Am 74 year old man 6 ft tall. Have tried riding 24" holding onto 4’ chain link fence, but legs get tired in 10 min. Would 20" be easier to learn on or would it be too short?
That’s to be expected though. I’m still young and the first time I rode a unicycle, I was tired after half a block.
You just have to ease yourself into it and don’t push yourself too hard too fast. Just have fun in the learning process. Resting and watching unicycle videos is part of the training.
I think you should just stick with what you’re trying to ride now.
I agree. I found that in the beginning my leg muscles and upper body would be very tense while I wheeled myself 10-20 feet at a time. Eventually, I learned to relax once I got more comfortable with pedaling and balancing. I think it will take more time. But I’m 5’5’’ and used a 20’’. The 24’’ really isn’t that much bigger than 20". I think you’ll be fine. Just keep practicing, like anything else, and it will eventually feel more natural and less sore.
I am 66 and 6 feet tall, and started learning about 9 months ago on a 20", which is a good size as you are reassuringly close to the ground.
It does also depend on the crank length.
My Nimbus II 20" came with 114 cranks, which were too short for me as an absolute beginner. I swapped them for 125’s which where perfect and gave me more control.
After a few weeks I swapped back to the 114’s.
The key is not to give up.
I would also suggest that you wear a helmet, shin and knee guards, elbow guards and protective gloves such as long fingered Hillbillies.
Once we get past our late fifties, we are much more prone to breaks and serious injuries.
What crank length do you have?
Yep, what they ^^^ said. Eventually your feet will be ‘light’ on the pedals, where your legs aren’t fighting each other and your weight is fully on the seat. That took me a long time to achieve (like 6 months), but in the meantime I got one heck of a workout.
You need to get more weight onto the seat and often happens if the seat is too low. A low seat also puts a big bend in the knees especially if the cranks are long, further adding to the stress on the leg muscles.
I suspect the vast majority of beginners initially far underestimate how high the seat needs to be.
I am 5’ 10" (178cm) and started out on a little no brand 20 inch. In the first few days of learning I found myself repeatedly moving the seat higher until the seat post ran out of length. Then I progressed to a bigger 20 inch uni (a QU-AX Luxus). Still I kept moving higher until its seat post ran out of length too.
Then I bought a 24 inch Torker and kept going up until I ultimately settled at 111 cm (43.5 inches) from the ground. I compare my unis now and wonder how I even rode the first one at all.
Unfortunately the biomechanically optimum seat height is a disturbingly long way from the ground for a learner.
At 76 I think you should also get a bone density test. Falling is an inevitable part of learning on a uni and can come unexpectedly after becoming reasonably proficient as you take on more difficult surfaces.
Besides the backwards fall which we learn to reliably avoid very early, the most disturbing falls are to the side and one can land heavily on a hip.
For me they happened just after take off from a kerb start up the camber of the road. After not quite getting enough momentum on the first stroke I stalled at the top of the next. With the weight on that side the fall is to that side and the foot doesn’t have time to get to the ground.
After a couple of painful experiences, my protection equipment now includes a 20 cm (8") square, 25 mm (1") thickness of high density foam on each hip. I put them in calico coin bags inside the shorts and fold the top of the bag over the waistband. They stay put and I don’t even notice them.
You are my hero. I am a new unicyclist and started at age 50. However, I have to hand it to you starting at age 74. Be careful but I hope you will keep riding. The surest way to stay young is to stay as active as humanly possible.
I’m 5’5" and learned on a 24" that I purchase a month ago. I just got a 20" wheel and find it harder to ride. I wobble all over the place! My vote is to stay with the 24".
Thanks for the advice, guess I’ll stick with the 24" cheap Chinese bike I have for awhile. My sidewalk has a slight incline down which helps me maintain momentum. My weak legs have encouraged me to ride my bicycle and use my stair-stepper more. First day I tried, I took off from the back of my pickup, fell backward and hit my head on the hitch ball(glancing blow). Now I take off from rock block. I’m too hard headed to use safety gear.
Sorry, but neglecting safety equipment is just plain stupid especially for anyone over fifty let alone over seventy.
Knee pads, elbow pads, wrist braces, hip pads and a helmet. It costs very little and certainly isn’t rocket science.
Michael Schumacher is 45 years old, and was super fit.
One bang on the head, and it looks as though he will not recover.
when I think my practice may lead me to fall that way I wear a snowboard short: this kind of protection is a standard feature in those
riding with youngsters they nicknamed me “RoboCop” (they even put the nickname on my french forum alias!) But I don’t mind
(overprotection is also psychologically good for me: unicycling is the only sport I practiced where I did hurt myself -never happened to me with skiing, karate or rugby-)
“Snowboard” and “shorts”, same sentence???
I’m guessing you have always been the athletic type, eshippen, and do things like tennis, jogging, perhaps even senior triathlons, and are looking for something new to break up the usual, and give your friends something else to wonder about. Well, congratulations, and I wish you all the best. I hope I’m still riding when I get where you are (not that many years away). But please consider a few minimum protective items – gloves and knee pads at least. Because I guarantee you will fall and land on your hands and knees, and it’s really easier to prevent injuries than wait for weeks to heal. The advice you are receiving from many comes from hard experience. Believe me, we all fall.
Guess I’m just stubborn, I don’t wear motorcycle helmet or seat belts either. But in the month I have been practicing I can go down the 40 ft fence only grabbing the fence only a few times with one hand and sometimes two; so I’m making progress. I feel safe for now with the fence to grab.
Learning to unicycle requires riding even when you think you’re going to fall, so sooner or later, as you push yourself to ride further, you will fall. It’s probably best, if you’re really going to do this, to move away from that fence and go it alone, just with your pedals. I have fallen thousands of times, though probably not even ten where anything other than my feet touched the ground. You’ve got about 30 years on me, though. Still, FWIW, I never wear safety gear, either, but I ride conservatively and seldom on a uni larger than a 20." Falling backwards can be frightening, though it doesn’t happen too often after the first few days.
Please keep us posted on your progress, as I know a number of people your age who insist that they are too old to learn, and it would be nice to tell them otherwise.
eshippen keep going cant wait till you can ride unicycle ,post a video of your progress, well impressed!
wish I could get my dad to learn