how do you hop on a uni

I have been unicycling for about 2 months I have just learned to free mount and I’ve been thinking about mountain unicycling but I just can’t get the hang of hopping yet, any tips?

All sorts of tutorials out there - you could do worse than start with

  • also check out her other videos. She does a much better job of explaining than I ever could.

Though I can hop fairly well (have cleared 10" on my trials uni), it’s actually something I still rarely use for muni - when I started riding muni I’m fairly sure I did no hopping at all, and probably couldn’t even hop. So don’t let that inability put you off going out for an off-road ride - just start with something easy where you have no need at all for hopping.

Same boat, started muni before I knew how to hop.

Pedal slow, when the cranks are horizontal, stand up, grab the seat and go to pogo stick mode. I RARELY hop around like that on trails, but you’ll get the idea. You’ll be set up for the “bunny hop” motion after you get this down, and youll be able to launch no matter where the cranks are.

I’m in the same boat, for the most part.
I can hop a little bit, and when I say a little bit I mean 4-5" at most. I can hop sideways up curbs, but not consistently. And I definitely can’t hop while riding. For me it seems to be mostly a confidence thing. My brain likes to focus on the awful things that might happen if I screw up. (Most of which will not happen, but I blame my mother for this one)

To get out on the mountain, hopping isn’t really that important. It will be a good tool to have in the kit, (which is why I’m trying to get better as well) but I find that what’s more important is learning to unweight yourself as you ride over bumps. It’s something you will learn only with practice. It’s almost like a little hop, but you’re not lifting the wheel off the ground. As you hit the bump, you will push your body upwards but not enough to lift the unicycle. This will make the unicycle almost weightless and allow it to just roll over the bump. You’d be surprised at what you can roll over, sometimes almost effortlessly. I’m working on rolling up square curbs right now. I know it’s possible, and shouldn’t be that hard, but my damn confidence is screwing with me again.:frowning:

Just start riding some rougher terrain, and your body will learn how to do it for you (for the most part). As you get better, you’ll get more efficient, only unweighting yourself just enough to get over the current obstacle. If you were to hop over everything in your path, you would run out of energy very fast.

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I learned to bunny hop by holding onto a hand rail and then working on the timing or rhythm of the hop. You have to flex your ankles at the right point to get a bounce. Then once I got the rhythm down I let go of the hand-rail and worked on my balance during the hop.

If you’re trying to learn how to jump, then that’s different. You should probably learn bunny hopping first.

+1 on jumping vs/ hopping.

One of the best uses of hopping once you get it down is you can slow your decent, by throwing in a few hops hear and there, or stoping when you get to a tricky spot w/o dismounting.

Once you can get through terrain IMO you should try to reduce your hops and roll as much as you can.


thanks for the tips guys I’l try some of those out.

I was only able to do one or two hops at a time until yesterday, when I discovered that with small hops (2cm) done much more quickly, I could sometimes stay up almost indefinitely. The higher frequency hopping follows the shifts in your bodyweight more accurately, it seems, and suddenly the danger of falling just vanishes.

The same is true jumping rope on a unicycle. Very small hops with one rotation of the rope for each hop. Get into the natural cadence of the tire and it is almost effortless.

Hopping seems to be killing the (lollipop style) bearings on my $30 Craigslist uni. I’ve been doing drops off curbs for a while with no problem, but when I started doing tiny little hops as described above, within only a day or two I began to notice some extra shifting movement in my uni each time I prepared to mount it.

Is it the bearings or the hub itself?

On mine the frame started to split right through where the bolts go.

I put a metal hose clamp on each leg between the bolts and tightened as much as I could. Helped and kept it from getting worse, until I got my Muni, but was never as good as when I got it (it was used & I never hopped on it , just rode off lots of curbs).

On mine the crank but keeps coming loose and spokes started to sqeek. But got a Torker and now my bro is using it to learn to ride

Now that you mention it, somebody told me that would eventually happen, but I just checked, and there are no visible cracks in the frame yet.

Not sure. There’s just some play in the cranks. It’s not between one crank and the other, -they are still solidly connected, but there’s a slight wiggle when I stall or do certain other moves that rearrange my weight.

I’ve quit hopping and going off curbs for the moment, as there are plenty of other educational activities that are less traumatic, such as trying to idle, go backwards, etc. Is there any hope of fixing my uni and using it strictly for this sort of low-impact riding from then on? Oh, and is there a difference between a street uni and a trials uni, in case an upgrade becomes unavoidable?

Sounds like maybe the square hole of 1+ cranks may be starting to wear (more likely), or the square end of your hub. Hold the wheel (not the other crank/pedal) and wiggle the suspected crank, try the other one too.

If it starts to get bad (u can move the pedal 1" w/o moving the hub) and continue to ride, the worn crank will start to round the square end of the hub and both will need to be replaced.

You don’t need to hop to ride offroad, just look at mountain bikers, they don’t do any hopping beyond lifting the wheels as they ride over obstacles.

Learning to lift your wheel/uni as you ride over obstacles, that is necessary for trail riding. Think of it as allowing the uni to move freely under you, so it moves up as you ride over obstacles.

I rarely hop, only to get my balance, never to clear obstacles or go up hills.

Yeah, but there are some trails I find easier on a uni than on a bike due to the ability to hop-turn :slight_smile:

When checking to see if that was the problem, I discovered that the bolts holding the lollipop bearings inside my forks were slightly loose. Now that they are nice and tight, everything seems to be OK. :slight_smile:

So hopping wasn’t really the problem, but maybe learning other skills first would be a better idea, at least as long as my only uni is a cheap one…