I got my new 24" lx yesterday. I can’t believe how much better it is than the squid. I went from riding about 50’ to well over 200’. When I did dismount, it was much smoother. I didn’t hit my shin or calf once with the pedals (the bruises from the squid are still there…). I rode both fast and slow in control. I don’t know if this is because of me just getting better, the switch from 20" to 24", or something else. But I did have a lot of fun.
The only disadvantage of the 24" is it will probably be a little harder to learn to mount unassisted. It’s only 2 or 3 inches higher, but that feels like a lot.
Would you recommend I spend more time learning to ride further and turns or focus on mounting?
Ride and ride and ride. Ride so far that there’s nothing around to hold onto to mount with anymore. Then learn to freemount. You have to at that point.
I’d go for longer distances, turns and small bumps (like driveway ramps). Turns will likely be easier in one direction over another. Do lots of circles in the direction that’s harder. To get your turns tighter do lots of figure eights.
Then commute. If there are few things to grab on too, then learn mounting sooner. My first commute took 65 min and now I can do it under 25, but I usually meander and challenge myself, taking 50-60 min.
I really noticed my progress start to accelerate when I started to commute. Also it solved my problem of trying to find practice time (I even do all my shopping of non-breakables If it’s not too big). My commute is pretty short at 2.5 mi, but I’d commute up to 5 or 6 miles. I bring an extra shirt so I’m not all sweaty.
If your commute is really long, you could take public transit or drive part way.
The way to learn to freemount is to simply never mount any other way. Do your normal practise, but even if it takes you 10 goes do not hold on to anything to mount. You will get freemounting within about a week if you do this for half an hour a night.
The better you are at “riding”, the easier it is to freemount. If you’re still very early on in the riding process, I’d see freemounting practice as a poor use of time. How would you know if you missed your mount or if it was a riding problem?
I practiced till I could ride maybe 400m, then started working on freemounts. Took awhile (i’m older, 38) for me to get the left foot static mount down, but after using that for a month and all of the riding that I did in that month, the right foot static mount only took a few tries.
Bottom line, the more saddle time you get, the easier it will be to freemount when you decide to do it.