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Seat discomfort

Has anyone been bothered by the top cross brace on the P-38 best seat pushing against the spine and neck causing irritation? Is there any solution for this?

Hi again Rod,

Yes, some other people are bothered by top cross tube of the seat. And some people never notice it at all. I suspect that it depends on exactly what part of your back rests against the tube.

One thing that might help is to put a piece of foam pipe insulation over the top tube. Very cheap, and it just may do the trick.

Let us know what you try, what works, and what does not. Tim Brummer probably could offer useful advice about this too.

Safe riding,

You may be too large for the seat you have. A larger one may be the cure but first try loosening the seat bottom lashing, that may lower you just enough to relieve the irritation. Failing in that (you may be one of the very few who don't find the P38 seat more comfortable than anything else) then try a different seat design.

Dave's suggestion is very good. You can change the part of your back that rests against the top brace in two ways: by lowering your butt (loosening the seat bottom strings) or by raising your butt (an extra layer of foam under you, or better still a Thermarest inflatable cushion.)

Note that if you loosen the seat bottom strings too much, you will get a rubbing problem. The underside of the seat mesh can contact the rear chain idler when you sit down, and even wear a hole in it.

Try fooling around with your position up-and-down on the seat. That might help. Or the pipe insulation trick may work.


If all else fails, you could take a hack saw to the seat. Cut both side tubes about two inches below the top brace. Then reverse the orientation of the top brace, so that it curves BACKWARD instead of FORWARD. Find some short lengths of tubing with an external diameter that fits snugly inside the seat tubing, and use this as internal sleeves in order to re-attach the top brace to the side tubes of the seat.

The internal sleeves have to fit JUST RIGHT - like in Goldilocks and the Three Bears - in order for this to work properly. If the external diameter of the sleeve tubing is too large, it will not fit inside at all. If it is too small, it will not provide a secure and safe connection between the parts of the seat that you have hack sawed apart.

You could also use the same trick to shorten the back of the seat, if this helps. It effectively makes the seat a smaller size. I have done this myself successfully, but you may not want to do it unless you enjoy tinkering like me.

You also risk ruining an expensive piece of your Lightning, so please do not do this unless you are confident that you can carry it out successfully!

Good luck, and let us know if anything you try helps.

Safe riding,


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