Unicycling Uphill and Downhill

Hi there,

At the moment, I am still learning the basics of unicycling (such as idling and hopping) and one of the things I need to branch out into is slight uphill and downhill rides.

On our pavements, we have some areas which are lowered down to the height of the road, and if I want to ride on the pavement I need to learn how to overcome these slight uphill and downhill rides.

My question, ultimately, is what do you need to do differently to ride uphill and downhill? Which way do you have to lean for both of these?

I have tried searching the forums for this, but I couldn’t quite find the answer I want, so here it is! Thanks, in advance, to anyone who offers me help and advice!

Many thanks


i figured this out yesterday myself i just leaned forward for going up so there was more pressure and leaned back when going down so i could control my pedaling better

when going down leaning forward is better … most of the time.

You need to lean back when doing downhill, or you’ll fall over.

Klaas has a nice explanation:

For going up these drop-down kerbs just give yourself a few extra pedal strokes for a little more speed, and the momentum should take you up.
It just takes a little confidence to try, that’s all.
I remember thinking that I’d never be able to ride up and down slopes when I was learning.
As soon as you’ve mastered doing them a few times you’ll be moving on to much bigger things.
Have good fun luck!

back from 2 days of muniing in the Pyrénées mountains …
sorry to contradict you (there have been posts about that but I can’t find them).
this is the same as in skiing your torso should lean downhill.
(though your legs should apply force the way described by klaas bill).
this said it depends of the slope: when it gets extreme you are right.

for drop kerbs you don’t need to mess with leaning, just let the uni go slightly faster down them and speed up so the uni doesn’t slow down when you’re riding up. It’s harder to explain than to learn - just find one and ride at it repeatedly.

Dude why do you have to ask so many simple questions. C’mon man its like walking up a hill, you dont need to be told how to do that do you? you just do it. Sorry but it just anoys me with all these newbs that keep asking the simplist of questions when it would take less time and effort to go out and do it. They always say they searched but found nothing, you found nothing because no one else would ask such pointless simple questions.

Sorry for my rant but I feel I have held it off long enough.

Dude just go out and ride your unicycle, figure it out, its fun, its a challenge.

I think this is right for uphill, because you’re either going really slow in which case it’s pretty much a static balance problem as he shows it, and when you are going fast you have to lean even more into the hill. When you’re going downhill it depends on how fast you’re going and how steep the hill is, if you’re hammering down singletrack then you’ll probably be leaning forward, whereas if you’re going down an unwalkable super steep slope on the brake, chances are you’ll be leant back a bit. It’s because he doesn’t take the fact you are moving into account - essentially you’re keeping yourself off balance all the time when moving.


Hi there,

Thanks for all the helpful, if somewhat contradictory, advice from you all! I will try it all and see what works best!

In reply to sp4rky-m4rky - if simple questions like this annoy you so much, then please don’t bother to reply or even read them. I put in the title what this topic was about, so if you find it too basic for you why even read or reply to it? That’s my question to you!

Thanks, once again, for all of your help! It is very much appreciated!

Many thanks

Mark Watson

:smiley: This might help you too somewhat Mark. :smiley:

One thing I’m finding is that when I’m riding a ways and have problems with just one spot, stop and do that one spot over and over till you learn it.

On my low-water-crossing, I go down slow, with arms flailing about for balance, about as vertical as I can ride.

Uphill, tend to lean forward, though it’s not essential. Main thing is to try to keep going on a longer uphill.

On a single little bump, try to get some pressure on both pedals as you go over, sort of accelerate as you hit it. Keep arms out for balance while doing so.

Sp4rky, If you don’t feel sufficiently chastised already, please go back and read some of your early posts. Nobody should be considered guilty for learning after you did. You weren’t tired from hearing about newbies when you were one…

That said, the rest of his advice was spot-on I’d say. Sounds like you are asking about this in a pre-emptory, fashion, like you haven’t tried it yet. Best way to explain how to ride up & down small ramps is to try it ten times in each direction. Then if you still have questions we can help with the details. :slight_smile:

Hi there,

Thanks for all the help guys!

In reply to johnfoss, I did try it a few times before posting, but I kept falling off on the uphill. Thankfully, I now understand it a little better and am learning how to ride them with ease.

Once again, thanks for all the help!

Many thanks

Mark Watson