54 year old

I need every advantage I can get to learn. I am thinking that a thick tire unicycle would be easier to learn on. More surface area.

Any thoughts?


A standard 1.75 tire in either 24" or 20" diameter at high pressure will be easiest to learn on. You want to decrease the surface area to increase responsiveness. It takes a huge increase in surface area to give you the additional stability that I believe you’re looking for. The cost is a sluggish response to corrections which is counter-productive while one learns to ride. If you’re over 5’ 8" I would recommend getting the 24" wheel to learn on. It is the more useful of the two standard diameters.

What took so long for you to answer? It took something under 30 sec. WOW

Thanks for the information and knowing the correct answer.

Looks like I am out of excuses.

my granpa tried on summer last year, when i was at his house, he’s 62 YO , he learned on a standart 20, took him 4 weeks but he can ride a little.
you just need to keep trying , don’t try for several hours straight, but you can try, lets say 6 times a day of 20 minutes, my granpa tried 3 hours straight and knee pain was killing him, but in separate times, it was painless

my cousin learnt to ride a unicycle in 2 day

A thick tyre has more angular momentum so more lateral stability. Easier to ride, perhaps. I learnt on a 2" tyre on a 20" wheel and it still took me three months when I was 52. Running at a high pressure decreases the rolling resistance and compensates a little for the extra weight.

Keep at it!


I agree with reprah 100%. My tips:

Wear a helmet, shin guards and wrist protection.
Learn how to fall properly (land on your feet, let the uni go).
Be very patient and very committed.
Keep it fun!


Be aware that 15 year old kids pick up unicycling way faster than people middle age and beyond. On the plus side, the harder it is to learn, the more gratifying it is when you get it.

Hi, Michael.
I taught myself in January at 47. All it takes is persistance and calmness. Don’t treat any of the “misses” as being failures - They are all part of your body learning how to react to different balance inputs.
Find yourself a good place to learn (flat, hard surface, with no obstructions or distractions). In my case, I was pushing off from a doorway, with no other objects to grab hold of.

Here’s the sequence I did:
Set myself a number of attempts to make in a given set (50).
Carried them out one after another, so that I didn’t spend too much time thinking about them.
Had a break, and thought about what worked / didn’t work.
Carried out another set…

Once I started to get a full revolution, I started marking record distances (It’s a great feeling each time you set a new record) and, once I had achieved about 3 metres, I set myself a task of consistency - How many times I could make the 3m mark in a set.
Trying to push off with similar efforts (therefore momentum) each time, I made a point of making the connection between dismounting / falling off to the front (not pedalling enough to keep the unicycle under me) and dismounting / falling off to the rear (pedalling too much to keep the unicycle under me). Balance is a range, rather than a point.
It is important (I think) to make a point of sitting into the unicycle (ie weight on the seat, rather than the pedals).

I found the learning experience wonderful. It will give you a new appreciation for what it is that’s happening as children learn to ride a bike - You’ll get to remember just how impossible that seemed to you once upon a time.

One of the things that I (and plenty of others) have noticed is that the balance comes from learned muscle reaction, not from thinking about it. Basically your body needs to learn new balance parameters, and when / how to react to any movement that’s heading out of parameter. That’s why you need to have the dismounts / falls, to find out what those parameters are.
The very first part is the hardest, as there is likely to be little success, and plenty of (apparently) non-success. Don’t worry - climbing Everest starts with learning how to walk.

Keep an eye on how calm you are throughout the process - If you’re getting edgy, it might be time for a break - You want to be keen, but calm. Just remember, no matter how impossible it may seem, you know that it is possible, and there are plenty of others out there to show that is the case.
Most of all, enjoy the experience - It is all good (even the pedal bites).


That’s a very good point. When I was helping my niece to learn, I noticed she kept trying to save the unicycle, and so was destined to fall early. It took some time to convince her to just let the uni go.


Hi Michael,
most of the advice is good but I think the most important thing is to find other riders if you can. The the whole learning process becomes less stressful, more fun and I think easier.

Check out local martial arts gyms and afterschool/nightclass programs (possibly magic classes).

I admire those people who have learnt by themselves. I doubt that I ever could have done that. I had a lot of fun learning in a gym with lots of little kids madly riding everywhere. Still remember when I had just started riding free and a little girl in front of me decided to go backwards!!! happy memories.

Oh and ignore all those horrible kids who tell you they learnt in 5 minutes and were leaping tall buildings in 10!! When you are more ‘mature’ you are allowed to take your time.

horrible kids, horrible kids :stuck_out_tongue:

Thank you all so much for your advice and support. I am overwhelmed.

This is the plan. I am a consultant and work out of my home so I will build a rail and through out the day practice a bit. I figure I this will be billable time right?

I am going to approach it like learning to fly a helicopter. Take off-hover-land over and over again.

If I don’t get it by the time snow flies I will build a rail inside.

I will post how it goes.

Thanks again.

don’t let age make you think it’s going to take longer ; )

as for the wheel size, I actually practiced a lot on carpet, LEARNED on carpet, then went outside on the concrete and had an “I’m such an idiot” moment . . . O:-) worked out though, I was WAY better for it, because I learned to correct without as much control off hand. A terrible idea by the way :stuck_out_tongue:

Please do post on your progress. For me, it was a truly great process to experience. I hope it will be for you, too.


Michael, I have only recently taught myself to ride and found the best thing to lauch from was a Ladder (A Frame style) as you can place it away from any thing else that may be a danger to fall on or ride into. The wrist guards are a must until you get confident at stepping over the front of the uni - they have saved me 10 or 15 times so far. It is great fun and worth the effort!!:slight_smile:


EoinC likened learning to ride a unicycle to learning to ride a bike. I would say it’s more fundamental than that. When people ask me what it’s like to learn, I say it’s like a baby trying to learn to walk, but without the nappy (diaper) to fall down on. The forward/backward and sideways wobbles are the same as we try to coordinate unwilling/unused muscles into keeping us upright. Perhaps Kris Holm might do a line in adult rump protection (like a nappy)! I have seen a video/picture of someone in an inflatable Sumo suit on a unicycle.


My advice would be start on a 20" and then switch to a 24" when you can ride comfortably. I am 185 cm (about 6’ 1") and I started on a 24" because I found pedalling smoother on this compared with a 20". However, after some time I realised that mounting was easier on the 20" - and that this was more important when I started to ride with only limited support for mounting.

This was my training area for the first period (in April this year) - made with a ladder and some gaffa:

After about two weeks of daily practice, I switched to a parking lot with support only for mounting. On the first day I made some 30 m rides and within a week I could ride 150 m. :slight_smile:


I’ll bet your skills picked up faster by having to dodge the chickens…


That is really inventive. I enjoy the different ideas people have to teach/train themselves. Everyone is so creative. Welcome and best of luck to you. :slight_smile:

:smiley: They did actually help me a little bit: I was very (too) concentrated when I began to let go of the support. At one point the chickens took my attention away from the unicycle - and the result was one of the better rides at the time…

Thanks! At first I thought about building a rail of some kind but since it would only be used for limited time, I didn’t want to put too much work into it. The ladder was just the ideal solution because the uprights were already available.

The area was also covered so I had no excuses for not doing my daily practise even when it was raining. :slight_smile: