Trials Newbie Questions

I am confident in many freestyle skills. I just purchased a new trials uni and don’t know where to begin. I have some basic questions.

What should I learn first?

Is it common to develop huge calouses on your handle holding hand? (I have torn my hand apart.)

What is a good method for learning basic hopping such as onto curbs and eventually up stairs?

How practical is learning to wheel walk on a trials uni?

Why have my parents forbidden me to buy any more unicycles?

What is a good thread to tell me about rolling hops?

Last of all I would just like to point out that I have just learned why so many people do large drops on their uni. It is easy. A five foot drop may sound intense but it is hardly a skill. I picked it up without the slightest effort but can still not hop up a curb. I am interested in real tricks. Not drops.

My main question is “Where do I begin?”

I found it easier to learn ww (still learning, but getting there) on my trials then my old freestyle uni. I think it had to do with the fact that it was easier to put your foot on the wheel.


Re: Trials Newbie Questions

Everything. Get busy.

Yes. Obviously your hand needs time to heal. Wear gloves after that. In the meantime, you can practice riding skinnies. Start with curbs, then try skinnier or higher stuff.

This may sound lame, but watch other people do it. Either in videos or live, if possible. Remember, a set of stairs is nothing more than a bunch of curbs stacked side by side. Once you can do one, you’ll be able to build up to many.

It’s probably easier, due to the fat tire. Besides, you don’t need your hands, so it’s something good to practice while waiting for your hand to mend.

My guesses. Probably because:

  1. You live in their house and don’t pay rent. So it’s their rules.
  2. You’re under 18, so it’s their rules.
  3. You may want to go to college at some point, so you need a little money left over for that? :slight_smile:

I think it is #3 John. Thanks for all of the analysis it is nice to hear something useful. All I ever hear around here is “Hey he only has one wheel!” Nothing useful and no unicyclists.


Re: Trials Newbie Questions

Then you’re already half way there. Not doing stupid big drops will lengthen the life of your uni by a ton.

Wheelwalking is much easier on a trials uni, except it’s harder to turn the wheel. You can just pump up the tire to fix that.

When it comes to hopping, firstly, what kind of seat do you have? I got callusses on my hand from hopping seat out on a Kh saddle, but I never got callusses hopping seat in with a miyata, united, savage, and Kh saddle. Try to relax your grip, you’ll get fewer callusses and improve your balance at the same time.

Rolling hops: There was a thread recently about them, dig back a week or so and you should find it. My method is to ignore what people tell me and just try to hop over sidewalk squares without stopping on the way home (this was back when I didn’t have anyone to tell me better, and I didn’t even know what a rolling hop was). My first non-curb high rolling hop was about 16", without any practice for height, just because I’d become so comfortable with rolling gaps. trust me, once your comfortable doing squares, curbs will be easy and high rolling hops will just seem natural.

Your parents won’t buy you another unicycle because parents hate unicycles. Mine made me buy ever unicycle I own. And they make me pay for at least 1/2 of the cost of any uni convention I go to. When you don’t have a steady job, that’s awful steep. They’re just jealous that they have to walk, while I’m on a spiffy fireball uni :sunglasses: .

Sore Hands

I actually haven’t gotten callouses, just a really sore middle finger from hopping/gripping the saddle while muni-ing… I’ve only had it 2 weeks, but I spent about 2 hours one day just practicing hopping, and my hand hasn’t recovered… I have to use my left hand to flip off the people who laugh at me :wink:

I pay every cent of what goes into my unicycling. My parents contribute neither money nor encouragement. I have two jobs. One pays $12.50 and hour and the other pays $20.00 an hour. I earned over $200.00 last weekend. I put 3/4 of the money in the bank and the rest has gone towards my unicycle obsession.

I am 19 and I will buy a MUni for school next year. My parents strongly discourage the idea but ultimately let me make my own decisions.

What else should a Trials newbie know?

Sore hands

I have found that my sore hands, torn skin, blisters, etc. are from doing somethng wrong - like the death grip that comes from inexperience. relax… Try to be aware of how you are wasting so much energy in various places that are actaully preventing you from making that hop or the rail that you are trying ride.

John’s advice is solid. Don’t spend too much time on trying to do massive leaps all the time. Break-up the riding practice routine and give your body a break and try another facit of trials.

Regarding massive drops, "massive’ is a realtive term but as you learn to relax you will be able to more easily land larger and larger drops. Graduate to higher, skinnier, longer, etc. this will help you to build confidence and help you to relax. Again, keeping in mind that it is all relative. A “massive” drop to me is 3’ - 4’, not much by many’s standards here but that is what I’ve been able to comfortably work up to.

I think the best way to get yourself to do big drops is ride skinnies high off the ground. Then, when you inevitably fall, you’re forced to do a “massive” drop.

Re: Trials Newbie Questions

You can do a 5 foot drop but you can’t hop up a curb… forgive me but that’s really hard to believe. Do you just roll off them or do you hop off them, because if you hop off them then you should definately be able to hop up a curb.

A video would be nice.

I have heard many people say that it is worthwhile to set up a flat, slanted surface and hop on it while turning in circles. This will get you used to having to put pressure on the pedals in different ways so that you can hop onto slanted objects well. This is especially helpful in natural trials.


I was at the same place several months ago, but I didn’t know any freestyle moves. If I could go back and redo my training routine, I would have worked on forward and rolling hops/drops from the very start (core muni skills), as well as seat-out stuff. Instead, I slaved over working up a giant side hop and at one time could seat-in side hop onto 5 palates but couldn’t front hop onto a 4" curb or even ride down a set of stairs.

Like Tommy suggested, keep mixing in all the basic techniques to keep the sessions interesting and varied as opposed to binging on one technique–like I did. In a year you’ll know all the moves anyhow, so you might as well have fun learning them.


i have a question:
When crank arm, or pedal stalling how do you protect your cranks from getting damaged? Is there some sort of sleeve you can put over your crank so it doesn’t get chunks taken out of it? i’ve tried rapping the crank in duct tape but the tape just wears off.

I’m a loser!

"Last of all I would just like to point out that I have just learned why so many people do large drops on their uni. It is easy. A five foot drop may sound intense but it is hardly a skill. I picked it up without the slightest effort but can still not hop up a curb. I am interested in real tricks. Not drops. "

this makes me very sad I just was out and did a four foot drop and bent the axel on my stupid torker and it was n’t even a full four feet. oh well life goes on I hope

Don’t bother with a sleeve. It’s a waste of weight. Not to mention, you’d need to do around 3,000 pedalgrabs onto concrete or about 300 bad-technique grinds on concrete before and real damage was done to your crank. I’ve done somewhere near 2,000 pedalgrabs onto various materials, with a bunch of them onto concrete, and my crank’s fine. I’ve never heard of a brank breaking due to grinds or pedalgrabs. If you’re thrashing your equipment that much, a few pedalgrabs won’t make a difference.

Here’s a pic of my left crank on my Onza:

grind damage to left crank.jpg

And here’s the other side:

other side of left crank.jpg

gerblefranklin, that’s beautiful art man!!! :wink: :smiley: