Riding SIF for Distance

I was just wondering if anyone has ridden SIF for any major distance. This kind of ties in with Ultimate Wheels that seem to be getting more attention lately and also as a skill builder. I eventually want to get or build and Ultimate wheel.

I often try to ride SIF for a maximum distance but my legs get so tired after only about an eight of a mile. Do the legs actually work that hard to keep you balanced when not sitting on the saddle? Keep in mind that I am quite comfortable riding SIF and don’t feel that I am fighting for balance.


Well, in the usual sort of combat situation I would argue it to be unsafe to ride SIF for any length of time. What if you’re being attacked by a Lebanese soldier, armed with a pogo-stick? You will need that extra bit of time to grab your MG, aim, and by the time you’re ready to shoot him with a grin on your face he triumphantly knocks you off your muni with his pogo-stick… Oh, and going to war on an ultimate wheel sounds like a pretty bad idea to me too.

No, they work that hard to hold you up while they’re bent. That’s what wears them out so fast. Standing up taller and working on a more efficient technique will help, but it’ll always be a lot more work than sitting down. Remember all that advice to put your weight on the seat when learning? That’s a great reminder of why! :slight_smile:

I thought that for a while too, but I think it’s not as tiring to walk a similar distance with your legs bent to the same average amount. There must be another factor.

The other factor is the pedals going around and around. I think walking is less energy-intensive with bent legs because the walking surface is constant. With pedals your legs are constantly going through the rotations from a not-so-bent to a very-bent position. I think that makes up the difference.

It’s probably the combination. Just feet going round is not tiring either as light unicycling demonstrates. Going from not-so-bent to very-bent and back while under load is probably what makes it tiring.

It becomes clearer if two legs work simultaneously. Imagine standing a few minutes with moderately bent legs. That may not be comfortable, but it’s totally doable. Now, while standing, go though a range of vertical motion of about a foot (twice crank length) with a frequency of, say, 100 rpm (or whatever is your cadence on an UW or with SIF). More tiring, right?

I think that insofar riding an UW or uni SIF is even more tiring than that last exercise, it must be attributed to lack of skill on the UW or riding SIF (i.e. energy spent on balance corrections etc).

I think doing that and/or just standing up is a good way of increasing endurance and skill w/ a limited amount of time.

If you have a countdown timer on your watch set it for a couple of minutes and each time it goes off ride 10 revolutions SIF. When that gets easy, do 20, 30, 40, etc revs before sitting back down or reduce the time interval.

Also you are always applying force to the pedals. When walking your legs get a nice break each time you pick up a foot.

SIF and UW Distance Riding

Interesting thoughts. It does seem as if your legs are always “concentrating on reading the ground” much more when riding SIF. Maybe trying to stand up straiter or concentrating on keeping your legs less streched will help. How far has anyone ridden on an UW or SIF?


Because of my trials saddle being super slim, I often ride SIF for brief spells to get circulation going. I’m sure that distance riders on long ride start to numb up (may take a lot longer than me), and a minute or two in SIF can get things working again;). I wouldn’t ride SIF any longer than that however because, as mentioned above, it takes more effort to keep on going.

Distance SIF

Yesterday night I tried riding SIF while trying to keep my legs as strait as possipleand my body as stretched out and tall as I could. This is not easy on a tials unicycle with a low saddle! Anyway it helped out quite a bit and I rode 30% farther than on any other attempt! However I must say that riding SIF for any amount of distance is a real workout.


One time on a training ride for the Laos Tour I was riding up a hill (paved) on a 36" cycle with a friend who was going slower. I think I was on 125mm cranks. I decided to ride with him all the way up and did it SIF. I was expecting my legs to burn out quickly but they didn’t. I relaxed and stood up and just rode and we went maybe 1/2 mile, all uphill and it was fine. I don’t know why I tried it that day and I don’t think I’ve done it since. Strange.



hey guys i am seriously new to unicycling… but i mastering it slowly…
I am just confused on the issue of Sif, Seat In Front… Does this mean that you stand and hold the seat in front of you or do you just hold it under you… could some one please post a few pictures of different angles for sif…

Yes you hold it in front of you. It’s very useful when hopping, , as you get more room to tuck.


With that said, Coker SIF anyone?

Whoa, embedded youtube videos.

Technically (by definition), SIF also means the seat isn’t touching your body other than the hand that’s holding it. This is not an important distinction most of the time, but matters for things like skill levels and Standard Skill competition. Also just something to know if you’re telling people you’re riding SIF but you’re really doing SIF against body, which is the easier variation.

“The hand”, so if you hold on with two hands its technically not SIF?