I have been unicycling (24" Club Freestyle Unicycle) for 2 months, and now I can do around 200 m, but I am still not comfortable on the uni, plus after 200 m I get very tired. Actually, I feel that I don’t really sit on the saddle though I am not even standing, it is difficult to explain, perhaps my weight is mainly on my leg. Could you please share with me your experience or some dirty secrets how to step forward from here? What should I learn next? Idling? Or should I focus on learning to turn? What tire pressure would you recommend at this stage? According to your experience, what is the easiest way to learn to get on the uni without having any support?
Learn to turn first. I felt the same way you do about not putting my weight where it should go when I first started. With practice you will be able to put your weight on the seat and you will be able ride much farther without getting tired. IMO there is no reason to learn idling until you can turn well and freemount (freemount means getting on without support).
You should eventually get to rest at least 60% of your weight on the seat and learn to ‘spin’ the pedals on flat ground, rather than ‘push’ them. Just concentrate on putting your weight on your backside. I found that pointing my knees inwards slightly helped me remember not to put weight on my feet, ymmv.
After I could ride the Uni 200 yards, I started working on free-mounting as I didn’t want to be restricted by looking for a support every time I wanted to get back on.
I first tried the “Rollback” mount for two or three days and was not hugely successful. I was getting maybe 1 or two out of 10 to work.
I watched Terry’s video about freemounting a 36"er and he actually explained the standard freemount in a way which I could understand. He was also amusing
I switched to the standard free-mount (pedals at 3 and 9 o’clock, foot on back pedal, hop over with other foot onto front pedal, lean forward and ride off) and within 30 minutes was hitting one out of three mounts.
I still fail a time or two when I’m tired, but normally my mount is solid.
A nice tip that helped me on my Club 24 and got me from 250m to miles and miles, to get an idea about how much weight to put on the seat: Steady yourself on the unicycle between two objects. Slowly pick both of your feet off the pedals until you almost can’t keep your balance. Notice how much weight is now supported by your seat. Now go ride, and put that much weight on the seat. You’ll get it with practice, and your legs will love you! And make sure your seat post is at the best height.
There are others who have described freemounting much better than I could, but I’ll say this: If you keep falling backwards, you aren’t mentally committing to the movement. Go for it! Also, while you’re riding, learn to adjust your feet on the pedals while pedaling. It will help when your feet don’t land exactly right during the freemount.
Personally, this has been an interesting learning experience for me! It has to be just the right time (also incrementally over a few revolutions), and it helps a lot if you have your weight on your saddle.
Except coasting and side-ride I learned ALL my skills withing one week; but I started only when I knew I was ready or just really determined.
The levels are in general inclining from simple to difficult, but very certainly not exactly in order of your progress.
Dirty secret? A Dutch expression: want = can.
Just don’t be scared of statistics; what could be super-hard in general, could be super-easy for you (or opposite :(…).
So I guess you best go by what you’ll be motivated to learn - although some skills are a step in between for the next one;
for example 1ft ww bw is a good practice before coasting bw;
or riding sif is a good practise before dragseat.
Yeah don’t be afraid to try stuff. Pads, a rail, and/or a softer surface (like a deck) help w/ confidence.
Yeah IMO it’s like 90+% on the seat. The seat should be fairly high for normal riding. Lowering it a bit will make learning to mount easier.
Turns: do BIG circles in each direction. Turn your hips, shoulders, and head in the direction you want to turn, and slightly more pressure on your inside pedal. When u can get them to 20 ft diam or less each, do figure eights. First big goal is each circle is w/in the width of a parking lot space, and several 8’s in a row. Keep them as smooth as you can.
Static mount w/ each foot to 75+% Add rolling mount if you want (in Terry’s vid)
Hopping: when u can do a bunch, start hopping up curbs. If u have a beginner uni I’d stay away from drops, how big depends on your uni and weight.
Try to practice every day, an hour if you can. Get back to us when u can do all those and tell us of your other uni interests.
I’d like to make a general (confirming) remark about that.
I think it depends per person; it will make the jump easier and less scary, but anything after that wlll be harder (in particular for beginners).
Contrary I would not say a giraffe is easier to learn, though technical it is, but practical it is not.
Regardless of experience; just be aware of the effects, if you focus on having weight in seat (or be able to ride SIF or SIB) then it’s fine.