Just saying HI!

Hello all,

First post here so I figured I’d just say HI and introduce myself. I’m a 52 year old total beginner. About a year ago I bought a OneWheel electric skateboard type device which I have ridden every single day since I bought it. It’s a ton of fun but I was looking for a little more challenge so I bought an EUC. That was definitely trickier than the OneWheel but I was still cruising around town within a few hours. So, I decided to try something even more challenging and bought a unicycle. That was about a month ago and it has proven to be the most challenging thing I can ever remember trying to learn. I had read a bunch about how it just “clicks” and I fully expected that to happen for me. No such luck. My progress has been steady but very slow. I practice 30-45 min a day most days and at this point can ride a few hundred feet but cant seem to relax and sit so my legs get sore super fast. As soon as I start thinking about my sore legs and “now what” I panic and bail. Its amazing how scary being 6" off the ground can be.

I’ve had a ton of questions but have found answers to just about all of them using the search bar. This site is a great resource. Thanks for all the info and advice. I’ll check back with updates occasionally as I progress.

Chris P.

Good on you!
You’ll probably be all good soon, just keep riding! :slight_smile:

Welcome Chris. Always good to try a new challenge!

Well done!! Looks like you are doing better than the average starter, especially for the age group (I started same age). I doubt you’ll feel an “clicks” (other than knees) just a slow progression as the brain and body do it for you without conscious effort. Keep it up and don’t let and set backs slow you down.

If you can ride a few hundred feet you can ride and you are already way past the “it clicks” stage.
The leg fatigue will disappear over time.
Obviously your legs are getting stronger by all the abuse but more importantly; the “weight in seat will” come by itself. But it takes time.

Some things you can do:
Remind yourself during the ride “bum on seat”
Try to consciously “lift” the knee on the up-stroke (more of an un-weigh). This results in more weight in the seat.

Hi Chris
looks like you are well on your way. what size uni are you learning on

My learning curve was pretty linear. The “clicking” analogy didn’t really apply to me. I like the “tool belt” analogy. There are many physical/technical tools we use to ride. At first we don’t have a tool. For example, we can ride straight but we don’t know how to turn). Then we acquire a tool but struggle to use it. Then we master the tool. At a certain point, we have enough tools, working correctly, and riding gets easier, less of a struggle. We use less energy to ride, and our distance increases.

Keep up the good work, and welcome to the forum!

Welcome! I am also a beginner and 53 years old. When I get funny looks from my neighbors as I roll by I just say “mid life crisis”…

It took me 27 days at about 45 min per day of practice to be able to ride without just falling over after a few revolutions. I’m also currently in the phase of having to jump off due to pain, but it is getting easier every day. Getting to a few hundred feet already is awesome.


Sounds like you are making great progress! However if you were lead to believe that it just clicks, you were likely misinformed. It takes time and persistence to develop your muscle memory. Lots of practice with almost no recognizable improvement over time is the norm. Stay with it.

Some people can figure it out in 5 hours and others 5 weeks or 5 months, The only thing for sure it that your learning story won’t be exactly like anyone else’s.

Just don’t quit.

I started trying to learn on a 26" muni. I’m 6’4" so I hoped I could skip the smaller wheels and go right to the big guy. After a couple weeks I could still only manage a few revs and was really afraid of falling and getting hurt so I picked up a 20" Sun. The smaller wheel has been much easier to make progress on.

Welcome, Chris! 1 month to riding is solid progress, and a bit quicker than I managed. I have the same 2 types of unicycle. Just riding in a straight line is easier on the bigger wheel, but everything else is easier on the small wheel. The extra three inches off the ground seems like a lot more.

You will get it!!!

I can sense determination in you.
-you’ve “ditched” the electronic pseudo unicycles.
-you’ve done the research(too bad “most of us” riders “can’t teach”)
-you bought a 26"
-you got rid of the 26"
-you got a 20"

Sounds like what I went through. Whoever made up that rule “just takes 15 hrs”. Probably “you people” who used to ride when they were 8 or 10 years old. (yes, I’m very jealous…but mostly angry at their useless advice)
It took me about 2 months riding everyday totaling 70+ hrs. I also, threw my 1st unicycle(24") into a trash dumpster after wasting 30hrs of getting nowhere. Re-adjusting that stupid wimpy seatpost clamp, and re-tightening that crappy/non-standard cotterless pedals. Then, I finally got a solid 20" torker, and did a few “opposite” things. Finally…Success!

1.) Maintain solid heavy “pedal tension”. Unlike riding a normal bicycle where you push down(front pedal) and relax(back pedal), you must keep pressure on the “back pedal”. Otherwise, the pedaling speeds up = you fall off.

2.) A.B.L.F. “Always Be Leaning Forwards” But, first gear up. Safety gloves, elbow pads, helmets, (even a bmx or motorcycle crash vest). Then starting leaning forwards. I’m an old skateboarder who used to skate in bowls, when you drop into the bowl it feels like you are “falling down/forwards”. That’s when I knew I finally “got it” on the unicycle. Same kind of feeling. Don’t fall behind the unicycle. Fall forwards. You need to feel it. Get used to the feeling.
(If I could go back in time it would have cut 55 hrs of learning…then I could brag,…yeah…15 hrs…me too!!!)

3.) Key. Get the balance right! Leaning forwards + pedal speed = riding. It’s just the pedaling “quality”. Always, maintain the tension in both pedals when pedaling. Fast pedaling = your body will rock back and unicycle goes forward.(then it shoots in front of you) Slower pedaling = your body will rock forwards and unicycle get’s behind you.(then it shoots behind you) Also, if you just freeze your legs you will lean forwards(quickly), which you might need in a pinch. Get the balance right.

4.) Last tip. Do not sit up straight, but rather hunch your upper body forwards. This is an “additional control” to the forward lean dynamic. Sitting tall and looking at a distant object in front of you bullshit, is for we you get better.

5.) Almost forgot. Pinch your thighs together on the saddle. This is your lateral control or “twisting unicycle” control. An absolute must.

So give it a try. Or even do the opposite. Experiment. You’ve obviously been trying the standard unicycle expert advice tips to no avail.
Good luck.

Some unicycles are just way harder to ride than others. Even in a 24" size. Maybe it’s the cranks, or tyre or rim. Hard to tell.

Nothing else to add, my uni-colleagues have said it all. Just wanted to thank this forum too and remind us how vastly superior it is to a Facebook page where everything disappears within hours…

Good for you!

Chris, Welcome and congrats on your progress! As many others have given much more practical advice, all I wanted to add was that I too can remember well struggling with keeping my weight on the seat. This was only 8 months ago for me, so it’s still pretty fresh.

I don’t remember anything “clicking” for me either. As I think back I can recall struggling with this and then, it just wasn’t an issue anymore. Don’t get discouraged. You’re well on your way, just keep pedaling! Hopefully soon you will transition from the frustration you feel now to it being a most rewarding and fun activity for you :slight_smile: