Does Muni provide exercise at all?

Hey Ive been mtn biking for 3 years and was thinking about getting into this sport. But Im a bit hesistant since Im not sure if it will provide enough exercise to satisfy my needs.
anyway my question is how much exercise does muni provide when compared to mtb or reg. cycling in general?



It provides an absolutely incredible amount of exercise.

So much excersise that you will drop dead after six hours of hard riding.

just what i wanted to hear.
The reason I got interested is because im growing out of my SS rigid mtn bike and was in the process of looking for peices for a new build. All I wanted to build was a fun bike that would also give me a workout and I didnt want to have to get a summer job to build it. (which I would’ve had to do to carry out my mtb plans).

What ~$250 bikes are good for a mixture of 50% mtb trails and 50% messing around in the street?
I think I was looking at a muni with DX in the name but I forgot the details…

Yes, Muni is excellent exercise. There are Muni riders here who have said, after many years of biking/mountain biking, for about 15 years, once they started to uni, in a few months they were getting more of a workout then biking has ever gave them.

Constantly pedaling, always using muscles most people hardly use to stay balanced and to make the sharp adjustments needed. Legs pumping like mad to get up hill, or putting so much backwards/downwards force on the pedals your muscles will give out before the decent. Its great =p

Also, the Torker DX that you mentioned is a great uni, make sure to get the 24 inch version, because it sounds like you will be wanting to do trails and muni more than anything, and it is a good cheap uni.

I was going to recommend getting the 24" Torker DX, but I see that Jerrick beat me to it.

MUni, I’d imagine, requires a great deal of energy, and gives an excellent workout. Since I don’t have anywhere to muni around here I’m sort of limited to trials & freestyle; both of which, though, are great workouts. Really anything on a unicycle is more demanding than on a bicycle.

Can you unicycle already?

Unfortunately no. thats another thing I was going to ask. I know that in mountain biking it is always best to start with a cheap beginner bike then move up to intermediate and then if you need it, move up into more costy, lighter bikes. Is the same true for unicycling, or is it ok to just jump in with something like the Torker DX?
I spend a lot of time in the mountains, so I’d have quite a bit of time to learn balancing, turning, and all that.

Nonetheless, it sounds great! and cheap, too, which is totally not true in mtnbiking :angry: . I’m by no means abandoing mtbing (ive stillgot another fs xc bike), but it sound like a great sport to fill in the ‘fun’ aspect im missing a bit in xc mountain biking (and i dont have the $$ to get a dj or freeride bike)
thanks for the input so far :slight_smile:

Pssshhh!! Yeah, right!!

Just wait. I sold my FS XC bike to pay for a fourth unicycle. :wink:

The Torker DX is a good uni to start with if you already know you want to do MUni. It should be fine to learn on, and it will take a good amount of abuse. If you want to upgrade later to a Kris Holm or custom uni, you can do that, but you probably won’t find it necessary; the differences in equipment in unicycling are a lot less than the differences in mountain biking. (At least so far).

The DX is not top-of-the-line, but yes, traditionally a person’s first unicycle is a cheap-o brand (<$100). If you have the money for a DX right now, go for it. A lot of people move on to the KH (Kris Holm) 20" [for trials], 24" [Muni], or 29" [XC], depending on what you’re into. KH’s are probably the strongest and lightest, but there are perfectly fine (cheaper) other brands. I, for instance, have a 20" Torker LX which is good for freestyle, but not especially trials, muni, or xc. A 24" CX just plain sucks, but it was my first uni. I also have a 28" Sun that is good for cruising around town (though a 36" is preferable), and another practically unbreakable 20" Nimbus Hoppley ($350) [it has a KH rim and hub, plus qu-ax cranks, a nimbus II frame, and maxxis creepy crawler tire - a trials machine]

Keep us updated on your progress. I’m sure everyone would be interested in hearing about another mountainbiker-turned-(m)unicyclist.

Don’t give up on learning, either. This forum has some great people that will undoubtedly help you on your way to becoming a unicyclist.

Just out of curiousity, where/how did you hear about Muni?

The only thing that I have to warn about the Torker DX is that the frame has a likelihood of breaking/bending at the weld that connects the seatpost tube (of the frame) to the crown (the flat part). I don’t have a DX, but a lot of people seem to be complaining about this lately. I believe Torker will replace the frame for free if this happens, though. (You have to ride it really hard for this to happen, though, so I’m sure a beginner wouldn’t have much to worry about).

The workout you get from unicycling is entirely dependent on the terrain. If the terrain is easy (flat and/or smooth) you are not going to get the same kind of workout you can on a bike. On a bike you can change gears to make even the easy terrain a workout. Can’t do that on a unicycle.

Muni can give you a good workout if the terrain is good for it. You can get the heart rate up and keep it there. On some trails even much more so than the same trail on a MTB. On the types of trails I like to ride I can keep my heart rate up higher on the muni than on the MTB (but my MTB skills also suck so I can’t ride the MTB aggressively on singletrack). On the muni I often have to stop and grab a tree to rest and catch my breath because I’m working so hard. I have never had that problem on a MTB.

Smooth buff XC trails without a lot of elevation changes are going to be bad for the workout goal. Rooty, rocky, and rolling trails are going to give you a very good workout. It also has to do with how aggressively you ride the trail.

There are some differences in the workouts though. On a bike you can push yourself farther into energy debt than you can on a unicycle. You can be totally beat on a bike and still keep pedaling and still keep your balance. When you’re totally beat on a unicycle you’ll be falling over little simple bumps in the trail because you’ll be unable to recover your balance.

Unicycling requires the sprinting fast twitch muscle fibers to keep your balance when riding bumpy terrain. Those fast twitch muscles are the first to go when you get beat. They’re also the first to go when you go anaerobic to make it up a climb. On a bike the fast twitch muscles can go and you’ll still be able to pedal and keep your balance.

Im not exactly sure where I first heard about it. I think it was through fellow mtbrs. Once I inititally heard about it I investigated it and found out that it looks really fun and a new twist to mtb.

The only thing that is in my way right now is $$. Once I can collect enough (prob a few months :frowning: ) I will definitely try this out.

Ill reply to this separately…
I live in SoCal, which has pretty much everything… steady, long fire roads, long segments of downhill singletrack, rocky (very rocky) trails, ledges, rock formations, etc. There’s pretty much everything here except rooty, rolling singeltrack.
So I think muni will be good for this area. Ive thought about it quite a bit. Also, I live in LA, which is full of places to ride in the street.

thanks for all the help :smiley:

Of course you live in SoCal; everybody lives in Cali. You shouldn’t have any trouble at all finding other unicyclists in your area (within a hundred miles or so).


(nobody is willing learn to ride here)

If money is an issue at the moment, the Torker LX can be found for less than $100 on eBay (mine was $97.97, including S&H). The LX is a great beginners unicycle. It’s held up to my 6’5", 170lb body doing numerous 3ft drops on it, and nothing is out of whack on it. You might not be able to do Muni on it (the way you could with a DX), but it works the same way.

Buying one $100 unicycle and then buying the upgraded $260 model isn’t recommended, but if you’re wanting to learn ASAP, then the LX isn’t a bad choice (you’re going to end up with a unicycle for every function [freestyle, trials, XC, MUni] anyway. I didn’t believe it at first, but it’s true :roll_eyes: …)

:roll_eyes: Unicycling is by far the best workout of any sport I’ve done. (cross country skiing, downhill skiing, trail running, hiking, swimming, and rock climbing included). I’m not good enough yet to Muni but that’s what got me intested as well.

I got a 24" DX, got discuraged by the steep learning curve then I got a 16" CX and one day while riding down the street a guy gave me his 20" Avatar. Now I’m also getting interested in freestyle and trials and learning to ride backwards (I just started my guess by the time to learn originally I’ll be riding backwards in 3-4 weeks, hopefully :roll_eyes: )

From what I’ve read the frame on the DX will be fine unless you do repeated drops over 4 ft. to pavement or higher to dirt. But it has a lifetime waranty anyways so it doesn’t really matter.

Good luck:) Don’t get discouraged just keep practicing and you’ll get it:D

Muni is excellent in the LA area, with a great selection of rides at all skill levels. There are quite a few riders around here with several of different groups, too. This is a great place to get hooked - we’ve got the terrain and the community.

I regularly do (did) 100-60 mile road rides and 30-50 mile mtb rides and I’ll have to say after a 5 to 8 mile Muni ride I’m fried. My distance is getting better but I still can’t believe how tired I am after such a short time. On my bike I could rest while still rolling along soft pedaling. The only way I can rest on my Muni is to stop aka upd. I’ve only been Muning for a month or so and I’d have to say if I had to do it again I’d skip over the DX and buy the Holms or Knoxx. It’s not that the Dx isn’t good enuff to handle what I can do. It’s just that being a mtber/roadie/mechanic I can see flaws (mostly the cranks, the nubbs catch my shoes and not many different sizes) in the DX. I’ll be riding it for a while still but I’m gonna be getting something else next year sometime. Something with ISIS spindle.

BTW… I haven’t been on any of my bikes in over 2 months. I find mtbing to be TOO easy and boring these days. Next time I go mtbing I’ll have to spice it up by riding wheelies and hopping around on the rear tire.

And the wife’s pissed that I’ve found ANOTHER cycling hobby.:smiley:

Don’t know if anyone has said this yet because I am too lazy to read it all, but in unicycling, especially muni you need to be peddling at all times unlike mountain biking so it is alot more energy required.

Someone mentioned the fact that you cannot change gears on a unicycle and although this is pretty true you can get a similar feeling to that by changing the length of your cranks. A 20" wheel with 110mm cranks is going to be speeding alot at a much higher cadence than a 24" wheel with 150mm cranks. (and if you are like me you will be keeping up no problem:p). Because unicycles depend alot on cranks there are a very good selection of sizes and changing sizes is quite easy.