Is being overweight a deal breaker?

Hi All,

This may sound like a silly question, maybe it is, but is being overweight (I am 6’1" tall and weigh 325 lbs) a deal breaker when it comes to learning to unicycle?

I have always wanted to learn to ride and bought my kids (I have 6, ages 3-9) a 16" cheapy model off amazon for Christmas. I bought myself a 20" Hoppley, it just arrived yesterday and I can already tell the seat post is too short for my height. So I haven’t even attempted to start practicing yet, until I get a taller seat post.

My plan was to practice in secret, so that by the time Christmas arrived, I would be able to help my kids with the basics and give them hope that they can learn as well.

Anyway, is my obesity going to be a real issue here, or is it just going to make it more challenging?

Thanks for any and all responses!

I don’t think it will make any difference, if you can walk or in my case hobble, you can ride.
As a bonus if you stick with it those pounds will start dropping off.
Welcome to the forum.


Hi DangerDad (nice screen name!)

Your size and weight won’t be a deal breaker, but I wouldn’t be surprised if you managed to break (bend) those United cranks on the Hoppley.

For now I would just get a longer seatpost. Either the heavy duty steel version (not sure if UDC is just lumping them in with the club ones or if they stopped being available at the US store, you could call them and check) or the alloy one. Steer clear of the long thin steel ones as you will likely bend it above the clamp, and the good seatposts aren’t much more money.

If you do any hopping you will bend those cranks, if you don’t they might be fine. In my opinion that is the weakest point on the your unicycle. There are cranks out there that are better than the United cranks but cheaper than the Nimbus ones but no reason to get too deep into that unless we have to. I would just ride what you got and try to avoid hopping for the time being.

Welcome to the community!

It’s possible the hub can bend too where the crank arms join to it. If you find you enjoy unicycling a lot and become addicted, consider upgrading to a 24" that’ll fit your height better. A Nimbus II would probably work really well for weight if you are comfortable shelling out the extra money.

It’s definitely good exercise and a lot of fun! I’ve lost 20 lbs since May by unicycling, portion control, watching what I’m eating more, and having a few less brewskis :).

Definitely be patient and keep in mind it takes roughly 10 hrs to go 25 feet without holding onto anything. Then things pick up at a faster pace. Good luck and keep us posted on your progress!

Not really that likely. The UDC cotterless hubs have a hardened spindle and are much better quality than you would typically find on other inexpensive unicycles.

About 1250-130kg and only 5 foot 10" in height. Would probably be somewhat similar to what you are in height to weight ratio.


I agree with the others. It shouldn’t be a problem other than a little more stress on the unicycle. I would encourage you to learn to ride. It’s fun and great exercise - the perfect combination!

I’m not familiar with the uni you mentioned, but be aware seat comfort varies hugely. Some are like bricks and others are just right. Make sure to adjust the seat height so your legs can extend properly. If not, you will wear yourself out. Also, pump the tire to its maximum recommended pressure for the same reason.

Have fun!

Thanks for all the great responses!

I really appreciate all the advice and support. I plan on learning to ride and so want to make riding a regular part of my lifestyle.
I hope to inspire my kids so that they all learn to ride also.

You may want to get a double bolt clamp. I have replaced all the regular ones on my unicycles. It may not be necessary but it just feels better to be sure. I know i do :slight_smile:

One thing about being overweight is that there’s a lot more force on the body when you land.

I recommend knee pads, wrist guards, even elbow pads. Which aren’t so necessary for normal weight people.

When I first learned I was according to my Dr, obese. I learning to ride is a healthy challenge big or not. It helped me tremendously with getting in cardio without really thinking about it. I did lose some weight and did a lot to strengthen my core, my back and my legs. The only difference for me between when I was bigger riding and riding when I was not is I sweat more in the beginning.

Being only slightly overweight like 5kgs or so, I still sweated like a pig in the beginning:)
I’d guess most people will.
In the beginning more energy is spent keeping balance.

I’m not overweight but I sweat so much (particularly under my helmet) that people think I have been swimming, given that I practice by the sea.

I am as thin as a rake handle with the wood shaved off, but I perspire like a tap when unicycling. I was told that it helps remove the water retention, but I have no experience or knowledge of this really. It makes sense in a logical way, but I guess others can shed a bit more light on that. After a decent run yesterday, my appetite was incredibly large, I actually consumed most of my wife’s dinner as well as mine, so I wonder how this all pans out in the scheme of things with weight etc… ??

I nearly forgot to say that DangerDad is brilliant, keep up the good work, for yourself and your nippers… excellent stuff !!

A guy I know got his kids unicycling and has had to develop some pretty good skills to stay ahead of them and keep them entertained. They will soon surpass him anyway, though.

It will help you with dropping off some of you extra lbs too. Good luck with your plans. Go try harder.

My wife would kill me if I tried that!