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Old 2018-06-11, 10:14 PM   #1
UuniBoy
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Which hand do you use when holding onto the seat?

Which hand do you use to hold the seat? I used my left hand today and I was able to go 100 yards straight on my 20", a new personal best for me. I usually don't hold the seat at all, but it felt like it helped me stabilize myself a lot easier over a long distance, but I haven't tried the same with my right hand yet.

Should I use my dominant hand? Or whatever feels comfortable? Is it worth practicing with both? Thanks :P
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Old 2018-06-11, 11:36 PM   #2
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At first do whatever you have to do to go the furthest.
Get comfortable with both in the long run. On long rides each side will appreciate the rest the other gives.
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Old 2018-06-11, 11:56 PM   #3
song
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I hold onto the seat with my non-dominant hand so that my other arm is free for hurling me up the stairs. I probably could have learned it the other way around, but as I recall, I had some soreness in my dominant hand from other balance sports at the time I learned to hop, and I also would have had to learn to hop with the opposite stance. Now my technique is pretty ingrained.

Holding onto the seat can also be a good form of insurance against potholes and bumps in the road, especially if you are riding in the dark and can't see them. It has saved me from many UPDs, though I think I do it a bit too much. Sometimes, on a perfectly level stretch of smooth pavement, I will discover myself hunched forward and holding the seat tightly, as if I were about to go on a muni trail.
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Old 2018-06-12, 12:47 AM   #4
Canoeheadted
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Of course learn both. Why would you choose to be unbalanced?
Being unbalanced may lead to injury or riding limitations.
As well, I think there are advantages to gripping with your left or right hand depending on the variables of the trail.

I believe every skill should be learned ambidextrous and in progressive order.

Like learning (in order) to mount, ride, dismount, hop, idle, etc...
Learn several mounts so you can start anywhere, ride on every surface you find, and safely dismount in different manners.

I'm a handlebar fan for my cross country riding.
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Old 2018-06-12, 03:19 AM   #5
Strokin99
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I’m right handed and hold the seat with my left hand. I also mount with my left foot in the the pedal first and then the right foot. Nothing is right or wrong just whatever feels best for you
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Old 2018-06-12, 03:35 AM   #6
johnfoss
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By default, I hold the seat with my non-dominant hand, which leaves my dominant hand free for flailing. And in the early days, when unicycle saddles didn't have protective bumpers, my dominant hand was the faster one at catching the seat.

I still have an ingrained habit to catch the seat whenever possible. Especially on my Road uni, which has a long, custom powder-coated handlebar. But when riding my Muni, especially my old one with the carbon fiber DeathGrip handle, I would let it go on the rough stuff. Nothing could hurt that handle!
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Old 2018-06-12, 10:14 AM   #7
aracer
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Interesting and surprising answers. I also hold the seat with my non-dominant hand, but that's because I have an old wrist injury in my dominant hand - I first tried using my dominant hand, but found I was getting a bit of pain. Definite advantages to having learned that way, as I can use either hand despite having a strong preference for the one I use most (I do sometimes work on using my dominant hand in order to maintain that ambidexterity).

However I hop with my front foot on the same side as the hand I hold the saddle, which is the wrong way round, so I'm tempted to suggest the correct answer is to use the hand on the same side as your natural back foot (which should be the foot you put on first when mounting, at least it is for me) if you're at all interested in doing any hoppy stuff.
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Old 2018-06-12, 11:46 AM   #8
UuniBoy
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Thanks for the responses everyone. Looks like everyone has their own way of doing it, so I'm relieved to hear there doesn't appear to be an objectively wrong way to do it.

That being said I think I'll work on both hands. Seems like I can only benefit from it.
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Old 2018-06-12, 11:52 AM   #9
MrImpossible
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I'm right handed and always hold the handle with my left. It just felt more natural - it's my brake hand on a bicycle (front brake), it's my "grabbing hand" for the guitar neck or for carrying things like groceries, etc.

If you do a lot of hopping it's better to jump away from your gripping hand (for me, jump to the right) but other than that I don't see much reason to prefer one hand or the other.

And I haven't seen any reason to learn to use both hands on the handle, anymore than I would want to learn to switch hit in baseball, or whatever. I'd rather spend time learning something else.
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Old 2018-06-12, 11:53 AM   #10
UuniBoy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canoeheadted View Post
Of course learn both. Why would you choose to be unbalanced?
Being unbalanced may lead to injury or riding limitations.
As well, I think there are advantages to gripping with your left or right hand depending on the variables of the trail.

I believe every skill should be learned ambidextrous and in progressive order.

Like learning (in order) to mount, ride, dismount, hop, idle, etc...
Learn several mounts so you can start anywhere, ride on every surface you find, and safely dismount in different manners.

I'm a handlebar fan for my cross country riding.
Care to elaborate? I had no idea there was a clear progression of what to learn on the Uni (although it looks like I did the first three in the correct order).
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Old 2018-06-12, 01:06 PM   #11
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Good question! I learnt to unicycle using my dominant hand (right one) to hold the saddle when mounting and hopping. For some weird reason I started using my left hand (non dominant) to use the brake on my 36.

Once I've got into Muni I quickly realized that it wasn't very practical to brake with your left hand and then switch hands to hold the seat when dropping/hopping etc..

In the end I had to force myself to use the right hand for braking. I quickly got used to it but it felt very weird in the beginning. However I still use my left hand to brake when riding the 36 with the handle bars (I still find it difficult with my right hand - not sure why).

Now to complicate things even further I have been practicing foot plants (with my right foot forward). For this trick you are suppose to use the opposite hand to hold the saddle (in my case it would be the left hand!!). Therefore I am forcing myself to get better at holding the saddle with the left hand (non dominant).

So, as you can see, I think the answer to which hand to use can be quite complicated .. it is a good idea to get it right from day one though
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Old 2018-06-12, 01:20 PM   #12
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I'm right handed. I usually mount with my left foot first, hopping up off the right foot, and I nearly always hold the seat or T bar with my right hand.
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Old 2018-06-12, 02:37 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrImpossible View Post
If you do a lot of hopping it's better to jump away from your gripping hand (for me, jump to the right) but other than that I don't see much reason to prefer one hand or the other.
I'll just highlight this so it doesn't get lost, I have had to break the news that they have to relearn hopping onto things to too many people. Always hop towards your free hand, it's better for balance, and for your own safety, since you already have your hand free on the side you are most likely to fall onto.
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Old 2018-06-12, 03:05 PM   #14
wobbling bear
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrImpossible View Post
I'm right handed and always hold the handle with my left.
same for me .. but I mount right foot first then left.
(I would like to hold the handle with both hands -specially on my Coker- but I don't succeed ... I still need my flailing right hand);
This said I am not completely right-handed: I naturally do lot of things with my left hand.
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Old 2018-06-12, 03:08 PM   #15
Canoeheadted
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Uuniboy,

"I think" that one should learn to freemount (several ways) as you learn to ride.
Gain both skills at the same time and now you have no limits. You need to get on to ride, No?
Ok, now you can ride. Let's work on safe dismounts now. Again, several different types to train you to handle real world variables.

Now that you have the basics, you don't need a curb to mount. You're not trying to avoid crowds so you don't have to do the dreaded re-mount. You don't need to have a certain body position to mount successfully. (left foot, right hand, both eyes, etc...) No crutches needed.

To me, it all comes down to balance. Mind and body.

Again, my learning routine... rotate through these four.
-mount with left hand + left foot
-mount with left hand + right foot
-mount with right hand + left foot
-mount with right hand + right foot

Once you learn these different mounts you can pick up your uni and just ride away from any situation. No matter on body position, uni position, or any other variables.
You don't have to go through the "bullrider" routine of slapping this, slapping that and having to repeat that pre-ride routine if your mount fails (or every time you mount).

Now that basic riding isn't a problem you are safe to work on other skills to compliment your riding. Hopping, idling, SIF, etc... (stuff that isn't really needed)
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