Newbie question about getting tired

I have been riding for two weeks now and can get around pretty good, but I cant ride for longer than a few minutes at a time before my legs just totally blow up from exhaustion.
I am in descent shape and ride bicycles and run for exercise. Is it normal for a newbie to get tired so fast? Is it because I just cant relax yet?
When I try to put a lot of weight on the seat the uni feels really unstable to me.

Hi Mark,

that’s very common when you start riding.
The more your brain gets used to this balance scenario, and your muscles get used to be used that way, you are able to put more weight in the saddle, less weight on the pedals/legs.
So over time you’ll feel much more stable, and get much less exhausted. Best way to boost the balance feeling is to go offroad (light cross country, a lawn, a dirt path etc.)



Yeah, it’s normal. You’re using a lot of new muscles that don’t get worked from normal exercise. It’ll go away, eventually you’ll be riding for miles and it’ll seem easier than walking…

Edit: BYC beat me to it. What he said!

In fact it becomes easier than walking very fast, or it becomes easier to ride with tired legs then to walk with them.



Thanks for the inspiration guys. I am super stoked now!


How low is your seat set right now? A seat that is too low can cause early leg fatigue.

When I first started riding I didn’t know anything about unicycling, and I tired so fast that I assumed nobody could ride one very far at all. Now I can do 4 miles in under 30 minutes and not feel to tired at all.

Exactly, check your seat height

Read through this thread:

You are a new rider in a very hard sport, it takes a while to build strength and endurance, think of it in geologic terms… a long time :stuck_out_tongue:

I started learning to Unicycle about 6 weeks ago now. At first a 30 minute training session wiped me out, now I can go for about 90 minutes before I’m ready to come home.

I may stop and stretch for a minute 4 or 5 times during that 90 minutes, depending on how cramped my quads get.

I have trained in Muay Thai for a long time, and done other sports for years, but it has surprised me how hard Unicycling is on my legs. I ache most days and occasionally take a day off just to let the muscles recover. (Enforced one today owing to yet more snow grumbles)

I can go about 300 yards on an incline (up or down) on the Uni now before my muscles want me to go easy on them and really SIT on the saddle, or take a rest :stuck_out_tongue:

I appreciate all of the encouragement.

I am 6ft tall 180 lbs with a 33.25 inch inseam with skate shoes on.
My seat is adjusted so that the distance from the top of my 6 O’clock pedal axle to the top of the lowest part of the saddle is 33 inches. I feel like I get pretty good leg extension. Should I go higher? I am riding a 26 inch Nimbus Muni with 150mm cranks and a 2.6 DH tire.


For inseam adjustment would it be safe to say that extension is similar to what it would be on a bicycle? It seems to me like my current seat height adjustment feels a lot like my bicycle. It’s a hybrid commuter with fat tires, fairly upright seating.

This is exactly right. Heel on the down pedal with the leg fully extended. Then, the knee is only slightly bent with the ball of the foot on the pedal. We frequently advise learners to lower the saddle an inch from this position until they can ride. After they can ride it reduces fatigue to adjust it correctly.

I have been riding 7 weeks now. Those first 3 weeks I could only do 20-30 minute sessions. As soon as I switched to trail riding my endurance and ability took off. Now I give it at least 30 to 60 minutes every other day.
Going up a moderate hill still kicks my butt though. On uphill sections of trails I just go as far as I can untill the uni flips out from under me, push it to the first level stretch and mount(cannot freemount uphill) and try again. At the end of an hour I am beat.

I’m posting merely to add to the encouragement. Keep at it, and follow the advice above!

I’m in my third week now. The times I start to get going i soon poop out and fall off. I remember roller skating being like this early on. By the time you actually start making progress during practice the muscles fatigue out and kill the practice.

I rode around my very unlevel and clumpy yard today. It was amazing how quiet it was…(no drivetrain noise like a bicycle). Every foot that I stayed up seemed like a small miracle and after 30 meters of negotiating the imperfections in my lawn I had to get off because I just couldnt tolerate that much joy. Along with learning how to relax on it I will have to figure out how to increase my threshold for fun.
Looking forward to the very long trail ahead.


When you’re starting out, riding is super tiring because you’re fighting yourself - you push too hard on the front pedal, have to correct by pushing down on the back pedal as it rises up, and so on.

And any weight that’s not on the seat or the front pedal is weight on the back pedal = more fighting yourself.

So as you get smoother, and more comfortable sitting, it gets a lot easier.

I was a strong cyclist when I started riding muni, with my leg muscles in much better shape than they are now, but half an hour of easy riding would leave me tired, and stiff the next day. It’s not about being in shape, it’s all about learning to ride. Just keep at it, and your body will figure it out.