I’m 47 years old and have been wanting to learn how to ride a unicycle for over 30 years I guess. I just bought one off ebay and am trying to learn. So far, I’m not doing so well.
I have a bike helmet but should I get elbow, knee pads, whatever? What safety equipment should I get before getting serious on my unicycle? And where’s the best places to buy such stuff? Keep in mind that I live in a rural area of Colorado and will have to order online.
I’m looking forward to learning. I thought I was done falling off of things but this has shown me that I’m not. But it’s going to be fun when I learn.
IMO the best place to learn is a long railing, somewhere between waist and cheat height, while siting on the uni. If you can find one on a wood deck that’s a plus. A wall can work, but not as well as a railing IMO.
For a learner, I’d say gloves (to avoid splinters and nicking your hands on metal fences), and wrist guards are required. Also shin guards if you have metal pedals.
What kind of riding do you think you want to get into, and what uni do you have now?
WELCOME! I am 42 and brand new to the sport. I have skinned knees, elbows, beat up ankles, sore muscles and i’m loving it. I’ve had an uncontrollable smile on my face for almost a week! I’m making slow progress and I’ve figured out that all the helpful tips and hints are very good, but when it all comes down to it, practice and patience are the real key. I feel like a big kid again.
What to wear?
I came into this sport having cycled on and off road for many years so have a fair selection of cycling gear, helmet, shorts, tops, gloves etc.
Basically I just wear some of that, I’ve only bought one piece of kit specifically for the unis:
Shoes, 661 Dually, as I’ve used cleats for a number of years on my bike.
Personally I don’t wear any guards other than on my head and hands, and yes I do ride off road, mostly here.
Some other folks have commented that I would be more adventurous if I wore guards, but I’ve tried some for the lower leg, and I found them so uncomfortable that I don’t bother now.
My personal approach is that the discomfort and restriction that the pads would impose is not worth the occasional protection from a bump or scrape.
I would try riding without any, other than a helmet and cycling mitts/gloves and see how you get on, if you feel vulnerable then get some, otherwise keep going.
well you would want to wear a helmet, EVERY time you ride, just get used to it, find some that’s comfortable and cool to wear… also, i use gloves, Kris Holm gloves, they’ve got protection for the wrist and when you fall, you wont get your hands all bloody etc…
Since you are a bit older like some of us. GET SHOES WITHOUT LACES!!! I have been reading the forum an that is an injury you can easily avoid. People are always getting their laces wrapped around the pedals and falling. We heal slower so be more careful. Welcome
Get a good helmet, doesn’t have to be expensive. A regular bike helmet, or better yet, a skateboarders helmet because of the increased head protection.
For cheap you can pick up some mechanics gloves at your local auto supply store. Then get some roller blade wrist guards to go over those.
Soccer style shin gaurds will save your legs, especially when first learning to freemount. When that pedal comes around it really hurts! I have a pair of shin gaurds that also have padding on the sleeve that fits over your foot to protect my ankle bones that often hit the cranks. The plastic parts that protect the shins are connected via velcro so I can take those off and still protect my ankle bones. Got these at a discount store for $0.99!
Once you get better on the uni and decide what kind of riding you want to concentrate on you can then spend more money on more specific protection.
Well, some people land on their feet more than others, and you may not know until it’s too late. One bad fall is all it takes.
A friend of mine who was learning (and has “great balance and good on his feet”), rode away from his support, fell off and broke his wrist. If he wore the wrist guards I had for him he would have been fine, but he insisted he didn’t need them. He refuses to try anymore.
Fair point, I am only 5’ 6" and not only stocky by name, so maybe that helps me land on my feet.
I’m not saying that mine is the only way, in fact I know from meeting several other UK riders that I’m unusual, especially considering my age, but I just know that I feel more comfortable without, so that’s the way I ride.
I would NEVER go out without helmet and gloves though.
Definitely wrist guards. I very nearly learned that one the hard way - I hadn’t had any dismounts where I wasn’t able to keep my feet, so I started going without. A few sessions later, I waited a little too long to pull my feet from the pedals while overbalancing backward and wasn’t able to override the instinct to put my hand down. I was lucky and got away with some nasty bruising instead of a fracture (I think), but if I’d come down any harder, or at a more awkward angle, I think I’d be typing with a cast right now…
Welcome to the forums!
I don’t have much protective gear really. Just some 661 veggie shin guards, and sometimes some gloves. I have never worn a helmet… I don’t see the need at the moment as I have never really done anything that I cant dismount easily from. I am used to falling now though and have been since I was 5 (things never change…:)) I might get a skate helmet one day though.gloves are good for muni though, and shin pads are a must to protect yourself from slicing your shins up… it extremely painful sometimes What ever you decide to get have fun riding!
Yeah, I’m only 13 miles from Kansas and I’ve lived here since 1988. I have never seen another unicycle here so when I get going and start riding around town, I will be the only one, except for maybe my 15 year old son who is wanting to learn and doing much better than me.