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Old 2011-08-24, 12:59 AM   #1
Samstoney
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My left nut: seat advice for a newbie

Ok. Last fall my wife brought me a present from the local dump - a 24" CyclePro unicycle with seized bearings, bent wheel, and lots of rust. Being a mechanical sort of guy, I replaced the bearings, cleaned off most the rust and straightened the wheel and...voila! I had my first unicycle, something I've wanted to try for a long time. I started trying to ride it this spring. My hope was to be able to ride it around the house by my 50th birthday (July 28) but I missed that goal; after probably about 5-6 hrs total practice I can only reliably ride about 30 feet or so. My new goal is to be able to ride around the house before snow flies; I live NW of Boston, so that gives me until mid November.

Now, here's the problem: I'm really committed to getting in at least 1/2 hr of practice every day the weather is OK, but I'm having some serious comfort issues, specifically with my....err..."package". I'm finding the seat unbearably uncomfortable, particularly for my left testicle which always seems to end up getting crushed between the seat and my thigh, or underneath some part of my hip bone i didn't know I had. I can soldier on for a little bit, but after an hour of this I cant even look at the unicycle for several days without feeling pain. I've gotten a lot of advice about unicycling, but no one so far has recommended castration, so most likely I either have something set up wrong, or I'm just asking to much from the crappy (Viscount brand) seat on the unicycle. So, here's what I'd love some input on:

First, is this unusual? Anyone else have similar problems? I ride motorcycles/bicycles and this has never been an issue.

2nd - some setup questions: how should the stock seat be set up? Right now it's pretty much horizontal. I have the seat height so my knees are ever so slightly bent with my heels on the pedal, I had it higher originally and that felt better but the seat pain was worse.

3rd - should I not even be trying to use this steenkin' seat and just buy a new one? If so, how much do I need to spend, and what is a good recommendation?

Lastly - if I'm going to spend over, say 50 bucks for a seat, should I just spring for a better cycle? My longer term goal is trials, so eventually I'm hoping to go to a 20 incher anyway; I'm willing to invest, but I'd hate to spend $300+ bucks on a trials uni only to find out that I have the same problem. The KH trials bike Nurse Ben has in the classifieds looks *awsome*, but I'd feel like an idiot if I had the exact same problem with a fancy new uni.

...or is this, like lots of practice, something I must endure until I become proficient?

looking forward to hearing your collective advice,

Sam
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Old 2011-08-24, 01:12 AM   #2
mbalmer
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First of all, if you can ride 30 ft. after 5-6 hours then you are learning faster than most people. That is great.

A KH unicycle saddle will be so much better than what you have now. I went from a Torker saddle (torture) to a KH and it was a huge improvement, though not perfect. Good bicycle shorts will help too. I'm not a guy. I don't have an external "package" but I do get a lot of discomfort that, believe it or not, is similar. On the Torker I could ride for about 15 minutes. On the KH I can ride 3-4 hours before I start to go numb. Of course, that is with breaks here and there. I'm sure some of the men types will offer advice. I would recommend the KH trials with a KH saddle. It's worth the investment.
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Old 2011-08-24, 01:30 AM   #3
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you have to learn how to deal with that, no you shouldn't be sitting on top of your junk, that's painful for around half of the population. It helps to modify your mount, or when you're good enough move on the saddle once you get on.

tilt the saddle nose up, it shouldn't be level for most people. (this is hard to do with a standard seatpost, but go as far as you can)

the height of the saddle should be as high as it can comfortably go when learning, but this brings me to my next point.

if you're doing trials, you're rarely sitting directly on the seat, and the seat will be MUCH lower so you can crouch under your jumps and pull the seat out easily. DO NOT try to do any hopping on the uni you have or you'll surely break it.

better gear always helps, don't wear jeans, if you have biking shorts wear them. If you can afford a better saddle, get it. If you know you're going to continue riding, yea it's probably better to spring for a better uni when you get the saddle, though that's my opinion only.

hope that helps : ) and enjoy the ride! if you're doing 30 feet, you could be riding around the house by tomorrow!
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Old 2011-08-24, 01:35 AM   #4
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I've had a CyclePro for 20 years now. It has the cottered cranks. I only ride a little bit at a time. The seat is murder on the crotch. A cheap intermediate fix is the air saddle trick. That made a big difference. There are posts on this forum about how to make one. I did that to mine 2 years ago. I have a Nimbus Nightrider pro I commute with. I lent my CyclePro to a freind. He is in the learning process now. I am surprised it has lasted this long. I won't hop it at all. Not even a curb. At my weight I would easily crush it. It has served its purpose. I already knew how to ride when I purchased it. I was replacing my old Schwinn that burned up in a garage fire.
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Old 2011-08-24, 02:31 AM   #5
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+1 on the b*ke shorts, jeans, and sliding the seat forward.

W/ the cycling shorts, wear them on your bare skin (no underwear). These will help keep the jewels in one spot, reduce numbing, and rashes from rubbing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbalmer View Post
First of all, if you can ride 30 ft. after 5-6 hours then you are learning faster than most people. That is great.

I would recommend the KH trials with a KH saddle. It's worth the investment.
+1
Especially since it's the type of riding you want to end up doing and it's a good deal. The KH seat is a lot better but won't help your nut problem that much, do as steveyo says on that.

Your present uni can prob put up w/ a few hops to learn the basics if you are under 200#'s, but I wouldn't hop down anything.

When you can do all the basics (dismount gracefully w/ uni in front & either foot, ride 50 m., freemount, and ~ 20 ft radius circles to either side, and a few hops, in that order IMO) switch to the trials, esp. all hopping related stuff.
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Last edited by skilewis74; 2011-08-24 at 02:37 AM.
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Old 2011-08-24, 04:13 AM   #6
syver
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Very much agree with what was said

I also find that I had the same problem. What I did was bike shorts, as was mentioned, and I use a jock strap. Then, pull everything upward and it isn't too bad. I started on a cyclepro 20 in and really struggled with that. Then I happened to find a Mossberg 24 in. (which no one has heard of) at the local Goodwill and paid $5 for it and found that worked much better. I bought a new seat and got so I could at least get around the block before I finally bought a Club and have had much better luck than with either of the other two. I did not realize how much difference the different Uni's make.
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Old 2011-08-24, 12:37 PM   #7
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Bike shorts with thick pads can make things worse, I'd suggest wearing spandex tights (shorts style), this will keep things out of the way without adding bulk.

A better seat as well as finding a more comfortable angle will help, but more than anything you'll need to learn how to ride before you'll feel more comfortable.

In the end, ball issues are a guy thing, so they are what they are. I've considered having them "retracted" into my abdomen
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Old 2011-08-24, 01:40 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samstoney View Post
...I'm having some serious comfort issues, specifically with my....err..."package". I'm finding the seat unbearably uncomfortable, particularly for my left testicle which always seems to end up getting crushed...
First, is this unusual? Anyone else have similar problems? I ride motorcycles/bicycles and this has never been an issue.
A couple things will help here. First and foremost is, before putting the seat under you, reach down and pull all your junk WAY up front. Then sit and let your aching sac just sort of lie in front of any weight-bearing body parts.

Second, is a pair of bike shorts, to KEEP everything up front and out of the way after you've completed step 1 above. Without bike shorts, step one works but must be repeated at every mounting attempt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samstoney View Post
2nd - some setup questions: how should the stock seat be set up? Right now it's pretty much horizontal. I have the seat height so my knees are ever so slightly bent with my heels on the pedal, I had it higher originally and that felt better but the seat pain was worse.
This is fine, and you could actually have the seat a bit lower if you wanted, especially for learning.

I'll let others comment on the new seat/new uni question, but make sure my sac adjustment suggestions work for you. The only reason they wouldn't work is if you have a slack-free sac. If you're built pretty normally then the lift-and-place-the-jewels-up-front suggestion should be just what the doctor ordered.
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Old 2011-08-24, 02:08 AM   #9
Samstoney
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Thanks everyone, I appreciate the encouragement. Perhaps because I set the bar relatively low, I'm perfectly satisfied with my progress so far and I'm sure I'll be riding soon enough. Interestingly, I can already notice a difference in my comfort level on one wheel of my MTB, so I know I'm progressing

Regarding some of the specific advice:

Tilting the seat up more: yow, that sounds *more* painful! But I know this stuff is sometimes counter intuitive, so I'll give that a try.

Careful placement of my jewels: Great advice. I've been attempting this, but probably too late, after the damage was done. I'll try to exercise more forethought. I do wear bike shorts but the ones I have, at least, don't provide a lot of support, and the padding on them seems perfectly wrong for the unicycle. I'll look around for some different ones.

and regarding the unicycle, yes, this is a primitive thing with cottered cranks. Every time I ride I have to tap the cotters in a little more and tighten the nuts; I don't expect the whole bike to last a lot longer, but it's certainly served it's purpose: I'm hooked.

Thanks again,

Sam
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Old 2011-08-24, 01:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samstoney View Post

Tilting the seat up more: yow, that sounds *more* painful! But I know this stuff is sometimes counter intuitive, so I'll give that a try.
This is one of those counter-intuitive things alright. Bringing the front of the saddle up rocks your pelvis backward so that more of your weight rests on your butt rather than your crotch.
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Old 2011-08-24, 02:24 PM   #11
waaalrus
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meijer still has relatively cheap (pricewise) trials unicycles from the Koxx-One inventory dump. Those seats are head and shoulders above what's on your CyclePro. I find the Club saddle is a serviceable saddle on the cheap end. You may also be able to find a halfway decent Sun unicycle at your local bike store for $75-$80 (or they might be able to order one). It won't be suitable for trials but might be good for learning regular riding and balance.

Does your CyclePro have lollipop bearings? If so, how did you get them off? I recently paid $15 for a slightly rusty 24" CyclePro with a bad seat. I got it for lessons and so I can take the frame off and ride it as an ultimate wheel but the bearings look a little silly when it's like this.
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Old 2011-08-24, 04:55 PM   #12
Samstoney
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Yes, my CyclePro has lollipop bearings. To change them you have to:

- remove the 4 allen screws that attach them to the frame

- knock the entire wheel/pedal/bearing assembly out of the frame tubes

- remove the crank cotters & cranks

- use a puller to get the bearings and lollipops off the axle

-remove the circlip that holds the bearing in the lollipop

-press the bearings out of the lollipops

There may have been a 2nd set of circlips holding the lollipops on the axle, but I don't think so. I don't remember what size bearings they are, but they're a standard size and available for a few bucks.



Quote:
Originally Posted by waaalrus View Post
Does your CyclePro have lollipop bearings? If so, how did you get them off? I recently paid $15 for a slightly rusty 24" CyclePro with a bad seat. I got it for lessons and so I can take the frame off and ride it as an ultimate wheel but the bearings look a little silly when it's like this.
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Old 2011-08-25, 10:50 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samstoney View Post
Tilting the seat up more: yow, that sounds *more* painful! But I know this stuff is sometimes counter intuitive, so I'll give that a try.
The point is that you'll sit farther back. That way most of the pressure of your weight will move to your bottom, away from your sensitive parts.
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Old 2011-08-25, 04:50 PM   #14
aarons
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I thought from the title that your left nut was giving advice.
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Old 2011-08-25, 05:03 PM   #15
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I heard once you're in your 60's you can just throw your nuts over your shoulder. Something to look forward to.
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