I’ve had my Torker 24" LX machine for over two months. I’ve ridden many 3 to 5 mile rides and can freemount with > 50% success rate. Working on other-foot-FM, fig8s, etc.
Here’s my problem:
While riding I always seem to gravitate to an asymmetrical position with my right arm down and out to the right side, and my left arm more in front, sort of over my left knee. Am I leaning slightly one side and my arms just compensate for balance?
You probably are but you’ll grow out of it. For me learning to freemount with the other foot gave me a HUGE boost in balance. Just keep practicing and you’ll be riding with both hands at your sides quickly.
Try inflating the tire a little more. This helps when you feel the unicycle wanting to pull to one side or the other; it might help in your case as well.
Are you riding on crowned roads in the US? Try moving over to the other side of the road when there is no traffic and see if that makes a difference. If you move over there when there is traffic it will make a BIG difference but that would be bad. The left to right downhill slope in the road may be causing the problem to which you must just become accustomed.
It sounds to me like you may be positioning your arms to assist in balance. The left in front for front to back and the right for side to side.
I can ride symetrical but when I am riding fast on a smaller wheel or on a larger wheel with shorter cranks I tend to asume your position with my left arm up in front and my right arm to the side. I also tend to bend a bit more at the waist when the balance is critical.
I took my 29er with 110 cranx out tonight for about six miles, hadn’t ridden it in a while, and assumed the aformentioned position many times. I also hold the seat when climbing or steeper decents, leaving only th right arm for flailing about.
Check your riding position, are you sitting straight or bent a bit? You may want to play with your front to back balance by bringing your hips forward to straighen you back. Also see how your balance is while holding the seat with one hand or the other or both.
3 to 5 mile rides at two months is great! Keep riding and it will continue to smooth out.
There’s a slight chance that your saddle could be out of line. That could cause your entire body to be crooked, and your arms might be compensating.
I think the crowned road scenario is rather likely though. . . I guess you’ll just have to see
If he’s riding on the right side of a crowned road, he should be twisted to the left. However if he’s riding on the left side, he should switch over to the right side.
You can start by checking the alignment of the unicycle. Is the seat straight? Is the tire centered under the seat tube? With the older Schwinns it was easy for the wheel to be a little crooked if you didn’t line it up properly when tightening the one bolt that’s supposed to hold the entire cycle together.
Another way to test your position is to try switching your arms and riding the opposite way for a while. Is it very uncomfortable? This may be because you’re not used to it though, and not anything else.
Your upper body position might go along with an off-center butt position on the saddle. If you sit a little crooked, the rest of your body may adjust to even things out. Try shifting around on the saddle.
I usually ride with one hand on the handle and the other hand someplace else. This can result in an off-center sitting position, but as long as I shift around from time to time there’s nothing wrong with it.
Do you mean etiquette-wise I should be riding facing traffic?
It’s a two month old torker LX 24.
I think the seat is finally straight or darn close, but is there a scientific way to do it, or just eyeballing?
That’s exactly what I tried, and it really helped me get control, and a slightly different butt/seat orientation. Now I switch back and forth between the two orientations.
This works great, too, now that I’m able to make butt-position adjustments while riding.
I like this strategy.
Thanks, Mr. Foss, and thanks to all other suggestions in the thread.
The way I usually straighten my seat is as follows. Look at the wheel with one eye open, or one eye shut, depends on your outlook. Make sure your looking at the wheel straight, usually by making sure you see the same things on each side, like the spokes on each side look the same. Then move the seat so you can see the front of it and the wheel, and see if the wheels in the center, then move the seat so you can see if the wheels centered on the back, adjust as needed. Hope that is clear enough.