Need Help Learning to Free-Mount

Just to give you a background of my experience, I have practiced for a total of about 14 hours spread out over time. The longest distance I’ve ridden was 1/5th of a mile unassisted on a Torker CX 24" unicycle. I’m still getting the hang of riding and I can ride along my street and turn around the perimeter of my cul-de-sac, but I’m getting tired of walking over to a mailbox and pushing off. It’s time for me to learn to free-mount.

How long did it take you to learn to free-mount and then ride a couple feet? Also, did you use any shin guards? Did you get any really painful shin impact from your pedals while learning? My first couple of attempts to free-mount have resulted in my second foot getting on the second pedal, but my pedals lock in the 6 and 12 o’clock positions and it’s hard to move forward. Any suggestions? BTW, you can call me Philip.

It took me a couple of hours once I finally decided I was going to do it. That got me from not being able to free mount to about 50% success, then another week of doing it and I was up to 80/90%.

I didn’t wear any shin protection, only took one hit to my shin and it was a bad one. Gave me my first gnarly scar :slight_smile: Doing it again I would wear some if I had some, but not go out and buy it just to learn mounting (although you’ll need em down the road anyway most likely).

Start more in the 3 (or 4) and 9 (or 10) o’clock positions that may help. Also a bit of a downhill slope could help.

anton005, how long did it take you to finally get the hang of free-mounting? I guess I forgot to mention that I set the pedals in the 4 and 10 o’clock positions, but they end up in the 6 and 12 positions.

Probably about 2 or 3 days of riding (maybe an hour or two a day) after I “learned” I felt pretty good about it, unless someone was watching me (nothing could make me miss more than that). What I did was used a small stick to put behind my wheel, that helped with keeping the wheel moving back when I put too much weight on the back pedal. I did this for a day or two, then was able to do it without the stick and could hold my foot on the pedal without it moving more than an inch or two. If you concentrate on putting your weight on your seat and not so much on your foot it will help.

Oh and with the shin guards… sometimes wearing them helps with confidence (which is usually all you need).

Whenever I have trouble with mounts it’s often because my dominant leg locks after it hits the pedal. I use my right foot first, and when that foot gets down to the 6 o’clock position my leg locks, stopping the wheel and holding the pedals in the 6/12 position you describe. The leg is not supposed to lock, this is just bad reflexes, bad habit, getting tense.

To overcome this, one thing I do is to use the second foot to pull the top pedal back. Of course I have to relax the right leg so the wheel can turn, but if I time it right - pull left pedal back while relaxing right leg - the wheel rotates so I have pedals horizontal and I can pedal from there. Trying to keep the legs relaxed so they don’t lock up is a constant effort for me.

I practiced this mount about four hours a week and was getting it almost 100% in about two months.

[EDIT: I just saw anton’s remarks and realize that we’re thinking of different styles of mounting. Anton is describing the mount demonstrated HERE. I am describing what is often called a “roll back” mount, in which the wheel rolls backward about a half revolution so it ends up underneath me.]

So what I should do is push off the ground with my second foot to get my weight over the seat and foot on the second pedal rather than pushing on the first pedal to get over the seat and land my second foot on the second pedal. Did I get that correctly based on that video clip?

yup, exactly right. I guess I should have mentioned I was talking about a static mount.

I learned the basic free mount in a hour, and, i do think you should wear shinguards, but my advice, that worked for me is to just go for it.

To learn a static mount, start by putting the wheel against something (like a curb or a 2x4) so it can’t roll back. Then, when you start to feel comfortable, move the wheel forward an inch or so and make your objective to keep the wheel from rolling back and hitting the curb (or whatever). Eventually, you’ll not need anything to assist you. Plus, if you fall somewhere and get stuck, almost anything can be used to get you back on (a loose rock, or a stick).

I used this to teach my kids to free mount, and the latest one learned in about 10 minutes.

Yep, same for me.
Just got fo it! I started to try on grass and then thought bugger it, concrete is easier to ride on so concrete i shall learn to mount on.
With dedication it should take about an hour :slight_smile:

I just saw this (a bunch of mounts).

and this static mount tutorial. He actually rolls back like 1/8th of a rev.

For a static mount you need to push off hard w/ your back foot and the wheel should stay static, hence the name. Most find it easier when the cranks are horizontal for this.

For me the easiest mount is the rollback, and on my 24 easier if my back foot is in about the 5:30 position. W/ shorter cranks or a smaller wheel it’s easier for me if the cranks are closser to being horizontal.

Hawo Phillip, you can call me Harry. :smiley:
1) I’d say it took me a week b4 getting the hang of freemounting. But that was because i didn’t try to learn anything else other then freemounting my 20" and 24". Then it took about a month to get a fair distance. :smiley:
2) Yes i did, mostly the shin pads bought from department stores b4 getting 661s and stuff like that. I still have the scars to prove that my leg kept hitting the pedals. :stuck_out_tongue:

Good news, guys. On Saturday, I started practicing to free-mount and I made progress. After 19 minutes of practicing I managed to ride forward 1 foot and within 40 minutes I rode 30 feet, however I was not able to do this consistently…BUT I STILL DID IT!!! Here’s the bad news: after practicing I wanted to ride around a little, so I went to a new section of road, which was down hill. As I was going down the street I hit a weird bump in the road and fell forward and scraped my knees, elbows, and hands. I normally where pads, but this was the one time I didn’t. Murphy’s Law strikes again.