Using the Seat Handle

I am due to start learning to ride this week when my first uni arrives.
What I want to know is, under what circumstances is the seat handle used?

I have watch several videos where both hands are off the handle, and some with one hand on.

Generally:

  • Pull up on the seat handle to gain extra leverage for steep hill climbing
  • For muni I'll typically have a hand on the seat handle at all times just to make sure the unicycle stays under me as I go over rock, roots, etc.
  • Hopping. Pulling up on the seat helps you lift the uni up over/onto obstacles. I find that pulling up on the seat also helps me get better contact with the pedals.
  • Pushing down on the seat can take some of the pressure off your rear end, distribute your weight a bit.

There are probably other reasons. Those are the first that come to mind.

If it is your first uni then i would possibly say that don’t try to hold on to the seat until you can at least ride :slight_smile:

For the first bit until you can ride reasonably smoothly just let the arms swim. Then slowly try holding on to the seat handle a bit more each time until you are comfortable.

Letting arms “swing” means flail. When you are learning, your arms flail around for balance. Make sure to take video of yourself from the early learning stage to smooth riding. You will have fun looking at your progress. Ignore the seat handle for now. Let the unicycle fall when you “fall.” Keep at it. So many people give up after a week.

When learning to ride, the circumstance should be picking the unicycle up off the ground. Don’t hold the seat when learning to ride. If you are sitting properly, with your weight on the seat and not on the pedals, you’ll stay on it just fine.

The usefulness of the handle comes much later, after you get comfortable with riding and turning, when it’s time to start going faster and getting creative.

You need to be a pretty confident rider before you can spare a hand to hold the seat handle. It is a fairly “advanced” skill. If you try too soon, it will just make you wobble more and fall off more often.

However, once you can d it comfortable, it will give you many advantages. I pull up on my handle on steep descents and short very steep climbs. I rely on the handle for control when I stand up on the pedals. I use fingertip feedback through the handle on uneven surfaces to tel me what the uni is doing. I use the heel of my hand to support part of my weight when I start to feel discomfort from the seat.