I did my first muni today. What a blast it turned out to be. I can see how it will help me to quickly improve my balance and should benefit any uni riding I do.
I was surprised to find what seemed to be an ideal place to try beginner muni about 2 miles from my house. It’s even reachable by uni though for this first outing I drove there thinking I might not be able to make it home if things didn’t go well.
It’s mostly hard packed trail about 4-8 feet wide with some small rocks and roots here and there running through a densely wooded area. Some small ups and downs but no hills to speak of. There are some places to go off the hard pack onto single track surfaces as well.
I have a couple questions.
When you ride muni how much of the time do you spend sitting hard in the saddle as opposed to having some or all your weight on your feet?
Do you grip the handle on the saddle only to pull up for unweighting the wheel or are you sometimes pushing down to ease the pressure on the er… bearings (yours not the unis)?
I posted some pictures of my homebuilt aluminum uni in the “Post your muni here” thread.
It depends on the terrain. On easy terrain you want to be mostly in the saddle, to save energy. On bumpy terrain, or steep uphills, I do a lot more standing up.
I use the handle mostly to keep the unicycle pointed straight at whatever obstacle I’m heading towards. I pull up on it, push down on it, twist it, whatever it takes. On technical downhills I do a lot of pushing down on it, or long flat sections.
Like Tom says, depends on the terrain. The more you have your weight on the seat, the less you wear your leg muscles out. So you increase weight on pedals only if there’s a need for it, like bumpy terrain. Not really for going uphill: then you only increase force on the front pedal but you retain as much as possible your weight on the seat.
I grip the handle most of the time but I only pull up if I need to, that is if I need more downward force on the pedals than my weight can generate. In MUni rides I hardly ever push down on the handle. My crotch gets its relief anyway because of standing on the pedals, falling off etc. For me, pushing down on a handle, or handlebars, is reserved for road riding.