questions about coasting

i feel like venturing into the world of the utterly impossible-sounding. i think i understand how the balance works with coasting - i’ve noticed myself using a similar principle during one-footed - but i have some other questions:

  1. is it made drastically easier by knowing how to glide, or is steady one-footed riding a good enough prerequisite? if the latter, just how steady?

  2. does wheel size make a difference? i imagine that because of the higher position of your feet, bigger wheels would offer less leverage and thus harder balance. am i right?

  3. is it easy to land on your feet? any tips for doing so?

1. I wouldn’t say it is drastically easier if you know how to glide, but I would suggest learning it first so you can get used to the feeling of not pedaling. The balancing for gliding and coasting is totally different. Gliding your weight is more shifted back like how it is for wheel walking, and coasting you need to keep your weight forward.

Your one foot riding needs to be very comfortable before you try coasting. It should steady enough that it feels like your riding with two feet (you want very even pedal strokes).

So to answer that question I would say work on both.

2. I cant answer this question as i have never tried coasting on anything but a 20".

3. For me it is very easy to land on my feet. When you start working on coasting you can usually tell when you are going to fall, so you can just step/jump off. Watch what direction you fall off in so you can either lean forward more/backward more on the next attempt.

Coasting will feel impossible at first but you just have to keep at it. Ive been working on it on and off for last 7-8 months or so, and only now I am feeling comfortable with it (landing them consistently). My farthest coast so far has been around 80-90 feet (30 meters).

Another thing I would suggest is working on coasting with both feet on the frame and with one foot extended. Try out both for a while and see which one you like better. I prefer foot extended coasts. They are just much easier to balance for me.

Just in case you dont know the difference between foot extended coasts and foot in coasts, watch these videos from Leo’s site:

Coasting both feet on frame

Coasting one leg extended

I hope this helps.

  1. is it made drastically easier by knowing how to glide…
    I will assume by the question that you’re wonding if you should spend time on gliding first. If you want coasting to be easier, yes. They are very similar.

  2. does wheel size make a difference?
    Also yes, but not a big difference between 20" and 24". It’s more about how solid a grip your foot/feet can get on the frame. Some frames are better-shaped than others, even if the wheel is bigger/heavier. My best experience was on a borrowed unicycle at Unicon VIII, with a fairly ordinary flat-crown frame and a fat clamp with quick-release lever. My foot locked in there so well I was able to coast over 70m in one of my two tries for the competition.

  3. is it easy to land on your feet? any tips for doing so?
    Yes, and practice. I guess the most basic piece of advice is to bail early. The earlier you bail, the less you’ll fall down or get injured, though it may slow your learning process. I think there’s a correlation between caution and “riding it out” on learning speed. I’ve seen some very fast learners who just ride the unicycle right into the ground trying to “save” things…

oh, frame shape… i’d forgotten about that. i wouldn’t have thought it was about your grip. well, i just have a round-crowned 24". not too good, then? incidentally, how important is frame shape for gliding?

i tried a couple of times to coast just there, quite timidly, and in each case the unicycle instantly darted forwards. should i be in more of a forward-leaning posture before starting? i do one-footed until i’m putting practically no pressure on the pedal, then head for the crown.

I’m not great at coasting, but trying to coast on anything but my flat-crown frame is really hard. I’ve got grip tape on the crown and tend to ‘grip’ it with the soles of my feet and ankle bone to really stick to the frame. Without a good positioning when I’m starting a coast, I usually fall off (and jettison the unicycle at alarming rates of speed :astonished: ) very fast.

is it much easier to cost/glide on a uni with a smooth tire?


i think it is easier to coast on a high PSI 1.85 freestyle tire then a 2.5 trials tire.

Probably more preference i think.

ok, ill keep working on it with my trials then seeing as i dont have a freestyle. i was wondering, when i try to glide, I can’t seem to get my feet smoothly into position. I alsways have to do like 1 1/2 WWs to get into position, and then my balance is all messed up and I fall. any suggestions?

For gliding, not very important, as the foot on the tire is doing most of the work. The non-gliding foot just needs a comforable, neutral resting place.

If you have a United-style (unicrown) fork, a simple automotive hose clamp, with the screw on top, goes a very long way.