For beginners: The miracle of grip tape

I know this has probably been mentioned before, but it has helped me alot and think it’s worth saying again: Grip tape has saved my life! For the first couple weeks learning to unicycle, I used the stock pedals with the metal studs and every time I went down, my shoes caught on the studs causing a near face-plant. My son, the genius, suggested using grip tape like on his skate board. I took an old pair of platform pedals (Wellgo) that are completely smooth when you remove the studs, and faced them with the grip tape. Now when I screw up, my foot slides off the pedal, saving my beautiful face. There is still plenty of grip to freemount and hop and even works when wet. I’ll probably switch back to the studs when I get better, but as for now, it has made learning much easier because I’m not as afraid to hook feet and go down hard. Hope this helps someone else. Thanks.

I did something similar. Being a beginner I had trouble moving my feet on the pedals. I took my plastic pedals to a belt sander and ground the ‘pegs’ down, making the pegs shorter and the pedal a little flatter. Then like you used grip tape.

After a few more weeks of riding I was better at moving my feet and went back to the stock pedals.

It’s been awhile!

December 10th my dog ran through me as I was warming up to practice without my poles. I was getting some twenty foot runs going but still not feeling very secure. With my poles barely touching the ground I was going well over a hundred yards.
My surgery seems to have worked pretty well and I am looking for places to practice in our new home area. Ben Lomond has a large parking lot and public
skate board play area. I’ll give it a shot there.

It was over forty years ago I last rode one of these things. Time to give it a shot again without the dog.


Grip tape?

Is grip tape the sandpaper-like tape that you can buy at any hardware store or is it something more bicycle specific?

Yeah it’s basically sand paper (but a tar/plastic like substance instead of papyrus) w/ glue on the other side like tape. You can probably get it at most hardware stores. There is plentifull amounts at skateboard shops where they even have it in different colors. There are also different roughness levels available.

Some flat and street riders prefer to use pedals like that.

I considered using grip tape when I was learning but I thought I wouldn’t have enough grip, so I didn’t do it. Every stock pedal I’ve used has never had enough grip for me. So I always use pined pedals and replace at least some of them w/ longer pins.

i would like more information regarding this please.

The hardware stores may only have it as stair tread. It’s a large sheet to increase traction on steps. It can be cut with a knife from the back side.

Dog ran through me!

I found I was relaxing more on the unicycle when I warmed up first.
Warming up entailed running several laps around the soccer field.
It was a wet foggy night and kildeer were making their unseen high pitched pleas in the middle of the field. My lovely dog was being driven bananas by them. He’d chase one in one direction and a few moments later he’d be chasing the other in another direction. At some point he came barreling full speed right at me as I kept to the perimeter. He hit my inside right knee while I was in full stride and I did a 360. This damaged the ACL and meniscus and resulted in surgery.

I am about ready to give it a shot again, the unicyle, without the dog.
Dog weighs about sixty five, seventy pounds.

My advice: Don’t run on foggy wet nights with a seventy pound dog and malicious Kildeer.


Yeah, you could use sissors or any knife but they will dull pretty quick. So I’d use a utility knife since the blades are cheaply replaced.