One thing that has always frustrated me is how hard it is to smoothly corner on a unicycle. Mountain bike trails have banked turns, but it hardly seems to matter on a uni. Particularly with switchbacks I am either hop-twisting or hip-swiveling with one arm flailing - either way it’s awkward and disrupts the flow. What sorts of things do people do to affect smoother cornering, if anything?
Something like this? https://youtu.be/gS67mGMJ3SA?si=n9Pa6_hvL3zmbg6_&t=66
Banked corners are less fun on a unicycle than on a bike (or at least than I imagine them on a bike), but you can still use them if they are there and that typically gives more flow than taking the inside. (If you are fast enough).
On switchbacks it depends, if they are really tight, twisting is pretty much all you can do. If there is some space, you can make it smoother by setting up wide and exiting wide, so that you don’t have to make as sharp of a corner. Looking ahead and “steering with your eyes” really helps there, if you focus on the inside of the corner the whole time, you will probably end up riding there and having to do a sharp turn.
Try accelerating through the corner.
If you go in to a corner at your optimum speed, the corner will rob your momentum and the choppiness/arm flailing comes out trying to maintain speed.
If you purposefully try to accelerate throughout the corner it translates to maintaining speed and the choppiness goes away.
This is what works for me.
Oh!.. and get a bigger wheel!
I don’t ride muni but for road riding on smooth or bumpy surfaces I get much smoother tight corners with a heavier and/or larger wheel and faster speed. I believe that the more weight and speed on tight turns increases the gyroscopic effect and the uni will naturally make smooth turns in the direction of lean.
I never thought of that! Not sure if I’m ready for one-footed turns…
With speed those banked turns can be used very similar to how bikes use them. Just take your speed in, ride the bank, and remember to steer down the bank at the end lest you get launched off the top. Another technique for when there isn’t a bank is to lean the uni into the turn. You can do this by either leaning into the turn with the uni or pushing the uni into the turn and leaning away from it. Depending on the situation I do both. Having good side knobs on your tire helps to stay attached to the ground for this maneuver but can really smooth turns out. @JimT posted a perfect example of this a few posts up, and it applies to road as well as muni.