New Uni; two questions

Hey! Today I bought a Torker Unistar LX Pro 20”. I thought it was an LX, but once I bought it(used) I found it was the LX Pro. $40. I have two questions.

  1. Anyone have any experience with the LX Pro and know much about what are its strengths and weaknesses?

  2. I am used to my 24 Muni, and I find that turns at speed feel very unstable and I end up off balance. Does anyone know if there is a big cause for that or if it’s just normal going down in wheel size? I haven’t spent much time on anything smaller than a 24 with a 3” tire.

  1. If you are used to a 24" on a wide/big tire the 20" will feel very twitchy at first. The larger the wheel the more stable it will feel when you have mastered it.

What about the crank length? That will also make a difference. Longer = easier to rotate but less responsive. Shorter = harder to rotate but quicker response “and” faster unicycle motion.

At same time, the “seat height” comes into play because your knees may rise or go lower due to the crank length. You should already know how that affects the ride. Have fun making adjustments…slam

Thank you both. My 20" has 127mm cranks. My 24" muni has 3-hole cranks, 100, 125, and 150. I’ve ridden all three, mostly in the 150 position as it is best for control when I’m having fun. The responsiveness isn’t my issue. I find that when I turn tightly, as I come out of the turn(stop leaning), I feel thrown to the outside of the turn. I can easily counter it, but it’s annoying and I think it impedes my riding. I’m partly wondering if the problem is the saddle, because a) it’s pretty uncomfortable and not confidence inspiring and b) it doesn’t seem to be very good for supporting turns.

This is the uni. It’s not a great picture, but it’s what I have for now. You can see the banana-ish seat. In terms of torkers, it’s a good seat, but that’s not saying too much. I’m overall happy with it. I rode it for a while earlier and I was able to do a little hopping and practicing backwards riding and turns(trying to iron out that problem). I’m happy to have this wheel and a great deal!

I used to think that less curve seat would help me.
Then I bought a “flat” nimbus stadium. Looks cooler(different) and it should be better, right? Nope Seat felt hard, and terrible for maneuvering. I returned the saddle.

Delete that idea in your head that less curve saddle is your instant solution for better unicycle turning. Nope. Here’s my advice on turning. I have been riding for several years, but I haven’t forgotten about how turning is not easy.

  1. Turning is really a “jerk twist” of the unicycle. Not a “nice” bicycle lean and perfect balance. The more you practice the more “subtle and controlled” this twisting action becomes. Also, if you jerk twist inwards to turn left. At same time, you need to follow that with a “compensating” but slightly less jerk twist to the opposite direction to prevent falling down. Too much and you will fall the other direction.

  2. My initial turning was only done in rhythm with my “inside foot” pedal. That is when I turned left, I waited until my left pedal went down for a “slight turn” and left body lean. Then hold steady and go straight for next half pedal(right pedal). Then left turn action, again. Result is a wider turn, but at least I stayed on.

3.) They real key is recognizing what happens to your balance during the “in-between” pedaling crank position. The 3 and 9 o’clock position and also 9 and 3 o’clock. Horizontal pedals. Think about what you need to do, there’s a moment of “equal” pedal pressure on both. Especially, if you are turning very very slow in a very tight radius. You must maintain that lateral balance “perfectly” during the whole turning action. So, don’t just focus on the down pedal/twist, but also the next moment when the pedal is flat. Pedal pressure = balance.

Again, this goes back to the whole “back pressure” on your back pedal advice that is given to beginners when they first start. Unicycle pedaling is not like a traditional bicycle. Push and relax, push and relax. Nope.

Everyone starts out with twisting to turn but should eventually move on from this. Accomplished riders turn the unicycle by leaning the wheel just as happens on a bicycle.

Initially (and at low speed) the rider counterleans, maintaining their balance by keeping their centre of gravity above the contact point of the tyre on the ground. Bring the unicycle upright again to come out of the turn.

With more experience.and at high speed, the rider can lean their body into the turn too. Coming out of this requires more skill. Either by accelerating or leaning even further into the turn to perform a controlled “high side” this technique uses the rider’s momentum to come back upright.

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It certainly becomes the same with experience. An accomplished rider balances the unicycle with their body position and drives it with a sequence of thrusts on the front pedal. There should be very minimal weight on the rising pedal.

Weight on the back pedal is for slowing the uni or when riding standing up.

The tire and pressure can play a big roll, too. When the 20x1.95“ on my old uni was totally worn I bought a 20x1.75 Schwalbe Marathon as a replacement. Now I don‘t know if that tire is a good tire for unicycling at all. But I know that after the change I could barely ride the uni that I‘ve ridden (intermittently) for some 35 years… Lowered the pressure and things improved drastically.
Bottom line: you may want to play a bit with the pressure, or even try a different tire, if that doesn‘t help enough.