175 cranks on a 24"?

Having a hard time learning how to idle on my 24"; would 165 mm or 175
mm cranks make the task easier than with the 152 mm I’m using now?

Longer cranks would only help if you are practicing on a very steep hill. Another way to say it is that the leverage you get with 152mm cranks on a 24" wheel is plenty for idling on the flat. Be patient, practice 10 minutes every day and you will get it. It takes a while, but is really worth it.

Good luck,

A search will turn up loads on learning to idle; here’s one: -


I think that a search and accepting that idling just takes a while to learn will be better than switching th longer cranks.

Also, post what you’re currently doing to practise it, then people can better advise you.

My main tip is, if you’re currently using a wall to assist, then force yourself to practise in the open; I spent ages rocking back and forth with one hand against a wall and not really getting anywhere.

When I stopped using the support I cracked it in weeks.

Re: 175 cranks on a 24"?

Thanks, the thread was helpful. I will stop blaming the cranks for not
being able to idle.

Watching Andrew Carter’s online video tutorial on idling I wonder if you
have to twist the hips constantly or only when you’re about to lose

If I’m visualizing the hip twist thing properly, you do it to change the direction in which the wheel is pointed. Slight changes like this allow the wheel to keep rolling back under your center of mass. These are the side-to-side adjustments that make idling work. If you watch someone who’s good and smooth at it, you may not be able to notice much hip action at all.

Re: Re: 175 cranks on a 24"?

If I remember the vid correctly, Andrew greatly exaggerated his hip motion. Once you get idling down, your hip motion will be minimal. You might look like Andrew initially.

Did I learn it wrong? A different point of view from a self-taught beginner.

Hello all,

During my idling infancy (which I guess I have returned to, judging by the layer of dust on the unicycles) I found that the 170 cranks offered much more power to compensate for the constant mistakes that I was making. With this added power, I was able to make many more corrections (usually over-correcting at first) than I could with the 150’s.

This allowed me to learn much quicker, since over-correcting provided much more feedback than falling off did. For comparison, I had (and still have) the Sem 26 (150’s) and the Yuni 24 w/ Gazz (170’s) (both from Unicycle.com) that both had very similar tire diameters. I practiced with both simultaneously (no, I can’t ride them both at the same time;) ). I quickly learned that I was able to idle 3 or 4 times as long with the 170’s. Yes, there was more twist to deal with, but I received much more feedback with regards to which correction was necessary. Before long I was using the Yuni in the garage for aerobic exercise (extremely fun aerobic exercise) when the weather was bad (which was very often in Nashville). Thirty minutes of idling with only a half-dozen or so falls was common. Even after getting comfortable with the process, I still could not idle nearly as long with the short cranks.
Just my 2 cents for the newbies. And since this may prompt some crank changes by the beginners, PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING:

CRANKS ARE VERY DIFFICULT TO KEEP TIGHT, especially with the added forces of idling with the extra leverage that the 170’s offer. If you change them, have an expert walk you through the process the first time! And take notes! Once your cranks come loose, especially if they are aluminum, they are often permanently damaged. Whether you change your cranks or not, you should remove the crank nuts (with the help of an expert) and apply Red High Strength Locktite to the threads, unless the shop that you purchased it from has made a provision for this necessity. If your pedals came with a blue thread locking material (already hardened), which is rare (at best), this will probably keep them tight (it’s common with medical equipment, I haven’t seen it on pedals). If you’re not changing the cranks, there’s no reason to pull the crank. Just Locktite the threads, and re-torque the nuts (again, with the help of an expert).

Loose cranks are a major problem with unicycles, due to the application of force in both directions. Save yourself some headaches, expense, and long walks back to the parking lot, by tackling this problem in advance.