upper body 45 degrees right?!?!

I just thought I would post this here in case someone had the same issue and can enlighten me. Not a major deal and sure it will fix itself - just curious.

So, re-learning unicycle after a 30 year break. I’m 6ft 220 pounds riding a 26" Nimbus.

I can ride about 300-1,000 feet per go.

About 20% of the time I will notice that I have turned my entire upper body 45 degrees to the right with both arms reaching to the right. This either causes OR is a result of my hip also shifting to the left…

I’m not sure what is causing it - I thought maybe the road had a lean to it and I was correcting for that. I also thought maybe I had slipped in the saddle and was not sitting centered. I don’t really seem to be able to fix it - I just ride like that till I dismount and then it likely doesn’t happen next time.

Also, I’m right dominate so I thought that might be it - tried making sure my pedal strokes are even and trying to put weight in seat.

It’s called road camber and often becomes an issue, especially for newer riders. This may not be the only thing causing your problem but try riding on the other side of the road where it slants the opposite way and see what happens.

Another thing you could check is of course seat adjustment. Maybe if your seat is too low it gives you a lot more freedom of movement than you should have. You could also rotate your seat a little bit to the left to help counteract the tendancy to turn to the right.

I noticed the same thing on my 26" mUni. The problem seemed to get worse near the end of long rides, perhaps when I was getting tired. I think the issue is related to my left calf rubbing against the Oracle frame. I end up with a big grey mark on my left calf, and the paint has rubbed off the frame. Here’s something that worked for me: try holding the knee of the opposing leg (opposite from the direction you’re twisting) a tiny bit away from the unicycle. Also, try to imagine you are putting more power into the stroke of that leg.

One side of my body is stronger/weaker than the other side. I imagine there is a tiny difference in the length of my legs, as well. When I started riding 100+ feet, it was on a cambered surface, and that started me out compensating on one side of my body. When I first learned how to turn, I did so more easily to the left, the direction of the up-hill camber when riding on the right side of the street.

Try struggling to keep your torso straight, then see if another part of your body can provide the compensation you’re looking for (such as having one knee swing outward more). If you’re twisting to the right, try practicing left-hand turns; this will get your torso used to twisting in the opposite direction.

I have been riding for over three years and have the same problem and I think it has gotten worse over time. I originally thought it would just go away, but riding that way has been ingrained into my muscle memory.

In my case it comes from favoring my left leg over my right. I push a lot harder with my left leg. I noticed this when I was riding those two wheel things, but then it was never an issue.

First, I would suggest raising the seat a little. Perhaps that will help. That does work for some.

I am trying to correct my twist by forcing myself to hold onto my lift handle with the other hand- forcing myself to untwist. Perhaps I will learn this new way of balancing. I also force myself to use my right leg more.

Unfortunately, in my case, I don’t think it will ever go away.

It is interesting though, it completely goes away when I have to climb a steep hill where both legs are required.

In my case it led to at least one funny moment. I was riding in a unicycle race that turned back on itself so the unicyclists that were behind were coming towards the unicyclists in the lead. With my right arm in the air behind me, one rider thought I was trying to give him a high five!

Most of the time it just looks odd.

Work on correcting it early. Good luck.

Don’t some tires and tire pressures amplify this effect?


It is interesting though, it completely goes away when I have to climb a steep hill where both legs are required.


Interesting…I am the opposite. I ride shoulders square to the hips on flats. I can keep my hands down, on the saddle, or behind my back and it makes little difference, except when it comes to more technical terrain my arms and elbows like to be up to chest high, little less squared, but its ok, never really conscientious about it.

Only when i climb steep, my (right or left, rotating when tired)arm grasps the saddle tugging upwards, while my opposite shoulder, arm out, thrown tilted almost pointing towards the trail or street, almost as if i had an imaginary long handlebar out to grab. It is my counterweight to my right/left arm tugging, and the weight forward also helps with the large wheel momentum.
I wouldnt exactly call it a flaw, at the current moment its my technique thats working, and climbing hills for me, until, or at least, i have aquired a better balance and/ or have learned a better way. :wink:

Totally common problem - even for experienced riders. I (I’m not ‘experienced’ but I’ve been riding about 2 years) get it every now and then, you’ve just gotta ride and try not to whinge about it too much and it’ll go away after a week or so.

I get it far more often on my 29er than my 36er, maybe the handlebars help as they keep me centred a bit better :smiley:

It’s not just road camber either - I sometimes do it on a totally flat road, no matter which side I ride on.

I’ve not found a real solution yet - it comes back to me every now and then, and I ride bent for a bit, and then I’m back to riding straight. Tried absolutely everything - fiddling with the seat (height, nose angle, twizzing the seatpost round), different cranks, tightening stuff… Best thing to do is just ride ‘comfortably’. Let yourself relax, and you’ll fall into place without even noticing.

This is how it started for me. I learnt to hold on with my right hand on the seat (I’m lefty, and learnt to ride initially with the lefty on the seat), and from then on I rode bent. I had to re-learn left-handed grabbing, and eventually I straightened out. But now it comes back to haunt me. I can ride with both hands at the same time on the seat (or handlebar for the 36er), and when I do this I’m able to ride far straighter and less wobbly too, which is a nice side effect. Maybe try that?

Saddle height seems to affect this. As a short-term solution, try raising the saddle to the maximum. Having to “reach” for the pedals will prevent extraneous leaning. I just suggest this as a way to break the pattern and force your body to get used to something different. After that, lower the saddle back to where it’s comfortable and see how it goes. Riding a different wheel size for a while would also achieve this.
Good luck!

same for me too :frowning:
I’ve been riding for a couple of years and my riding position has got worse.
Someone once commented that with my flailing arms I looked like I was playing a violin :o
Though when I am in auto pilot I straighten up and fly right.
When hubby is behind me on his bi*e he can tell when I’m daydreaming as I sit up straight and face the front.
He thinks it’ sunny that I do my best riding when I’m not paying full attention.
Like Jigywigy [B]and UPD I too straighten up when I’m going uphill.

Sorry I’m no helpwfcentralI’m hoping that I’ll grow out of it :roll_eyes:

Not sure if you want try this,
but really,
the arms with hands clasp behind back would help.

Just to prove to myself that I wasnt blowing hot air about the previous statement. I setted out today to see if that I can again ride comfortably with hands behind my back.
Heck yeah! !
Just returned from a 19.6 mile Bay ( rocky gravel)Trail 36er ride with slight hills. It did take me about 10 mins for me to adjust.
I do like the isolation training. My arms are isolated, and most of my shoulders is isolated from movement. So ultimately i would have to square up shoulders to hips. I noticed my tracking was pretty straight too.
So, that now the arms cannot be used, and only a little bit of shoulder can be used for turning. I noticed i begin to really focus my shifts of weight purely from the ankle, knees and hips. I was still able to climb and practice my sloloms which was really suprising. But of course, with my arms and shoulders i am able to make more rapid adjustments, therefore sharper turns. But now i realized I can be a whole lot less dependent on my arms and shoulders to shift weight. Heck, good enough for 19 miles!
Though, i wouldn’t give up my arms and shoulders for muni…or should i try it next time…hmmm:D

guess I’ll just keep going and see what happens.

I have the seat as high as I can go. I do have one leg that is slightly longer than the other? Also, I noticed I can turn right no problem, but not so good turning left. So, I’m sure it is some type of dominate issue. I think it goes away when I relax more so maybe with time it will right itself.

thanks for all the feedback.

I had the same issue when I switched from my Schwinn to my Nimbus. Darn uni kept pulling to the left (I’m right handed). Tried everything from adjusting seat height, messing with tire pressure, seat camber, flipping the saddle around, I even brought my tire into my local b*ke shop to see if it was out of alignment or scooped. Nothing helped. I was getting a bit frustrated, but after a month of riding it eventually went away by itself. My advice is to just give it time to work itself out.

I remember this happening to me VERY badly when I was first learning how to ride/free mount. I’d get up onto the unicycle, immediately turn 45 degrees to the right (before even moving forward), and by the time I started pedaling, I was heading right for my basement wall. I think the biggest problem with me was distributing too much weight to my feet (and specifically to the right one, which was my starting foot), and not enough on the seat…I would say “weight on the seat, not on the feet” over and over again until I went forward a few revolutions, then I’d try another mount and going flying into the wall again.

Seat height can definitely affect this. I second all the comments about raising the seat, but beyond that, it’s just more practice/muscle memory.


Try controlling / balancing from your core. I’ve had this problem on and off for six months after I started riding a 29er. It might take time to work this out.