Rollback mounting 36"

I have been riding a 36" for over two months now. I started trying to free mount using the static mount but I was unsuccessful. I have a 29" and was using the rollback mount for this. So I tried the rollback mount with the 36" and I felt was I getting closer to success. The 36" came with 125mm cranks so I got 150mm cranks. With the longer cranks, I was able to free mount the unicycle using the rollback mount. I have been using the that mount ever since. The rollback mount seems easier than the static mount. Do other people use the rollback mount for a 36"? I not found anything about using this mount with a 36".

I only know the rollback mount and use it for everything including the 36" with 125 cranks.

I’m of the opinion that whatever mount works for you is great. No need to think too much about it. It is just about getting to the good bit… riding.

P.S. If someone here is very into it, has learned lots of different mounts, including various trick mounts, then… that is, of course, also cool. :stuck_out_tongue:

Oh and mattc, you should try going back to 125mm cranks now. You might find it easier now that you have the mount working with longer cranks.

Do whatever works for you. I personally find rollbacks and static mounts not well suited on big wheels (I know I can do static mounts, and I’m sure I could do rollback mounts if I want to.) Getting your center of gravity up there takes a decent amount of effort, plus you accelerate slow, so when you are off with your mount, you have to do a big swerve to catch balance.

Rolling/walking mounts are most reliable, efficient and elegant for me, as they work equally well on uphills and downhills, or with heavy backpacks etc. Less effort, since you convert your speed forward into height, you already get a bit of forward momentum, so it’s easier to correct balance…

I got myself my first 36" with 125mm cranks (instead of the standard 145mm) last friday and I also found the static mount harder than on my 27, 5", but not impossible. The initial jump just requires a tad more energy.
I do add a tiny 1/8 rev. roll to the mount now. That momentum allows me to put a little more pressure onto the pedal with my first foot so that my right leg doesn’t have to provide all the energy for the jump.

I personally don’t use rollback mounts because I don’t always have enough space, and I don’t want to have to check whether there’s someone behind me who could interfere with mounting.

I’m embarrassed to say I just can’t do the rollback mount, on any size unicycle. Something about the initial backwards movement makes my brain freeze. I’ve always static mounted and when starting to ride a 36 recently I found the same technique works.

Well, almost. When the ride is getting longer and the legs are getting worn out, what was an easy hop up becomes a high jump. Then, once on the peddles, it seems to take so much more effort to make them turn compared to 50 km earlier … And of course there is mounting up hill :astonished:

Perhaps the rolling mount is best to learn, or at least start with the partial rolling mount as just described. Allows for uphill, less jump, no rolling back into people and looks really, really cool.

For large wheels, a rollback mount is doing it the hard way. You take all that inertia and get it going backwards, only to have to stop it an get it going forward.

When it comes to 36ers, I’m not sure what people are describing when they say Static Mount vs. Rolling/Walking Mount. The way I do it is a bit of both. I take a step or two, and leap up to the rear pedal and seat. I let my momentum carry me forward and past the center of the wheel, then start pedaling on that front pedal. Occasionally I have to do a little side hop first, and then start pedaling.

That mount also works in high gear.

Technically, a Rolling Mount requires the wheel to keep rolling throughout. This is completely doable, even on big wheels, but I find it easier to get right if I keep the wheel still until I’m up there.

So if you haven’t learned one or the other of these mounts, I recommend learning them, possibly on a smaller wheel first, and then try them on the bigger wheel. After that, pick which one you prefer. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the suggestion. I switch the pedals to 125mm and was able to mount and ride in 15 minutes. It was easier than I thought it would be. My 29" came with 137mm which I changed to 114mm. I felt that the change to shorter cranks was easier with the 36".

I like the 125mm. It is much smoother of ride.

Thanks for all of the advice.

I started using a 36" with 152mm cranks that it came with. When I first moved down to 140mm, I did notice that the mount was harder but after a couple days it occurred to me that it really wasn’t anymore. I experienced the same when I shifted down to 125mm (which I still use).

I’d be tempted to go down to 114. I’m not too worried about the mount (sure it would be harder at first). The things that put me off are that I think I would struggle too much getting up a couple of steep hills I regularly face, plus my knees would die on the way down (no brakes).

Rollback mount is my go-to mount on all the unis, the one I really master in all situations and physical conditions. Except on the 36" - as John says, the momentum of the wheel gets in the way. So I do the above, which is not the easiest when you’re tired, or in traffic.

mounting the 36" is my personal nightmare: I am afraid because I had an accident while missing a mount. So:

  • walking/jumping mount: I sometimes succeed but no longer when tired
  • static mount: missed 90% of the time (+lots of bad falls!)
  • roll-back: forget it
  • tyre grab: the most atrocious and inelegant mount … but the one I miss less often
    Waiting for winter to practice and practice again until I can master the hybrid static/walking described by John (but I still need to get rid of my fear of mounting :angry: )

Sounds like you could benefit from some focused practice on missing mounts. That is, do various mounts, but not with intent of riding away. Instead, your intent is to control your exit from the missed mount.

Repetitions of this will help you get more comfortable with the idea of not riding away, and what to do when the mount goes wrong. Practice falling to each side, off the front, off the back. This is usually advice I give for giraffe riding, but we’re not young men, and maybe don’t want to play with those so much (I learned to ride–and freemount one when I was 17, and my bones were made out of a flexy but unbreakable material. :slight_smile:

You can also practice a half mount, followed by a couple of hops. Sometimes my mounts are a little crooked, and a little hop to the tilted side is all I need to be able to pedal away. Not big hops, usually just a few cm to one side or the other.

The more you are used to missing those mounts, the less you will worry about bad falls or injuries. Your body will be prepared to react in all directions, and you will be more free to experiment and find the “sweet spot”. :slight_smile:

I will focus on that one… though I practice a lot of falls (I am a keen practitioner of Taï Jitsu) being “mature” :smiley: (over 70) means I tend to hurt myself more often (I currently have a displaced left shoulder :angry: ) . I will also focus on relaxing and disconnect my brain :roll_eyes:
see you next year at Unicon!

If I show up, of course. :sunglasses:

But of course! My wife is already excited about another Unicon in Europe; this will be the first one in France! But also a short train ride to get to Italy, or Switzerland, or the other way to Spain! I highly recommend at least one Unicon in your life. Or, if you’re like me, all of them…

I’m on my third 36 (Now a KH36) which I ride mainly on 150mm cranks.

My preferred mount is semi static. I put the cranks at somewhere around 45 degrees, with the lower one on my non-dominant side, towards me.

I put my foot on the back/low/non-dominant pedal, put the seat in place between my legs and hold the front of the seat with my dominant hand. (So for me that’s left foot on the back/lower pedal, right hand on the seat handle.)

I give a short “push” forwards, and then leap off my right foot, using the left pedal as a step. The unicycle never rolls backward. It sort of almost tolls forwards, then stops dead, which is when that back/lower pedal becomes a step.

It may not be the most spectacular mount, but it has worked for me for many years. These days, I may go for weeks or months without riding the 36 and I know I will freemount first attempt nnext time I get it out.

The other useful tip is to get very used to riding the 36 slowly, and on uneven ground. Get used to slowing down to a stop and riding away again without dismounting. When you feel completely at home in the saddle at low speed, freemounting it will become just an extension of that.

I remember the frustration when I had my first Coker Big 1 (a very primitive early 36) and when I was tired, remounting after a UPD could take 20 attempts. Don’t worry, once you get the knack, you will wonder why it was ever a problem.

Hi Mike,
Do you have a video of this you can share please?

No. I suppose I could make one some time if it would help, but there are far better and more photogenic (cinegenic?) than I who could do so.

When I static mount I cheat. I hold on to the tyre to stop it moving. This technique may help you.

Why don’t use a brake?