just learning

i got a new 24 inch torker unicycle about a month ago, and i seem to have riding pretty much down. im having a really hard time with dropping and hopping and cant seem to get the wheel mechanics right. do you have any tips on what i should do to help my problem, and do you think it is time for me to move on to a higher quality uni?

Re: just learning

If you are asking this question, it probably isn’t time to get a new uni. You will know when it is time to get a new unicycle when you run out of excused not to by one. This is usually preceeded by a decrease in concentration because you are thinking of the new uni that you are planning to get 80% of the time. I would recomend getting a new seat, if you are planing on rideing any distance greater than 2 or 3 miles.

About the hopping and drops, I would recomend working on other skills if you are stuck on advancing there. That doesn’t mean abandon them. Just concentrate on something else for a few days and then return. I have been riding for almost 2 months my self.

Here’s my new soon-to-be-overused catch phrase:

Drop your tire pressure

It will do amazing things for your hopping ability. Also, hold on to the front of your seat - this is absolutely necessary for hopping, but may not seem as obvious for drops - but its just as important, I think. If you don’t have a Miyata saddle or something with a handle, you should think about that.

I would add to that, after a recent experience, don’t attempt to hop over even the smallest of fallen branches when in a pine forest with a very deep bed of pine needles. The wheel goes down, but doesn’t come back up, then you sort of fall inelegantly over the fallen branch to the universal hilarity of nearby dog-walkers.

Seconded. It’s like nature’s man trap… you can see the ground, but for some reason by the time you’ve landed and realise where you are you’re half a foot lower than you thought you would be…

Phil, just me

Re: just learning

I wouldn’t try much hopping or dropping on your Torker. Most of are built with cheap wheels that willl bend from small drops or hops. Buy a new uni :slight_smile:

Re: Re: just learning

I dunno, I’ve got a [Insert Cheap Uni Name Here], and it’s stood up to everything so far, it can survive as far as I can jump and drop (not much, admittedly). Since starting to learn pedal grabs it’s needed some replacement cranks, and the little plastic things covering the crank nut self-destruct very quickly, but it’s still going strong!

Although now I’ve said that it’s probably doomed…

Phil, just me

Yeah, I thought my cheap (whatever) brand uni was ok, too. Although after attempting some new mounts, specifically side-mounts, I guess I applied a bit too much pressure laterally and could see as I attempted the mount, the wheel bending about 2 inches, then come back in most of the way. It’s somewhat out of true now, but may be trueable. It is still rideable, but I’m sure it’s damaged and wouldn’t hold up to much more abuse, not that I felt it was receiving any “abuse” to start with. Oh well, that’s why I’m shopping for a new muni now.

The stock wheel on all standard unicycles is built by a machine and not tensioned very well. The spokes are all too loose to make for a strong wheel that can handle lateral forces and other abuse. When you get a new uni like that you should take it to a bike shop and have them tension all of the spokes and make it all good. Tell the bike shop that you want all of the spokes tensioned and not just a simple wheel true where they only fiddle with a few of the spokes. The cost for the wheel fixup will probably be around $10 (maybe more, maybe less, depending on the bike shop). That little investment will get you a lot more use out of your wheel and you’ll be able to do side mounts without worrying about your wheel folding over.

The Kovachi wheels that unicycle.com offers as upgrades are an incredible deal. No need to take a Kovachi wheel to a bike shop to get fixed up.

The flat crown Torkers are a great uni. Their standard saddle has issues, but that is easy to get upgraded. I wouldn’t do any hopping for height on a Torker, but doing little hops for things like jumping rope or getting up a small curb would be fine. Just get the wheel and spokes fixed up at a bike shop first. Hopping on a wheel that has loose spokes is asking for trouble.