Learning Journal

On a side note, a friend of my brothers, brother is a unicyclist, he has a 29er, an 20" flat land, and can do some pretty sweet trials and distance riding, so i will be hanging out with him! haha time to get my learn on!

We’re not fudging the date are we???
Anyway after 2 years and 3 months I now have 3 wheels! So the answer to the question I never get here is of course; " At home!"

Neat video, that has to be the greatest training ground ever, hope you can get out on it every weekend until you hit the hills :slight_smile:
Of course I’m now waiting for the version with a musical background :wink:

Cheers

Our broadband was very slow this morning but I finally managed to watch your video Alucard. Thanks for posting it (thanks to the camera man too). Yes, that looks a great practice ground for developing early muni skills. In my inexperienced opinion would it be better to have slightly longer cranks for rough ground?
As far as sunglasses go I have no idea. The problem with my prescription sunglasses is slight distortion at the edge.

Have fun.
Joseph.

Hi guys.

Thanks for the comments.
krjamesMe fudge the date? Never your honor :roll_eyes:
I left the original sound on so we could all hear the birds twittering in the background ;), in between the traffic noise. This is a field where cameraman hubby flies his rc planes. So I will be able to play with my uni while he plays with his planes. Funny thing, today he bought a plane called a UNI jet, freaky eh :slight_smile:
jojoxie the cranks are the ones that I ordered with the uni. The plan being that I would use it to ride along the flat prom. I still do that, but I had another plan in my mind. ( bear with me, it’s a bit long winded) :roll_eyes: and that is why I have started riding ‘off road’ with it. This plan is to get a bigger wheel, with a brake. Then I can cycle from my front door, down a steep gravel path, along more gravel tracks and through some pot holes. Then get onto a flat smooth road, through a campsite, and then along another gravel track, along a boardwalk. Park up at my mother’s house, have a brew, and then turn round and cycle home. A ride of about 4 miles or so, probably more.
I like the idea that I don’t have to put my uni in the car and thus have to pay for parking.
I’ve written so much I’ve forgotten where I was, ah that was it. I didn’t buy any more cranks cos they’re cotterless and my next uni will be isis. My 24’’ muni has dual 125’ and 150’ and they are brilliant.

Well it has happened… i have received my seat! I got it installed, it is hard to believe the difference in seats… The quality and attention to detail, i was also able to raise my seat by about 2".

I am damn excited to take this thing for a spin!!! May i also add it makes my unicycle look BAD ASS!!!

Having a piece of Kris Holm gear on it makes me feel like a real unicyclist! O_O

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New thread member…

Hi to everyone,

I have already exchanged hi’s with some of you over here: Another noob looking for advice... 20'' or 24'' ? and since i have finally got my uni, i believe that thread can be put to rest.

So, i though i’d join this lot since i am definately in the learning camp and am also NSYO as well. Well, maybe NSOO as some of you but… :stuck_out_tongue:

It’s been 3 days i’ve been experimenting with the uni and except from a couple times i managed to do 7-8 pedals, the rest of the time has been UPD after UPD, 3-4 pedals max, a few small falls and a big crash on my back from last saturday that is still hurting.

I’ve been wearing my back protection thing since and i am looking to start buying some more protective gear. I planned on getting shin guards anyway but will buy elbow guards and a helmet asap.

I am at around page 15 of this thread and reading the first 5 over and over since that’s probably the most relevant part for a noob like me.

Glad to be here, glad to have caught the bug, hope i manage to make some progress going forward. The few times i’ve managed to do more than 10 feet felt so good :slight_smile:

Cheers

Alex

Hello alix71,

Sounds like you are doing great!
The revs will multiply!

What kind of uni are you riding?

Hey Top Hat!

Exactly what saddle did you get?
I’m going to order one soon.
So… do you recommend the one you just installed?
What differences have you noticed already?

Thanks!

Welcome alex!

57uni-

I have not taken it out for a scoot yet, but i did some stationary tests in my apartment, its a much firmer seat, but it was night and day for balance! I was able to balance in one place WAY better then i could prior, it was like sitting on a perfectly contoured platform >_<I was pretty excited!!! i am hoping to get out tonight and see what it really does and get a few scratches into it.

I will post more

Hi alix71

Yeah! Good for you. Keep at it and think ‘’ bum on seat’’

Hi Alex, from my perspective you’re doing well. It took me weeks to get to the point I could go more than 20 ft or so. But pleeese drop everything and go get yourself a helmet! Now, while you’re beginning, is when you’re most likely going to have the uni shoot out from underneath you and land right on the back of your head; knowing that you were about to get one is going to make you feel even dumber as you lie on your couch, dizzy from a concussion or worse. Don’t worry about being picky about what kind of helmet for now, just get some kind of protection on as you continue through the “falling more than riding” phase. All your other body parts will heal somewhat easily. protect your head.

I don’t mean to sound like a zealot, but I had a real bad slammer about a week into learning, and I felt the pain all over as I read your post. Yes, I was wearing a helmet, and I was fine after a few minutes, and up and riding again.

But back to leaning - did you ever think you could be so proud of 7 or 8 pedals? I still remember whooping and running into our house to brag after I first managed to make it the length of my driveway - about 20 feet! Learning to ride has been one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself.

Sam

Yesssssssss!!!

First up, thanks all for the kind words and welcome.

@ 57UR: I got a 20” Qu-Ax profi
@ Sam: My back still hurts and actually the pain and soreness have migrated towards my neck. Will make sure to get me the full monty in protective gear. I was thinking about getting the KH shin guards and everything else from Six Six One. Any other suggestions?

So, yesterday (I’d call it day 4 I guess, i was tangled in other stuff for a couple days so wasn’t able to do any training) turned out to be a BLAST!!!

First 30 minutes or so I was back to square one. Was barely getting 3-4 pedals max and going longer seemed (at the time) impossible. Then, I started getting into it, did a few 7-8 pedal runs and it all started to feel good again.

I had been practicing on a basketball court (open court but very flat and smooth) and after try and try and try again, I landed my first 30+ footer :sunglasses: I lost count of the pedals and walked to where I took off from and it was 11-12 large steps away (that should be approximately 10+ meters!!!).

You can all imagine how that felt :):):slight_smile:

Didn’t manage to repeat that but was so pleased that I couldn’t stop smiling till I called it a day about a half hour later.

Most runs were offcourse rather wobbly (i mostly turn right) but I took great satisfaction from some of them because by twisting my body and flailing my arms I managed to do a few feet more before I UPD’d. Saving it, is also a great feeling!

All in all, a very good day. Hope I get better today!

Tips, from my perspective:

Make sure the seat is high enough. Mine probably isn’t. I think so anyway because sometimes I catch myself trying to pedal and the damn thing won’t turn. I didn’t have tools with me (have an allen key with you whenever training) so will raise the seat today but I am pretty sure it will make things easier.

Lean a bit forward. When I started leaning I managed to consistently (well at this point a 20%-25% success ratio is a big deal) do at least 3-4 more pedal strokes than before.

TGIF!!!

Cheers all

A few questions i forgot to ask, please bear with me:

  1. What tire pressure did (or do) you use for learning? I have a 20’’ and run it at around 55ish? Go lower? Stick with it? I am training/learning on very smooth flat ground. I weigh around 80kg and am 6.2’’.

  2. My uni has 114 mm cranks. Go for longer ones? Will that make learning easier? If so, what size?

  3. Any comfy seat suggestions? KH freeride? Nimbus Gel? Other?

  4. Since i am asking, reiterating safety gear question from post above. KH shin guards and all other stuff Six Six One? Suggestions?

Thanks all

Cheers

Hi alix71,

Well, longer cranks. 114 is short. I think most beginner 20"s come with 125 cranks. Some here have said that even longer cranks starting out could be helpful.

I don’t know much about the rest of your questions just yet.
Padding of some sort will help your seat. I made my own from an $8 neck pillow I found at WalMart, but I’m about to swing for a KH, I think.

Please note i am not that knowledgeable about unicycles, more am i good or experienced…

From what i have gathered over the last 8 months longer cranks = increased stability and from what i have gathered it makes sense, slower riding and more control. I have no idea what i have on my uni, its not a common uni and there is little if any info available…

Seats… i had a axion seat (in the photos posted above, it had tons of padding and was decently comfortable form that stand point, it was far to intrusive for me to ride… cause me extreme pain every ride… I purchased a Kris Holm (KH) fusion street saddle, i have only used it in my apartment so i have a very limited review… and with the LITERAL roller coaster weather… (i have experienced every season in one week…) it may be another day or two, but…

Comfort - 3/10 VERY similar to all of my bicycle seats.
Padding - 1/10 MINIMAL
Shape - 10/10 the largely decreased padding gives a much larger surface area, its a fair bit wider (THE LITERAL PREFECT WIDTH)
Overall rating - 9/10 it has already allowed me to do things i was not able, why such a high rating? ITS EXACTLY WHAT I WANTED and i had never used one! The feel of it is like nothing i have ever experienced before and its almost magical, the precision fit is amazing! its lighter and just feels amazing! Padding? meh…

What do i recommend? If you want distance riding? The Fusion free ride, i have not had any desire to do any distance riding, i have some amazing bicycles and they are stupid fast so thats my ticket. If you are more interested in technical (which is the way i am leaning) the street is your ticket.

Like biking it doesn’t matter what seat you buy there are more factors to calculate in, ie. the strength of your butt… how can i do a 100km ride on a skiing solid seat with a no suspension bike in 2 hours? my butt doesn’t not touch the seat >_< and when it does BICYCLE SHORTS BYCICLE SHORTS BYCICLE SHORTS!!! they wear like iron and fit like a glove, spandex padded inner liner make them amazing!!! it doesn’t matter what seat you end up with bicycle shorts will be your long lost friend! They are expensive (more then seats) and i average $120 per pair but oi can get 3-5 years out of a pair, they wear like iron!

So thats all i guess… =D

Had an interesting time at the gym this week. Having failed to do the seat out thing I tried it against the wall, go the seat out first and then tried riding. Not a hope, couldn’t get one rev even holding on to the rail… :o Clearly not a simple skill, so something else to put on the list of ‘to dos’.

Took the 29 for spin up the river doing a bit more than lat week and five minutes less, so felt good and not as stuffed as last week too. Then I sat down with couple of maps and did a rough measure and came up with the amazingly deflating figure of 15km :frowning: I had assumed I was bumbling along at 10km/hour not 7!! I do know I have a problem with spinning the pedals, one of the reasons I am trying to get out for longer rides. Any ideas for improving the pedalling rate? I am forever speeding up and slowing down, I actually feel most comfortable riding a mild rise, leaning into it and slogging away…

Got my Qu-ax24 muni today, won’t get it near a hill until June, but at least I will have more time now that I won’t be looking a UDC and thinking “this one or that one…”. :slight_smile: Amazed how heavy it is. Hopefully I will get it down on the sports ground tomorrow night when I get home for a trip and christen it, appropriately on April Fools Day :smiley:

Hope everyone has a good week.

It’s been an interesting day… Had a terrible morning, was a super grumpy pants so i decided to run my errands on the way to the gym, one of which was returning a tire to the bike shop that did not fit (i was not charged for it) Talked to the owner of the shop who i know has the same unicycle i do and a flat land version with a skinny tire, so i asked if he could bring it in so i could try it some time, turns out it was there and he let me borrow it! So i took it home, pumped up the flat tire and adjusted the seat up about 5" and headed out with my 2 uni’s =D

So here was the setup
uni #1 - 20" Muni 2.5" wide tire, crank brothers 50/50 platform pedals, KH fusion street saddle

Uni #1 - 20" uni, plastic pedals, velo saddle

I had a lot more issues with the with the skinny tire, i had all the same issues with the seat and when i got mounted i found like i had to pedal like crazy to get any where… and if i wasn’t going quickly i was falling off. The KH seat was SO WIERD!!! I figured free mounting would feel the same? I was all of a sudden able to do a perfect static mount with my pedals parallel to the ground effortlessly and mount it like a champ, i could reposition much easier, and my feet as well, it was night to day… the comfort level of the saddles felt very similar but the feel of the saddles were night and day. So i was hopping back and forth from the uni’s thinking maybe its just something new i can do but i definitely could not do it with the vela saddle… Kris Holm you are the man!

Congrats again on the birth of your daughter!

Here is some photos, showing the difference between the vela and KH, the increase in surface area and the much more subtle contour helped A TON!!!

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Hi alix17 - welcome to this fun thread :slight_smile: It sounds like you are well on your way.
Too bad you hurt your back! :astonished: I have only fallen backwards a couple times, and it is scary. Lean forward, not back! :sunglasses:

  1. Lower pressure gives greater control and helps with learning. Something like 20-30 PSI. Maybe try it at a couple different pressures. Lower pressure will feel like you are wearing off the rubber faster, but it is worth the trade-off while learning.
  2. Buying another set of crank arms may not be a bad idea if you have the money. 125’s on a 20" are a nice set up. My daughter has 114’s and I think they are a little harder to learn on, but not terrible.
  3. I have both KH Freeride and KH Street. If you are going to spend the money then the either of the KH’s are very nice. They are exactly the same shape, but the Freeride has a little (not a lot) softer padding, and a more breathable cover. I have ridden both Freeride and Street quite a bit now and I honestly don’t have much preference. I am a road cyclist and used to riding long hours on a Brooks B-17. I seldom ride my uni without wearing cycling shorts with a nice quality Chamois, and I am sure this makes a big difference. A friend of mine rides on the Nimbus Gel. He rides a lot more than me, and he rides long rides, and loves that saddle so for $15 less it may be a great choice.
  4. I have ridden off-road quite a bit on my Muni including some fairly rocky and rooty areas. I have ridden a lot more around town on my 24". I have also done a fair amount of hopping up and down things between 3"-9", and even a couple hops down of about 18". I have seldom needed shin guards for my level of riding, though there have been enough times that I am glad I was wearing them, mostly out on the dirt trails. I just bought soccer shin guards from WalMart for $12. They include little cups that protect the ankle bones, and that has been very nice for the occassional bump against the crank arm. I bought some very nice knee pads from Backcountry.com that were designed for serious snowboarding, and some nice wrist guards with plastic stiffners both front and back. Elbow pads are just regular skateboarding fare.

By far the wrist guards have been the most valuable piece of gear for me and have saved me from serious injury many times. Several high-speed spills would have resulted in broken or sprained wrists and shredded hands - but the wrist guards totally protected me. No serious injuries or trips to the hospital thanks to the gear :smiley:

Long response (I am pretty notorious for long-winded posts :D) but hopefully there is something useful.

Keep up the effort. It is a lot of work, but it is also soooooo worth it. I rode with my daughter today, her first day on the 24", and it was just plain fun! Even though I don’t get out as often as I want I am so glad I stuck with it until I could ride! Keep us posted on your progress.

Best,

Brian

Hi to everyone, I wish you a nice day, week, month & 2nd quarter!!!

Thanks for the replies guys.

@ 57UR: Thanks for the tip, although to be honest I’ve already done something similar to make the seat more comfortable but with all the tape to hold the padding it looks like crap, so I am looking for a more permanent and good looking alternative.

@ THP: Thanks to you too. I hear you about the KH. As per the cycling shorts, I had bought a pair before my uni had even arrived. I have a skinny butt and don’t ride a b*ke (btw, why the askerisk I see used so often when people refer to bicycle??? Maybe a bit rhetorical a question but just to make sure…) so I wouldn’t be able to cope for more than 5 mins without them.

@ NSYO: Nice to get a reply from the OP. Good to be here mate, this is a great thread you started! Thanks for your trouble to answer all a newbie’s questions. I’ll report back when I’ve bought some new gear to try (seat, cranks & guards).

Also, a quick update on my progress:

Whoahhhhhh!!! At this rate (I hardly think that my progress will keep going like this, I am prepared to hit the plateau any time now) I will be pushing Kris Holm by July, August at the latest!!!

Kidding aside, days 5 & 6 were again a blast.

Day 5, I picked up where I left off, did a good job right away and started progressing. I was able to put consistent 10-15 footers (well 60-70% success anyway) and decided to make a deal with myself. I would call it a day only when it got too dark to see or when I managed to make it to the middle of the basketball court I am training at.

Well, I’ll just say I left before it got dark :smiley:

And I also managed to repeat that, and then some, for a few more tries.

Day 6, even better. I managed to do the entire court distance and on a couple tries I even managed to do an UPRT (RT=Right Turn) - ok maybe not completely UP as I did want to turn right and was looking to that direction, but was definitely not entirely planned either – continue, make another UPRT and go almost all the way back to where I started! Did not count the distance but that must be at least 40 meters :astonished: :astonished: :astonished:

As I am sure you all have experienced the same feeling when learning and managing to pull your first 100 footer, I have to say “I am so HOOKED”!!!

I can’t wait till my next practice session and all else (well at least the “have to go to work”, “have errands to run”, “have to visit wife’s family”, etc, etc parts) seem so in the way of my progress.

Sorry for the long write up, I just couldn’t help it.

Be well, cheers all :wink:

Hey alix71

It looks like you’re well and truly a unicycle addict :p;):slight_smile:
You are going great guns.

The bit about the asterix in the word be = some folks see the term bk as a swear word :stuck_out_tongue: hence the ***'s, same applies for:
w*rk
iron
g
clening
t
xes
etc,etc
:smiley:

ps, It’s great to hear how everyone is doing, keep it up.