Early Morning Mounting problem

Hi all
A quick question i have been riding approx 6 months and upgraded to a 36" Nimbus about a month ago. My problem is this, when i am out and about riding i have little to no problems mounting it. However at the beginning when i first set off it can take me 5 or 6 goes before i successfully freemount and ride off.
I ride pretty much daily so it’s not like i’m out of practice. plus no problems at all on rest of ride i still upd and have to get off for various reasons but i have almost 100% success mounting on these occasions. So my question is this. Is it just me? Is it normal for a relative newbie? and can i look forward to it not being a problem?

Many thanks in advance

Yes, I think as we get older, we all get an early morning mounting problem. These days, my wife and I need a coffee first,

Mike, I take it you don’t have young kids. I vaguely remember what that was like.

Chimeara, it’s not just you. When I was ~15 I used to (bi)cycle every morning at 5am. These days if I attempt to ride (my 36) much before about 9am I not only have great difficulty mounting but it feels like the ground is on a perpetual lateral lean. Most annoying.

Even riding at other times the first mount of the day on the 36 can be a bit arduous. The best advice I can offer is to make sure you switch wheel sizes every now and then. I find that if I make a point of riding my 26 at least once a week then mounting my 36 becomes much easier.

When I go out to practice, I usually just start next to a car or wall, just because I’m lazy and I like to get a little ‘warmed up’ before I try to freemount. I know I can do it, Its just too hard to heave myself way up there first thing on a cold morning.

what mounting style? Rolling/running mount will take a lot less energy and tends to be more consistent. Static mounting a 36 is always rough.

I’ve been riding different wheel sizes lately, so the first mount will always fail (unless it is the 20"), just to feel where the balance point is. But sometimes it does take 3 or so times. As soon as I’ve warmed up and have to step off and mount later, it usually works the first time. It does help that the 26", 29" and 32" all have 150mm cranks, so the distance between my feet is always the same.

Be a little more “positive” on your next morning ride. Use the Force.
Instead of trying to do it on your first mount…
Just do it.

Otherwise, you might be developing a pre-pitch routine. Sniff, snort, scratch, nod, and then throw.
That’s OK too, if that’s what works for you.

I’m more of a just do it.

I purposely mount differently every time to keep myself in practice for anything.
My current challenge is mounting my KH29 on an uphill with enough momentum to keep the tire moving once I’m up.

I think not being able to hit a 36er free mount occasionally is more normal then abnormal.

The success rate of free mounting a 36er is more comparable to a baseball hitting average then it is to mounting a bicycle. In baseball even a 40% hitting success rate is a nearly unachievable goal. The success rate for an experienced rider mounting a 36er is much higher but never as high as mounting a bicycle. I see even the most experienced uni rider’s occasional miss a free mount.


Downsizing to 110mm cranks on my 29 forced me to give up the rollback mount and really learn the static mount. Nowadays I almost never miss, but yeah, that first mount can be a little tricky, now that you mention it. A rollback mount can be a good way to get a feel for an unfamiliar unicycle, but on a 36 or a 29 with short cranks, it sometimes isn’t feasible.

I will follow juggleaddict’s advice and try to get more of a running start for my static mount.

I use a static mount on the 36. On the flat, I get almost 100% success - just the very rare failure on uneven ground or a narrow path, or when I’m tired. I’ve never really had much success with rolling or running mounts.

+1 on the assisted morning mount. Getting the body warm is a bit part of the ride, I tend to brush over it too often thinking “riding will warm me up”.

I did that switch too, and was surprised that I could still do the roll-back mount! Gotta practice my static mount though, it’s not a 100% there.

And you do this even though you can static mount uphill already? Naturally it depends on how steep your uphill is. A rolling mount uphill seems problematic, though I only do static mounts these days. do you also challenge yourself by mounting with your non-dominant foot?

Getting tired is really annoying, also feel that with the 29" At some point after x kilometers my legs get tired and mounting hurts too much. Especially with the 36" if you can only do a static mount, it becomes a challenge to mount again. With all this talk of the 36", I wanna give it a go again. Haven’t used it for in over a year, because of mounting issues. As soon as I start thinking “wow this is really high”, I don’t hop high enough. If only I could turn off my brain.

me too.

I have that problem with my purple monster. Every day. Always takes a couple tries the first time…
( I didn’t name it, Nimbus did…)

I’m trying to mount on uphills and it always turns into a static mount, a few steps to get momentum, then finally I get rolling.
I want to keep rolling and avoid the step climbing. (pedal, pause, pedal, pause, etc…)

I want to learn to hit that top pedal harder and start the wheel rolling before my body moves forward of centre. I think I’m putting too much pressure on my bottom pedal and taking the momentum away. So yes, a rolling mount uphill.

I have to just launch myself full tilt and keep practicing.
It’s all a little harder because I do have a set of handlebars too.

And yes I do switch feet to mount every time. (Unless conditions are warranted for a certain mount of course)
I also switch hands also to try and achieve ambidexterity.

It’s harder to learn but makes everything easier once it has been learned.
Try it… Keep rotating through these 4 mounts.
1- Dominant foot and dominant hand
2- Dominant foot and non-dominant hand
3- Non-dominate foot and dominant hand
4- Non-dominate foot and non-dominant hand

This is what works for me.

I noticed on today’s ride that I usually have two hands on the bars when I mount.
So I guess I only go through two mounts now that I’m using handlebars.

Too tired for any uphill practice though.

Sorry but the title of this thread is just wrong… :smiley:


With what you have in mind and reading everybody’s posts again they sound real funny. Heaving urself on top, hands on the handlebars, 36" seems a bit long though. :smiley:

I have a handy rail at just the right height. I never start the day with a simple free mount.(Except when I’m away from home) I think the problem is basically a ‘warming up’ issue and I prefer to warm up riding :smiley: So for the OP, just remember there’s nothing wrong with using an assisted start when it suits.

Actually at the Incheon Marathon, even though I have warmed up before the start, I usually end up making half a dozen attempts before I get away, every year the same…

Funny you say that. I had thought about that if I would ever participate in a race, I would prolly not be able to mount in the first go, because of nerves. And then feel like a fool. So best not to participate then ^_^. I prefer riding where there are no other primates around.