Are wheel walking rashes a sign of bad technique?

Today at our first weekly unicycle ride through the bike shop (:)) I made a lot of progress with my wheel walking. It was the first time I’ve worked on wheel walking for more than about 10mins. I probably spent about 20-30mins today practicing strictly wheel walking and I’m now up to 32 ‘paces’. I’m really happy about this because I’ve been having some trouble controlling my speed and it worked really well on grass today.

By the end of the session, I had a long red mark down my left leg in particular from scraping it on the wheel. Is this normal for people learning to wheel walk or am I doing something wrong that I should correct? I realise that after improving a bit more this problem should go away but does it mean that I’m practicing the wrong way?



Sounds like great progress in a short time!! I don’t know about the rash marks since I don’t wheel walk – yet. But I am interested in any tips you can offer as to how to make such rapid progress in learning. I always understood this to be a really difficult skill that took lots of time to acquire. How’d you do it so quickly??

Thanks for any advice.


Andrew, I am at about the same level as you with wheel walking, And let me tell you, I didn’t just have a rash, the wheel actually cut me! It scraped my skin! I was bleeding. Also, trying out my friend’s ultimate wheel didn’t help to heel the wound. :wink:
It just made it worse, as well as add a few more cuts and scratches. I think that it’s all part of learning, and if you can already go up to 32 “paces” then you aren’t doing a thing wrong in my opinion. Just keep at it.


Thanks, I’m glad to know that this is normal. Are you still getting rashes?


32 paces is my record. I usually only get between 15 and 20 with the occasional longer run. As for wheel walking in general, when I was doing a little bit of practice a while ago, people were saying to just lean back more and not go so fast. I had a lot of trouble with this and I just couldn’t stop speeding up. Now that I think about it, the real progress was made when I changed to a 24" wheel (or as I’ve said many times, almost a 26" because of the huge tyre :)). This was my first try at wheel walking on a bigger wheel and I found it heaps easier. I think I was going too fast on the 20" because of the wheel size. On the 24", there’s also a lot more room to place your feet, and it goes slow enough while still being easy to turn.

I think that with learning things in general, you got to spend mroe than 10 minutes each time. Before yesterday, I’d just been practicing a little bit of wheel walking and then getting either distracted or frustrated. I think if you spend a while on something you can really take some time to think about what you’re doing wrong and then correct it. I also think that any progress you make will ‘sink in’ better if you practice for longer. When I wasn’t spending as long on it, I’d make a little bit of progress and then stop, and when I came back the next day or the next week I’d be back to square one. I don’t know yet, but hopefully it will have sunk in this time.

I’ve now got an hour each week (on this weekly bike shop ride) where I can spend a little bit of time teaching some skills I’ve already learnt and the rest practicing my freestyle skills. Next week, I’m going work on wheel walking again and maybe the kickup mount which I’ve always found to be really tricky.

Good luck when you give wheel walking a go. I think you should just get some nice plastic pedals without pins and just give wheel walking a go on the grass. You shouldn’t hurt yourself this way and even if you don’t get very far in the first bit of practice, wheel walking’s really fun!

Good luck,

Let me guess, you haven’t fallen flat on your back yet while trying to wheel walk? I’ve had it happen once. The wheel shoots out and you’re down on your back (hard) before you know it. Wham!

Here’s a quote from

Learn to wheel walk on a 20" freestyle unicycle and you won’t have problems with the tire rubbing the back of your leg. And even if the tire does rub your leg it’s not going to take skin off like the Gazz will. :slight_smile:

No, that’s never happened to me but it does sound painful. It seems to me like the way I’m wheel walking, there’s not that much risk of it happening. We’ll see.

I’ve never had trouble with scrapping my leg on the wheel when wwing, or even learning to ww.
But I agree with John, you should stick to a 20" wheel, you’ll get to a point where you can control your ww and slow it down. Because after you’ve learned ww, then you’ll want to 1 foot ww and glide, and I dont know how that would work out with a larger wheel size.
For me a smaller wheel takes less effort to do these tricks.