holding onto your seat!

Just wondered if I could get some ‘holding onto the seat’ tips? I know that
it is a good idea for hopping of course but I see lots of uni riders hold
onto the seat at various other times when they ride. Is it to stabilize the
seat when you take your weight off of it a bit to go over obstacles and
such? Does it matter which hand is used - dominant hand vs nondominant?
Also some folks who were sprinting around the track a the Unicon held onto
their seat with one or both hands others didn’t hold on at all. Thanks for
any thoughts to enlighten a beginner.


I think a lot of it is that by pulling on the seat you can put more weight on the pedals, and so generally increase your chances of staying on and staying in control.

Just lightly holding the seat means that while you’re not putting much force into it you can do very quickly if need be, if you suddenly need to do a powerful pedal stroke or something.

Of course, I may be very wrong… I first started doing it on really steep hills, where it’s necessary to be able to put lots of force on the pedal without just lifting you off the seat.

Phil, just me

It seems to me that there are two reasons for holding onto the handle on the saddle.

First, for the most part, I do it in those situations where I’m in danger of having my butt come away from the seat when I really don’t want it to. Keeping your seat where it belongs helps you maintain control and keeps you from losing balance. Going up and down serious hills, the uni tries to get away from you. When hopping and jumping, it tries to get away from you. When dropping, it tries to get way from you. Its all about maintaining that unity. Keeping control and such. I think some people were holding on while racing for this reason.

Then, sometimes, people do it for the opposite reason. The GB handle for distance riders lets you take some weight off your butt and put more weight on your arms - but the weight is still focused on the saddle, where it belongs. Some people do the same thing on their Miyata handles, but those really can’t take a lot of sustained weight. This lets you relieve butt pressure, but you have to be in a situation where you have complete control over the uni. This also helps you learn to control using your legs. I’ve been riding a lot lately with both hands on the handle, just because I really need to build up my leg control - rather than depending on my arms for balance.

When I was watching one of the Basketball games, there was a girl on the swiss team who I couldn’t keep my eyes off of - for a few reasons :slight_smile: . Whenever she crossed the court, she had both hands on the saddle handle, and I think she was trying to relieve saddle pressure whenever she could for the long game - but she had incredible balance and control, so she could get away with it.

RE: holding onto your seat!

> Also some folks who were sprinting around the track a the
> Unicon held onto their seat with one or both hands others
> didn’t hold on at all.

Notice that all of the fastest riders did hold on. This cements your body
more firmly to the unicycle, giving you more power through your pedals, and
a better delivery of that power because your body is not moving around. It
doesn’t matter which hand you hold with, though I mostly use my non-dominant
hand, to keep my dominant hand available for catching the seat in the event
of dismounts.

Stay on top,
John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone
www.unicycling.com <http://www.unicycling.com>

“This unicycle is made all from lightweight materials. But it uses a lot of
them.” – Cliff Cordy, describing the very heavy new prototype unicycle he
brought on the Downieville Downhill