Nimbus 24 Muni- Will the sidewinder go away?

I have been doing Unicycle for 4-6 months now pretty consistently. Chris got me to the trails as soon as I could freemount 3 out of 10 times.

I am currently running 165s on my muni, I am 6’2 232 lbs. Pretty big guy.

When I pedal, I kind of torque turn with the pedals, It is getting less and less but I still comes out when trying to pedal fast or when i get tired after 3-4 miles.

Will 150 cranks help me with getting rid of the sidewinder?

Will 150 cranks help me with climbing, I get in the dead zone in steep grades and my quads are destroyed by the time i get to the top of a steep grade.

Thanks in advance,:slight_smile:

I went through a frustrating phase of this on my 26er with 150mm cranks. It lasted quite a while but, as advised by most on here, it was a phase that eventually passed without me really changing anything.
I’ve found my 24er (150mm cranks) is more prone to this more generally but I think the root cause is ultimately something in ones riding style which you eventually seem to pass through.
Hold in there…things will improve :roll_eyes:


I’m a relatively new unicyclist (9 months), and I noticed the same sidewinder issue on my muni. It came whenever the pedaling got hard. 2 things solved it (mostly).

  1. Learning to relax a bit and pedal circles rather than mashing hard on the down part of a pedal stroke. I know this from biking, but was too unstable to apply it. Once I worked on it on the flats, it translated well to the hills.

  2. Putting a good grab handle on the front. Adding something I could really hold onto allowed me to hold the uni much more steady on the climbs. That made an instantaneous difference on steeper stuff.

It does get better with time/practice. Just focus on even and smooth weighting of the pedals, finishing your pedal stroke at the bottom with a sweep of the foot (wiping your feet on a mat is what I was taught) and try to sweep over the top to start your pedal stroke. Those motions will give a smoother rotation and will counteract some of the forces causing your uni to wobble side to side.

At least that’s what I’ve found.

150 cranks or even shorter would be a good idea. 165 on a 24 inch is pretty crazy long.

I have noticed this starting to smooth out in my riding. For me, it seemed to be a balance of weight distribution and smoothing out my pedaling. I don’t worry about it much, and my wife commented that I don’t “wobble” as much as I used to, so that is good!

Congrats on the uphill stuff. I have noticed that riding down hill can be quite a challenge, but I don’t have many hills around here to try it on.

We did 8. something miles today, with some hiking say 15-20%, My legs were destroyed, but it was amazing how much it helps with minimal downhill say 1%. We did our normal route, then back tracked down a connector trail back home, I got to stay on the Uni a lot more!

I am seeing an improvement with the 150s on my Nimbus 24-


I think there is always this effect happening. As you ride more it gets smaller and smaller until eventually you can’t really see it. Smaller cranks would minimize it as well. Moving unicycle pedals makes your legs apply pressure in strange ways. I can no longer ride bicycles no-handed anymore, because I thrust the bike back and forth. But that’s ok, who needs to ride bikes anyways?!

I still consider myself “beginner” though I’m getting better. I think the sidewinding is inherent to unicycling though it gets smaller with experience.

Best advice I was given to reduce it was to squeeze the saddle hard with the top of my thighs. It helps with the weight placement on the saddle and helps with smoother pedaling.

A good point. You’ll notice an extreme difference if you say, stand up on your pedals and ride. So if you’re not trusting your body weight into your seat, you will have some extra wiggle.

Glad I’m not the only one to notice that side effect! I was wondering if I was going crazy. I used to be able to sit up and take jackets on/off, have a snack, etc. during my daily bike commute. Now, I feel like I’m going to crash and burn in the first few seconds after my hands leave the bars. I thought I’d get better at no-hands bike riding after unicycling, not worse.

Now, my track stands on a bike are another story. Suddenly, I kick butt at that. :smiley:

It was worth it thought wasn’t it? Learn to unicycle, forget how to ride bikes no-handed. Good trade in my opinion :slight_smile:

Shorter cranks do reduce wobble and 165mm sounds way too long for a 24" (but i don’t know what hills you have to conquer).
Trainig, getting used to a better technique, is helping too. Try to focus on moving your legs in circles (as others already mentioned) and not putting more weight on the pedals than necessary.
The right seat height can have to do with it too (great wobble-reduction on my 26" rides after i set the height correct for using 137mm cranks).



P.S.: And, yes, i found out about the “hands-free on a bike problems” too.

Hills I have to conquer

Here is the deems hill (Leopard Eater starter pave road), I conquered it to the trail head yesterday in a record time with my new 150 cranks, then the hill to the top of the mountain- It is mostly a hike then three to 4 DM (do to Rock gardens or steepness)coming down the mountain in the last picture.