Learning to Mount a 36er

I would really appreciate some feedback on my videos of learning to mount a 36er

After spending several weeks learning the basics of mounting, riding and turning on a 24” unicycle I bought the 36er. I found the skills I had learnt were transferable and I can actually keep the 36er upright and ride it although at present a little wobbly.

However, I am finding it all much more difficult to learn than the 24”. I don’t have too many references to guide me and I am kind of using the same technique to mount the 36er as I did for the 24”.

I have viewed Terry ‘Unigeezer’ mounting video so many times and will continue to do so looking for subtle mounting actions. The difference though is I have a T7 handle that may be stopping me from getting on the seat as well as I could. Has anybody else learnt with the handle attached? I often catch my trouser leg on the rear of the T7 handle and this flips me over the top of the wheel. I wondered if it would be worth while buying a standard seat post so that the T7 can be removed until I learn.
I am managing to get roughly onto the pedals but sense I end up not quite on top of the wheel so it is difficult to get it rolling. I don’t quite know where I am going wrong. Perhaps more experienced riders can see where I am going wrong or not doing something I should be doing?

Here are my videos links

You’re coming along well Geoff! What I do notice though, is that you are not “committing” enough and ALWAYS fall off the BACK. You have to get your CG over the TOP of the uni, and not be afraid to bail off the front of your uni.

Also I would suggest trying the rolling mount as this will give you some extra momentum and make it easier to get up over the top of the uni. Keep at it you’re doing great!

I watched the first one. I’m about to go out to teach unicycle lessons so I will answer hastily. From watching your video I reckon do not try to hold the T7 while mounting- I’ve snapped two of those handles and I think it is not designed to take much pressure on it. I hold the KH handle as if the T7 isn’t there when I mount, then once I am up I can get my hands out the front for a slightly more comfortable position.

Buying a standard seatpost may help, but I think you nailed it when you said “I end up not quite on top of the wheel so it is difficult to get it rolling”. That is the nature of the Coker beast! It is much taller than any other non-giraffe unicycle, so to get your center of gravity up and over the wheel takes more of a push off with your foot. The more failed mount attempts the harder it gets too! You can start on something a bit higher, like a step or a seat, and you will be able to step on easier without such a big push.

Keep working on it. What you are doing right is practising, just use a bit more effort and believe in yourself after each fall.

It looks like you have a really hunched over body position, and you’re not getting all the way up onto the wheel. I think you just need to practice mounting to sitting straight up and looking forward instead of down.

Also, you might try holding onto the plastic handle for mounting instead of the T7. If you mount holding the T7, you need to push it out in front of you, perhaps more than you’re comfortable doing presently.

You’re so close to nailing it consistently!
Another few hours of practice and youll be there.
It’s difficult to tell from the footage but are you on a flat road?
I always find it easier to mount on a small incline.
I often feel this is psychological.
Even when I try and mount on a flat road I tell myself that I am on a small downhill slope just to get in the right frame of mind.

And congratulations on not swearing out of frustration.
The beep machine would have gone into overtime if that was me.

Really big thanks for a quick reply Terry! Firstly, just to hear am doing OK helps to put things in perspective - because I have no idea if I am or not (unless I get feedback) Secondly…yeah!! I was wondering about ‘committing’ but hadn’t thought of that term for it. I was trying to psyche myself up to ‘going further’ but until you said it I was unsure. Brilliant! - now that it is clearer to me I will have a different mental approach :slight_smile:

Thanks for that! Yeah I am on a small incline that runs onto flat ground further on. So I get to try on the slope and the flat. Excellent point about thinking you are on an incline even when on the flat. I think I can ‘will-power’ that into my mind.

Thanks for advice! Yeah I noticed in the movies I was hunched - didn’t realise it that much at the time. What I have noticed is how ‘steady’ the 36er is with the mass of its large rolling wheel compared to the 24". Will focus on sitting upright the longer I can get into the seat!

Thank’s to Rowan and everyone else who provided me with some great feedback to work on. This has really helped to put things in perspective. Gee-Whizz I can’t wait for sun-up tomorrow - weather forecast is good, and I have day off work :slight_smile: …now let’s get the video camera charged :smiley:

Three major things I noticed, all of which have been mentioned but I’ll reinforce them a bit:

  1. Don’t mount from a dead standstill. It’s much easier if you have a bit of forward inertia and even one step taken before going for the pedal takes a lot less energy. No need to change any of your lining-up of the unicycle, just hold it farther in front of you and start with the opposite foot. Take one step and then continue from where you are in your videos. This will provide plenty of momentum to take you up and over the top of your wheel.

  2. Don’t hold the T7 handle. It’s always harder to hold an extended handle for mounting; they’re more useful once you get going. even if there’s no bumper there, just hold the front of the seat while getting on, and you’ll notice you have a much more secure grip there, and more control for the mount.

  3. The last bit is to just have a little more “oomph” when stepping up. Most of your unsuccessful mount attempts have you falling back to where you started, which means you’re not getting up far enough. The goal is not to hit a perfect balance up there (though that works a lot better with big wheels than with small ones), the goal is to get ahead of top-dead-center. With practice, you’ll be able to get just a bit ahead of the TDC spot, which will give you more time to comfortably get your other foot on the pedal before you have to start pedaling. But for now, just make sure you’re going a bit past TDC for a successful mount.

4. Put away the camera now. Not that your videos weren’t immensely useful! Without video it’s very hard to diagnose unicycling riding problems. But now relax and enjoy the riding (and mounting), and feel good about the fact that you’ve already mastered the hard stuff. In time, the mounts will get more consistent until you hardly ever miss. I’ve been riding large unicycles over 26 years now, and still miss the occasional mount, especially if I have large handles and/or really short cranks on there.

When I watched your videos I noticed that on all the successful attempts you used one arm for balancing yourself. When you didn’t you mostly didn’t make it to the CG. So using your arm seems to be helpful for now. I also noticed that you didn’t wear any protective gear. Maybe if you wore a helmet, some knee and shin guards and some KH gloves that could let you commit a little more. I know that always lets me feel a little more confident in general, even if the riding isn’t particularly challenging.

Since I modified my 36" nimbus with a long handle bar and bike seat my own mounting consistency dropped some. But it seems I have to have one hand on the handle and the other one in the air for keeping myself balanced in the beginning. Then it often works. Another problem I have is I usually fail more often when there are people watching. It’s just a self confidence related thing probably. I guess it will all improve over time with more practice.

Thanks for putting those points perfectly in perspective John :slight_smile: I’m all set for tomorrow when I have a free day to practice :smiley: Just one point about your comment, ‘…start with the opposite foot’. I read the ‘training manual’ that said, ‘put your dominant foot first’. I find my left leg dominant so I put this first on the pedal. So, you seem to suggest I would be better using my right foot? I did try this - once or twice - and it felt slightly odd. However, should I actually be sticking to a specific leg/foot? I am right-handed so I should use my right foot first? Your point 3 hits it on the head for me and others have reflected this.

Most of all I feel very uplifted at getting some advice back on what I am doing since I live in ‘unicycle-isolation’ in the depths of the countryside. These forums forming the only means I can discover if I am doing something right or wrong when unicycling (apart from inner feelings)

PS I’ve put the camera away :slight_smile:

What I think John Foss meant was that you should start further back from the unicycle so that you have to take an extra step BEFORE you put a foot on the rear pedal. The point is to get your body moving (to build up momentum) so that it is easier to get on top of the unicycle. I am a relatively fresh/green 36-rider myself so I know exactly what you are struggling with. Just keep at it!

Just curious, Jeremy, how long have you been riding 36ers? I don’t know any people who hop / jump when they mount… sounds kinda sketch.

My Coker arrived just 4 days ago and I think I’m getting the hang of it.
One thing that has helped me is the pins in the pedals. Normally I don’t use pinned pedals on my 26 or my 20 - I feel like the risks are bigger than the benefit. But on a 36, it seems like the pedals never get close to your shins so I feel OK about using them. After I put them in my success rate at mounting has gone up.
My preferred method on my 26, and now on my 36, is the static mount. On the 36 I have to have a good amount of momentum with my body so I can get all the way up. So I get my pedals situated the way I want, then walk the wheel and when the right pedal is at 7 o’clock I place my foot and give a good tug on the seat handle while I jump using my left foot. That tug was something I figured out today and it seems to make all the difference in the world. It forces the wheel to stop (making it a static mount I guess) and it immediately puts my full weight on the frame so it doesn’t flop over on its side.

That is correct. I should have done a better re-read of that post…

I have to do something similar when trying to mount my 9’ giraffe. It has an articulated step on the back. So the sequence is to step on tire, step, down pedal, seat, then other pedal. But with the addition of the step, I have to start the process with my opposite foot…

I would second john’s comment of starting with a bit of momentum. The coker’s so big and heavy that until you’re used to its weight and getting it started, starting from a dead standstill is hard.

When I was learning I found that about a half revolution of walking beforehand was perfect for helping me get started. So if I were you, I’d start the uni with the cranks backward of how you’d normally get on, walk it a half revolution, then step on the back pedal when it gets about horizontal and let the momentum help carry you up and forward. Once you’ve got that down, then I’d try walking less and less till you can just hop on and ride. (since I’m short, I use a little jump mount to get on from standstill. I think it works pretty well lol)

Good luck with it!

catinabag1 hops on his coker when he mounts. If I don’t have enough momentum I hope on my 36’er when I mount… It’s really sketch. I might make a video of me mounting my 36’er tomorrow, on my way to/from school.

As far as missing freemounts everyone misses them every once in a while.

Hmmm…interesting point about pinned pedals. I got a pair with the machine but put plastic standard ones on so as not to damage the magnesium pinned ones. However, I had come to the conclusion that I needed to get the good pedals on - so for my initial learning period I am going to get some pedal protectors from UDC. Will try the TT (tug-technique) today :slight_smile: thanks for that

…especially if they don’t even have a 36er to mount. Looks at Jeremy

Seriously, though, despite the hundreds of miles that I’ve put on my 36er, I still flub mounts on a regular basis. Especially at stop lights and street corners, where more people are watching. It never seems to get any easier.

As much as pinned pedals help, they can also be a detriment, when your foot hits the pedal in the wrong place (say, at the heel). It’s hard to correct a bad foot placement when you’ve got really grippy pedals.

You shouldn’t be relying on the pins to get you going, however. After a good mount, you’ve got the majority of your weight in the saddle and not on the pedals, so your feet shouldn’t be slipping off. I like to think of the mount as a hop into the saddle.

Good luck!