Author Topic: Saddleman foam pad vs. Airhawk ?  (Read 4513 times)

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Offline TomW

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Saddleman foam pad vs. Airhawk ?
« on: June 03, 2016, 01:34:40 pm »
Saddlemen Tech Memory Foam Seat Pad VS. AirHawk Seat Pad
that is the question.

What are your experiences with either one of these pads ?
I really don't want to invest in a big overhaul of my seat or buy a new
aftermarket one. To often I read that they're not what they expected to be.
Thanks for your input.
Tom
 :motonoises:
« Last Edit: June 06, 2016, 12:40:41 pm by TomW »
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Offline kds

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Re: Saddleman foam pad vs. Airhawk ?
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2016, 01:36:50 pm »
The original Airhawk (not Airhawk 2, though, it may be fine) is wonderful. You get the support where needed and a little airflow underneath to keep the sweat at bay. Took a 9,000 mile trip with one (still have the stock seat on a '99) and wouldn't leave home without it!

Offline DaddyFlip

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Re: Saddleman foam pad vs. Airhawk ?
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2016, 02:03:39 pm »
I have an Airhawk R on a stock 2011 seat. 600 miles a day is easy. You basically have infinite air pressure adjustment for different feels on a long ride. BUT, the recommended air pressure (juuuuuuuust enough for there to be any air in the pad) is the best overall. The front of the R model is curved and matches the curvature of the tank.  If you move the pad forward so about 1.5 inches is laying on the tank, then there is a nice pocket to sit in toward the rear. And, all the air moves forward and forms a low pressure bulge between you and the tank. This levels your seating position and keeps you from sliding forward into the tank (if you have that problem). I just looked at the latest product line... you want the Cruiser R large. 60-day money back guarantee, too.

One for sale in the emporium.
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Offline Cognisant

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Re: Saddleman foam pad vs. Airhawk ?
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2016, 02:41:51 pm »
I have both of them and they are both good solutions for sore azz.   :(

With the Airhawk (I have the original) the trick was to get just the right amount of air in it. Yes, it also allows "cooling" air to circulate under the pad.   ;)

When I headed for the West Coast last year I was experiencing bad a** pain. When I got to Duluth, MI I found the local H-D dealership and bought their last Saddlemen Gel Pad. It was heaven! No more pain.   :great:

Based on my experience I am a big fan of the gel pad. I'm currently reworking my stock Connie seat to insert a saddlemen gel slab. I'll let you know how it goes.   :whoo:
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Offline SilverConnieRider

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Re: Saddleman foam pad vs. Airhawk ?
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2016, 02:58:17 pm »
I have an Airhawk R on a stock 2011 seat. 600 miles a day is easy. You basically have infinite air pressure adjustment for different feels on a long ride. BUT, the recommended air pressure (juuuuuuuust enough for there to be any air in the pad) is the best overall. The front of the R model is curved and matches the curvature of the tank.  If you move the pad forward so about 1.5 inches is laying on the tank, then there is a nice pocket to sit in toward the rear. And, all the air moves forward and forms a low pressure bulge between you and the tank. This levels your seating position and keeps you from sliding forward into the tank (if you have that problem). I just looked at the latest product line... you want the Cruiser R large. 60-day money back guarantee, too.

One for sale in the emporium.

+1 on the Airhawk R  I think I paid about $180 and doubt I will get a different seat because I have the AH-R

It's easy to change the amount of air because it only takes a breathe of air (if that) to fill it enough.  Like above quote, it takes
very little air to make it work well.

Offline cyberswine

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Re: Saddleman foam pad vs. Airhawk ?
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2016, 11:09:59 pm »
Each to his own, everyone's azz is apparently different.  I had the Saddlemen Gel seat and it did very little for me.  I now have an Airhawk R and it's pretty good, but only pretty good, for me.  I'm now experimenting with slipping the mostly deflated Airhawk under my sheepskin for highway use.  That's awesome, but squiggly for stop and go riding.  Got an azz problem.... just throw money at it >:(

Offline Undertaker

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Re: Saddleman foam pad vs. Airhawk ?
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2016, 12:22:36 pm »
I have a sheepskin and it helps, but after about 200 miles, my posterior gets "hot".

Does the Airhawk add any height to the seat?  I am 6 foot, and the stock seat is already high enough, don't want it any higher.

From what I read, the Airhawk  needs very little air pressure to be effective.
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Offline DaddyFlip

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Re: Saddleman foam pad vs. Airhawk ?
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2016, 02:30:09 pm »
Okay, I will post up a picture description for you. So here is my Airhawk R on Ol' Black in generally poor lighting with weak flash from my Ol' BlackBerry. By my own error, I lost one of the straps a long time ago and have never bothered to replace it. In a bit, I will explain why I actually prefer using just a strap in the front.



Here's a shot from the rear. I have the front just on the edge of the seat, so the rear hangs off the side about a half inch which is just right.



So I moved the bike to the edge of the carport to take better advantage of the light from this overcast day I'm having. Notice the zipper pull on the rear corner. This is so you can unzip and access the air valve while your hand is still on the throttle. The best way to air up the pad is to overfill at first then crack the air valve to leak air until the pad is perfect… while you are riding! The design of the valve is such that very small amounts of air can be leaked, or you can really open it up with just a little more twist. If you've overdone it, you can air up on your next stop and try again. You don't have to take the pad off the seat to air it back up.



Here's a bird's eye view so you can see that the front profile matches the seat/tank interface perfectly and the Cruiser Large is the right size for the stock seat.



This is why I like the front strap only method. If I feel like I'm being pushed into the tank or I want a different seating position, I just pull the pad forward until it rests on the tank about 1.5"… while I am riding! The little bit of air in the pad is pushed forward between me and the tank and creates a little pocket without air toward the rear of the seat. It's like sitting in a saddle and makes a very comfortable change of position. Sometimes I pull the pad off to the side a little; you would be surprised how versatile the pad is.



I've removed the cover so you can see how much air I DON'T have in the pad. All those air compartments are connected so when your body puts pressure on the pad, the air gets evenly distributed among the compartments. They are compressed and spread out with a thin layer of air. It is very slight and almost not noticeable, but it makes a difference in your seating comfort. Seat height change has to be LESS THAN about a quarter inch. The purpose of this pad is not to impact seat height but to create a cushion of air beneath you.




So I took the pad and rolled it up tight with my normal air volume so you can see how much air there is.  Notice it fills the one big compartment and about half of those other three, but the rest of them are squeezed pretty much empty.



Finally, I aired it up all the way so you can see how NOT to use the pad.



In any one of the unmasked pics you can see the valve stem.  It has a threaded end that you just unscrew to let out the air. Very easy to work while riding. I hope this helps folks looking at this thread.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2016, 08:40:40 pm by DaddyFlip »
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Offline ron203

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Re: Saddleman foam pad vs. Airhawk ?
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2016, 06:43:02 pm »
That is an excellent tutorial. I used mine on my C-10's Corbin and now on my C-14 today for the first time. Love it.

Good job there.
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Offline Undertaker

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Re: Saddleman foam pad vs. Airhawk ?
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2016, 11:46:54 am »
Daddyflip, many thanks for the great post and lots of information. I believe I will have to get an Airhawk.

(I see you have one of the Black Connies, the real fast ones! Mine is also black.) :great:
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Offline TomW

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Re: Saddleman foam pad vs. Airhawk ?
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2016, 12:26:48 pm »
Hi,
thank you all for your replies and a special thanks to DaddyFlip for your detailed answer .
I think the decision is made , I'll go with an Airhawk R .
Take care !
 :motonoises:
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and a few more before....

Offline Sprocket

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Re: Saddleman foam pad vs. Airhawk ?
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2016, 12:10:47 pm »
Okay, I will post up a picture description for you. So here is my Airhawk R on Ol' Black in generally poor lighting with weak flash from my Ol' BlackBerry. By my own error, I lost one of the straps a long time ago and have never bothered to replace it. In a bit, I will explain why I actually prefer using just a strap in the front.



Here's a shot from the rear. I have the front just on the edge of the seat, so the rear hangs off the side about a half inch which is just right.



So I moved the bike to the edge of the carport to take better advantage of the light from this overcast day I'm having. Notice the zipper pull on the rear corner. This is so you can unzip and access the air valve while your hand is still on the throttle. The best way to air up the pad is to overfill at first then crack the air valve to leak air until the pad is perfect… while you are riding! The design of the valve is such that very small amounts of air can be leaked, or you can really open it up with just a little more twist. If you've overdone it, you can air up on your next stop and try again. You don't have to take the pad off the seat to air it back up.



Here's a bird's eye view so you can see that the front profile matches the seat/tank interface perfectly and the Cruiser Large is the right size for the stock seat.



This is why I like the front strap only method. If I feel like I'm being pushed into the tank or I want a different seating position, I just pull the pad forward until it rests on the tank about 1.5"… while I am riding! The little bit of air in the pad is pushed forward between me and the tank and creates a little pocket without air toward the rear of the seat. It's like sitting in a saddle and makes a very comfortable change of position. Sometimes I pull the pad off to the side a little; you would be surprised how versatile the pad is.



I've removed the cover so you can see how much air I DON'T have in the pad. All those air compartments are connected so when your body puts pressure on the pad, the air gets evenly distributed among the compartments. They are compressed and spread out with a thin layer of air. It is very slight and almost not noticeable, but it makes a difference in your seating comfort. Seat height change has to be LESS THAN about a quarter inch. The purpose of this pad is not to impact seat height but to create a cushion of air beneath you.




So I took the pad and rolled it up tight with my normal air volume so you can see how much air there is.  Notice it fills the one big compartment and about half of those other three, but the rest of them are squeezed pretty much empty.



Finally, I aired it up all the way so you can see how NOT to use the pad.



In any one of the unmasked pics you can see the valve stem.  It has a threaded end that you just unscrew to let out the air. Very easy to work while riding. I hope this helps folks looking at this thread.

Why can't I see or open these images?

Offline GIant81

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Re: Saddleman foam pad vs. Airhawk ?
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2017, 07:28:02 pm »
Please forgive me for necro thread digging, but I didn't want to start a whole new thread just to ask a few questions in a thread already related to the exact topic I was looking for.

I'm 6'9" and while I find the stock height is fine, more height is always welcome.  I notice the gel pad probably won't give you too much more height, but the airhawk looks like if you wanted to you could add a bit more air and get a bit more height.  Is that possible, and does it work well?

Also, I'm 300lb + gear, has anyone ever popped an airhawk?  What kind of warranty do they have? 

Offline Jeffrey

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Re: Saddleman foam pad vs. Airhawk ?
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2017, 10:02:37 pm »
G-81,
Don't know about the warranty. But putting much air in will make it feel like you are sitting on a beach ball.  I'm 5'-9" and can touch with the balls of my feet with out the airhawk - so a little better than tippy toe.  With the airhawk, which is supposed to be nearly flat (hardly any pressure)  I can still touch without being on tippy toes.  I guess my short answer should have been, you won't gain much height, and over inflating will not be good.

I highly recommend the air hawk.  Easy to take off at the end of a day in the hotel parking lot.  I just leave the straps hanging.
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Offline cyberswine

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Re: Saddleman foam pad vs. Airhawk ?
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2017, 11:45:39 pm »
I also had both, Saddlemen Gel and Airhawk 2.  Neither did a whole lot for me, the Airhawk was better but on long days I changed the pressure several times to ease discomfort.  To answer the last question about height, the Saddlemen actually lifted me higher that the Airhawk, quite the difference.  I have now given in and have a new as yet untested Seth Laam.  Could have purchased that for the amount I spent on cushions, sheepskins and such.  Everyone is different and has different results. YM WILL  V.

Offline mattchewn

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Re: Saddleman foam pad vs. Airhawk ?
« Reply #15 on: February 14, 2017, 12:11:22 am »
G81,
Nothing will replace a well built seat. Seth Laam does a fantastic job. I just had him do a second seat for me and I will be sending him a third for for my KTM 690 Enduro to be redone before my epic trip. He built up the front of my C14 seat over an inch and it is such a dream now to ride on. I am 6'4 and 250lbs so I have issues on seats. I have used an Airhawk R as well. It sits in its' box now as it didn't work for me long term. Bought me a little more ride time but didn't care for the squishy feeling when carving corners.
Seth will make corrections to the seat if need be as well. Mine needs nothing though!
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Offline ron203

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Re: Saddleman foam pad vs. Airhawk ?
« Reply #16 on: February 14, 2017, 12:54:42 am »
I'm Matt's size. I haven't used my Airhawk since I got the Baldwin seat, but I'm keeping it "just in case." The Airhawk shouldn't lift you more than 1/4".
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Offline Jeff

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Re: Saddleman foam pad vs. Airhawk ?
« Reply #17 on: February 14, 2017, 12:49:02 pm »
Well enough of you were good enough salesman that I purchased an Airhawk R last night. I am just worried that I might have got the wrong product.  It was $100 on amazon. Earlier in the thread someone mentioned it being in that $180 range.  Hopefully I just got a great deal. 

Offline Joker

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Re: Saddleman foam pad vs. Airhawk ?
« Reply #18 on: March 08, 2019, 05:36:37 am »
Thanks for the post guys, makes me feel better about the purchase of the airhawk r for me and the wife.
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Offline IBAJIM

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Re: Saddleman foam pad vs. Airhawk ?
« Reply #19 on: March 12, 2019, 01:29:22 am »
BTW/FYI :  MCN did a comparison test several years back that compared a gel pad, Air Hawk, and beads.  Beads came out on top.

Even with my RDL seat, I still use the beads ( ceramic).  They really work good, especially for long distances.  I like the beads from beadrider.com.
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