RESEARCH HELP: learn 2 unicycle? have any uni' training-aid ideas?

I’m a student designer at SJSU and I am designing a concept unicycle of some sort for my senior project. I need to understand how people learn to unicycle and would like to hear some of your learning methods and about any learning-aids. Also, I would be interested in helping someone learn to ride so that I can interview them and better understand the stumbling-blocks/fears/challenges/stigmas/etc. that come with learning to ride a unicycle.

My unicycle design (or accompanying accessories) will need to enable a person to learn to ride more easily.
(This will be a concept design and not actually built but will be designed to be ABLE to be built.)

I’m very interested in hearing from you ALL…

* Stories of learning to ride
* training tips
* difficulties of learning to ride
* accessories that have helped you learn
* accessories that could have helped
* are there any balancing issues that people have or haven't overcome?
* I could give a lesson or two in exchange for the knowledge learned from Questions I'll ask. (I only have my own muni which fits a 6foot tall man- so you'd probably need your own cycle)

Thanx so much!
The campus unicyclist.

H Allen Wilson IV
@ WAGIC Design
& San Jose State University
Class of 2007
(Santa Clara Ca.)

think, what was hard about learning to ride for you?

keeping your speed controlled is a hard one for beginners, lots of accellerating and slowing. put long cranks on i guess. there is not much you can do to make a unicycle easy(er) to ride, apart from adding another wheel and handlebers, but that is cheating. The unicycle is too basic to improve much other than its stregnth and weight. you could do somethng like this -

Check out the unicoaster on

Riding along a long railing about waist to chest hieght, is better than a wall, but that also works.
Focus on an object on the ground about 15 yards away, then another, and another…
Most of weight on seat, both arms out for ballance (don’t hold onto handle).
Switch to shorter cranks as you improve to fine tune your point of ballance (I have (I have 152, 127, and 102 mm cranks).

When I started learning to ride backwards I put on some 152 mm cranks and that made it easier, so I would presume it would have made it easier to just ride.