"Isn't Unicycling supposed to be faster than jogging?"

The harder the terrain, the greater the speed advantage for the person on two feet.

I have run many of the trails I now muni. I’m not a slow rider nor am I an especially fast runner, but there are plenty of trails I can run faster than I can ride, esp when you take into account resting :roll_eyes:

Fast unicycling is an oxymoron.

That said, I do so enjoy outriding a bike, esp on a hard climb, I think it really messes with their self esteem :stuck_out_tongue:

I have only been outrun by one runner. It was a frat boy doing a sprint for the last half mile of his morning run. We covered the same distance but on different routes. No way I could have beat him, he was really booking.

I was once slowly overtaken by a twenty-something on a long board I had just passed. As he crept by me he said, “I’m not going to be passed by a guy on a unicycle.” I replied, “you were just passed by a 60 year old man on a unicycle.”

I finished the Dusseldorf Marathon in just under two hours. My goal was to beat the Kenyans, and I did! I should add that Roger finished in something like 1 H 35 min on an ungeared 36". A few people on geared 36" unicycles were even faster. With a bit of effort you can hold your own with world class runners using an ungeared 36".


I’m a pretty decent runner - maybe not in such good form at the moment, but still nippy enough to finish at or near the top in orienteering competitions (running in rough terrain). Yet I don’t think I would run this route faster than this: http://www.strava.com/activities/80771998

That’s certainly not the roughest route ever, but proper off-road with some rocky stretches and over 200m (670ft) elevation gain in 40 minutes. So it certainly is possible to ride faster than to run off-road - though of course a really good runner could certainly beat me. I suppose in reality if I went for it I probably could run that route faster than I rode it, but it would take a lot more effort than riding and it certainly wouldn’t be jogging at that point!

I also reckon I could ride a marathon faster than the running record - at least with a little training. I’ve ridden a bit over half that distance at faster than 2 hour marathon pace, on a far from flat or easy route - I shifted into low gear a couple of times (on a 29er guni). I very much doubt I’m in the top 100 riders in the world.

Though in answer to the question posed by the jogger, no unicycling isn’t supposed to be faster than jogging, it’s just that some of us manage it some of the time.

I should clarify that this is on pavement.

So, I looked around and it appears that a fairly normal jog speed would be 6-7 mph. I can easily do that on my 24, so I guess if I had a bigger wheel I could go way faster than a jogger.

It depends whether we’re talking about jogging or running. It seems the OP met a runner, and that’s what I’ve been talking about - 6mph would actually be kind of quick for most joggers. It also depends whether you’re talking about on or off road - I’d suggest 7mph is pretty fast for a 24 off-road, I didn’t use to average that on a 26" wheel on my normal routes, and whilst I typically do about 7mph off road running I’d normally run a bit faster on roads (not that I ever run on the road).

This made me smile after a recent go at riding around the track and pavements that surround the local sports field. 100m up ahead of me I could see an old man with an even older dog ambling along. It must have taken me 5 minutes to catch up due to constant UPD’ing and the glacial speed I seem to propel my 26er. I eventually caught him up and had to comment to him how I was doing my best to overtake as the dog was I little disturbed by me crawling along behind him.
Quite the most humiliating ride I’ve had but it did highlight just how slow I actually go :o


I used to come across a runner on my way home from work quite regularly for a couple of years. We were pretty evenly matched for speed on that stretch of track (very coarse gravel and mud, old railway line bed, slightly uphill). I’m a pretty respectable cyclist but useless runner - I’m WAY faster on a unicycle than I would be on foot over anything more than a tiny distance. I’ll average 10 or 11 mph on my 9 mile mixed road/xc ride to work on a unicycle, but probably wouldn’t make it at all if I tried to run it (I’d have to walk to have any hope of arriving alive). A GOOD runner, on the other hand, has a pretty good chance against a unicycle over a medium distance, with the odds definitely skewing in the runner’s favour the rougher the terrain gets.

I would say I’m equally good in running and unicycling: way better than an average guy (who hardly can do a marathon either way) but not good enough to call myself an expert.

I have run several road marathons just under 3:30. Last year I ran a “forest marathon” in 5:15.

The route of the forest marathon was such that I couldn’t have finished it on any type of uni.

Some years ago I did the Dusseldorf unicycle marathon. I rode it with “standard” uni which means 28 inch wheel and 116 mm cranks. My time was under 2:30.

My conclusion is that in long distance and on smooth surface unicycling is very much faster than running. On rough surfaces the situation quickly turns to the opposite.

If you look at the world class 10km runners vs unicyclists, you’ll find the times are pretty similar for a standard unicycle (24"/125mm). Longer distances will probably give the unicycle an advantage.

As an example, my half-marathon running times are usually in the 1hr 20’s, and my standard unicycle times are just over an hour. I’m probably a better unicyclist than I am a runner though.

I’m guessing you don’t hold any running world records?

13 miles in just over an hour… I’d like to try that if I could find somewhere flat to do it!

And Gizmo is faster on a 20" than most are on 36ers! I think he did a 24 hour ride on a 20" and covered 325 miles. :wink:

I ride my 36" a slow ~5mph, and get passed by everyone not walking.

This thread gives me insight why I get a kick passing bicyclist, inline skaters and runners on my stealth electric motored recumbent trike. Revenge!

(Yeah, it feels like cheating as well.)

I would love to have a pair of Outrider 422 Alpha trikes.