Unicycling with kids - saddle pain

My 8-year-old is incredibly proud that she can finally ride along with me on her Hoppley 16". However, after a few minutes she has to stop because of pain that’s apparently due to the hard plastic edges at the front of her saddle.

I wonder if other unicycling parents have any ideas to solve this problem? I couldn’t find any kid’s saddles online that looked any better than the Hoppley. Here’s what I am considering now:

  • Get a good bike saddle and find a way to mount it on a unicycle. Are there adapters for this?
  • Attach some kind of gel padding on the seat. Are there products like this, and are they any good?
  • Use an adult uni saddle that is narrow enough to fit her. Any advice on the absolute squishiest, comfortablest seat for someone who has zero interest in high-impact tricks or jumps?
Thanks! Dugan (Seattle)

I know these saddles, they’re terrible. But there are alternatives that are much better:
UDC Tini
Qu-Ax kids saddle black
Qu-Ax kids saddle zebra
Ajata M kids saddle (copy of the miyata saddles)

You can’t use a bike saddle. It’s too narrow in the front, it would fall out behind.

Extra padding on this saddle will make it as big as an adult saddle and is (in my mind) throwing pearls to swine

An adult saddle may be too wide for her and not good for her hips as it will press her legs to the outside.

throwing pearls to swine

Good answer and the suggested saddles look better.

Eric, I was going to comment that the translation of the German saying “Perlen vor die Säue werfen” doesn’t translate literally into English, but comments on Leos seem to think that it is well-known in English: Perlen vor die Säue werfen - Englisch gesucht: Englisch ⇔ Deutsch Forum - leo.org

in particular, as it comes from the Bible:
Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.
Matthew 7:6 (King James Version)

However, I’ve never heard it (not a Bible freak) and, at least in American English, I wouldn’t recognize it.
Oh, the meaning is effort wasted or more precisely, a futile gesture that won’t be properly appreciated (as pearls are precious but the pigs will simply crush them without any appreciation), here maybe:
“exercise in futility”,
“trying in vain”,
“barking up the wrong tree”,
“as useful as tits on a bull”,
“pouring money down the drain”,
“Robbing Peter to pay Paul”, or
“pissing into the wind”.

Sorry if that’s being persnickety.

I use padded bike shorts. I assume they are made in kids’ sizes.

+1 on this. Probably the best/easiest solution.
Don’t discount the regular bike saddle idea, either. (I’m thinking of the slim, racing style saddles.) If you just tilt it up a little in front, it won’t slip out. (The new Fusion Zero is shaped a lot like a bike saddle.) (Now that I think about it, the original Loyd’s unicycles came with regular bicycle racing style saddles.) You don’t need an adapter, just a regular bike seat post of the correct diameter (probably 22.2mm). At least the shape would be skinny enough for a little kid. (and smooth, no rough edges). Maybe a combination of that and the padded cycle shorts?
Good luck!

I’ve heard it often. Where I live, people know the Bible very well.:slight_smile:

Thanks, everyone! Lots of great ideas. I will follow Eric’s excellent advice and try a better-quality uni kid seat - I didn’t realize there were so many on the market.

As for the linguistic detour, I can assure you that “casting pearls before swine” is well known, even in atheist circles, and a very elegant expression to my mind. A lot of vivid Biblical sayings have long passed into the language and lost most of their religious associations - “eye for an eye”, “as ye sow so shall ye reap”… not to mention camels, needles, angels and pins!

Pearls Before Swine is also a most excellent comic strip. I love Pig.

Hope you find a solution for your daughter. Padded shorts will help with any saddle. Boys always complain about saddle pain but at least you guys can “swoop and scoop” that junk out of the way. Girls don’t have that luxury, iykwim.

Hope she finds the new seat more comfy.

My daughter recently turned 4 and is very excited about the 16" she got for her birthday, but she hasn’t been able to complain about discomfort yet as her practice rides are more like 2-5 minutes. I also don’t have any padded shorts yet. It’ll probably take a while for her to learn, but as soon as she does I’ll have to keep the bike shorts idea in mind. The saddle on ours is not exactly soft but at least at first glance doesn’t look to torturous.

Pearls Before Swine: Interesting to hear that the saying is commonly known, but then I also have to admit that I have never been a heavy user of idioms… but I do like this one, so have to add it to my repertoire.

It seems that the bible has something to say about unicycles:

Proverbs 20:26 : A wise king winnows the wicked, And drives the threshing wheel over them.

Funny I was looking for a translation of that one into english - in french, we don’t give jam to pigs (in other words, “it would be a waste”, or “it’s too good for some”), didn’t know that there was a known version.

Having said that, your daughter deserves a good saddle, that’s not “confiture pour les cochons”. :slight_smile:

Have you ever actually sat on one of those? As an adult? Ouch.

That said, they were still using leather bicycle saddles in the unicycling version of Artistic Bicycling in the 80s and possibly beyond. I bought an indoor-specific “kunst” unicycle from Langenberg in 1982 and it came with a beautiful new Ideale bike saddle from France. Not danger to your male parts; just danger to your human parts (actual crotch line). And poor control over the movement of the unicycle.

A few years after I picked up that Langenberg I showed it to someone who offered me like $100 for the seat. To use on a bike. So my Langenberg is no longer “museum quality” though it now has a hand-molded aluminum-base unicycle seat from Juno Cykler of Copenhagen, Denmark (1983). :slight_smile:

Anyway, if the OP’s daughter can only ride for a few minutes, her specific saddle is probably just not user-friendly and any of those others posted by Eric (or probably any other small saddle) would probably work better than bike shorts, which probably would not address the problem if it’s from a front bumper or other protrusions.

Given I’m still wanting a slimmer more minimalist saddle to get rid of the issues I’m having, I’m wondering whether one of those kids saddles might work for an adult? I suppose it’s only £10 to try one…

They’re too short and narrow. Your sitting bones will possibly not be on the saddle.