Secrets for riding longer.

Looking for hints and suggestions that will enable me to ride longer and further.

I’m sure there’s plenty of long distance folks here that can pass along some wisdom to an eager ear.

I have in the past gone 2.5 hrs on my 20" wheel, but would love to hear from the experts how to do it right.

Looking forward input from the community.


Well im sure you’ll be told to get a bigger wheel if you want to go further!

Such as…

Bigger wheel=longer distance, more speed, less tiredness

I’m still learning, but I don’t particularly think there are right or wrong ways to ride long distances…

…there are more or less painful ways to ride long distances, though. Everyone seems to have their own ideal setup for distance riding. Sounds like you need to find yours.

Fiddle with your seat: adjust its height and/or angle (using a rail adapter, or otherwise). Try cutting down the foam in places where the seat irritates you… or try different types of foam / gel / cushion / etc.

Experiment with a handle… for some it provides a means to relieve pressure from the crotch. For others, a handle allows comfort in a more aerodynamic posture. It can also be used to produce more torque on hill climbs / descents.

Crank length can also make a difference… longer cranks mean the legs move more. This can increase chafing / irritation in the crotch and/or inner legs. Try shorter cranks, if you don’t need the long ones for climbing hills.

Even simple adjustments to clothing can make a world of difference. Wearing a cycling jersey means you won’t have to soak in your own sweat. Cycling shorts come with numerous styles of padding… try a couple different pairs to see what is most comfortable.

Let us know what you find out… perhaps we can learn a “secret” from your experiences!

I know i have heard of people setting there watch to beep every so often so they get up off the seat for a minute while riding to get the blood circulating again.

Biggest gain in distance so far was to change stock seat.

So far…

The single greatest gain in saddle time was to change the stock seat.

Presently I have a KH seat, cost me nearly $50.00 but worth it.

What would be nice is if I could change the pitch of the seat.

I am not a huge fan of rider faster or riding further, but I also like option of riding longer. I used a customized KH Air Seat that I use sometimes. I start the seat at about the same softness as the Freeride seat and let some air out slowly to soften the seat as needed.

That’s the primary benefit of the rail-adapter seatpost, although as in all things enhancement-related, you pay more for it. After getting a rail-adapter, I’d never go back to a stock seatpost. It’s nice to be able to tilt the seat up so you’re resting on the wider part near the rear.

This may sound too simplistic, but the best way (in my view) to increase distance is to practice for it. Set some goals that help add up to longer distance. If your current average “long ride” is 10 miles, as an example, set a goal of getting to a comfortable 20 miler in a month, then work up to it by doing some 12s, then 15s, then an 18 or two, then the 20. I’ll sometimes set smaller goals within a single ride, for example I’m going to do a 20 miler, and I’ll shoot for doing the first 5 before I take a standing saddle break, and the first 10 before I have a dismount. As I got further into the training, I’d up that to something like all 20 without a dismount, and maximum of 4 standing breaks, with the first hour being complete in under X minutes. Stuff like that that just helps you build up your endurance in specific areas, i.e. saddle time, pace, muscle endurance, length of breaks (recovery) you allow yourself, etc.

And don’t forget the hydration…easiest way to hit the wall on longer rides is to forget to eat and drink as you go.



My level of respect for you is through the roof 2.5 hours on a 20" wheel. WOW! out of curiousity how far did you go?
First thing is, if you are serious about any distance get a bigger wheel. I have a 20 and bought a 26" then a 36". I think a 29 would be minimum. Also look at the thread mouse told you about. I used it and the advice advice was good. I am using riding for exercise. I was doing 5-8 3 days a week with a 10-13 mile ride on the weekend. I did a 21 miler within a month of starting and I finished in 2:25. I am looking forward to seeing how this thread goes so I can train for some longer rides too.

John_childs had some advice on electrolyte balance here, for distance riding.

I’m going to work on eating better on my next long ride. I want to break my 15 mile barrier.

What you need to ask yourself is what is stopping you from riding longer?

If it’s comfort, try a different saddle, or rail adapter to angle it.

If it’s your legs giving out, then just ride a little bit more each time and build up the muscles.

If it’s motivation, then ask yourself why you want to ride further and set yourself some goals.

Personally, I find circular rides (ie start and finish at home) quite boring, and because I feel like I’m riding for ridings sake, and am often tempted to take a quicker route back home again. Riding to somewhere, however, is a more interesting challenge, as I’ve got a final destination that I need to get to. Or get on a train to have a day out in a local town, for example, and ride home. The motivation is there to complete the journey, otherwise you’re stranded in the middle of nowhere! Plus you have the fun of working out a route, which is probably quite different to what you’d take if you was driving.

Other advice that’s already been given, such as riding the biggest wheel you feel comfortable on, shorter cranks, and plenty of liquids is also good.


it was all good advice but this typo cracked me up

Some great bike routes in my area

There are some great bike routes in my area (over 70 Kilometers).

Each enables me to plan circular routes or away and back again routes.
Also some good hills for those in need of a challenge.
Some of the routes travel beside the st john river, other through woods, etc.

It is the variety of trails in my area that are inspiring me to travel larger distances. All the trails are biking/walking/jogging trails, no cars. So they are safe.

I believe a backback would be a good idea with refreshments, tools incase of break down, cell phone incase of problems.

Does anyone ride with other bikers or are we too slow for bikes on a long ride?

The comments so far have been great. Thanks for the contributions.

BTW can someone post a link to these rail adapters or other accessories that allow the angle of the seat to be changed.

Rail type seatposts;

Seatpost adapters;

(or better adapter - with handles )

As for riding with people on bikes… I’ve recently started commuting to work with my girlfriend. Speed is a bit of an issue, but only because I have to keep stopping and waiting for her :smiley: It’s only 5 miles though, so I’m not sure that counts as long distance.


You will want a 29

If you rode 2.5 hours on a 20"…that amount of time would have carried you about 15-18 miles on a 29". I generally average about 7-8 mph on my 29" without really working at it.

Each turn of the wheel carries you about 5 ft on a 20", each turn of the wheel on a 29" takes you over 7.5 ft, and a coker is about 9.5’. It sounds like you would like to ride for distance and scenery. Cokerheads will swear theirs is the answer but many find the 29er more to their liking for recreational riding. See the threat “I hate my coker” for the opinions of the naysayers.

You will enjoy a larger unicycle although it will take a bit of getting used to.


That wasn’t a typo, it was inserted to indicate a variable. :roll_eyes:

I’ve always thought that the best way to ride longer is to start earlier and finish later.

2.5 hrs on 20" took me 12 kilometers


After 2.5 hrs I managed to ride almost 12 kilometers.

Once I get a new wheel, that time should be shortened.

My plan for 2008 is to travel to two or more new cities and tour the trails there.

Hopefully meeting other unicyclist.

To begin with I’ll probably do Nova Scotia (During Ride The Lobster) and maybe ottawa or Toronto.

Right now what I do is I pack my unicycle up on my Goldwing motorcycle, drive to an interesting bike trail, and go.

I don’t think he was talking about the “X”…

I find handles to help tremendously, I feel I have more control when going fast, less wobble, and am able to use it to help me shift positions on the saddle.

As for riding with bikes: you will probably be faster on the uphill if you are motivated but if your biker friend keeps up with you up the hill he/she will leave you in the dust when it comes to the downhill or flat sections.

My rides with bikes have alwase been slower than my rides alone due to us waiting for eachother in difrent situations.

Today’s lesson in riding farther…

Todays ride was 6 kilometers, man It was uncomfortable from the start.

My jeans have an inseam that rides in the wrong place.

Gonna start singing suprano.

Guess I need to purchase some riding shorts.