First Trials Uni!

Just got a beginner trials uni…a 19" Impact.
I got this one to practice skills like idling, hopping and riding backwards.
After watching a lot of trials videos, i notice a lot of the riders set their seat height low. When their feet are at the bottom of the pedal stroke, their leg is still fairly bent. Is this done so they can just have more space to move around? And is this how a trials uni is supposed to be set up?
I ride my 27.5" muni with a more almost straight leg at the bottom of pedal stroke.

Not a trials guy at all… but, yes and yes.

I’m sure you’re allowed to have your uni set up any way that’s comfortable for you but you’ll find with experience that your seat will migrate down when you don’t need it as much for pedalling efficiency and you want it out of the way more.

Even on my 29 and 36" my seat is lower than when I first started riding.

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Ok it makes sense you want more room to move around for tricking. And you are right, the more i ride, the more it doesn’t matter too much about seat height.
I can sit with all my weight on the seat whether it’s high or low.

Yes. Especially for flatland/street tricks where you might be hopping seat in for quite a bit, it is nice to have a bit of space between saddle and butt. For pure trials, where you hop seat out most of the time, most riders have the seat relatively high (close-ish to the leg almost straight at the bottom), same with riders who mostly do roll tricks.

It makes more sense to set the unicycle up for the type of riding you do, not by what type of unicycle it is. For idling, riding backwards and some basic hopping (i.e. not highjump), I’d recommend staying with relatively high saddle - maybe a few cm lower than what you are currently using. Tends to smooth out the riding a bit, in my experience.

Thanks for your advice! I’ll try it just a little under the ideal height. I feel the little extra room helps me to get on and off the sadldle while hopping.
Haven’t really tried to idle yet or to ride backwards.
I’m hoping to learn idling first…then hopefully that will lead me into going backwards.
Any tips to learn idling will always be appreciated. I got hopping down pretty good now…my first beginner trick. Time to learn idling next.

Relax and put your weight on the seat. Interestingly I don’t really find that idling helps much with riding backwards but maybe that’s just me. Still learning to ride backwards but I can idle consistently and easily. Keep your back straight, breathe, relax. Put some chairs to your sides to hold while you practice.

For idling, you want to make the combination of your body and the unicycle move like a pendulum. The wheel moves back and forth, but your shoulders remain mostly stationary.

I find that a thick rope hanging from a rafter or tree branch is an ideal form of support. You can hold on tight and feel confident that you won’t fall, but you can also leave some slack as you find your balance and get no support from the rope at all. You can do the same thing with a wall or a fence, but it’s a bit harder as your support will often be in the way and even when you’re just using your fingertips you’re still cheating.

For learning backwards, what I did was first learn idling and then add an occasional extra half revolution to my backwards idle. Once you can do that, add a full revolution, then two, then three and eventually just start trying to ride backwards. Actually riding backwards is a whole lot tougher than just riding backwards for a few revolutions, but it will start to get you comfortable with doing it.

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Great you got hopping! Idling took me a long time.

For idling learn to rollback mount and ride forward, half rev back then forward again consistently. But I rode for 2.5 years before getting the knack of idling.

Idling took me a couple months to figure out and I spent a lot of time practicing it. It was the hardest skill I learned to that point. For me however, backwards has been harder. I’ve been working really hard at that for three months now and my improvement has been slow and gradual. My current record distance is about 60m, but on the sidewalk outside my house it’s only about 30m. Having to contend with branches, mailboxes and inconsistencies in the sidewalk, (cracks, pine cones, etc…), make it more difficult than a wide open space. That and non-level ground. Riding downhill, uphill or off camber is more difficult when you’re going backwards and the sidewalk outside my house has a slight downhill slope to it.

Thanks for the feedback everyone! Looks like i got a mountain to climb but I’m determined to do however long it takes to learn idling and backwards.

I’m in my 50’s and you may find both considerably easier to learn than me. I can idle slightly better than my daughter despite having spent much longer practicing it and she can already ride backwards much better than me despite having spent a fraction of the time working at it.

When it comes to learning and dexterity, age is not your friend.

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I’m 57 yrs. old myself, so not a spring chicken anymore.
I actually took up unicycling because i got inspiration from Terry Unigeezer.
This is 8 weeks into unicycling for me and I’m loving it. It’s becoming an addiction🤣.

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We can’t easily tell how old people are on this forum! But I feel it mostly it has an older demographic as users.

It’s nice to meet all ages in our hobby. Where i live, it’s all younger people that are riding unicycles and there are not that many.
So it’s nice to meet people on this forum. And seeing how the older crowd is learning these tricks is more relatable but always open to any advice from young or old.
I got another question: I can ride non stop with my 27.5" Oracle for about 1 hour. Just wondering at what point does riding become “easy”? During that one hour, i have brief moments of “easy”, but they only last for 20-30 seconds. For the most part i feel I’m always searching for balance. Till eventually i get so tired my exhaustion causes me to lose focus for that brief moment and i end up running off.
Do i just keep pushing on these hour long rides or keep extending these rides to make it become second nature? Or is it something you can’t rush?

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Sounds like you are doing fine. When I started, I was fighting for balance a lot, my back would get sore (tense up a lot) even just riding around the block. With more experience, my back could relax (and possibly my back muscles got stronger too), and later I learnt to ride with 1 hand on the handle, and later, 2 in most circumstances (not on rocky/challenging off road though). And that takes away a lot of the back strain.

There’s a huge difference between riding distance and riding challenging terrain. Over a span of 4 miles or so on the road, the only problem I’ll likely encounter is a sore crotch. Over 150m of a hard climb on the other hand I will be likely gasping for air and having to take a 2 minute break before the next attempt.

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Keep riding and it becomes second nature.
Keep riding hard and it all gets easy eventually.

I don’t think you can rush it with positive results.

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Very true!:rofl:…when I’m into the 45 min- 60 min mark, my crotch is getting numb. So i try to take weight off the seat which makes it more tiring.

Thanks for your encouragement. Yes holding the seat with my hands help a lot, i alternate holding the seat throughout my rides. It helps when I’m going up or down little bumps or small curb lips.

Yeah I’ll keep riding more challenging terrain. I need to find some bigger hills with the right progressions.
Time in the saddle is slowly paying off. Can’t wait till it becomes second nature.