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Old 2008-03-08, 10:06 PM   #1
oceansea
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Can learning on old, crappy unicycle to start be counterproductive?

im starting to wonder if this old 24" Loyd unicycle i bought a few weeks ago is maybe to clunky to try to learn on?.

I am expecting there to be a big learning curve, especially now at the beginning. But its seeming like this unicycle is just overly difficult to keep upright. I replaced the old tube after its valve stem broke while trying to inflate it.
New tube inflated to fairly firm. Maybe too much, so i released a little air. Dont know actual psi as no gauge.

But still seems like tracking even with one hands fingers touching a well is pretty off.?

How much will an old clunker like mine be useful or possibly counterproductive for learning to ride?
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Old 2008-03-08, 10:14 PM   #2
augustdreamt
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I think so. My first uni sucked and I couldn't do anything on it after a month of trying. I finally bought a Sun, and within an hour on the new uni, I was riding further and more steadily than I had in a month of practicing with the clunker.
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Old 2008-03-08, 10:32 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by oceansea
im starting to wonder if this old 24" Loyd unicycle i bought a few weeks ago is maybe to clunky to try to learn on?
Unless it stops you from wanting to persevere, then No. You may not progress quite as fast as with a brand new Nimbus ISIS freestyle (or whatever your preference is), but you'll learn a lot of subliminal skills that will serve you well in the long run. It may not feel like you are improving in leaps and bounds now, but it's all being stored up.

Sooner or later, you will have to upgrade. And that's where you will really appreciate the difference. And where you'll see your stored knowledge shine through.

The trick is knowing when to upgrade

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Old 2008-03-08, 11:14 PM   #4
StephenH
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In what way is it clunky? How long and how much have you been practicing?

I can see if the pedals were loose, or the wheel was overly flexible ior if there was some obvious problem, it could hinder you. Otherwise, doesn't seem like it would make that much difference.

A 24" is supposed to be harder to learn on than a 20".

Looking back, I think I got my unicycle the day before Thanksgiving (US) and could ride to the end of the block, maybe 150 yards or so, by December 16. I just managed to ride around the block this last week.

I know there's people that have learned a whole lot faster. On the other hand, I've probably been working at it about 2 hours a week, so someone more motivated could put 20 weeks of my practice into one week of theirs if they were so inclined.
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Old 2008-03-08, 11:16 PM   #5
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Oh yeah, on the tire pressure- on my 20x2.125" tire, I keep it at 45 psi, which is what it says on the tire. But it doesn't seem that different if it gets a little low, so I would doubt that was the problem.
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Old 2008-03-09, 05:01 AM   #6
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Well my friend learnt on a home-made 24" from the 50s with 100mm cranks - shows it's possible but I'd definitely recommend learning on a decent 20"
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Old 2008-03-09, 07:00 AM   #7
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I think it is more important that the unicycle be a good fit, than weather it is old or junky. It took me a long time to learn to ride and I think the main problem was the seat was too low for me. I would try for 10 or 15 minutes and it felt like I was doing lunges the whole time (I know most of that is not putting weight on seat - but the seat height amplified the problem). The other problem I had was not having an excellent resource like Unicyclist.com around when I was trying to learn.
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Old 2010-08-11, 04:10 AM   #8
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Oceansea,
I'm in the same boat you were a couple of years ago. I've had a no-name unicycle for about six months and put in some time on it (not really dedicated for most of it) and I'm just getting 3-4 revolutions now. A friend of mine suggested a move to a "real" uni would make a huge difference.

How did it play out for you?? Are you still riding? Did you master it on your old clunker, or did you pop for a new wheel? Did it make a big difference?
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Old 2010-08-11, 04:23 AM   #9
johnfoss
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A Loyd unicycle when I was learning to ride would have been extreme luxury. I learned on a P.O.S. with a hard plastic 16" tire, tricycle crankset, no bearings, and a hard plastic seat. I gave up many times, but in general stuck with it until the thing fell apart.

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. That said, it's unicycles like those that may have turned off a whole generation to the idea of riding unicycles because they're so much harder to learn on.

If you have something with a real tire, and enough air in it, and a seat that can be raised beyond the point where your legs are all squished down, it doesn't matter too much for the beginning stages. If the cranks and pedals can't be kept loose, or if the thing is so out of alignment it can't be ridden straight, that could be a problem but most other issues are not relevant until you can start riding short distances on your own.

Afterthought: If it has a seat like the Loyd unicycle I bought through eBay, that could be a problem too. A nice, leather bicycle saddle. Ouch!!
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Old 2010-08-11, 07:59 AM   #10
unireed
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my dad has been re-learning to unicycle. he rides the 24" lead-heavy uni my grandpa built in the late-forties. thats old. with a bike seat and bent cranks. i forced him to try my less-shitty 20" and he went twice as far in a few tries.
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Old 2010-08-11, 10:28 AM   #11
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I don't think you can call it counterproductive... if you cannot unicycle then you can't get any worse. Even if you can ride a bit I think this would be a good lesson as the more strange things you ride, the better you are getting.
But for sure the progress on such an old one may be slower with a new shiny machine, both because of the uni and your attitude to it.
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Old 2010-08-11, 02:32 PM   #12
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those who say it doesn't matter and to persevere are exactly the same people who never had a dodgy uni in their lives and only ever owned a nimbus or KH from day one.

a rubbish uni will definitely screw you over. case closed.

once you upgrade to something decent like a nimbus you will be in a whole new world.
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Old 2010-08-14, 05:58 AM   #13
nubcake
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oceansea View Post
im starting to wonder if this old 24" Loyd unicycle i bought a few weeks ago is maybe to clunky to try to learn on?.

I am expecting there to be a big learning curve, especially now at the beginning. But its seeming like this unicycle is just overly difficult to keep upright. I replaced the old tube after its valve stem broke while trying to inflate it.
New tube inflated to fairly firm. Maybe too much, so i released a little air. Dont know actual psi as no gauge.

But still seems like tracking even with one hands fingers touching a well is pretty off.?

edit : OP - maybe get a bike shop to give it a good service if it isn't too hard on the wallet. After that you will either know or not whether to keep going or start with something better
How much will an old clunker like mine be useful or possibly counterproductive for learning to ride?
it seems everyone here has already forgotten that

1. the OP has ALREADY got an old clunky pos.
2. has had bits of it breaking
3. it seems to not be centered correctly
4. personally feels that the uni is creating issues on top of the already difficult learning curve and feels a struggle with the uni

the OP is already beating an old horse and is fighting against its sucky nature. time to bury it and start new. you don't rechew a piece of old gum stuck under a desk.

Edit : OP - maybe take it to a bike shop for a good service if it isn't too expensive. After that you will either know it's worth continuing with or not.

Last edited by nubcake; 2010-08-14 at 06:01 AM. Reason: because
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