I recently purchased the "Sweet Cheeks" system and got to try it out today on the ride to work.
It's just 32 miles each way, but in the past, by the time I hit the 10-mile mark, I was already squirming around trying to get comfortable and a pain would develop in my right hip. It sucks getting old.
Anyway, so far I love this thing. Made the trip each way sitting still and not moving around once due to pain or "hot spots." It doesn't look like much, but it felt like I'd taken the seat cushion off my La-Z-Boy recliner and was sitting on it while riding.
Would it do the trick for you hard-core long-hauler types? I don't know, but it made a dramatic difference in my comfort on this commute.
For those of you unfamiliar with it, here's a quick look. I got mine from cycleanalyst just because that's the first place that popped up when I searched for one to buy. I received it within two working days.
The "system" in its raw form. It's made of a rather heavy nylon that I would consider "cordura," but I'm not sure if that's what it is. I got the Size 8 to go with my Stearns seat cover. Obviously, it utilizes two 2-liter bottles to support more of your butt and your thighs. Any kind of 2-liters can be used. I chose these Milwaukee's Best 2-liter bottles because they seem heavier than soda bottles. Note: This is a cheap way to buy beer, but when it's hot out, it's hard to get one down before they go flat and warm.
There is also a pouch/sleeve in the flat part of the thing that goes across the top of the seat. You can add foam or something else in there if you want to. I chose not to put any in.
The thing fits "saddlebag style" on the seat with the bottles hanging over the edges and about flush with the top of the seat.
I was able to use the straps for my Stearns seat cover to secure the Sweet Cheeks to the seat using the four large loops on each corner of it. So far it's worked, but I need to do some tweaking and have not settled on a final attachment method.
I had to start somewhere, so I filled the bottles most of the way. You can "adjust" the system by changing the "pressure" in the bottles. I think I started off a little too firm and will soften the bottles. It would seem you could use the bottles with no water in them if you wanted to. For a less firm feel, you can squeeze the bottle so it's partially collapsed and then screw the lid on tight.
I noted when I got on to leave for work, I seemed to be sitting higher and had to almost tip-toe with a 34" inseam where before I could flatfoot with both feet. A different view in my mirrors confirmed I was sitting higher. In my opinion, that's good, though.
I don't know if it will always be that way, or if it's just because I started with the bottles so firm.
It could also be because the 8" size is for the stock KLR seat. The Stearns seat cover adds some bulk and width and the flat part of the fabric just barely fits across it. It could be the bottles are being pulled up a little too far, but it seems like the 9" version would be too wide.
I also think I'll slide it back a little further on the seat for my ride tomorrow so less of my thighs are actually in contact with the bottles. I figure I'll just keep messing with it until I get it just where I want it. I'd like to make that reach to the ground with my legs just a little shorter.
I secured it pretty well, so had no problems with it shifting around when I mounted the bike. Since I have a trunk on the back, I have to get on and off "hurdler style" with one leg straight out.
So, in the end, didn't have the money to buy an aftermarket seat and was afraid even if I did, I might not be happy with it.
This is a good solution for me. It's comfortable and if I'm riding off-road, it will come off quickly and easily. It's also a good way to carry some extra water if you're going camping.
It was raining when I got off work and as I had been forewarned, found the thing saturated as it isn't waterproof.
The only downside I could really find during the first real test of the thing is now that I don't have any backside issues distracting me, I now really notice how much the handlebars vibrate.
Bottom Line: I think it's a good, cheap system (less than $30 shipped) that improves stock seat comfort while highway riding and can be readily removed for more technical off-road riding where I feel it would be a hindrance.