help please!

hi all,

me i am 39 yrs and have ridden unicycles for years but only ever dabbled and was better few years ago and have now gone well rusty!

my aim is to be able to ride my 26" nimbus down to the shops and around town rather than ridding in hidden car parks on my own.

i find when i try to ride distance i fall off due to fatigue! i am fairly fit and always done sports including downhill mounting biking,general cycling and white water kayaking.

my free mount is very poor so needs work!

would it best to work on my free mount first so i can get back on and get my distance ridding better or keep just ridding launching of walls,posts etc to get unicycle fitter?

any help or advice would be most helpful


While not being at that stage yet I would assume that getting your free mounts sorted would be the best bet as you can then do more mileage plus learning anything on the uni seems to be much more exercise than when you can do it. Is it leg fatigue or body fatigue? Try maybe doing some specific exercises for that part of just as you say keep putting the miles in.

I’m very interested to hear what the vets have to say as I’ll probably hit that barrier too.

I’m sure others here can say it more eloquently than me:)
Are you relaxing your weight into the saddle, or are you more standing up pedalling?
Nervousness can make you put more weight on the pedals, but it’ll wear your legs out super fast


thanks for your replies and funny you ask about relaxing into the seat,i keep trying where i place my weight and keep swapping from weight on my bum to feet.

where is correct place to place weight?

Falling off due to fatigue does sound like not pedaling efficiently - that was a huge issue for me as well, but once I learned to sit on the seat and push the pedals only to move them and not to maintain a “death grip” on the wheel by working my legs against each other, I quickly went from 50 feet to a city block to taking multi-mile rides.

Riding a decent sized wheel (as you have) at a speed comparable to a casual jogger on a smooth surface (level side to side even more than climb/descent) should come to be a very relaxed, low-stress activity, leaving expending effort for situations where one of those things is not true.

Is you saddle too low? For distance riding (vs tricks) it should be high enough that your leg gets to nearly straight when a pedal is down.

Not being able to get back on (especially via a free mount) due to fatigue will be a more lasting problem - though a five minute rest will often do wonders. Or you can resort to grabbing something for the mount up, if available.

You say it all very well Engineer.
Also before thinking of going bigger rides, I’d put in time learning to free-mount first on those “hidden” car parks. I spent several evenings focusing on just that, even though some evenings had been really really frustrating, thinking I would never learn, just just don’t give up and eventually it will work. I tried many different kinds of free-mounts, just to see which one felt best and worked most of the time. Now when I go riding for a few kilometers, I at least know I can get on without help in 1-3 tries.
As for the pain in your legs, that will automatically diminish with more saddle time. Just keep at it.

thanks engineer your comments about the pedaling efficiently makes sense so i will play with my death grip and pedal weight.

think possibly i have my seat a little to low so will check that tomorrow.

i learnt to free mount years ago on a 20" and although i do it wrong i could get away with it then but not now. i have pedal at bottom hop on,roll back then off i go.i keep trying the pedals level free mount but it feels so wrong and i keep trying swapping which foot first but both feel wrong!

hi sentonix,when i say longer rides my current length is couple of hundred foot or couple of laps of my car!!

going to keep at it and get this sorted!!

Don’t let your inability to freemount with no errors keep you from riding for fun. Just go ride where ever you want, and use some handy street sign or whatever to mount with. The more you ride and mount the better you get.
I have a geared 32" road uni, and although I’m pretty good at freemounting it, I almost never freemount during my regular road rides. I like to be able to sit for a brief period, adjust my feet and sitting position so it’s just all exactly right, then take off. No UPDs, no embarassment, everything working just fine.
Muni is a different story. I ride either a 24" or 26" off road, and there you have to be self-sufficient (at least on the trails I ride). But there is a lot of foot adjusting and seat adjusting going on the first few yards.
Anyway, just ride and have fun. :smiley:

Great advice so far. That’s pretty much where most of us hit the “burning quads” limit before we learned to keep our weight on the seat, as EoaU and Setonix have suggested. Keep on riding. Bodies are clever, and lazy too. Eventually yours will figure out that it’s easier to ride sitting down than standing up. Work on going up and down hills too. You’ll discover a lot doing that.

Sounds like you did a “roll-back” mount, which is fine. It’s trickier with a bigger wheel that moves out from underneath you when it rolls back. It might be more practical with 20" unicycles, which don’t roll as far when they roll back.

You’ll get it! The weight-on-the-seat business comes into play here. That’s what keeps the pedals level when you step on the back one, sitting down on the saddle to resist the tendency to roll. But until you’re weighting the saddle in regular riding, the chances of doing it while mounting are pretty slim.

I’d say to get comfortable with every kind of assisted mount you can think of, whether using a wall or fence, a utility pole, a curb, or anything handy. Even after you’re free mounting pretty well, there will be those odd inconvenient times when it just stops working. It’s good to have a back-up plan.

The more riding experience you have, the better your free mounts will get. The magic is really in having the low-speed handling skills to ride away from less than perfect mounts. Any one you ride away from is successful by definition. :wink:

A decent saddle also goes a long way to shifting your weight on it. Some unicycle saddles are plain torture devices. Anything decent I’ve ever seen was built on a KH base.

I learnt unicycling on one of those hard leather saddles you use in artistic cycling.

hi all,

i have been working away this week so i toke my uni with me to get some pratice in rather than sitting in the pub!

i have checked my seat height and that seams fine with my leg almost straight at bottom of wise i am using a qu-ax only one with hand grab on the front,is that classsed as a good or bad seat?

also been trying the flat peddle free mount.can i ask if i was to kick a football i would use my right foot so should my first foot on peddle be right with left on the floor ready to hop up onto or the other way around?

as said before i seam to use the roll back free mount but when trying the level peddles option i still roll back,guess i am putting too much weight on the pedal so when i hop up it rolls back?

If you kick ball with your right foot then I suggest tha your right foot stays on the ground as you mount with the left foot.

Hope this helps

For what it’s worth I do it the other way. I kick a ball with my right foot and my left foot stays on the ground. I mount a unicycle with my right foot on the back pedal and my left foot stays on the ground. It’s probably whatever you’re used to; maybe the way we learned first, which might turn out to be the better way for each of us. I tried it many times each way before figuring it out, that’s for sure.

It is funny you say that, but for me that works the other way. I kick ball with my right, my dominant foot, but I can only mount by keeping my right foot on the pedal and then swooping my left non-dominant foot onto the front pedal.

Hey I just said that!!:smiley:

That’s two different things. A lot of people who would kick the ball with the right foot (usually the same as your dominant hand, the one you write with), wouldn’t necessarily coast with the right foot in front. By coasting, I mean if you ride a bicycle down a hill without pedaling, there’s a position more natural to you : one of your feet will be in front when the pedals are level. On the uni, that’s usually the position you prefer when mounting with a wall or any other help.

In my case, that’s the right foot which goes in front more comfortably. Which is why the first mount I mastered is the roll back mount, where you put your (right) foot on the pedal at the 7pm position, push down a bit, put your left foot on the pedal and continue to roll backward until the pedals are level - so just a bit more than a quarter revolution. It took me a bit longer to master the other mount, the static mount, because it meant starting with my left foot on the rear pedal first, and throwing the right foot on the right pedal. It felt very uncomfortable at first, my left foot really felt awkward trying to stay on the pedal and counterbalance the forces when I would push. After a bit of practice, it became much more natural and I can now mount both ways.

sounds like everyone mounts differently even being right footed,ive been trying both ways but putting right foot on first seams easier.but when thinking about it makes more sense to put non dominant foot on first then throw dominant foot on second.

im going to get out for a little pratice shortly

I would disagree here.

When static mounting I put the dominant foot on first, because that needs a lot more control than the second one. While I launch off the ground, the first/dominant foot has to counter my forward momentum and weight to keep the wheel in place (which is never quite perfect). The other foot just has to punch into the other pedal, no precision required.

I can mount with either foot first (on the 20 and 26, I haven’t tried it on 36), but right (dominant) foot first is definitely easier.