MUNI is really hard

I’m typing this from the back of my Explorer at a trail. I’m tired and a little frustrated. First time offload and first full day with new 24 Nimbus MUNI. It took several attempts to ride more than 10 feet. This is a beginner trail with 5%ne inclines, soeme gravel, dirt and a few rain gullies. About as easy as it gets for offload, but it is tough. Before this, I have only rode a 20 inch trainer on pavement, but I thought I’d do better. Oh well, at least it is a nice day off work and I’m getting exercise.

Don’t worry about it. Keep practicing. In a few weeks you’ll be a lot better than you are now. New unicycle, new style of riding, new everything – you just need to get used to it all.

Muni will always be really hard. As you get better, you’ll find new ways to make it difficult again – longer rides, tougher terrain, etc. Easy is boring.

Hi MadFurai, I know how u feel. Im new to muni as well and went straight from learning on a 20" pashley on road to a KH29er off road. Is it a better idea to learn more stuff on road before tackling muni?


Just ride it around the block a time or two first to get used to the feel of the bigger wheel before you mix in the challenge of “easy” trails.

If you have a half decent learner you can try using that to hit the trails first as well. Use the size you are used to to get used to the constant corrections you will need to do to stay on-top in an off-road situation, then when you switch to your MUni you will find the trails easier to deal with.

MUni is hard, but it shouldn’t be quite that hard. Actually, MUni uphill is hard regardless; many people walk most of the uphill. On the downhill or flat, any decent unicyclist should be able to ride a smooth trail with few dismounts.

Some tips would be

Run with low tire pressure, less than 30psi and possibly less than 20psi depending on your weight and what tire you’re using.

Set the seat lower than you would for other kinds of riding; you need to be able to use your leg to cushion bumps.

Learn to use the handle, if you haven’t already. It will help you pull up to get over obstacles, and help you keep the wheel pointed straight, which is important. You’ll get over small obstacles if you hit them straight on and keep pedaling.

Watch the path, not the obstacle. You’ll tend to go where you’re looking, so look where you want to go.

Relax. If you’re tense on the uni, small obstacles will knock you off.

Have fun!

Plus one to this ^^^

Try to relax those leg muscles, don’t push so hard with the knees.

I sometimes feel like my unicycle knows more about what it needs to do than I do, so just aim it where you want to go and go along for the ride.

MUni is very hard and will always be a challenge because there is always more difficult terrain to tackle and longer distances to ride…!

Anyhow how I learned to hone my MUni skills in the very beginning was to find a small section of downhill trail that was fairly rough but also had several line choices. I’d hike to top of the hill and practice trying to ride down the hill w/o coming off. At first I could hardly make it any distance before I’d fall off. But I’d hike back up and try again. After several sessions of this I began to develop better skills like learning to “float” over the bumps rather then ram into them hard, how visualize ahead far enough to pick a good line, etc… Eventually I mastered that hill and thought it was a huge accomplishment! Then I sought out other challenges and the rest is history…

Good luck and don’t give up! I learned the basics of unicycling in just a few weeks but it took me probably a year or more of practicing off road before I started to feel really comfortable to go out and ride long distances on trails.

I appreciate the rest of your post where you try to give tips, but basically riding on anything other than flat pavement is a challenge to someone of my skill level right now - period. Maybe everything comes easy to you or maybe you have just been riding a UNI so long that you forgot what it was like when you were a beginner and it still felt unnatural. Your comment about “any decent unicyclist…” is basically a nice way of saying “if you think that is a challenge then you suck.”

I am trying to learn riding while holding the handle, but that in itself is also a challenge for me. I am used to letting my hands hang by my sides freely, making slight adjustments to help my balance. Having one ‘attached’ to the UNI is going to take some time.

If you want to feel insulted, that’s your perogative, but it’s not my intent. I’m speaking as someone who’s personally helped dozens of people ride a unicycle for the first time, and taken dozens more on their first MUni ride. If you are a solid beginning rider–that is, if you can consistently ride indefinite distances, turn, and deal with irregular sidewalks–there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to ride easy off-road trails given the tips I list above.

First off, I realize nothing I say will change your opinion, but it sounds like you are making quite a few assumptions about my abilities. And, you know what they say about assumptions and opinions. Anyway, I guess we’re even, because after reading several of your posts, I’m making the assumption you tend to ride a “high horse” quite often.

Stick with it!

MadFurai, try not to let tholub’s words bother you. He’s trying to help, really he is. I find myself feeling the same way sometimes but you need to remember that you can’t infer tone or body language in written text. Forum responses tend to be even worse because they’re crafted quickly, a lot of the time without consideration for how they’re received or possible language barriers. No one speaks perfect English!
If you can find a local rider to help you out, that would be great but failing that you’re stuck with the people who frequent this forum and spend their time trying to be helpful.

Stick with it. Practice often and if a particular line gives you trouble ride it until you conquer it. With persistence you will get there.

calm man this is a uni forum just chill and let it go if you want to get your back up about somthing gat a mountian bike and get on a mtb forum
all tholub is doing is offering advice and good advice too its worth listening to if you want to find muni eaiser next time
to quote yourself “if you think its a challenge” LISTEN TO THE FREE ADVICE !
trust me when youve been riding muni as long as some of the people on here have it will come easy to you too
no one on here wants to insult you or any new rider but youve joined a strange group of people some of which can be quite blunt but they deffiently dont mean to be insulting
just keep practicing and taking on advice then in no time it wont be so much of a challenge and then you can move onto bigger things
take it easy man

Take a deep breath and let it out. I’ve taught many people to juggle and unicycle for the first time and I haven’t found anyone less coordinated than me yet. Jugglers will try to teach me a new pattern and be flummoxed how long it may take me to learn or how badly I can mess it up. “That’s never happened before!” All that means is it takes me longer to learn things, but I’ll get there with perseverance and I like to think I appreciate it more.

The advice of Tom and Eric is great and worth following. Take it slow and let the muscles and balance you need to ride muni develop over time (handle a bigger wheel, ride on rough terrain, ride at angles, ride holding the seat). Enjoy yourself! As a unicyclist you are awesome by definition!

MadFurai, It won’t be long before you are looking back at this day saying, “Remember when I could barely muni 10 feet?!! Now look at me, 10 miles and I’m still good to go.”
You’ll be posting here about riding log piles and climbing hills you can barely walk up.

I guarantee you’ll ride 2x better next time. :sunglasses:

If it were any easier it would be called Mountain Biking :roll_eyes:

I consider myself a serious mtn biker, and I am very insulted by your insinuations regarding my skill level as a rider and your offensively demeaning attitude towards bikes. You should seriously consider not treading on my delicate toes, as I might have a hissy fit. Perhaps I will have to take my head out of my ass, grow some thicker skin, and realize that you’re trying to help me…

:heart: you Cody! See you at calmuni for some muni funz

  • Danni

Basically, the point of my original message was that riding off-road is a BIG change for the beginner unicyclist and it IS very difficult at first. Especially when you just switched from a 20-inch trainer UNI (and tiny tire) to a 24-inch MUNI (and huge tire) and the only experience you’ve had is riding on pavement, concrete, or other completely even and solid surfaces.

I thought that these would be safe and accurate statements to make, but once again I have been proven wrong. I guess I should have learned my lesson after 15 years of using forums for everything from flying RC helicopters to racing Motocross to Wakeboarding, etc. etc. etc. Anyway, thanks to the guys that gave encouragement.

Awesome man… you are awesome…


… Someone’s sensitive!

What did you expect any of us to post?

OP “Muni is hard”
Us “yes sir, it is”
“it sure is”
“you’re right, none of us really do it, we just post about it”

I don’t want to speak for tholub, but riding on a very smooth, flat, chill trail should be just as easy as riding on a flat road. If, after you get used to the bigger wheel, it’s much harder, you may want to go back to the basics and see if there is something you blew right past.

I did this when I put a handle and brakes on my Muni’s. I didn’t spend the time learning initial stability while riding off-road nor did I spend enough time learning how to smooth-out my crank revolutions without brakes going downhill. I realized this after having lost a bolt off my Maggie brakes while riding in hood river. I went from riding muni 6-7 miles without stopping, to UPD-ing on every steep decline with even mild unevenness to the trail :o

Until that point, I was pretty confident… Back to the drawing board :wink:

The great thing was, it took about a week of working on some of the basics I blew past, and my muni skills really improved past where I was when I had no clue.

I actually learned about these skills and more through using this forum; mostly reading with an occasional post.

YES!!! Get back on that MUni, get ‘er rollin’, and you should be able to be ride trails in not too long. It’s a steep learning curve, but a worth while challenge.