Why do I keep getting hit into the Achilles tendon?

One more noob question. I have approx. 150 hours saddle time, (normally) quite comfortable riding backwards figures 8, idling and such stuff. However, occasionally I do fall when riding backwards. In the vast majority of time I land on my feet gracefully with the seat handle in hands.

If I fail to grab the handle, sometimes I hit the seat hard with my Achilles tendon (see pic attached), and it happens way too often to simply ignore: it is extremely painful and I am afraid to tear the tendon. :angry:

Am I the only one to commit this error? If not, I need help in identification of the causes. Probably it happens more often when I do not let go and fight against the fall to the end…


I remember one poster on this site that actually did rupture their Achilles with the impact from the saddle.

I have been hit there a few times but I wear higher shoes for the protection.

I’ve been wanting to try some G-Form ankle protectors. In addition to having pads that cover the ankle bones, there is a third pad that can be worn covering the achilles.

I’ve no input regarding what’s happening with your fall, other than to say that the worst mishaps are always when I fight against the fall to the very end. Last time it happened, I get twisted up and fell on my side, over my crossed fingers. Couldn’t play music on my regular instruments for about two weeks.

I do a different style of riding on a range of different wheels, but I’ve not encountered that problem often. The best way to avoid injury is not to fall, but if you must fall, learn to see it coming and bail out early. I usually find that I can use the pedals as a platform and leap clear of the uni rather than going down with it. If you leave it too late, that option isn’t available.

Here is what I wear.

As others have posted, high top boots/shoes are the answer

VANS work fine me, many shoe threads on here, worth doing a search

Hard to analyze your achilles impacts from the one photo. Going backwards? My first guess would be to slow down, but don’t know if you were going fast.

When dismounting and going backward, usually you have to take a large step to the rear (or two) to catch yourself. If the seat has fallen back there, you have a good chance of coming into contact with it, or even tripping over it.

Without going out and trying some fast backward dismounts, my advice would be to try to control the seat during the dismount. If it gets away from you, try to take a wide step with the foot on that side, to try to avoid it.

Yes, getting whacked on the achilles by a unicycle seat is very unpleasant! :astonished:

Yes, the painful achilles-strike-by-saddle-handle happened to me twice, and after the first one I could barely walk for the next few days.
I recommend small volleyball knee pads around the ankles, turned backwards.

that’s me: this was a terrible experience (since the MD didn’t realise I had a Achille’s tendon rupture and I kept walking sometime up to the point I finished in the emergency room of the hospital).