Veering to the left

I’ve been riding a unicycle for a couple of weeks now (24"). The problem I’m having lately though, is that I seem to veer to the left when riding, and to keep my balance, I have to actively ‘struggle’ to the right to keep it straight.

At first I just thought I had bad style, but when riding another 24" uni in the weekend, I had no such problem. Yes, I’ve checked my seat is straight… any ideas?

is your seat high enough?


Is the tire a slick or knobby? Some tires just don’t track very well, so you might want to look into that. My 26er came with a cheap knobby and I had a really hard time riding straight. You may also want to check that the tire is seated correctly on the rim.

If you think it’s more you then your unicycle that’s causing it, try riding while holding the back of the saddle. This will help you learn to ride straight with out using your arms.

The tyre I have is a fairly slick one, and it does appear to be sitting on the rim ok.

I dont know if you could have done this but maybe. If the cranks dont aline correctly on the hub or the flange is bent it can do that to you. Both of those happend to me and it was a quite strong lean.

I had one where the wheel wasn’t straight in the frame that had a very similar effect.

could be your legs aren’t the same length
don’t laugh
could be that u’re left handed and as a result your left leg is slightly stronger
if your peft foot is pedalling slightly ‘stronger’ than the right, u will veer left
might be that u’re right handed and u’re overcompensating

check all the mechanicals and if that’s all fine, it might just be that your technique needs a bit of fine-tuning
the best way to achieve this is thru practise

i find that if i haven’t been on the uni for a while, i still tend to veer to the right for a while before i get it straightened out

I used to do that (one of my friends thought it was hilari - uh, interesting, that’s what he said, interesting, :o that I rode twisted like I was always turning), with more pratice it seems to have stopped.

I’m right handed but my chocolate foot is the left.

when i was learning i had that problem. low tire pressure made it worse. i evenetually figured out how to ride straight. i think it had something to do with different strength legs. or being slightl better coordinated in one leg and making that leg do more of the work. so, practice and check your tire pressure.

Since you spelled tire wrong I assume you’re from a part of the world where you also drive on the wrong side of the street. If you ride on the left the crown on the road would tend to make you veer to the left.

Who says we spell tyre wrong?:wink:

I sometimes have the same problem on a pavement near my house. It has a very steep camber, and the unicycle always wants to work down the slope.

It can help if you make sure that your tyre is well inflated, a softer tyre seems to make the problem worse for me. It could be worth just trying a bit more air.


You say you rode another unicycle and it tracked nice and straight. This suggests there is something different about yours. You could try riding yours backwards (it facing backwards, not you). You should be able to tell fairly quick if it’s going straight or not.

a - If it goes straight, the problem is probably not with the hardware
b - If it tracks to the left, the problem would appear to be with the rider, not the hardware
c - If it tracks to the right, there still may be something out of alignment in the unicycle.

But tracking to one side or the other is usually associated with being a new rider, so don’t get too paranoid about the hardware. As Harper mentioned, if you’re riding on the left side of the street all the time, remember the crown of the street will push you to the left. Try riding on the opposite side if that’s what you have been doing.

On the hardware side, check that the top of your wheel is centered between the forks. There are other ways things can be out of line, but after a crooked seat, this is usually the next most common one. Also if your tire has any sort of center ridge, this could cause the problem. Center ridges are better for bikes.

Lastly, keep practicing. It may indeed just be a technique thing.

My Pashley Muni came with a centre ridged tyre, and it was really hard to keep in a straight line. When I changed it to a normal Mountain Bike tyre, I got on much better.

Do you have a road that is quiet enough to unicycle down the middle? This will stop the road camber being a problem.


Re: Veering to the left

As you can see, this is a fairly common problem. Just keep riding. Your technique will get better and the problem will go away. I had this problem for several weeks when I first started riding.

chances are it’ll go away by itself. but you should check to see if your seat is straight, if it’s crooked then that can make you swerve.

Someone recently told me to turn your foot inward on the pedal towards the peak. So if the peak is on your left, turn your right foot in a little. It helps compensate i think. I tried it and I guess it worked, but I would like to hear if it works for anyone else.

I used to have the same problem. Part of the solution that I found to have the greatest impact was to have higher pressure on crowned surfaces. The other thing that helped a little was learning to ride 1 footed - but the air pressure mattered the most.

I agree to keep riding. I used to ride funny and the only way I could go straight was if I kefp my body twisted to the side all the time. I tried twisting the seat the other way and everything. But it went away the more I rode. I did briefly try a cheap knobby and the profile was so bad that it kept veering to the side. And that was after I had oversome the first problem of riding crooked. Just ride. It’ll go away.