Freestyle Questions

Recently I’ve been learning backwards wheel walking and found it to be quite difficult. My record is 23 strokes and this week I haven’t gone more than 15. I usually fall off after 10 or so and feel like I haven’t been improving. I looked at some old posts and I think my problem is that I need to go slower. That helped me break through a performance plateau back when I was learning one foot ww on my opposite foot. My question is, I’ve been working on this for at least a month and a half practicing at least a few minutes a day, more so the past few weeks. Is it supposed to take this long? This is probably the hardest thing I’ve tried to learn. I want to learn wheel walk idling.

Another question I have is, what’s the easiest way to transition out of standing ww? I can transition into it from one-foot idling but have not been able to transition out of it. Currently I’ve been trying to step back on the frame so the wheel doesn’t roll forward, sit down, and go into wheel walking. I have not been successful at this yet but I’ve gotten close, at least I think I have. Learning the transition feels like learning an entirely new trick…

Also, would shorter cranks help for stuff like seat drag and seat-on-side? I do everything on a club 20" with 125 mm cranks and can only do very sharp circles seat-on-side or else I get tire burns. With seat drag I need leg guards to prevent tire burns. I thought it was just that I needed to get better control but I’m at a point now where I can do it pretty smooth so I’m thinking the problem may be the length of my cranks. Another thing I can’t do is cross riding because my legs also rub the tire, even if I just try one foot crossed.

My last question, what do I need to have mastered before I start learning SIB and SIF backwards wheel walking? Those seem really cool and are definitely skills I want to learn.

I didn’t know a lot of these tricks existed until a year ago. September of last year I was just learning to idle, and now I can do most of the skills from levels 1-9 and 5/11 skills from level 10. I think learning related skills and actually mastering them before moving on to the next thing is what helped me progress so fast. Sadly where I’m at it’s hard to find any advice for this stuff.

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To me, the easiest by far is just jumping down to the pedals. Wheelwalk until your cranks are horizontal, stop and aim for the pedals with your feet. A bit scary to most riders, but very easy. (Alternatively, I think stepping down into riding is the next easiest, as you describe, sitting down but instead of going for wheelwalking, step down to the pedals.

They tend to help against legs rubbing. But a lot of freestyle riders would also wear something to prevent tire burns, when they are practicing those tricks. (Usually not full on shinpads, but something like leg warmers).

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Freestylers use to use cranks of 64 to 89 mm length. Those make many tricks easier and others possible in the first place. Crossed or cross over don’t work with 125ers. Spins are way smoother and easier with shorter cranks. I use 75mm cranks for freestyle and I absolutely love them. Also short cranks train you to use your upper body more for balance and not your feet which helps a lot for many tricks.

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Is there any advantage to getting a more expensive unicycle over just installing new cranks? It seems like everyone on YouTube has the Nimbus Eclipse…

If you are to get a brand new unicycle, I would strongly recommend getting mad4one. It is endlessly customizable, lots of cool colors, and I really doubt any parts would break on you.

If you want to upgrade your unicycle anyway, sure. The UDC club is great for what it is, but the more expensive freestyle unicycles are a bit lighter, a bit stronger, the frame is a bit nicer to stand on and the smaller crown to tire distance is nicer for gliding/standupwheelwalk. You don’t “need” that to progress, but if feel like spending a few hundred $ to ride something really nice, maybe just leave the UDC club as it is and keep it to borrow it to any friends interested in unicycling.

+1 for Mad4one btw. I haven’t compared pricing and there is nothing “wrong” with the Eclipse or it’s competitors (Qu-ax “peak” and Ajata agravic, or at least the agravic frame), but the mad4one freestyles are just that tiny bit nicer on every little detail in my opinion.

If you still have a round type frame, then you should at least update your frame since a good stand on the frame is crucial for many freestyle tricks. If you update the frame, take a longneck one to save your knees from bruises. If you want it lightweight, take one of the above proposed. If you don’t care about weight, you can also take a cheaper frame. Just be sure to take one that is flat on the upper side of the crown. UDC US hasn’t any cheaper frames than 160 bucks. Ajata (german shop) has a nice steel one for 50 € but they don’t ship to the US. If you can afford it and are willing to focus even more on freestyle, the mad4one is the best (high end) you can get.

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Would y’all recommend a 1.75" or 1.95" tire? 1.95" is what I currently use on my club 20". 1.75" is what my giraffe uses. If I’m wanting to also do unispins, leg wraps, rolling wraps, etc, would 1.95" be better?