Sort-of an into, sort of a question..


I’ve been lurking these forums on and off for quite some time. Since last spring? A couple of years ago I somehow stumbled upon the sport of unicycling. I thought it was interesting. I kept coming back to the idea of doing it, but never made the plunge to get into it. I taught myself to ride a bike at a young age and am looking into it again. There are somethings I’m a little concerned about. One, I’ve read a few tips for getting started and it says to start out in grass. Only problem is, I live in an apartment surrounded by concrete. I’m not sure where some grass is with a surface to help me mount onto it. Is there any chance to work around this? Another thing, what to actually buy? A unicycle obviously, but what else? Tennessee is very hilly, will this be a problem? Thanks! This seems like a friendly forum…

:astonished: Learning on grass sounds like hard work. I’d start on concrete, find a fence/wall to hang on to and work you way down the fence. Gradually push off from the fence. You will fall off, but eventually you will get farther and farther away from the fence before you do so.

I think Klass Bil (one of our regular posters) did a survey a few years back on learning to ride a unicycle. From memory, the average time to learn was something like 10-20hrs, the fastest to pick it up were people in their teens, followed by twenties, and then I think the easiest to learn on was a 20" followed by a 24". Hopefully he’ll pick up on this thread and make a post.

Ken Looi speaks the truth. Grass is alot of friction with an irregular surface beneath. It’s hard to get hurt falling off of a unicycle while learning. Concrete, a tennis court, or a gymnasium all are good surfaces. How tall are you and how much do you weigh? Big boys might want 24" wheels on which to learn. You can get a cheap learner for under $100 to see if you like it. If you’re close to Memphis, maybe Tommy Thompson would loan you one. You might want to go to one of his club meetings anyway if you’re in the area. Sounds like you’re in Nashville, though. Contact him through the Memphis Unicycle Club and see if he knows of riders in your area.

I did a little learning on concrete, but most of my learning was on grass. It is more challenging, but I was thankful for the grass when I body slammed myself a few times.

Nashville is quite a drive from Memphis, but you are more than welcome to come out and visit us on Tuesday nights at Overton Park if you happen to be in the area. We’ve been having some pretty good turn outs lately.

There are a few people listed from Nashville at . You may want to try contacting one or all of them. I am convinced that I would have been riding much sooner had I known someone who knew how to ride who could have coached me and given me feedback. This forum is great, but nothing like having immediate feedback when you are actually trying to ride.

As for learning on grass versus a hard/smooth surface, I would pick the hard/smooth surface. Get some safety gear if you are worried about falling and getting injured. Generally though, it doesn’t take long to learn how to fall on to your feet. Just remember to not worry about the unicycle. If you are falling, worry about landing safely and not about what will happen to the unicycle.

MUC Member

Thanks. I was wondering if there is actually any kind-of physical meet-up club here in Nashville like there is in Memphis? That is quite the drive and I don’t really have that kind of money or time to do that. There is a shop here that sells unicycles so that could help a little in helping me choose the right one. But just to answer someones question; I’m 5’ 1" 160 lbs.

Grass = bad idea. You may want to try it just the first or second day to figure out how to mount the uni in the first place, but I wouldn’t worry about trying to scope out any grass purely for that. Concrete is better in the long run.

If you want any tips about learning to ride, check out the unicycling journal in my signature - it details my first 35 days learning to ride, and a lot of people have found it helpful.

I did read the journal. Very well written and informative. I’m glad you wrote it. I haven’t read the entire thing, but I’ll be sure to do that. Thanks! Where can I find “Klaas Bill and Andrew Carter’s online guide”, by the way?

I think this is one one your talking about.

Unicycle Tips.

If you’re 5’1" I’d go for a 20" wheel for a learner unicycle.

GETwrist guards

Wrist guards are your friend, at least when you are learning. My only real fall involved jamming my palms into the pavement and thankfully I was wearing them. I always wear a helmet when riding anything with a wheel. I have also been wearing 661 4x4’s knee/shin guards (less than $30), which is kind of overkill, but I don’t have a backup set of knees :slight_smile:

I bought a Torker LX this past June, which is a decent learner uni. If you go the Torker route, get the LX and NOT the CX. It’s worth the 30 extra bucks.


A note re: learning on grass:

I started on grass using two broom handles for support. An advantage to grass is that the uni will sit still a bit better. (won’t roll out on you as quickly as it would on a smooth surface) this will give you the chance to try to get comfortable on the seat. Also if you drop the uni or fall off you end up with a lot less damage to both you and your new purchase.

The grass surface however is very hard to actually move forward on so a smooth surface will be required sooner than later.

Yeah, and wrist guards are good, or motocross gloves if you find the wristguards too uncomfortable, and NEVER forget the shin guards. About the unicycle itself, if you’re really gonna get into the sport, it’s good to have a flat frame(for 1-footed riding, gliding, coasting, etc.), seat handles and bumpers,(either way, the seat IS gonna get damaged, and it’s good to know seat-in-front) and probably a water bottle holder or Camelback, but Camelbaks don’t come or get attached to the unicycle. And you might wanna get some brakes, I find uni(cycle)s with them expensive, so get them separately, if you prefer. You might fit in a unicycle like this or this . They look alike but the last one is an adult trainer and the first one’s more along the lines of teenagers. Really cheap, feel free to look around the rest of the website(both, this one and the links) and see what you like. The products recommended were the cheap-o but good type(I think) so don’t be surprised to find an expensive one compared to those. You can try them at unicycle conventions in Memphis. :stuck_out_tongue:

Maybe slightly overkill for a beginning beginner. I’m confused and I don’t consider myself a beginner any more. :slight_smile:


Thanks again! I think that might be a little overkill as well. I’d like to eventually do street stuff like tricks and stuff…not so much long distance, but maybe around the city. I was going to invest in some safty gear like a helmet, wrist bands and the shin guards and whatever else I need. When I taught myself how to ride a bike I draped myself in safty gear, so I will for the uni as well. There is an alley behind my complex and a shaded grass area between 2 buildings as well as some fences with the hard surface concrete. I might ask for this stuff for Christmas, as I’m a broke college student. If I ever get REALLY into unicycling I might make the hike over to Memphis, but that won’t be for a long time… Thanks again and those links you provided… Would those be a better investment over a Torker XL? Do they all come disassembled like dudewithasock described in his journal? Thanks again!

Re: Sort-of an into, sort of a question…

Hi The Transporter,


My name was mentioned a few times in this thread. Many of your
questions are answered on (or in links from
there) but maybe you already found that page by now.

Good luck.

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

“I’m slowly but surely stealing Wales and bringing it back to my house on the wheel, frame and cranks of my muni. - phil”

Thank you!