Balancing on a 36er While Using Handlebars

Hi everybody,

I’ve been unicycling for about a year now on a 24" Torker. Friday, I upgraded to a new Nimbus Nightrider 36. Wow!! It took me about an hour to get going on it. I’ve got a long way to go (still can’t free mount it), but I’m loving it. However, I’ve got a question.

My 24" didn’t have a handlebar. I bought my new 36er with a T7 handlebar. I’m curious what people use their handlebars for. In my case, I find that if I put my hands on the T7 while riding down my driveway, I immediately start losing my ability to stay balanced on the uni. For now at least, I need my hands out to the side for balance. Do I just need more practice? Any tips for using the handlebar?


you definitly need more practise

handlebars are needed to take some of your weight off the saddle, and having a place to put your arms.

alsow when using handlebars you will get yourself more in a racing position.
(helps pedaling faster!)

as you can see in the pictures i’am using a extreme set-up and i’am perfectly balanced.

Try taking it off for a while …

Why not try it with out the handle bar. Do you need one? Some riders seem to just use it for something to put their water bottle on.

While getting use to it may seem odd, practice and keeping your hands on it will become second nature in a while.

If you’re very new to riding a 36er then I definitely suggest attempting to ride it w/o the handle bars at first. You want to minimize the amount of things that are new right now. It is a big jump just going from a 24" to a 36" wheel so take it easy! :slight_smile: Once you get the hang of free mounting a 36er and riding around you’ll soon see why having a handle bar is very useful. Once you get to that point you won’t want to ride with out one! Good luck!

Good advice; ignore the handle for the beginning. You need to sort out you balance while riding. Use the handle on the seat even when using the T7, it will help for most of the control work. It is only when I am going above 16mph that I move both hands on to the T7 handle, below that I use one hand on the saddle and one on the T7. :-S

It will come… the secret is to relax. This will take time though.


Thank you everybody for your replies. I will take all of your advice and 1) ignore the handles for now, 2) take it slow, and 3) practice, practice, practice. Thanks for the encouragement and advice!


The main purpose of a handle/handlebar is to get some of your weight off the seat so you can ride longer and be happy. Secondly it can improve on your frontal area, but you have to ride fast and far for that to be even a little bit noticeable.

Riding down the driveway definitely isn’t far enough to want to use the handlebar, it’s for cruising. Give yourself plenty of time to get used to the unicycle before feeling comfortable using both hands on the bar.

BTW, I find the T7’s handle height too neutral (too high for me) to be real helpful in taking weight off my crotch, but it’s still way better than no handle at all.

I made the same jump from a 24" to the 36er. I have the coke pi-bar on mine. One big thing to watch out for and I found out the hard way. The handle is not an accelerator pedal. I ended up using it like one. It worked well for a while then one time I couldn’t catch the wheel up to how much pressure I had applied to the handle. I got a little banged up but I won’t make that mistake again any time soon. I have a tendency to push myself beyond my limits.

Before I got my 36er I had learned how to ride without using my hands for balance by just putting my hands behind my back for as long as I could until I needed to catch my balance. I don’t believe it took too long for me to get to the point where I didn’t need to use my hands for additional balance. Right now it is nearly impossible for me not to have my hands on the handlebar while riding since I have a bike seat on my 36er (and a much longer and lower handlebar extension). So I’d recommend doing what I did on your 24" and you’ll be taking advantage of the T7 in no time. Just having somewhere to put your hands while riding is a plus for me.

What kind of handlebars are those, man? Once i get a 36er, i gotta get me some o dos. :slight_smile:

in the beginning handling the T7 was a problem (though I already grabbed my MUni Handle with my left hand): I could use one hand but not both.
I started by trying small grabs with my right hand but I was often out of balance, I tried I tried again and succeeded using both hands for one minute or two but with a strange position (my right elbow being more in front).
then I switched to 125mm cranks and thus having less wobble I suddenly was able to use both hands correctly! I noticed that using both hands , elbow along the torso I had a better position for pedalling!

What kind of handbars does eenwieler-sander have on his 36er? the’re just beautiful!

Its a complete custom V-frame
So not something that you can buy at your local unicycle store;):smiley:

I’am very happy with this setup testing it now for about 2 months and its way bether than anything else i have tried (before this was made i have about tested every type of handlebar)

you can see more pictures in this gallery:

Oh, well then, nice custom frame, man. Very impressive.
and sadly, i don’t have a local unicycle store. :frowning:

well until i started working at a local bike shop there was no place in my town to buy unicycles, but if your handy you can make your own set of handlebars its not hi tech stuff use what you have and make something nice;)

I’m pretty sure you’re new so I’ll help you keep from having your bubble burst: Nobody lives near a unicycle store, unless they happen to be lucky enough to live in Atlanta, Toronto or a few other key cities around the world. Online stores have sure made a difference for us!

That’s not quite correct John :smiley:

I used to live in Palmerston Nth, within spitting distance of the UDC NZ warehouse

That’s what it means: "a few other key cities (with names I’m not sure of) around the world.

Or in your case, seriously around the world! :slight_smile: We’re about to book our NZ flights! Finally!


The first Coker I ever tried had a T-7 and 125mm cranks, I had little trouble to freemount on it the first shot but after a couple of tries I could freemount it, but not perfectly:) The second Coker I tried(the same day as the first one) had 114mm cranks and no T-7, I easily freemounted it and it was a really great fun! I brought one 1 week after:p When I first tried a Coker, I had never used another wheel size than my 20".