I have been learning to ride on a 20" Sun unicycle with a 4 1/4" smooth tire. I am very comfortable riding it, and have been learning a bunch of tricks.
Yesterday I picked up a Torker DX24 MUni. I didn’t think it would be too big of an adjustment, but it is.
Everything is different. I am going from a 20" tire to a 24" smooth tread to knobby, fat wheel to skinny wheel, 5" cranks to 6" cranks, higher centre of balance - and I find I can barely ride!!! (hopping is easier tho’)
Mounting and riding forward are no problem - but it doesn’t “pull” on side-hills like my old one, I can’t turn it in less than 3 metres, the tire is very sticky, so I can’t spin it, and hop turns don’t go as far (or maybe just take more effort).
Has anyone else had this experience?? If so, how long does it take to adjust to the newness? I’m hoping to take it on a MUni weekend in 2 days, but will that be enough time?
Also, I am assuming it’s possible to make tight turns with it - or am I wrong? On my old one I would just ride the side of the fat tire, and it would turn in about 50cm. The skinnier tire on this one probably means I’m going to need to learn a new technique.
Your in your 40’s, I’m in my fifties, so were close to the same age. I relearned on a 20" about a 1 1/2 years ago. Then I got a 24" unicycle. I felt like I was up higher so it took me a while to transfer all my skills to the 24". Can you turn quickly on a 24"? Yes, you will be able to spin on it, hop it forward and backward, one foot it, ride backwards, etc. It took me about 100 miles to get completely comfortable with the 24" but even so there are some skills that I prefer the 20" for, for example wheel walking. You are just in a learning curve where you will rapidly adapt to the 24". Practice several hours today and tommorrow and you should be able to muni with the 24" in your two day time frame. Good luck, and just remember that all those 20" skills are doable with the 24".
I’d guess that switching both tire style and size at the same time is what has thrown you off. My first trip down a sidewalk after practicing on a smooth driveway was nuts. That also included a change from a 20" smooth to a 24" knobby. Every bump made me feel like I was going to get tossed, plus the tire was rough on smooth surfaces, and that too felt quite tippy. Now that I’ve been commuting to work for a few weeks, the bumps on the sidewalk are meaningless and I happily tackle more interesting surfaces on the way.
There’s no way to effectively say how long it will take to transition. I recommend distance. A couple trips of a mile or two will be helpful. Give it a day or two on the 24 and see how it feels then. I suspect the worst of the transition will be over by then.
As to the Muni weekend, that’s really a question of how intense the ride is going to be and how patient the other riders are. I’m usually just happy for the company of other unicyclists no matter what their skill level is.
I went from a 20" to a 26", and my tire width stayed roughly the same, but the height kinda threw me off. It had longer cranks however, which might have made it easier and it will probably do so for you too. After a few hours of legitimate practice, I was able to replicate most every thing I could do on my 20". Even when I went to the 36", it didn’t take too long once you went off for a longer ride just to get comfortable on it. When I switched to the 26" I had great trouble turning in a small radius, but that got better as I rode more - When you’re more comfortable on your new ride, you can do everything easier and much better. My advice? Don’t try any of that trick stuff quite yet. Just ride it around your neighborhood, maybe try a few hills and more rough terrain. If you can get comfortable on it, everything becomes easier. You should have everything ready in time for your muni trip… just keep practicing.
I had the same issues as you in changing to a Muni. Switching to a smooth tire made it easier and later to the knobby.
But in two days, I think making the adjustment is doable. Do as JBAB said. I’d find a lot of dirt, grass, and gravel of varying terrain close by to do this on (break it up into several sessions per day if possible).
Another thing on top of the uni differences to get used to for me, was the constant slight slipperyness of dirt took a while to get used to compared to grippy asphalt.
I learned at 24" and went to 20" for performing. But actually 24" is better in many ways… but I’m too used to 20" now, so I gave up on going back to 24".
I think if I had to do it all over again, I never would have touched any 20" unicycle maybe (seriously! except of giraffes and BC).
I have also bought a 24" muni recently (I have 20" and 24" standard unis as well). At the first try it felt very aquard - I felt it was turning to the right all the time and that I could not sit right in the middle of the seat. I tried to put on some other seats, and I tried to turn the seat 180 degrees, but it felt the same. Then I adjusted the seat downwards (it helped) and I decided to go for some small trips to get used to it. Later I let some of the air out of the tyre so it became softer. That helped too. - I find that riding on gravel paths and other uneven surface is easier with the knobby tyre than riding on asphalt is. I also think that practice might be a good idea at least for me :p.
I hope you went for the muni weekend and had fun. Good luck with your muni.
I switched from 20" to 24" about a month ago. Before that I had been riding on the 20" for a few months after learning to ride this spring. The 24" is a Nimbus muni on which I have replaced the 3.0" Duro wildlife/150 mm cranks with a 2.5" Hookworm/125 mm cranks, which I intend to use until I get experienced enough for more challenging terrain. (At present I only ride on asphalt, dirt roads and easier trails.)
During the first rides on the 24" I every time ended up in the left side of the road with my left arm extended in front of me and the right arm behind me. This was luckily sorted out after a few rides.
Thanks for all the encouragement - the Muni weekend went well.
I found it took about 4 days to feel comfortable on the 24" - and now it’s the 20" with the shorter cranks that feels weird.
I’ve also come to the conclusion that the small, fat tire on the Sun made some tight turns possible that just don’t work on regular unicycles. But as long as I don’t need to turn more than 90 degrees in a hurry, I’m fine. My circles consist of 5 or 6 smaller “twists” rather than a nice smooth lean-in-and-go-round-and-round.
Other than that tho’, I’m getting pretty comfortable riding the bigger uni, and don’t want to go back
Now I need to work on my static mounts, hops, and skinnies to better tackle these NorthShore trails!