I’ve got a Radial 360. I can mount and ride it fine, but when I ride for a few miles or more I tend to “list” to one side. It feels like my seat is out of whack and I keep my body turned to the left…very annoying. Does a handle help in the control? Before I got the 36 I did the same thing on my 26.
Check if your shoulders and hips are square with the unicycle. I have a tendency to ride with one shoulder leading the other. That can cause a twist.
Road surface is also a factor (sometimes a big factor). Roads are crowned so that water runs off. That means the center of the road is higher than the edges. Some roads are more crowned than others. The road crown can cause you to list to one side to counteract the affect of the effect of the unicycle pulling to the other side.
Another cause can be one leg being more dominant than the other. Make sure that both legs are pedaling equally all throughout the pedaling circle.
a minor addition to John’s post - I used to ride with the same hand on the saddle most of the time, and as a result had a poor posture and pain in one knee (I had a physiotherapist check my riding technique). Switch hands (or use both) and after a few hours of riding time it may improve.
That’s really intersting, I’m having trouble exclusively with my right knee, and my right hand is always on the handle. Might be worth trying to swtich.
Re: 36er question
Oh, yes - I recognise that.
I felt just about comfortable riding a Coker, and had set off on my
first tour. Embarrassingly, my body constantly twisted one way,
meaning I had to fight just to keep going in a straight line. I was
holding the others up and, as it hadn’t happened before, I assumed
that there was something wrong with my wheel or frame. (With respect
to John, my shoulders were way off square, because I was twisting hard
to counter this seemingly external force.)
Wise old Wodger (Oops, he’s younger than me. Sorry, Roger!) told me
it was not the wheel, but me. It certainly felt like something was
forcing me to twist. But no, he was right. It was almost
Another time, a friend who had ridden many kms suddenly had exactly
the same problem for several hours at the end of a day’s ride.
How to solve it? Ah yes. I tried everything and eventually the
problem went away, quite suddenly. Try to relax (easier said than
done), with a light touch on the pedal. Or (to completely contradict
that) wrench the wheel in the opposite direction - like beating a
recalcitrant horse into line.
Anyway, it is not a mechanical problem but an affliction, which
fortunately I predict you will soon say goodbye to.
Everything said before.
Plus I find if it’s very windy I lean a certain way to keep myself balanced in the wind.
Unless there is an external reason, like wind, or the crown of the road, or a crooked seat, the problem is you.
So you compensate by twisting your body. And then you ride straight. But by compensating like this, you are enabling the real problem to continue. In fact, you are requiring that the original problem persist. You are in a feedback loop. If the problem happens to correct itself (which happens all the time), you are “rewarded” with listing to one side because your body is still twisted. In order to maintain riding straight while your body is twisted, you MUST continue to do the original (root) problem. Thus by compensating, you are hiding, locking in, reinforcing, and practicing the problem.
It’s like the monkey with his fist stuck in the cookie jar because he won’t let go of the cookies. Straighten out your body (edit: force yourself if you have to), relax, and let your arms hang down at your sides. Now feel what’s wrong. You won’t be able to feel the real problem with your hand stuck in the cookie jar, I mean, with your body twisted. Do this in an easy-to-ride, stress-free location, like a flat, empty parking lot on a windless day with a straight seat and sufficient air in the tire.
I don’t know what your problem is, but as long as you compensate, you hide the problem. Relaxation is key. And don’t worry, the problem will go away soon enough, probably easier and quicker that you might think. As you ride, say to yourself (out loud), “Let go of the cookies… Let go of the cookies…” Good luck and have fun.
I sometimes have the same problem. Usually when I’m tired. I know that I have a dominant leg problem so I try to focus on pedalling evenly. As mentioned before, it could also be a road crown problem. I don’t notice it much on my Nimbus 36 but it’s a big issue with my homebuilt 29 with the Big Apple tire. I finally figured it out by riding on the opposite side of the road. I found that by doing this I twist to the other side. If I ride in the middle, no twist.
Whenever I notice a problem with my form, I force myself to do the opposite. It works itself out eventually. Even road crown can be compensated for to some degree by the posture of your body.
When you notice a twist in your body, just try to ride straight without twisting. I had this problem with my 29" Yuni; I forced myself to ride straight without leaning forward with my right shoulder, and soon the problem went away.
Yeah I had this a few times on my coker when I was starting off, particularly at the end of long rides. Like everyone says, it just went away after a bit.
Great advice. You can’t comfortably compensate forever…
But watch me UPD thinking about the monkey with his hands in the cookie jar!
Yeah, what’s wrong is that I still don’t have my cookie! And I have a cookie jar hanging off the end of my right arm which is, in itself, causing my body to lean.
Now, if only I had the extra strength that cookie would give me, i could pull the cookie out, lose the jar, stand up strait and eat the cookie!