Any recommendations? I’ve tried a few types of regular cycling shorts… and they help a bit, but I feel like there should be something out there that’s a lot better. My longest rides have been around 8-9 miles, but it hurts pretty bad at that point, otherwise I’d definitely go further.
I’d like to be able to ride 2 days in a row if I feel like it
I appreciate the help of all of you veterans out there. I started riding when I was about 8 and rode for a couple years. Picked it up again a couple years ago when I learned about mountain unicycling. It gets me out on the trails. Love it.
Once I went about 9 miles on my 29 without stopping. That was a bit extreme, but I have done many less hurried rides of 20 miles or so and never had a problem related to clothing.
What Lightbulbjim says about the shorts with tons of padding sounds correct to me, though I don’t speak from experience. I have never even tried biker shorts. For unicycling, any knee-length shorts that are of thinner material and can stretch easily seem OK to me. Champion makes some good ones that have pockets and are 100% cotton. They cost about $8.
Cycle shorts reduce chafing on the inner thighs and the padding on the seat makes some difference.
The thing that makes the most difference is just getting on and doing more. I have regularly done 10 miles without a dismount, sometimes more than 20 miles and once did a marathon distance without a dismount. Other people ride 50 and 100 mile days.
The more you get used to it, the less it will hurt.
Things that can help are a T handle to take some of your weight, and standing on the pedals for brief intervals.
All seatposts I have seen have adjustability for the angle of the seat - loosen the 4 nuts holding the seat on and angle it differently and see how that changes things. I noticed it was comfier for me when I angled the front of the seat further down - then again your seat is a completely different shape, so it’ll likely be a different kettle of fish.
Tailbone was definitely the wrong term for where it hurts. It’s more like both of the “ischium” on the inside (pubic arch area) as you can see in the pic below. There’s some padding on the cycling shorts I have in that area, which I think helps a bit. Maybe my seat position isn’t quite ideal? Any recommendations for the seat that I have? Should I try to tilt the nose up a bit more?
Absolutely. I have a KH Zero, with no handlebar. Yet. I think the only thing that makes those seats their best is if you have a handlebar. I’ve got to get a KH Muni handle for mine…
Based on your diagram, and my limited understanding of how it relates to what I can feel from the outside, I think the area we’re talking about is just next to the P and H of Pubic Arch.
Find a pair of good quality padded bike shorts. These can be Mountain or Road style (you can wear regular shorts over Road shorts if you don’t like the look). Check the padding to avoid seams that will be too close to that pressure area.
The KH One saddle is supposed to be an improvement on the KH Zero. I assume this is true, but I haven’t had a chance to compare. I got mine just as the new ones were coming out. So consider adding the KH handle (short if you mostly do Muni, long if you mostly do pavement). I think that, and just more saddle time, will make a big difference.
My personal record for no-dismount riding is 42 km; the Marathon race at Unicon XIV in Denmark. OWW! But I believe that if I trained up for longer distances without dismounting, my body would get used to it. I’ve ridden 50-62 miles a few times, and 72 and 100 miles once each. Got to train for those distances. As you train your legs, you are also training your crotch!
Bicyclists say “sit bones” for the ischial tuberosities. I know the tenderness there from when I get back on a hard racing saddle after some time away. (If I were to try a long road bike ride now…) I haven’t tried any of the narrow uni saddles yet but with bikes the main thing is to ease into it and give the tissue a chance to recover and adjust. It might be a bit bruised now. Give it a week or two to adapt and try not to overdue it before then and it’ll probably feel a lot better.
If you could describe for us the exercises necessary to build up that particular area, I’m sure we’d all “jump” at trying them! Because after nearly 40 years of unicycling, I’m pretty sure I would have built up that area from pedaling at some point…
I’ve always understood that you sit on your “sit bones” because they’re bones. If you sat on muscles that could be developed by riding, they’d be contracting and relaxing as you pedaled and that movement would cause abrasion and chafing; which is why serious bicyclists use really skinny saddles.
Muscles can be built up without much movement so long as they are loaded. This certainly the case for my lower back which has gone from being quite vulnerable to virtually indestructible since I took up unicycling.
However I think you are probably right. Sitting is a very modern phenomenon. The sit bones didn’t evolve for sitting. They are arches used for muscle anchors involved in leg movement. Humans squatted for an eternity so there has not been any evolutionary pressure to pad over them until very recently. The extent of padding is probably largely random.
I am fortunate to have quite a good thickness of covering. Bike and uni saddles have never been an issue. Maybe I come from a long line of people who had an advantage from sitting for long periods?
Either that or it was sexual selection. My wife told me that she always found that exact part of my body especially attractive. What uni does for my glutes is one of the reasons she is still my biggest uni fan.