Beginner needs a freestyle unicycle.

I got the chance to ride a 20" unicycle a couple of weeks ago and great time. I managed to pedal all over the parking lot and make some sloppy turns. I’m pretty enthused about getting one for myself so I need some advice.

Here’s my info if it helps at all:
I’m 6’,1" 180 lbs. and 28 years old. I’ve been riding freestyle bicycles for almost 18 years and I primarily ride flatland. I’m most interested in doing unicycle freestyle so would it make sense for me to go ahead and get a freestyle uni? If so- where can I find a reasonably priced one. Is there a place to find used ones? I’m not going to be hopping off of loading docks or anything so it doesn’t need to be super strong.

Also- I’ve had trouble finding a freestyle unicycle site on the internet. Any links?

I’m no stranger to riding on one wheel- Here are a couple of unicycle-ish tricks from my past. I hope you enjoy them and don’t laugh too hard at my haircut. It looks a lot less goofy now.



Geocities is not putting out… you might consider using the free hosting service that Gilby so kindly provides at Unicyclist.com.

On subject: check out the source, at www.unicycle.com.

BTW: Freestyle is the work of the devil; get a Coker.

Good luck,

Christopher

Take your mouse to

for all the unicycle shopping joy you can handle. If you want a cheap, starter, freestyle unicycle get a 20" Torker for about $75 but be prepared to upgrade the seat and the pedals. The Torker has a flat crown which is an important aid as a footrest for freestyle riding. I’m 6’2", 180# and just got one to learn to one foot ride. The saddle is sized for children but I had a spare Viscount saddle that I put on it. The pedal bearings are already going on mine after maybe 20 hours of use.

A Torker with the upgrades may cost close to the same as one of the low end SemCycles which is a much better unicycle for strength and durability.

Geocities is indeed poopy. I find that copying and pasting the url into the address bar works at times. when that doesn’t work you can place a space after the url and that works. I don’t know what causes this problem. sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. If you can’t see them I’m confident your weekend won’t be ruined. They’re just some riding photos from a year or two ago.

Thanks for the advice- I may go for the sem cycles one. The warehouse for unicycles.com is about 15 miles from here so I may get to check them out in person before I make my decision.

> BTW: Freestyle is the work of the devil; get a Coker.

This is Christopher’s way of saying he can’t do tricks :slight_smile:

For the ultimate Freestyle cycle, get one of the Wyganowskis. I’d put the
link in but it’s a mile long. These frames are handmade, especially for
Freestyle.

If that’s too expensive, the next best thing is a Miyata. Though the
Miyata Deluxe is the higher-end uni, the Standard model has more of a fork
crown to put your feet on for tricks. Both are very high quality and have
the good seats.

If that’s still too expensive, your next choice should be the Semcycle
XL. They have a 48 spoke version or a regular one. This uni has a frame
very similar in shape to the Miyata Standard, and is more solid than
the cheaper unicycles. The only drawback (my opinion) is the seat,
which doesn’t have handles and will tear up eventually. I prefer the
Miyata seat.

Good luck, John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone jfoss@unicycling.com
www.unicycling.com

“If it weren’t for the last minute, nothing would get done.” - Kevin
“Gilby” Gilbertson

So, Chris, too many scrapes and bruises practicing freestyle skills? I just had my first runout on my Coker a couple of days ago. I was looking at some pavement that was in very close proximity to my face as I ran out a UPD with my unscathed Big Boy chasing me, grasped as if teathered, by my left hand. I was under control (if ever) after about 20 meters. It happened just after I PASSED A BICYCLE.

Geocities doesn’t allow links to pictures from external pages. To do this to prevent bandwidth theft (having a page on one server and loading images on it from geocities). What they do is look at the ‘referrer’ (the url of the page you were on that had the link to the image) and then display the error message for those that are not from Geocities. To view the images, you can click the link, then go click in the address bar of your browser and hit enter and the image will load.

Like rhysling said, you can put them in your free unicyclist.com webspace and there won’t be this problem. You can also make a gallery at http://www.unicyclist.com/gallery to put your pictures or videos up on.

That’s some impressive stuff. I’ve been thinking, if I could afford it I
would purchase a bike, just for the purpose of learning to ride it on one
wheel. (I wonder if it’s easier for a unicyclist to learn than an
experienced bike rider.) Could you share any insight on the subject?

In an effort to better my vocabulary, what defines a bike as freestyle?

Good luck with the unicycle. I think you’ll find you have to learn a
slightly different type of balance, but I’m sure your freestyle biking
puts you way ahead of most beginners.

jeff lutkus

> I’m no stranger to riding on one wheel- Here are a couple of
> unicycle-ish tricks from my past. I hope you enjoy them and don’t laugh
> too hard at my haircut. It looks a lot less goofy now.
>
> http://www.geocities.com/lotmaster_2000/pics/dt2.jpg
> http://www.geocities.com/lotmaster_2000/pics/dt1.jpg
> http://www.geocities.com/lotmaster_2000/pics/cliff2.jpg
>
>
>
>
> –
> matthulgan Posted via the Unicyclist Community -
> http://unicyclist.com/forums
>
_________________________________________________________________________-
__
> rec.sport.unicycling mailing list -
> www.unicycling.org/mailman/listinfo/rsu

Sent via the Unicyclist Community - http://Unicyclist.com

Thanks for the compliment!

I’m not sure if it’s easier for a unicyclist going to the bike or vice versa. I’m confident that the skills on both sides would translate with some modification. The main thing I had to get used to witht the uni is that there is no “glide” due to the direct drive. I’d guess that it would take a bit for you to get used to using the back brakes to adjust your balance point, rather than slowing the rotation of the cranks with your feet (if that makes any sense).

As far as what constitutes “freestyle” I’d have to say that any form of stunt don on a bicycle wether it’s done with the aid of a ramp or just done on flat ground. Contrary to popular belief flatland tricks are far more difficult than ramp tricks. Still- there are TONS of accessible, beginner level, flatland tricks. An excellent resource for beginning flatland how-to’s can be found at www.bmxtrix.com .

As far as bikes go- decent beginner bikes range from $275- up to $500. Typically riders buy just one complete bike and upgrade parts gradually as their skill level warrants it. I don’t want to flood the unicycle board with bike propaganda but I’d be happy to type on and on if you have any questions.

Lastly- if you’re interested in getting hooked into a biking community- I’m the moderator of the flatland forum of www.backlashbmx.com . It’s the largest forum for flatland in the world and we have plenty of beginners so you shouldn’t feel out of place.

Thanks again to everyone for the help and I’ll try to get those picts more accessible when I get back to work on Monday. Have a good weekend.

After seeing this one, I had to go curl up in a ball and sob with sel pitty:

That is some wheel walk!

Christopher

(as Gilby suggested, if you come from ANY Geocity page- including the error page- the link will work)

Matt,
Do you know of any 20" flatlander tires that are wider than 2.25"? A tread pattern like the Maxxis Holly Roller would be ok.

http://www.maxxistires.com/cgi-bin/SoftCart.exe/bike/tires/holy_roller.html?L+scstore+pgip3370+982779693

I think such a tire would be welcome in the uni world. Why aren’t there fatter flatlander tires?

Don_TaiATyahooDOTcoDOTuk, Toronto, Canada

The three urls weren’t hyperlinks in my mail reader. I copied and pasted
them in IE and the jpgs displayed just fine. BTW this was my haircut 15
years ago…

Klaas Bil

On Fri, 28 Dec 2001 18:35:12 +0000 (UTC), Gilby
<forum.member@unicyclist.com> wrote:

>
>
>Geocities doesn’t allow links to pictures from external pages. To do this
>to prevent bandwidth theft (having a page on one server and loading
>images on it from geocities). What they do is look at the ‘referrer’ (the
>url of the page you were on that had the link to the image) and then
>display the error message for those that are not from Geocities. To view
>the images, you can click the link, then go click in the address bar of
>your browser and hit enter and the image will load.
>
>Like rhysling said, you can put them in your free unicyclist.com webspace
>and there won’t be this problem. You can also make a gallery at
>http://www.unicyclist.com/gallery to put your pictures or videos up on.
>
>
>matthulgan wrote:
> > Geocities is indeed poopy. I find that copying and pasting the url
> > into the address bar works at times. when that doesn’t work you can
> > place a space after the url and that works. I don’t know what causes
> > this problem.
>
>
>–
>Gilby Posted via the Unicyclist Community - http://unicyclist.com/forums


“To trigger/fool/saturate/overload Echelon, the following has been picked
automagically from a database:” “POORTSCAN, HAHO, remailers”

Unfortunately not. I personally like a wide tire so my clumsy feet are more likely to hit it. The problem is that we like to run the rear wheel far forward in the rear dropouts so we can spin faster on the rear wheel. If the rear tire is super wide it will rub the frame or the brake mounts if the wheel flexes at or is out of true. Ideally there is no lateral flex in a wheel but that would require daily maintenance. Anyway- flatlanders usually run a 1.95 in front and rear. I run a 2.1 in front because there is more room for a big tire and a 1.95 in the rear.

I believe that Tioga makes a 2.25 freestyle tire. I bought some a few years ago and they were ENORMOUS! I couldn’t inflate them beyond 40 lbs. or they would bind in my forks.

Oh- and rhysling- Thanks for the compliment. I can do another version of that trick “no-footed” there the only things touching the bike are my right foot on the tire and my butt on the handlebars. It’s REALLY uncomfortable though. :slight_smile:

OK- I’ve made a little gallery of my one wheel stuff. you can find it at:

http://www.unicyclist.com/gallery/album13

The two black and white photos feature my new, improved baldy-head.

I feel a tiny bit bad taking up a unicycle site’s space with bike pics so I’ll be sure to post some uni shots as soon as I get one.

Thanks again to everyone for the advice- I think I’m going to buy a 20" torker to start with then replace the seat with a freestyle one once it gets demolished. I have some good pedals in my tool box that I may sub in immediately and I’ll switch to the myata frame in about 6 months or so.

Does this sound like a reasonable plan? Are there incompatibility issues with putting the torker wheel on the Myata frame?

Matt-

I would recommend buying the Miyata (the unicycle, not just the frame) when you are ready to upgrade. The rim, bearings, axle, and probably the wheel building will all be superior to the Torker. My understanding from what you have asked and from viewing your WAY cool photos is that you want to do freestyle type stuff, not MUni. The Torker is a good, cheap introduction that you can bang around on. Miyata makes a high quality freestyle unicycle. Anyway, most people will tell you you can’t have too many unicycles.

Oh, and by the way, I haven’t really been in a position to tell someone they have a goofy haircut for 37 years.

I talked with Mark at unicycle.com about coming over and checking out some cycles on Thursday. He echoed the opinion that the torker may not last long for me. I may split the difference between the Torker and the Miyata by getting the semcycle with a regular wheel, rather than a Kovacchi ones.

It’s funny that John K. is making a name for his wheels in unicycling now- I did shows for his bike shop in the mid 90’s before he closed up.

Matt,

Ok, I’m continuing to be off topic here (I couldn’t find your e-mail
address easily)… Anyway, I took a quick look at some of the vids on
bmxtrix.com – very cool stuff these people can do on two wheels.

After I’m done bulding my trials unicycle, I might be willing to give some
of this bike stuff a try. However, when it comes to researching stuff
(especially a topic about which there are lots of web sites) I get
somewhat lazy. Do you know of any good FAQ’s on the topic? I’d be looking
for some reading for the complete beginner – definition of terms like
bmx, flatland, trials, etc. and the difference between them, and the bikes
involved. Also, a basic rundown of the sorts of bikes available, how they
are different, and what those differences mean.

If you’ve got some links, I suppose you can post them here. If you’ve got
a bunch of stuff to write yourself, I suppose you could e-mail me
(lutkus@unicyclist.com) privately so as not to continue this two wheel
talk on a unicycle forum :slight_smile:

thanks a bunch, Jeff Lutkus

ps: to anyone reading, I can’t imagine ever giving up unicycling – I just
believe in expanding my vision whenever possible.

> As far as what constitutes “freestyle” I’d have to say that any form of
> stunt don on a bicycle wether it’s done with the aid of a ramp or just
> done on flat ground. Contrary to popular belief flatland tricks are far
> more difficult than ramp tricks. Still- there are TONS of accessible,
> beginner level, flatland tricks. An excellent resource for beginning
> flatland how-to’s can be found at www.bmxtrix.com .
>
> As far as bikes go- decent beginner bikes range from $275- up to $500.
> Typically riders buy just one complete bike and upgrade parts gradually
> as their skill level warrants it. I don’t want to flood the unicycle
> board with bike propaganda but I’d be happy to type on and on if you
> have any questions.
>
> Lastly- if you’re interested in getting hooked into a biking community-
> I’m the moderator of the flatland forum of www.backlashbmx.com . It’s
> the largest forum for flatland in the world and we have plenty of
> beginners so you shouldn’t feel out of place.

Sent via the Unicyclist Community - http://Unicyclist.com

Translation: “Hey, Man- I may play the field, but I still love your Sister.”

“Get yur’ torchez 'n pitch’n forks, Boys: we’z form’n a Posse. Gonna get us a Lutkus.”

First juggling- and now this… the very heavens weep.

:slight_smile:

Christopher

Actually, I learned to juggle before I learned to unicycle. In fact, it
was a friend I met through juggling that introduced me to the unicycle.

Anyway, wait until I’ve actually tried riding a bike before you get out
the pitchforks.

jeff lutkus

> Translation: "Hey, Man- I may play the field, but I still love your
> Sister."
>
> "Get yur’ torchez 'n pitch’n forks, Boys: we’z form’n a Posse. Gonna get
> us a Lutkus."
>
> First juggling- and now this… the very heavens weep.
>
>
>
> Christopher
>
>
> Jeff Lutkus wrote:
> > ps: to anyone reading, I can’t imagine ever giving up unicycling –
> > I just believe in expanding my vision whenever possible.
>
>
> –
> rhysling Posted via the Unicyclist Community -
> http://unicyclist.com/forums
>
_________________________________________________________________________-
__
> rec.sport.unicycling mailing list -
> www.unicycling.org/mailman/listinfo/rsu

Sent via the Unicyclist Community - http://Unicyclist.com

In college I did a show called stupid human tricks where I juggled, spinned trays, rode my bike, balanced stuff on my chin, and other silly skills. One of the crowd favorites was when I juggled while doing a locomotive (see pictures). I always wanted to add the unicycle to the act but I was a poor college student with a pricy tuition so it just never happened.

Jeff- Hmmm… I’m not sure where you could find a FAQ at the moment. Let me do some searching and get back to you on it. I can tackle any single question at a time though. For now- some definitions:

BMX- Short for Bicycle Moto-cross. It started with kids riding their bikes on Motorcycle tracks. It evolved into “dirt racing” on a scaled down track with jumps and occasional water hazards. This was the orrigin of today’s pure “dirt jumpers.”

Flatland- Any type of performance bicycling that requires no equipment or terrain other than a bicycle and a rider.

Trials- obstacle course bike riding. I’d guess that Unicycle trials shares most of the same rules.

Street- ambiguous category that includes jumping and grinding on rails. Some of this occurs on deliberately crafted ramps and obstacles found in skateparks. “Real Street” refers to similar tricks performed in everyday, “real life” settings.

Vert- Refers to riding on a halfpipe, a u shaped ramp that has a large flat spot at the bottom. Vert riders begin and end their jump on the same ramp, then travel to the other side and repeat. I’m sure you’ve seen it one TV so I’ll stop here.

Now some generalities about the bikes-
All BMX bikes have 20" wheels but the frame dimensions vary greatly.

Flatland- the smallest of the bikes. The headtube angle varys from 74.5º to 76.5º This permits the rider to spin around the bike quicker and makes it easier to get the back end into the air. The top tube is short- usually between 18.5" and 19.15". The chainstay length is typically 13.5" to 14.5". Overall the effect is to shorten the wheelbase so that there is not a great distance to move the hand or foot to make a switch. The short chainstays also permit the rider to spin faster.

Vert- Headtube angles are more mellow, sometimes as little as 73º. This makes the steering more sluggish and helps prevent wrecks where the rider does not come straight back down the ramp. The top tube is longer so the rider has plenty of room to maneuver his body without getting caught on the seat or stem. The chainstays are fairly long which prevents “looping out” on the landing.

Street bikes are usually a happy medium between vert and flatland bikes. They need to be very maneuverable but stable. Street riding is very tough on a bike frame so manufactures have been beefing up the frames to withstand the abuse. As a result these are usually the heaviest of the bikes.

BMX Racing- The longest of the bikes by a long shot. They are quite light and stable in the air thanks to their long wheelbase. I’ve never raced though so this is the least informed of my information.

Hope this helps. I don’t mind answering questons here as long as there are no objections. You seem to be a pretty accomodating bunch!

If you need to email me you can get me at:

matthulgan@projectionsvideo.com