Kris writes We still recommend curved saddles for first-time riders and riders who typically do not hold the front saddle handle. and also writes We recommend adding a T-bar handle for most riders (not included). I have one myself, and it’s been a sort of love/hate relationship where we spend months without talking, then are best buddies for a few weeks. :sunglasses:

I quite like your approach to adapting the saddle yourself. You can get a saddle cover (that’s inexpensive and easier than making one), and build a base. I’ve seen them made with plywood + metal and also carbon fiber or fiberglass.

That’s true - but there are also a lot of comments here from people who find it less comfortable than the nimbus gel. Rolling the dice on things that are very much “personal preference” by means of slow, expensive shipping isn’t really very efficient.

That one sounds very interesting, but is presently unavailable, except perhaps with the purchase of a KH unicycle.

I’m putting as much throught into rigging up a handle as replacing the saddle, in fact that may come first.

I’d basically have to be ordering something today to get it setup and minimally tried before unifest, so anything that happens will probably be locally sourced materials or those already on hand.

Compulsion Cycles lists the Zero as in stock.

That’s a lot of money (and you need a pivotal seat post) to just try. Glad I god mine when it first came out and weirdly enough, the European price was much kindler…