Gliding help.....

who glides? how can i glide? i want to learn. it seems every time i do it, its an accident resulting from trying to stop a fast wheel walk. any tips? Trevor, Ben, Kris, im calling you guys out!

. . . . actually, Gilby (the guy who runs this site) is the guy to ask.
At MOAB, he “glid” the farthest on rough terrain.

When I was learning to glide I used a different approach to most people which seemed to work well for me. I used riding along with one foot pedalling and the other acting as a brake on the tyre as an in-between step. That way when you’re practising that, you’ll get a feel for how much pressure is needed on the tyre without having to actually try gliding just yet. So to go into a glide I do one pedal (or half a pedal or so…but when I was learning it was more like 3 pedal revs) as described above, then bring up the pedalling foot onto the crown of the frame. I also found practising down hills was pretty useful. The other thing is I have a ‘gliding shoe’ which I find helps a lot with my gliding. It’s one of those cheap shoes you wear for walking on coral, etc. It was only $10 or so. I just wear the one shoe, which looks a little odd. I like having a shoe that is very flexible so I can get a feel for the tyre, but is just thick enough to protect my foot from over-heating. I tried barefoot gliding, but after about 5m it became unbearable. :slight_smile: Simon Wells introduced me to barefoot freestyle, but barefoot gliding works for him because he doesn’t have to put nearly as much pressure on the tyre…he’s very good at it.

Good luck!


I only glide in my dreams. --chirokid–

Ahem… the proper term is ‘glode’.

Some advice is to learn to wheel walk, then wheel walk one footed. Then, when you can wheel walk forever, try it on a very slightly sloped hill, and push yourself fast, then just let the tire slide under your feet.

I did that once…I also coasted really smoothly and confidently. You can read all about it in the ‘Gallery of Unicycling Dreams…’ thread. :slight_smile:


I’m no expert when it comes to gliding. I’ve glided over 10m a couple of times though. There are a few ways to learn to glide.
The way i learnt is from one foot wheel walking and i found that it is actually quite easy to make progress this way.

First i got pretty good at one foot wheel walking. Then i tried to let the tire slide under foot. At first i didn’t go very far and the tire basically stoped moving almost instantly. Each time i tried to put less and less pressure on the tire. After a bit of practice you can get a metre or two and from there you just work on building longer and longer glides.

It is VERY useful to learn on a slope, not too steep though.

The way which Andrew Carter posted is called pedalled glide. That’s one foot pedaling and one foot gliding. I can do this two but i personally think the one foot wheel walk method is much better as you can build up bigger and bigger glides. There is another way called pull gliding, but it requires two people and i don’t think its very good.

Hope this helps you.

Nick vb.

Good advise Nick, I learnt the same way as you!

I love glding… one of my favourite, and most useful ‘tricks’. I’m learning to coast now… rather challenging!

I love HSG (High Speed Gliding)… it rocks - and also wears out your shoes!


Today i made a massive breakthrough in gliding.

Near my house there’s this massive hill and i spent an hour gliding down it.

I did a 50m glide which is by far my best ever.

HSG- I’m working on getting my speed up and going directly from the pedals to gliding. This way i can go faster and go further on flat land. I want to be able to do high speed gliding.

There’s a cool site, you’ve probably already seen it but anyway here it is:

HSG by Brett Bymaster. What i find amazing is that he’s glided at 25.6 mph (40kmph). One day i gotta try that.

Coasting sounds like a good challenge. I’ve tried it a few times with limited success, not being able to go more than a metre or so. I will learn to coast - after i’ve mastered gliding :slight_smile:

People who are proficient gliders: I can now easily wheelwalk into a glide when I’m on a slight slope, but I can never keep my balance riding into it. How fast do you ride before you do it? How long after the first foot comes off the pedal does the second foot come off?
I can sometimes ride into a wheelwalk on the slope, and then just go into a glide from there. But I’m still not very consistent at it.

how do you go from gliding or one foot wheel walk to pedals again? i am a good one foot wheel walker but i just cant get from wheel to pedals properly.



This is how I learned to glide. I wouldn’t worry about getting perfect with one foot wheel walk before learning gliding. Only after mastering gliding was I able to 1f ww for a good distance.

But to learn to glide I used to go on a nicely sloped hill, and start wheel walking down it, then switch to one foot wheel walk, and glide. After you can do this, it’s only a matter of getting the move down where you switch from pedaling to the glide position.

That “switch” can be tough. It also varies on how you do it. I know that I have an akward method, and take both feet off at the same time. It’s probably better to leave a foot for a rotation or two before you are in the glide position. I don’t believe there’s not really a best method, just do whatever works for you.

Good luck,


First, the foot that goes on the crown comes off the pedal as it nears the top of the wheel from behind. the gliding foot then follows almost immediately afterwards as the other pedal comes to about horizontal or somethin.

as for speed, just go at a comfortable pace to start with, not too slow or you’ll find it hard to get the uni to glide and not too fast as it becomes more difficult to stick the glide.

as you get better at making this transition speed becomes less of an issue and u will be able to go almost as fast as you like, but to start with just go at an average pace;)

  • in answer to another question about returning to the pedals:

i just look for the pedal that your crown foot usually goes on and wait for that to reach horizontal at the back (helps if your goin slowly) as soon as it’s in this position i then quickly remove the foot resting on the crown and put it on the pedal as fast as posible. the foot remaining on the tyre will give some stability for now so you have half a second or so to quickly place that foot on the other pedal. it also helps if nearly all fo your weight is on the seat instead of the pedals so the wheel is not being moved by your crown foot on the back pedal. the whole manouver only takes about half a second and as soon as its done just start pedalling again and regain your balance.

hope this helps, iain

I was working on gliding today on a gentle slope, and had my best runs yet. A problem I was having for a while was that my crown foot’s toes were accidentally rubbing the tire. I fixed this by putting my crown foot farther back so that just my toes were on the crown. The real breakthrough I had was just leaning back a smidge more than I had been. This forces your weight to be on the seat and gives you lots of control. Lots of fun! Happy gliding!

You need to be able to check your pedal/crank position while you are wheel walking. This can be tricky because your legs tend to obstruct your view. But during one-foot wheel-walking/gliding you should be able to look down and glimpse the pedal on the same side as your wheel-walking/gliding foot. As this pedal passes just beyond its lowest position, take your other foot off the frame and place it on the other pedal (the one you can’t see). Now take your other foot off the tyre and it should, hopefully, collect the remaining pedal as it rises.

I’m having a real problem with this…

After removing my second foot from the pedal and entering “glide mode” I try to put it on the crown next to the gliding foot…

BUT every time i do this it steps ON the other foot, jams the wheel and I go flying forward…

anyone else have this problem?

My main method of getting to the glide is from riding one foot. This will eliminate that particular problem.

Though I can get to a glide directly from two-footing, since I learned it the other way I’m more comfortable with that. Also I think it’s a less abrupt transition if you’re already riding one foot.

As for getting back to the pedals, the most common mistake people make is staring down at them for more than a second or so. That’s all you need to see where the pedal is. If you need to wait for it to get to a different location, you may need to look again in a bit, but with practice you won’t. You’ll be able to tell when it gets there, just as you can ride toward a curb or other obstacle and “know” where your pedals are going to be when you get there.

I can pretty much get back on the pedals at any position, though my least favorite is probably the bottom. I always seem to get my dominant foot down first, and the easiest place to work on if you’re just learning it is to aim for the pedal when it’s straight back. But in the front can work fine too, you just need to lean forward and pedal into it.

Thread ressurection:
i’ve been learning the glide from 1ft wheel walking and have made very little progress in the past 2 weeks. is this normal? does gliding “click” after a certain amount of practice? My main question is: What do you think about while gliding? (on a shallow slope) currently i’m trying to be light on my foot without excessive 1ft wheel walking- is this a good way to go? any other tips that havent been mentioned earlier? is pull gliding worth the hassle?
thanks a bunch for the tips already mentioned.

I started practicing gliding on a level surface and got nowhere, at least so far. What I was doing was to rest my glide foot (heel) on the frame and place the toe on the tire. I would pedal with my other foot for a while. This arrangement doesn’t give much feel or control on the amount of pressure I can put on the tire, and the pressure is usually way too much and I grid to a stop quickly when I move my pedal foot to the frame.

Then I started gliding down my street. For this, the glide foot was removed from the frame, just touching the tire. I seem to be getting pretty good at this, but I still can’t do the glide on level ground going from one foot riding (with the foot bridging the frame and tire).

Question: should I be gliding on level ground like this? Maybe my shoes are too sticky?

Oh, tried pull gliding a few times. Lots of fun. If you get a chance, try it out.

If you are doing flat land gliding you should definetly glide feet on frame with one (or two? some people do two) foot overlapping onto the tire. This way the transition into gliding is much easier because you can just ride 1ft into it (non gliding foot pedaling) allowing you to make a smother transfer and not lose momentum as i find i do when i go to gliding foot out front. There is a lot less friction this way so you can go way way further. It’s slightly harder to balance this way because you don’t put as much pressure on the tire but this can give you better balance and probably helps to learn coasting if you only very lightly touch the tire. My gliding feet on frame is not much better than my coasting but thats coz i haven’t spent any time learning it well. Also you need to be gliding feet on frame to stand up glide.