Getting more weight on saddle, less on pedals

After 6.5 weeks, I finally felt I knew how to ride, yet I’m still limited by problems, probably from faulty technique. I get about 20 full revolutions (200-300 feet) into a run, then feel I need to dismount.

The problem is usually one or more of the following: a wildly oscillating wheel, fatigue in my upper legs, or outright pain in the knees. I think all three could be caused by too much weight on the pedals and not enough on the saddle. Saddle height was also a problem, but I think I’ve finally got it high enough. (I thought that would also FORCE ME into settling down into the saddle, but so far no.)

Am I correct in pinpointing the source of the problems? If not, what’s the true source? If so, what’s the trick into getting the weight distribution right, other than reminding yourself to settle down into the saddle?

It’s frustrating: I can go for 300 feet and feel I could go forever - I know how to ride! - but I’m too tired or oscillating too much to continue.

Errrrrhh, been there done that, all are symtoms of beginner inefficiency, all too familiar… You just need lots more practice to build up rhythm and the ability to pace yourself at the same time leg muscles will build up naturally.:slight_smile:

Without being there, it’s really hard for someone to diagnose the exact issue. That being said, here are a couple of suggestions:

1.) Relax as much as possible. Take several breaths before mounting your uni. Imagine yourself somewhere relaxing.

2.) Don’t look at the ground, look at where you want to go. Keep your head up. This is extremely important…you will go where your head is pointed. So, if you want to turn, turn your head and look in that direction.

3.) Don’t give ups and practice everyday!!!

These tips helped me, but they will not necessarily help you. I’m sure someone else will post a few more tips to help you out.

To piggyback on what’s been said. It is normal for new riders to use a lot (quite a lot) more energy. At some point you relax and it all comes together. weight on the saddle is a good general purpose fix for many early problems that crop up, and the ones you describe fall into that category for sure. Getting the saddle higher makes it much easier to keep weight on the saddle.

As for specifics, it is hard to say over the forum. If you could post a short video it might be more helpful.

Oh, and 1 question: Did you really join the forum in 2002? I have a feeling something fishy is going on with the registration, but if not, welcome back to the forum!


I had a problem for quite a while with my right leg getting fatigued quickly. After a lot more practice, things got much better, and I could ride for several miles!

Then this week I got a 29er, and the same old problems came back again. I assume that with practice things will get smooth again. For me, just riding and not thinking about it too much seemed to help. Its like these things just have a way of working themselves out. Not sure how…but they do!

Seat time, seat time, seat time! Nothing will help more then just riding. And most important HAVE FUN!

I’ve been riding for nearly a year, predominantly 29er. A few weeks ago I took off my semi-slick tyre and put the Karma dirt tyre back on. Today, I switched back. Went out to ride, and I’m all over the place, legs wear out after a few metres, I wiggle all over, arms waving about madly (Can usually ride for miles on end with both hands on the seat in a tucked position). It’s weird how small changes can really screw your riding up, and then you get used to it and all is well again.

As for OP’s main point. I found raising my seat up slightly too high (To the point that you have to stretch a bit to reach the bottom of your stroke) helped me a lot. My learner uni was a cheapo, so by the time I’d gotten used to riding with my butt in the seat, the seatpost had slid down enough to not be a danger to my knees :smiley:

Believe it or not, I DID register in 2002! It was 2 days after Xmas, when I got my first uni. Didn’t really post, or do anything about really learning to ride, until this spring. Crazy! What took me so long?

Thanks to all for the responses. Sounds like more practice will break the bad habits naturally. Maybe I’ll raise again; keeping the pedals (nearly) out of reach will force me down into the saddle.

Interesting that even you veterans have backslides in your abilities when you make changes. I think that’s part of what happened to me: got a different saddle, a higher seatpost, and began sitting higher. Suddenly, it was like learning to ride from scratch again! Damn!

Well, I’m sure that you have seen that unicycling has come a long way in the decade since you registered. Also, this forum has blossomed into one of the most supportive web communities that I have personally experienced. So, welcome back to unicycling, and the community!


Somewhere in my Internet travels, I read a post by a woman who said she liked unicycling because of the feeling of “floating.” I assumed then that she was using a bit too much hyperbole, but this past weekend, I think I understand what she meant.

I had a couple good rides, getting more weight on the saddle and less on the pedals. I made progress. I even felt, at one point, the “floating.” It comes from the naturally UPRIGHT position you’re in (like walking, versus the hunch of bicycling) coupled with a very light touch on the pedals. You’re moving forward, “walking” in a way, and yet not touching the ground. It’s like Moonwalking but even better, as Moonwalking requires actual contact with the ground.

Anyone feel sometimes like you’re “floating”? Or maybe you experienced riders feel like this ALL THE TIME??

On the flats, it’s like flying. On downhill trails, it’s like a rollercoaster.

Uphill, it’s just hard.

I think that floating feeling is the ‘bite point’ where you’re falling forward constantly, but pedalling fast enough to not lose teeth. Of course this can be done at just about any leaning angle, you just have to pedal right :smiley: I usually only feel it when I start going too fast to pedal though… :roll_eyes:

That is when we start running like cartoon characters crossing a bridge who don’t fall until they realise the bridge isn’t still there.