Groin (sorry, seat) grabbing

Please forgive my ignorance but I’m just a beginner (not even level 1 yet). I was recently reading a thread about seat/groin grabbing and realise this must be a vital part of unicyling. Please could you tell why you do it?

because, it feels really good.
no, wait, that’s not why. not usually anyway. we actually don’t grab our crotch, you hold the front of the unicycle seat, which sometimes actually has a handle meant for holding like the Kris Holm and Miyata seats. this way you can hold the unicycle and pull up on it as you hop. try hopping without holding the seat, while it’s doable, it’s rather difficult.

I learned with no ‘handle’, and rode for 35 years without holding the seat. I find it ‘awkward’ to hold the seat when riding with my new DX.
(I do not hop yet)

What I do like to do (if no need for using arms for balancing) is to place my hands on thighs. (and slightly push, to ease petaling when going long distances)

Now that I have a handle (new torker). I try using the handle for a ‘hand rest’, but find it throws my center off, and takes more to recover because hand/arm has to move farther to recover balance.

Just my 2c.

I hold my seat when standing up going up or down hill on a difficult bit of MUni or something, as well as for hopping, etc. I learned on a seat without a handle, so at first it did throw off my balance. However, I learned fast. On distance rides, I put some of my weight on my hands pushing down on the saddle, in order to take weight off of my crotch.

I would say you don’t have to learn it until you start doing it naturally in order to be able to do something.

I guess I can only dream of the days when I may be able to hop and ride long distances, and freemount and, um, actually ride the uni.

nah, you’ll learn pretty fast. How long have you been learning/riding?

I’ve been learning since the beginning of Jan. It took me the first month to get over my fear. Couldn’t learn anything until then.
Now I can ride for a while, turn corners, dismount with elegance!
And I can freemount on my 20" 1 in 5 but only about 1 in 20 times on my 24". IS this ‘normal’?
What kind of thing is this unicycling? I can barely ride the damn things yet I obviously need 2 machines.

I think freemounting the larger wheels is more difficult because you have “jump” higher to get on. The first time I tried to freemount a 29 inch, I caught my right foot on the pedal and ended up rolling foward, all the way to the ground. At least I landed on my hands and not my face.
When I started, it took me 2 weeks before I could ride without holding onto something. It was a couple more months before I could freemount efficiently. Now, 2 years later, I have 5 unicycles (wishing for another) and I am having a great time riding MUni on trails through the woods. It was about 18 months before I could hop.
Keep riding. Everything will get easier the more you ride.
Have fun!!

I don’t know what’s “normal” and what isn’t.

I mean, for some, it takes months to ride.
I personally could ride the thing in 2 days, and freemount all the time in 3-4 days.
Hopping came on the 5-7 days, and after 2 weeks i could hop up a curb.
I’ve been riding for just over 2 months and i’m level 4.
My friend had a similar experience, getting his unicycling 1 month before I got mine, progressing to curb hopping etc. much faster as soon as i mastered curb hopping and taught him.
I can now hop 12’’ which I thought would take at least .5 years AND a big fat tire (i can do 12’’ on a 1.75 inch wide tire).
Hell, i thought i wouldn’t be able to hop up a curb w/o a fat tire before i actually went and tried it.
Just try stuff and you’ll get it. And trust me, hopping in place isn’t very dangerous, it’s when you do 3 foot gaps between high objects that it gets dangerous :slight_smile:

Just keep at it!
Good luck

Holding onto the seat is not necessary for basic unicycle riding, nor even very useful. I almost never hold the seat, except when riding seat out or hopping or doing certain transitions. If you ride freestyle or distance, there’s no reason to do it much at all, but it is helpful for steep hills off-road, and it’s a must for trials. On the rare occasions I do ride on rough terrain, I do hold the seat a bit, because it seems to give me a sense of security. And when I jump, I have to hold the seat if I want to get any reasonable height.

A handle helps a lot when you are going up or down a steep incline, or any time when you are putting a lot of force on the pedals. Pulling up on the handle helps keep you on the seat and gives you a bit more power when you’re pedaling hard. It also helps keep you in control when going over rough spots. You can grab the front of the saddle if you don’t have a handle, but a handle makes it easier. It’s just nice to have something there to grab ahold of.

On long rides I find myself pushing down on the handle to take a bit of my weight off of the saddle. It isn’t much but it does help.

The front of the saddle on my 29 is kind of squidgy and hard to get a grip on. My handle is an add-on unit made by one of our club wizards. It also gives me a place to hang my bell and computer and other junk.