Newbie questions

Hi all,

I’ve had my 20" freestyle (generic make) for a couple of months now. While my progress hasn’t been meteoric, I’ve still come on a long way.
I can ride a long way (100m+) on a smooth surface and I can go quite a bit (60-70m+) on rougher pavements and old tarmac. No kerbs yet :slight_smile:
I can free mount 30% of the time and can mostly dismount gracefully, so I reckon I am getting close to level 1.

My questions are:

  1. Will it get less tiring as I progress? the effort that I make to balance leaves me breathing deeply and sweating profusely, especially after riding on rougher surfaces.

  2. Should I raise my saddle? I followed some advice that suggested a low saddle for beginners and it certainly helped with the UPDs, but could this now be “cramping my style”? My saddle is currentlyat about hip height so my legs are fairly bent (but not uncomfortably) at all points in the pedalling. I have noticed that freestylers tend to have the saddle much higher than this.

  3. Once I have “mastered” the cheepo uni that I have I intend to get a decent Muni, maybe a KH, and go exploring. It seems that there is a gulf between the skills required for freestlye and those for Muni - does anyone do both, or is the mastery of both beyond the skills of an ordinary mortal?

Thanks in advance for your replies.


Yes, yes, yes.
I guess I’m a couple or three months ahead of you and it does get less tiring as you learn to balance.

I don’t know about the saddle but it does sound a little low. Be prepared to learn to freemount again though.

None of the skill are beyond the skills of ordinary mortals - exept that you unicycle, so you’re not ordinary. And if you carry on you’ll become obsessed, or even suffer from full blown unipsychosis, which I believe involves owning at least 4 unicycles (including a coker).
I would not claim to be an expert but would think that some of the skills involved in Muni & freestyle are the same & some are different and they are all difficult & wonderful.
I’m going for both - and eventually distance. But I’m only beginning. I’d say - Go For it. And enjoy.
Oh and by the way, you will probably get a different unicyle for each skill eventually.
Have fun.

By the way, if you don’t believe me about the different unicycles, just check out the thread entitled uni count, that at the moment is underneath this one.

Thanks Cathy,

what do you mean become obsessed?

I already am!

You think?
I tell you it gets worse.
I have been unicycling since January. I practice everyday. I have 3 unicycles and plotting for a fourth, although I would get rid of one of my others first.
It must be that you have to put so much effort into it that you either give up or become obsessed.
Welcome to the wonderful twilight world of unicycling - the hobby where people shout at you in the street and ask you where your other wheel is or whether you are going to join the circus.

Re: Newbie questions

I do both, in fact I do everything just about. THe only thing s that its hard to do freestyle on a Muni, but seeing as you have a freestyle uni that will work out fine.

Re: Newbie questions

Yes, as you progress riding becomes a lot easier. When I first learnt 10 minutes of riding would leave me exhausted. Now I happily ride for an hour or more without much effect.

As you get better your riding will become smoother and you will learn to put more weight on the seat and less on your legs. In the first few months it is a good idea to constantly remind yourself “weight on the seat”. Most beginners use their legs far more than they need to, resulting in much more energy expendature than required.

Almost all your weight should be on your legs unless you are climbing a steep hill.

Yes, this will help make riding less tiring and prevent knee pain. (if your seat is too low your knees may hurt on long rides, too high and your calves may hurt).

Having the seat the correct height makes mounting a little scarier but riding should become easier. When sitting on the unciycle with the pedal in the lowest position your leg should only be very slightly bent. (almost straight).

Lots of people do both. Until fairly recently the majority of keen unicyclists out there did freestyle or played hockey.

Many people have now progressed from freestyle into offroad. It is now quite common for people to focus only on offroad unicycling.

Eventually good offroad unicyclists start dabbling in freestyle tricks as they help develop ballance and assist in offroad riding. (eg If you can ride one footed and a foot flies off the pedal on a trial you can carry on riding until your foot makes it back to the pedal).

Not to beat a dead horse, but “yes” to all three.

You have to try the various different forms of unicycling to know which one(s) you are going to like. I got real good at Freestyle long before there was such a thing as MUni.

Nowadays, 99% of my riding is Coker commuting and MUni, two forms of unicycling that didn’t exist when I entered this sport.

In response to 1,2 and 3.

  1. Yes you will get used to it. I have only been riding for 2 months but i get used to it. At first i got winded really easily, but now the most is just a little sweat. You’ll get used to it.

  2. It depends on what you want to do. I lowered my seat because i like freestyle unicycling. After 2 months i can work my way onto a bench by jumping onto it and using the pedals, etc. Lowering your seat will leave more room to jump, but it makes it harder to go faster or farther. It may help you get used to tiring out.

  3. I think you should just upgrade your “Cheepo” one, like i am doing. The only thing i need to replace is the bearings and the seat. Your seat (If it is a Viscount) will get TOTALLY shredded. My seat almost cuts my hand from the plastic bumper that is no longer there. But i recently ordered a KH Seat and a 36" Coker. I prefer commuting and Freestyle, and i reccomend it. MUni is ok though, just go with whatever you want to.

But the most important thing to remember is to have fun!

Thanks for all the replies.

And yes, I am having fun!