This is the most visited page on my blog. I guess this is the last thing on our list of “to do’s” when building a bike. Even if you own a commercial bike, often the seat is an area where you can improve its performance and/or comfort.
Terry Wood Strip Seat
Terry used a Performer seat as inspiration. The Performer seat weighted in at 1800 grams.
LFWD carbon mesh seat by John Tetz
Mr. Tetz has shared the building of this excellent low weight carbon mesh seat. At 1 lb. 6 oz, the carbon seat is trim, stiff, yet it still gives the breathability of a mesh seat. He has plenty of illustrated pictures of the process to make his presentation understandable. I’ve not worked with CF before but I can see this being my first CF project.
Barnett Williams Style Seat
As much as I like the cool look and comfort of the anAtomic Seat, I decided to use the Barnett Williams style seat on my DeltaWolf. I find I can spend several hours in this seat and not be hurting from the ride. At least the part that touches the seat not hurting.
Here is the Barnett Williams seat Recycled Recumbents has. Wonderful seat. I’ve seen it copied in many different ways.
Very GOOD. Here is a link to the fabric cover.
I first sewed my seat as in the picture above per the normal instructions. I guess this works for some, but over a few rides mine sagged. So I redid it as below. I sewed in a 1/4 inch strip of aluminum ( I think 1/8 inch rod would work also) down each side of the fabric, burnt holes in the fabric with a wood burning set and laced it with some 1/4 inch braided rope. After it sagged a little, I just re-tightened the rope to pull out the sag. The rope helps support the heavy part where you sit. I only re-tightened the rope one time. Hard to explain, easy to do. Just time consuming to sew it up.
I’ve had five different seats on this bike and I like the Barnett Williams Style Seat the best.
Update on Barnett Williams Seat.
After about a year the sharp edges of the conduit rails begin to work through the fabric on all 4 corners. Sorry I didn’t get pictures. The rails are of 1/2″ conduit. I couldn’t find a plug that would fit 1/2″ conduit at my local hardware store so I bought some rubber feet made for stools. The only wear points were at these corners, the rest of the seat showed little wear although I ride almost daily. These are the rubber stool feet. I’ll see if this helps a year or two from now.
No Weld Version of Barnett Williams style seat.
Recently on BROL there was a thread about the Barnett Williams style seat with very favorable comments. Rans5Rider has made a no weld version of this seat using no-weld structural slip-on framing members. He promises pictures soon. http://www.bentrideronline.com/messageboard/showthread.php?t=82648 9/25/12
This week I started my first attempt at building a curved plywood seat for my recumbent trike. I give all the credit for this to Edgar K. Atkins/atombikes (firstname.lastname@example.org) You can get all the information and a PDF template for building the mold from his web site. PDF of anATOMic Seat Recumbent Bike Seat Plans. This looks like a good solution with several mounting and trimming options. I like the looks.
There are links to other plans at the bottom of this page. This seat is made of 2 thicknesses of 1/4 inch birch plywood. I’ll see in a few days if this will require another layer or not.
I may have to remove the seat upright and weld in a new one, I cannot get enough recline to the seat to keep from slipping down. A little more curve to the seat section might be nice also. If I use this seat, I’ll have to cut some decorative slits in the seat. I wear jeans a lot when I ride and the seam in the back of the jeans rubs in the wrong spot. This seat is quite labor intensive but I already have several changes that will make it go more quickly. I know my trike is still not painted. I plan to put on a mid-drive next week and will paint after that. Later EDIT Here is what worked best for me. Make sure that you cut the birch plywood grain short on the finished seat side. If you cut it grain long it will crack on the surface, or at least the test that I did cracked. Soak the wood for 24 hours. Leave each layer in the press for 24 hours and when you glue them together, leave that in the press for 24 hours. Takes me 4 days to make a 2 thickness plywood seat.
Ben Eadie Plans for a hard shell slat seat for a recumbent bike I think it looks cool.
Ben Eadie Plans for a ribbed seat with wooden dowels. (my next build for my suspended Spirit)
Bob McCutcheon does not give instruction on this but lots of pictures. No Welding frame.
Another slat style seat. Levné SWB sedlo – výsměch laminátu I’ve not been able to translate to English. Uses wooden dowel instead of slats.
Another nice seat from Atomic Zombie user imamedik
Here is another twist on the plywood seat from Atomic Zombie user navet
A nice looking seat on Instructables.com
Rans Style Seat
Edgar K Atkins as included in his atomBLASTER Low Racer plans instructions to a seat that looks somewhat like a Rans Style Seat. I was unable to capture a picture of the seat, but the instructions began on page 27 of the PDF file.
Carbon Fiber Seat
Eric, BROL user Kragasaur, has built a professional quality carbon fiber recumbent seat for one of his carbon fiber bikes. I really like his approach to building. If it doesn’t come out right the first time, do it again better. He has shared all of his trials so it will hopefully help the rest of use avoid the pitfalls. All of his finished products looks great.
Wood and Fabric Seat
Here is a seat built by a master woodworker. From this seat to a beautiful trike to an innovative caravan, this man’s work is superb. It has the look of cool and the function of a fabric seat. http://www.flickr.com/photos/saholm/2210128140/in/photostream/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/saholm/2210128044/in/photostream/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/saholm/2209334351/in/photostream/
Here is a very nice padded aluminum seat built by AZ spinner. The information is somewhat scattered in this thread. You’ll have to scroll through it. Nice build on the trike
Spinner is a very accomplished builder and has had some very innovative ideas. He has now built a python and made a tool for shaping his aluminum seat. Here is a link to the Articulator build. The seat build is around post #61.
I always like watching Spinner’s builds.
Fiberglass Over Wood
Here is a great thread on BROL for a fiberglass over wood seat by Bent Rider Member Terry. The thread goes in several directions by other users with good information. Check it out here.
N55 Polycarbonate Seat
The N55 XYZNODES Recumbent Trike has a unique seat made of 3mm polycarbonate plate. I immediately have questions about it. In my region it looks like it could be very hot during the summer as it would not breathe. How much support would it give you as you peddle? Of course I’ve not used this seat but as you can see (or not see the clear poly) it looks neat. If you want something different, here is a place to start.
Access to the XYZNODES manual can be found here. The downloadable PDF has the instructions and dimensions for the seat.
N55 in collaboration with Till Wolfer have made available open source plans for a recumbent trike that requires no welding and is made of standard aluminum. Check it out.