Airhawk Seat Cushion

By Richard Meltz <>

Hi Prezzes and Prezzettes,

It's not often that I get this excited about a new product, but it's not often that something this good comes along. On my way to Missoula I did 500 miles the first day, and 800 the second. Perhaps no Iron Butt records were broken, but it was a lot of riding for me.

My poor butt really was aching. It got so bad I could barely move my legs due to the acute discomfort I was suffering. Pressure points on the two sit bones, raw chafing flesh around those areas, the whole works. By the way, I had tried to prepare properly. My K bike has a nice custom touring seat (generic), covered by a Bunz Eze gel cushion, and I was wearing cushy bicycling shorts under loose fitting trousers, and had used plenty of talc. This regimen works nicely for me up to about 300 miles, but not farther.

I saw the Airhawk seat cushions at the rally and decided to give one a try. I was kind of skeptical at first. This is not the first inflated cushion to hit the bike market. And I thought the $199 price was a bit inflated also. (More on cost later). But I was desperate, and figured I'd give it a try. Guess what? On the way home, NO SORE BUTT!!!!!!! Truly amazing.

When I got home I called Roho, the manufacturer, and got lots of interesting info about this product. They call it "dry immersion technology" and they've been using it for the medical industry for over 25 years. (for wheel chair patients, etc.) The idea is that if you throw any kind of blanket, even a gel pad, over rough ground and then lie down on it, you're still gonna feel the rocks underneath. But if you're floating in a shallow swimming pool, you can't feel the rough ground under you at all. It becomes irrelevant.

The heart of the Airhawk seat consists of a waffle grid of interconnected air cells. You overinflate it, then sit on it. Let out just enough air so you sink completely into the cushion and stop about a half inch before you touch bottom. Might take a few tries to get it adjusted just right. You are now floating above the surface of the seat, with completely evenly distributed pressure. No more pressure points.

It was explained to me that these seats are quite expensive to make. They use a type of rubber which can't be injection molded. So it's a process in which the waffle mold is dipped into the liquid rubber repeatedly, and then a combination of air curing and oven curing is used. The cells thus formed are then attached to the backing, making sure each cell remains connected to its neighbors. This is done by hand. It takes about 24 hours to complete each cushion! They say they'd love to sell them cheaper if they could make them chaper. But on the bright side, they have some cushions out there in serviceable condition after being used day in, day out for 25 years, so their quality is darned good. They guarantee them for 2 years regardless of owner.

This product worked wonders for me and made the difference between having an enjoyable ride and enduring days of real agony on the bike. I appreciate the good reports from those who use fine custom seats like the Russell, but some of us either own many different bikes or change bikes quite frequently. So a cushion that can be moved from bike to bike is particularly appropriate for us.

I liked this product so much that I've ordered some to sell out of my shop and will gladly ship them anywhere. So I can't claim to be a financially disinterested party. All I can say is that on my ride up to Missoula I would gladly have paid the asking price or more to cool out my uncomfortable backside. For those of you who also suffer from this malady, I can recommend the Airhawk seat cushion highly.

May your buns nevermore burn,

Richard Meltz
Centaur Cycles, Inc.
Santa Fe, NM

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Last Update: Monday, February 28, 2000