Anybody try a beaded seat?

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seh750
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Anybody try a beaded seat?

Post by seh750 » Sat Mar 31, 2012 7:34 pm

The stock seat on the SMT is ok, not great. I've tried lamb's wool and it helped a bit, particularly on hotter rides. Before I go spend $400 on a custom seat, I thought I'd give a beaded seat a try. It's supposed to spread out the pressure points and also provide some cooling airflow to the important areas.

Specifically I'm thinking about trying the Ultimate BeadRider Seat by these folks: http://www.beadrider.com

Anybody try one? Positives/negatives?


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Re: Anybody try a beaded seat?

Post by morgs » Sun Apr 01, 2012 1:50 am

Mmmmm..... Attractive :!: :!: :!:
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Re: Anybody try a beaded seat?

Post by morgs » Sun Apr 01, 2012 2:00 am

http://www.airhawk.com.au/content.php?content_id=50

Lots of us on the arse end of the world (excuse the pun) swear by these. He even gives a full refund if not happy. Don't know whether he gives the same deal to international purchases. Perhaps you have something similar.

Highly recommended

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Re: Anybody try a beaded seat?

Post by milq » Sun Apr 01, 2012 2:02 am

I've used a beaded seat for a 3 day (July) ride on a KLR 650, lots of slow trail riding mixed with some road stuff. It definitely made a difference in the comfort levels, but it looks ridiculous. Of course, I don't care how it looks if I can ride more miles with comfort in the muggy midwest summers.

I went to an auto parts chain store and bought one for a car seat, then cut a few strings and did some re-tying. I was able to make 3 of them sized for bikes out of it, total cost was $18.95 + tax.

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Re: Anybody try a beaded seat?

Post by swen990 » Mon Apr 02, 2012 12:46 am

My father has them on the front seats of his Buick, I'm just saying.....

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Anybody try a beaded seat?

Post by Eunuch » Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:29 pm

Not used the airhawk but I hear good things about them. Any roadkill/yoga mat/spare piece of carpet ain't ever going to win any beauty competitions, but if it keeps your butt sore free on longer trips go for whatever works best for you. To date I've only ridden a coupe of hours at a time but I have to say it surprises me how comfortable the standard seat is. Not the plank of wood I was expecting.
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Re: Anybody try a beaded seat?

Post by seh750 » Wed Apr 04, 2012 4:32 am

Eunuch wrote:Any roadkill/yoga mat/spare piece of carpet ain't ever going to win any beauty competitions...
I don't think the SMT is going to win any beauty competitions either. :D
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Re: Anybody try a beaded seat?

Post by motonut_1 » Wed May 02, 2012 2:42 pm

I don't think the SMT is going to win any beauty competitions either.
Blasphemy! :evil: IMHO, it's the best looking adventure style bike out there.

RE: Beaded seat. I've had a beaded seat and have been using it off and on for 4000 miles. It does shift the pressure points around somewhat and increases slightly the distance before you start squirming. It's not a cure-all for a poor seat, which the SMT has (foam too soft, not enough support on the outside of the seat), but it will definitely help as the summer heats up. I too am trying to avoid the $400-500 for a really good seat.

The seat is most notable on long, straight rides such as you find "out west". Some of those 4000 miles were spent riding in northern Arkansas and southern Missouri and the seat was barely noticable on those roads.

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Re: Anybody try a beaded seat?

Post by seh750 » Wed May 02, 2012 2:55 pm

I decided to go full custom and have an appointment with Ricky Mayer Cycle in a couple of weeks. I'll report back once that's done.

I may still try a beaded seat on my two-up bike, a BMW R1150RT.
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Re: Anybody try a beaded seat?

Post by motonut_1 » Wed May 02, 2012 10:53 pm

I for one will look forward to the results of your Rick Mayer seat. I would most likely use Rick if I were to go the route of a full modified seat. Include a couple of pictures if you can.

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Re: Anybody try a beaded seat?

Post by seh750 » Thu May 03, 2012 1:48 am

motonut_1 wrote:I for one will look forward to the results of your Rick Mayer seat. I would most likely use Rick if I were to go the route of a full modified seat. Include a couple of pictures if you can.
Good idea. I'll try to remember to bring a little camera and take some pics of the process if he let's me. Will definitely take some pics of the seat when it's done. It'll be about 400 miles on the stock there and 400 miles on the custom seat home, so I'll quickly have some real world comparison.
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Re: Anybody try a beaded seat?

Post by Rangoonruns » Thu May 03, 2012 7:04 am

Never tried one on a bike but will confess to having one in my car for a couple of weeks once,early 1990's, till the damn catgut broke and the beads migrated around the car. :oops:

It was good on hot days but we have air con nowadays :D :D
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Re: Anybody try a beaded seat?

Post by seh750 » Mon Jun 11, 2012 4:58 pm

I got my Rick Mayer seat done on Saturday. I didn't have an opportunity to take pictures along the way, but I did get to watch the master at work.

Rick Mayer was very friendly and accommodating. His two helpers were friendly as well. Was at his shop for about 4 hours through the whole thing, but Rick's a chatty guy and I spent the morning talking to other customers coming in and out as well. We spent some time at the beginning talking about what I did and didn't like about the stock seat. And then after some initial foam cutting and gluing did a couple of test sits until I was happy with the result and then the buttoned it up.

I rode about 300 miles the night before my appointment and 140 miles the morning of my appointment so I had a good idea of what I didn't like about the stock seat. For me there were two main things. My inner thighs felt achy after awhile, I think due to the pronounced ridge in the seat. And if I scoot back into the bowl of the stock seat the angle was odd for me and pressed on my tailbone. I neglected to mention to Rick at first that I have a bony butt and the two bones often get a lot of pressure, but we corrected that after the first attempt at the seat.

After my seat was done I rode the whole 440 miles home on the new seat, so just shy of 600 miles for the entire day. My butt was still sore by the end of the day, but there were no pronounced hot spots, it was pretty well spread out across my entire backside. And the inner thigh problem completely went away. Rick did say it takes a couple thousand miles for the new foam to completely break in and mold to your butt, so it should get even better.

Overall I'm very pleased with the result. And other than riding through rush hour traffic after work on Friday in the pouring rain, it was a good experience.

Here's a photo of the final result. I chose basketweave vinyl.

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