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Old 2019-02-28, 11:15 PM   #1
Garp
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Hi there.

I'm new to both this forum and unicycling. I don't have questions yet since I could find what I needed (so far) by looking around. So I figured I'll start a personal log. Here goes.

I bought a trials/street unicycle a few weeks ago and received it the 13th. Since then, I've been practicing every day for about 90 minutes. Progress was slow.
It took me a week to realize that sore wrists and bloody shins weren't necessarily essential to the learning process. So I ordered some protection gear, which I received two days ago.
Now, that made a difference! I was finally able to let go of the handrail for more than 4 or 5 pedal strokes, had a whole bunch of 20m to 30m runs and even finished yesterday with a glorious 45m. Yay.
Steering is still a bitch, though. Oh, and I was sooo close to free mount (the static version, with horizontal cranks).

And that's it for now. Off to my daily (nightly) session.
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Old 2019-03-03, 03:48 AM   #2
Garp
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Not a milestone per se but tonight I got 7 or 8 times over 100m and once 128m. More than twice my previous best!
Progress still feels slow but it is steady. Every single day (so far), I've had at least one run better than anything before, though usually not by much.

Steering is still very vague, especially on short distances. I'm praticing on a 200m running track now (just behind the local school) with four lanes. While I can roughly decide which way to go, I'm zigzaging all over the place and use all the width (getting dangerously close to that 6" cliff, with all those sharp pebbles at the bottom).
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Old 2019-03-04, 06:13 AM   #3
Garp
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One full lap of the running track, 200m! More likely 250, considering I keep going left and right all the time.
Plus 4 clean, slow-motion, fully controlled static free mounts. If these weren't out of a million attempts, I'd be proud.
27 hrs of pratice to get there. I'm glad I made it - barely - into the usual 15-30 hrs range.
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Old 2019-03-04, 08:20 AM   #4
pierrox
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Congratulations!
Learning on a trial uni is probably not the easiest if it has long cranks, so if it's the case, double congrats!
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Old 2019-03-04, 09:19 AM   #5
Garp
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Hi pierrox. Thank you.

My uni is this one:

(more details here)

The two parts of your comment sound completely counter-intuitive to me.
I would have thought a small wheel (20") with a fat tire (2.5") and a low pressure would give more stability.
Same thing about the cranks (mine are 140mm). Shouldn't longer cranks give more torque and so better control?
Looks like I got it all wrong.

Last edited by Garp; 2019-03-04 at 09:20 AM.
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Old 2019-03-04, 10:15 AM   #6
finnspin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garp View Post
Looks like I got it all wrong.
As long as it's 20" or 24", you are okay. Could argue a lot on which is ideal, but could also spend that time unicycling.

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Strangely enough, I fall a lot less now that I have the protection gear. Go figure.
You'll fall hard precisely at the moment you decide you don't need safety gear today (at least I do).
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Old 2019-03-06, 02:45 AM   #7
elpuebloUNIdo
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Learning on a trial uni is probably not the easiest if it has long cranks, so if it's the case, double congrats!
Interesting topic! I am trying to understand why you may be right, pierrox! If the cranks are shorter, then they are more immune to sudden, random changes in pressure. If the cranks are longer, the rider is able make quicker and more crude adjustments to balance. A beginner unicyclist tries to stay balanced over the unicycle. A more experienced rider learns to steer the unicycle under their center of gravity. Long, twitchy cranks may interfere with a beginner's balance. But, once the rider improves and the flailing arms/hands are removed from the equation, maybe the longer cranks are more useful. I am a personal fan of longer cranks. I tend to see them as easier, not harder to learn on.
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Old 2019-03-06, 08:20 AM   #8
pierrox
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Originally Posted by elpuebloUNIdo View Post
Interesting topic! I am trying to understand why you may be right, pierrox! If the cranks are shorter, then they are more immune to sudden, random changes in pressure. If the cranks are longer, the rider is able make quicker and more crude adjustments to balance. A beginner unicyclist tries to stay balanced over the unicycle. A more experienced rider learns to steer the unicycle under their center of gravity. Long, twitchy cranks may interfere with a beginner's balance. But, once the rider improves and the flailing arms/hands are removed from the equation, maybe the longer cranks are more useful. I am a personal fan of longer cranks. I tend to see them as easier, not harder to learn on.
That's a good explanation. Short cranks (not specific to beginners) also require more force from the rider, they offer more resistance when you accelerate - as you say, therefore it's easier to keep the wheel slightly behind you when you move forward. The same thing that makes climbing a slight incline easier than riding down the incline.

Where are you based Garp? "Southern Alps" is not in the USA for sure... France? Italy? Switzerland?

Last edited by pierrox; 2019-03-06 at 08:22 AM.
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Old 2019-03-04, 09:17 AM   #9
wobbling bear
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If these weren't out of a million attempts, I'd be proud.
27 hrs of pratice to get there. I'm glad I made it - barely - into the usual 15-30 hrs range.
I learned also at your age and it took me 2 months to learn to ride! (I woke up earlier and falled a lot before going to work!) so you're on the right track!
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Old 2019-03-04, 09:44 AM   #10
Garp
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I learned also at your age and it took me 2 months to learn to ride! (I woke up earlier and falled a lot before going to work!) so you're on the right track!
Hola wobbling bear. Thanks for the encouragement.
Strangely enough, I fall a lot less now that I have the protection gear. Go figure.
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Old 2019-03-04, 10:13 AM   #11
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Hola wobbling bear. Thanks for the encouragement.
Strangely enough, I fall a lot less now that I have the protection gear. Go figure.
I first learned on a 90 EUR uni from OnlyOne. A very cheap and little too small uni, with narrow tires. Because I didn't know I would get hooked to unicycles like I'm now, I didn't invest in a good quality one. One of the last days of nailing it my tire happened to be nearly empty, but that gave me a lot of stability. Very much like riding on a trials unicycle. I would stick with just the stock lengths of it. The good thing of the trials is, that the chance of he wheel blocking and sending you flying is much smaller when you ride over a bump. A freestyle uni with narrower wheel is more prone to that and once gave me a nice face-plant.
I don't understand why it gives you so much pedal bite, though my first uni didn't have metal pins, like the trials does. I was 39 when I learned to ride and it took me 3 weeks of practising 2 hours every evening before I could go a good distance, though I hadn't nailed free-mounting by that time.
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