How to train UPDs?

I ride my 36er every other day and for months I have not had an upd. I don’t go as fast as my legs permit because I am unsure if I can run out a high speed fall. Is there a way to train this ability?

Ride fast, jump off the front, and see if you don’t fall. :wink:

Coker MUni.

Not running out of a UPD is not that big of a deal. You may get a bit scraped up. At the very least, make sure to wear wrist guards (and a helmet!) when riding faster.


add knee guards if you’re really worried about it. stay sharp when riding fast and roll if gravity really gets the best of you. avoid direct blows to the knees.

Wear gloves and a helmet at the very least.

get good at accelerating into a sprint instantly…perhaps jump off a small drop and start running

also get good at jump stops

and not tripping over unicycles

and get pads if you’re going to be going over 20mph

shin guards if your pedals have metal pins

yay for line-by-line posts


by instantly I mean very quickly


also, remember that if you are going max speed you have little room to adjust to small bumps by accelerating the wheel
maybe learn to ride a bc wheel to help that


Maybe I’m stating the obvious, but when necessary don’t forget to “tuck and roll” rather than landing face first with arms splayed.

Here’s an old thread on a similar subject… THREAD

Hm, not a bad idea. I am bound to get some fall-off training if I hit the trails with the big wheel. Probably need to switch to longer cranks than 127 mm.

Also someone suggested running – this could at least make me feel more confident when speed increases.

127 cranks are great for muni, if you have too long cranks you won’t fall off enough!

I was doing muni on 102s not to long ago.

Ok I’ll give it a try. What’s the next step? Muni on a BC?

I wouldn’t waste your time training your UPDs, just give them rare candies so they level up.

How can you train something called “unplanned” dismount? :wink:

On topic:

You could learn the basics of parcour, it makes the landing of a UPD way easier, just because you know how to roll out of the landing and transform the force into movement rather then crashing into the pavement.

Just as FlybyTire said: Tuck and roll

Madison(Ducttape on the forums) was in my health class at school and we had to make a ‘how to survive pamphlet’ he made his as a joke for unicyclists, I guess it will actually be usefull here so I had him email it to me. Here you go! it’s supposed to be a brochure so the first page is printed on one side and the second page on the other side and folded accordion style. Hope it helps a little.

-Justin(All from the forums)

surviving_a_high_speed_unicycle_crash.pdf (368 KB)

What does UPD mean?

Un-Planned Dismount.

Yeah, it does seem weird to plan for something that’s unplanned. But it works! And your suggestions are good: tuck and roll, if possible (and necessary) rather than splatting into the pavement. I sometimes tuck one shoulder in order to make the roll happen more easily (but making sure not to smash my shoulder into the ground – so far, so good).

Here is another great piece of advice: if you’re (smart enough to be) wearing wrist guards, you should actually REACH for the ground with one of your hands (whichever is closer to the ground at the time, like if you’re tilted to one side more than the other). You would not believe how much easier this can make your life.

Especially if they are equipped with a piece of plastic (nylon?) in the palm of your hand – then you’ll glide smoothly along the tarmac.

To train the tuck & roll I should perhaps step down to my 20". The height of the Coker feels intimidating. Or I could do it on my way uphill when my nose is already close to the ground.

Yes, I’ve got a big nose.

Just ride in grass really fast (as fast as you can) and then take a foot off the pedal and step off the front you’ll either be able to run it out or you’ll trip and be forced to learn how to tuck and roll, just remember that the tuck and roll method is not very effective if you fall with a backpack on.

This is the preferred method of rolling, as taught in Judo, Jiu-Jitsu, Aikido and other arts. Rolling head-on (straight forward) incurs the risk of landing on one’s head or spine. Being that we don’t wear spine protection, I’d advise against a head-on roll on any hard surface.

Rolling shoulder-on (over one shoulder) mitigates this risk as well as provides a softer landing.

NO! DON’T! I would not give out such advice as this can (and has in the past) lead to dislocations of the wrist / shoulder, or broken arms / collar bones. Most people, when reaching out, lock the elbow in such a way that the wrist and shoulder can take the full load of the fall.

The proper technique is to present a curved arm to the ground. Ideally, the “knife edge” (pinky side) of the hand will contact the ground first.

Here are a few illustrations of a proper roll:
(beginning at 1:48)
This video illustrates a roll that ends in standing position. At high speed, this type of roll will prevent most injuries, but it can take a lot of space… you might even end up having to take a few steps or another roll to come to a complete stop.
The second video illustrates a “roll-out” where the ground is used to absorb all of the energy of the fall. This can be a bit hard on the legs and knees, but is a good technique to learn when you must stop immediately.

Same technique here: