How many uni'ists ARE there?

I was just asked to consider about how many uni’ists there are nationwide.
My guess was no more than 10,000. By ‘unicyclist,’ I took the term to mean
'someone who is a uni enthusiast (owns a uni, rides it reg’ly) – not just
someone who CAN uni.

Another Q: How many different makes of uni are there? This was hard to
answer since many of us own unis that comprise several parts (my trials
uni has parts from United, Miyata, Euro, Koviatchi (sp?), and some cheapo
pedals). But how many uni or uni-parts makers ARE there?

Thanks for your guesses and other answers.


In a ride of 5000 bicyclists recently we had 10 Coker riders or 0.2% of the total. Of the total Coker riders in the area I would say that close to all of them showed up. Of the total bicyclists in the area, probably only a small fraction showed up. This makes the 0.2% number meaningless because the cross sections were probably not equally represented.

I think Coker riders are real unicyclists according to your loose definition. If 0.2% of the population of the US were real unicyclists, that would be 50000 riders. But these numbers again are totally meaningless. There are WAY more than 5000 bicyclists in the Seattle area and WAY more than 10 unicyclists. In addition, the fraction of people in the US who are real bicyclists is probably quite small.

USA membership total might give you a better handle. There are certainly quite a few real unicyclists who are not USA members, though. You have a fairly large club. Find the ratio of the total membership of your club to the ones who are USA members and multiply by that by the total USA membership. That will get you closer but will still be inaccurate.

I trust I haven’t helped you at all?

There should be a question on the next census. This is pretty important stuff. I think we all agree.

I agree.I also think we should start a count.


The unicycle roster lists 1812 unicyclists in the US. There’s your low number. How many unicyclists know the unicycle roster even exists?

Im in there me why.And my freind brandons in their twice. :thinking: :thinking:

and Dwight Bishop,My freind,from montana,has died.:frowning:

so thats 3 less.

I’m sure John Foss and Tom Daniels have tried to guesstimate the number of unicyclists in the US and in the world. The numbers would still be just a guess.

Often when they count the number of bicyclists they use some low standard like have you ridden a bike within the last year. That catches the very casual riders.

How low of a standard should be set for counting a unicyclists. Is it good enough just to know how to ride even if you haven’t ridden one in several years? Count just the people who have ridden a unicycle at least once in that past year?

There are lots of school programs in the Seattle area and elsewhere that teach unicycling. So there are people who have learned to unicycle in a school program and don’t have their own unicycle and haven’t ridden a unicycle since getting out of school. I’m sure most of us have met people who learned to ride when they were in school but haven’t ridden since then. They ask if they can try your unicycle, they get on a bit unsteady but manage to ride away. Are those people still unicyclists? They know how to ride.

You can break that down by asking two questions. “How many people in the US know how to ride a unicycle?” and “How many people in the US have ridden a unicycle in the past year?”.

im a uniist!!! And proud of it!!

I bet that most unicyclers that are really into unicycling and have awesome unis, are probably on this forum. Otherwise, how would they know that all that cool stuff existed? As for the people that have low tech gear that might not be classified as a uni’ist, have never even heard of Kris Holm.


Now that’s the real question, the one that usually doesn’t get asked. And thus we enter into the magical world of statistics, where nearly anything can happen.

I have read that bicycling is the most popular sport/recreational activity in the USA. Based on what? I think the criteria was that you participated in the activity at least twice a year. So perhaps this is a good metric to use if you want big numbers.

I think there are at least a million unicyclists in the United States. Most of them are dormant, or “closet” unicyclists. Many may not want the rest of the world to know they are capable of riding one. But if you want to impress someone, that’s the number to pull out.

Worldwide? It’s a lot harder for me to guess, because some countries have easy access to unicycles, while others have little to none. At least they used to, but this continues to change pretty fast.

I have been asked the population question countless times by reporters. Even they don’t usually know “what kind” of unicycilists to count. So I give 'em the big numbers.

As for the original estimate of around 10,000, this may be pretty accurate, but it still depends on ones’ metric. Riding once a week (or 52 days out of the year) would surely cut it way down. How about once a month? Or owning more than one unicycle? If we’re comparing to bicycle numbers, we should use the same metric that’s being used for those numbers.

Interestingly, many of these school groups/programs are completely invisible to us here on the forums, or the Unicycling Society of America. Either they don’t know about us, or aren’t interested. Most elementary school programs are unlikely to get involved in our organizations, because the kids are still living fairly insulated lives. And perhaps because the USA has little to offer them.

So my favorite way to count unicyclists is to count everyone who has learned how to ride. This includes all those aging unicyclists who “grew up” and forgot all the fun. Some of us have come back. I used to meet them all the time on Long Island, the many students of USA founder Bill Jenack.

I’m afraid I’ll have to disagree with you on both of those.

This forum is read by only a tiny fraction of the English-speaking unicyclists out there. Almost certainly less than 10%. There’s a big world out there, and most of the unicyclists either don’t know about us, or aren’t that interested. I meet these people all the time, in places like juggling conventions, or in random emails I get from people who found my web site.

As for Kris Holm, Most of the people who “have heard of” him are not even unicyclists! Apparently he was on TV again somewhere the other night, on Ripley’s Believe it or Not. He’s been seen by millions. I run into people all the time, usually on trails, who describe Kris’ cliff-riding or bridge-riding activities. They may not know his name, but they sure know who he is.

Oh, and right now there are potentially tens of thousands of kids in China involved in unicycle classes/programs, where they learn with the aid of videos that have pirated clips of Kris and Nathan Hoover in them. And those kids are definitely riding on low-tech gear.

Many other unicyclists here know who Kris is, but buy low-tech gear because that’s all they need. There are threads about this all the time. “I know I should get a KH, but I only have this much money…” Plus, beginners don’t need a KH (yet).

The “market” continues to develop…


According to the USA records there are currently 1274
registered people (623 households) in the national



The USA, Inc. currently has exactly 1274 paid members in good standing in 623 distinct households (i.e., at 623 distinct mailing addresses). I agree completely with John Foss when he says this represents a very small fraction of unicyclists in North America.

Tom Daniels
Former President
Unicycling Society of America, Inc.

Re: How many uni’ists ARE there?

My local LBS claims he sells unicycles at about 1 per week.

Re: How many uni’ists ARE there?

In the thread “Unicycle articles (but wait there’s more…)” Roger
Davies (of was quoted:

“it has been estimated that
one and a half per cent of the UK population can ride a unicycle”

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

“When it comes to the family jewels, you won’t be having fun until they’re having fun. - Jake D”

It is very easy to underestimate the number of unicyclists. At Indiana University, I am the only person that I have ever seen riding a unicycle around campus. So someone who didn’t know better might conclude that only 1 out of 35,000 students is a unicyclist. However, just about every other day, someone stops me and tells me that they know how to ride. Most of them give it a whirl and manage to wobble around for a few meters before falling off. By the 3 or 4th try, they usually can manage a respectable ride of 20 or 30 meters. Occasionally, I meet someone who really knows how to ride and we trade stories about breaking hardware.

Anyway, If I were going to hazard a guestimate based on no evidence, I would guess that 1 out of every 150 university age students know how to ride a unicycle in the US. Unfortunately, noone here at Indiana U. seems to be interested in unicycling with me. :-{