Using a bike saddle with handlebar

If picture took. I asked why the flatfish was a hit and why flat seats haven’t always been around. The answer was handlebars. So I started thinking about bike seats and after experimenting a bit I ended up with this $14 gel seat. I’m staying planted due to the bars, it weighs less, and the stock Coker seat is just too much padding. So far, I’m really liking it. Anybody else using bike seats?

Jona, I’m with you on this, so I am planning to rig up a bar that comes off the seat post and braces to the front of the seat.

What I find with the flat seats is that I sit on the waist of the seat, so the front and back of the seat is “wasted”. What I want to do is look for a bike seat that has a wider padded snout/nose, then see if it can be “enough” support for uni.

The biggie is a handle, gotta have something to hold onto. Coker makes one that might work, also looking at a custom build or something built off a stoke bar mount.


It’s difficult to find a bike seat that doesnt taper so much as to push you forward as you ride. This one is close to what I’m using.

I agree ben, i end up seting in the middle, What about having just a smige of curveature.

The above seat weighs a claimed 305 grams and the stock Coker seat is quite a bit more. This might be my future for the road. Muni I don’t see enough control. Too thin in front.

I fooled around with bike seats a little; the ones I had lying around all wanted to me to slide forward toward, and off, the nose.

The handlebar seems like a necessity, not just to get you into the proper sitting posture, but also so that you have something to push against, to counter that tendency to slide forward.

If I were going to try it again, I would use one of the big freeride-type saddles, that have a long padded nose for standing riders to control the bike with. I wouldn’t use a lightweight road saddle.

Yes, a longer snout that’s wide and well padded, tilted back, handlebar mandatory.

I ride with my hand on my handle 99% of the time and use hand pressure and foot pressure for turning, so thigh pressure is less of an issue, esp when climbing.

I haven’t tried it yet, so who know if it’ll work as well as the flattened seats I’m using now.

By separating the handlebar/grab handle from the seat, this reduces the demand for a stiff saddle, so it can be lighter and smaller.

Without a good bumper that rear of the bike seat is going to take a beating!

Sounds like you folks are redesigning the unicycle seat. :slight_smile:

Just googled it, does it belong to anybody here?

Looks very interesting :slight_smile:

Have fun,

I did try some of the free ride seats years ago for distance riding with a handlebar and they were surprisingly uncomfortable. Turns out free riders spend very little time in the saddle. I tried an absolutely huge Azonic FR saddle and another brand that was flat and long-ish. I might as well have been sitting on a 2 x 4. . . . . bad enough that I laughed out loud on my first ride. . . .such an epic fail in my quest for a better seat.

That was 2008. Maybe there are some better FR saddle options now?

I still ride the modified KH freeride saddle I made back in 2008. Narrowed the front seat base and plastic welded the pie slice cut back together, Sliced the foam down in front and also cut the sides to drop the nose angle down by about half - and plastic welded those cuts back together. Now it looks like a less flat flatfish I guess. Its still my fav. saddle for distance with bars

I think that could be from Ken in Australia I think.

Its a shows some of the “saddle experimentation” that was going on on here in 2008 and 2009 in a couple of threads on here. I actually liked the way that my prototype 36er upper frames with rear set saddles felt and handled, though I ended up building a final version with a lot less relocation (like 5 inches or so). I must have tried 4-5 different configurations to find comfort, strength and adjustability for aero bar 36ers that you can ride with elbows in the aero bar elbow cups.


The long thin road saddle might not be the best, but it is so much better than the stock Coker seat it’s amazing. I do most of my riding wearing denim, pants or shorts. My inner thighs rubbing the seat was using energy and wearing out pants. With the bike seat my legs no longer touch the seat at all.
This is my first experience with a gel seat, and I expected it to be softer to the touch. It feels quite firm, but molds to my butt in a couple of minutes. Don’t know if this is normal or just a cheap seat. There is no rear protection like a bumper so it will tear up quick if it hits the blacktop. A little bumper could be made to hook to the seat rails I figure. For me at least this is a huge step in the right direction. Without bars to keep you in place tho, this would be useless.

For sure, this is not the first time we’ve been down this road.

I don’t dislike my current flat saddles, still working on the foam, shaved the Nimbus flat saddle last night and it was comfortable when I did a test sit.

I think there needs to be some resistance to forward motion, both to prevent sliding on the seat and to give the pelvis a place to “push off”. All of my seats, even the Flatfish, have a little swoop in the center; totally flat felt tippy and unstable.

I have Thompson posts on both my unis so it’s an easy thing to play with seats, for the bar I’ll have to get a stoker bar and shim it to fit my seat post…

Something to do on a cold and wet Winter night :slight_smile:

I’m ‘in’ New Zealand, but I work in Australia.

Yes, that is indeed my uni.

The bike seat would have worked fine if it had a decent handle and was just a little bit longer.

The NNC Flatfish takes care of all that. The best of a bike seat combined with the stability and handle of a unicycle seat.

No going back now!

Since we’re comparing bike and uni seats, what is it that makes a unicycle seat specific to unicycling, other than the obvious (bumpers, mounting, grab handle)?

Do we need a wider nose for thigh grip?

If we are sitting forward of the “butt pad”, is the width in the rear necessary?

What I like about the idea of using a bike seat is the adjustability of the rails fore-aft, though a different handle set up would be necessary. I’m going to play around some with bike seats, I have a few laying around, going to look for something that’s comfortable, might even try to modify a bike seat with some additional foam at the nose…

I’m starting to think that using the seat for both a place to sit and for handlebar mounting may be overstressing the seat post mount; I get most of my flex at that point.

Didnt turtle make a KH bike seat hibrid a few years ago

My theory is that we shouldn’t be sitting forward of the ‘butt pad’. It’s wide for a reason, and if it’s not kissing the buttocks, then it doesn’t have a reason to be :frowning:

I find my seat bones riding the outside edge of the seat, halfway between the waist and the widest part of the butt pad. It is not that comfortable for my sit bones, but with a better padded waist it is still superior to the old style seats. I do want to sit on my sit bones…

And that’s my conundrum, I find that the flat seat places me forward of the butt pad; unless I use an extreme upright nose angle which diminishes the utility of a flat seat. This is why I suggested that the Flatfish seat be shifted forward on the mount point or we try a seat post that shifts the seat forward.

I realize you all did a back of the matchbook theorem discussion and concluded that I’m whacked, BUT there is something here, not sure about the fix, though I’m beginning to wonder if the current saddle designs are bent up sharply at the nose in order to force the pelvis onto the seat pad; at the behest of the family jewels :astonished:

There has got to be a better way, possible what we need is a fatter and highly padded taint area or a seat cover that is tacky/rubbery so we don’t slide forward. I’m working on repadding one of my ghetto flat seats using minicell foam, trying to make the taint area (waist) overpadded and “tall”; so far it’s quite comfortable in the “chair test” :smiley:

It could be the shape of the foam. On a bike seat, it tapers down the sides of the wide section. On a unicycle, we tend to just on a flat slab of foam and think that’s all there is to it.

Do you think if you matched the rear end of a bicycle seat, with the front end of a unicycle seat, it will result in your ischial tuberosities being supported by the wide section?