Pulling to the Left - Fixes?

I’ve only been unicycling for about a month, but my wheel seems to be pulling to the left, forcing me to constantly correct it back to the right. I’ve tried adjusting the saddle to the left to try and force the tire toward the right side a bit–seems to help, but I still notice the leftward pull. Does anyone have a theory about why this is happening, or tips on how to eliminate the pull? I’m assuming I’m doing something wrong…maybe I have a natural tendency to apply uneven force to the pedals?

I think this happens to most people while they are learning, it happened to me. Usually you just keep riding and it will go away on it’s own. If your road surface is not flat, it will definitely pull you towards one side.

If you want to be sure it’s not your uni, you could check your bearings and bearing holders, make sure one side isn’t on too tight. Take the bearing holders off, so you can remove the wheel from the frame, turn the bearings by hand, they should both turn easily. Re-assemble the uni (make sure the left crank goes back on the left side of the frame), tighten bearing holders, tight, but not so tight that the wheel doesn’t turn freely.

But I definitely recall years ago when I was learning and ran through a period where I was pulling to one side, I checked my ride and it was fine, kept riding and it went away.

When I first started to ride, and indeed up until about 3 weeks ago, I had a tendency to go left all the time.

In my case, it was because my left leg was stronger than my right (I use my right kicks more than my left, so my left ‘supporting’ leg grew stronger) and pushed harder on the pedals all the time. Once I learned to relax more, put my weight on the sadlle and allowed the pedals to ‘spin’ I found I started to go straight all the time.

Maybe you have a similar issue?

Thanks. Good to hear it’s not an issue confined to just me, and that gives me hope that it’ll just self-correct as a continue to get better. Also a great tip about checking the bearings…I hadn’t thought of that. This morning I adjusted the bearing clamps to ensure they’re all evenly spaced (which they weren’t before).

I am left-legged, so I may subconsciously push harder on that side too. Hopefully my clamp adjustment will be shockingly effective. (I haven’t been able to test it because we’re in the middle of a snow storm.)

As been said here, give it time, keep riding, don’t fight that, few weeks from now you won’t feel it any more.

Have fun,

You might also play with tire pressure. I find with some tires lower pressure can cause this. There are a lot of posts on this issue. Use search.


Happens to me too.
Learn to ride curves by tilting your hip.
This makes you more relaxed in your hips.

With my personal experience, I would say it’s learning. And fatigue.

I went on my longest ride today (2km). Started out with arms by my side, hips square, shoulders square. Relatively relaxed. The last 500 meters I was weaving and wobbling, arms jerking everywhere, left shoulder always higher and in front. As soon as I start getting tired that left shoulder feels like it “has” to be out there. Which twists my spine, my hips, everything really. So going in a straight line gets harder and harder.

All good ideas.

Pulling to one side is a common beginners issue. W/ me it was to the right, my much stronger right leg (partial paralysis) may have been a factor.

Potential causes: road/trail crown, crooked seat, unevenly worn tire, too low or high pressure. Or if your body, esp the shoulders are pointed in the direction of the drift (that’s all I can think of).

Short term fix: ride on the center of the road crown, tweek the seat towards the direction in which you drift (in the OP’s case the left), twist you shoulders to the right.

Long term fix: do LOTS of circles in the oposite direction (so, the right). Try to keep them smoooooth, start very big and gradually go smaller. For me the drifting problem went away when I could do 3+ smooth circles in a row w/in a parking lot space.

Great suggestions, everyone. I’ll take all of them into account.

Just to update this…I’m still having trouble with the leftward drifting. I’ve done a couple semi-long rides trying to work it out (9 miles, 6 miles) but struggled with the pulling the whole time. It’s frustrating because I’m spending a lot of energy constantly compensating for the drift.

I re-read everyone’s comments. It’s definitely not a crown issue. To make sure it wasn’t the tire, I bought a new Continental Trail King and put that on, which didn’t help. I’ve adjusted seating/body position and repositioned my saddle about 1000 times to no avail.

I think today I’ll try working on doing smooth turns to the right to see if that helps. Otherwise I’ll just keep hoping it works itself out. And if it doesn’t, I guess my next move is to get another unicycle so I know for sure whether it’s me or the equipment.

I’m still loving riding…the pull left is just a fly in the ointment at the moment.

You’re still what, only 6 weeks into riding? Just give it a bit more time.


Like you, I have had these deviations in my early rides (for about 3 months at least) - even on long rides of 5-10 KM on my 20" unicycle.
However, I found out that I can easily overcome it by holding the front of the saddle with my right hand and using this position as a mean of steering.
This way I was able to fix the deviation until it passed away during the ride - whenever it occurred (and it happened a lot during single ride).

I was also able to use this method in order to lift my body up above the saddle easily by standing on the paddles during the ride and re-position my body and feet to better angle which helped also.

I don’t know if it would work for you, but this is what I believe helped me anyway.

Good luck - and don’t stop practicing whenever you get the chance!

aracer - Actually, I just checked my receipts, and I’ve only been riding for a month now. Not sure why I thought it was longer.

one4alll - Good advice. I tried messing with all that today. One thing that may have worked a little was putting my left foot further forward on the pedal than my right foot. Seemed to add a bit of rotational force to the right that countered the tendency to go left. I think it did, anyway.

Also, if anyone’s interested, I recorded a bit of my practice today. Maybe you’ll see something I’m doing wrong.

Apparently your leafy trail is a lot steeper than it looks in the video! This is typical of trying to show “hill steepness” in photos and video.

Anyway, due to the terrain it’s hard to diagnose what may be causing your leftward drift. It is not apparent in the footage; what we do see is a lot of zig-zagging of the wheel, which is fairly normal for a new rider. It gets more pronounced on rough surfaces or hills, so don’t worry about that.

If anything, it looks like your right leg might be putting in a sharper downstroke than your left, which will cause more of a leftward tendency. If that turns out to be what it is, just concentrate on smoothing out your pedaling and riding in a straight line, and it will take care of itself after a while.

Keep having fun out there!