different/easy ways of mounting a 36"

I’m sure this isn’t an original question, but it is easier than browsing through all older threads in search for the answer I’m looking for.

So I recently bought this 36" Nimbus Nightrider Pro uni. Riding it is actually very comfortable and I’m getting the hang of turning both directions, but mounting it is dreadful. I can static free-mount it 1 out of 10 times, often less. (the problem is that I either don’t jump up high enough or when I do give some extra power I jump to far) When training on the parking lot, I hold on to my car and then ride off, but the parking lot is too little and before getting good at free-mounting I want to take it out in the open world and burn those kilometres.
So the question is simple: What other ways are there of free-mounting the monster for beginners? I don’t do rolling mounts or jump mounts, not even with my 26".
For example if I were to use a pole or ski stick, how do I use it to get on top? Then I’d not only have 1 wobbly object, but two wobbly objects.

I know you just said that you don’t do rolling mounts, but they really are the way to go for a big wheel.

What worked best for me when learning the rolling mount was to get everything lined up for a static mount, then take two or three steps back before going forward. That way you will know exactly where the pedal will be when you step up.

Due to the slower wheel rotation rolling hops are actually much easier on a 26 than a 26. It might seem a bit scary doing a dynamic mount at first but the momentum of a rolling mount is much easier to control than a “hop” to get up ontop the wheel.

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Terry has a great youtube video describing and showing some of the ways to mount up a 36er. I highly recommend watching that, and mimicking it.

I myself didn’t do a running mount until I got a 36. I was mounting about 50% on day one while learning the mount. It’s a scary one to learn, but once you get it, the running mount is extremely useful to mount uphill, and takes very little effort compared to a static mount. It’s my go-to, so I mentioned that one first. As a bonus, it can get you out there in front of the traffic quickly, and you can be running across a street and mount while moving at any time, which is more convenient than you may think at first.

If you’re static mounting a 36, my advise would be to focus your jump more upward than you are now (rather than forward), and intentionally jump higher than you think you need to. You still need a little forward momentum on the jump, but you really need the umpf to get up there and settle on the seat quickly. Get the wheel moving as fast as possible by putting pressure on the foot in front and that will help you maintain your balance. Do not hesitate, as soon as the front foot touches pedal, pick the back foot up, and push down with the front foot.

You may also try grabbing the wheel if you’re a shorter rider. Take one hand on the saddle and the other on the front of the tire, then lean forward and pull. I have short friends that use this mount very effectively. It’s sort of an assisted static mount for those who can’t really jump that high.

When I first started learning I practiced different mounts, then as you get better, you’ll sink into the one you like. Then do it that way every single time until you can nail it 98% of the time before moving onto other mounts. That was my method, may not work for everybody. Practicing on a slight uphill, getting the mount a few times, then turning the wheel around and practicing on a slight downhill should net you a large % increase in how many mounts you can achieve. I like parking decks for this, especially one with a good city scape. : )

More on the running mount. The most important thing is to hit the first pedal with your foot solid and in the right spot. If you miss the pedal, it is hard to not wind up with a scraped leg or fall. Having said that, assuming your right footed, put that pedal facing directly downward, or slightly in front of the wheel so that when you roll forward the right pedal comes towards you. Do a little jog step, and leap with your left foot planting your right foot on the way up. If you’ve given the wheel the proper amount of forward movement, you can use the right pedal just like a stair-step and really put pressure on it to bring you up on the wheel. If you’re mounting up-hill, obviously you would use more jump and less pressure on the right pedal, which allows the wheel to keep that momentum to help you get started up the hill.

Using a stick or pole may help in initially getting you up onto the wheel, but it’s good to start solidifying your mount as soon as you can. You may also want to pick a route where you know there will be frequent telephone poles, or other objects you can re-mount with if you get tired.

The static mount is a easy mount to learn, but a hard mount to perform.
The rolling mount is a hard mount to learn, but and easy mount to perform.

Thanks both, I can see that a rolling mount has its advantages. I will give that a go tomorrow. The static mount is the one I’ve been using for all my unis so far. Maybe the rolling mount will be less of a hassle also when I’m getting tired.

Sorry I was distracted and wrote gibberish. Fixed it.

I started out trying rolling mounts when I got my 36" Coker but never got consistent with them. I might just be too much of a klutz–too many moving parts. They take less effort than static mounts if/when I hit them first try, but the advantage is lost if it takes four or five tries.

But static mounts can work on a 36". The trick, supposing there is one, might be to get really, really good at them on smaller wheels. Muni’s great for this because I dismount and remount so often, often on tricky surfaces and in tight spaces. Same technique on a 36", more commitment…

UniMyra’s video is also a great watch:

He emphasizes stepping on the pedal to boost yourself up, balancing weight on the saddle against that to keep the unicycle from moving back. We all have a limit of wheel size and saddle height where we don’t have the vertical hops to leap up to the saddle. (That’s a 24" wheel in my case.) Then we have to “break the egg” and use the pedal to step up there. And that business about having your weight on the saddle while riding along, it’s an even bigger deal here.

The guy in the vid actually starts hopping when he gets on top of the 36". I can hop just fine on the KH26 and smaller. From hopping it is easy enough to just hang forward and start pedalling. Today I also noticed that with the 36" it is much easier to keep both hands on the saddle, than on the small 20 inch where I lose balance as soon as I try that.
So many new things to try out tomorrow, I will have to tell my boss I’m ill and can’t come to the office :slight_smile:

This is my standard method. (I ride a 32", but it was the same for the 36" when I had it.) This works best for me, and with practice it works 90+ percent of the time. (Having said that, while I practice freemounting regularly, I almost never freemount when I’m out riding. Where I ride, there’s almost always a street sign to assist me, and that way I can always be assured that my feet and butt are exactly in position before I launch. It’s guaranteed every time!)
(BTW, mounting next to a curb is also helpful. It makes it so you don’t have to jump as high. You mainly just lean forward and put your other foot up.)


I’ve had my 36er for three months now, and so far I’ve only used the static mount. I cheat a bit though; instead of starting with the cranks horizontal I set them up vertically and position my starting foot on the lower pedal. Then I roll the wheel forward until the cranks are horizontal and jump. The wheel movement lets me really stomp on that lower pedal and use it like a step.

I’ve found this works best when I don’t quite stop the wheel with my stepping motion. That said, I’ve successfully ridden away from a few mounts where I stomped too hard and it turned into a roll back.

Most times when I fail to mount it’s because I need to a) jump higher/harder and b) let go of the handle sooner. I hold onto the saddle handle at the start of the mount to stop the uni falling down between my knees but once I’m on top I find it really hard to accelerate away without having both hands free. So when I have a few failed mounts in a row my mantra is “jump higher and let go”.

All that said, the rolling mount sounds really useful for a 36er. I should really give it a try, except that mine is setup with a long shadow handle so I’m a bit wary of dropping it. I know I can remove it but I’m having too much fun riding with it :sunglasses: .

By the way, my favourite example of a rolling mount is at the start of this video: https://vimeo.com/133107524

That is what I aspire to :smiley:

I used to do that on my 29er, no way I can do it on the 36 though! :smiley:

My 36er mount is the one from Terry’s tutorial. The one where you imagine an egg under your first foot and don’t push down too hard, in effect jumping clean over the uni and pedalling off (I guess a static mount :roll_eyes: ) I can’t do a rollback or a rolling mount on the 36er at all!

Hey I know that mantra, I use it too :smiley:
Today I installed the handle bars. Unfortunately there was a very very strong wind today in DK, that I had to fight too much to get through on the 36", so I had to give up after 10 minutes. Hopefully it is better tomorrow.

Good stuff here. I think one thing that hasn’t been mentioned is crank length:
The shorter the crank the harder it is to mount, especially with static mount. So if you have the option, put on some longer cranks (say 150mm). For jump mount and rolling mount the crank length is less of an issue (ok, jump mount is harder just because it’s more difficult to get rolling with short cranks after you have jumped on). Oh, and the obvious: a smaller wheel is also easier to mount. I did a ton of 26 and 29" muni this summer and my mounts on those sizes are rock solid (last Sunday I successfully mounted on a skinny rounded concrete tube that crosses a creek with a top surface about 6" wide where a fall means about 4 feet to the ground and/or landing in the cold water – on my 26" with 125s. That’s one chance that has to work. I could imagine trying it on the 36 with 165s, but not anything less than 150mm).

I started 36" with 150mm cranks about a year-and-a-half ago and was around 50% with the static mount on day one (coming from a 24"). In a short time this was up to 90%. Then I moved to 127mm cranks and my static mount went way down to maybe 50% for a while… I tried the rolling mount with some success, but kept on with the static mount mostly that’s now up to over 90% with the 127s.

Then I tried 100s and my static mount % went way way down. With the short cranks the seat is WAY WAY high plus you have less leverage to get rolling. And you have further to fall to the ground. These three factors combine to make mounting with short cranks much harder for me (plus I think the handlebar makes it harder too, but that’s probably mostly psychological only). I tried the jump mount a bit with 100s and had some success but then went back to the static. For whatever reason I didn’t try the rolling mount again so much (need to).

Anyway, as has been said well above, I think the rolling mount is probably the long-term way to go, as you get the real plus of being able to hop on quick and go, i.e. in traffic. Even with my >90% static mount with 127s I’m still reluctant to stop, set the pedal up flat and do a static mount in the middle of the road with an approaching car behind me (although I’ve done it successfully a few times with 127s, but I’m too scared with the 100s).

Actually, I also ride 36 muni with 165s and with the 165mm cranks I can do static, rolling or jump mounts all with very high success (I almost don’t even have to think about it, just works, even uphill or downhill). With the 100mm cranks my static mount is maybe 40%, my rolling 50% and jump 50%, all low enough that I grab on to a pole or wall or tree if at all possible. I really need to go out and practice the rolling mount and get it down (on my commute I can’t “waste” 10 minutes for practice as I’ll be late, plus if I fail a few times it makes riding the rest of the 15km quite more difficult psychologically).

I’m very short and rely on the tire grab mount. Nothing else feels right. I’m sure with practice I can get another mount down, but it’s just second nature at this point to grab and go that I don’t think twice about it.

Also never static mount holding a t-bar if you have one mounted :-). I use a 36 for the longer trips and now know all the poles in a 25 km radius from my home…… intemately. As has been mentioned before shorter cranks are more difficult. The same holds for tyre weight and if you have a rugsack or not. Also being tired and windy conditions can be a nightmare on a 36.

On the positive side. A good incentive not to dismount increases the feeling of adventure one has when going on long trips.

Holland has many more traffic posts than Denmark. The Netherlands are nearly only road. I am moving back there next year after 8 years here. Much easier to ride without hills as well. For now I will just practice free-mounts on the 36 and then once in some future I won’t ever have to think when mounting.


there is a race once a year with a 10 km unlimited event. Lots of 36 inch unicycles compete (www.nkeenwieleren.nl), see http://klaasbil.home.xs4all.nl/nke2015_allefotoos.htm for an impression

I really want to figure out a good ‘trackstand’ I can manage on a 36er with 125mm cranks. I know some people hop on the spot, so I’m probably going to learn to do that. That way, dismounting is something I only do once at my destination! :smiley:

rolling mount, hopping, idling

Today I put the 127s back on after having the 100s on for the last 5 commutes… I was surprised that on the straights the 127s now seem really really slow. On the plus side the 127s now also feel totally maneuverable and all my uphills and downhills were easy. My overall time was also a little less (my last few days on the 100s were :52, :47, :48, :49, :50 and today was :53), as the other 2 times I had had the 100s on I was actually slower as I I had so many UPDs and spent so much time trying to mount.

I also tried the rolling mount and successfully mounted maybe 6 times in about 20 tries (these were not running mounts, although quick rolling mounts with now setup, i.e. walking rolling mounts). One time I flew off pretty wildly, but I was alone on a little gravel path next to a park so no problem. It was also a little weird with the handlebar, but I’m getting better at it. I can totally see that working really well in the future :slight_smile: and I’d love to really try the running mount some time… I’ll have to remember to try it next time I have the longer cranks on for muni… I even did one rolling mount successfully on the road starting when the light turned green with cars behind me (they were stopped though). I mounted on the first try and rode off :smiley: That was very nice!

Yeah, the last fews days with the 100s I was not even trying, but with the 127s I’m right there to start thinking about it. I can usually hop for about 10-20 seconds which is long enough for some of the lights. However, I have a pretty high UPD rate when STARTING after hopping.

For starting again, idling is better, but I can only idle on the 36 maybe 2-10 times front-to-back or about 2-10 seconds! So it’s not yet much of a help at lights. However, with a backpack (with laptop) and all I think it’s probably ultimately easier than hopping.

But for now I usually grab the traffic light pole. In Munich they’re conveniently located for unicycling at most intersections. Although I have 3 crossing where there is only a crosswalk and no posts/signs or anything. I have 3 crossing where there is lots of cross-traffic and it’s hard to see until you’re right there b/c of parked cars. Today I was really cruising and had 2 rather graceful last-minute on the spot dismounts when I reached the crossing and there were cars. My idling would have to be pretty good to make it for that.

Making a new 36er freemounting video which will be posted here in a couple days.