Who needs a Handle Bar

I’m a year older than the Unigeezer and I am thrilled to get my first 36er, the Nightrider Pro. I read the threads on using the shadow handle. I tried all the positions and settled on the full extention angle up. It felt pretty comfortable like that, especially on longer (5-10 mile rides). Then I took it off and realized I rode much better, immediately. My style is to use my arms as counterweights, swinging to one side or the other on turns and manuvers. I can’t do it if I’m holding on to a frick’en handle bar. What am I missing? What does a handle bar do for you?

I’m still new at all this but I won’t go back to a 36er w/o a handlebar for longer rides. I use it to tilt the frame a bit forwards to have a balance between my arm/legs/butt. You can also “steer” in a manor of speaking, or at least help correct the position. I can only grab with one hand right now, the other one works as my counter weights but soon I shouldn’t need my flailing as much.
So to sum up, it lets you get more comfortable during a long haul.

I’ve used a handle on my 29-er. I found that after several weeks I became very reliant on it.

I also found it made the uni heavier and unwieldy when carried, plus, I didn’t really like the way it looked, waving around in front all the time.

So I stopped using it and prefer to ride without now.

I only use my arms as counterweights when it’s necessary, and, even try to avoid using the seat handle unles it’s on rough/ultra steep ground.

I think riding without a handle is just a different style of unicycling, and I prefer it.

I keep putting mine on… then realising I dont like it and take it back off again :slight_smile:

So you don’t like brakes or handlebars.

Assuming this isn’t just troll bait I would say that if you don’t need a handlebar becasue you wan to swing your arms about then you need more practice at riding as a good rider will be making lots of automatic micro adjustments to their balance with their body, hips etc so don’t need big wild arm motions.

Brakes and handlebars aren’t necessary but then neither is a seat or a frame, don’t tell me you use a seat and a frame do you!!! :stuck_out_tongue:

It’s true that swinging arms around on basic riding is a sign of a relative beginner, and, probably isn’t the best of reasons to not want a handle :slight_smile:

(Though using the arm to counterbalance is always useful on tough terrain, for riders of any level).

However, there are plenty of riders who are expert riders, quite capeable of riding with relaxed arms on normal terrain, who still choose not to install a handle.

Handles, like everything else, have pros and cons, personally, for me, the cons outweigh the pros.

Responding to the question about “big wide arm motions” really that only happens when I am about to loose it and I try one last thing before a UPD. I do like to use my arms in a more rhythmic motion together with my legs, hips and upper body for most balance and manuever adjustments. I guess it’s a style thing. After 40+ years on a UNI it’s hard for an old dog to learn new tricks. I’ll have to work more with the shadow bar and see if I can figure out how to use it to help steer, right now it just feels ackward. I can appreciate it’s use on really long rides where you just go straight ahead and use it to take weight off seat.

Just as with everything else unicycle-related, the handle takes time to learn and appreciate. My first few rides with a handle felt awkward… but now I can’t imagine riding without one.

who needs a unicycle?

It took me a little bit to ride with my handle bars too… Like others, I too can’t imagine riding my 36-er without them. I also have a Bryce-made handle on my Muni…I definitely can’t imagine riding muni without it. :smiley:

I just added shadow bars to my 29. I could not believe how much harder it was to ride, but after a couple of miles, it started to become more comfortable. I think it will allow me to keep my butt more on the seat, resulting in less stress in the crotch area. To make a sharp corner, I have to let go of the bars. So far I have ridden less than 10 miles with the bars, so it’s obviously way too early to reach any conclusions.

I have experimented rather extensively with various handlebar options (including KH) and decided I just don’t fricking like them. I like the tight connection the seat-handle offers me with the up-down torque of my legs, and find the lever arm created by a handle throws that all off. I think some folks like the relief in the groin region offered by a handle on long rides, but thats never been a big problem for me (if I start doing centuries again maybe I’ll think again). I also HATE the interference a handle throws up when bailing off a hard muni ride. I do appreciate a good brake attachment, but there are options for doing that without a handle.

Final conclusion - some people like’m, some people don’t.

I don’t.




I need a handle bar.


The handlebar has two main functions. First it takes pressure of your but. When doing long rides on smooth terrain this is very important. Every pound that you lean into the handlebar is a pound less pressure on your behind.
Second it allows you much more leverage for pedaling if you can pull up on a handlebar with both arms.

Now I am not possitive but I also think that the handlemar eliminates some of the snakelike motion of the unicycle making your ride much straiter.

Handlebars are not for beginners but once they are mastered they come in very handy.

A handlebar is also very useful for commuting. I hang lights and a bell on mine. I’m still getting used to putting weight on it. I usually go through a set of bar ends and grips every 6 months. A few hard upd’s will destroy the grips. I also attach the brake lever to the handlebar.

I was surprised to realize, when my handlebar got broken on a geared 36" ride, how important it is for me to cruise fast. The handlebar gives me better leverage over the wheel; something that’s not as noticeable on an ungeared uni, let alone a smaller wheel. But in the high gear, sudden changes in speed are much easier to do with the leverage provided by the handle. It makes me feel more secure while riding fast. In fact, I can’t ride as fast without it.

And then there’s the original reason for having it–to save my crotch on long rides! But this is only true if you’re able to put some weight on it. Lots of people ride with their handlebars too high/close, so you can’t really lean on them.