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Old 2020-01-22, 07:14 PM   #16
Unigan
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Welcome as others have said you should start with a smaller wheel 20" or at most a 24". Trying to learn on a 29" straight away could be dangerous as depending on your height you will need to jump on to the seat. When you're learning you want as few complications as possible and you will fall off it countless times which would help if you have less height to fall off. As for safety gear I'd recommend at least hand/wrist protection and maybe shin protection if you're worried about pedal bite but usually a couple of good whacks to your shins is enough to teach you not to do that.

As for cardio exercise in the beginning it will be an extremely strenuous workout while you learn the basics and up to a couple of months it will be hard going. Once you get comfortable and relaxed then you should move up in Uni size. Personally I started out with a 20" ALDI Crane which I rode for about 6 months and upgraded to a 29" Nimbus Muni and that was a pretty steep learning curve even for me. The jump from 29" to 36" was also huge especially when it comes to mounting. It's taken me much longer to learn to mount the 36" and even still I have some difficulty.

Currently I'm riding a 36" KH with 127mm cranks and this seems to be a really good cardio exercise for me as I can't keep the uni at speed indefinitely as it requires a lot of energy to keep the large wheel and small cranks going.
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Old 2020-01-22, 09:12 PM   #17
mrfixit
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BHChieftain View Post
One other point on the quest for cardio-- this also was the reason I wanted to get to a larger wheel. I kept seeing videos of people buzzing around on 20-24" unicycles effortlessly...

However, I'm about 1.5 months into riding, and I can mount and ride the 24 for as long as my heart rate can stand it-- which is only about 200'. Then I have to jump off before my chest explodes.

That's because at my stage I have way too much weight on the pedals vs. the seat, which is due to using legs/pedals too much to balance as I ride. The result is my legs constantly fight each other every rotation and it ramps up my heart rate big time.

I am trying very hard to get more and more weight on the seat but that is a slow process! That's why I think it won't be until summer before I can benefit from a larger wheel for any kind of distance riding.

Chief
One way to force yourself onto the seat would be to raise the seat..
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Old 2020-01-22, 09:13 PM   #18
OneTrackMind
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elpuebloUNIdo View Post
You might consider picking up a cheap 20" on CL for learning.!
Scotty Watty is 6' 3" and weighs 235 lbs. Many of the cheapies would not handle that load for long.
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Old 2020-01-23, 02:44 AM   #19
BHChieftain
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Originally Posted by mrfixit View Post
One way to force yourself onto the seat would be to raise the seat..
I've raised mine I think as far as I can go (legs nearly straight). That definitely did help.

Chief
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Old 2020-01-23, 02:58 AM   #20
Dane M
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For taller fellows I really disagree with the whole "start on a 20 inch" thing. It's said alllll the time as if it's going to apply to everyone. As we all know, every wheel size behaves in its own unique way, and one of the benefits of a larger wheel is that it's not as sensitive to weight on the pedals.

A perfect example is a 36er, I can mount a 36er with the pedals parallel and my full body weight on that rear pedal... and it hardly moves at all, definitely doesn't shoot out backwards. I personally think that the 24" is a much more realistic size for taller people to start on, because that little uni isn't going to just fly away when they put their body weight on it. I don't like riding the small uni's, they're too sensitive. I feel like I'm battling them all the time constantly overcorrecting, that's why I sold everything I had under 26".

I always rode bicycles the same way, favoring the higher gears, I liked a lot of tension and torque. I feel like I'm much more coordinated.

All you need is persistence. If you want to ride that 29", you'll ride it. It's not a matter of "if" it's a matter of "when".
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Old 2020-01-23, 04:11 AM   #21
elpuebloUNIdo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OneTrackMind View Post
Scotty Watty is 6' 3" and weighs 235 lbs. Many of the cheapies would not handle that load for long.
Okay, maybe a not-so-cheap 20" then.
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Old 2020-01-26, 10:06 PM   #22
scotty watty
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first day practicing

first day learning to ride a unicycle.....2.5 miles non stop.......then I parked my car...got the unicycle out of my trunk and started practining...1/2 hour...my legs were like spaghetti.....if falling off is part off learning..I learned a lot.. 🤣😃😅....man...the people on the internet showing us how to learn....makes it look easy...
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Old 2020-01-26, 11:51 PM   #23
BHChieftain
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And so it has begun...

If you get a chance take some vids as you progress and share 'em. I got a lot of tips from folks evaluating what I was doing.

Chief
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Old 2020-01-27, 02:51 AM   #24
elpuebloUNIdo
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Originally Posted by scotty watty View Post
man...the people on the internet showing us how to learn....makes it look easy...
You may be better-off watching videos of true beginners...rather than tutorials by experienced riders.

We're all rooting for you!
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Old 2020-01-27, 03:42 AM   #25
Gockie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scotty watty View Post
first day learning to ride a unicycle.....2.5 miles non stop.......then I parked my car...got the unicycle out of my trunk and started practining...1/2 hour...my legs were like spaghetti.....if falling off is part off learning..I learned a lot.. 🤣😃😅....man...the people on the internet showing us how to learn....makes it look easy...
I found a railing really helped me learn.

If your legs are like spaghetti after your first session, that's all good, your legs will get so much stronger in no time.
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Old 2020-01-27, 05:58 AM   #26
scotty watty
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elpuebloUNIdo...i have...they look like me....lol...i was joking..i knew it would be difficult learning....i saw a few videos of beginners and their frustration...but they kept on chugging a long....it will take time..i just have to keep focused.
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Old 2020-01-27, 06:00 AM   #27
scotty watty
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Gockie...killer work out...i was sweating bullets...but it was all good...
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Old 2020-01-27, 07:12 AM   #28
Unigan
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All part of the learning process, after some time you'll wonder why it was so hard to begin with. First time I tried riding up a steep hill I didn't know about leaning into the hill I tried to stay upright the whole time fighting myself all the way up and my legs turned to gelatin at the top couldn't move for 5 mins or so.
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Old 2020-01-27, 01:38 PM   #29
DrD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scotty watty View Post
first day learning to ride a unicycle.....2.5 miles non stop.......then I parked my car...
That's pretty funny, brightened my day up at least, thanks.
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Old 2020-01-27, 02:18 PM   #30
elpuebloUNIdo
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Originally Posted by scotty watty View Post
i knew it would be difficult learning
True. I think that's a stumbling block for some people, especially young people. Either they know it's difficult and don't want to do it for that reason, or they expect to be good at it from the start, then get frustrated and quit after about three seconds.

I suspect you're dropping the unicycle a lot. Unicycles are tough and can take being dropped, but make sure everything is tight. Do you own a pedal wrench and a set of metric hex tools? Your unicycle should handle all your weight as well as being dropped thousands of times...but only if things are tight. Also, there is a lot of confusion about spacers. Make sure there is no gap between the cranks / spacers / bearings. They should all be mashed together so that the splines / spindle are not exposed. This is assuming you're using cranks with the the ISIS interface. The bolts under the seat are going to get loose from the saddle hitting the ground so often. A pedal wrench is 1ft long for a reason. Using a shorter wrench to tighten the pedals may not cut it. These tools cost a bit of money, but they'll help you protect your investment.

Good luck!
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