how long before balance becomes "second nature"

yeah, its like trying to learn something complicated, you can’t just give up half way, you ahve to DO it to get it down.

Who ever said anything about giving up?

Just start doing destination rides. From your house to the store, or to a park.

Theres no set average time cause for some people, they will be able to ride a uni for as long as they want within the first week or two of learning, and for others it takes months. So who knows, maybe it will click for you by next week.

How tall are you? How tall is your seat on the uni you ride? Are your legs getting really tired after just riding around? Remember, weight on the seat, not in the legs.

that is a questions i always get from people when they see me riding. and now that i think about it. i dont think about balance at all anymore. i kinda just get on and ride

I also learned under time constraints - I couldn’t commit several hours each day.
When I could ride 100m or so, I plotted out a loop around several blocks in my neighborhood, then spent my allotted time repeating the following cycle: Mount, ride until quads give out, dismount, walk until recovered.
Your mileage may vary (literally), but it helped me gradually increase mine.

When you are a bit older there are numerous reasons why you can’t ride for hours at a time. Just keep riding as much as you can. Everyone learns at different rates.

I’m a bit ‘balancely challenged’ and still have to concentrate on my balance to some extent (although not to the extent I did when I was learning) after 4 years of riding. Doesn’t make it any less fun though :smiley:

I have been riding for about 2 months EVERY DAY with approximately 30 min on weekdays and an hour or more weekends. At this point the balance is automatic. You may just need to put in the time in contiguous stretches to boost your skills. Do your legs still get wobbly on the short rides? Mine did initially, but with practice I relaxed a lot more and also built up some new muscles. I still UPD, but not often and not usually on flat, straight sections.

You might consider getting a better seat or doing an “air seat” modification on the Torker. I found the stock Torker seat uncomfortable and was able to put in more saddle time with a better seat.

Good luck with it.:slight_smile:

I say this is BAD advice… when learning i NEVER listened to music as it takes away your concentration.
Leave the music out until the balance thing isnt an issue, then it will just be like walking and listening to music.

I listened to music for the first time while riding on a playground this weekend (no cars) and I found it very helpful in helping me to relax while riding.

Yes, but it is a bad idea if the balance thing isnt yet natural to he/she.
Its just like texting while riding… it f*cks you up until the riding is ‘normal’.

Hi Ganfax, welcome to the sport! I see in your profile you are 60. We have a lot less data here for the learning process of people your age, but there are a few of you here on these forums, and I’m sure you’ll hear from one of them pretty soon. I’m 46, but I learned to ride in my teens an I know it’s not the same thing.

Generally it takes longer to learn new physical skills as you get older. But this is less about age than it is about previous experience and physical condition. If you’re an avid snowboarder, for example, unicycling will be a lot easier for you than if you’re an avid football-watcher. :slight_smile:

In the early stages of riding (or learning any new skill) there is always way more effort being exerted than necessary. A lot more physical effort, sweat, stress and energy until you figure out the bits of movement you need, and are able to relax out of what you don’t need. As mentioned earlier, make sure your seat is high enough, so your leg extension is similar to what it should be on a bike. Also make sure your weight is on the seat, not all on your pedals. If you still have trouble sitting down, consider yourself normal. It takes a while, and is part of that overuse of energy of all new riders.

As you get more relaxed you’ll find riding a lot more effortless. Also, by then you may be past the point of sore quads or knees, if you’re experiencing that. That is also normal for beginners who ride a lot. Your legs will “beef up!”

But your balance is already automatic. You’ve been using it to walk all your life. What you’re learning now is the necessary reflex actions and muscle memory to convert that balance into controlling the unicycle. It comes with repetition. If all of your rides are only 100-200 feet, there may be a technique issue. Or it could be a problem with your practice area or unicycle settings. Make sure you have plenty of pressure in the tire. 40-60 psi, ignoring what it says on the tire. More for outside, while 40 might be enough for a gym. Also you can try riding a 29" if you already have access to one. You may find it cruises much more easily than the darty little 20" you’re on now. But I don’t recommend a 36" yet, not until you can ride a little further fairly regularly.

Hi Ganfax: I am your age and I also learned with small “bursts” of Half hour training … took a long time but rewarding.
though I was a good skier I consider myself “balance challenged” when it comes to uni. Every experience differs but mine is psychological : I sometimes “forget” balance and sometimes my body takes charge because I am thinking of something else … So relaxing is essential to my practice and the more I ride the more I relax in real life… that’s where the practice is addicitive!
good luck, stick to it!
edit: ah yes do not listen to music at our age we need all our ears!

Learn to ride along the lines on your road and practise riding with 1 hand on your knee, then 2 for as long as possible.

I was on a group ride Sunday. I don’t experience the “twitchiness” that I see in some of the other Coker riders, especially the newer ones. This is evidenced by slight leaning forward and jerky reactions to road irregularities to the point that it looks close to a UPD.

On this ride I did something to my right knee. The tendon or ligament that goes across the kneecap became extremely sore right after doing a very steep, short ascent through a dirt trail from a parking lot to a sidewalk. After injuring that knee it hurt so much on the uphills that I applied all of my power with my left leg. As the ride progressed I began exhibiting the aforementioned “twitchiness” that I have seen in newer riders. If I needed acceleration to correct and I was on my right leg power stroke my body told me to wait for my left leg to come around to provide it. This means that for one fourth of all of my corrections there was a delay. This difference caused me to ride leaning slightly hunched forward and to jerk occasionally. I felt that balance was no longer a second nature to me.

I am accustomed to having extremely fast reflexes and have had them all my life. This injury blocked out some of the natural quick reflex and made balance more difficult for me. I would imagine that this would always be the case for someone who rides with one very dominant leg or with a weak, injured leg.

When you stop thinking about it, you’re there. Any time over the next few weeks or months, depending on saddle time.

Balancing is slightly easier if you are very tall with an abnormally heavy head.

Some of you guys talk about riding for hours at a time. My main limitation on how long I can ride now is fire in my crotch. After about an hour I am saddle sore. Any recommendations for that. I’ve tried regular shorts, running shorts, board shorts, and bike shorts. I seem to do best with a bike short that has a minimal pad in it, but I would appreciate any suggestions that would keep me on the trail a little longer.

It must be different for everyone because i was able to get my balance after about a good solid riding of 6-7 houres I recomend to go out on e day and just ride all day Then you will get it=) good luck

and about the “Croch Fire” i wear under armor sliding shorts with the padding in them for my iner thies. And for the croch i would get a nice saddel. I am just getting a new KH Fusion Gel saddel for myself and i hope that will help me. That is what i rcomend, or you could mod your saddel like in this Creating a super strong gel seat. tutorial.

ellsworth23, have you tried using the various anti-chaff solutions and chamois creams? You can also get them in smaller portable versions to bring on rides. Just don’t get caught having to do a trailside “application.”:o

I think these products are more for long distance but I guess it is one solution. If you are wearing out your riding patches in half an hour or an hour, just do more half hour stretches. Eventually with enough half an hours your crotch fire will hold off for a while longer. As your riding technique improves you might reduce the chafing too from less falling and wobbling. As time passes and you get calloused inner thighs the chafing will seem almost gone- until you ride for heaps of hours and wear off the skin. The other thing is having nuts breaks once in a while to allow the blood to flow.

Some people have mentioned keep your weight in the seat- this is useful until you hit bumps. Offroad riding and manouvering over small obstacles often involves moving your weight from the seat into the pedals to prevent being launched off. So keep this in mind if you always use your weight in the seat if you hit a bump it could throw you.

Everyone’s learning time is different. Upgrading to a bigger wheel and doing some serious distance will come all in good time, hopefully you will know when you are ready- the skills will transfer. Just make sure you feel pretty confident at riding your current uni first.

I used to be the same way; I even still had trouble after using biking shorts and upgrading my saddle until I finally got a seat post which allowed me to adjust the saddle up or down. I found that tilting the front of the saddle up just a bit made a huge difference in my saddle comfort. I was amazed! Certainly worth a try! Since then I’ve been able to ride comfortably for long distances w/o near as much discomfort as I once had. I’ll admit that of the discomfort was just from being a beginner and having to learn to adjust. Also make sure your saddle height is just right, a few millimeters each way can make a difference; it’s worth taking the time to dial that in correctly.

Good luck and welcome to the unicyclist community!