Hi! Beginner of a few weeks here. I’m working on free mounting right now and it works pretty well until I try and actually move forward (I can usually idle a little before immediately falling off). My best right now is ~6 rotations if I get a good mount.
It feels a little more natural to me when I put some weight on the pedals, however when I do that there tends to be some space between my butt and the seat of the unicycle, which makes me lose balance. I think I tend to stand up when I put weight on the pedals, probably a habit I picked up from biking.
Is it worth raising the seat so it would be easier to put weight on the pedals while keeping my butt in contact with the seat?
Your seat is almost certainly too low. You are right that you need to put lots of weight on the saddle and the way to do this is to out the seat up.
As you get better you will find that a lower seat has some advantages for some tricks or for muni. For distance riding high is always good.
There was a test at UNICON in Guildford with a load cell on the pedals. It showed that the better the rider the less pressure there was on the pedals.
Good starting point for saddle height is to put the heel of your foot on the down pedal: the knee should be almost straight.
It’s normal than you’re trying to stand on the pedals at first. That’s how humans do most of their balancing: on our feet. Once you can do a couple of revolution, you should become aware of putting your weight on the saddle. It’ll be weird at first but your body will start to understand that you control the uni with your hips.
It took a while before I started controlling the uni with my hips. For a while, my flailing arms were doing the balance. I think that balance from the hips is something we should all strive for but may be hard for a beginner. Balance from the hips really started making sense to me once I got both hands on the seat/bar.
UuniBoy, congratulations on learning to free mount so early in your progress. There is no danger of you spending too much time at a wall or fence (many beginners are warned against over-reliance on “crutches”). Here’s a suggestion: Find a wall/fence/crutch. While holding on, practice placing more weight in the seat. While you’re doing that, practice pushing your hips to the left or right. And practice both those things at every pedal position around the 360 degree circle. Try to do little still-stands (balancing) while your hips are shifted to the left and right. Avoid lifting your weight off the seat while balancing. While this exercise probably won’t make you start balancing from the hips, perhaps it will increase the awareness of the range of side-to-side motion you have in your hips (which could help you later on). The exercise is a nice way to stretch the hips.
Depends what kind of tricks. Freestyle unicyclists usually do most of their riding on basketball courts or other smooth surfaces, and for the tricks they do, they keep their seats insanely high. Trials unicyclists, street unicyclists and mountain unicyclists keep their seats low. For distance riding, you want your seat pretty high, but usually with a little bit of room for adjusting to potholes and bumps.