Progress report.

So it’s been 3 weeks since I got my first unicycle, and I thought I’d post an update.
The weather here has been consistently miserable the past few weeks with gales, snow and plenty rain. Also it’s dark by the time I finish work. These factors combined mean I’ve not been outside yet!
However, it’s not all bad news, I’m fortunate to have a gallery space at work, but since there are no exhibitions at the moment I have been using that. The upper level has a varnished wood floor, around 20’ square, so I started there. I alternated between using the wall and just launching across the floor unaided, and pretty soon was managing to reach the diagonally opposite corner.
I then moved to the lower level, which is slightly bigger, around 20x30 feet. It has a rougher flagstone floor which I upd’d on pretty hard a week ago - my ribs still hurt, but I’ve not given up! I’m now consistently crossing this area diagonally, around 40ft of free/unsupported riding. Also, I usually manage to catch the uni when I do upd instead of dropping it.
So, next step? I think until the ground thaws out I will stay inside & attempt to learn free mounting. What is the easiest mount to learn? Is it best to stick at one til I get it or try a few methods and see if one ‘clicks’ easier than the others?
And finally, are there any riders or clubs in south west Scotland, Argyll, Glasgow or Ayrshire? The nearest club Google gave me is Edinburgh, 3 hrs drive from here.
Thanks again.

Welcome to the forums. In general the easiest mount to learn is the rolling or roll back mount. P.S. love the username

My two cents: The easy way to learn to free mount is to wait about a year until you’re pretty good at riding a unicycle. :slight_smile:

Half the trick is being able to recover and ride away even from mounts that are far from perfect. You’ll get a lot better at that as you ride more. It might be more practical right away to learn to cheat at mounting with every kind of assist you can think of: kerbs, mail boxes, car roofs, trees, telephone and street sign poles, etc.

But the first free mount that I learned to do was an improvised no-roll mount, something like a roll-back except I put the pedal near the bottom and gave myself enough forward momentum to ride away directly. Gotta say that I’m a little puzzled at how often roll-back mounts are recommended to beginners. Riding backwards is way harder than free mounting. I still suck at that!


I found the best way for me to learn freemounting was to learn to ride as slow as possible, and hopping. That might seem ambitious, but its one of the easiest tricks to learn. I tried to learn hopping and freemounting almost right away, and that worked for me. Since you are limited in space, learning different ways to control your uni at slow speeds seems practical. I suppose learning to turn is a necessary component, too. :slight_smile:

OorWullie, I know what you mean about an the recent weather and early darkness…I’ve only managed a couple of outdoor rides during the past week. I had to learn to free mount very soon after learning to ride simply because there is nothing to hold on to here! I started with the tyre grab mount which is pretty easy to learn, then progressed to the roll back. For me the static and rolling hop mount came later.
Good luck and have fun, Joseph.

This is me three months in after learning to ride, the tyre grab is at the beginning of the vid.

Thanks for the responses. Jojoxie, what is the hand doing in that mount? Is it holding the wheel to stop it rolling?
Plenty advice to work on here. I’m kind of pleasantly surprised at how welcoming the unicycle community is, everyone seems happy to help everyone else.


Here is the order of some of the mounts I learned :
0. (zero because it’s not a free-mount) Curb mount. Didn’t do that for long.

  1. Tire grab. Steadies the uni and forces you to place your center of gravity over or in front of the axle.
  2. Jump mount. There is a park near my house with really soft grass. Practicing this mount early-on, though I was rarely able to ride away from it, helped me overcome the fear of riding. Not recommended on hard surfaces.
  3. SIF mount starting with one foot at 6:00 position. I suggest practicing this with both hands grabbing the seat. If you can mount SIF, you can ride SIF.
  4. Static mount. I don’t recommend this for beginners, as it can result, when poorly executed, in wiping out. I found this mount harder than the others. Maintaining the ‘stasis’ between the backward pushing of one of the pedals and the forward motion of the torso/hands on the seat…is tricky.

Learning several mounts is going to make riding a lot more fun. Good luck!

Thanks for the responses. Jojoxie, what is the hand doing in that mount? Is it holding the wheel to stop it rolling?
Plenty advice to work on here. I’m kind of pleasantly surprised at how welcoming the unicycle community is, everyone seems happy to help everyone else.

I wasn’t able to master the tire grab mount … felt too awkward to me.

The static free mount is what I learned. Started with a curb/step to brace the back of the wheel and progressively reduced the size of the back stop to almost nothing. Also starting on a slight slope helped. At one point I fell to the side and damaged my knee. After it healed I got knee pads and practiced on a rubberized track at a local high school until I did my first free mount.

I hear some riders find the rolling mount easier but that wasn’t my experience. I’ve only been able to do it once.

Try all three. One will probably feel more natural than the others.

Same as Vertigo

I couldn’t do the tyre mount and the static freemount feels the easiest.
Lots of good vids on you tube and you do do what you feel happiest with.

You can’t be too far away from the beautiful Isle of Arran. Gosh, that would be a feather in your cap if you cycled round that… :roll_eyes:

It has a whole thread all to itself…

I have been round Arran a few times on 2 wheels, and have done a lot of walking over there too. I’m in Dunoon just now so it would be a couple of ferry trips and a train ride to get there. And we have plenty nice riding right here either on road or Muni!
I’ll check YouTube and experiment with mounts to see what feels easiest and most natural.

The only freemount I can do is the static mount. I learnt it just before Unimyra posted their video but it shows exactly what I do.

I built up towards it by using holding onto whatever I could while I went through the motions of this freemount until I didn’t need to hold anything.

The suggestions of a rollback for beginners made no sense to me.

Tyre grab seemed even less plausible.

Just remember

I heard a little phrase one time that I always think of when learning something new…

Fail 'Til You Succeed

Greetings OorWullie,

I unicycles off and on for over 10 yrs and never got the free mount until this spring. I agree with those that said the tire grab is the easiest.

The key for me was that, while your hand does hold the tire to keep it from rolling backward, the trick is to jump up to land your off foot on the other pedal without putting too much weight on the rear foot. Once you land the off foot, just look up and go forward, lean and keep going. Think positive, be looking where you’re going to be going (very shortly after you successful free mount).

Once that clicked, I have been really improving all year and am now really enjoying muni. One thing I screwed up on the free mounting is that it is best to use the same foot rearward for free mounting that you like to have to the rear for hopping. I didn’t and it took a while to adjust.

Good luck!

For me the progression to getting a freemount was getting a solid curb mount. The other trick for me was pushing the wheel forward an inch or two just as I start to hop up onto the uni. The foward push puts a little lift on the back peddle and I can put a little weight on it which can help.

The other thing was mental. Focussing on just getting my second foot on the peddle, not conceptually on getting on the unicycle. It is hard for me to explain this but focussing on the 2nd peddle made a huge difference. Once I didn’t that, I learned in a matter of minutes.

I tried the tyre grab several times, but it was awkward. It sort of makes sense with a bigger wheel - it’s nearly impossible to do it with a 20" wheel, you’d have to fold in two! And us men have some parts that get seriously crushed in the operation… :roll eyes:
But it did one thing to me: understand the principle of the static mount. The hand blocks the wheel so that when you put your foot on the rear pedal, the wheel doesn’t roll (shoot) back. Then the trick is to learn to seat on the uni, push it forward and bit, and at the same time put a little bit of pressure on the rear pedal. The idea is not to use the rear pedal as a step to get onto the uni, the idea is to use it to block the uni in the same spot with your non-dominant foot. I practiced by just having the saddle in position, my foot on the rear pedal, and other foot (dominant) behind the uni, with a 45° angle, and just pushing the uni forward a little bit, whilst blocking the rolling with the rear pedal. And pushing more and more until there was enough inertia to have my other foot get off the ground.
Hard to explain with words, that’s for sure.

I also practiced the rolling back mount at the same time, where you put your dominant foot on the down pedal, put all your weight on that pedal, and put your other foot on the pedal at the top, and sort of “brushing” it backward for a quarter revolution, then you pedal forward.

I managed to do both mounts at the same time, because I could practice one until I just over-confused my brain, and then switch to the other one. But the trick that really helped, and still does, is to look forward as soon as you start the move. I have a natural tendency to look at what’s happening to my feet when I start (well, those spikey pedals are scary, so I want to make sure I put my foot on them, not my shin), and that was (is) the recipe for failure. Sometimes, I would say out loud “Look ahead” to remind me, and that’s really the thing that helped in the learning.

That is were it got bizarre for me. The back pedal is the perfect step. All one has to do to use it is counterbalance that force by pushing down and forward on the seat at the same time.

If you get those forces balanced then there is no need for anything like the grab to stop the roll. Just step up and go.

This thread is the first place I ever heard of anyone starting with the wheel grab mount, but whatever works for you! Two months ago I tried to ride a 43" wheel, and grabbing it seemed to be my only option. If I had learned the wheel grab beforehand, everything might have been much easier.