"Leading with left shoulder while riding!

I know there have been similar threads about “listing” to one side while riding, with no real solution to that problem, asserting that the probelm could be with the rider and not the uni, or maybe a psi/sadle height related problem, or “dishing”,etc. My problem seems related, but when I ride muni, whether on level, or uneven, high left, high right side, I always seem to be “Leading” withmy left shoulder! It’s like I’m trying to compensate for a left-pull of the uni. So I experimented with seat height, and tried adjusting the seat a little left, then a little right, but still no real improvement. Then I noticed when I took off my back pack, the shoulder leading almost disappeared, but it was still there. No, my backpack is equally weighted, with no extra weight on one side. One thing I haven’t tried, is “building up” the seat on one side,to help" shift my weight to a more balance position. Am I correct in thinking that if my left shoulder is Jutting forward as I ride, that I should build up the RIGHT, to force my left shoulder BACK even withmy right? Does anyone think this might help, or solve the problem? I don’t know what else to try, but I HATE the extra work involved just to stay on a straight course!:stuck_out_tongue:

Not sure…but let me kno if the seat thinkg works…i get this sometimes to only with my right shoulder.

i think you should try riding a different uni. if you still can’t help leaning, you’re the problem. if it does help, then maybe your seat post is bent? wheel isn’t trued, maybe gravity just affects your right shoulder more…just throwin out some possibilities. (i’ve only had that problem when i was riding on unlevel terrain, never with pressure or saddle height)

The problem is either mental or you need to get used to your unicycle at its current setting. I often found when I made a change in tire pressure or seat hieght (or a number of other things) I had the same problem, and the more I noticed it the worse it got. My solution was to hop on the uni and ride it hard and fast until my legs were a little tired (but loosened up) and then hop back on the uni. More often than not it solved the problem.

Of course, inspect your unicycle before doing this to make sure your wheel isn’t off center. Also check your pedals, sometimes when your grip on the pedals isn’t strong it leads to changes in the way you ride.

I just thought that instead of building up the seat with foam under the cover, I could “shim” or add washers under one side of the seat where it bolts on.

It may be that, as your riding develops, your musculature and technique are becoming asymmetric. Consider taking active steps to balance your riding style by idling with each leg, one-foot riding with each leg, working on figure 8s, hopping with each foot forward, and even holding the saddle with either hand.

i may have a some-what related problem. when i’m going up steepish hills i tend to have my left shoulder way out in front and in most cases my left shoulder is level with or further to the right than my seat. Is this a big problem?

when i ride across a sloped surface i tend to move my right shoulder forward a lot more just to stay up right. i got a new tire for my uni and it pretty much stopped when i did that.

cheers, keep it wheel.

Well I just finished adding extra washers onder the right under side where the seat bolts on. I noticed BEFORE I did this that the seat was high on the left side when the bolts were even. I think I just compressed that side down more during riding. So I will see if this has any effect and fixes the problem. Thanks everybody!:slight_smile:

I have come to my own conclusion that leading with one shoulder or the other is a means for controlling front-to-back balance.

I get into an awkward position such as a left or right slanting road surface, I slow down and the next thing that happens is one shoulder starts leading the way. One shoulder goes forward and so of course the other goes back. Then instead of using my arms to control side-to-side balance my arms are controlling front-to-back balance.

Slanted surfaces and steeply curved road crown (especially while riding my 29er) still give me a lot of trouble. It is better than it used to be but still feels really awkward.

I don’t think it is your equipment unless something is really mis-aligned. The problem is with the rider.

My 2 cents.

You shouldn’t have to “think” about that stuff when you ride; it should all be totally natural and flowing, like riding a bike.You don’t think about balance, you just ride and react naturally. It really takes the fun out of riding when you’re constantly readjusting and compensating to simply stay on a straight path.It’s taxing and saps my stamina over a long 3 hour ride. When I pull my backpack way over to the right,it seems to straighten me out, but it’s evenly weighted. So it seems that I need more weight on my right side in order to balance me out. maybe I can situate my water bladder over to the right side, so Idon’t have to add extra weight.:frowning:

I’ve found this to be right. When I upped the pressure on my Coker tire, this happened, and I eventually just got used to it and it went away.

You found “what” to be right? When you upped the pressure what exactly happened?

Yesterday I rode Daytripper63’s brand new KH 29er (with splined axle). I felt like it rode a little funny, wanting to pull to one side or the other, like riding on carpet. Very noticeable when riding on slanted bits of trail. It was very noticeable at first, but after a mile or so of riding it I felt less uncomfortable. I think the tire pressure was okay, though I didn’t change it. I don’t know if it’s the tire shape. My tendency is to trust Kris on the choice of tire on any of his unicycles.

But I only rode a mile or so, not enough to form a proper opinion or nail down the problem (if any).

For Terry, I’d recommend starting with the advice of whoever said to ride a different unicycle. Isolate whether it’s the unicycle or you.

The problem is not necessarily just in your mind or riding technique. It could also be orthopedic. But that’s one of those things to be stuck with, only after eliminating everything else. Backpack: Are you sure the straps are equally adjusted? I usually have to adjust my Camelbak straps a little on every ride, as they tend to loosen.

Are you holding the seat most of the time? If so, which hand is on the seat? If that shoulder is leading I don’t think it’s a problem. But if it constantly bugs you it is. If you don’t normally hold the seat, try it. Hold the seat for long periods. It might take a while to get used to the idea, but it makes you more stable to the cycle, as well as increasing your leverage. It may help you straighten out.

I highly doubt the side-to-side angle of your seat has anything to do with this. A crooked seat is more likely to just make you sore on one side more than the other. But let us know if it works!

why does it matter??
and this happens to me after I do spins, but only then and all I have to do to fix it is hop-180 out of it or spin 180 out of it

I ‘lead’ with my right shoulder. I find it especially annoying when I’m riding on the prom - which slopes pretty badly towards the sea but is essentially smooth concrete. It’s not so bad on the pavement which hasn’t got so much of a slope and is extremely bumpy.


If you ride in the other direction, do you still lead with your right shoulder? Does the direction of slope (left or right) determine which shoulder you lead with?

I usually ride in the same direction because that way the wind is behind me. It is a fierce wind along the Prestatyn prom. However, if memory serves, going in the other direction I don’t lead with either shoulder. I never lead with my left shoulder. Another thing that happens at the leaning times is that my right knee (which is quiet fat) gets rubbed by the tyre. So I must be slightly twisted.

Interestingly (or at least I think so), when I rode 12 miles (which is my longest ride so far but hopefully not for long) along a slightly bumpy offroad track with Zippy, I didn’t twist at all. Right at the end, when I was quite tired, my shoulder did lead a little bit, but not much. I was wearing shorts and my knee did not get rubbed by the tyre at all. On this ride I was making a concious effort not to twist because my shoulders sometimes get tense and ache when this happens. I didn’t want 12 miles worth of aching shoulders. But I think the biggest factor was that there was no slope.


Re: "Leading with left shoulder while riding!

loosejello wrote:

> I’ve found this to be right. When I upped the pressure on my Coker
> tire, this happened, and I eventually just got used to it and it went
> away.

When I first got my current muni, I had a consistent pulling-to-the-left
problem. In my case adjusting the tire pressure helped a lot. Another
thing I did as a diagnostic measure was to spin the saddle around the
other way and ride for a few minutes “backwards” to see if that helped.
In my case it did, so I then unmounted my Duro tire and mounted it the
other way around, so I’m riding the tire “backwards.” These changes
fixed 90% of the pull, but it it is still noticable on certain types of
terrain, at certain times. It has stopped bothering me greatly though.

Gardner Buchanan gbuchana(a)teksavvy(dot)com
FreeBSD: Where you want to go. Today.

I used to lead with one shoulder–I don’t remember which one. Learn to ride holding the saddle handle with one hand. Then do the same with the other hand. And finally learn to ride while holding on with both hands. My upper body is in three different positions for each of those, so I’ve learned to lead with either shoulder, neither, or somewhere in between. It’s very useful for muni.