Frustrating day on the new 36

Man. What a frustrating day of riding today. I was out on the new Nimbus 36 and I’m having a really hard time mounting this thing. It is REALLY tall and I can’t seem to get enough ooomph to get on top of it. So I did about 20 attempts at a freemount in front of my house and finally got going. I can ride the thing seemingly forever without a UPD but one little bump in the pavement caught me off guard and I went down. Not hard, I was able to run it out but then I spent the next 10 minutes botching about 50 freemount attempts. It wasn’t too far into this comedy of errors that I realized somebody had pulled over in their car to watch me. Maybe being “on stage” made me a little nervous too but I just could not mount this thing. I was even starting to utter a few politically incorrect phrases and all the while this person was just sitting there, watching and waiting too see this guy ride his unicycle. He (or she, I’m not quite sure which) finally drove away pretty thoroughly unimpressed. Probably thinks all unicyclists are a bunch of incompetent dip$hits. It was embarrassing, frustrating and made me angry. I finally got going and rode straight home with my metaphorical tail tucked between my legs. Being the typically stubborn individual that I am I wasn’t going to put the unicycle in the garage until I did 10 successful freemounts on it. It took probably another 10 minutes but I just stayed in my driveway and kept at it until I got 10 mounts that I could pedal out of. I know this will just take practice until I get the ‘feel’ of it. I went throught the same thing when I went from my 24 to my 29er. GRRRRRRRRR…

today I pulled my dust covered 26 incher out and after riding my 20 inch for a month strait, It took me about ten tries to mount it so dont feel to bad it happens to most of us.

when I went from a 20’’ to a 24’’ I had the same problem (probably not as bad as going to a coker from a 29er) and what I found really helpful was if I ran and when the pedal was in the correct position put my foot on sternly and it flings you right up there. You don’t necessarily have to run, a quick walk would do fine as well. Hope this helps. good luck

I had to do a jump mount to mount it because I was getting so mad.

Took me two tries to mount a 24" for the first time after only having rode a 20".

The 36er is a different kind of a beast to mount. It’s not like the smaller unicycles.

The easy way is to point the thing downhill to aid in getting on. Even a driveway cutout is enough of a slope to make mounting slightly easier.

You do need to jump up about a 1’ or 1.5’ to get on the thing. When you jump up pretend you’re jumping up a 1.5’ step. You should get that height from jumping and not from levering yourself up. After you get the jump up consistent the rest is making sure you end up in balance with everything positioned and oriented for the first pedal stroke.

My usual cause for a failed mount is allowing the big 36er to lean over as I’m mounting. Gotta hold the handle tight and keep it from leaning to the side as I’m jumping up.

Try using the curb and side walk to help.

If you are having trouble or are tired, try setting up the 36 with the pedals set for how you like to start but with the back of the tire backed up against the curb of the street. Stand on the side walk and mount riding away from the curb. The curb height helps give a boost up onto the seat and keeps the wheel from rolling back on you or turning side ways.

The 36, your gonna love it. Your hooked… Haaa!

JC as usual speaks truth. But he’s also a very competent rider, so I’ll presume to add a couple thoughts from the perspective of a relatively unskilled rider who has nevertheless put a few thousand miles on Cokers.

  1. Don’t get discouraged! They’re tough beasts to mount.

  2. Keep practicing. It is technique more than skill. It seems really tall, but with the right technique, shorties can mount too. For me, I try to get about one full pedal rotation of “walking” start, then have my strong foot hit the first pedal when it’s between 6 o’clock and 9 o’clock position, the shorter the cranks, the closer to 6 o’clock I try to hit it. Simultaneously, I push off hard with my other leg, and use the combined momentum of that push and my one full rotation head start to carry me up over the seat. My second foot hits the second pedal about the same time the uni hits vertical position, and the pedals are just past 9 and 3 and in position to start riding.

  3. DON’T keep practicing when you’re tired. If you’re out on a ride and you fall, try a few times but if you get past 6 or 7 without success, you’re just going to blow all your energy. Try JC’s reco on finding a downhill, or better yet, find a tree, a fence, whatever. Don’t be ashamed to accept assistance from an inanimate friend. The sooner you get back on, the sooner you’re riding again. I can’t stress this one enough. The more energy you blow trying to get back on, the more likely you are to fall again from some little bump.

  4. Devote some time to just practicing your mounts. Don’t go for a ride, other than to establish that your mount was successful. Then hop off and try again. The slight downhill slope recommendation is a great thing. When you get tired, take a rest and just admire the coolness of the 36.

  5. If some car stops like it did today, just sit down and wait 'em out. They’ll leave soon enough and take their bad juju with them. Then you’ll nail your remount and be off. :slight_smile:

Here’s my Coker mounting tips. I’m 5’-5 1/2" and freemounting took about a week before I could nail it 1 of 3 times, my criteria before hitting the trail. Now I nail it 9 of 10, right or left foot.

I have a pedal at 8 o’clock, and put my foot on it.

I say to myself (in my head…usually) “UP!” as I jump onto the thing without rolling the wheel. Sometimes, it rolls a little backwards, but not much if at all… The key for me is up, not forward so much. The movement of the seat on the axis will bring me forward.

Next thing I know, I am rolling!

For me the biggest challenge is getting enough height without too much front-to-back momentum. I don’t do rolling mounts, even on my smaller unis :o , but I hear that is a good one for the Coker if you can figure that one out. If I can get “UP!” enough, i can get balanced on the thing.

The downhill tip is a good one. Another one is bracing the wheel. It doesn’t take much, even if you can place a twig behind the wheel.

Oh, yes, about the car. Do as Tom Blackwood says, but once you get the hang of it, freemounting flawlessly without any flailing or wobbles after walking your 36er through a busy intersection in front of 50 cars is a priceless feeling. :smiley:

Of course, as you seem to know, persistence and practice are really the most important elements to success. :slight_smile:

I love your non-rollback, and rolling jump mounts onto the big wheel. Those are best. But I’ve kept things simple for myself, I know only one uni mount and that’s the roll back.

The roll back mount is not so bad, on the big wheel I am successful 80% of the time. What it lacks in grace, it makes up in being forgiving, providing for a slow easy bail out. Those other mounts are beautiful and reflect skill to be proud of, but they seem to me unforgiving of a mistake in timing or footing.

Thanks for all of your tips and encouragement. Particularly tomblackwood for suggestion #3. That ones difficult for me because I’m so damned stubborn by nature but I was indeed exhausted by the time I finally rode out of a mount yesterday. I’m glad this thing rolls so easily or I would never have gotten home. It snowed last night here, just a couple of inches, but I’ll shovel my driveway tonight and keep practicing. I had the same trouble with my 29er when I first got it and I did finally get the technique down. Now I nail easily 9 out of 10. I’ll get there with the 36 soon, I’m sure.

On a side note, one day last week I got the 24 Muni down off it’s hook and rode it around a little bit. After spending so much time on the 29 and a little bit on the 36 it sure feels squirrely. It took me a little bit to calm down and ride it smoothly. :roll_eyes: I kept overcorrecting for the least little thing.

A few months after I’d finally gotten the hang of mounting my coker, I had to learn how to mount with a pannier rack packed with 20 lbs of stuff. (I was touring New England on the beast)

The easiest way for me to mount was with a 10 foot running start. Line the pedals up so they’re parallel to the ground, with whichever one you usually step to first closest. Start rolling, then when that pedal comes around again, hop up, and keep pedaling.

It took me forever to learn how to ride again after I switched the 150mm cranks to 110mms.

I rode my coker (with rack and gear) ten hours a day for a month. Then, I tried to ride my 16" that I use to limbo on. That was a painful lesson I aim not to repeat.

After my DX 24 for two months I couldn’t get the courage to ride away from the rail so I got a 16 and rode it, then a 20 (for another three months), then finally my 24. When I first started riding the 16 I could only ride zig zag and every half revolution or two it looked like I just saved from a crash. Each bigger uni was much more stable.

After I could ride the 24 I road the 16 and it didn’t look like I was about to UPD. I guess all of my practicing pedaling smoothly in hopes of riding faster and someday riding skinnies and w/ one foot has paid off.

It would have been a lot easier, and maybee faster, if you whent in smaller incriments, like 125/127mm first. I did that before graduating from my 20 to my 24 also the speed of 20"/102mm vs. 24"/150mm was identical and similar in difficulty. The smaller ballance window with still being lower to the ground allowed me to further fine-tune my skills and giving me the courage to try my 24 again.

Everyone’s gonna hate me. :wink: The first time I tried to ride a Coker, I nailed the mount and rolled away. And my mounting difficulty has been relatively minor since. I think the key to my success is that I had already learned to jump mount my muni on uphill slopes before ever trying to ride a Coker, so I basically did the same mount, only bigger. If you get tired of practicing mounting your Coker, I think practicing a jump mount on your muni could be helpful without being as tiring. And, if your muni rides are anything like mine, you’ll have plenty of chances to practice.

I’m rubbish at freemounting my 36er. It’s easier with the nimbus 36 and 125 cranks than it was with the heavier coker but still very difficult.

I don’t find it a particular problem as there is almost always something to help me mount or a downhill bit that I can freemount on. (I’m short and heavy - the seat comes up to my chest and the top of the wheel comes up to above my hip). While the weather was good I prefered to spend my time riding but now the evenings are dark and the weather is bad there will be lots of opportunity for me to practice and I aim to have improved by the time the evenings get lighter in the spring.

A Coker wheel has an 18 inch radius.
A 20 inch wheel has a 10 inch radius.

A Coker probably has 6 inch (150 mm) cranks as standard.
A 20 probably has 5 inch (125 mm) cranks as standard.

The height of the seat is related to the height of the axle, which is the radius of the wheel. From this should be deducted the length of the crank.

So the seat on a Coker is only around 7 inches (say a willy’s length) higher than the seat on a 20. (Unless you have the seat on your 20 low for trials or something.)

The problem is 9 tenths psychological.

The problem I had was not getting on the Coker in the first place, but getting it to start rolling.

However, I do remember one of my earliest Coker rides where exhaustion took over and I just couldn’t mount try as I might. It’s horrible.

To deal with that problem, mount against an object.

Most members of the public have no idea how easy or difficult unicycling is, or what the “correct” mounting procedure is. They can see you successfully mounting first time against a wall or fence, or they can watch you repeatedly failing to freemount. Which is more likely to provoke an unkind outburst of crude hilarity?

I had that on xmas day when i jumped on my new 29" after only ever riding a 19" very hard, got it sorted though yay!!

Depends how long or (more importantly) short your legs are. Those 7 inches are pretty important when you have to jump a little to get onto a 20".

Slight threadjack - since getting my T7 handle, I’ve been wondering whether the General Public think that riding with your hands on the handles is easier or harder (if they ever think about it at all). What d’you think?