Rollback, then what?

So I started with the rollback mount because I was not about to start leaping up onto the unicycle. That worked well enough for the 19", and was still OK with the 24". But now that I am using the Hatchet, with a fat tire measuring 30" diameter, the inertia in the wheel is a killer. So what is a good way to progress to another mounting style, keeping the leaping to a minimum?

Hi Andy

I was in the same boat as you when I brought my hatchet, roll back mounts were just not happening and I was getting frustrated with not being able to get going on it.

You need to learn to static mount where you get on with pedals horizontally then go once on, there’s much advice here about static mounts, YouTube and we can all help you out. I struggled to get my head around how to step up on first pedal without pushing down but once you get it it’s not too bad.

Good luck and shout if we can help and then you can enjoy your bulldozer as there amazing

I feel this is one of the best “first step” exercise to successfully static free mounting.

Thank you. I think I will get back on my 19" to practice this, the Hatchet is just too damn tall.

Edited. I originally described my typical mount incorrectly!

I use a static mount by preference whether I’m on a 20 or a 36 or anywhere between.

Put the near (back) crank somewhere below the horizontal.

Put the seat in your crotch.

Put your foot on the near pedal.

I recommend holding the front of the seat with the [edit] opposite side hand as the foot that’s on the pedal. (I have [edit] left foot on pedal, right hand on front of seat.)

With your grounded foot, push slightly forward and then leap/step up using the pedal as a step.

Roll back mount is something I can do on a 20, and probably on a 24, but why? I can see no advantages and, on a bigger wheel, much to go wrong.

I think what you are describing is not a static mount, but rather a dynamic mount. A static mount (according to my own definition) can be performed slowly. It is both a mount and a one-footed still-stand. I am tall and have a long waist. I can perform a static mount (my definition) on wheel sizes up to 29". I have only ridden a 36er once, (I think I got on it using a jump mount) and I am pretty sure I’m not tall enough to do a static mount on that size.

I find personally awkward the mounting method you and Terry described. To place one foot on a pedal with very light force, then effectively jump onto the other pedal one-legged…is so unnatural. When in real life do we incapacitate one foot/leg while jumping with the other one? It might be the best mount for larger wheels, but it still feels awkward.

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So, how do you mount? I mount as @Mikefule described (but left foot first and left hand on handle) and call it static.

I primarily ride a 19" or a 24". During mounting, I put significant weight on the first pedal, lean my torso forward and press down on the seat and/or bar ends with both hands. My sit bones are firmly in place on the back of the seat at the start of the mount, though more weight is initially being transferred through my arms. If it is a sketchy mount, I might throw one arm out for balance shortly after mounting, but mostly I keep hands on the seat/handle during and after mounting. My mount probably would not work on a 36". I wouldn’t be able to get enough weight over the hub.

Static can mean the unicycle doesn’t move during the mount. Static can also mean the unicycle is held in stasis between two equal and opposing forces. One force is the first foot pushing down / back, the other force is weight-in-the-seat.

Bottom line: Practice mounts on a 20".

I only know the roll back mount, and I use it on 24, 26, 32, 27.5 hatchet and 36. So I know its possible.

Andy, here’s what I wrote from another thread.

Try putting your mounting foot on the pedal at 7:00 - 8:00 (7:00 in the beginning to get the feel of the mechanics and then 8:00 once you decide to go for forward movement).
Now pull the seat up and towards your crotch and put some weight on the seat as you jump up with your ground foot.

Stepping on the bottom pedal forces the wheel to roll back towards you.
Weighting the seat during the mount on the way up forces the wheel forward and away from you.
Doing these two action together cancels each others force during the mount and the wheel will remain stationary.
You will have to get a feel for how much of a jump you need.

Once you get this action down you’ll see that it does not have to be perfect to make it work.
Next step is to go to 8:00 with more weight in the saddle and an easier roll away is achieved.

Finally the last step will be to put forward momentum into the routine. (rolling mount)
With momentum, the force needed for both goes down and is made up with the rolling momentum.

Now it just depends on the grade underneath you when you mount.
Mounting on a small incline the number will go down to a 7:00 mount again because of the wheel wanting to roll down the hill just a little.
Mounting on a steep incline the number will be closer to a 9:00 mount because of the wheel wanting to roll down the hill a lot.

I hope all that made sense.

UniMyra has an excellent video that explains the dynamics of this mount.
I don’t believe that Unigeezer’s video is a good teaching tool because I do believe you need to weight the back foot in order to step up on the uni.


Mrfixit, how do you deal with the huge difference in inertia between the small wheels and the big wheels? I struggle with the 26" Hatchet. It feels like it requires much more strength to get going than the smaller unis.

By the way, this video has some good ideas that I have to try out. Especially the “standing on the back pedal and pushing forward with the body” technique. Seems like the best of both worlds.

The bigger the wheel the harder it is,(36) partly because the cranks get shorter. But the rotational weight of the hatchet wheel makes it harder, too. SO on the larger or heavier wheels I need to make sure the the cranks are parallel to the ground and make sure I put all my weight on the one pedal. I used to start parallel, on the smaller sized wheels, but don’t need to now. evreything has gotten easier, more smooth, not scarey. Get on a hundred times and I guarantee the next hundred will be much easier . Just don’t do it all in one day.
Bottom line is the more you do on different sizes, makes it easier on all sizes. Plus I assume that my muscles have gotten bigger over a couple years.

Now if you’re only a hundred pounds, You might have to come up with a different mount.

I really should have perfected several different mounts by now.

That’s not quite what I do. The little shove forwards before I mount makes the “back” pedal start to rise. As I leap, the downward pressure of my foot on the pedal stops it and, for a moment, the two forces are in opposition and the pedal acts as a step.

I suppose there is a smilarity to a rollback mount. On a rollback mount, the foot pushes the uni from “not moving” to “rolling back”. On my mount, the foot pushes the uni from “just moving” to “not moving”.

I think it’s time to share… the @UniMyra video!


A @unigeezer video from 2008 was my guide to free mounting in 2010, and it’s still one of the best ‘how to free mount’ videos. After a while my mounting developed into the mounts that are shown in the video above. I tried to mount a 24 like Terry is mounting a 36, and that developed into the technique showed in the first part of the video. Several riders has figured out the excact same mount without seeing my video. When it comes to 36’er mounting I think I push more down on the back pedal than Terry does, but it’s still usefull to focus on kicking off with your back foot.

Check out Terry’s jump mount at 3:54. I had to watch it a few times at 25% speed to figure out that his jump mount technique is fundamentally different than mine.

Terry starts with one foot forward and one foot back. He springs off the forward foot. The foot starting further back lands first on the closest pedal, then the foot starting closest lands on the far-away pedal.

My jump mount works differently. I spring off the closest foot, just like Terry, but my closest foot lands on the closest pedal. I also start with one foot behind. That foot has very little weight on it, and I frequently practice holding it up in the air behind me as I jump. My rear leg/foot travels much farther, from behind me all the way to the front-most pedal. I typically land the jump mount with both feet hitting the pedals at the same time.

There may be something about the 36" that makes Terry’s mount more practical. I suggest that anyone practicing jump mounts should try it both ways (there are likely more than two ways). I don’t have a video of myself doing the jump mount, but to summarize:

Left foot forward, left pedal back. Right foot back, right pedal forward. Left foot hops short distance to closest pedal, right foot swings long distance to far-away pedal. Feet land simultaneously. Switch left/right feet/pedals depending on your preference / to practice both ways.

I land all my jump mounts SIF. I find trying to jump and sit on the seat at the same time to be awkward. It is likely my technique wouldn’t be compatible with a SI approach. Also, landing SIF on a 36" seems harder than on a small wheel.

So, I’m not trying to start an argument about what’s right, but rather show that there are different approaches. 36" is kind of specialized, and I would probably have to come up with a new technique for mounting it. For learning mounts, in general, I suggest using a smaller wheel.

The video I posted is simply an exercise to get started in the right direction. If you can do the exercise successfully you should be able to add your unicycle as the next step and start practicing what Terry is doing in the video with your unicycle. When I learned to do this I first practiced with the unicycle by stepping up and over off the front and catching the seat behind me. After I got comfortable making that move I did the same thing except try to pedal away instead of stepping off the front.

The end result will probably not be exactly what is happening in the video but a modified version of what works for you as others are saying. My version when I consciously check my free mount is cranks slightly off parallel with the rear pedal lower and a slight roll forward to parallel as I weight the rear pedal and pulling seat into crotch

Keeping the rear foot light is key to a smooth, safe free mount on a large wheel. A heavy foot will require a heavy opposing force to keep things static.

Assuming this Terrymount is the “standard” freemount, you’re doing it all wrong. You don’t need to be able to squat twice your body weight or be able to jump any crazy height from one leg. Obviously being strong helps with everything uni-related, but all you have to do for the mount is put enough weight on your arm which is on the seat, and step on.
I could do it on a 24" (127mm) before I could jump up onto a platform a foot high with one leg, landing with the knee bent. Your so-called Terrymount is really quite easy.

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never tried so I do not know if I can squat twice my bodyweight. I can do 100 unbroken air squats but not a one legged squat. Leg strength would be important but I’m not sure you need incredible leg strength

Based on my experience of being able to free mount a 36er way before I built up any extra leg strength, I believe that the key to mounting is timing and technique and not “incredible one leg strength".