Unicycling for Newbies

Yes I know there are already too many of these threads here but this one will be so comprehensive you can tell your kids(or parents) about. Im going to cover:

Learning to Ride
Terms of the forums and
The Different Types of Unicycles.

As a unicyclist you join a select group of people who have the power to amaze peopel with your skills. However that is not the only thing about unicycling that is fun. It is a great form of excersize and is something that you can even earn a little money doing(if youre good). So without fruther a due, i present:

Learning To Ride

Before you can do anything with a unicycle you have to learn how to ride, its the most basic skill.

  1. Its usually good to have a friend or two for the first few days. First you have to adjust the unicycle for your hieght. Then here comes the friends part, hold onto the shoulders of your 2 friends and lift yourself onto the unicycle. There, thats step one!

  2. After your up on the unicycle your gonna want to move foreward. To do this pedal foreward as you hold onto your friend(s) and they walk next to you. Always lean a bit foreward when riding(thats the real key). Practice this step untill you grow more confident.

  3. When youre confident with your abilities thus far, you can move down to one friend or just use a wall or something to steady you. And when your finally ready you can let go of the wall and ride off all on your own.

Remember this is just a very basic description, some people take months to learn to ride and some people take only hours to be able to ride. its all a matter of balance and confidence.

Styles Of unicycling

There are many differentstyles of unicycling and everyone has their own preference. I am going to list and explain the styles that exist right now.

  1. Freestyle: This style is most comparable to figure skating or dance. There are alot of spins and stand up tricks and is a very show like style. The unicycle most widely used for this style is a 20" wheel with a tire that is around 2" in width and a flat crown frame for doing stand up and foot-on-frame tricks.

  2. Mountain Unicycling (MUni) This style is most comparable to mountain biking, it is done offroad on trails and woodland or even snow covered mountains!. this stlye can be done on anysize wheel though wheels larger than 24" are prefered for speed and mobility. the tires are super wide and very knobby for gripping the dirt and mud they are usually 3" in width! The frames used are flat crown for strength but a unicrown frame is preffered by some

  3. Trials Trials is basically comprised of hopping, dropping, and gapping. the main idea is to work your way through a line(course) with out letting even one foot touch the ground. The unicycle used for trials will probably have a 19" wheel with a 2.5" tire though some people use MUnis for trials riding aswell. the frame can be unicrown or flat crown. It depends on preference.

  4. Street Street is basically a cross between trials and freestyle. A Lightweight Trials Uni is unsually used for this.

  5. Cokering A coker is a very large unicycle with a wheel that measures 36"! it is made for speed and commuting.

  6. BC Wheel A BC wheel is a unicycle with no frame or pedals. It has 2 Plates that hang over the sides of the tire that you stand on and just roll along.

  7. Ultimate Wheel The ultimate wheel is a unicycle with no frame or cranks. The pedals are stuck right onto the wheel. This takes alot more balance than a regular unicycle.

Some people are only good at one style and many are good at alot of them, you dont have to choose just one.

Terms of the Trade

Heres just a shot list of unicycle term you may come into contact with on the fora.

  1. UPD- Acronym for unplanned dismount. in other words falling off.
  2. SIF- Acronym for seat in front
  3. SIB- Acronym for seat in back
  4. Coker- A 36" unicycle
  5. Giraffe- A tall unicycle
    6 GUni- A unicycle that is geared to go faster or slower
  6. Muni- Mountain unicycle
  7. Splined- A unicycle hub. it is the strongest you can get.
  8. Cotterless(square taper)- Another type of hub, strong but not very.
  9. Cottered- A very weak hub.

Different types of Unis

this is a list of unicycles that you could find yourself buying some day!

  1. Muni- Mountain unicycles used for offroad riding
  2. Trials- Used for trials and street riding
  3. Freestyle- used for freestyle riding
  4. BC Wheel- a coasting unicycle
  5. Ultimate Wheel- the ultimte test of balance
  6. Coker- the big wheel, used for speed and distance
  7. Giraffe- A show unicycle

The differnt types are just giude lines. There are so many different sizes ranging from 12" kiddie unis to 48" show unis.

So theres your guide. Use it well and happy unicycling to you all.

P.S. if any member have anycorrections or additions please let me kno or post them yourselves.

I have Been Asked to add some more advice on here so here goes.

I will add:

Proper Mounting Techniques
The Importance of Seat Height + tire pressure and

Proper Mounting Techniques

There are two basic ways of mounting the unicycle and its all a matter of preference in the beginning but you should eventually learn both.

Roll-back Mount

in this mount the pressure from youre foot on the pedal will push the unicycle up under your body.

  1. set your pedals up so that the pedal you will use to mount with is closest to you and lightly lower than the other.

  2. put your strong foot on the rear pedal and push down. this will cause you to be launched onto the unicycle and you pedals will be left verticle.(some people do not like this mount because of the akward position your feet are left in on the pedals)

  3. practice alot and soon you will be nailing it every time

[u]Static Mount[/b]

the static mount is a fair bit easier but does require weight distribution. in this mount you will have the pedals completely horizontal with your strong footed pedal at the rear.

  1. Set up the uni as described before. then put your strong foot on its pedal with very little pressure.

  2. keeping very little pressure on your rear foot launch yourself up onto the uni(your pedals should not move).

this mount takes alot of practice but if you stick too it you will get good fast!

Seatpost height and Tire Pressure

Seatpost Height

thsi si very important as it will dramatically change the ease of riding. there are different preferences for different styles(i.e. trials-seat low for crouching to gain mor hopping height, freestyle- higher for more control and ease of trickes preformed). for learning purposes however its just like adjusting the seat for a bike, when your foot is all the way down on the pedal your leg should only bend slightly. after this you can change it to suit your preference.

Tire Pressure

Tire pressure is very important. it helps with ballance as well as speed and in some instances hop height. an easy way to guage tire pressure is to look at it while you ride(or have someone else watch) when normally riding there should be little cange between that look and its look while not being ridden. and when hopping it should only change a bit (it will flatten out ). the same as seat height it dependson what style your interested in as to how your tires will be pumped, for instance, trials riders usually like a slightly below average pressure for that extra bit of bounce they get from it.


Hopping is one of those most basic skills you will learn. it is used in almost all stlyes of unicycling and for some is the base of the style itself. here is a very simple guide to hopping.

  1. when riding come to a stop with the pedals horizontal.

  2. then hold the lift handle on the seat and just start to bounce.

  3. with more practice comes a higher hop. its all a matter of how you want to learn and what style your interested in as to how high you want your hop to be.

remember if you fall off thats ok just get back on and do it again… rome wasnt built in a day. and there will always be SOMEONE better than you, it just gives you that much more motivation to do your best.


most important of all use the search in the forums

yeah do that

This thread should have a sticky.

If you don’t have friends that are willing, have the time, and/or patience then a railing between waist and chest height works great, a wall less so.

I would have needed VERY patient friends. Two for a month, then one for another month. (I don’t think my friends patience would have lasted more than a couple of days at best. Over a year later and can’t get one of them to try it more than a few minutes.)

Also very good for learning more advanced skills like SIF, SIB, WW, riding backwards…