Unicycles and the law?

Just wondering which bike laws apply to unicycles when riding the streets or sidewalks?

With two wheelers in the UK they have to have a bell, lights at night, and brakes.
Which if any apply to unicycles, and have the laws been tested?

With not having brakes (most riders), what would happen if a pedestrian stepped out in front of the rider?
Riders do get up some speed on the larger wheels !!!

Norwegain law:


Tri- Bi- and unicycle goes by the definition “Sykkel”.

-A “sykkel” should have minimum two brakes.
-Both brakes must be usable while holding your hands on the handle.

Reflectors are mandatory. Lights necessary if you ride in the dark.

A “sykkel” must have a bell. Other means of sounddevices are forbidden.

:astonished: :thinking: :roll_eyes:

Fixed wheel.

In the UK a fixed wheel bicycle is only required to have a brake on the front wheel…the back is considered braked through the drive-train…I would think a uni, having a fixed wheel, could be argued as braked. Not sure if this has been tested though.

Law is one thing, another is that whatever you’re riding, if you are riding it on a sidewalk, then you should be able to stop if pedestrian is going into the way. That’s a common sense in my opinion.

According to http://www.bikehub.co.uk/featured-articles/cycling-and-the-law/ (scroll down to ‘“YOU’VE LOST A WHEEL, MATE”: UNICYCLING AND THE LAW’) a unicycle is no longer defined in the UK. Despite what else it says there, if I understand UK law correctly, you’re allowed to do anything unless specifically prohibited, and if laws relating to bicycle no longer apply to unicycles, that means that nothing is prohibited when riding one. Interesting to see the comment there that some riders on bigger wheels have been ticketed for riding on the pavement - personally I would be tempted to fight it given the current state of the law. Though as with all things unicycling, the trick is to behave yourself and in general you don’t get bothered then.

Personally my interest when I last looked at this was in what the legal situation was with riding on footpaths. My research suggested there is no clear legal position and certainly no precedent. It’s not like the distinction between a FP and a BW bothers me all that much when riding a bike, but it’s nice to know that it’s pretty much impossible to be done for riding a uni on a FP - if challenged by the landowner I’d claim it was a “natural accompaniment”.

Irrespective of whether you’re on a unicycle, a pogo stick or just running that makes sense - and I suspect they could find something to do you for if you injured somebody.

You forgot the important part (2):

  • One brake on the front wheel and one brake on the back wheel

This disqualifies a unicycle as a “sykkel”. We have the same requirement in Denmark and for this reason the national police interprets a unicycle as a toy - and consequently that other requirements for a “sykkel” does not apply.

Bikes do not have to have a bell. The last government passed a law requiring new bikes to be fitted with a bell at point of sale (there was no law requiring that the bell be left on), but that was one of the laws that the current government was to scrap as part of its clearout of excessive legislation. (I don’t know whether it’s actually been scrapped yet).

I interpret the definition of “pedal cycle” in the Road Vehicle Lighting Regulations to include unicycles. If my interpretation is correct then the lighting requirements for a unicycle are the same as for a bike:

A brake is required on each wheel. On a fixed wheel, the legs are deemed to count as a brake. So a unicycle doesn’t need any more than that.


Here in Melbourne (Australia) unicycles are considered “toy vehicles” which whilst a little demeaning is actually cool because it means we can ride on the footpath/sidewalk (with or without a helmet) and can also ride on the road with a helmet (and a bell). The police do like giving out the no-bell prize (their joke not mine) when they realise that they cant book you for anything else. $50 fine.

Interesting subjec - have a look here:



I’ve been meaning to rewrite that for a couple of years now. I might get round to it one day…

I’ve not had any problem with the police in Sydney (Australia) - they generally seem fasinated to actually see someone riding a uni - I have just put a bell on my 36 as local bike riders are getting some bad press for scaring people when they ride up behind them on the shared walking/bike paths. Helmets are bit of a hot topic at the moment here but I don’t ride without one anyway (try and set a good example for the kids).