Riding Coker Crooked HELP PLEASE!!

Well, I have been unicycling for about 1 year now. First couple of months on a Torker 24. Then in March I started riding my Coker. Now so far this year, I have 1200+ miles on my Coker. I generally go for 15-30 mile rides, usually on crushed limestone paths. I love it. I wore out my first Coker tire at about 900 miles and put a new one on.

Here is the problem. My last couple hundred miles I have developed a very nasty habit of riding with my butt off to the left ever so slightly, and my left shoulder continues to stick forward. I have tried riding hands free, riding left hand on seat, right hand on seat, arms crossed in front of me, left hand behind back in an attempt to make the shoulder go back, still no luck. This happens on flat, crowned, blacktop, crushed limestone, virtually anywhere I ride. Last weekend I took my 24 torker out, and I had the same nasty habit. That for me seemed to rule out anything being wrong with the Coker.

I have scrutinized the Coker very closely, and asked my dad to look at it at well. He was a chemist and is very analytical. We did not see anything wrong. He watched me ride, and yep, I do sit off center, and my left shoulder goes forward.

I can turn to the left verrrry easily, but turning right is much more difficult. I am right handed. I almost always mount with my left foot on the pedal and then jump. I have tried recently learning to mount with the other foot. Left foot is almost 100%, right foot is about 30%.

The first 700-900 miles I always rode with my hands free. Then I decided to try with a hand on the seat. I prefer to ride with my right hand on the seat, I do not know if this contributes to the problem or helps resolve it. Maybe no effect.

Does anyone have any ideas??? I feel so bad 1200 miles and now my riding is turning to CRAP!!! I went 20 miles today, but it nagged me all the way. HELP Please!!!:frowning:

Twist the seat(post) counterclockwise a little bit.

i’ve been having the same problem. my left shoulder leans forward and it’s really annoying because it seems like it should be so easy to fix but it’s not. i usually hold the saddle handle with my left hand and i think the right side of my body just wants to lean back like i’m a bull rider or something lol. i’ve been trying to hold the handle with my right hand instead recently and it seems to help. i’m not as comfortable and in control of the uni like that yet, but at least the leaning is less severe. try changing up how you hold the saddle, i think getting comfortable doing it different ways will balance things out.

Incredible mileage! Way to go. I think that I do the same thing to a certain degree and Billham from this forum suggested concentrating on moving one hip or the other forward. It’s a subtle change in posture, but a big change for the “twist” effect. So the crown of your pathway has no effect whatsoever? I always ride with less twist when the crown of the road goes downward to the left (perfect for riding in the UK…unfortunately it accentuates my tendencies here in the US). You will get lots of suggestions, good luck!

Practice riding circles turning towards the right,(the side that you feel uncomfortable with.) Do it over and over until it fells comfortable. As you do the circles, you will probably find that you have shifted your seat position. Also, keep working on mounting with the weak foot. These helped me when I had a similar problem.

I also have a tendency to ride with my left shoulder pointing forward and leading the way. I also ride with my right hand on the saddle handle. When my right hand is on the handle my left arm gets used for balance and usually is held out in front of me. That leads to the left shoulder always wanting to lead the way. It’s a hard habit to break.

Try riding with your left arm behind your back. Try riding with both arms behind your back. It will help get you to sit more square.

Do you use an air seat? Your air seat may actually be lopsided which could cause you to sit off-center on the seat. Air seats can be finicky like that, especially the doubled over dogbone style air seats. Try riding on a standard foam saddle like the KH or KH gel and see if that gets you to sit more square.

I do the same thing and finally went to chiropractor and noticed when I sleep etc I lay on side and stretch my right arm out and my right leg and this has made my hip a tilt to one side after a number off trips to the chiropractor it went away then a few years later after not going it came back and I have been told I ride my motorcycle crooked too, I have tried a number of things to favor the other side and well ?

Re: Riding Coker Crooked HELP PLEASE!!

Can it be the place where you ride? I don’t know where you live. If
you are in the UK, then the typical road crown would push you to the
left which is compatible with what you write. If you are e.g. in the
US, it makes less sense. Regardless, try riding the same stretch the
other way round, retracing the trajectory where you rode.

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

“Unicycling is like glue: you have to stick with it, and it’s not to be sniffed at - Mikefule”

I find a simmilar thing happening to me but usually when i haven’t ridden for a couple of days. This does not seem to match with your experience so we might be talking about two different things.
I also find it happens when i get off the 20" and onto JayneZA’s Coker (which I’m using for meet-and-greet gigs at a local casino). The quickest way for me to sort that out is to start swinging my arms in time with my feet pedalling. Almost like when you’re walking.
I feel (and look, I guess) a bit like a race-walker, but it normally squares me up in no time at all and then I can drop my hands, or use them to doff my hat at people and welcome them to the casino.

Re: Riding Coker Crooked HELP PLEASE!!

I had exactly this happen to me briefly last year. After several thousand miles on the coker. It went away pretty quickly, after about 80 miles or so. I think in my case what fixed it was conciously moving my weight up onto the saddle and playing around with the pressure I was putting on each pedal relative to the other.

When you’re moving weight around on the seat, just sit on it so it feels like way too much towards the opposite side and you should be in about the right place.

It’s also worth checking your pedal axles / cranks aren’t bent, as that can do weirdy things to your riding without being easy to spot.


All the above comments are good. In addition, you might be finding that your saddle foam is compressing, and that it’s time to replace it. Even top-quality running shoes have only about 3-500 miles in them. After that, they look and feel the same, but you find that you start having leg troubles. Replace the shoes, and the troubles go away.

Doing some regular figure-8s may help.

Finally, like Joe said, try to put as little pressure on the pedals as possible. Concentrate on each pedal individually. However, if you have saddle issues, then it will be almost impossible to equalize your legs.

You could try holding both hands on the handle in order to even things out. Preferably a handle with two grips like the GB-handle.

Re: Riding Coker Crooked HELP PLEASE!!

I am glad to hear I am not the only one who does this. For me, this started when I started riding a 29er and it was greatly (negatively) impacted when I installed an air seat. Very frustrating.

I removed the air seat. I have practiced figure-eights, circles, slolam-type movements, hands behind, hands in front, done the arm-swinging thing, etc. I can ride on the left side of the road crown but the right side is really tough. Riding downhill and to the right on the right side of the road crown just almost throws me in the ditch …arghh!!

I have been forcing myself to ride on the right side of the road crown. I am getting used to it. Have found that putting slightly more weight on my feet gives me better control. (My favorite riding area is an old, almost deserted office-park type of area. There is very little traffic in the evenings and the few cars drive slowly so I feel pretty safe riding on either side of the road.)

Re: Riding Coker Crooked HELP PLEASE!!

I missed this the first time around.
It suddenly makes sense that if your (stronger) right leg is indeed applying even just a hint more power to the right pedal, your body will turn in this way to compensate and keep you going straight.
Suddenly the ‘pedal-focus’ bits of advice make a lot more sense.

I’ve found that when riding atop the crown, I can sit firmly on the seat and everything is in equilibrium.

But when riding with a sustained off crown situation, I’ll stand on the pedals a bit which allows the seat to shift to one side. Then I can sit back heavy on the seat (one bun more than the other.)

This allows my body to be as upright as possible. After a while, though, I have to go over to the other side for a while, or ride the crown, just to take a break from it. It seems I’m standing and repositioning rather often, since things are not all that comfortable when too far off of equal. That tires me sooner.

I hope this lousy picture helps:

crown riding.gif

Wow! I was just getting ready to start a thread on this very subject. I’ve recently developed the exact same problem. I thought I’d seriously lost my balance. I’ve been riding off to the side enough that the unicylce will drift to the left for 3 or 4 pedal strokes and then I’ve got to really snap it to the right to get back on course. It’s exhausting. I rode about a mile and a half the other day and I was totally beat from the constant corrections. Thanks for all the ideas. I was going to go home tonight and make a minor adjustment to the seat height having had the thought that was already posted here that the seat foam has compressed over time and has just reached a point where I’m having some trouble. I’m definitely strongly right footed. I’m gonna start forcing myself to practice left footed mounts and also work more on consistent figure 8s.

Thanks for all the suggestions. It is pouring in Chicago tonight and I can not try anything.

First I think I will try to ride the uni backward. Meaning have the rear of the seat in front of me. If I start pulling the opposite direction, then perhaps it is seat related. I am not sure if I will be able to ride it like that, I have a KH foam seat, but worth a try if I don’t break a leg anyway!!

Second, I have ridden on various crowns and no crowns and I still always have my left shoulder forward. This does not seem to have much of an effect.

I will have to try and just move my butt over to the right on the seat, but this is much more difficult than it sounds.

Then I guess figure 8s or riding circles to the right until I get comfortable might help.

I think I might try turning the seat to the left just slightly. I will let you know if I ever break this bad habit.

I would like to get a GB handle, but I do not think they work well with the KH seat, but maybe I am wrong.

I’ve gone through something similar, but I didn’t have the problem on flat roads. I blamed it on my new tires (I tried 2 different). It lasted 4 months. Actually I had the problem on my 24" Muni, but not on my 28" Sun.

Then for some reason the day after I got my Coker, I stopped having the problem at all. I noticed that I had begun letting the uni angle against the crown, with my body angled the other way when it got better. (Might be what helped.)

Good luck resolving the problem.

My air seat makes me lead with my right shoulder and sit to the right. This is on a 24"with a dog bone style air seat. On the 29er with a foam seat the problem gose away. I think that it’s due to a twist in my back caused by the type of work that I do. Try sitting on a chair and seeing how your body lines up. Streching helps me.

Have you tried increasing your tyre pressure? Some tyres are badly affected by low pressure and can greatly exaggerate the effect of road camber / crown.

I experienced this recently on my Coker - it felt like I was constantly riding on a camber even though the road was almost flat. I put some of it down to my airseat which has a distinct lean to it and some of it to tyre pressure. I since changed tyre pressure and the problem went away.