I haven’t had much success with these important skills till now. I started riding two years ago but do not ride frequently. The seat of my UDC Club 24" is pretty stiff, something which becomes all the more bothersome while practicing those particular skills. I am wondering whether the investment in a more comfortable seat would be helpful in this respect as well as in overall performance.
It sounds to me like you need motivation not a new saddle. The UDC Club 24 is a fine unicycle, but maybe you need to invest in a great unicycle.
I’ve gotta agree with saddlepunk, the UDC 24" is a fine unicycle, I wore mine out til the hub bust from hopping around everywhere, but I loved that thing
I would be wary about buying new parts to try and spark interest, it may get you motivated for a little while but without simply enjoying trying to learn idling, learn freemounting and learn all the little sub skills of unicycling you’re unlikely to keep doing it for that long!
Edit: 2 years! I missed that bit, well, speaking honestly freemounting and idling is something I would have thought people would get in the first month or two of riding so I’m not sure what advice to give! good luck.
For most people learning to ride a unicycle means spending a lot of time getting nowhere before seeing much success. If this was your experience then you’ll remember how satisfying it was to finally get a few revolutions and then, with practice, learn to ride farther and farther. Learning to freemount and idle (and pretty much any other unicycling skill) follows the same pattern.
I also learned to ride a little more than two years ago on a 24" Club from UDC, which I still have (though it’s being loaned to a friend).
It looks like the current Club 24 comes with a decent seat, so probably not. Adjusting the angle of the seat may help though. If you had other older less comfortable seats, it would help a lot, but that one looks OK. A good seat makes freemounting easier and riding more fun, but unless you are riding less than you otherwise would because the seat doesn’t fit you well, it isn’t worth it.
I bought my Club 24 in February, and love it for a beginner uni. Your skills depend mostly on how bad you want to ride. I was learning to freemount in the snow with a broken tailbone. That was early March. I’m up to 4.5 miles. At this point I’m wishing for a more comfortable seat, but I’m wishing for a lot of things. I still ride.
What do you mean - that you can ride non-stop for 4.5 miles?
I agree. Just being able to ride for a stretch seems to have been rewarding enough for me till now! As a result I have barely persisted in practicing idling and freemounting. I think I have never gotten liberated enough on the unicycle. Perhaps that’s a barrier I should break before I can unicycle for very long stretches or can idle and freemount. But the problem is that I unicycle barely once every two weeks. I always put on my wrist guards, elbow-pads, knee-pads, and helmet every time I ride (am too afraid of injuring myself should I fall, like I once did on my back and hurt my elbow). So I can’t just take my unicycle and go for a ride on the spur of the moment.
It’s hard to learn if you don’t practice every day. I don’t think once every 2 weeks is enough. See if you can get on the uni every day for a week even if it’s only for 15 minutes. Think of it as an experiment to find out if you can learn to free mount in 7 days.
You should practice as regularly as you can, every day is best.
15 min daily will give better results and less total time than 1 hour 3 X /week.
When you get your consistency to ~ 25%, don’t let yourself go anywhere until you get a freemount, then remount every telephone pole, intersection, etc. When you can do that within a few attemts, do 2, then 3, etc.
I’d only get another seat if the one you have is REALLY uncomfortable. A step up from yours would be the Nimbus Gel, but my favorite is the KH Fusion Freeride. Or use bike shorts w/ a chamoix pad (I always wear a pair and use some Chamios Butter).
I agree with the comment about practicing daily, even for just a short while. 15 minutes is a perfectly acceptable time to practice freemounting and/or idling. If you really want to put on all your protection, feel free, but odds are it’s relatively unnecessary. To each their own, though.
As far as the seat…
I learned to idle, freemount, and generally ride on a no-name 20" unicycle. The entire thing was stock - I still haven’t changed a thing about it. Of course, I don’t ride it anymore.
Anyway, the seat was like sitting on a mechanical bull in hell. It literally wore holes in my jeans. I got gigantic, purple bruises on the inside of my thighs. It SUCKED. But I still learned. I was a determined creature. And, I practiced a lot. Like, an hour per session. Some days it topped 95F, but I still stuck out there until I reached my goal. That is also pivotal for any rider. You HAVE to set short-term goals, then long-term. You can’t go out every day with the simple object of freemounting 95%, or idling for 60 seconds. It makes it boring.
What I did, was tell myself that I HAD to make it to the end of the parking lot, or freemount thrice in a row, or idle for 20 seconds. When you make small goals, you start to notice improvement. It’s also more fun.
As you said, you apparently cannot get out to practice much. That changes the kind of goals you can set. If you want you could work it into your schedule, and plan your riding times. As said 15-20 minutes is perfectly acceptable.
All of these little things one can do help A LOT.
Hope I helped. I’m not the best writer, so hopefully it’s clear enough.
I’m not sure how far I can go non-stop. I’ve done 1.5 miles without UPD, but on my current route that’s as far as I can go until I hit a busy street. I walk about 100 meters, then ride on another side street. Same thing on the return trip. I typically stop and take a one minute rest four or five times during my ride. I’m also practicing on hills, so there are plenty of falls there, and the need to catch my breath. I’m always looking for challenges, like curbs or small branches in the road. If I fall, great! At least I tried, and maybe I’ll do better next time.
Freemount = Liberation. When I was learned, I didn’t know any riders, didn’t have any instruction, and the internet didn’t exist. It was me and the uni. I also like to think things out, so it was simply a matter of trying different pedal positions and how much to lean forward and such, and after a lot of practice, I could freemount and ride about 30 feet. That was 25 years ago. When I started again this February, I could ride, but not freemount, had to learn that again. My mindset was, “If I don’t freemount, I don’t ride.” Maybe a bit extreme, but it worked for me. I would now recommend ride a bit, practice freemount, then ride a bit more, then practice freemount a bit more. I would not be happy riding if I couldn’t freemount. Period.
And practice as much as possible. It isn’t always possible for me to ride every day, but after 5 months, I ride 4+ miles 3 or 4 times a week. Its not a skill you will learn by much reading. Read a little, Ride a lot! And post here occasionally