Challenge accepted

I am in Chapel Hill…not a total newbie, but not adept, either :slight_smile: The OneUps rock…better than other pedals I have tried for Muni (Stamps, Chesters, etc). Being a mountain biker definitely helps on the trails, your body already knows what to do (which is surprising when it happens! :slight_smile: )


It’s been slow going but slow is still better than zero. I was able to pedal across my warehouse last night, about 20-30 feet, but could not pedal back the same direction in one step. Also, I’m still using something as a handhold to mount and get started. Flailing like my hair’s on fire. I’m not far from CH @kell8888bell Brumley seems like a perfect MUni trail as compared to something like CNF or BC.

Brumley is awesome! My first muni ride was the kiddie loop :slight_smile: I have done Wood Duck, but not the big loop, yet. It’s hard to get in there these days - the place is overrun on the weekends - I go when I can find the time midweek, if it’s not closed because it’s wet. I ride mostly in Carolina North - the Pumpkin loop is great and bits of the purple on Airport side, and loads more stuff on the non-airport side, hooking up the gravel with some of the less challenging singletrack.
I have the 26er and a trials, the trials one is for playing around and learning the skills. It majorly helped with the freemount and I am learning to hop.

Alright, so in my overly-analytical brain; I’m always micro analyzing the situation. Today’s practice rides got me some repeated longer distance across my warehouse and I noticed when I was successfully pedaling; the Uni was almost pivoting on its tire print while moving forward. In other words; it was pivoting right-left while moving forward… almost like a duck-walk.

I also raised my saddle incrementally until it felt more “natural” and adjusted the saddle’s fore-aft position all the way forward which “seemed” to help with stability?

This is where it was positioned before I moved it.

I always wondered what beginners were doing when they were trying to ride.

But now it make sense - their hair was on fire...

Stop, drop, and roll.

Seriously though, congrats on the progress - keep it up!

1 Like

I remember this stage of learning! The key to staying on is to keep the wheel under you. You’ve just acquired the reflex for keeping from falling sideways. When you start to fall to the left, you jerk the wheel to the left, and same for the right. It naturally happens on the downstroke on each side, because pedalling throws you off balance. I still do this when I’m riding very slowly or feeling off-balance, but I’m still quite a mediocre rider.

1 Like

I do the right left thing also but I think it’s because I’m not fully sitting putting to much pressure on my legs.

1 Like

A little bit of left-right is normal. The unicycle tends to turn slightly each time you push the pedal down. On the trail, if you look at the tracks left by bikes and unicycles, you can always tell which is which. The bike tracks are straight. The unicycle tracks weave side to side.

1 Like

I “ALMOST” free mounted a couple of times last night as well… I watched a video here yesterday and mentally logged the mechanics of it, then tried it in the warehouse. My mount and pedal push-off is a little exuberant and throws me over the front of the saddle most times. I’ll get it… eventually.


Ya I’m still gonna recommend the standard freemount.

Try putting your mounting foot on the pedal at 7:00 - 8:00 (7:00 in the beginning to get the feel of the mechanics and then 8:00 once you decide to go for forward movement).
Now pull the seat up and towards your crotch and put some weight on the seat as you jump up with your ground foot.

Stepping on the bottom pedal forces the wheel to roll back towards you.
Weighting the seat during the mount on the way up forces the wheel forward and away from you.
Doing these two action together cancels each others force during the mount and the wheel will remain stationary.
You will have to get a feel for how much of a jump you need.

Once you get this action down you’ll see that it does not have to be perfect to make it work.
Next step is to go to 8:00 with more weight in the saddle and an easier roll away is achieved.

Finally the last step will be to put forward momentum into the routine. (rolling mount)
With momentum, the force needed for both goes down and is made up with the rolling momentum.

Now it just depends on the grade underneath you when you mount.
Mounting on a small incline the number will go down to a 7:00 mount again because of the wheel wanting to roll down the hill just a little.
Mounting on a steep incline the number will be closer to a 9:00 mount because of the wheel wanting to roll down the hill a lot.

I hope all that made sense.

I’m a big fan of rollback mount myself, but I think that mastering several mounts is important. And you can learn them at the same time, one will click faster than the other.

If a picture is worth a 1000 words, then a video is worth several million words! So here is a demo of what @Canoeheadted is describing:

1 Like

That’s the video I watched and using as a guide for freemounting.

It’s from @UniMyra a regular user of this forum. And maker of great videos!


Welcome to the forum, advcyclist! Sounds like you’re progressing quickly. You scored with the Nimbus 24" muni!

I am curious about your change to the pedals. Bad falls can happen, I think, when the pedals are too slick, or when they are too grippy. Too slick and you slide off them. Too grippy and you get stuck on them when you should be sliding off them. I wonder if your aggressive pedals contribute to the slalom effect you described. With less grippy pedals, your foot might pivot during part of the pedal stroke, but with the pinned pedals, the unevenness in your pedaling translates directly into a turn.

Regarding the tire, it may be inhibiting the uni from pivoting to the left or right, slowing down the response of the unicycle. You can minimize this effect by pumping the tire up to high pressure. Also, practicing on dirt or cinder will minimize the grip/autosteer of the tire. Once you start practicing free mounts, you might try lowering tire pressure to keep the tire from being really twitchy during the mount. I wouldn’t bother with another tire right now. Keep practicing and you’ll have a slick tire soon enough! IMHO, the Duro is overkill for most riding conditions, but it is very accommodating for beginners wanting to float over uneven patches. You mentioned your local trails are pretty flowy. I am guessing you will eventually want a lower-volume / higher-pressure tire, rather than your current higher-volume / lower-pressure tire currently installed.

If you instinctively grab for the handle, then you are that much closer to riding muni! One of my teenage neighbors learned to ride 100 feet in no time. The uni he learned on was an old Sun with a crappy seat. He rode, from the beginning, with one hand on the saddle. Your saddle is much better! The first time you order anything from UDC, I’d pick up a set of 5mm seat bolts. From the picture, looks like your uni has the stock 4mm ones. Those were, for me, a “weak link” in the setup; they deformed after repeated tightening. You mentioned that the saddle was initially low, then you raised it. That probably meant you didn’t have a very firm grip on the saddle with your thighs, causing the unicycle to pivot left and right, which then caused you to compensate by holding on. I have a wide stature and have never been good at stabilizing the uni with my thighs. I think what happened when you pointed the nose of the saddle upward was: You increased the connection between your inner thighs and the saddle.

Sounds like you’re using crutches appropriately, to ride between rather than to hold onto for too long. By Spring, you’re going to be eating those trails for breakfast!

1 Like

Wait, but… no! It’s not! :slight_smile:

@advcyclist list, just do what works for you. Try each method a couple times. I still don’t know or understand how to do a roll-back mount, even though slamdance has advertised it many times since I joined. Perhaps a video would help, @slamdance? It sounds great for uphills, but doesn’t seem to physically make sense, particularly on a unicycle that you can’t touch the ground from.

The only way I ever learned new mounts was by practicing them hundreds of times. I suggest using a few, simultaneous strategies. If possible, learn the tire grab mount. It’s trash, but it works. Practice a 6:00 mount with your seat low. Work, incrementally, toward 3:00/9:00 while incrementally raising the seat. If a roll-back mount works, fine, but IMHO it might interfere with developing a proper static mount. If you are committed to ride, put in the time learning to mount!

I’m splitting my daily learning sessions between mounting and riding. I see both as equally important since riding can technically be done without free mounting but limits where one can start riding; however, by getting the mounts down; that automatically incorporates the balance and shifting weight bias for riding.

Once I get those two down; I’ll feel more confident tackling a trail. I appreciate everyone’s input and experiences. To quote one of my favorite podcast signatures; “None of us is as smart as all of us.”

I often thought of having freemount sessions in my first year. But then I figured I should ride offroad with many pits and bumps so ur sure to tumble off and you have to freemount again or walk all the way back to a fence or car. It gives the incentive to nail it down. I still have trouble mounting a 36, but once on ur quickly several miles out and walking back is no option. I wouldnt worry too much. You have the rest of your life to free mount the think with every great ride it brings

Ah, agreed (obviously). But still, when I tried a roll-back mount I thought “this is going nowhere, I don’t see any prospect of getting this down.” I never once had that for learning to ride, 9/3 mounting, jump mounting, idling, juggling while riding, hopping, and so forth. Never once. So when it happened on the roll-back I took it as an indication that for some reason, my brain wasn’t taking kindly to the idea of doing that mount. Of course, I could learn it if I really wanted to, but when you have two decent choices you may as well choose the easier one.

I’m ashamed to admit; Thanksgiving combined with back to back shipping container deliveries has put a serious damper on my Uni training. It’s been occupying a corner of my office for going on two weeks now since right after work is just about the only free time I have each day to practice and it’s either in a lit warehouse or outside on a pitch black concrete parking lot.