Riding uni vs. biking no hands?

My Nimbus comes today, it is my first uni and tonight with be my first attempt in riding one. I ride road bikes and fixed gears bikes mostly. When riding the fixed I mostly ride no hands. Are there any similarities in riding a bike no hands and a uni? I am assume left and right control to a degree could be similar. The bikes added wheel provides tons of the forward and backward stability though.

Thanks everyone!

(If that his been covered I am sorry. I had a hard time using search terms that would yield good info.)

From my experience in doing both, they are completely different.

Being able to ride from point a to point b with no hands on my bike didnt help me at all, not even when I would stand up on the frame, and just fly down hill. That one is a fun trick. lol

There is not much similarity in terms of feel or technique between riding a road bike no handed and left-right balance on a unicycle.

The closest similarity is that maintaining balance while no handed is about moving the bike under you to correct for balance. Same on a unicycle. It’s all about moving the wheel to keep the wheel under you. It’s not at all about moving your upper body to keep your body over the wheel. So in that sense the technique is similar but feels completely different on a bike and unicycle.

Riding a bike or unicycle is not like walking on a tightrope. On a tightrope you correct your balance by moving your upper body. On a bike and unicycle you correct your balance by moving the bike underneath you.

Being used to learning physical stuff makes it easier to learn to ride a unicycle, but the skills of riding a unicycle and riding a bike no handed are pretty much unrelated. Other than that they’re both fun!

Upper body balance corrections can be helpful when doing trials unicycling. :wink:

I’ve been riding uni for 6 years, I can just about ride a bike no hands in a straight line if i don’t pedal. 'Nuff said.

I could no hand a bike (not very well on the stright flat) befor unicycling and now I can go round conreners. So I would say that there is a small conection.

I say NO connection at all…
I cannot ride a bike with no hands for any distance at all - i have tried but just cant do it.
The whole ‘2 wheel should be easier’ theory is WRONG!!! I feel its the front wheel that throws me out of balance the most, along with the thought of the handle bars out the front.
my 2 cents.

That’s because in trials it’s all about adding extra constraints to the riding. If you’re doing a stillstand up on a post or riding along a rail you can when riding around in an open flat parking lot.

I will accept your correction and counter by saying that balancing on a unicycle out on the road or in the gym is about moving the wheel so the unicycle stays underneath you rather than moving your upper body to stay above the unicycle. When you start doing things like trying to ride very very slowly, do stillstands, or ride along narrow rails, then the balance gets to be about moving the upper body to stay above the wheel. That’s quite a different beast and balance like that is a whole different ball game.

How’s that for a serious response to a sarcastic post. :stuck_out_tongue:

It’s definitely a little easier to get into unicycling if you can ride no-hands than if you can’t. Consider yourself 1/360th of the way there. Only 359 other degrees of motion left! :smiley:

Okay to be honest, the bike gives you two (left and right). Taken in pairs, that means you only have 179 more degrees to learn. Much better!

Thanks for the info, I’m looking forward to riding all weekend when I can sneak out of work here and there.

I think I have your avatar beat John :smiley:


My muni is named Guinness Mojo (it’s a black unicycle)

My Coker is named Espresso Mojo (it’s also black)

My fixie is named Java Mojo (it’s also black)

There is a pattern there. :slight_smile:

My MTB is red and doesn’t have a name.

Curiously, I was thinking a similar question this morning. When I was at university many years ago, I rode a gent’s upright (no sniggering at the back please), and had no problems in controlling it for miles on end no-hands. In more recent years, I bought a mountain b*ke, and can’t ride it no-handed at all. In the meantime I’ve learnt to unicycle, which hasn’t helped with no-handing the MTB.

I suspect that the ease of riding a b*cycle no-handed is very much related to the angle of the front forks, and so to the stability of the machine.


It depends on the geometry of the bike, the angle and trail of the fork, the profile of the tires, and the condition of the bike. Some bikes are easier to ride no handed than others.

Some old bikes are trivial to ride no handed because the headset bearings have created indentations in the headset that naturally centers the front wheel. That’s cheating.

I’ve never been able to remove my hands long enough to see if I could ride a bike or my unicycles without them.

Couldn’t disagree more. When you ride no handed, you have to make a bunch of tiny corrections, just like when you uni. The pit in the headset stops you from being able to make those little corrections, and you fall over right away.

I’d bet that many of the uni riders who say they can’t ride a bike no-handed have only tried it on bikes that have this problem. All bike headsets develop this pit eventually, and even a tiny one is enough to make no handed riding really difficult.

Before I learned how to ride a uni, I could ride my mountain b*ke no handed along the cycle path quite comfortably for miles.
Easy as pie.
A couple of months after I learned, I was riding to work on my two-wheeled devil and tried leaning back to coast no-handed.
My sense of balance had some sort of brain spasm and I found I could no longer ride this way, no matter how hard I tried.

Freaky does not even begin to describe it.

same as Blue, I could ride on easy trails, turn street corners and even did a course with pylons with no hands back when I was in grade-school. I can still ride no handed but it really doesn’t seem right. My theory is that my uni-ballance has conditioned me to think about my seat to cranks position in relation to balancing.

I think there is some similarity

At least for the side to side balance part, we both will wave arms and do airplane sometimes.

The really big difference is a bike rider is used to being able to stop pedaling and coast.

I would start along a wall and don’t worry about balance. Use the wall to balance and work on getting used to pedaling steady. A beginning rider will fall off as soon as they stop pedaling. That may take a while to get used to.

It takes a really good uni rider to balance at a complete stop. Most of us have to start hopping or we fall over. If you could balance a bike at a dead stop, I bet that skill would be real helpful in uni as well.

Wear wrist wraps or something to protect your palms.:slight_smile: Before I started I was afraid of flipping backwards. But that isn’t common at all, though I have managed if a couple times.:stuck_out_tongue: Palm plants are the most likely crash .