Unicycle dirt jumping?

I’m sure this has already been mentioned quite a few times but has anyone seriously considered the possibility of unicycle dirt jumping? Naturally, unless you’re some sort of freak, you’re not going to get as much height as the bmx guys, but I think being on one wheel would make up for it.

I’ve tried a little bit on my muni with enough success to thoroughly enjoy myself. I think that if you used a 24" x 3" muni with 145mm cranks (like mine :)) and rode on a track with short but relatively steep jumps you could do some great stuff.

With the aid of something like one of Greg’s geared hubs, do you think it would be possible to get air by letting the jump launch you rather than by pulling the uni up? Personally, I’d really struggle with launching with the left pedal anywhere other than forwards, but surely this could be fixed with enough practice. Imagine clearing a set of doubles and actually benefitting from berms on corners!

There’s a new bmx track being built near me by the bike shop. It’s right beside where we have our weekly uni rides and the idea is for the bike riders to race there and have fun jumping at the same time as our uni rides. I’ll be sure to race Gary around the track on unicycles when it’s all finished.

I reckon it’d be lots of fun to race unis around a track that’s got short and steep sets of doubles and stuff like that, and maybe some 3’ish drops and berms and so on. Just picture it!

So has anyone had any real success at jumping on a uni? Any advice to beginners like me? …Aha! I just read about the UMX at the Toque Games. Did you guys have any luck with jumping?


Re: Unicycle dirt jumping?

wont shorter cranks on your muni give u a touch more speed?

I’ve ridden dual tracks and the baby doubles in my park which are fun. You can’t get enough speed up to get a proper launch, you have to really unweight and hop a bit to get anything off them, but if you time it just right you do get launched a bit more than normal.

Little speed bumps in roads you can jump off if you unweight a bit and use the edge of the jump to launch you higher.

You can use berms properly though, you just have to spin the pedals like mad and you can ride up on them tilted over. For berms you probably want a little more pressure in the tyre to really rail round them.

If you want a jump that actually launches you properly I think you’d have to get the spade out and fiddle with a jump a bit, I think a pretty short & sharp jump with a little upwards launching lip at the top would launch a unicycle better than a normal bike shaped jump. Also I reckon unicycles are best with small jumps, they wouldn’t take too long to dig yourself one or two to play on.


Hopefully they’ll give enough speed…but imagine a uni.5 hub on my muni with 145mm cranks!

Good point, I’ll try to find somewhere near here to build a couple, but I think there’ll be the odd few small jumps at this new track that’s currently being built.


Re: Unicycle dirt jumping?

We used to ride regular 24" street unicycles off a wooden ramp, using the ramp to lift us and not jumping.

What you gain in speed with a geared hub, you give up in control. But if your technique is good, a 1.5 hub should definitely give you more oomph.

In the Redford Township Unicycle Club, we had a wooden ramp that was about 30-36" long by about 10-12" high. This was developed in the days of Evel Knievel, and was intended more for distance than height. I think we could clear about 10’ off that ramp, on clunky Schwinns with 140mm cranks. 10’ total distance, and maybe 8’ clearing the “bags” we used as props on shows.

Lining up the pedals before jumping could improve the quality of the jump, but you could usually do nearly as good with just a lot of guts and speed. Those were the days :slight_smile:

Wow! That sounds like a lot of fun. have you got any photos?

Do I have photos? That’s a loaded question.

But when it comes to old film photos, I’m notoriously slow to get things scanned and posted. Another one of the many images I wish I had handy to show y’all… I’ll try to get one up someday.

And yes, it sure was a lot of fun!

I’ll eagerly await it (and any other interesting photos you’ve got). Have you got a scanner, or would you have to go somewhere to do it?

I’ve got a spade and there’s some little jumps in the park near me, I might pop down there one lunchtime next week and see if I can make a weeny unicycle-friendly jump. Although the soil is pretty hard at the moment so it might be too much like hard work.