Advice wanted for uni newbie. Video included...

Hi all.
I just purchased a unicycle about a week ago. Have only been on it 3 times so far.
Am still trying to get on it and stay on it while at a fence. So far have only been able to go 1.5 - 2 revolutions of pedal while barely or not touching fence. Feeling like ive got a ways to go before i can even mount it without falling immediately to the other side or end of unicycle.
When mounting from behind i often go straight over to front off the uni.

Not sure how much help it will be, but i made a short video of myself today for about 8 minutes of trying to ride it along a fence.
If anyone wants to offer constructive, helpful suggestions, advice, pointers… Id really appreciate it.


My video is here -

<object width=“425” height=“350”><param name=“movie” value=“”></param><embed src=“” type=“application/x-shockwave-flash” width=“425” height=“350”></embed></object>

or if that doesnt work, this is the youtube url

You look like you’re doing fine for as much time as you have on the unicycle. Most people take many hours of practice to be able to ride freely.

One thing that’s obvious is that your seat is far too low. Your leg should be nearly straight when the pedal is at the bottom; it looks like you could raise it at least an inch or two. That would help with your tendency to mount over the top of it, and improve your control as well.

As you get ready to start riding more without the fence, you should try to increase your speed a little. Unicycling is a dynamic balance which is easier at jogging pace than walking pace.

i little speed and make sure not to put all your weight into your feet. raise the seat a little maybe and make sure that you put weight there so that your feet can move quickly with the pedals. Try to look straight ahead also. These things help my dad a bit so give them a try if you get desperate. Good luck and just keep up the practice.

I also recomend picking up the speed, close to double.

IMO, forget about trying to freemount untill you can ride around the neighborhood. Always mount w/ the back pedal, I prefer to do assisted mounts w/ my foot on the outside back pedal. I found learning to freemount extremely frustrating so I used cars, telephone poles, trees, and boulders for assisted mounts.

Just keep at it you are doing fine. On average people take a total of 15 hours to learn, but everyone learns at a different pace. I tried to practice for an hour every day and averaged 5 hours a week untill I could do my 2.5 mile commute.

I learned a year ago next March

They are damn weird uncomfortable things to sit on. Just sitting on it while pedaling along a wall is what I did for the first few afternoons. It looks like you were doing fine.

Maybe you want to stay in camera frame. Otherwise you need a longer wall. 150 ft long or longer is ideal. It takes room to build up speed and feel the rhythm.

Only a short time after starting, a few weeks, I could ride a half mile, and bought a 24 muni with an air seat LOL. As Tholub ^ mentioned, speed helps a lot. A larger wheel with a soft cushy seat and tire, and I was riding all over town. A 20 is great now, and will be great later (when it is easy to balance while going slower). But in a month or less, consider a 24 with a KH free ride seat, and ride around places where you can find hand holds for mounting. I didn’t bother learning to free mount for months, and still haven’t tried on my 36. Just use a wall and sit comfortable and pedal off. If I had to walk a ways to find a wall, great ! Even with a great seat, uni’s aren’t so much fun if you sit on them all that long. It will take some time for your legs to get used to this as well. So anyway, free mounting doesn’t matter really. By the time you can ride and idle a 20, you can just free mount it and ride the first time you try, more or less. So why bother to practice that, before you can ride well ?

I think if you try a place with a long wall, you will be able to ride 100 + feet without the wall, in one or two afternoons. You need room to get the speed and distance you will need to get your glide going.:slight_smile:

I was told when statrting with my Uni last summer that it was nearly nescessary to learn to freemount.
I started with a skipole in the hand that wasnt holding the seat.
I think it took about a week with about 15 minutes of practising everyday.

Now I am very happy for that advice. It took about 10 minutes to freemount my new Coker V2.

To me it is like when I started whitewater kayking without the Eskimo Roll.
It went ok for a while, but after that it kept me from trying more difficult lines, because the fear of having to swim.

With the confidence that I can freemount, I dont have to look for the nearest wall or something to remount the Uni, when I am trying more difficult lines.

I think you’ve received some fine advice, but most of it will be most useful once you’re able to ride a bit better. For now, it looks to me like you’re doing exactly what’s needed: Getting on it, holding on, and going back and forth while you develop the skills need to stay on it. As for your questions at the end, do what works for you. Adjust the seat for what works for you, etc. None of the optimization and geeking out that you’ll see around here is what’s important while you’re just developing the balance and muscle memory to stay atop that wheel.

Good luck!

once you can get off the fence try either to learn to free mount or i learned to go better by getting one of those city trashcans (green?) and pushing off it. your doing good be stubborn and keep riding :slight_smile:

I agree that your seat is too low. Raising it will also put the fence top a little lower as well. Look where you put your hand on the tree at 5:14. You grab it naturally again in the same spot at 6:48. You look so much more comfortable with your hand lower on the tree than you do with it on top of the fence.

The close-up of your seat (8:05) makes me shudder. Looks painful and reminds me of a savage seat I used last year.

Well, observations from another semi-beginner:

  1. You’re doing fine. Maybe you just have high expectations! Just keep at it.
  2. Raising the seat might help, did me. My son lowered it one time, and that really messed me up. But now that I’ve gotten a bit better, he lowered it again and it’s fine.
  3. My practice spot for what you’re doing was the hall inside the house. It’s a tile floor, carpet might not work as well. But I could just put a hand on either wall and go up and down the hall.
  4. Near my house is a bridge with a wide bike lane separate from traffic. It worked great to ride along that holding onto the bridge rail- didn’t have to turn around every 10’. You probably need a bit more practice on what you’re doing before that’s worthwhile, but see if you can work it. I also tried a chain link fence, which lets you hang on.
  5. Some of the time, when you get twisted sideways and hop off, it looks like you could stay on and twist back around by holding on. Not a big difference, but less mounting and unmounting.
  6. You look young and thin and that’s the time to be learning this. Don’t ask how I know.
  7. Lighten up and you can have some hilarity involved in the learning process. May help if a friend or sibling (or even your dad!) is learning at the same time.
  8. These guys that go jumping off picnic tables- I don’t know how long it took them to do that without hurting themselves, but don’t be in a rush to learn it all- it could be a while. You get where you can ride straight, and turning is a challenge. You ride on level ground, and then uphill is different. It’s not like learning a bike where you learn to ride and then you’re done. Or wasn’t for me at least.
  9. If it seems super tiring at first, that’s okay. You learn to use less force as you get better. Meanwhile, it’s a good leg workout.
  10. Don’t get frustrated. Doing what you’re doing ten times a day for 6 minutes each (not that you should time it or anything) is probably better than an hour-long fall-fest. Step out, try it, go eat a cookie, try it again, talk on the phone, try it again, etc.

The speed tip is good. It may not be obvious to you yet, but to increase speed, you just need to lean forward a little more, then pedal (faster) to keep the wheel under you. You could also try letting go and just going for it a bit. That’s how I learned (35 years ago!) and how my two uni-riding kids learned (the third still hasn’t shown much interest).

You’ll get it!