36 inch unicycle beginner learning diary

Hi ,

My learning journal of 36 inch unicycle

Short summary I had 20 inch unicycle but in beginner level and give a break for years. A month ago got a 36 inch nimbus nightfox unicycle, 137 mm crank and start learning. Each day is like 20-30 minutes and used a tennis area fence to help me,

Day 1-11 36 inch Beginner Learning Diary :

Day 1-2-3 :Tennis fence holding
Day 4-5 :still tennis fence +I can have 1-2 revolution
Day 6 :It was the first day that all of a sudden I went 5-6 rev (3 times)
Day 7-8 : lost it , again 2-3 revolution and turned back to tennis fence
Day 9-10-11 got it again, but maybe max 7 rev, it is like a clock, when I come to 6th-7th rev I UDP, my body just gives up.

Below is my youtube video showing Day 1-11


Thoughts :
** 36 inch Nimbus nightfox, crank is 137 mm, I use knee, shoulder, elbow, wrist protectors and also hill-billy short and helmet of course, if I could do I could wrap myself in bubble.
**I wrapped a sock to the front and back so when it falls it doesnt crack the holding plastic part of the unicycle.
**I took out the handlebars while learning, also wrapped the brakes.
**Mentally got afraid of uncontrollable back falling, kind of happened twice, when I was trying to keep my weight in seat, the seat goes forward and I kind of falling back, scary feeling
**I knew 20 inch unicycling although a newbie but gave 2-3 years brake after achilles rupture injury(not related to uni), so 36 inch feels I am learning again and mentally more scared of falling or hurting myself and it also feels really high !
** just ordered 150mm crank as recommended so I guess soon I will be practicing with them, with the hope of I could have more control

Enjoy your adventure! Here’s a terrifying reality: a 36" wheel will be more stable and easier to ride if you increase your speed past “walking speed”. Speed is scary, so that’s tough to do as a re-beginner. I’m glad you’re well padded. You are wise to remove the handlebar, which would probably be scarred and bent during the learning phase. It may prove useful in the hazy future. Good luck! Keep us posted.

Totally understand and you are right,couple of times I had more speed and it seems much balanced. I hope I can pass my fear, and my fear began to focus more that ; I will be caught to the saddle and go backwards hitting my head (my mind plays all bad scenarios). And thank you for your motivation,really means a lot to a newbie :slight_smile:

doing just fine : ) I can’t tell very well from the video, but it looks like you may be putting too much weight on the pedals. Indeed, like learning all over again. Sometimes its easier to focus on pulling your back leg up rather than pushing down with your front leg. That may give you a smoother pedals stroke. You’re doing all the right things though.

Thank You ,definitely will try that!I told myself I have to keep weight in seat but my fear of getting caught up on the seat makes me put on pedals like I am closer to the ground feeling, I had to get rid of that thought:o. I will definitely try the pulling back leg up ! :slight_smile: Thank You!:slight_smile:

If you want to do it the hard way that’s fine, we unicyclists often do. Otherwise, see if you can make it down to the NYC Unicycle Club, or otherwise get your hands on a 20" or 24" unicycle, if even only for a few hours. It’ll come back to you much faster, and cut way down on the scary time of learning on the 36".

Until that happens, make sure you have plenty of air in the tire; they are very grippy and sluggish, so higher pressure will make them easier to twist and move. And make sure the seat is at a proper height; don’t ride with your legs bent too much, because it will wear you out fast.

Looking Good :slight_smile:

As I start off ( mines a 32”) I always have to tell myself ‘‘bum on seat, bum on seat’’ as my legs never seem to want to bend.

Great great recommendations, my tire air seems low ,I will increase it and I will practice on a small unicycle as well.The seat height and knee bends are that I am not so good of,maybe I should experience and see and will follow your tips; Really appreciate your recommendations,thank you:)

:slight_smile: me too, the only thing is I feel not in control when I sit on the seat as when I go down ,don’t feel in control,couple of times I went backwards,felt scary !

It is easier to mount the uni when the tires aren’t too hard. I always ride between 30 and 35 PSI. I know the tire recommends 35-65, but I haven’t experienced any issues. The 32" and 36" have road tire profile, which already makes them easier to turn, compared to the muni’s

Great progress, Unisiklet. I agree that a smaller wheel will accelerate your progress. You are able to, on a smaller wheel, recover more easily from a greater imbalance, compared to the 36", where there is a small margin of imbalance before you UPD. IMHO, weight on the seat comes naturally over time and should not be rushed, especially if it means falling on your butt. Practicing idling on a smaller wheel (whether or not you can do it unassisted) helps in making corrections when the wheel gets out in front of us. I watched your video. This probably doesn’t apply any more (since you’re progressing quickly), but avoid sticking your fingers inside the links of the chain link fence. I’m speaking from experience. Luckily, I didn’t injure myself. Keep practicing!

If you’re going to try a smaller wheel do it soon. Once you get the hang of the 36er you’ll be past the point of no return and won’t have eyes for any other wheels :D.

Thank You, the tennis fence finger sticking reminder is awesome as I kind of see how it can happen and how dangerous it could be, will change my holding,thank you! and I will start the idling on a smaller wheel

:smiley: makes sense, so I will try both ! thank you :slight_smile:

Scared I’m scared

My fear was only overcome by raw determenation. I too fell twice backwards and that put the fear in deep. I put a mouse pad in my pants and it help remove some of the fear.
Two things worked for me.
First: get off the tennis court because it has mental stopping points. Go to a long sidewalk where you just look ahead and go.

Second: look around at people, trees, house, anything to help get your mind to not think about falling.

Your are only as high as your down foot pedal is off the ground. Think about that more then how far your head is from the pavement.

Will do !! Time to try different roads and pavements, and your other quote, “you are as far as your down foot”,ahhh ,that ease my mind too :slight_smile: thank you ,it is great to know it is not only me

Day 13

Day 13
Uniycle learning Diary Day 13 for 36 inch big unicycle. [Nimbus Nightfox, 150 mm V2 cranks]… The second unicycle at the end of video is 20 inch nimbus trials , 137 mm crank . Here is the Youtube Video:

After my unicycle day 1-11 post and all great recommendations , I tried to follow them : I changed my location from tennis court to lake walking road . Also pumped up my 20 inch old unicycle and practice on it,(After 36 inch, 20 inch felt soOo small and so close to the ground! :joy:). I also put 150 mm cranks (took out 137mm), it helped, at least I feel tiny bit better control, I guess. Still cannot keep my weight on seat hence the wheels turning every revolution, I can do two or three seconds but then start giving my weight on legs. The problem with 36 inch is ; I need to commit and speedup but that feels so scary, so most of the times I was slow and udpied second rev , the times I ride was if i speed-up but really mental block there . another challange is the road’s cracks and bumps mentally makes me focused on them and UDP (=Un Planned Dismount) . When I ride My core muscles gave up after 8/9th revolution. -Edison NJ

I just want to post that online somewhere, completely out of context, and collect comments on it. :slight_smile:

That said, the rest of that post was full of good advice. While a mouse pad probably wouldn’t make much difference on impact, it could make one feel more confident, and that can count for a lot. In time, you will learn to detect dismounts to the rear and develop the reflex to get a foot (or two) out back of you to catch you, and that will take away a lot more of the scariness of that happening.