Im having problems with idling...

Ive been looking over the net for things to do to get my idling down. APperntly im not very user friendly when it comes to searching. So could someone give me some tips on what to do to learn how to idle…at this point in my life I have been unicycling for about 1 week and 3 days. I can ride it and freemount about 99% of the time. So I think im ready to learn something new. Pointers would be appreciated. thank you

What’s the problem? This will help a lot with useful answers.

Meanwhile, if you haven’t tried it, use the search feature in the forums. If you’re reading this post in a web browser (at, there’s a little search button on the upper right, under the ads. That will help you search through tens of thousands of threads here. Idling should be the main search word, but you could also try rocking.

well ive been trying to do the whole ride forward then throw in a half revolution backwards…but every time i try that the uni just flys foreword. then i try holding onto an object but im not exaclty sure what im supposed to be accomplishing? How much should the cranks be moving in this situation?

Can you dismount gracefully with the unicycle in front? That’s a level 1 skill, which will help you gain some forward/backward control. Then maybe just try stopping and riding off before adding the half revolution backwards.

Anyway you slice it, idling is hard for most people to learn. Keep trying, but also work on other skills. The IUF skill levels is a good starting point for thing to learn.


Mine and Andrew Carter’s site has some helpful tips on idling (along with a hole lot of other stuff:)

Here’s an excerpt from the new USA, Inc. Skills Handbook about how to learn to idle.

Idling, or staying in one place while sitting on the unicycle, is a very useful skill. As is true in learning most unicycling skills, it simply takes practice. Basically, the rider should sit firmly on the seat, look forward, move the pedals back and forth in a rocking motion, and use the support of a wall or a helper to get started.

Be sure to practice idling by alternating which foot you have in the down position. This builds strength on both sides of the body and also makes it easier to learn other, more advanced unicycling skills.

Equipment: Learning to idle is normally easier on a smaller wheel size, such as a 20-inch for anyone able to comfortably ride that size. However, it’s not much more difficult to learn on a slightly larger wheel size.

Be sure there’s enough air in your tire.

Learning to idle:

  1. Sit firmly on the unicycle seat and look ahead. Begin with a helper or two, or stretch out one arm to get some support from a wall.

  2. Place one foot on the pedal that’s in the down position and rest the other foot lightly on the pedal that’s on top. If you are right-foot dominant, you may want to begin with that foot down first. Use the bottom foot to begin a rocking motion. Move the bottom pedal back and forth in the motion of a pendulum.

  3. Keep your body upright.

  4. Don’t tense up. Relax and feel your weight sinking into the unicycle seat as the foot on the bottom pedal moves smoothly forward and backward.

The range of motion in idling is normally less than reaching a horizontal position with the pedals. The range usually decreases with practice.

  1. Count the pedal strokes. That helps you stay focused and allows you to gauge your progress.

As you get more comfortable with idling, let go of the support for a few seconds. Then gradually increase that time until you no longer need support at all.

In an hour or so of solid practice, you should find you’re making progress. If you aren’t actually idling, you will have a good idea of how it’s done.

Other tips:

Also practice riding forward, stopping, and getting into a position to idle without assistance.

Remember to develop both your right and left sides—alternate the position of your feet, so you learn to idle with either foot in the down position.

It’s possible to practice idling in smaller, more confined areas. Find opportunities to practice for even a few minutes each day. Frequent practice helps your body adjust to the sense of balance necessary to develop the skill.

When using a wall for support in the early stages, begin with one hand providing support. Gradually increase the time without support and decease the amount of support. For example, allow yourself only the occasional support of your smallest finger against the wall to keep you steady.

Don’t think about do it, is the best advice i’ve recieved.


hi, im from england, i think this unimax sounds like a bit of a know it all really. i learnt ow to idle doing it whilst holding on to something and then gradually let go.

just in case yer confused about what exactly the “down position” is, its where yer pedals are vertical. srry if that’s stupid, but that was the main thing that stood in the way when i was lernin to idle