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Old 2019-08-16, 12:22 PM   #16
Gockie
Gal who started riding at nearly 41
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoLeftFeet View Post
Nooo ... its here!! Shipping was really fast. I am definitely not prepared. Its heavier than I imagine it to be.

I have assembled the sucker. Pumped the tires. I tried mounting the unicycle besides a wardrobe in my room barefooted. That was dumb. Had my first fall. Yea. That thing is squirrelly. It wants to shoot off in multiple directions from under me.

I have yet to order the wrist guard.

The tire range is 45 to 75 psi. Right now I have about 70 psi on the tires. Is that too high?
Whoo hoo!


Perhaps yes, you might feel more comfortable with lower pressure. Up to you to try. It might be less squirrelly with less pressure. (Or it might just be you)
Put some shoes on. (Perhaps sports shoes).
What you want to do is feel comfortable sitting on it holding a railing. Then go and do some rotations using the railing for support on one side.

When you’re on it, have a slight knee bend at the maximal part of the crank rotation...

Good luck!

Last edited by Gockie; 2019-08-16 at 12:24 PM.
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Old 2019-08-16, 12:25 PM   #17
Gockie
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Originally Posted by TwoLeftFeet View Post
What is shoulder coverage? I think I will not ride bare chested . Will have t-shirt on.
I was wearing a dress without sleeves... it also didn’t cover my knees... bad choice. If you are wondering I’m a middle aged woman.

Last edited by Gockie; 2019-08-16 at 12:26 PM.
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Old 2019-08-16, 01:12 PM   #18
TwoLeftFeet
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Originally Posted by Gockie View Post
I was wearing a dress without sleeves... it also didn’t cover my knees... bad choice. If you are wondering I’m a middle aged woman.
You're a woman ? I re-read your post and try to visualize it in a womanly context. Wow, you are hardcore!! How heavy is your 36" unicycle?
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Old 2019-08-16, 01:46 PM   #19
OneTrackMind
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoLeftFeet View Post
That thing is squirrelly. It wants to shoot off in multiple directions from under me.
That is what they do. Welcome to the most difficult but potentially the most rewarding skill you have ever attempted.

The most important factor in learning are persistence and having fun. Take a break if it stops being fun.

The riding style of a beginner is entirely different from an accomplished rider. Experienced riders usually advise how they ride which isn't what a beginner needs. If you want to watch a video, view someone riding off road as it is much more like the way a beginner needs to ride.

Set the seat high as you dare while still being able to catch a fall to the side before falling too far to save yourself. This will probably be lower than ideal but helps alleviate your fear. Fear is a great inhibitor to learning.

Although the goal is to sit on the saddle you can't do that until you can keep the wheel fairly precisely under you. Until then, the misaligned downwards force on the saddle will pop the uni out from under you, as you discovered. Put most of your weight on the pedals and grip the saddle between your thighs to keep it in place. (If the saddle is too low you won't be able to grip it because you thighs move around too much.)

You MUST lean forwards to get moving before pedalling or the wheel moves, leaves you behind and you fall on your arse. This is what happens to most beginners on their first attempt. Then they stop trying and put the uni away forever.

Surprisingly, beginning unicycling isn't much about balance. The basic principle involves falling forwards and driving the wheel under the fall. This is much like what we do when we walk. Think, put the wheel where you would put your leading foot if you were walking. This allows you to use some established neurological pathways.

With this in mind you must first learn rudimentary steering. Start out by holding onto something like a fence and get the feel for steering the wheel by twisting with the hips against your upper body inertia. This should only take a few minutes.

Do not persist with a wall or fence beyond this skill. Supports prevent you steering into your fall because the wall gets in the way. Or conversely when falling away from the wall you will jump off because you feel insecure without the support. It also tends to make you put the wrong hand out as you fall towards the wall.

Like on a bicycle, as a beginner you cannot ride slowly. Hold onto something, lean a LOT more forwards than you expect then start pedalling to quickly get the wheel under you and the wheel up to speed.

Do not think of riding so much as a balance of forwards and backwards pressure on the pedals. You don't yet have the reactions for balancing forces on the pedals. You need to concentrate on moving forwards.

The uni is much more stable when the frame leans slightly back. You must lean your upper body slightly forwards to keep your centre of gravity above the contact point of the wheel with the ground. Do not sit up too straight but do not hunch. A little forward lean goes a long way.

Try to adjust the position of your upper body above the wheel at your hips rather than your waist. Don't hold the saddle as you need your arms to help with the balance. Try to keep your legs moving in line. It complicates balance if your knees are swinging out.

Get used to running out of an emergency dismount. Always step off before you lose control even if you have only travelled a few inches. Develop your falling skills as you go so you are not afraid to fall.

Ideally find a very smooth grassy area with a slight downhill slope. The grass will slow down the tendency for the wheel to fly away while the downhill slope will overcome the resistance to rotation and bias your motion in a forward direction. It is also a lot better to fall on.

Move to a smooth hard surface as soon as you can keep the wheel under you and are comfortable with running out of emergency dismounts. It will suddenly seem a lot easier. Then work towards sitting down. You will not believe the level of effort it takes, especially until you can sit down.
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Triton 36" + 29" | KH 29" | KH 26" | KH 27.5" Muni | Nimbus eSport Race 24" | Torker LX 24" | Qu-Ax Luxus 20" | Qu-Ax Profi 20" | KH / Impact 19" hybrid

Last edited by OneTrackMind; 2019-08-16 at 01:56 PM.
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Old 2019-08-16, 02:55 PM   #20
TwoLeftFeet
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Thank you for the primer. That is a lot to digest. I will remember to lean forward and grip saddle with my thighs when I do my second attempt.

Probably the first daylight ride will be mount/dismount (step through thing) and practice walking away and letting uni/me fall forwards/backwards.
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Old 2019-08-16, 04:15 PM   #21
Gockie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoLeftFeet View Post
You're a woman ? I re-read your post and try to visualize it in a womanly context. Wow, you are hardcore!! How heavy is your 36" unicycle?

The wheel itself (rim, hub, spokes, tire and inner tube) is only 4kg something. It's different to ride compared to all my smaller unis though.
After riding a big wheel, a 20 and 24" uni feels squirrelly and unstable. I get comfortable with the weight/force needed for a larger wheel.
The 36er is something I haven't mastered for mounting though and that's something I will work on. I could get the odd tire grab static mount to work, but after adding handlebars, that's not really an option. So i'm planning to learn a rolling mount.

As for being a middle aged woman... I am what I am.

I'm not super amazing as a rider, but I enjoy it. If I was a guy i'd possibly be more comfortable/have more guts to try to roll off kerbs etc, (I've only done it twice in public... Both 100% successfully but I am nervous as all hell when doing it) but not to worry. I'm trying to learn some tricks, and I just need to practise.

And my legs are only just long enough to comfortably ride this KH36 without modification using 125/145 cranks!

Last edited by Gockie; 2019-08-16 at 04:24 PM.
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Old 2019-08-16, 07:08 PM   #22
Tinkerbeau
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Originally Posted by TwoLeftFeet View Post
Oh God . I hope you recover fast. I will try to find out about the wrist protection thing that skaters use. By the way, big wheels are how big? 36"?
Only 32” - I thought I keep it reasonable but went too quickly to 125 cranks I think.

For the wrist guards, lots of folk seem to suggest the HillBillys. They offer more wrist and palm protection than KH but are a bit restrictive. For me it came down to protection vs freedom and I took the protection path again, risk avoider that I am.
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Old 2019-08-16, 10:16 PM   #23
TwoLeftFeet
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Gockie,

Your wheel alone is like 2/3's the weight of my uni (6.5 kg). All the best in mastering the rolling mount, else you can't get home .

Tinkerbeau,

The price of the hillybilly glove in KL is ... I am searching for something a bit more affordable. Compromise on the protection I guess.

My crank is 114mm. Hmmm ...
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Old 2019-08-17, 04:47 AM   #24
johnfoss
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoLeftFeet View Post
Nooo ... its here!! ....I am definitely not prepared.
The only way to get prepared is to get on and start working it. There are loads of threads in this forum that go over the learning process from many different points of view, for people of various ages. Advice we would offer would differ between a teenager, a grown-up like yourself, or a small child. For a guy your age we would assume you want to be more methodical than a teenager, and that you won't bounce back from infinite falls like either of those other two demographics.

Tire pressure should be low for your early lessons. Higher pressure makes the wheel too easy to twist from side to side; you want rotational grip. Try it around the 45 psi for now. (Note: "Correct" tire pressure is dependent upon rider weight, tire width, riding surface and intended riding style, among other things. But beginner unis all tend to have wheels in the 1.75 - 2" width range, so it's easier to give out meaningful numbers.)

Many of us bought safety gear after finding out it would be good to have. I learned to ride when I was 17, and bought my first safety gear at 18. This was from my attempts at practicing for Track racing; always falling on hands and knees! I am now a few years older than you, and think you would benefit from wrist protection (protecting the bones more than the skin), followed by knee and shin protection. Start with something cheap and see how it goes.

You're going to sweat a lot, at least if you have to practice outside. If indoors, stay away from stuff you care about, or anything made out of glass. Also note that I once punched a hole in an interior wall -- while trying to demonstrate to someone else how the uni can shoot out and hit the wall, which can be painful in the crotch area!

If you're outside, I guess sweat is a given. I've been to that part of the world once, doing shows in Singapore for a couple of weeks at Clark Quay. It was great fun, but boy did we sweat buckets!

To reduce "empty" time when learning, concentrate on the riding/balancing part. Work on making half-revolutions, regaining your balance in between while holding onto your support. Getting back on takes up a lot of time, so keep the distances short; learn to stop and get balanced before going again. Make sure you spend more time on the unicycle than on these forums.
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Last edited by johnfoss; 2019-08-17 at 04:47 AM.
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Old 2019-08-17, 05:46 AM   #25
TwoLeftFeet
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Thank you for the pointers johnfoss.

Its noon here in KL. I have been practising mounting/dismounting the uni, maybe even crawl a few ft. Wearing shoes and helmet indoors. I have a stair landing at home with a railing, roughly 20 feet in length. I can do about 5 minutes before the heat and sweat overwhelms me. 5 minutes interval with longer youtube rest. Definitely more intense than riding a bike . As for now, just trying to build confidence in the bailout manoeuver.

I have reduced tire pressure to 40 psi. The tire rating is 45 to 75 psi, but at 40 psi it is still pretty firm.

I'm telling my body to sit sit sit on the saddle, thighs squeeze the saddle please, but my legs seems not to want to obey me and my thighs do its own thing. Men and thigh squeezes occurs never!! (ok maybe in WWE wrestling), Ha ha ...

I have ordered safety gear. Knee pads, elbow guards, wrist guards. Probably chinese manufacture. Once they arrive, I will release myself from the wall (railing).

Ha ha ... less posting yes yes. But forum is addictive too coz lots of nice people here.
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Old 2019-08-18, 01:48 AM   #26
song
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Remember that the pressure rating on a "unicycle tire" is for bicycles, which distribute your weight onto two wheels. Another factor in deciding how much air pressure to use is your own bodyweight. If you are big or fat, you need more pressure (and also more safety gear). What kind of riding you will be doing is also important. When I was learning, I preferred a hard tire. Nowadays, I do too, unless I decide to go out and do a bunch of hopping or ride on rough roads, but I am only one example.

Reading cautionary tales on the Internet when you don't know how to ride yet can be scary. Of course people who ride a 36" wheel down the side of a mountain while wearing a backpack and tons of gear are going to be unable to run out their falls, but right now that isn't you. Do be careful, though, of that cabinet you mentioned, and other furniture in your house. If you fall in that environment, lots of bad things can happen to you and to your furniture.

Here is a gif that someone else posted (I no longer remember who it was) that illustrates the learning process as I experienced it, except that I rode only on pavement, never on grass, and was already solidly middle-aged. Over and over, I just did what you see here, and after a half an hour I was starting to ride 5 or 10 meters maybe one time out of 10.
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Old 2019-08-18, 03:09 AM   #27
OneTrackMind
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoLeftFeet View Post
I'm telling my body to sit sit sit on the saddle, thighs squeeze the saddle please, but my legs seems not to want to obey me and my thighs do its own thing.
Weight on the saddle is ultimately an important part of learning but don't try it too early. Before you can get weight on the saddle you need to be able to keep the wheel very close to right under you or that downward force will push the wheel out.

Start out with most of your weight on the pedals and concentrate on keeping the wheel under you. This keeps the weight lower down and doesn't require precise wheel position. As soon as you can keep the wheel in the right place, start working on getting weight on the saddle. Put more weight back on the pedals if the uni keeps popping out.

Holding the saddle between your thighs is to keep it in place when you are standing on the pedals. Not for when you are sitting. Moreover it isn't essential but it helps some beginners.

Keep trying different things. The more variety in your learning the more input your brain has to build the bigger picture.

There are many skills that must be performed together to be able to ride. Try to notice what goes wrong each time and focus on correcting one aspect on each attempt. Sideways balance, staying upright on top of the uni, keeping wheel under you, pedalling over the dead spot, leaning forward just the right amount etc.

Acknowledge your success every time one of the skills is done right, even if it is just once in a while and everything else was terrible. Your brain will appreciate any praise it can get in circumstances that can feel very futile.

There are many ways to fall off. You just need to deal with them all and you will eventually be able to ride. Never doubt that you will eventually succeed.
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Last edited by OneTrackMind; 2019-08-18 at 03:12 AM.
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Old 2019-08-18, 03:19 AM   #28
OneTrackMind
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Quote:
Originally Posted by song View Post
Here is a gif that someone else posted (I no longer remember who it was) that illustrates the learning process as I experienced it, except that I rode only on pavement, never on grass, and was already solidly middle-aged. Over and over, I just did what you see here, and after a half an hour I was starting to ride 5 or 10 meters maybe one time out of 10.
In that video the rider is leaning too far forward and/or not pedalling fast enough from takeoff.

See how the frame is almost vertical. A dismount is inevitable the moment it get forwards of vertical. The frame needs to lean slightly back.

With the wheel further forward he would be in a quasi-stable geometry with his centre of mass above the contact point. Getting the frame in front of vertical would require lifting the weight of the rider.
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Old 2019-08-18, 02:40 PM   #29
TwoLeftFeet
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Like this? I notice this in some of the videos on youtube as well.

Anyways, I'm on the second day. It will take many many more days and I need to find a bigger space and just let go.

Last edited by TwoLeftFeet; 2019-08-18 at 02:43 PM.
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Old 2019-08-18, 04:39 PM   #30
elpuebloUNIdo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OneTrackMind View Post
In that video the rider is leaning too far forward and/or not pedalling fast enough from takeoff.
OTM, I think what you're saying is correct. However, for beginners, one of the worst possible things that can happen is falling backwards. So, for anyone at the very beginning stages of learning, I think that erring too-far-forward is maybe okay. If someone asked me, when I was a beginner, to think of tilting the frame back, I'm not sure I'd have been able to do it, or worse, it might have caused me to fall backwards. I don't know when an appropriate time is for a beginner to start thinking about leaning the frame back. It's not easy to see when we are riding. Also, I don't know if it's a beginner habit that naturally becomes extinct or if it's a bad habit that follows people into the later stages of learning.
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