Unicycle Seat

Hi all,

I am soon to be the proud owner of my very first unicycle, a Torker 20" Unistar Black. I have been reading a lot of sites about unicycle and I’ve heard that is you drop the unicycle then the seat might well get damaged, I think I’ve also heard that you could put tape on it to stop it getting damaged or something somewhere; is this a good or a bad idea? Any other ideas for stopping a seat from getting scratched? Any other advice? Thanks :slight_smile:

if it’s your first unicycle then it will ge banged up. I don’t think that it is avoidable. Even good unicyclists bang up thier seats. I’m not that good, but I think it is unstoppable.

Yeah… ok, thanks :slight_smile: Oh, I can’t wait till I get it! :smiley:

The good news is, unicycles are designed to take the abuse of being dropped on the saddle. That’s why all unicycle saddles have plastic or metal (Savage - bad) bumpers that are meant to take the shock.

The bad news is, although the Miyata saddle (which comes with the stealth torker) is generally considered the best off the shelf saddle*, the newer ones have weaker bumpers. So, in a very annoying, self contradictory way, the miyata bumpers have been known to rip around the bolt area.

The next good news is, as a learner, you probably won’t be subjecting the bumper to the sort of torture that usually breaks it. I don’t think typical learner dropping is as bad as excessive banging and pulling that Muni riders do. So, you’ll probably just have the typical scrapes and dings on the bumpers. It will get pretty scuffed up, but it probably won’t break. This is just how it is with unicycles.

If it does break, I reccomend this:
It’s stronger and more comfortable than the original miyata handle, but it won’t look out of place. Since you got the stealth torker, the black will match just fine.

If your interested in some preventative maintenance to make sure your original handle doesn’t break, do a search in the forums for “frankenstein” or “frankenyata” and you’ll see discussion on this subject.

I hope this helps. If it means anything, I think you made the best choice for a first learn-to-ride-on unicycle.

*The Velo KH saddle may or may not have taken the title of best off the shelf saddle. I’m still not sure what public opinion is.

Re: Unicycle Seat


Once upon a century ago, I played a light-hearted sport involving an oblong pigskin covered ball. My job in those days was to live in the trenches and protect the guy that said “Hut, hut, hike”. There was always a lot of head-butting in those trenches and after the game, us linemen would get together and compare helmets to see who had the best battle scars and how much contact paint we were able to pull from the helmets of our opponents. In other words, our helmet scrapes and marks were our trophies and told a story of which we were deathly proud.

I kind of look at my unicycle equipment in the same light. Although I take great care of my unicycle equiment, my saddle bumpers are quite beaten and worn and I believe the marks tell tales of dedication, hard work and accomplishment.

Try this. Ask any Munier to be sure to stay clean and don’t break anything while out on the trail. Although no one wishes broken equipment, I would wager that not one would stop by the car wash and/or laundromat on the way home to ensure no one noticed mud or dirt on their equipment upon their return.

I submit to you that your saddle marks show that you take pride in the signs of your accomplishments. Just a new train of thought to consider.


Thanks a lot you guys :slight_smile:

Any tips for making learning a unicycle easier? Also, is there anything I can do before I get it to make it easier to learn? (Like, would say, riding a bike with no hands make it easier to learn to ride on a uni?)

I haven’t found any shortcuts to learn something so worthwhile. Still have to go through your personal learning curve. Only good advice for speeding up the learning curve such as spend more concentrated time on the uni.

For initial learning, we teach newcomers to our club, “Hold onto a wall and propel yourself back and forth trying to give a lighter and lighter touch on the wall as you go along.” I agree with Dustin in the Intro to Unicycling video that if you try to learn by “going for it”, you spend more time getting back on the unicycle than you do riding.


Honestly, no. Riding a bike with no hands does take quite a bit of balance, but the steering (which is involved in balancing) is done by leaning, which twists the front wheel. On a unicycle, steering is done by teinsting the wheel that is beneath you. Also, on a bike you can only fall to the right or to the left. On a unicycle you can fall in all 360 degrees. This means that balancing on a bike, even without your hands, is still a lot easier than on a unicycle.

Heh… I can ride around until I get bored on a unicycle, but I’ve never been able to get the hang of riding a bike without using the handlebars… :slight_smile:


My words of advice: ignore the unicycle and protect yourself.

Explaination: if your are just learning to unicycle, don’t worry about protecting the equipment from damage. Other than throwing it off your roof, a beginner will hardly be able to feel safe going over even a tiny bump, and a unicycle falling down because you stepped off isn’t going to get damaged. Skinned up it will get.

When you practice, think about landing on your feet, not grabbing for the saddle to keep the uni from crashing to the ground. Eventually you will know you are about to fall and then grabbing the seat will be possible.

How to practice. Some of us say ‘go for it’. I think this advice eventually works, so it is hard to disprove. But it isn’t efficient to just get on and try to pedal away from support. There is a natural progression in a lot of riding skills.

First you need to hold on to something with both hands in order to position yourself on the unicycle correctly. In the context of learning to ride, this means either a narrow hallway, or using two friends to hold you up, or maybe one friend and a wall. At any rate, you might need all the help you can get to get on the unicycle the first few times. Once you are on, the cranks/pedals need to be parallel to the ground, at 3 and 9 o’clock. Try sitting down on the seat with as much of your weight as possible, that is with as little force on the pedals as you can get.

Going along the wall, or down the hallway, pedal half a revolution, so that the pedals switch positions, to the next parallel position. This is the most stable position of the pedals, always try to stop with the pedals in this position. Keep doing these half revolutions until you get the hang of it.

Second: you will only require one hand to hold on to something. This is ideal if you have a wall, since it no longer requires you find a friend to help. Do the same exercise, graduating to full revolutions and so on. If you have a friend, doing this away from the wall would probably offer a better learning method.

Third: what you learn along the wall is how to fall off. Like I said above: at first you will have no clue when this will happen, and ‘bam’ you are on the ground. If you are learning along a wall or with a friend, the additional support will provide more time to react to the fall. Eventually you will know when you are losing control, and you will always land on your feet, or just step off.

Fourth: at the point that you can go easily 2-3 revolutions along the wall, do the same thing, and when you feel balanced, veer out into the open area away from the wall.

Fifth: find a track, and build up to a mile or more. For the first 1/4 mile, always start at the same place and measure your distance back to your starting point. A mile is required to ensure you learn how to relax and put more weight on the seat.

This method will not slow down your learning process, it will speed it up. The reason is you don’t learn anything much from going one revolution away from the wall, there just isn’t enough practice time. You fall off and then go back to the wall, remount and launch. The angle of launch, the position of the pedals, which pedal goes out first, are all variables you should not be exploring at this point, but the off the wall method requires you deal with them immediately. On the flip size, once you can do the 2-3 revs, (and can land on your feet every time) you are probably wasting your time doing too much more wall work, start veering off once you get started.

First learn to fall, then to ride, and wear pads! More importantly, don’t let any rules get in your way of enjoying the leaning process.


How do you go from pedalling away from the wall to the track. I want to start riding on a track or similar shortly, but I am needing to freemount first. There is nothing to hold on to on the local track to start with.

BTW: I think I am close on the freemount (mini rock version). I can get on and do the back stroke, but I am stalling out as soon as I try to go forward because I am not managing to get my weight on the seat.


Shoot, I had freemount in there, but then removed it, hoping your local track might have a handy support.

Okay, a simpler method. There are two types of mounts you can choose from to learn first.

One is the static mount. You put your foot on the back pedal and kind of jump up and place your other foot on the front pedal. (Putting your weight on the seat and also, very important: when you put your foot on the back pedal, the knee has an angle to it, a bend. This angle remains fixed as you jump up. If you bend you knee more, or straighen it out, the static mount isn’t going to work. This usually results in the wheel rolling back and the pedals moving)

The other is the rollback mount. Same starting position, but you push down, allowing the unicycle to roll back and under you. The force that you push down, plus a tiny hop up with the other foot raised you up onto the seat. When your foot is all the way down, you have to relax your leg. This allow the unicycle to continue rolling backward until the pedal that was in the back is now in the front. Then you put your other foot on the second pedal, which is now in the back.

Most messups are caused by someone trying a static mount, but they push down like a rollback mount. The pedal moves, making it hard to find with the other foot, or the pedals end up at the 12/6 positions, which is a very hard place to get out of.

Now the easy part. go buy a little rubber doorstop, or some other rubber wedge. Place this behind your tire with the cranks parallel to the ground. Do the static mount as described above. The wedge will prevent unintentional rollback. I suggest rubber because if you should somehow fall off and land on that object, you want it to be soft. If you are going on a long ride around the track, you could try tying a string between your wrist and the wedge so when you pedal away, it stays with you.

I agree. Our first rule of unicycling for beginners, “If the unicycle starts to fall, let it.”

Re: Unicycle Seat

On Mon, 12 May 2003 11:01:23 -0500, lulie
<lulie.nbpn4@timelimit.unicyclist.com> wrote:

>Any tips for making learning a unicycle easier?

A 20" wheel is easier to learn than a 24" wheel, or at least
quicker. Also, it helps a lot if someone who can ride instructs you
and correct bad habits.
Go to <www.xs4all.nl/~klaasbil/agelearn_short.htm> for an estimate how
long it will take you to learn riding.

What gets you up the curve fast, once you can ride a little bit but
not yet on your own, is to hold hands with another unicyclist and ride

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

All US Presidents have worn glasses. Some just didn’t like being seen wearing them in public.

You made a wise choice for your first unicycle. It has very durable bumpers on the seat. You could have spent more (on a cycle with a Kris Holm seat), or done worse. Though today’s Miyata seats are a little weak in the front bumper, this has nothing to do with dropping it, and only becomes a factor when you start pulling up and pusing down on it. Not until after you’re comfortable riding. And it should hold up just fine until then.

I consider the Kris Holm (KH) seat to be the new champ of best-on-the-market. It’s way more comfortable than the stock Miyata seat. The Miyata still reigns in its versatility. You can take it apart, convert it to air, put different covers on it, and do all sorts of things. The KH seat basically doesn’t come apart.

As for learning to ride, it’s all in your motivation. Before the unicycle arrives, you can practice by riding in your mind. Sound stupid? Yes. But it does work. It may not be very useful before you’ve tried riding, but just imagine what the unicycle will act like when you’re sitting on it. Ride in your dreams. When you get back to doing it in reality, you will find some improvement because you’ve thought it through.

This worked for me the first (and only) time I tried a recumbent unicycle. I had imagined years before what it would be like to ride one, so my mind was prepared for something in the ballpark of what it was really like. I think this speeded up my learning curve quite a bit.


Learning to ride

When I let people try my unicycle and they ask “So how do I do it?”, I usually reply with “It’s easy, just lean forwards and pedal.” For some reason many people are inclined to put their foot on the highest pedal first, and I advise them to rotate the wheel until the pedal which they are going to step on first is at its lowest point. Soon after learning to ride I found the roll back half a turn thing easiest but these days I find rolling forward is easier. I put my left foot on the down pedal, and roll the unicycle slightly forwards so that by the time my right foot gets to the pedal the cranks are horizontal, and lean forwards and pedal. Practising with a wall or a shopping trolley takes away some of the balance aspects but can be good for getting the feel of rolling along. Once you break loose into the wild open you are faced with the full task of balancing and you soon find out what works and what doesn’t. A nasty rock hard saddle can slow down the learning process so if you have one of those don’t hesitate to strap some padding on there to make it more bearable.