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Men and unicycle seats. A practical solution!

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  • Men and unicycle seats. A practical solution!

    I know this is a tired old subject which has often been whined about here on this newsgroup. Sitting on my privates had been such a source of discomfort for me that I'd taken to referring to my Schwinn as a "eunuch-cycle". A pox upon thee, vile Viscount!

    I've tried wearing biking shorts (underneath my shorts, I feel silly in them), they help a little, but eventually, things "settle" and then not only am I uncomfortable, but the spandex is too tight for me to discretely make an adjustment.

    I've discovered a product called a "suspensory". It's not quite a jock-strap, but rather it keeps things up and out of the way.

    I found them at: http://www.internationaljock.com/suspensories.html

    I bought the Classic model and it works like a charm. I now ride pain-free.

    Now I'm sure some of you will roll your eyeballs at me and say, "That's not a new idea! Unicyclists have been doing that since 1910!". Oh yeah? Well I've never seen this posted and I discovered it for myself. And no. I don't work for them or get a commission. I'm selflessly embarrassing myself here for the benefit of all future generations of unicyclists.
    Mordy

    MY_NAME at unicyclist.com

  • #2
    When freemounting I always found that starting with the seat slightly too
    far back, then pulling it (and all related materials) forward before
    applying pre-mount sitting pressure does the trick... It's discrete too,
    just looks like you're getting ready to mount... which you are.

    Of course when it comes to the suicide mount it might be prudent to just
    grab everything valuable to you before you land.

    xADF

    Comment


    • #3
      That's funny. I was just thinking last week of a product like this, but
      didn't imagine it would actually exist. This is definitely not a site to
      be looking at a work though, as the getups look like they belong in an S&M
      catalog :-). I'm sure my wife will think of really cracked when my
      "classic suspensory" arrives in the mail.

      Joe Merrill

      In a message dated 8/28/01 4:04:15 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
      forum.member@unicyclist.com writes:

      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> I've tried wearing biking shorts (underneath my shorts, I feel silly in[/color]
      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> them), they help a little, but eventually, things "settle" and then not[/color]
      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> only am I uncomfortable, but the spandex is too tight for me to[/color]
      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> discretely make an adjustment.[/color]
      [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> I've discovered a product called a "suspensory". It's not quite a[/color]
      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> jock-strap, but rather it keeps things up and out of the way.[/color]
      [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> I found them at: http://www.internationaljock.com/suspensories.html[/color]
      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> http://www.internationaljock.com/suspensories.html[/color]

      Comment


      • #4
        [color={usenetquotecolor}]> I found them at: http://www.internationaljock.com/suspensories.html[/color]
        [color={usenetquotecolor}]> http://www.internationaljock.com/suspensories.html[/color]

        [color={usenetquotecolor}]> Now I'm sure some of you will roll your eyeballs at me and say, "That's[/color]
        [color={usenetquotecolor}]> not a new idea! Unicyclists have been doing that since 1910!". Oh yeah?[/color]

        Quite the contrary. The use of even cycling shorts in organized unicycling
        is relatively recent. When I started going to conventions in 1980, the
        three basic items of clothing were:
        1. Jeans
        2. Cutoff shorts
        3. Running shorts

        Ow. It hurts to even look at the old pictures! I don't think it was until
        1984 or so that more than one or two isolated people wore padded cycling
        shorts in the races. I was glad to be one of them.

        Also in 1984 I remember trying a traditional athletic supporter at
        Nationals. I wore it for one day, and never again. The problem with the
        traditional design is the two straps that go around your legs. They come
        in right around where your weight is concentrated on the seat. I peeled
        that stupid thing off at the end of the day, and I almost thought I saw
        smoke come from the affected areas. Eww!

        But the design of the suspensories does not include these straps. It could
        definitely be worth looking into...

        Stay on top, John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone jfoss@unicycling.com
        www.unicycling.com

        "The difference between a winner and a loser is character."

        Comment


        • #5
          Mordy,

          Hey, this is great, I posted a question relating to this about 4 months ago when I was just learning the free mount and had major problems on the hot days, especially. I have learned to come up off the seat at the beginning and try to adjust while holding the seat, but that doesn't always work. And try to adjust descretly, yeah right.
          I have to be ready to ride for Halloween at the school where I teach as a clown, no less.

          I am saving that site http://www.internationaljock.com/suspensories.html

          as one of my favorite places, are you?

          Thanks for posting this info.
          Rod
          scottw818.wixsite.com/vintage-rod-and-reel

          Comment


          • #6
            I have found that boxer-briefs are a good thing to wear. There is less rubbing against your inner thigh and they don't shift as regular boxers might.

            When I ride, I try to pause at the top of my mount, take a quick look around, then lower myself down. I tend not to feel much discomfort, and that time to check around is good on the street for safety's sake.

            I have a Semcycle and the stock seat is comfortable. My friend has the Viscount on two of his unis and he hates them. He strapped a thin peice of foam to his 26" to pad it better.

            Is there anyone out there who praises the Viscount seat over all others?

            -darrell

            Comment


            • #7
              Although I see why this product can help, I really see no need for it. You see folks, as "classless" as it may seem, after I get on my uni, usually my coker, I just reach down, and adjust myself. I do wear gel paded bicycle shorts and boxer-briefs, but sometimes that is not enough. I see no problem with reaching down and adjusting. It works just fine, it does not cost $17.00, and it only takes a second.
              -David Kaplan

              Comment


              • #8
                darrell asked:
                [color={usenetquotecolor}]> Is there anyone out there who praises the Viscount seat over all others?[/color]

                Yes, but I haven't found anyone else who agrees with me.

                Viscount seats seem to vary in texture and hardness. The one that came
                with my Muni is much more comfortable than the one that came with my
                Coker, despite being exactly the same shape.

                --
                Danny Colyer (remove safety to reply)
                http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/danny/danny.html "The secret of life is
                honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made" -
                Groucho Marx

                Comment


                • #9
                  UniDak said:
                  Although I see why this product can help, I really see no need for it. You see folks, as "classless" as it may seem, after I get on my uni, usually my coker, I just reach down, and adjust myself. I do wear gel paded bicycle shorts and boxer-briefs, but sometimes that is not enough. I see no problem with reaching down and adjusting. It works just fine, it does not cost $17.00, and it only takes a second.
                  A few points.

                  There are two issues affecting seat comfort. As I'm sure you're well aware, sitting on a unicycle is very different from sitting on a chair. On a chair, your weight is nicely distributed among your thighs and backside. These are nice fleshy areas, well-suited to this type of pressure. On a unicycle, much of your weight is concentrated on the perineum. This unpadded area is not well-suited to this sort of pressure at all. The gel padded bicycle shorts which you speak of, are a fine substitute for the natural padding we unicyclists wish we had over there in the first place.

                  However, the second area of sensitivity, the scrotal area, is not interested in being subjected to any pressure at all, with or without padding. The suspensory's purpose is to keep it out of harm's way.

                  You say that you don't mind making an adjustment. I don't either - when nobody's looking. Remember, unicycles are still uncommon and people are often watching. Maybe mothers are pointing you out to their little children, for example. Also, nothing is discrete on top of a giraffe!

                  I've also found that mounts, especially the wilder ones like the suicide mount can be unpleasant if you land on your sensitive areas. Sure you can make an adjustment afterwards - while you're writhing. Go ahead.

                  Additionally, this piece of equipment can remove the distraction of having to deal with these issues at all, leaving all your concentration available to just focus on riding. This has been the case with me. I find that my balance is better when I needn't pay any attention to alleviating seat-discomfort.

                  It seems to me that some men are relatively unaffected by this problem. If you are one of them, you are lucky.
                  Mordy

                  MY_NAME at unicyclist.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I have always used this method, I figured this out very quickly after learning to ride.
                    Originally posted by Andrew Feldhaus
                    When freemounting I always found that starting with the seat slightly too
                    far back, then pulling it (and all related materials) forward before
                    applying pre-mount sitting pressure does the trick... It's discrete too,
                    just looks like you're getting ready to mount... which you are.

                    Of course when it comes to the suicide mount it might be prudent to just
                    grab everything valuable to you before you land.

                    xADF
                    One thing that still bothers me though, and I'm not sure if anyone else has this problem, is that my legs are fairly hairy, and sometimes a bit of hair on my thighs gets pinched between the seat and my leg as i ride. This is pretty uncomfortable and painful as well, and just as hard to be discreet about. I also ride a viscount seat and have been thinking of making it into an air-cusioned seat. From mt experience though, the viscount is definately better than the seat that was on the uni to begin with, which was one of the ones with the metal bumpers, and from learning to ride, the seat was so bent, that the metal ended up practically drawing blood on my inner thigh... so in this case, the viscount was a godsend

                    -AŚron

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I understand the simplicity of simply adjusting ones self before riding
                      off. I usually do this to some degree by moving my body around on the
                      saddle in the first few meters of riding. But sometimes this is not
                      enough. However, sometimes you are too public to do this. What if you're
                      in a show? Or simply in a crowded area. So a piece of underwear that could
                      potentially eliminate this problem is definitely worth thinking about, if
                      you're interested.

                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> From my experience though, the viscount is definately better than the[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> seat that was on the uni to begin with, which was one of the ones with[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> the metal bumpers, and from learning to ride, the seat was so bent, that[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> the metal ended up practically drawing blood on my inner thigh... so in[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> this case, the viscount was a godsend [/color]

                      Those metal-bumpered and older style (same without the bumpers) seats have
                      drawn blood on many a leg. If you have a seat like this, the Viscount is a
                      *huge* improvement. You will have gone from garbage, to something that's
                      been designed for a unicycle with input from unicyclists.

                      I was some of the input. I first saw the Viscount seat on the
                      Schwinns when they were re-introduced in 1986 (they had been out of
                      production since
                      1983). In late 1984, Schwinn asked Tom Miller and the folks at 67 Lion
                      Lane (then the office of the IUF) for suggestions on improving
                      their unicycles. They used many of Tom's suggestions on the
                      subsequent cycles.

                      Unfortunately they reverted back to the older-style, heavier, more
                      primitive unicycles in the mid-nineties. I think today's Schwinns are
                      supposed to be part of their "retro" movement. A retro unicycle is great,
                      but couldn't you have a modern one first?

                      Meanwhile, I sent Schwinn some drawings for a better seat. Peoples' main
                      complaint with the Schwinn seats of the time (made by Messenger, now owned
                      by Semcycle) was the base cutting through the vinyl cover. So I drew them
                      pictures of a Schwinn-shaped seat with bumpers on the ends. I didn't want
                      it to look too much like a Miyata seat, which was what I was modeling it
                      after, because they might consider it too much of a change and too
                      expensive to manufacture. But the Viscount seats of today look more or
                      less exactly like my 1984 drawings.

                      However I did not make suggestions on how to pad it, nor how to attach the
                      bumpers. There is room for improvement in both areas. Over the years I've
                      seen Schwinn/Viscount seats with both very soft and super-hard foam. I've
                      never found them that comfortable myself. But my main complaint is the
                      lack of handle. You can only get two or three fingers in between the
                      screws under the front bumper, so anything involving pulling up or holding
                      onto the front of the seat will hurt your hand after a while.

                      NOTE: Semcycle's saddles (the kind formerly found on Schwinns) are better
                      than the Schwinn originals due to extra protection from the base
                      cutting the cover. The choice of colors is nice too.

                      If I were to be asked to offer suggestions on a next-generation Viscount
                      seat, I would start with these three main areas:
                      1. Vinyl cover over thin foam, with air bladder inside
                      2. Bolts instead of screws to hold bumpers on
                      3. More of a handle on the front

                      That would repair the existing design, and if done right, make it better
                      than a stock Miyata. But I'd rather start from the ground up:

                      - Rails, to fit standard bicycle seat posts
                      - A frame and bumper section separate from the padding section
                      - Padded section with an air bladder and strong material on the
                      outside
                      - Frame with front & rear bumpers, and handle built into front
                      - Optional high-end frames with mounts for brakes, cycle computers,
                      bigger handles, etc.

                      Have a nice day, John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone jfoss@unicycling.com
                      www.unicycling.com

                      "The difference between a winner and a loser is character."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I noticed that I don't suffer from this problem and I realized why.

                        When I sit on the unicycle, I subconsciously push inwards on the side of
                        the seat with my legs. This is tiring, and probably bad for my balance,
                        but it works. I'm pretty much holding myself up with my legs and butt.

                        Jim

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          My two cents...My boys and I often ride spontaneously during the day. I
                          think for me it would be quite a hassle to get all trussed up just to ride
                          for a bit before dinner. So we don't have any qualms about brief public
                          adjustments. Chances are, anyone observing wouldn't know what they were
                          observing unless they were clued in...somewhat like the mistakes in my
                          wallpapering, only I know where they are. I suppose if we were to perform
                          in an arena where every movement counts or prepare ourselves for some
                          serious distance riding, we'd don the right equipment.

                          Jim wrote:
                          [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
                          [color={usenetquotecolor}]> I noticed that I don't suffer from this problem and I realized why.[/color]
                          [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
                          [color={usenetquotecolor}]> When I sit on the unicycle, I subconsciously push inwards on the side of[/color]
                          [color={usenetquotecolor}]> the seat with my legs. This is tiring, and probably bad for my balance,[/color]
                          [color={usenetquotecolor}]> but it works. I'm pretty much holding myself up with my legs and butt.[/color]
                          [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
                          [color={usenetquotecolor}]> Jim[/color]

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Maybe the thing to do is switch to an ultimate wheel. No seat to mess with at all!

                            Does anyone know how many companies are out there making uni seats? I'm sure Mr. Foss has tried almost every make there is. What would be the top 3?

                            I like my Semcycle seat and I've tried the Miyata, though it was set much too low for me to really test it. But I liked it just the same.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              [color={usenetquotecolor}]> Does anyone know how many companies are out there making uni seats?[/color]
                              [color={usenetquotecolor}]> I'm sure Mr. Foss has tried almost every make there is. What would be[/color]
                              [color={usenetquotecolor}]> the top 3?[/color]

                              There are lots of seats out there, most of which fall into the
                              cheap-and-not-so-great category. I have only experienced a handful that
                              are truly useful for unicyclists.

                              But I don't have a top three. Any unicycle I'm expecting to spend a
                              significant amount of time on will have a Miyata seat, until something
                              better comes along.

                              But not a stock Miyata seat. These are fine for kids and short rides, but
                              I have become too spoiled over the years to put up with that limited
                              amount of padding. My Miyata seats have had additional padding in them for
                              15 years. Nowadays I have air seats. One of my air seats has a 16" skinny
                              tube in it, and the other has a 12". Both work fine for me. My other main
                              unicycles have Miyata seats with extra foam in them, which is okay for
                              shorter amounts of riding.

                              The only other seat I sometimes use for long rides is the old Schwinn seat
                              on my big wheel. This is an old style Messenger/Schwinn (now Semcycle)
                              seat. It also has a sheepskin seat cover around the outside which not only
                              makes it more comfortable, it also makes it look cool. My seat cover was
                              made in the mid-80's by a company called The Sheepskin Seat Cover People,
                              and they actually had a pattern to fit the Schwinn unicycle seat. I don't
                              think they're around any more. Sometimes I have also stuck an extra piece
                              of foam in there, between the main seat and the cover.

                              The Miyata seat has the combination of durable bumpers, and a truly useful
                              handle up front, so it's still the best design out there. With improved
                              padding and a stronger post, it would be even better.

                              NOTE: Unicycle saddle choice is a very personal one. Nobody's opinion is
                              definitive when it comes to your own comfort. Try things first!

                              Stay on top, John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone jfoss@unicycling.com
                              www.unicycling.com

                              "The difference between a winner and a loser is character."

                              Comment

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