how to start riding a 36" and other 36" ???

I am a OK rider on a 26 and have the opportunity to buy a really nice 36" for a reasonable price. How hard is the transition? It comes with a disc brake but it sounds like they are not for slowing you down on mountain roads but just slight inclines. Is this true? How do I protect this really nice uni from getting trashed as I learn? What else do I need to know/forgetting to ask? Any advice is greatly appreciated.


i went from a 24 to a 36 and it was a completely different way of riding, getting on is allot harder, i found that a rolling mount is easiest for me.

as for the brake, i would not ride a 36er without one, i have 110mm cranks on it so i have little stoping power through the pedels, the brake means i can stop allot quicker than i could do evan with long cranks on.

if your worried about braking it, try to get an old battered seat and stick that on, also put some cheap pedels on, once your confident with getting on and riding it, put the good seat and pedels back on :slight_smile:

also knee protection and gloves are very useful, while going 19.59mph i came of, my knee guards saved a hospital trip :smiley:

I Have seen people who have only ridden a 20" jump on and ride no problem but most people have to basically re-learn how to mount. Mounting a big wheel (36) is a bit different than smaller ones. Once you are on you shouldn’t have much trouble with the riding itself.

I haven’t used the impulse break but it should be good enough for some moderate downhill riding. If you feel like you need more breaking power you can get a bigger disk for the break.

The only thing you can damage on most 36ers from dropping repeatedly etc, would be your handle. The shadow handle uses replaceable bar ends. I would put handle bar grips on them but if they do get wrecked they are pretty cheep to replace.

Oh and keep the break handle protected by the handle bars so it doesn’t hit the ground in the event of a crash.

I was one of the fortunate ones. I was free-mounting on the first day. It’s certainly different though. My suggestion is to jump higher than you think you need to. The important thing is to get your body on top of the wheel, and in the case of a big wheel that takes some commitment.

for the record folks. . .
brake: a device used for stopping or slowing motion (noun)
break: destroy (verb)
this bugs the living snot out of me. . . don’t take it personally.

edit: I personally think the rolling/running mount is the easiest, and it’s my regular mount for the 36er. It’s by far the most versatile because you can mount at a pretty steep incline even with small cranks. it gets the wheel moving before you even hop on. You may want to learn a static mount first, but if you do, find a good downhill grade or a small ledge to make it easier. : ) Happy riding!

Once you are up on it, not too different. The momentum (both speeding up and slowing down) is greater and turns are wider. I came from a 24" MUni and it did not take too long to pick up on it.

I also have an Impulse but I ride mostly asphalt and don’t go down too many “mountain” roads. The brake is very nice to slow down especially with short cranks.

Mine is proof, the Impulse can take a beating. I never hesitate to drop mine when it is more important to get my body out of the way first. Don’t worry about a little scratch here and there. Bar ends and seat bumpers are cheap to replace. Do, however, heed Saskatch’s advice and protect your brake lever with the handlebar. Have fun!

Some other advise:

Start out with longer cranks, like 150s. Makes mounting a bit easier and you’ll have a bit more control once you’re up and riding. As you build more skill and confidence you can go to shorter cranks.

I’ve had pretty good luck with static mounting my 36er, even on my first day of riding. I learned from other advise on this forum to position the cranks a bit lower than you would for your smaller uni. For example: I typically mount my 24/26 with the cranks basically level and go into a static mount. With my 36er I have the cranks more like 10 o’clock and 4 o’clock. If you haven’t learned to static mount on your normal uni, I’d strongly suggest learning it, it is, by far, the most useful unicycle mount there is.

Most importantly, have fun with it! There is nothing like zooming around on that massive wheel!