A Comfortable Seat

Maintenance, accessories, operation. Anything to do with making your erg work.
mict450
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A Comfortable Seat

Post by mict450 » March 11th, 2021, 3:27 pm

Since the subject of seat comfort is a recurring topic of interest, I thought I would add a few thoughts to the subject. I recently acquired an old Model B seat, courtesy of @wavid. (Thanks, Dave!!) It has made a world of difference in comfort!! I can erg longer without discomfort or the need to shift my butt to change pressure points. Comparing the B to the current model seat that has been used since the Model C, numerous differences become apparent:

1. Size. The B seat is tiny!!! This is an advantage, in my case. The present seat is large enough that positioning oneself on it is critical in terms of comfort. Fore & aft, starboard to port orientation is just plain easier for me on the smaller seat. On the current model, if I position myself forward enough to allow clearance of the hamstring tendons, I have no clearance for the tip of my coccyx, and vice versa.

2. Depressions for sitz bones. Important to relieve pressure on the arse bones to eliminate rubbing due to the rocking motion of the pelvis during the stroke cycle.

3. Prominent perineal ridge. Provides support to the pelvic floor during the forward body rockover going into the catch. Makes it easier to maintain a neutral lumbar spine at the catch, rather than encouraging collapsing (flexion) of the lower back.

4. Slight flaring at the rear of the seat. Supports the buttocks in the finished position to enhance ability to maintain lumbar position & avoid lower back flexion.

5. Generous rear cut out for clearance of coccyx at the finish to eliminate rubbing on this sensitive area.

6. Foam hardness on the 2 models is about the same, as far as I can remember.

I realize that seating comfort is entirely dependent on individual characteristics, especially including gender, since females have a wider ischial spacing than males. My stats are 5' 5" height, weight 138 lbs. For an average American male, I am both shorter & smaller. However, the first 2 model C2 ergs had seats that were modeled more after a rowing shell/scull seat and I believe, more comfortable for the smaller, or normal sized individual. The present seat, being larger, flatter in contour and harder is, I believe, meant for the larger, more overweight, obese market. No offense intended for those who find the present seat comfortable. I'm sure C2 performed their due diligence & found the move to their present seat provided more comfort to their targeted consumer. I just wonder if their sampling group was skewed more to the overweight crowd than normal sized individuals.

I believe if the present C2 seat were made of a softer foam, it would be a better fit for a larger number of people. Presently the alternatives that C2 provides is padding the seat with bubble wrap, a folded towel or their seat pad.

Padding, although it works very well for many, is at best, a band-aid solution. The shape of the seat itself needs to be address. Padding itself provides no solution to changing the contours of the seat top.

If one wants a seat pad with a contoured top, at present, there is only one option: The Citius Remex ProW. Very, very expensive, north of $150 USD. Seat tops provide more choices, but they are all costly. Think well north of $100 USD after tax and shipping. Rowing seats from Dreher, Durham Boat, Croker, Filippi, etc, etc are all hard, without padding, but if the contour is right, will be more than adequate for comfort. (side note: during my college days, I was employed at the university experimental farm. Part of my duties was driving an ancient tractor for plowing, harrowing, sowing, spreading, etc. It had a cast iron seat, that had slots in it for ventilation. Intuitively, I thought my butt would be turned to hamburger, but it proved very comfortable for hours of use. The contours of the seat made all the difference, regardless of no cushioning). The Croker and Filippi seats are the only mass produced seats, I am aware of, that allow for gender differences.

Erg specific seat tops are available from EndureRow, Carl Douglas and Rowperfect, both RP3 & Indoor Sculler. EndureRow is the cheaper alternative about $113 USD. Rowperfect, like the erg itself, is in the stratosphere. About $150 USD or more. Carl Douglas seat tops are absolutely gorgeous and custom made to your anatomy. A butt mold using Oasis floral foam is made to get your ischial tuburosity measurements. These seats are works of art but will be well north of even the Rowperfect seats.

If a seat pad is just not cutting it for you, then be prepared to spend over $100 USD to get a contoured top. Most cost-effective choice at this time is the EndureRow seat top. Or, if you can find one, an old Model A or B seat top.

Discloser: I have no commercial/financial interests in any of these products.

Since writing the above, I have come across a company that provides both a seat pad & seat top with contoured features:

https://www.revolutionrowing.com/produc ... g-seat-pad

https://www.revolutionrowing.com/produc ... g-seat-top

These look promising and being less than $100 USD, is also easier on the wallet. Again, I have no commercial interests in this company.
Eric, YOB:1954
Shasta County, CA, small town USA

Cyclist2
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Re: A Comfortable Seat

Post by Cyclist2 » March 11th, 2021, 6:54 pm

Every time this topic comes up, my response is the same: Get the shape right, you won't need padding.

When I got my model C after years on the model B, I was baffled as to why C2 would go with such a flat seat shape, since these machines were originally designed for ROWERS. I'm sure the larger market aspect had something to do with it.

I use a seat pad. A homemade one from an old sleeping pad. About 1/2" thick only to get all the right cutouts for the sit bones and tailbone, which I customized to my butt. I still love my model B seat. My rowing shell seats are hard plastic or solid wood, no padding at all and I have no problem rowing for hours with them. It's all about the shape.

No need, IMO, to spend anything on different seats or commercial pads, it's easy enough to make one. If my rowing club ever has any old seats they are going to toss, I may get one, refurbish it and mount is on my model C seat frame, just for kicks.
Mark Underwood. Rower first, cyclist too.

mict450
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Re: A Comfortable Seat

Post by mict450 » March 15th, 2021, 3:09 pm

Cyclist2 wrote:
March 11th, 2021, 6:54 pm
Get the shape right, you won't need padding.
Yes, I agree completely!
Cyclist2 wrote:
March 11th, 2021, 6:54 pm

No need, IMO, to spend anything on different seats or commercial pads, it's easy enough to make one.
I think the DIY approach is always the best. Custom fit to your anatomy and more economical. My idea would be to get the thickest piece of sanded plywood I can find, and start cutting & shaping. Try & cut, repeat till you get something that suits you. Put on a nice stain, and coat with several layers of polyurethane. May not be as nice as a custom Carl Douglas, but way more satisfaction & pride of ownership because it would be something I made.

For now, the Model B seat is just fine, more comfortable than the stock Mod D, but I can see areas I could modify & improve.
Eric, YOB:1954
Shasta County, CA, small town USA

RichBinAZ
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Re: A Comfortable Seat

Post by RichBinAZ » March 15th, 2021, 10:39 pm

I find a 'Fiskars Kneeling cushion' works for me. Just cut the handle off so it fits in my backpack if I ever get back to the gym. :)

mict450
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Re: A Comfortable Seat

Post by mict450 » March 15th, 2021, 10:55 pm

RichBinAZ wrote:
March 15th, 2021, 10:39 pm
I find a 'Fiskars Kneeling cushion' works for me. Just cut the handle off so it fits in my backpack if I ever get back to the gym. :)
Glad that pad worked for you. I tried a gardening pad among others & all were no bueno.
Eric, YOB:1954
Shasta County, CA, small town USA

RichBinAZ
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Re: A Comfortable Seat

Post by RichBinAZ » March 15th, 2021, 11:23 pm

mict450 wrote:
March 15th, 2021, 10:55 pm
RichBinAZ wrote:
March 15th, 2021, 10:39 pm
I find a 'Fiskars Kneeling cushion' works for me. Just cut the handle off so it fits in my backpack if I ever get back to the gym. :)
Glad that pad worked for you. I tried a gardening pad among others & all were no bueno.
Yea it is firmer than most pads. I tried a softer one, but as noted above, the sitting bones rock back and forth and they cut thru the pad in one session. It's only good for kneeling on in the garden now.

mict450
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Re: A Comfortable Seat

Post by mict450 » March 21st, 2021, 12:21 am

Discovered another attribute of the model B seat after an additional week of seat time: the seat is higher at the bow end & slopes down to the stern end. This slope encourages you to sit with an anterior pelvic tilt, smack dab on your arse bones, discourages slouching & facilitates body rock-over to the catch position.
Eric, YOB:1954
Shasta County, CA, small town USA

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jackarabit
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Re: A Comfortable Seat

Post by jackarabit » March 21st, 2021, 10:33 am

mict450 wrote:
March 21st, 2021, 12:21 am
Discovered another attribute of the model B seat after an additional week of seat time: the seat is higher at the bow end & slopes down to the stern end. This slope encourages you to sit with an anterior pelvic tilt, smack dab on your arse bones, discourages slouching & facilitates body rock-over to the catch position.
:idea: Might try shimming the fwd end (facing “rear” leg) of my EndureRow off the roller carriage brackets.
There are two types of people in this world: Those who can extrapolate from incomplete data

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Zuman
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Re: A Comfortable Seat

Post by Zuman » April 11th, 2021, 2:13 pm

I'm glad to have finally read this post as I've been having a world of problems with my Model D seat. I'm no longer a rookie and this season's meters alone will reach 3 million. I'll also be doing my third marathon in May.
I'm a lightweight male, but I've dropped from 5'9" and 165lb to 155lb this year, and my rear has paid the price. During last year's Marathon Challenge I managed to finish with nothing more than C2's little foam pad and a couple of sheets of bubble wrap on my Model D's seat, but the past six months have been intolerable, primarily from ischial tuberosity pain, but also from some tailbone discomfort.
I've been embarrassingly haphazard in trying to find solutions. I've bought the Hornet Watersports anti-slip "wave" pad, the Skwoosh Master Rowing & Sculling Gel Pad, the 2k Fit Model 3 Gel Seat Cushion, and even the monstrous 2k Fit Model 1 memory foam cushion. None have been the full solution, and I usually end up using a combination of cushions to finish a long row. The worst has been anything with memory foam; after a while it just compresses to a thin, hard pad, and at the beginning it's too thick for a proper seating position, interfering with the thighs.
I have a 40k row coming up in two days, and I'm dreading it. My latest seat effort has been to take two 1cm pieces of closed-cell foam that doesn't compress much and cut out carefully-placed circles for my sit bones and a wedge for my tail bone. I'm going to place the relatively-thin Skwoosh Master Rowing pad with its small gel pads on top of that, and see how it works out. But for the actual Marathon Challenge at the beginning of May, I think I'll take your advice and try to find a properly-contoured seat (and no, I won't wait until the last minute to introduce it to my butt...).

mict450
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Re: A Comfortable Seat

Post by mict450 » April 15th, 2021, 2:19 am

Zuman wrote:
April 11th, 2021, 2:13 pm
I'm glad to have finally read this post as I've been having a world of problems with my Model D seat. I'm no longer a rookie and this season's meters alone will reach 3 million. I'll also be doing my third marathon in May.
I'm a lightweight male, but I've dropped from 5'9" and 165lb to 155lb this year, and my rear has paid the price......
....for the actual Marathon Challenge at the beginning of May, I think I'll take your advice and try to find a properly-contoured seat
I'm glad you found my original post helpful. Keep in touch & let me know which option you find the most confortable.
Eric, YOB:1954
Shasta County, CA, small town USA

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Re: A Comfortable Seat

Post by Mavrik » April 16th, 2021, 3:42 pm

Howdy y’all,
May I butt in?

Only been rowing on my erg for >2wks, however I did row a lifetime ago.
I had two concerns when I bought my erg: my torn up knees and sitting on my posterior for ages. The knees have been remarkable - literally a Godsend as most other activities just couldn’t provide a sufficient workout due to joint damage. I’m hoping that I’ll be seeing some muscle again above the knees.
When I ordered the erg I also ordered the seat cushion Concept2 offers. I didn’t use it for the 1st week until I was sure sitting could be better. What I found out was that I was probably not sitting optimally - now I don’t think that’s the issue here as I’m thinking y’all have been erging for years.

However, I’m wondering if you’re doing stretches and deep tissue massage specific to the bundle of connective tissue that, well, connects in that area? Years ago I could barely sit still on a wood or metal bleacher due to the inflammation I had at that point. Stretching for piriformis had the side benefit of stretching those tissues and deep tissue massage facilitated increased blood flow for healing. Now, my problem is that I CAN sit for long periods of time. :lol:
It wasn’t a 100% fix, but (butt?) 10,000m+ is tolerable.

Zuman
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Re: A Comfortable Seat

Post by Zuman » April 18th, 2021, 9:55 pm

Thanks, Mavrik! I'll give it a shot!

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Re: A Comfortable Seat

Post by Blaze » April 20th, 2021, 1:33 pm

Thanks, Eric, for all the info. The seat top from RevolutionRowing caught my eye, probably because of the price. I had considered a couple of other options, but they were both over $100, so I balked. I'm wondering if anyone here has installed this seat top. The product page on their website describes it as "a universal fit for the majority of sculling and sweep wheel carriages, so it will fit in just about any boat." I take that to mean it's a quick bolt-on replacement, but I've been wrong once or twice before. I'm not interested in taking on an engineering project right now, so I'll only bite if I'm sure it's an easy fit for my Model D.
Blaze

Zuman
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Re: A Comfortable Seat

Post by Zuman » April 20th, 2021, 7:50 pm

Just FYI, the Citius-Remex PROW contoured pad is on sale for $99 through their US rep right now. I've had one for just a day, but I rowed for an hour and a half today and survived. I'll admit I was beginning to get a little uncomfortable during the last fifteen minutes or so, but it WAS the first time I used it and I did finish without having to add another pad.

mict450
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Re: A Comfortable Seat

Post by mict450 » April 20th, 2021, 10:38 pm

Zuman wrote:
April 20th, 2021, 7:50 pm
Just FYI, the Citius-Remex PROW contoured pad is on sale for $99 through their US rep right now. I've had one for just a day, but I rowed for an hour and a half today and survived.
Great that the CR works for you. That's a fantastic price!! Who is the US rep?
Eric, YOB:1954
Shasta County, CA, small town USA

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