mainstreaam unicycling yes or no?

this question has probably been posted before but…
should unicycling go mainstream, or do we want it to stay underground, well as underground as it is

thank you in advance if you respond to this question

id like to see it more mainstream. But maybe thats just cuz i have nobody around me that rides, so i always go alone.


I would actually hope it stays like it is today. I would hate to see “NO UNICYCLING” signs go up around town, and be classified the same as skaters. I kinda like doing something different than what everyone else does so i hope it doesnt catch on too much. I do however predict that it will go mainstream someday. How could it not once people start seeing vids like Universe 2?

Re: mainstreaam unicycling yes or no?

With Trials and MUni really becoming prelevant, I think the unicycling community is growing (at least I hope).

As for going mainstream, I don’t think it ever will. Unicycles are too hard to learn, and they go too slow for most people’s tastes. Besides, isn’t part of the fun being able to do something that’s percieved as unique?

It would be nice to see it go mainstream so there would be tons of new riders to go riding with, but on the otherhand zellers might start selling crappy uni’s and practically every little kid would have one in his closet somewhere, and nobody would be that impressed to see you ride. it’s not a big secret that most of us kind of like the attention we get, and take pride in the fact that were doing somthing very unique.

I definately like it because its not “cool.”

Of course I would like some more people around me to ride with.

Mainstream has a lot of negative aspects to it.

There are already a lot of crappy unicycles out there. It is because unicycling has become more popular that better unicycles are available.

Think of the horror if all the teenage skateboarders in the world started unicycling! :astonished:

I think the best would be fore everyone to recognize unicycling for what it really is. Know about freestyle, trials, muni. In the same way people see bicycles as transportation, racing, bmx, trials, mountain. But also see unicyclers as “elite.” Something very cool that not everyone does. But I think those two aspects can not both exist at the same time.

That’s a very interesting thought.

So I’m thinking about it.

I can see them, hanging out in the parking lot in their baggy clothes, with no safety gear, trying to grind that stair rail and falling on their chins. Yup, that’s what it would probably look like. And if they put up a sign telling them to stop gouging up that rail, good for them. If you want to tear stuff up, make your own grinding rail.

Though I can picture it, I don’t think it’s going to happen. Groups of kids can hang out with unicycles, but it won’t be in the big numbers of skateboarding. The barrier to entry is too high (hard to learn). I think people won’t perceive it as accessible enough.

Mainstreaming has its downsides, but also many upsides. The biggest of these is a better general awareness by the public of what unicycling is about. Probably less of the inane questions we often get asked, and a better understanding that “normal” people can learn to ride one if they want.

If the popularity continues to grow and accelerate, we will certainly see more el-crappo unicycles on the market. The Savages and similar unicycles do not fit this category, because they work. They don’t make learning to ride harder (unless they have really bad seats), they just don’t hold up as well. But more products like the old Troxels and other department store-type unicycles would detract from our sport, just as they did in the past, by making it even harder for beginners to learn to ride.

More unicyclists would take away some of the novelty of what we do. This is not necessarily a bad thing either. I see MUni and Trials as growing very fast. This gives people more friends to ride with locally. We’re not all out to impress each other. Being a really good unicyclist will still put you in a place where you’ll be worthy of having an audience.

But as we’ve seen with other “technical advances” in the world, even though the information is out there, the vast majority of the world’s population may persist in believing unicycles are nearly impossible. Look at the “science” of astrology for example. People still eat it up, in spite of all the evidence that there is nothing to it.

Possibly the biggest upside to becoming more mainstream will be the availability of better unicycles and parts, at lower prices, and much higher likelihood that things will be in stock when you need them!

yea i can see we have mixed feeling. i for one think it would be more evil then good cause we would have more posers, cheaply made products and those “no unicycling signs” would be a bother (and make me want to s**t in a sock and launch it at the owner of the store with a furious passion) but we might see some cheaper prices on the good trials and Munis

I also have mixed fellings on this. For the most part I would just want unicycling to be a recognized extreme sport. It seems that people wouldn’t like the posers or the no unicycling sighns but i really wouldnt mind them. I really just want it to be recognized as an elite thing to do. Also if it went mainstream someone would proably make a magazine which would be awesome and if it went maistream there would proably be more pro’s and more people making a living riding, which i think is a good thing.


I say, keep it underground. If it becomes mainstream, like skate-boarding we’ll loose the whole community part of unicycling.

Ever notice how skateboarders don’t really communicate with one another? If I were to meet another unicyclist in the streets I’d be like: “Whoah! cool! I’m not alone…hey are you on the forum? NO?..dude you’ve got to go there…” and we’d have a conversation and keep in touch for some summer rides…

Skaters just seem to dismiss eachother you know what I mean?

I’m sorry if this post isn’t coherent, I’m very lazy and I don’t feel like structuring my writting stuff today…

I know EXACTLY what you mean. That whole “you’re a poser” thing. I HATE that. I kind of like unicycling the way it is, and I don’t want it to change all that much.

Although it would be funny seeing Kris Holm at the X-Games :wink:


My vote is for “controlled growth”. I’m not interested in having a bunch of ill-mannered derelicts invading the sport. Let’s invite and assist those who have a serious interest, and not encourage those who would pull us down.

I don’t see it becoming mainstream because of the initial learning curve, and also because of the price-tag. Entry level isn’t too bad, but to take the next step requires some commitment. This is mostly good, I think.:wink:

I personally wouldn’t mind seeing the sport grow a git, but mainstream is never going to happen, and most of what I feel is good riddance. Part of what I like about it being such a tight community is that at a place like Moab 2004, I was perfectly secure in leaving my Onza, muni, and Dan Heaton’s titanum framed profile muni out in front of our campsite. Not to mention Mike Middleton’s Hunter/profile muni, and Zack Baldwin’s summit and KH pro and KH munis. We wouldn’t have been able to do that at most bike conventions. Also, unicycling is already pretty big. I have about 17 riders within an hour’s drive of my house who do muni, including two trials riders, and two freestylists (not spectacularly good, but okay). That’s a lot of riders!

As for the mainstreamness of trials biking, it’s worthy of mentioning that’s it’s rather obscure. Most people are just as impressed by the trials bikers I ride with as with me, if not more.

Well, I’m an old git, and I’ve grown through unicycling.:wink:

Most skateboarders can hardly skateboard. the sport seems to consist of standing on the board, jumping, then bending over and picking the board up. Only a few boarders ever land tricks, or try anyhting interesting.

Most people with mountainbikes dawdle about on the flat at not far above walking pace.

Most people with R1s, Fireblades and Ducatis ride 20 miles to the local meeting place, using the busiest, starightest main roads, then park up and pose.

Our society values image above substance. Attention spans are short. We want it now, not tomorrow.

So, unicycling, which takes a commitment of time and effort just to beable to perform at the very lowest level, will only ever appeal to a minority. It’s at a similar level to martial arts or dancing. Anyone can pick up a squash racquet, or kick a football, but you can’t just try karate or tap dancing one night.

So we need have no fear (or hope) of a world with a unicyclist on every corner, and all our favourite trails swarming with cheap unicycles. There will be no queues forming at the local trials obstacle.

But as the sport gets more accessible, and equipment continues to improve, there will inevitably be steady growth, with more like-minded people coming in. The sort of people who choose unicycling might as easily have chosen bicycle trials, kite surfing, rock climbing, scuba diving etc. As the sport gets more accessible, more of THOSE people will choose it.

And if unicycling DID become mainstream, prices would go up, not down.

You’re so right! But if unicycling were more prevalent, we would surely see the same thing. Entry-level riders just cruise around on level ground. That’s the vast majority of the world’s unicyclists. There are just so few of us that we hardly ever see each other without planning for it.

There are amazingly good skateboarders out there too, and of course lots more of them than unicyclists. I never see them unless I go looking, not even at the skate park usually.

The high-end would surely go up, but the low end would go down. The sweet spot would be that a good, basic unicycle (better than Torker) should be had for much less than a Torker of today. Larger production runs mean lower prices!

How quaint. ;0)

These days, the link between cost of production and retail price is very tenuous indeed in leisure products. This is linked to the fact that ownership of a prestige leisure product is a leisure activity in its own right. Hence, unfit couch potatoes in sportswear; hence families ridng three slow miles on double suspension 27 speed mountainbikes… etc.

So, larger demand means larger orders. Larger orders means bigger production runs. This reduces the cost of manufacture.

Meanwhile, large numbers of new purchasers with no background knowledge, and largely motivated by fashion and perceived prestige, are willing to pay lots of money for “the best” - and they buy from “trusted” suppliers - like established sports equipment manufacturers such as Nike, Adidas, Salomon etc.

So, the big sports companies move in. They order up huge numbers of unicycles at low price, then sell them to the ignorant adding a big margin. It ends up that the big boys can buy much cheaper than the real enthusiasts’ shops, and sell at a greater profit. the gap widens. The real enthusiasts’ shops go to the wall.

Too many people buy on brand image, rather than genuine functionality and quality.

We live in a sad and mixed up world.

But not Lola. :wink:

Raphael Lasar
Matawan, NJ

Originally posted by Rayden
Think of the horror if all the teenage skateboarders in the world started unicycling!

Hey careful! I was a teenage skateboarder…about 25 years ago. I think a more appropriate comparison would be to Mtn Biking than skateboarding. As I ride around the reception of people is very similar to what it was when I started riding mountain bikes 20 some years ago (polite curiousity). At the time MTB’s were not too common and I bet that most people thought that MTBing would never get as big as it did (after all “grown adults on oversized BMX bicycles?” NO WAY!) and be careful to place too much emphasis on the skill required to learn; people (at least here in good ol’ Colorado USA) are involved in many activities which require alot of skill and practice. And if an old fart like me can learn it, most anybody with a little determination can… I vote for “underground”. Any money savings would not be worth closed trail signs and other negatives .


is lola a trans or what? i love the song and i’ve listened to it a million times but i dunno whether i just have a sick mind, or if thats really what the singer intended for me to think…


Most people I know ride aren’t trophy riders, but ride pretty seriously (anyway, it’s the GSX posers you gotta look out for :wink: )

There are aspects of going maintstream I think unicycling would benefit from as I was watching a bike trials video and I thought I bet there wouldn’t be as many awesome bike riders out there and existing riders wouldn’t be as goodas they are if it was as popular/well known as unicycling is. There must be dozens if not hundreds of people who could do so much for unicycling and push its boundaries even further, but just don’t know about it as a bonafide sport.