Another beginner - Devon UK

Good luck with the learning curve then, but I am sure you are now able to attempt these things with some degree of expertise…

Well done! What size did you go for?
And yep they’re very expensive. And we’re not supposed to complain because they’re even more expensive in the US!

I went for 138s because I wasn’t quite sure that 150s would give me sufficient extra reach and I didn’t want to spend the money and not solve the problem. Plus, the cranks on the non-muni 24" I have been riding are 127. Having just tried it out a bit on the back lawn this morning, I was feeling it was quite hard to get it moving, but then I’m like that on grass anyway at the moment. I’m not going to worry about it much until I’ve had a chance to give it a good practice on tarmac to get used to it.

First unicycle for a couple of weeks - partly because I am just so busy in the run up to Christmas, and partly because damaging myself in any way that meant I couldn’t do my job over Christmas would have been tantamount to shooting myself in the foot on the eve of the Big Push. So, today was also a first - my first unicycle in the public space outside my house. It turns out that ‘our’ lamp-post is ideally placed to give a helping hand starting off, but most of the others are too far from the kerb to be useful on the way back. I also wanted to try out my Christmas present of an ‘action camera’ but either I or my son obviously pressed the wrong button and we got no footage. It took me several goes to get properly started, but then did OK. New terrain makes it a lot harder, and I’m still struggling to sit down properly. But glad to have finally ‘come out’ locally - once the sun starts rising before I do, I’ll be able to fit in some practice before work.

Sounds great. Look forward to seeing you in action around home when you sort out that action cam. =)

Let us pray for earlier sunrises then… !! I will enjoy watching your ‘road movie’ when the camera crew get things up to snuff… !!

It’s been hard finding time this week, but I took advantage of the gradually lengthening days to get an hour just before dusk today - it was great, and I really felt a lot more solidly sat in the seat somehow. Really looking forward to longer days and decent weather!

How are the 140 cranks on the 24 Quax Muni?

I tried my 24club on grass last year with a 2.5 tyre, and it needed longer cranks for more leverage uphill and over the hidden bumps.
140’s should be just right.

I haven’t done anything with the muni yet. Until I can freemount, there’s not much I can do - just concentrating on getting better on tarmac at the moment and trying to get the freemount.

I’m the same, about 60-80% OK free mounting the 16", 30-50% successful free mounting the 20", and about 1-2% on the 24 (I normally use a back slope or backstop and kerb mount it)

The 24" Schwalbe crazy bob I have fitted is a big tyre to get moving compared to the club freestyle wheel with skinny Krad tyre, and a lighter narrower rim.
Once the fat tyre gets onto softer ground in the summer I will be struggling with 127 cranks, but 140’s should be ideal.
The only 140 cotterless cranks are steel, and they are heavy at 800g/pair.
I am tinkering with the idea of swapping out the hub to fit ISIS cranks, or go 150mm cotterless ventures - which might be too long for me.

Hmmmm, it’s going to be appx £80 to swap out the hub & cranks (and 2-hours to rebuild the wheel).
Or £8 for steel, live with the extra 400g weight, and put the spare cash away for the next purchase.

I have a set of those on one of my unis - cut/filed off the tabs holding the chainring to the crank to leave me with a set of alu unicycle cranks. Quicker and easier than rebuilding a wheel (though there are other advantages to ISIS).

Thanks, I spotted those while window shopping on the internet,

I didn’t believe they were lightweight alloy for the price.
I thought they might have been steel cranks attached to an alloy chain wheel drive.
£25 with postage.

Just started riding since oct last year

Hi All,
I just started riding 4 months ago, and I just wanted to share my bumps/bruises/experiences to help any beginners or anyone trying to give it another go.

I’ve pretty much tried everything and anything and it took me about 70 hrs of daily 1 hr sessions(sometimes 2x day) using: rope, rail, fence, baseball backstop fencing, shopping carts, trashcans, sticks,…etc.

I’m 51 but an “old school skateboarder” so that means “no protection” but I’ve never been seriously hurt/broke bones, because I always find my limit. Then only after a thousand repetitions do I got for an incremental gain.

Anyways, I have a lot of advice, but I will just start with one.

Practice on a rail/fence that you can grab at “HIP HEIGHT”.

That is very important because this allows you ability to develop balance by not fully assisting your pedaling exercise. If you study other peoples unicycle videos you will notice the height of their rails. Not too high and not too low.

I will give more advice or “shut up” as I gauge the feedback. Keep on!!

A rail at hip height is generally considered too low to learn to unicycle with.

When unicycling you place your weight through the saddle. This is your major point of control. If you are trying to use a support that is below your shoulder level you are using it for holding your weight rather than putting it through your pelvis and saddle. A low support will also encourage incorrect posture as well.

A wall or fence at or just below shoulder level will increase your speed of learning as you will be less likely to hold your weight on your arm, it will be going through the saddle.

Roger

Hi, Slamdance. There are at least a couple of beginners posting at the moment on various threads. I’ve been very glad of wrist and knee protection a couple of times, but I don’t have any background in balance sports and I’m a bit older than you. Most people probably have to take what is available as far as practice space is concerned, I would guess. The railing I used was nearer chest height and that seemed to work well too. What stage are you up to now with free mounting and any other stuff? What sort of riding do you do?

I felt I was getting somewhere with the freemounting yesterday. The weather was cold but sunny for at least half of my day off, and I made myself practice mounting rather than just whizzing around. I still have a high failure rate and it gets worse as I get tired, but I can mostly do it within ten or so tries now on the 20 inch, particularly if facing slightly downhill. I remember Alucard saying she needed to be able to carry a slight incline in her pocket! (Though that may have been mounting the 36"!)

I’m currently at just over 15 hours.

I mainly practice up & down the hallway. It is a terrible surface, but that is offset by no excuses such as the weather.

This has been my experience so far:

  • A session has to be long enough to experience that floaty feeling (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illusions_of_self-motion) for a few seconds when I stop , but not so long I get tired and sloppy. For me, that’s at least 10 mins. If I practise less than that, I don’t improve.

  • I initially rode up the hall, got off, turned around, got on, rode back. I had a noticeably large improvement when I switched to riding forwards up, and backwards down. My backwards riding is still terrible, but it helped my forward riding immensely.

These are not just impressions, I strap a cheap android phone under my seat and log gps, accelerometer, and compass. I can plot the movement of the uni in 3D and see exactly how much (or little) I improve each time.

I still can’t free-mount.

Ooops, I’m 53 and normally use baseball boots for ankle protection only, and sometimes gloves, that’s it.
So no pads, and no helmet unless I’m out in public and don’t want to worry the locals.

Yep - it’s amazing when the switch goes on in your brain works it all out.

One thing I do wrong is stop breathing - I kid you not.
It’s an old habit from my windsurfing days when I would take deep breath, then jump on the board fully prepared for an underwater dunking if the launch failed.

On the cycle I deliberately breathe out before the “launch”.
It relaxes the stomach muscles, allows my torso to roll forwards. and removes most of the stiffness and tension in my arms and legs.

Have you tried your 16" SW.
I could kerb mount the 20 and 24 with a backstop very easily, but free mounting was a no-go area.
The 16" Club trials that I bought for spare parts has been so useful I’m going to keep it.

Practising on the 16", I sometimes stalled and found that I could standstill for a while on the uni, or step off safely.
So I decided to grab a helmet, and practice free mounting the little “Mini-Me” Uni.

  • Set the bottom pedal at 6pm
  • Push forward while jumping on (kerb mount style)
  • Let go of the saddle as soon as, or just before your second foot hits the top pedal. You will need both arms to balance.
  • The cycle should have rolled back a little by now because you have pushed the uni forward while mounting - if not, your top pedal could be stuck in the dead spot. If it is, start your next mount with the bottom pedal nearer to 5pm.
  • As soon as you hit the top pedal, kick back with your top foot to roll the Uni back underneath you. Note: it will also try to go slightly sideways.
  • You will be flapping your arms around for a millisecond while standing still and balancing on the spot - wait until you can lean forwards - then ride away.
It is much much easier on a 16", and I think you have a 16" freestyle already. I could free mount the 16" a few weeks ago, and have managed a better than 50% success on the 20" this week.

The 24" will take a little longer on tarmac, although I can manage the 24" on grass with a back slope OK.

Quite a while since I’ve been a beginner at riding, but still a beginner at lots of other skills (I think we all are, there’s so much to learn). Personally I never used a fence/wall at all to learn, just did launching myself into space several hundred times - well I suppose I did spend a bit of time holding onto the side of my car working out how to sit and pedal, but I wasn’t learning anything about the balance doing that. However I have very recently learned to ride backwards, and for that I made much use of walls and fences - clearly I have the advantage of being able to ride, so I know what feels right, but as Roger writes, you don’t want to be putting weight on your support, I was still putting all my weight on the unicycle, and just pushing sideways on the wall to help balance (mostly the walls/fences were far higher than me, so I couldn’t lean on them if I wanted to).

I learned at 41, and never used any protection other than gloves to learn - in fact we were having a heatwave, so it was just shorts and shoes mostly! I wish I’d got shinpads before learning to freemount (do chicks dig scars?) and now do wear some protective kit depending on what I’m doing - often a helmet now for just messing around, as that usually involves going backwards, and I concussed myself falling backwards a few weeks ago without one!