Newbie question

I’m sure this gets asked a lot, but I can’t seem to find a thread that answers it completely. Here’s some background.

I found a unicycle at a thrift store years ago. It was $10! I didn’t pick it up. I kicked myself later for not picking it up. Every now and then I would think back to missing out on the unicycle. Fast forward to a week ago. I stumbled across a $25 unicycle on Craig’s List. I couldn’t help myself. I picked it up and I’m pretty sure it isn’t built for a guy my size. It’s a 20" wheel. The seat post isn’t tall enough for me so I found a piece of galvanized pipe that is the exact diameter. I think the seat is about the proper height. I figured this would be good enough to learn on.

I’m not sure what direction I want to take unicycling. I’m primarily a runner looking for a new way to cross train. I love cycling, but carrying a bike can be a bit of an issue, but having a unicycle with me is much easier to accomplish. I also enjoy challenges and just being a bit unique. So far I suck at the unicycle, but I think I’m getting better.

I guess what I’m wanting suggestions on is what type of unicycle to get. I’m pretty sure I won’t be doing tricks, but riding around the neighborhood or maybe even tackling the trails near here would be cool.

If you only had one size uni what size would you get? I ride a 29" Mtn bike currently it would be handy to only keep one size tube around the house.

I’m open for whatever.

I think a 29" wheel would be a good next step after you have learned the basics on the 20". It’s not the best at everything, but it’s a good compromise – pretty fast for riding around the neighborhood, small enough to fit easily in a car, and maneuverable enough for off road.

29 sounds like a good fit once you get going. The jump from 20 to 29 will take a bit to get used to but is doable. 29 is a good size to cruise the neighborhood, doing some medium distance rides, also works as a good off road trail uni. It was my only size for a year, worked out fine. Fun to go out and work on hills, I’m not a fan of distance riding on a uni (I leave it to the masochists) so didn’t do much of that.

Awesome! Any shoe recommendations? I had some boots on and the clunky soles kept bumping the cranks. I figured it was mostly due to poor foot placement.

I use Chuck Taylors(Converse all stars) and so far so good. I’m a noob myself though, so like the blind leading the blind. Don’t listen to me.

I guess I could throw this out there as well. I live North of Birmingham, AL. I guess if any one wants to come mock me I’m game for that as well. haha! I’m rehabing from an Achilles Tendon issue so I’m taking it real slow both on my running and trying this new unicycling thing.

Thanks again with all the replies.

Most ride with skate or BMX type shoes. Good grip and a flat sole help nicely :slight_smile:

I like 5 Ten freerider shoe, do a search in the forum (top right) and that will give you many a discussion about shoes.

Some prefer a flat sole. I like a definite heel.

Yeah 29 sounds good once you’ve mastered the basics. It would take a bit getting used to from a 20, but I think doable.

Take it easy on that leg. I wouldn’t do much riding until I could do some light jogging. If you had a sudden UPD and landed on that foot a bit awkwardly, that could put you back to square zero.

My motives for getting into uni were pretty much the same as yours. I started on the 24" and moved up to the 29" as soon as I could. I’m VERY happy with the bigger wheel and commute / tour on the thing several days per week. Even though I raced bikes for years, I never really connected with any of my bikes to the extent that I have to my uni–the thing is like a friend. it’s kinda weird. I guess it’s because riding a uni is just so much more fun!
Keep going…you won’t regret it.

That was my reason to buy 26" muni. I leared on 26" and now have that 26" and 36".
26er is my favorite so far :roll_eyes:

That is a good idea. Most of my attempts have just been to idle and work on balance. I’m going to try a light jog on my lunch break today. I’m fortunate that I work someplace that encourages exercise and allows for slightly longer lunches if you go run/ride your bike.

When I mtn bike now I prefer to use a single speed. I don’t like fiddling with changing gears. I feel it gets in the way of the fun of a ride.

Since you said you were looking to cross-train, I would suggest something that allows you to get your heart rate going. Where I live it tends to be somewhat flat, so a 29" road uni doesn’t work so well for training and I’m not breathing really hard when riding it. It is fun for flying pretty fast. We have a fair number of rugged MTB trails so I hit those on my 24" Muni and get a pretty good workout.

I worked on balance and idling tonight for about 15/20 minutes. I found myself easing up off the seat and putting more weight on my feet than on the seat. My quads are on fire!

yeah…that’s exactly what happened to me at first: I was riding with my knees and putting WAY too much weight on my feet. Once you learn to sit back and put the weight on your seat, you’ll really take off, and that’s when uni starts to get fun. :wink: