And which one is the most natural? Can you give links to videos of them? I have been trying to learn to freemount on and off for many months without much success. At first I tried the static mount, but then focused on the roll-back mount. But from online videos, I realize there are many variations. I want to know how many there are overall and to see videos of all, hoping that I can find one among them which will come naturally to me and that therefore I can learn faster from the two ones I have already tried with almost no success.
If only someone had asked about this subject before, you could look at the answers they received.
Oh wait, they have!
If you’re just learning, the Static and Roll-back will be your best friend.
Almost every rider can back me up when I say this, when you are first learning to freemount, you experience absolutely no success. It takes a fair bit of time when you’re learning, as does any unicycle skill. Eventually you’ll notice an increase in stability, you’ll consistently get both feet on the pedals, and one day you’ll be able to take off riding. As you practice your percentage will rise, and you’ll do it effortlessly.
I know you haven’t had much success with the Static and Roll-Back, but all you need is motivation to keep on trying. You WILL get it eventually. Getting a new seat is NOT going to help you. Getting different cranks at this stage will probably delay your progress. All you need is motivation. You can find videos for these two mounts on YouTube. I’m too lazy to post a link.
Can you ride your unicycle without support comfortably and reliably? If you can’t ride it yet, that might contribute to your lack of success with freemounting.
The kid in this post has an interesting set up for learning the static mount. If you can find a cinder block or something that is about the right size to put under the pedal, it might help you learn what the mount is supposed to feel like.
Thanks scott ttocs, Milosboy, and aarons for your answers. They are all helpful. Milosboy, yes I can ride for 0.5 - 1KM before having to dismount. Would being able to idle buy me more time on the unicycle, helping me rest a little before I can continue riding? To be sure, I ride on asphalt roads that are not always smooth and I can pretty much handle the roughness and unevenness where they occur.
I am a person who needs to understand the physics/mechanics of something before I can practice it fruitfully, to set it out in my mind before I can apply it in practice. I think I have pretty much gotten the idea and physics of how a roll-back mount works or should work (and perhaps it’s down to hard and consistent practice for me to succeed at it), but not that of the static mount or the hand-assisted static mount discussed in the link provided by scott ttocs. I wonder if anyone can set out the physics/mechanics of (or the way it feels or should feel when correctly done) of the static mount and the “holding the tyre”-assisted static mount?
Regarding the static mount, I think what I fail to understand is how the body is hauled up in a split second to be supported by the legs still finding their balance on the pedals. I therefore fail to trust my legs with my body, perhaps fearing I might fall and hurt myself. With hand assistance, I fear hurting my hand, should I, failing to understand the mechanics that ought to be put into play, happen to get the wheel to turn backwards instead, against my supporting hand, and hurt my hand against the bars of the fork.
All the above may seem petty to all of you. But I am talking from a culture where there are no unicyclists other than me (at least I haven’t seen any, or they are confined to the circus). So I don’t get to see other unicyclists riding in front of me and so learning by imitation, or at least seeing and understanding the mechanics so that I can reproduce them myself, or at least rely on them as an example. In fact the only unicyclist - a circus performer - I met was before I even started unicycling, while he was having a ride in a public garden. And seeing him unicycle, and idle while I talked to him, was what stimulated in me the very desire to learn to unicycle, seeing how it was possible against the odds, how in it the seemingly impossible could be mastered. I later had my first practice on his unicycle before someone forbid me fearing I might fall. Unfortunately, after that I have had to go it all alone* . But his image idling to stop to talk to me is still imprinted in my mind, for it is the only unicyclist I have seen ride or idle up close. It is others that see me unicycle now, while I haven’t seen anyone else do so. And I believe such stimulation and encouragement by seeing could be an important impetus to persist, and to improve in one’s skills on the unicycle. It shows one the road ahead to be followed by one, makes the future (unicycle-skill-wise) palpable. And seeing and interacting with several different unicyclists up close is even more beneficial, for it would help one get the general idea of the skills involved (and generalize from the individual applications to arrive at the core principles and mechanisms involved so as to be able to construct one’s own original application and style out of) and not have to rely on one person’s particular (and possibly idiosyncratic) actualization of them (as has been the case in my subconscious’ necessary reliance on the pristine mental image of that maiden encounter with a unicyclist before I had even started unicycling). And I think encountering another unicyclist is different from just seeing their skills demonstrated on YouTube. In addition to witnessing him/her practicing in real life, you can interact with a live unicyclist. And I think that is a crucial difference.
*By the way, I thank God for the existence of this website and for all of you, for your assistance has been invaluable.
While learning to freemount I found that I made better progress when I tried static mounts vs roll-back mounts. A couple of things helped me:
When you dismount the unicycle, do you step off the back? If not, you should get comfortable doing this. When the cranks are nearly horizontal, lift your front foot off the pedal and step off the back of the unicycle bringing your back foot off last. If you are already doing this then a static mount is basically the same motions in reverse.
When mounting, after putting your foot on the back pedal, give the wheel a very slight push forward. At the same time jump up and forward using the foot on the on ground and without putting weight on the back pedal. As your foot lands on the forward pedal you should be leaning slightly forward and ready to push on the forward pedal to begin riding.
Forgive me if I’m wrong, but it seems that what’s holding you back is your fear of hurting yourself. There is nothing wrong with this, and it was probably instilled at an early age… but I assure you, your hand won’t get caught in the frame, and your legs won’t let anything happen to you. When you first started 2 years ago, and you didn’t really know much about unicycling, did you think that it was terribly dangerous, that you would fall every way possible and have a really rotten time?
Most people do, honestly. My family did. But once you start riding, you realize that once you start to lose balance, you either run it out in front of the uni, or you simply step off instinctually. That’s really what happens with freemounting. Most of the time when you practice freemounting, you either don’t jump enough and you have to step back off, or you jump with too much force and you jump over the uni. You probably won’t get hurt.
Sometimes, you just have to go for it.
As well of the fear of hurting yourself, I think you’re thinking too much!
I’m still no expert but can freemount pretty well now. When I was learning the times it worked best were when I just did it. When I was concentrating really hard on it and thinking about the physics it didn’t work.
No guarantees but try and be a little more relaxed and instinctive with it. Easy to say but hard to do I know.
freemounting was very difficult for me. I stayed at it till I got it. One recommendation, buy protective equipment esp. shin guards, wrist guards, and knee pads. I hope to make a video soon on free mounting. I struggled so much until one piece of the puzzle fell into place and have been having good success since.
Funny how that works, really. I don’t experience any success for sometimes quite awhile, then suddenly I find the missing piece, and my progress immediately accelerates. I’ve always wondered if other people experience something similar.
I didn’t know we were limited to a certain number of freemounts. At what point do we have to pay for them?
Each time you get whacked in the shins by your pedals.
In case nobody mentioned it, there are dozens of basic mounts, and a virtually unlimited number of variations.
That’s what shins are for.
Learning to freemount is hard. It took me 4 days until I could ride a unicycle confidently, but it took weeks of practice to be able to consistently mount (rollback in my case).
As with anything unicycle related, and as a lot of people have already said in this thread, it just takes a lot of perserverance and practice. Unfortunately there’s no real “trick” to it or shortcut to learning.
Good luck and don’t give up!