Freestyle or Trials uni

This weekend I took an intro training at a unicycle club, where they let me ride on a freestyle uni with smaller cranks. Apparently my beginner uni has a way too short saddle shaft and it doesn’t have the kind of frame to rest your feet on. In any case it would mean I have to buy a new uni. Then I was thinking, what seems especially cool is trials. The price of either uni is about the same. To give some examples :
freestyle :ølv_2014-p-1717.html?language=en

trials :

The tire of the trials uni is much better if you want to do hopping/jumping. So I was wondering is there anything I can do with the freestyle uni that I can’t also do with the trials. For now my first focus will be on learning how to ride backwards and on idling. Those are good things to do in the coming winter in the living room.
What are you thoughts on that?

That’s a great uni.
It depends what you want to do with it ultimately. That one is probably more suited if you have access to a gym (indoor), or in your living room, as it won’t mark the floor. A trial with big marking tire and agressive pedals might be banned from indoor. Also, if what you want to do is ride backward, one foot and other stuff, the Eclipse is more suited for that.

The only thing would be the 89mm cranks, if you’ve started recently, that might be overkill. Maybe negotiate with them to swap them for a pair of 100mm. That’s still plenty short, but at least it won’t limit you to a room or super smooth tarmac.

There you actually have a good point. I rent my apartment and already I have tire marks everywhere. I will have to repaint the walls the next time I move for sure.
I don’t think the short cranks will be much of a problem. I forgot the crank length of the uni that I borrowed yesterday.
I have 2 months of XP and mostly have been riding my KH26 on rides from 5-10km. There were many kids in that uni club and they were really good. They played basket ball on uni. I would probably already lose my balance, just holding the ball.

You can learn stuff like riding backwards, idling and wheelwalking just as well on a trials unicycle. What you can’t do as well is a lot of the freestyle spinning tricks that look like ballet. If you do want to go for the trials but still want to ride it indoors you can purchase a white trials tire. I think you will like whichever one you decide on.

I think my ultimate aim is just to get the balance right. When going downhill on my muni it would be great if I could go gliding, with my feet on the frame. Before being able to glide though, I reckon the freestyle spinning tricks will help more getting there than the trials tricks.

I’d say trials skills are MUCH more relevant to Muni than freestyle.

You can build a trials course in your backyard. See signature.

Also since it’s not as fast as a Muni or roll over bums as well its great for practicing Muni skills like rolling over bumps in the ground or logs (a freestyle would work too but a fat trials tire would better simulate a Muni). Also you could use the trials for actually doing Muni.

Both unis are great. As someone has already said probably the Trials uni is more useful for learning stuff you will use when doing Muni. On the other hand Freestyle unis are really smooth to ride and they really are great for idling, riding backwards etc…

Hopping makes unicycling even more 3-dimensional than it already is, and allows almost endless possibilities for learning new stuff, so I would definitely recommend a trials unicycle. Mine has shorter cranks (110mm), which are better for transportation to the stairways where I ride.

Not to hijack a good thread, but that’s an interesting thing. Usually Trials have pretty long cranks, mine came with 140mm. I’m sure 110mm is great for riding to the spot, but how does that work once you’re there? Hopping is fine I’m sure, but do you have enough leverage/control to do other things like rolling hops or riding down rough stuff (stairs and the likes)?

For what it’s worth I think it’s all about what you’re used to. I started out on 125s on my trials uni and have never gone longer, so when I eventually learned rolling hops and the like it’s what seemed normal to me. I really think that anything is possible on any crank length, it’s just that the smaller ones will be less forgiving in terms of error margin.

Thanks. You all give very good arguments for both types of unis. Eventually I will buy both of course. In order to join the uni club I need the freestyle uni, which also has the advantage that I can use it in the living room, because it doesn’t leave tire marks. So I will buy that one first.
As for building a trials course in the backyard, that won’t be possible. I have a very small terrace behind my apartment, that is just enough for my rabbit. She would just show me how you can hop without a uni :slight_smile:

Btw is the saddle height of a trial supposed to be lower than on a freestyle? At the club they let me ride on a freestyle, where I had troubles reaching the pedals with my feet. That did happen to give a very good balance though, but I imagine it would be painful when hopping.

Freestyle riding (that is, the specific techniques and tricks associated with that discipline of unicycling) tends to utilize a higher seat height. However, that’s not set in stone. No matter what you should never have trouble reaching the pedals, and especially for someone just learning to ride it would seem like a better idea to adjust the seat height to a comfortable level.

Take it with a grain of salt, but for an average riding position (and the height I learned on) I tend to use the armpit method for determining seat height. Place the seat in the crook of your arm, extend your arm straight, and see where your middle finger is. If it’s right in the middle of the crank bolt (where the crank connects to the hub), that’s the spot to put your seat.

Again, everybody has their own preferences, but no matter what you shouldn’t be struggling to reach the pedals. Whether you’re on a freestyle or a trials, you’re learning the essential riding skills now, so the style of unicycle really shouldn’t matter that much.

Uhm, your armpit method doesn’t take crank length into account. My muni happens to be at armpit length with 150mm cranks. I recently adjusted to that height, which feels very comfy. I reckon with shorter cranks, the saddle could come up a bit. In any case it is easier to estimate than the method with my heel down and the pedal at the lowest and the saddle in the crutch.

Again, it’s just a rough estimate - crank length will require adjustments accordingly. I tend to use 125mm cranks as the standard for the finger-on-bolt method; just adjust a little higher or lower based on crank deviation from that mark.

All that matters is “does this feel right?” If the answer isn’t yes, readjust. :slight_smile:

It’s good that you ask! My sidehops keep improving, but I’ve been wondering for a long time why my rolling hops seem so short and I am always a bit frightened of riding down more than 2 or 3 steps. Maybe I’ll put my old 138mm cranks back on and see what happens. 138s are what my uni came with, but at that time I wasn’t doing much trials riding because I had learned on a $30 uni and had avoided hopping so as not to destroy it.

Let us know!

[QUOTE=song;1657798my rolling hops seem so short.[/QUOTE]

Going from 137 down to 125 cranks messed up my rolling hops. After a lot of crank experimentation, I’m pretty happy with 137 and have been sticking with them. They seem to do everything…no everything particularly well, but everything, nevertheless.

I will just post it in my thread. I decided I had too much money, so instead of buying 1 uni, I bought 3, though not the trial uni :smiley: :

Hopefully free mounting the 29" isn’t much different from mounting my KH26.
How long would it take in general to learn to free mount the 36" monster?

…good lord.

You’re worse than me! :smiley:

For what it’s worth it took me at least two weeks of solid riding to learn to freemount my 36" (and to nail those freemounts 95% of the time). That was after learning to freemount a smaller uni 99.99% of the time successfully.

You’ll get a few down quickly, but it’s going to be a change due to the size and weight of the wheel. The pedals roll slower due to the excess weight, so when you’re programmed on a 20" to expect the pedals to quickly snap back at you, you’ll have to adjust to a very different feeling.

Once you get it, it’s simple, just like anything else related to unicycling.

Whee!! That looks like a great price on the Nightrider Pro if I did the math right. In for a penny, in for a pound. :slight_smile:

I’m sure you’ll have lots of fun and adventure on all of them.