Do you have to have good balance to be a good unicyclist?

Ok heres the thing: I am a reasonable unicyclist but a total unco when i havent got a wheel between my legs.

Do you think a good sense of balance is important when it comes to unicycling? i dont. this may sound like a stupid question but i think its more about improving your technique and stuff rather than actually balancing. when i get on a unicycle i dont think about balancing at all - it just happens.
i mean sure a certain level of balance is required but i dont think its any more than is required to ride a bike.


When I started unicycling, I was pretty uncoordinated and had terrible balance.

Now I am very coordinated and I have excellent balance in all environments.

I don’t think that you need a good sense of balance to start unicycling, I think you just need persistance. As you keep doing it, your balance increases dramatically (well mine has).

That’s what I think anyway,



since learning i’ve only noticed two things have changed:

i can ride a lot slower on a bike

i can balance on the back legs of a chair for over a minute now.

thats it :stuck_out_tongue:

I love doing that, its soo cool!

Rock on!

No. You just need an average (or possibly even below average) sense of balance to be able to ride. That’s just for basic riding.

For more advanced riding a developed sense of balance is needed. You aren’t going to be able to wheel walk, ride a skinny, do spins, ride one footed, etc. if you have poor balance. But you can certainly learn to do basic riding and not be especially coordinated or have a good natural sense of balance.

Nothing for me to back that up with. Would be interesting if there have been any studies done on balance and coordination and how that relates to things like unicycle riding.

When people ask me if you need special balance to learn to ride a unicycle I tell them that if they can walk down the aisle of a bus while the bus is moving then they have enough balance to ride a unicycle.

I can now do neat handstands…

I am generally pretty uncoordinated and can trip over my own shaddow when walking on a flat surface - I like to think that my shaddow trips over me too :slight_smile:

I ride mostly distance and muni, so I don’t really know if I would have more than the average trouble learning more advanced freestyle/streetstyle tricks.


i found that when i started uniiing i could do other things a lot better. i can stand still on a bike for ages, pretty much as long as i want. i can do wheelies on a bike for as long as i want now and i can ride a bike backwards now. i can also skate and wakeboard a lot better as well and i think its all because i uni. i think that as you start to uni, your balance increases, with every new trick you learn, your balance becomes better.

i mean if you had perfect balance when you first started unicycling you could pretty much learn to coast straight away.

I am totally balancly challanged. I think that’s one of the reasons that it took me so long to learn to ride in the first place and why it takes me so long to adjust to new things, like MUni. I think that it makes stuff more difficult for me, but not impossible. Practice makes all things possible.

(My hand eye co-ordination and spacial awareness used to be shocking and I was very clumsy as a child and an adult. Juggling has helped enormously. I am no longer noticeably clumsier than anyone else. My children however … It is just so hard not to say “Oh Sam”, about 20 times a day as he trips up, knocks things over, spills anything liquid in sight. We are making slow progress with his juggling however, and he can now at least juggle 3 scalves)


Thats like asking if you have to have legs to walk

Now here’s a question…

I exchanged e-mails with a guy who was selling his unicycle. It turned out he had a permanent inner ear problem which meant that he had no natural balance sense - all his balance had to be done visually. He said as a result of this he discovered riding the unicycle was impossible, so he’d never really used it.

Has anybody else with this problem ever tried to learn to unicycle? Did it work? It seems to me that it might be possible (although perhaps harder?) to learn basic riding based on visual feedback and sensing contact with the pedals / saddle through touch.

i saw some show on discovery channel, or something, that was about balance and if some people naturaly have a better sence of balance or if its something everyone can grow…i dont watch tv so it was a little to comercialy and sciency for me didnt watch it through.
kirs holm was on it doing some ridding around and stanging on one foot, like a lab rat, for them. thougt it was kinda lame, but fun to see trilas riding on tv

maybe someone else can fill in what they actually prooved haha

when you get older you lose more and more your inner balance and you use more your visual controls. It took me an awful lot of time to learn to ride though I was good at skiing and rollers.
Though I cannot quantify this aspect I think it is possible to learn with impaired balance skills.

I personally think that riding is aseasy as walking. in both you need to lean forward to catch yourself and keep you going. The thing that makes unicycleing harder is that peoploe arent used to it. It is as easy as walking just takes a different type of balance.

there was an article I saw around onced that I can’t seem to find anywhere but, it said something about unicyclists and jugglers having a higher sense of balance and coordination than pedestrians, who don’t juggle or unicycle. I’ve been looking for it since I saw this thread, I still can’t find it.

So, jugglers are not pedestrians anymore?

I probably should have worded that differently shouldn’t I…

“unicyclists and jugglers having a higher sense of balance and coordination than pedestrians who don’t juggle or unicycle.”

read that again, it basicly means, that peoples who juggle have better balance/ coordination than people who don’t. and Unicyclists have better balance and coordination than people who don’t juggle or unicycle. does that make more sense?

Oh well… It was funny, I liked it.

It makes me mad that I can’t find the article…

This reminds me of the Dirty Fork sketch by Monty Python.

Anyway, back on topic. I think different tricks require different kinds and levels of balance. Like someone said, if you had perfect balance, you could figure out coasting straight away. However, if you just want to ride around it’s okay to have crappy balance. It’ll just take you more time to learn(plus you’ll improve your balance over time, hehe).