Does anybody use a brake to help freemount??

My 24" Muni has a brake, but as a can barely ride it yet I’m not sure why!! However I am wondering if somehow it could make learning to freemount easier, and if so how?

Anybody useing a brake like this? Actually any feedback on brake’s would be appreciated (forwarned is forarmed as they say).

This is my Muni:

I’ve not heard of people doing it (but then most people don’t have a brake on their learner uni!), but it may help. I used the “wedge a rock/stick/kerb behind the wheel” technique when I was new to freemounting, so perhaps holding the brake on may do a similar thing (lets you step on the pedal harder as you jump up without the wheel shooting backwards). Worth a try - but before long you’ll get used to doing it properly anyway.


I didnt ever feel like needing something like that, but if you think that it makes learning easier.

Brake is for long downhills. You apply it just barely to save your leg muscles from applying back pressure on the pedals.

Some (very few) use brakes for quick stopping, but that takes more skill.

Until you can easily ride 400m or so, I do not really see the purpose in learning to freemount. If you miss your mount attempt, was it due to a bad mount or due to the inability to ride away? See the point? When you get to the point where you can easily ride around, then work on the mounts

Also, I can not see a point in using a brake for the mount. If you did a jump mount, then hopped around a bit, then perhaps, but if you’re still learning, probably not your best option.

On my muni, i only use the brake on steep downhills, where it provides a feeling of much more control. On the 36’er, it’s nice for those long downhills to alleviate that feeling that you might get going too fast. :slight_smile:

Good luck and just stick at it, you’ll get it.

I use the brake to freemount on really steep downhills - if you can’t get on without spinning out then a brake is the only way to mount.

But I can’t see it being all that useful for learning to freemount. I know when I first learnt freemounts, I had to stick my arms out for balance still.


I only have a brake on my now deceased 36 (RIP 36er). The brake does help mounting on steep down-slopes but I found it would throw me off on regular mounts.

It might be different on smaller wheels but I can’t see a brake helping much for a free-mount on flat as it throws off your rhythm if you are not used to the change in resistance.

I think of brakes as hill flatteners. Ups are still ups but you can effectively flatten out the downs to make them more manageable and keep more control while going faster.

As for when to learn to freemount, Learn whenever you feel like learning. I started trying to freemount once I could get about 3 rotations about 1/3 of the time. Some learn to free-mount before they can ride comfortably others learn after, some don’t learn at all.

The earlier you can learn to freemount the better, if you ask me.

Once you can go a few meters, learn to freemount. It’s a pain in the ass to have to walk back to a wall or something every time you want to mount.

A brake could be used but probably won’t help you learn any faster.

Brakes and Freemounting

Wow that Onza 24 was my first MUni! It is what I learned to freemount on! Yours is a beauty! I had a brake on it too but never used it to freemount. It is funny though because when I was in the Lebanese war tons of fellow soldiers would try to mount it and they all clasped the break for dear life!

Interesting what Joemarshall says. I always though that it was really cool mounting on steep downhills and putting all my weight on the back pedal as a counterbalance! I never needed a brake. Mater of fact I have removed my break and don’t use one at all any more When doing MUni. I still do have a brake on my KH29 but I rarely ride that unicycle.

Good Luck!


I have a 29" unicycle with a brake. I can freemount it easily if I don’t use the brake. For fun, I have tried to freemount when applying the brake. I can’t. (I must admit I haven’t practiced, just tried a few times.)

I can also easily mount using a pole, and holding the tyre with the other hand. It’s much harder to mount using a pole and pulling the brake as opposed to holding the tyre to hold the wheel.

My conclusion would be that a brake doesn’t help in freemounting. It might be different for a beginner but I doubt it. The reason (I think) is that you automatically control the wheel during a mount (freemount or polemount), but you can’t do that when the brake is applied.

The latest issue (issue 6) of Uni magazine has got a really good article on why/how/when to brake (written by Kris Holm), and a few pages all about learning to freemount too.

You can get a copy from or


As someone who has never been interested in skill levels or tricks (I basically just like to ride muni), I haven’t tried to mount in lots of different ways. But I did decide to learn to freemount with my “weak” foot (in my case, my right foot), and I used the brake on my muni to do it. The only thing I did differently than in my normal left-foot freemount was put my foot on the pedal in a slightly lower position than I would normally; this is because the wheel rotates forward with the frame when hopping up to mount (because the brake holds the wheel and frame in the same relative position during the mount). It made the uni feel more stable, overall, much like the block-behind-the-tire method.

Freemounting and Breaking

I am just thinking about it. It seems like the frame and the seat have to rotate some when mounting. If you apply the break this would not be possible. Hense all the comments about experienced riders having trouble mounting while applying the break.


On a unicycle, if you apply the brake the frame can still rotate during a mount. It doesn’t swivel around the hub but (kind of) around the tyre contact patch. In the process the wheel rotates as well, and so the pivot point moves forward. That may be part of the difficulty: you have to move much farther ahead while mounting to get above the wheel.