I recently got my new 29er Uni, and for the first few days or so I had no issues riding it - Loved riding it fast and easily over semi-rough paths.
This past week, however, I’ve gotten into a very strange habit. I can’t seem to ride at all without twisting my entire body to the right… I found a few threads about this here on the forums, but most people on there seemed to do it when they first started riding a new Uni size, and eventually got over it. I seem to be going in the opposite direction - Every day I go out and ride, I get worse, to the point that today I couldn’t even stay on my Uni because I kept swerving sideways which made me lose control.
Scariest of all is how it feels like I’m constantly leaning side-ways. It’s like I’m sat on one edge of my seat, and this is causing the wheel to lean to one side, which is then causing me to twist about…
I’ve tried a few things to overcome this - Lowering/raising seat, checking seat position, forcing myself to grab the front of the seat with my right arm (Which is arm that usually ends up behind me - I figured this might make me twist back to being straight…), standing up and pushing the Uni in the right direction before sitting down (To try and adjust the way I’m sat)
Is this something I’m going to have to just push through and hope I get over it? Did anyone else experience this and find a way to get over it?
I’m a newbie on unicycles, so I didn’t experience what you describe when changing wheel size, but I did experience exactly what you describe for a while right after I started feeling comfortable riding longer distances (> 1/2 mile). I found myself constantly leading with my right shoulder and my seat never felt like it was centered under me, no matter how much I wiggled around or how I mounted the uni. Just like you describe, it even started to shorten up how long I could ride before stopping (and getting frustrated).
The advice I got was “just ride more - it’ll sort itself out”. Terribly unsatisfying advice, but right on the mark. I have no idea what caused it nor what I did to fix it, but I rarely have problem any more. One thing that did coincide with it going away was starting to do some skills training on the uni: learning to hop, playing with standing off the saddle while riding, and that sort of thing. Maybe I just learned to be more comfortable with being out of center on the uni, and that allowed me to focus on different things?
Seems like road camber i.e. the sideways slant on the road. If your riding on a narrow tyre you’ll feel it more. I remember my first experience with road camber, I thought my frame must be off centre etc.
You could check by riding on a level surface and see if it feels different. If it turns out that your problem is road camber you might reduce twisting your body by extending and raising your trailing arm and using it as a type of counter balance. That’s what I do and it reduces the strain on my back.
Unfortunately I thought the same thing at first, and while I didn’t do it on level roads at first, the problem seems to have progressed onto just about 99% of all my riding And like I said, my first few rides with this Uni weren’t problematic. It just seems like I’ve somehow developed this habit and now can’t shake it off (And am continuing to develop it, apparently!)
My tyre isn’t too narrow, its a Kenda Karma 2.2 (The tyre that came with the Qu-Ax Crossfire Uni) Though it’s a slightly rounded tyre (Which is making me consider the above advice of letting it go a bit squashier).
Check if your posture has changed. Are you dropping your head as you cycle etc. I ride my 29er with 22psi with a big apple tyre. If your tyre pressure is too low your unicycle will veer all over the place. 40psi is very high and will cause your wheel to be twitchy as you ride. You could try 22psi. it should make your unicycle feel more stable.
On a new uni you will have good and bad days as you get used to it, which may be what’s happening. If so, just keep cycling and it should get better over time.
I’ve dropped the PSI to 30, like I said I don’t want to go too low as I do ride tarmac/other smooth surfaces sometimes
The only change in posture I’ve noticed is the weird body-twist Though in doing this it’s caused me to sort of sit in a crouching position. Maybe tomorrow I’ll try forcing myself to sit up straight just like when I first started riding!
Thanks for the help everyone. I’ll keep the post updated!
It’s definitely not inherently the tyre pressure - I ride with 60psi (or sometimes even more) on my road uni without having any big problems - I do get a little twisted if the camber is bad, but not normally. That’s a 2" slick tyre though and you’re wider knobbly is likely to work better at a lower pressure - I have only 20psi in my 2.25" 29er muni tyre!
Given you still have the 24" uni, have you tried riding that recently, and if so do you have the same problem on that? If not then it might be worth riding that a little more - I guess having a new uni you just want to ride that, but you might need to go backwards to go forwards. Also definitely worth working on transferring your skills to a bigger wheel - it’s kind of scary, but not actually particularly difficult I’ve found (I remember at first on a 29er hopping seemed really hard, even coming from riding a 26er where it was straightforward, but that feeling very soon went away as I got used to the bigger wheel).
oops! Given you never had the problem on the 24" before you got the 29er, the same advice applies - try going back to riding the 24 for a bit. Also some general messing about (try something you’ve not done before - hop twists or hopping down a kerb maybe) might help take your mind off it and relax a bit more.
Just a quick update - Headed out (In the rain!) For my daily 7 miles today, but before I did, I had some fun on the front. Grabbed my 24" and did some idle’s/backwards-ridings down my street, generally had some fun Grabbed my 29er and tried (Still can’t do it too well, but I tried) the same things, didn’t try hopping though. But when I finally set off for my actual ride, I didn’t twist as much! :D:D:D It’s still there a bit but if I catch myself doing it I usually quickly spin back into a more natural, comfortable, and above all stable position.
So the above advice does have a good point - It’s all about learning to relax and get comfortable, and I guess in some way learn to have fun (which in turn helps the relaxing/comfort).