First post, first Uni

I tried unicycling once, a couple years ago, for about 2 minutes (no
success, obviously).

Lately, I’ve been juggling, and decided, hey, I should juggle and
unicycle. So I bought a new “Torker 24” LX" on eBay. Got it two days ago.
Woo-hoo!

Well, call the circus and tell’em I’m gonna be late - can you say
“non-trivial”? I didn’t know I had to learn to unicycle - I thought I
could just do it. 8-]

Questions:

  1. The seat post was HUGE! The lowest the seat would go was nearly
    chest-height on me and I’m 5’6" - short, but not that short. I called the
    vendor and they told me to cut it with a hacksaw. Is this standard
    procedure? They come big and you cut’em?

  2. What should the height be? I found web info saying hip height is about
    right. Other FAQs said straight leg with heel on lowest pedal position,
    which seems to coincide with hip height anyway. So I cut the post, and so
    as not to cut it too short, made hip-height the lowest seat position. Then
    I read that an inch or so lower is better for learning. Should I hack off
    another inch?

  3. Is the uni I purchased an OK one for learning to ride? It seems fairly
    solidly built - what’s the consensus here?

  4. Should I wear any protective gear? Most every time I’ve fallen, it’s
    been onto my feet.

  5. Any other tips for a 41 year old fit-but-clueless newbie?

Thanks in advance.


Steveyo

It is easier to learn on a smaller uni, say a 20" wheel, but that doesn’t mean its impossible to learn on a 14".

I don’t know about the seat height, I have a 24 inch uni and it just takes some getting used to in order to mount right.

And for learning to ride, the torker is just fine. You don’t need an especially strong uni until you start jumping and doing drops.

For protective gear, I would advise that you at least where wrist protectors. I broke my wrist from a fall off my uni when I was learning. And as you get more advanced, buy some leg armor, such as sixsixone. It will keep your legs from getting cut up from falls. Also, if your doing drops a helmet is a good idea, and you should probably wear it all the time anyway (even when your not doing anything dangerous).

Lastly, when learning to ride, I would recommend leaving the wall as soon as possible, it becomes a crutch and prevents you from riding well, as you will always fall towards the nearest wall. For some other good tips, see this
thread.

Good luck learning to uni! :slight_smile:

Hey, welcome to the fold.

I learned on a 20 incher but later learned that I liked riding the 24 better. I’m also 5’6". The seat height is a personal thing. Personally, I like my seat a little lower then most people. I guess that came from years riding a road bike that was much too small for me. To cut my seat posts (I’ve had to cut almost all the posts I’ve used) I used a hack saw at first, but later learned that my LHS (local hardware store) would cut it for free using a real pipe cutter.

Like ethilien said, don’t rely on a wall when you are learning. I liked to use a pole just help me mount and try to ride away from it. The rides are much shorter then you could get from riding along a wall, but I think you learn faster when you aren’t leaning against something. Good luck on the learning, and keep us posted.

Daniel

  1. yeah, it’s standard
  2. experiment with what works for you. cut the seat enough so you can raise it to hip height, and lower it to mid hip height. play around with it, and you’ll get it right.
  3. yeah, torkers are nice for learning how to ride they last a while under decent abuse
  4. get protective gear for steep hills, long distance rides, drops… don’t worry about it too much though. 661 4x4 shin guards, and a helmet should be enough.
  5. don’t give up! you’ll get it eventually. don’t rely on the wall once you know how to pedal it forward. it’ll hurt more than it’ll help.

Welcome young man. Now don’t get frightened, I, as the 2 previous posters, also learned on a 20" Torker. I recently purchased the same uni that you are using. You made a great choice. I actually like the 24" better than the 20".

Wrist guards and a helmet are my choice of protection for riding. When you decide to purchase your second uni, possibly a Muni, you may want to add shin guards.

Regarding seat post length, I went with the straight leg / heal on the pedal measurement. With the seat post bottomed out, the height was just right, then I cut off a little more in case I wanted to lower the seat in the future for whatever reason.

I used a pipe cutter, it gives a much nicer cut than the hack saw.

Riding a uni is very addictive, If you want a real kick, pick up the DVD or VHS tape called Universe 2 from Unicycle.com. You would not believe what can be done on a unicycle.

By the way, I’m 46 and have been riding since this past Christmas.

Enjoy!!

  1. If the seat post is too long, we cut it. That’s pretty much standard.

  2. Hip height is good, but you’re going to want a little buffer room, so cut it to that you have some room to bend your knees.

  3. Yeah, the LX line is fine. It has one of the better saddles available. That uni should serve you well for a while.

  4. Wear gloves. You’ll fall on your hands sooner or later.

  5. Tips, you say? Get your body weight forward. Learn to freemount soon. Don’t rely too heavily on the wall.

  1. The seat post problem is news to me. My first cheapo uni fit me just fine without and post cutting. It was also a 24’’, which i liked a lot for learning. My second one, a KH 20’’ trials, i got second hand. I assume that the post was fine on it too though.

  2. The method you have is good. I just use what feels comfy. Plus, it’s not all that important to have a perfect seat height. I doubt you’ll notice minor changes, so just adjust it to what feels good when you ride.

  3. I think that uni is perfect for you. As soon as you start doing drops, you’ll probably need to upgrade though.

  4. I have only fallen on my butt once in 6 months, so always falling on your feet is common. I only wear shin pads. It’s not too bad with plastic pedals (like you likely have), but my KH has metal pedals with long pins that like to eat my shins. I just bought $15 soccer shin pads from Walmart, and they work pretty well for the money. I’m thinking of upgrading to the SixSixOne Veggies though (in not interested in the knee pads that the 4X4s offer). I own a helmet, and should wear it more, but i rarely wear it. I’m also going to invest in gloves. I tend to bruise my finger tips when i grab the botton of the seat after bailing.

  5. I’m not as opposed to using walls as others here seem to be. I actually learned in a hallway though, with walls on both sides, which helped a lot with learning. I guess depending on both walls kind of cancel each other out and i never developed any tendency to fall to one specific side.

My tip is to just practice as much as possible and to have a lot of fun. Just practice everything (balancing on the spot, idling, pedaling fast/slow, turning, etc.), as it will benefit you in the end.

Myself like yourself started late in life, 35, so if is fully possible to ride and in fact ride well.

Now been riding for just under a year, will be a year in November, I am level four working on seat in front and out back, so getting good in fact doesn’t take too long.

I would disagree with some that the wall is a crutch that you will suffer from if you do not leave it as soon as possible. I have a sort of tunnel here, a passageway that runs for forty yards between containers. Without that, I would not be riding backwards now. Perhaps the advantage is that I have a place where I can ride and put my hands on a wall on both sides, so I do not end up leaning.

Practice little and often is the key I found, 20 minutes have a break for 20, ride again, you will be amazed at the progress.

Free mounting both feet is what made a whole load of things click for me, so practice everything equally on both sides.

As for safety gear, helmet, wrist protectors and elbow protectors are essential since you do not want to be explaining at work why you hurt yourself and how!!!

Good luck.

JJ
Level 3.9 / 4.0
Luanda, Angola.

I’d hardly call 35 yrs old “late in life”, but thanks for the encouragement, I’ll keep plugging.


steveyo