Learning Journal

Sadly all the ‘tricks’ are hard for me. Took about 3 months of almost daily practise last winter to finally get idling under control. Funny thing is that years ago I seemed to be better with my left foot down, but now my right foot is much better.

Got out this morning for a two and a half hour ride down to Suncheon Bay and back with JongSeul, me on a 29" and JongSeul on his 36". My first long ride (over an hour) for quite a few months. Legs like rubber now… Certainly had control problems coming back and did upd, fortunately off the path into long grass, no damage. Riding along five minutes later and realise I’m chewing on something, what is it? grass seed…:smiley:

Don’t think I mentioned it, but I broke the hub on my 29 a few weeks ago. Can’t have done more than 160 hours on it too. Got a new hub too late to get the wheel to a bike shop before a long weekend so all my basic training plans for the Incheon marathon were blown out window… Last week I ran a marathon in Ban KiMun’s (UN Sec.Gen.) hometown so no riding then. So yet again, it’s going to be another instant marathon for me. I think Hank in Daejeon is planning to do the same with the Half course. :wink:

Had hopes of doing a sub 3,if I can’t do it on two feet I’ll do it on one wheel!

Uphill SIB

I remember how happy I was the first time I made it up a long, winding, paved path in a local park. The other day I was able to ride up that same path, without dismounting, with the seat in the back. I handed the seat from my right to left hand and back several times during the ~ 1/4 mile ride (I probably would have dropped it from the strain, otherwise). At the end of the ride I was able to, with great effort, pull the seat back under me and ride away SI. I was breathing pretty hard.

Several months ago I climbed that hill successfully SIF. That was another milestone. Then later, two-handed SIF without removing either hand for the duration of the ride.

One thing I like about unicycling: there are so many variations of riding. I never have to feel like I’m performing the “same old same old”.

One day I’d like to succeed in riding up the same hill backwards. My pedaling motion, however, is weaker while riding backwards, particularly at the 12:00 and 6:00 positions. But, with practice, I think it is possible.

This summer I will have a lot of free time to practice some difficult techniques I have not yet learned: one-footed riding (I want to puke when I read how quickly some people on the forum have learned it) and wheel walking. These techniques are going to take a lot of patience, and I’m most likely going to feel like I’m starting over.

Congrats on the progress, epU! Great stuff!
(For me any new technique is like starting over!)


Conversely, if it doesn’t feel like starting over, it probably isn’t a new technique. For example, I was suddenly, one day, able to execute a static mount, without ever spending any real time practicing it. The static mount was not a new technique, but rather the product of some other techniques. In my case, practicing SIF mounts and the gradual raising of my seat-post meant that, during a static mount I could use both hands and my butt to create the right amount of counter-force to the weight of my mounting foot. So, one day, I decided to attempt a static mount, and found that it was easy. But learning the techniques that went into it…was not easy.

The lesson is, for me, that if I am failing at a particular technique, I may need to break it down into component techniques, which will then need to be practiced. In the case of the static mount, I did not understand the component techniques until after the fact. Moral: practice the basics.

One footed riding is going to be hard. Partly because my own riding style involves more SIF technique and weight on the handle-bars, techniques which diminish the weight in the saddle. For another rider, one who has taken more seriously the “weight in the saddle” principle, one-footed riding would probably come more easily. Also, I have to be willing to flail madly, throwing one arm around for balance, in order to learn one-footed riding. I remember, as a beginner, feeling like I was constantly pulling muscles in my rib-cage from this flailing. I have to be willing to re-live this twitchiness to learn one-footed riding.


That was me whining about camber in a different thread last year.

I’ve now ridden my 29er over 1000 miles and got very good at handling camber by fighting through it and uncomfortably twisting my upper body to one side when the trail slopped up from left to right.

Yesterday when I took out my uni to ride I noticed the tire had lost air over night and checked it for leaks. Sure enough, I found a small carpet tack poking out of the tire. I then threw the uni in the car and headed over to my LBS for a new tube. The mechanic noticed that the tire had worn to one side and suggested I leave it for him to adjust the spokes.

Today I rode my uni with a new tube, tire and spokes adjusted. I had no twisting problems when I rode my usual route! Apparently my wheel has been off kilter all this time! The mechanic said he adjusted the wheel about 4mm. I’m so happy he took time to notice this and was so interested in my uni. Most of the time when I go in there I get this feeling that they don’t take my unicycling seriously. Well this guy, who I’ve never met before, was really impressed with my Oracle uni. He thought it was cool and was happy to hear all about high-end unicycles and fix my wheel.

:smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

That guy is a keeper!
Nice end of story. 4mm is a lot of offset for sure. While on flat road it’s probably not much of a problem, but as soon as you hit road camber it must make it way worse.
Congrats on the 1000+ miles!

it’s also a good idea to check the saddle bracket which is welded onto the top of your seat post.

I noticed on one of my seat posts that the bracket was welded on crooked. :angry:

Yes I’ve had that happen as well. The one I’m using looks ok.

Thanks. I’ve ridden it four days in a row and I’m still loving the adjustment.

I’m going to send him and his boss a thank you email.

Hi guys. :slight_smile:
It seems ages since I’ve written on here. It’s ages since I’ve ridden my unicycles. I fell off and hurt my ankle, then I trapped a nerve which meant I couldn’t sit down properly. :frowning:
Anyway, I’m on the mend now, just need some good unicycle weather :slight_smile:
I’m still learning !
I finally got a Nightfox frame. WOW! What a difference it made to my riding. I think it took me about an hour or less of trying to get on it, but I think heaps of that was down to confidence. I was soon able to freemount no probs at all, and on flat surfaces as well. It’s lovely to ride. But I have not done too many miles as I hurt myself about a week later, so not been on it as much as I need to.

I’ve included a few pictures.
The top left is a comparison with a 29’’ Unicycle. ( plus my preferred angle of dangle of seats )
The top right is the difference in length between the Nightfox frame and the Oracle frame.
Middle left pic shows the seat in it’s lowest position and middle right pic is as I have it set.
I really expected that I would be in the lowest position poss as I have short legs. 29’. But I was surprised how I kept upping the frame. Finally settled on something comfy. I have 145’ cranks. I had to keep moving the handlebar as I kept bashing my legs.
Bottom pics show the neat way that the cable threads through the seat holder.

I still have to get used to the positioning as I’m not able to lift up the front of the seat, and I tend to lean too far forward and then UPD. I feel I am sitting forward of the wheel and this isn’t helping me trying to dismount off the back, if you see what I mean. I could do with a seat being a cross between a KH freeride and a KH Zero.
I might have a think about putting some stand offs between the seat and the frame to lift up the nose a little. Also going to alter the handle. I came a right cropper once when I fell off and trapped my ankle.

I did a bit of muni on ! I’ll try and find some pics…
I was so surprised with what I managed, okay it was only a few hundred metres but i was chuffed. I knew I could have done better if I had less air in my tyre but i wanted the extra air for when I went out on the road.
Looking forward to getting back in the saddle again, I love my 36’,:slight_smile: but also looking forward to trying out a 32’ :roll_eyes:

Here’s the pic…
Okay it was down a slope :roll_eyes:
But I still can’t believe I did it :slight_smile:
I was discussing unicycling the other evening and I said that if I can do it anyone can !
So if there are any newbees reading this thread or anyone thinking about taking up unicycling…Go for it ! It is just so much fun.

Well done Alucard! Sorry to hear about your injury. I truly hope you are on the mend.

So you decided to get a Nightfox frame. Didn’t you have another 36er that you were going to cut its cut the seat tube? Was that one an Oracle?

Thanks for the great rundown of your experience with the big wheel. Now that I’m comfortable with my 29er I’m starting to think about what it would be like to ride a 36er. I need to get someone to let me try their wheel. Not sure I’d fit on any old wheel though. My uni inseam is 31.5".

I see what you mean about that seat. I like mine tipped up a bit and always try to sit towards the back.

I hope the weather cooperates. We’ve had dreadful rain and wind these days. At least daylight hours are getting longer.

Vertigo- I have a feeling that I will need to swap some saddles and frames around after Christmas. I can try a nimbus flat or impact Naomi with a short seatpost on my Oracle 36 and get you a measurement. And of course you are welcome to try it out.


Great to see new updates in this thread! Alucard, way to go for your Nightfox success and your muni breakthrough ride. Muni really is a blast. I thought it was the silliest thing I’d ever heard of when I first saw it on the web, but I wound up trying it anyway and loved it. It just seems like whenever I get the urge to go do it, it’s either night time or the trails are closed due to rain, as they are now.

I hope the back issues are behind you (so to speak) and the ankle isn’t anything serious.

And Vertigo, I’m really looking forward to following your progress when you get your 36" unicycle. As strong a unicyclist as you’ve turned out to be and with all the miles you’ve racked up on your 29", you’ll do great on it, I’m sure of that.

I might post a proper journal update one of these days if I can pull some of my thoughts together. I’m still riding regularly, not as far or as often since I haven’t been checking in at Strava but enjoying it more when I do it.

Vertigo- 32" on an Oracle 36 with 140 cranks an the Nimbus bird poop seat ( the Nimbus flat I think ). So 125 should just work. Although I would recommend starting with at least 140s.

Thanks Matt for the measurement. Love the description of that seat.

So it sounds like 140 cranks would be too long.:frowning: I started out on the 29er with 150mm cranks. I can’t imagine starting with 125s on a 36er. Maybe a 36er isn’t in my future.

How about the Nightfox then? That’s what Alucard rides, and she’s raving about it!

Don’t give up on that 36"! With your preference for distance riding on the road you will love it. It is so much smoother and faster than a 29". Check out this video from Terry Peterson and Liz Wilson. A Nightfox should fit you just fine!

@ Vertigo, if you love your 29er then just stick at it. But if you dont think you’re ready, then I believe you’re well beyond ready. The 36er is actually quite easy to ride and the lighter, the longer cranks the easier to make corrections, thus maybe easier than a 29er on short cranks. It wont take any longer to adjust to then when you first started with the 29er;)

Love my new KH set up, but havent gotten to the ‘in love’ stage. Havent yet ‘owned’ it.

Even though, my nightrider is friggen heavy,feels like a cruiser, Ive gotten so used to it and it sooo smooth to ride, with such heavy rolling momentum, sorta like driving a heavy Cadillac, comfortable, not twitchy, feels fast, absorbs bumps well, just simply feels comfortable, if you get my drift. And perfectly paired with the Qx-11.

KH aluminum is awesome at a lightweight 16.5 lbs (!)(according to my bathroom weight scale/ and the nimbus nightrider comes in at @21lbs, with handlebar and heavy coker tire).
KH, however, a whole different feeling that I have to aquire new taste for. Fast and nimble, yet at the present moment, it doesnt feel too fast ( even though it is fast) it just feels twitchy. I believe I have to get used to a practicing a smooth cadence, and Im still over powering my strokes. Seriously, it feels twitchy like my 29er on 110s cranks.
I like the Zero saddle, but not in love, at the present moment it still takes a toll on my sitbones. Im hoping a new design will have more cushion, honestly. I like the flat though…

Overall, both great Unis, both have its own unique characteristics to fall in love with ;)20151228_170934_opt.jpg