Quesions: freemounting, idling, hopping

I borrowed this quote from raymanh:
“It’s very hard in the beginning to understand that the whole idea is not to beat the others. Eventually you learn that the competition is against the little voice inside you that wants you to quit.” - n
No KIDDING! That’s where I’m finding myself on this freemounting business!

Is it free mounting or freemounting? (space or no space)?

I’m working on several things at once with the main goal being freemounting.
It seems like sometimes it helps the freemount attempts if I practice idling or hopping a bit right before attempting the freemounting.

I did some hopping practice. Actuallly, maybe it is more like bouncing. The tire is probably barely coming off the ground, but I dd eleven before losing my balance. After taking a short break from the freemounting fiasco to balance in other ways, it seemed like the freemounting attempts were easier. The freemounts also seem easier if I try them after riding a bit rather than trying cold freemounting.

Idling?? I think I read that the bottom foot controls the idle, but my dominant foot (right foot) wants to be UP, and it seems to be the one controling the idle. Any comments on this?

I’m practicing all of this on a boardwalk by a wall and a railing… in the WIND. I can’t do anything about the strong wind, so I decided to practice the freemount today. I was going to do 100 no matter how long it takes, but so far I’ve spent a total of about 2 and 1/2 hours practicing and have only executed 24 free mounts.

Any thoughts?

First of all, have fun. If it starts to feel like work, it will be. With that in mind it is good to change it up with other skills, or even just riding around.

I don’t think it really matters if you make it one word or two. I spell it as one word, but I would understand what you or anyone else meant if they used two.

Freemounting didn’t take a lot of concerted effort for me, but I didn’t get it immediately. The more comfortable you are on the uni, the faster the freemounting will come.

Whether you are trying a rollback mount or a static mount idling will help. It’s not the same skill, but it seems to be related. Hopping isn’t much help to me for mounting, but I’ve seen plenty of vid’s where people jump on, and start hopping the uni right away as a means of getting control/balance. It may be more useful for trials riders.

Wind can be difficult. I was on a MUni ride last weekend that was almost all in the trees. I got to the top of a ridge, and came out of the trees. In a blink of an eye my uni was practically blown out from under me. It’s probably good to practice in the wind.

Thanks jtrops! Sounds like good advice.

That sounds kind of exhausting :astonished:

When I tried (and tried and tried) to learn freemounts, I counted the number of succesfull mounts out of 100 attempts. In the beginning it was something like 2 out of 100. If I got 5, I was glad :). Slowly I could do more and more mounts out of 100. Maybe it will work for you too. You can decide to make e.g. 300 attempts one day and 500 another day. I that way you will know when to stop and hopefully there will be progress from the first 100 to the last 100.

Best regards from a slow learner,

Thanks Sanne!

I’m having a pretty hard time keeping up with one set of numbers. I’m not sure how I would keep up with two!

I have a ONE TRACK mind! (maybe I can master this crazy vehical that makes only one track!)

I’ve changed my approach. I decided to give the rolling mounts on the 20" a rest and work on the 24". Amazingly, I have done 10 successful tire grab mounts (or hand moumts - where you grab the tire) in the last half hour on the 24". That improves my odds of reaching 100 for the day, but I have a ways to go! Especially since it’s 4:30 now, and I’m getting tired!

Count to 100 in the head an use your fingers for the good mounts - perhaps?

I like that - :smiley:

I’m impressed!! Good work!

Best regards,

Ok well… for both freemounting and idling the only answer is practice practice practice!!

Someone once told me to sit on the unicycle watching TV. I tell it to everyone now because it works!! Just sitting on it helps you to become more balanced and at ease. You can idle on the spot also (practice both feet, 100 each then swap).

As for having the weight on the bottom of the pedal this is completely true. You might manage a set of idles controlling from the top but you won’t get anywhere in the long run!

To help put the control at the bottom, practice idling with your other foot up on the frame.

Hope this helps!


Okay thanks Sanne, I’ll try your “How many can I get out of 100” method. That way I can sort of measure my progress. (I hope I can count them!) Thanks!

I don’t guess I will make it to 100 today. I added 5 more tire grab mounts in the last 20 minutes. That makes a total of 39 successful freemounts today. 24 rolling mounts on the 20" and 15 tire grab mounts on the 24" That’s 50 minutes for 15 on the 24" and at least 150 minutes for 24 on the 20". I think I’m liking the odds on the 24", especially since I was planning to use that one most of the time anyway. Tire grabs here I come for awhile!

Anymore tips?
Thanks Everyone!

Describe your mode of failure, that way, maybe those with more experience can diagnose the problem and give you some better pointers.

Are you not gaining enough momentum and falling back, missing a pedal, flying over the top? Do you consistently miss in the same way or do you swing between not enough and too much power in your push-off, for example?

And what are you doing right? Do you take time out to reflect on your successful mounts and try to recreate them? I found (and still do) that one of the more important, but seldom mentioned, aspects of free-mounting is timing. When I’m having a bad patch, it’s often because I’m trying to drive off before I’m over the top far enough (especially noticeable on my 29er over my 24, to be honest). I often find that if I take a few moments and pre-load the thought to wait that moment longer I can be straight back in business.

The other thing I would say is that I mainly struggle when I’ve been riding for a while and I’m tired. Probably don’t practice when you’re tired, you’re more likely to fail, losing confidence and getting more frustrated.

I can only do the tyre grab mounts, but I land them more often than not much easier than the normal freemount so you should be landing more than 5 of them every 20 minutes - 10/10 for perseverence, but it sounds like tiredness is getting the better of you.

I unicycled 11 miles on Friday, yesterday I completed an off road section of very rough rutted path that was scaring the hell out of me, today I was uselss on a flat carpark - couldn’t do a thing. Just one of those days, practice.

Hi 57UniRider. In answer to your question here: http://www.unicyclist.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1444824&postcount=15
Don’t let go of the tyre until you are sure all is well (foot placement, balance etc). If you are unhappy you can step back down while still holding the tyre. I have let go of the tyre too early with bad foot placement and ended up falling badly. I hope this makes sense and helps.

For my amateur take on this issue,
I would stick with a backing board behind the wheel until you are hitting them with confidence. While trying to get 5 out of 100 sounds dedicated I wonder if it is wise…(I’m thinking here, are you practicing how to do it right or how to do it wrong?) With a 25 mm board you will quickly (I think) get a feel for the stepping up/jumping motion and that is what you need to be practicing, not how not to do it…
When you are comfortable with that, take the board away and keep at it. If you aren’t getting 1 in 4 use the board again.
That’s the approach I used for learning to mount with my right foot on the pedal and it worked reasonably straight forward. At the start I had trouble just getting the uni into position while having my left foot on the pedal. It felt really weird.
Now back to more not very successful learning to ride backwards.

Cheers and good luck


I have also noticed my freemounts are easier after riding for a while. At the beginning when I’m cold, or at the end when my legs are shot, it is most difficult.

Hello CrazyJazy. Our posts must have crossed each other, and I missed yours last night. Thanks for the TV tip, and the idling comments. Obviously, I have to change my approach on idling. Shucks. I thought I was making a tiny bit of progress on it.

More Details

Hello jrwi.

I’ll start with the 20" on which I am trying to do a rolling mount.
I would be trying to do the tire grab mount on the 20", but I can’t imagine getting myself upright again after leaning that far over to grab the tire, and I thought it would be better in the long run to just hop on and ride off without having to grab the tire.
Here’s what seems to be happening.
1-I don’t get far enough over the top to have any forward momentum.
2-I get stuck at the top and can’t seem to get the pedals going.

Now for the 24" on which I am working on the tire grab mount.
I haven’t been able to do even ONE successful rolling mount on the 24" because I can’t seem to get high enough and forward. That is why I’m working on the tire grab mount.

1-I seem to fall to the side sometimes.
2-It seems like if I grab the tire and immediately get straight and ride off, it works better than if I try to make it feel right before sitting up to get going. (This is different than what jojoxie seems to be telling me. If I hang around too long grabbing the tire I feel like I will fall off… to the side. I don’t mean just sit there, but I can’t stay there long enough to think about anything.) It’s almost like I need to just touch the tire enough to get on top of the uni and slightly forward… then start riding all in one movement.
3-If I could roll mount the 24" and get high enough and forward enough to roll off, I would probably not even have bothered with the tire mount. However, the tire mount seems to be within my reach. (It feels like I almost have the hang of it.)
4-I still feel like I have to lean pretty far over to grab the tire on the 24", but not so far that I practically seem to be upside down like I do on the 20".

On both:
1- I seem to be pretty good at getting my foot placed correctly, although that is sometimes the problem.
2-To my surprise, especially on the 24" my foot has landed in a bad position a few times, and I rode off successfully anyway. I wouldn’t have been able to continue for very long, but I rode off 25 feet or so and counted those as successful mounts.
3- I have done more practicing on the 20" - rolling freemount - than I have the 24" - tire grab mount, but it feels like I will master the 24" tire grab mount more quickly the 20" rolling mount. At one time, I thought the 20" rolling mount was getting close, but now I’m not so sure about that.

[U]What’s right - or what seems to be helping[U]
1- When I think about my center of weight moving forward (in my gut).
2- I keep reminding myself not to put any weight on the left foot as I hop up with my right foot.
3- Pedal position seems to be important. I seem to need to land with the forward pedal slightly higher than horizontal.

One other thing.
I think if I were practicing the freemount in the middle of the street, I could count a few more successes. Sometimes I just about have it, but then I touch the rail or run into the wall. However, I when I ride, I can keep a straight line and control where I’m going. I attribute this to doing a lot of practice in a narrow space. This is what I have to work with, and my narrow working space has been a big plus for learning. This narrow space is at my fishing camp where I am right now. I plan to get a lot of pracicing done in the middle of the street in front of my house this week also.

Thanks everyone!

Try freemounting on a slight downhill until you get a little better.

I am right dominant and idle best with left foot down. Don’t know if that helps but at least you don’t have to feel alone.

Okay, thanks deadbeatpope!