new to unicycling

hi, im new to unicycling. i broke my arm bad doing vertical rollerskating but now its healing well. i am now in a short cast so i have to play it safe for awhile. but im eager to try something fun and new! i will probably later go into street/trails but for now i have a simple used 16" Torker. im pretty tiny, 5’, so it seems ok to learn the basics before i get something nice.

i have the seat low since i dont want to fall yet but this seems to be a problem learning? i really have to stand up and pull the seat up it seems to pedal. so far all i can do is rock on it in the hallway. i did 2 full turns one time but i was standing up on it and pulling up on the seat. i also find if i dont lean forward, wheel goes in front of me? is this sort of like using stilts as far as balancing as i had a set as a kid. any help starting? i cant really go for it for a month til i know my arm is healed but i would like to be able to go down the hallway as even that amuses me now lol.

Welcome to unicycling! You covered alot in your short intro, much of which is answered here:

Its a long one but there is a whole lot of good information there. Sounds like you need to raise your seat to help you learn the basics. Ideally you want your leg to be almost straight at the bottom of the pedal stroke while you are sitting in the seat. Later, depending on the style of riding you go into you may want it lower. Even for your height a 16" is pretty small, but it may well be enough to get you started. Lots of knowledgeable folks here to help, also loads of info already posted. Hit that search button hard!


As for starting in a hallway, I’d suggest putting a 2X4 or something behind your tire and putting the pedals at 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock. You are correct that when the unicycle shoots out in front of you it generally means you aren’t leaning far enough forward as you pedal. Try not to rely on the walls as you move forward, and whatever you do, don’t re-injure that arm!


hey thanks for the links! i will read up on it. i am just messing around safely as i had 2 surgeries and now im lucky its healing well. ill be out of the cast in 2 weeks! just i lost out on lots of fun for SIX freakin months so i will have some catchin up to do as soon as im aloud lol.

my bf is coming here. could he hold the back of the seat? im a small girl so im sure he can keep me up and the small wheel doesnt go fast. so far even tho i know just balancing is pretty lame to u guys, from being banged up its already a rush haha.

i live in maryland. anybody around here? prob. not. i pick fun sports and usu. not whats in tho. cant wait til i can bounce around as skateboards and roller sk8s dont bounce so this will be so kool.

I’d probably have your boyfriend in front of you. That way he can keep you from falling forward onto that arm. You may be surprised at how many unicyclists are in your area… I’ll shut up now, good luck to you.


the link is helpful, esp. the video! im adhd and stubborn so that means ill learn lol. seems like its a lot like learning to rollersk8 the ramps. u fall a million times then it just comes. i like the small wheel since i cant fall far. so i guess i just practice daily til it comes? and yes raise the seat? and anyone one can say what its most similar to balance wise so i have a reference? ill stay in the hallway for the next month til my arm is ok. ill read the whole thread tomorrow. i want to try it a few more times now. :smiley:

It’s not recommended that anyone holds your unicycle. You have to learn how it reacts and how to keep it under you, which doesn’t work if someone pulls or pushes. Have him at your side or in front of you, so that you hold his hand and/or shoulder. Only you should be the active person, both on the uni and re the support, your bf should just be stable and move along with you.

Lots of tips for beginners here, including a free ‘booklet’ how to learn: Tips for beginners

Thanks for the help! Since I have about another month for my arm to be really healed and get mobility back (arm was in cast for 5 month so its stiff), I will stay in the hallway for now. I’ll get the rocking good and ride using the wall. I’m going to see if the bike shop can raise the seat some. The bolt is too tight. Love it but my butts already sore from the seat lol. :o

OK, one more question lol. The raised seat helps a TON since now i can put weight on it w/out pulling it up. So now been trying to pedal it but a lot of times my feet slip off the pedals or I get stuck in the crank arm. I am not sure if its because I’m riding in running shoes or the pedals seem really small and slick. Would a plastic platform pedal work much better? I dont really think I want/need a heavy one w/ metal pins now. Whats a good one? I was thinking about the Odyssey or Animal Hamilton? Are they a lot bigger? Would it help or is it because I’m lame still on the uni?

I dont want to spend much on upgrades because once I can do all the basics and have reason to need a better one, I’ll probably get a good one.

I’ve been using Odyssey Twisted PCs. They are a bit bigger than what came on my uni, probably alot bigger than what is on your 16". Great traction, in fact almost too good as it gives me some trouble if I don’t get my foot in the right position immediately from a freemount. If they fit your current uni they may be a good choice because you could use them on a new uni later. Others here have a lot more experience than I do on pedal options. I’ll be interested to see what they have to add. Oh yeah, I noticed that using a skate shoe or a true tennis shoe helped me a bit with the overly grippy situation.


i might give those a try! my bf thinks a pedal from a mountain bike would be ok. i have some super heavy ones w/ metal pins on mine. ok but i would destroy my shins now learning and they are ridiculously heavy. these pedals just seem pretty small. makes me mad when im actually riding down the hall and then my foot slips off. :angry: would grip tape work? i am not sure that would work… i hope by March i can ride all over the neighborhood and start a new trend. :stuck_out_tongue:

Hey I can now go about 5 feet w/ my fingertips of my left hand touching the wall. Nothing great but cool for me! :smiley:

You are definitely going to need a longer hallway:D


Your not kidding! 5’ is 3 pedals lol. But I cant hurt myself so I have to be patient. Think Ill get the Twisteds. I might wait til Jan. Ive read the posts and for what I want to do, those will be perfect. Im going to get into a touch of trails/street/flat combo, but not do anything too crazy/dangerous as I already will set off metal detectors.

I wish I could ride down the hallway in the college or a indoor community center gym. Any ideas of indoor places? Its cold here now and I want a smooth safe area. If not I have to work on rocking and such…

Im getting the riding forward in the hallway OK, but its not far. I only lose it at times when the pedals are vertical. Maybe cause the crank is small and Im not spinning fast. I dont have good balance at the vertical position yet. Anyway, I have an idea. Im pretty small like a kid still. I saw some harnesses at the sports store on sale. They fit! Could I put one on and go outside w/ my boyfriend holding me? The 16" wheel has me going really slow. I would like to try to ride without bouncing one hand against the wall and quitting when the wall ends.

Heres the harness I’m talking about.

I would still wait at least a week as the dr. said the bone should be healed by then. Im trying to figure out backwards but thats not working out yet. I guess I should just rock some? I now get what the hints of sitting up straight, weight on seat, wheel below me means.

ok, thinking the harness wouldnt be a good idea as i notice i would flail and i cant do a straight line yet.

i am slowly improving everyday! i could pedal twice backwards. thats pretty hard to do.

also getting more movement in my arm daily. thats VERY good!