Curb Mounting a 36

Is it a good step in the learning process of free mounting to back the wheel up against the curb? I’d like to learn to free mount, but I’ve spent my limited time just riding. Until recently I wasn’t 100% comfortable even riding away from a pole, no need to try to free mounting. I have actually made a couple of real free mounts in the grass of the soccer fields. It is pretty easy from the curb, I just didn’t want to get a bad habit going if it was going to make it harder later.

Would holding a brake while mounting make it easier? I grab the tire sometimes, I thought at first I would grab the tire to pull myself up, but actually I’m just holding the tire from rolling back, would holding a brake do the same thing?

Riding is more comfortable every time out. I’m SO glad I went ahead and made the early move to a 36. I just broke the 10mph barrier, it felt like a land speed record.

IMHO, I wouldn’t do that if I were you. I’m no coker expert but I think if you keep mounting against a curb you’ll never learn to freemount properly. Unless you rockback mount (not recomended) you need to learn to put as little pressure on your first leg as possible - you should be using your other leg to jump up.

Terry Peterson/Muniaddict/Unigeezer posted a great coker mounting video a little while ago which explains this technique a little better.

It’s a big jump getting up there, and it takes some practice to get any kind of mount to work consistently. There’s nothing wrong with grabbing the tire. If it works, then go with it. Learning the static mount is a good control drill, but it’s not mandatory.

I don’t know how well holding the brake works. Maybe you’ll just have to try it for a while and see. It would be good have a backup mount just in case you rolled through dog crap or something and you don’t want to touch the tire :p.

The 36er is the easiest to mount in my book as the big wheel resist the weight on the back foot, I ride right foot forward so put my left foot on the back pedal at about 45 degrees down and back then hop up pushing he saddle forward and over with my crouch and stepping on the back pedal, these two forces cancel each other out so you can step up nice and easy in a static mount

I would steer clear of introducing any bad habits and just spend a day practicing mounting unto you have it down to a T!


I asked about using the brake for mounting the 36’er awhile ago and Feisty reached thru the computer and slapped me upside the head and said “quit it, it will only hurt you in the long run. Get out there and practice!” I grudingly listened and it was the best advice I’ve recieved so far. My mounting is consistant and my confidence level has grown. THANKS Feisty Next time just don’t hit so hard, my ear still smarts a little:D

This is inaccurate and dismissive. Bigger wheels are unquestionably harder to mount; it’s hard to jump high enough, and it’s hard to get the thing moving once you’re up there. 36er riders have no problem mounting 20" unicycles; 20" riders usually take a while before they get even one successful 36" mount, and there are people who’ve been riding 36" for years who still miss mounts, especially when tired. A day of practice won’t make most people comfortable mounting a 36" wheel.

I do agree that curb-mounting is not a great idea as a regular practice; you will want to be able to mount on a normal road. Jump higher than you think is necessary, and try to get the wheel moving early, because the 36" really doesn’t like going slow.

I was having big problems with my big wheel
Turned to these forums and got some great advise

The gist of it was
Don’t worry too much about mounting, ride your uni and enjoy it

Put in some practice sessions for mounting here and there, but don’t allow yourself to get frustrated

I’ve had most success with a rolling mount
Position left pedal pointing down
Then roll wheel a quarter turn
And jump / step up as it reaches the level

I also think if you become too reliant upon a ‘crutch’ kurb, or pole, learning to do without later will be tough

So yes mounting a 36 is really tough, Ive never had problems mounting any other wheels ( since I learned on a 20)
I still don’t have mounting down yet, but I’ve had enough success to keep me coming back
Plus it’s all worth it when zooming along on that huge wheel

I never tried using a curb as a prop for free mounting a Coker because I never really had any trouble doing it. I’m not convinced, however, that it would be bad to try it that way for awhile. As Tom says, the 36" wheel doesn’t like to go slow and it’s hard to get up there on the saddle. Why not eliminate the hard-to-get-up-there part and mount from the curb for awhile. It puts you closer to the saddle because you start from a few inches higher and it blocks the wheel. Now that you can get up there easily, you can practice getting that big wheel going from a dead stop. When you can do that reliably, try a variety of normal free mount techniques until you find the one you like.

Occasionally I’ll use a park-bench to get on. It makes the step-on more of a step-forward, a lot less effort than jumping up.

This weekend I rode my 36’er on the local “rail to trail”. I stopped a few times looking around and realized there was nothing to hold onto or assist in mounting. A ditch with briars and brush on either side. I’m very happy I practiced and figured out a mount I could do without assistance. It’s not pretty but it works. Sort of a floundering static thing. My point is: learn some mount or you may be walking a ways to find a crutch.

I often use my brake with a rolling mount. I position the pedal that my first foot will land on down, then roll forward a quarter turn to get momentum, hit the brake and jump up, letting momentum carry me up while watching one foot land the back pedal, then the other foot land the front pedal. Then release the brake and ride it out. I like this mount when I’m tired because it doesn’t require a lot of effort.

It seems much easier to me when mounting if I’m on a downhill. I like to mount at the bottom of my driveway, which is reasonably steep.

I think sometimes you should reflect on the fact that, compared to most, you’re a natural at unicycling. Look at the amount of unicycles you’ve got, the short amount of time you’ve been riding, and, the fairly high level you’ve achieved in that short time.

Many other 36 owners have substantial difficulties learning to mount. I knew someone in sheffield who had completed a ride across the width of Britain on his 29-er, but, on getting a 36-er, even after having ridden it regularly for 6 months, still could not free mount it, and, instead, happily used lamposts, trees etc to get on it.

Like i mention above, you’re not alone in having difficulties free mounting the 36-er.

Personally, if I were in your position, I’d use any method available to get on, if I couldn’t yet free-mount it- because for me, the best part of unicycling is actually riding the thing.

My one concern about curb-mounting would be whether there’s a risk of the big wheel accidently riding up backwards over the curb while you’re mounting? I’ve never tried mounting using a curb, so I’ve no idea if that’s possible or likely?

You folks have all the luck…on the roads where I live there are no curbs, no poles, no trees, and no nuffin over six inches high. Finding a slope is the only help available…so far I’ve had most success mounting the 36 with a quater roll mount (just like Fatlazypig). If I had curbs I would use them unashamedly. :slight_smile:

The few times i have ridden a 36er i have had no issues static mounting.
start on a 20in and get it were you can do it 100% of the time then move up wheel sizes

Thanks for the advice. I guess just like so many things there is no exact answer.
I was afraid it might develop bad habits, so I haven’t done it much. After the first few days of riding the new 36, I tried a couple of dozen times from the curb and made several, then forgot about it pretty much. The other day I UPD in front of a neighbors, the closest pole was 200 ft away, their driveway had a log curb that I used. I was surprised at how easy it was now compared to the first times that I tried it. When I got to the park I tried from the curb there with easy success, I tried in the soccer grass and was able to get up there OK, but not to really ride away.

I watched Terry’s videos and will practice in the grass with longer cranks and a shorter solid saddle post. I have minimal experience and NEVER tried to mount the 20 or 26. Until recently I didn’t think it would do any good to try to learn to free mount because I couldn’t even ride away from a pole 100% of the time.
Thanks again for the help!!

Hey, Mike…sounds like you’re learning pretty fast…have you dismantled the practice cage yet? That thing still makes me smile whenever I remember your photo. :slight_smile:
By this spring, you and I should be REALLY good at mounting our KH36ers. Totally looking forward to my first good season of unicycling! Keep going! b^.^d

No the cage is still there, I’m a procrastinator. I was going to take it down after the 26, but it came in handy with the 36, VERY HANDY. In the beginning, all you are trying to do is get rolling, which isn’t quite as easy as it sounds. Having both hand rails helps get the feel for things. After leaving the cage, I go to the gate, I open it towards the road, I have 12 feet of hand rail to tap while I get going. Even after doing that for a while, sometimes starting from a pole was hard, I’m pretty much past that now, so it time to try to free mount.

My wife and I are able to take her bike and the dog to the bike paths and I ride my 36. Even with her pulling the dog cart behind her bike she has an advantage over me, but not for long.

Nice. You should take some snaps or shoot some video. I’ll try to make a video this weekend. A few 36er n00b observations:
So far, my 36er rides have been all about focusing on testing the performance potential of the uni–just seeing what I can do on it. Heh…last night I was heading back from the office, starting my 14-mile route at 10:30 PM. I’m learning that the night ride has its advantages as well as its drawbacks. Traffic is WAY down, and you can blow through traffic lights with impugnity. The downside is the lack of visibility. Long sections on my route take me over unlit streets, and without really good visual input, I don’t have the same feel for off-camber sections and road defects, which tends to slow me down a bit. By the end of the night commute, I’m a little beaten up, but it’s really kinda cool to be able to finish without any UPDs–a totally different sense of accomplishment than I’ve ever gotten on a regular bike, and I’m sure as I get better at night riding, it’ll get easier. The 36er is already WAY funner and more comfortable for night riding than the 29er. I especially like the riding position–it’s soooooo fun being way the hell up there!

Have fun, and let me know how you progress! :o