Unicycle wheel

Hi! I’ve noticed as I’ve been picking up speed on the unicycle that a wobble is becoming more and more pronounced until it almost throws me off. I placed my unicycle (24 ‘’ sun) upside down on my workbench and I’m noticing that it starts to wobble side to side as a spin the wheel faster and faster. Is this normal in a unicycle due to the pedals spinning or the cranks being slightly uneven? Or could it signify a problem with the wheel staying true? When i bought the unicycle a couple months ago I did have the wheel trued as part of normal maintenance with a local bike shop. As a sidenote I have heard that sometimes wobbling can also mean I’m putting to much weight on my legs instead of the seat?

thank you! interested to hear thoughts

A certain amount of wobble is normal. If you can’t see the rim move relative to the frame, what you saw on the workbench is just caused by the imbalance of the cranks. Cranks are inherently an imbalance, since they add weight outside of the wheels central axis. (Fun fact: if you hold up your unicycle by the saddle, you can “wobble” the unicycle in the right frequency, to speed up the rotation of the wheel)

The wobble while riding is a phenomenom everyone experiences. I am honestly not sure how to tell you how to decrease it, since I figured it out over time. It’s mainly fixed by having a hand on the seat, and stiffening up your upper body. Shorter cranks also help.

I thought the wobble came from the tire that starts bouncing. When I go faster I put more pressure on the pedals on the front when pushing down.

Maybe you can counteract it by swaying the seat a bit from left to right, which would require you to stand up from the seat a bit. Ain’t gonna try it.

I normally slow down when it starts to wobble. I’m sure it has nothing to do with a wheel that needs replacing as it happens with all unicycles.

The same wobble occurs with kids tricycles with solid tires. The cranks/pedals cause the wheel to be out of balance which becomes a bigger problem the faster the wheel spins. Holding onto the seat, using bars, and counteracting with riding style is probably all you can do to counteract the wobble.

There is nothing you need to try, speed comes by itself. It’s nothing you can really learn by following someones advice. But one day, you will notice that you can ride quicker than you were riding before.

It’s not like fast riders are accelerating, and then thinking “oh, the wheel is starting to wobble, I need to stiffen up my core, put weight in the seat and use my hand to counteract the swaying.” At some point, you are just riding faster, and with every bit of practice, your body will understand what to do. Humans are very good at learning subconsciously. We can process a lot of: “If I do this, than that happens.” without even noticing.

I’m going on a small tangent here, but one of the things that differenciates a human from apes is our ability to throw things very precisely. Throwing is an incredibly complex movement, that you will never learn by someone telling you what to do. You take a ball, and you practice until it get’s where you want it to go. (Of course, there is proper technique for something like a baseball pitch, but you are only learning that once the basic throwing is already easy.)

The same thing that happened when you went from being a kid, that could throw a ball in roughly the direction you wanted it to go, to now taking your key out of the pocket throwing it across the room, precisely in the hand of your friend without thinking about it, will happen with unicycling. Just by practicing unicycling, you will be able to go faster, because you will learn to counteract the wobbling without even noticing.
(Of course, if you push yourself to your limits more often, you will learn faster.)

It’s normal for an asymmetrical design to wobble as it’s rotating around an axis.
Your uni on the bench proved that.

Less (stomping) pressure on the pedals, more spinning (steady pressure) throughout the entire pedal revolution.
More weight on the seat.
Two hands on handlebars will help bring everything to a better balance point.

Your 24" will always be slow. Even top speed will be too slow so you will step outside of your skill zone to try and make it go faster. This is what I call the “panicked clown” look.
Put your 24" away and get yourself a larger wheel. (unless you are very short).

Ha ha ha! I love this. Its good practice though. If you can smoothly pedal a small wheel with longish cranks (19" wheel with 137mm cranks for example) at a high cadence, then that skill translates to other wheel sizes pretty rapidly.

This can be avoided using bars, and counteracting with riding style you can do to counteract the wobble. A recent thought to buy an electric one-wheeled scooter and came across a new development Timur Artemev related to self-balancing on unicycle.