A rumor about a unicycle

Hello there, I’m popo and I’m gathering information of most talked-about rumor in unicycle world.
For instance, the sense of balance women have is superior to men. So woman is good at balance beam and/or unicycling. I’m not sure whether it’s based on scientific data or not, and it may be really a simple matter.

Does anyone happen to know on what grounds female is superior to male regarding speed in learning of a unicycle ride? In addition to the subject, please let me know rumor you’re interested in.

Any information would be much appreciated.
Best Regards, popo

you will see that at UNICON
i don’t know, it’s posible but there isn’t a lots of girl in unicycle:)

You mean the one about whether the '06 KHs will have headlights? :slight_smile:

Woman is good at balance beam because it’s a women’s sport. Not a lot of men do it so it’s not much of a comparison. Same reason why women are so lousy at high bar.

Is the intended rumor something about women being better at balancing? I never heard that one. When looking for answers, remember there may be factors other than just quantity of women who do something. Like balance beam.

I haven’t noticed a speed difference. Where I come from, males tend to outnumber females in unicycling. But this is not true everywhere. Someone suggested you will see otherwise at Unicon. The last Unicon being held in Japan, there were huge numbers of female Freestylers. And they’re very good. But the ratio of male to female has nothing to do with who learned easier, or who has better balance. In Japan it is for social reasons relating to the development of the current form of Freestyle riding, which girls find more attractive than guys.

All else being equal, it is easier to manipulate a smaller body, which is why both female and male gymnasts tend to be small, and why some sports have to require that participants be at least 16 years old.

However, most unicycle skills don’t require much body movement, and in terms of pure balance (as measured by still-stands or coasting), the top riders are mostly guys.

Is "kunoichi " there?

Hello Johnfoss, thank you for your comments on this article.

It was insightful and I’ve read your comments with interest. As you probably know, more than 90% of Japanese children have a chance to get a workout of unicycle in the 3rd-4th grade age (school grades: 8-10 years old).

However, majority of children stop riding unicycle after a few years. It may be for the simple reason that they there are more attractive alternatives. How could this be? I do not know exactly why, but it seems they lose interest in unicycle as they grow.

BTW, what do you think about number of Freestyle girls in Japan, even though it’s for Japan social reasons? Is it an extraordinary case?

I’m thinking that is reason JUA trains next generation of ninja. :slight_smile:
As already mentioned, most of unicycle girls also stop riding on unicycle by puberty (around 18 years old). This set me thinking, I have a suspicion that a female ninja who is called “kunoichi” in Japan needs a variety of talents.

Be that as it may…, I’d like to know how to increase ratio of MUni boys and male adults in Japan.

That unicyclists cant have kids…

The pinkman in elevated bikeways

Do you happen to know the elevated bikeways?
And, would it be possible to see him going through in tubes at the time?

elevated uni-ways in tubes.jpg

thanks for the link, interesting idea

The male vs female balance thing:

Being a dancer, I know that a womans center of balance is lower then a mans. A woman hold her center low in the stomach and a man does more near his chest. I doubt either gender has an advantage over the other, but it’s true that a man would have to balance on a unicycle differently then a woman.

And whats with women being so outnumbered in the unicycle world? I’m just learning (can handle no more then a 20 foot ride) but it’s great fun. I can’t believe it’s not more popular.


But this seems to be the same in most countries. It may be more noticeable in Japan because the numbers of riders are so huge, and so many of them learn to ride in the exact same age range.

They may see it as a kids activity, as it’s a normal part of elementary school for them. But the top Freestyle riders are mostly older. These are the ones that stay involved, for whatever reasons.

Anyway, I think it is similar in the United States, where most unicyclists start as kids (but in a wider age range and rarely in school). They learn to ride, and most seem to lose interest at some point and go on to other things. I learned as a teenager, and my perception of this change was that riders got interested in driving cars and the opposite sex, which takes up a lot of time.

A unicycle is a lousy means of transportation. If people were using it for that, bikes or anything else is better. As a sport it’s only highly developed in very few places, such as Japan. But in Japan there are only two major areas of competitive unicycling, track racing (24" or smaller) and Freestyle. Freestyle is an indoor sport, and if you don’t have access to a gym it can be hard to stay involved. Track racing can be fun, but once you start to realize there are 26", 28", 29" and larger wheels out there, it may lose its excitement. We’re still working on that change with the international unicycling community.

Almost everything about unicycling in Japan is extraordinary, including that. I am embarrassed right now because I can’t remember the name of the woman responsible for this social trend. She is the leader of the Toyoda Unicycle Club, and has been setting the standard for Freestyle riding in Japan since the early 90s or before. Her group tends to win the big competitions, and the other groups seem to have imitated the Toyoda style. I believe she started as a dance teacher, and used her knowledge of the art of dance and applied it to unicycles. The resulting style of riding seems more attractive to girls, so girls tend to stay in unicycling longer.

Somebody in Japan needs to establish a more masculine style of riding that will attract the boys as well, so they can all stay involved, and have more than just one style of riding to strive for.

Somehow you must make it more attractive to them. One way might be to promote Trials, Street and MUni there, though finding good places to ride could be a problem. It’s a lot less organized than riding in a gym or a track, and harder to “coach” or perhaps make money from. Or try to develop a winning style of Freestyle that will be more attractive to the males.

Any of this will be hard, because it’s nearly impossible to project the social reactions to things. But I hope you will work at it!

Dumb answer

Well, women don’t waste learning time trying to handle the jewels good position problem…

But i guess, they might have other comfort problems to deal with.


There was I thinking you enjoyed handling your …

Well, as a single case study - I am an extremely slow learner.


I don’t think a good sence of balance is a very important to have to be able to ride a unicycle.
Balance is only the sence of knowing at what angle you are, and if you’re turning, falling for example, what you do to maintain balance has nothing to do with it, as far as im concerned!

What if girls (since it mostly is young women who is riding…) do have a better sence of balance? Or a lower centre of gravity? :slight_smile:
The speed of learning is rather a sum of how much you practice, and how much you learn of your mistakes!

IMHO, boys want to be “free”, to do the thing they want and progress on their own, being creative and free to practice anytime.
While girls do something more organised, without that much thinking involved (not saying girls are stupid in any way), someone who says how to do it, and what went wrong…
Boys go more “extreme”, on their own, buying a unicycle when they find it interesting, or take juggling, skateboarding, inlines, bmx for example, not many girls in thease sports…

For example, lots of girls do gymnastics, not as many boys…
But take a look at parkour! That’s not that “mainstream” and organised, it has the possibility of being more of a creative and free kind of sport, while it’s not that far from gymnastics…

This shows not only in balance related things… It shows in, juggling, skateboarding, inlines and stuff like that, not to mention unicycling.

What do you think about this theory?
I hope i didn’t offend anyone, didn’t mean to!

To sum it all up:
Maybe girls will learn faster if they join a unicycle-club if they join at all, but a very few girls compared to boys will feel the urge to buy a unicycle to start ripping, and continue to keep their interest up with new challenges all the time.

Careful, or Irene Genelin is going to start doing trials on your skull.

(Seriously, the TCUC girls clearly tackle new challenges all the time).

I would say that anyone who unicycles is taking on new challenges all the time. I think boys may be more ‘adventurous’ than girls, on unicycles as in life. But
that is a gross generalisation.

If you look at skateboarding, trials and mountain biking, in line skating and so on, these are also male dominated sports (at least outside Japan). I think that’s probably more to do with cultural factors than ability to balance.

For myself, I am continually pushing myself to do new things. It just takes a long time and lots of hours of practice to get there.


Around here girls outnumber guys by more than two to one in the clubs.