Seat too low? YEP!

If you can touch the ground with your feet while seated on the uni, the
seat is WAY too low! Correct height for learning (assuming you’re not
doing trials jumping yet!) is to have the seat set so that your heel can
just reach the lower pedal at its lowest position with your knee
straight while sitting level on the seat.

But when you start to ride, place the balls (widest part) of your feet
over the center of the pedal. And 80 to 90 percent of your weight
should be on the seat.

If you’ve been able to ride a block after only a week, you’re doing very
well. But it will be a lot more enjoyable once you have the seat
properly positioned.

Keep at it.


David Weston
skylark2@sympatico.ca

i missed the question

i’ve been wondering when u should shift your feet from having the arch on the pedal to having the balls of your feet on the pedals
the charlie dancy book i learnt from simply said that riding on the balls of your feet is for experts
i’m hovering around the level three mark but with nowhere and no-one to test, i’m not really pushing the level skills
should i be riding on the balls of my feet by now?

a couple of ppl (riders and non-riders alike) have made mention of the fact that my seat seems very high
i’m comfy on the seat
could that explain my difficulty in getting any decent height on my hops?

namaste
dave

I have found for myself that when my seat was too high, then I had to shift your hips a lot to spin the pedals, and this disrupted my balance, especially as a newbie three months ago.

It may also affect your hops height, but this could also be just a factor of learning time. It takes a while to get that technique right.

RE: Seat too low? YEP!

> i’ve been wondering when u should shift your feet from having the arch
> on the pedal to having the balls of your feet on the pedals

Immediately.

> the charlie dancy book i learnt from simply said that riding
> on the balls of your feet is for experts i’m hovering around

You use paragraphs but not sentences. Commas but not periods. And no Shift
key. But you sure spell better than Jagur! :slight_smile:

I can’t agree with Charley Dancy. My guess is that his riding environment is
a gym or other indoor location, and his footwear is dance or gymnastic
shoes. But still, I can’t see a reason to put the arch of your foot on the
pedal. It’s possible that his definition of “experts” is somewhere around
the beginning of where unicycling starts to be fun. But I haven’t looked at
his book lately, so don’t quote me on that.

The ball of your foot is what you walk on, run on, jump from, etc. By
putting it over the axle of your pedals, the pedal becomes a natural
extension of your leg and ankle. Bicycles are always (supposed to be) ridden
on the ball of the foot. Cycling shoes have the cleats built into this area.
Mechanically, pedaling a unicycle is no different from pedaling a bike.

So the default position on the pedals, from day 1, should be the balls of
the feet. It doesn’t matter much when you can’t ride solo yet, but keep it
in mind.

However, there are specialized situations where people use the middle of
their feet. George Peck and Brett Bymaster are both people who use the
middle of the foot for long, hard climbs (uphill). George usually rides with
boots, and locks the heel of the boot against the pedal. Bear in mind that
most of George’s type of riding is fairly slow. He can go fast when he
wants, and then probably switches to the balls.

Some unicycle performers ride with dress shoes, or other types of shoes with
heels. This is another time when the middle of the foot can be used. But
even then, I’d rather have a pair of dress shoes with rubber soles, and keep
the balls of my feet on the pedals.

Riding on the middle part of the foot effectively makes your legs shorter.
Normal pedaling includes “ankling”, where your foot points down at the
bottom of the pedal stroke, and up at the top. The further forward you put
your foot on the pedal, the less of this you have. I find a great loss of
control when riding on the middle of my feet, especially when going at any
kind of speed.

Hope this is useful,
John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone
jfoss@unicycling.com

“We were discussing Big Mac Meals. I think that has little if anything to do
with cow parts. There are probably more UNICYCLE parts in a Big Mac than cow
parts.” - Greg Harper on cuisine

> the level three mark but with nowhere and
> no-one to
> test, i’m not really pushing the level skills
> should i be riding on the balls of my feet by now?
>
> a couple of ppl (riders and non-riders alike) have made mention of the
> fact that my seat seems very high
> i’m comfy on the seat
> could that explain my difficulty in getting any decent height on my
> hops?
>
> namaste
> dave
>
>
> –
> GILD - deeproller
>
> Namaste!
> Dave
> --------------------------------------------------------------
> ----------
> GILD’s Profile: http://www.unicyclist.com/profile/657
> View this thread: http://www.unicyclist.com/thread/17429
>
> ______________________________________________________________
> _____________
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> www.unicycling.org/mailman/listinfo/rsu
>

Re: Seat too low? YEP!

On Fri, 12 Apr 2002 06:40:51 -0500, GILD
<GILD.2zw9m@timelimit.unicyclist.com> wrote:

>the charlie dancy book i learnt from simply said that riding on the
>balls of your feet is for experts

I’ve never heard that before. I rode on the balls of my feet from day
one.

>my seat seems very high
>could that explain my difficulty in getting any decent height on my
>hops?

Maybe so. I’m right now learning to hop, so this is just my 2 cents. I
stand on the pedals (using the balls of my feet) to hop, knees
straight. All the spring comes from my calves. The amount of room
between my crotch and the seat doesn’t matter I believe, but my jumps
are low (it feels like 2" max). Real high hops are done with the seat
out (by better riders than me), then again seat height would not
matter much except that it might make it difficult to get the seat
out, and bring it back in.

Klaas Bil

“To trigger/fool/saturate/overload Echelon, the following has been picked automagically from a database:”
“BRLO, http, Weekly World News”

thanx!

some very kewl comments and suggestions gents
i did find it easier to learn in the arches than on the balls but that could’ve been my mind telling me to find it easier ‘cause that’s what the book said!’
it may also be that untill u can ride 10 metres, the arches are easier exactly because it eliminates ankling and at that stage u need all the stability u can get
i’ve been locking the heels of my shoes against the back of the pedal to keep my foot in one (wrong) place
i’m going to have to shop for some new shoes and cultivate a couple of new habits
i’m also going to have to go find a bunch of ppl i’ve helped learn to ride and tell them about this development
thanx again

namaste
dave

Re: Seat too low? YEP!

On Fri, 12 Apr 2002 09:26:26 -0700, John Foss <john_foss@asinet.com>
wrote:

>I find a great loss of
>control when riding on the middle of my feet, especially when going at any
>kind of speed.

You mentioned “ankling” and I agree this is part of the equation. When
pedaling fast you will notice that you are sort-of hopping on the seat
twice per wheel revolution. I think this is because the vertical
component of the acceleration of the mass of your legs is different
over time from one leg to the other, especially around the dead spot.
The more ankling you can add to your pedaling, the less vertical
acceleration occurs of your upper legs (where most of the mass is),
and hence you’re hopping less in the seat at any given speed. That in
turn gives you more control.

I’ve heard ppl describe riding on short cranked unis as tip-toeing.

Klaas Bil

“To trigger/fool/saturate/overload Echelon, the following has been picked automagically from a database:”
“THAAD, 3P-HV, domestic disruption”

wow!

tried it yesterday
riding on the balls of my feet
it’s like getting two more ankles in there!
it will need some practise to get it smooth
i’m sticking to teaching ppl on the arch for the moment
but will get them to switch as soon as possible
the bouncing thing makes sense klaas
i hurt the one (old injury) dodgy ankle while doing some hopping
overall, this is a lil’ breakthru moment and i thank u for your input

namaste!
dave