A few weeks ago I installed my new BeadRider (LINK) seat. My bike is an '05 12GS and the beads are on a regular Sargent. I've been riding my 60 mile round trip commute since I got it, but last Saturday I participated in a ride of just under 300 miles, and it was my first relatively long ride on the beads.
On Beadrider generally:
First things I noticed:
- They seem like good folks. When I emailed a question they promptly emailed an informative response. (Q: What size for a 12GS Sargent? A: Same as for the stock 12GS - 14" x 14".)
- At $35.95 plus shipping, the price seems reasonable and is in line with similar products (Alaska buttpad, Air-Hawk, etc...).
- I have an Aeroflow, and with the beads my eyes are a noticeable half inch or so higher than they were over the top of my screen. The air flow still hits high on my helmet so there isn't anything negative about that.
- I can barely notice the additional height when flat-footing the bike at a stop. I think that if you're short or have a short inseam and ride a tall bike then it may be a consideration. For most folks, though, it won't be a big deal.
- Sitting on it was not as different a sensation as I expected. After the first quarter mile on the road I frankly forgot that I was sitting on beads.
- You definitely feel some more air on your butt. Not so much that its annyoing. But good for hot Texas days. Its not so much that it'll get you cold, either. It is enough to keep you from sweating through your pants. I can't stand getting off my bike with the ass of my jeans soaked through with sweat (sorry if that's TMI ).
After last Saturday's 300 mile ride (half of it off road on gravel):
- Its a definite improvement over riding without them. That little bit of air helps, and its easier to roll your butt a half inch or so to get some relief from moderate monkey-butt.
- Certainly a bigger inprovement in ride quality over the Alaska leather buttpad or the AirHawk (that's my own experience, of course.) It easily adds comfortable riding time.
- Definitely worth considering before that huge Russell investment.
Good product. Glad I got it. If I were to compete in an Iron Butt Rally I think I'd still get a Russell. But for my purposes it seems like a fine product.