I haven’t had any issues running out relatively slow 36er UPD’s, but at cruising speed I’m 0 for 2 the second being much more painful than the first. I’m riding with 110’s. Is there a trick to jumping off the beast? I’ve tried practicing UPD’s, but when I get up to speed I’m too scared to jump off. The first time was much faster than the second. I took two steps then realized I couldn’t run that fast and tucked and rolled out of it unscathed. The second time my feet never touched the ground. I pretty much got owned even though I was going slower. Also I feel like I’m inadvertently “ankling”. I bicycle with my toes pointed down at a relatively extreme angle. I don’t feel comfortable doing this on a uni without clipless pedals, but I don’t think going clipless would solve my UPD issues. So how do you pedal, and how do you transfer from riding to running swiftly?

Don’t crash.

It’s not my fault I’m a clumsy bastard. I fall off my bike even pretty routinely. And yes I also tend to fall while walking.

I try to roll out of my falls rather than run them out. I usually come out unscathed, except that occasionally I’ll tear out the palm of my gloves.

Do you use any gear specific to the roll out strategy? I typically wear a helmet, KH percussion legs with blue jeans, and standard wristguards with cycling gloves.

Use longer cranks until you have more control.

You’re definitely not ready for clipless. To prepare for future crashes, the best thing to do is practice them. Not necessarily at full speed, but work your way up to as much as you feel comfortable coming off at. As you build dismount reflexes, you’ll be better prepared to react instantly in a crash.

Having started that way (long cranks), it may just slow down the learning process.

Sometimes we just want to trade practice for a crutch. I recommend working with-in ability and increasing ability with short cranks. When we decide to go back to short cranks after learning on long cranks the same problems comes back again.

Apparently I sprained my wrist yesterday when I fell. I couldn’t comfortably wear my wristguards because of it. I switched to 125’s and rode much more relaxed knowing I have to land on my feet. I think I just need to ditch the rode bike mentality for a while. I always ride as hard and fast as I can on my bike. The relatively relaxed 36er ride today was surprisingly enjoyable. I think I may actually just stick with 125’s for a while. I may try some low cadence rides on the 110’s, but I’m not exactly a low cadence kind of guy.

Ever tried muni? Maybe difficult terrain that forces you to slow down would actually be safer for you…

I live at about a foot above sealevel on completely flat ground. There is a trail that is about an hour and a half away. I went there once and had a blast. It’s not something I could do on a regular basis though.

as with anything- KNOW YOUR LIMIT!

110s are really small, if you’re still having problems with UPDs, you probably shouldn’t be running those cranks.

It sounds like you’re leaning too far forward when you’re at full speed, and then you can’t give it any more juice to pull the uni under you, so you just fall out of control. You should run off long before that happens.

No Guts, No Glory = fewer doctor’s bills :roll_eyes:

125 mm cranks are a ince compromise for street riding on a 36. I have ridden 110, 125 and 150 and prefer 125 for most situations. 110’s are fun but they take getting used to and I try to ride more cautiously because recovering from an unbalanced situation is more difficult.


Well, this seems like the best place to post this.

On Tuesday I was taking my Nimbus 36 inch Impulse out for a ride. When I attempted my freemount, I got forward over center but for some reason I was not able to pedal the wheel forward so I went off the front. Because I was trying to pedal, I didn’t get my feet under me and went down on my hands. Busted my left wrist. Had surgery today to install a plate and 7 screws. Here is a before surgery picture.

It will be 6 to 10 weeks before I am able to ride again. : (

Can anyone recommend good wrist guards that would protect against this typr of injury?

The consequences of learning to unicycle fast on a 36" wheel are a lot more serious than they are on 24", the way I learned. For anyone who strives for maximum speed, it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to practice high speed spinning on a smaller wheel. Use the same size cranks you want to use on your 36". This will accomplish multiple purposes:

  • You'll get spin practice on that size, so at least that part will be the same at 36"
  • When you push the limits too hard, you should be within running speed and not have to "eat it" in dismounts
  • The smaller wheel will allow you to push higher revolutions that you can on the 36", so when you go back to the bigger wheel you will always be pedaling at speeds you have surpassed, not pushing your absolute spin limit
I learned to ride fast by practicing for races. This is a good form of practice in terms of how it forces you to train for complete races. In sprint races you aren't allowed to fall off. You can only win (or place) if you ride across the finish line.

I agree with other posters that 110’s may be too small for you now, in that (1) they make you go too fast for your experience level, and (2) short cranks provide less control for balancing the unicycle. 150’s are generally considered to be a good beginner’s crank length, although some skip that length and start out with 140/137 or 125. I say, don’t go shorter until you are comfortable on them. There is no ‘trick’ to jumping off, except maybe don’t be scared to do so. By that I mean, once you are falling beyond recovery, you are making matters worse if you would still try to hang on to the falling beast. You need to let go of the uni and focus on coordinating your own fall. If you are slow enough and get off early enough, you should be able to run it out. If you are too fast (not easily managed with 150 mm cranks though!), you need to pull in your head (somewhat sideways), tuck and roll. To do that in a safe and ‘comfortable’ way is more complex than described in one sentence.

Ankling is good in itself, and almost natural with shorter cranks. Howevere, the average angle of your ankle (around which your ankle moves) should be rather natural, not pointed downwards.
I don’t understand why you mention clipless. Don’t mess with clipless at this stage - or at any stage, as most unicyclists would say.

Aghh, sorry to hear about your injury. Almost any kind of wrist guard will offer some protection for that kind of thing. For a while I used roller skating guards but have been using Hill Billy half-finger guards for a little over a year. The Hill Billy guards do make it easier to hold the saddle handle than the roller skating guards. There’s a review thread for them over in the reviews section: Muni Gloves: Hillbilly full and half gloves

Flexmeter wrist guards

I read in one of your other posts that you are considering the Flexmeter wrist guards and I know you are a fellow Nimbus Impulse owner and I can confirm that the Flexmeter “all seasons” wristguards (got mine at SnowBoardSecretsdotcom) are too bulky to operate the brake lever. See my post in the “gear” thread. I love the Flexmeter and I do wear it on my right (disc golf) hand but I wear Kris Holm on my left so I can use the brake. Just ordered a pair of fingerless MBS Hillbilly guards as the KH get hot in the summer (my right hand Flexmeter does not have that problem). I would be interested to see if anyone else has any experience with Flexmeter’s “single splint” (does not have the front skid plate) or the “gloves with dorsal” (definately look too hot) and using the brake lever. Get well soon!

To your question about jumping off: I think it’s just general experience on the 36, knowing when you have to bail, and building those reflexes.

Riding with toes pointing down sounds dangerous to me. Do you move your ankles at all when you ride? I find, especially with short cranks, I can do a lot of the spinning with just my ankles and move my legs as little as possible. I do it for the speed, but it seems to me that having feet flat on the pedals in a bail situation would give more room for reaction and jumping off so you land on your feet, even if you then fall on your face.

I’ve had more than a couple non-out-runnable UPDs on my 36, but I’ve only gotten scrapes and burns, nothing broken. I think it has more to do with landing on feet first than skills at falling. If I knew how to roll out of a bail I might have not even gotten the scrapes and burns, but so far I haven’t tried to learn that yet.

A few others have said this, and I reiterate: KNOW YOUR LIMITS. If you know exactly what you can do, how you can do it, and when you can do it, and follow it religiously, you won’t fall much. Doing what you know you are capable of doing will improve skill, balance, and reflexes, allowing for a more enjoyable and safe ride.
Personally, I’ve only practiced falling for a day. I don’t practice falling much, because I know that if I am safe and smart on the uni, I won’t need practice falling.