The second mount I learned was the side mount with the leg going in front of the seat. Practice the mount s-l-o-w-l-y at first to get a good feel for balancing the unicycle / yourself.
Also try: reverse mount (like standard, but the unicycle’s behind you), rolling mount and (if you’re adventurous) suicide / jump mount. They’re not much harder than the standard mount and will give you the skills needed to do harder mounts.
In terms of being useful, I’d pick the jump mount slightly ahead of
side mount, since the jump mount is a step towards a fluid (and quick)
rolling mount. I found the side mount helpful when learning to idle
and ride backwards, and it may be the least stressful mount for times
when your knees hurt. Be warned, I ruined a cheap wheel (26", steel
rim) learning to side mount.
Getting back to the jump mount, I have a really easy way to learn it.
It’s ugly, but effective: roll the unicycle forward as you jump (about
1/8 revolution), and land the near foot first. When the far foot
lands, the unicycle should have stopped (maybe just started
backwards), and you are pretty much in the same situation (position
and momentum) as you are in the middle of a standard mount. This
method is surprisingly easy, and from there you can transition to a
more elegant jump mount (landing your feet simultaneously) or just
push the uni faster and do an ugly rolling mount.
Regarding the reverse mount, I must be missing something because it
seems hard. I seem to be picking up the side mount swinging my leg
around an extra time about as fast as I learned the reverse mount.
Another good way to learn the jump mount is to put the seat in the normal freemount position, set the pedals at the correct angle, then jump up to the pedals. The advantage of this method is that you don’t have to worry about landing on the seat properly. After a little experimentation with this, move on to the jump mount.
Thanks guys. All good advice. As a first step, I tried the standard mount today with the “wrong” foot and it went ok. First time I tried, actually. After that I tried the side mount as maestro8 recommended: slowly.
I found it almost impossible, but tell me: how much do you tilt the uni away from you when throwing your leg in front of the saddle? And where do you hold on to the saddle? The rear seemed the only place to me if I didn’t want to sit on my own arm.
As for the jump mount: I put the pedals in position, bent my knees and … just stood there. Ain’t got the guts to jump. Yet.
All this mounting makes me pretty exhausted. I bought a 24" as my beginner’s uni and haven’t regreted it, I love to cruise with it, the speed is perfect. But as I am not tall 178 cm (5.8) it would perhaps be easier for me to learn mounts and other stuff on a 20" and then taking it to the 24"
> > I ruined a cheap wheel (26", steel rim) learning to side mount.
> Im worried about this. Will my old schwinn handle this…?
> Is there a required tork on the spokes …?
> (my spokes are flexable, no ‘tune’ when plucked)
First, get your wheel tensioned! Spokes should sing, not thud. The
wheel will be much stronger when properly tuned. You can’t trust
torque to set spoke tension. Instead, pluck the spokes and listen for
the right tone (compare to a well built wheel of the same size). You
can also use a tensiometer, whick calculates tension by measuring the
deflection of the spoke when it is pushed sideways. If you have
patience and a good spoke wrench, you can do a credible job yourself
(if you lived in northern Colorado, I’d offer to help). See Sheldon
Brown’s web site for information about wheelbuilding. Otherwise, your
local bike shop can probably do the job.
I don’t know for sure what kind of stress a Schwinn can handle, but it
is fair to assume you have a better wheel than my cheapo Sun unicycle.
The rim is probably stronger and the smaller diameter should help,
Every one should try a suicide mount or a jump mount they’re so easy very easy. It just looks scary but you’re likely to just land it the first time. Then you say !!! why was I afraid of that?? Well if you are afraid its because you dont want to land only on the seat and miss the pedals ending with unwanted pain like I was.
Just hold the seat in the front having the unicycle in front of you and jump to land on the pedals. I found it easier you put the pedals in the posision of that is the way you hop (mine is left back, right front). Make sure you jump so that you are over the seat and land standing up on the pedals.
Suicide is the same you just let go of the seat just before jumping.