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270 hrs so far

So, a while ago I started practicing backward riding. At the same time, I also learned to transition from forward to backward, with either foot in front.
A little later, I learned to static-mount directly to backward riding. This one surprised me as it took about 10 minutes to get it. I was expecting at least a few days.

But then there’s the backward-to-forward transition. This one has been miserable, with one side impossibly hard.
For the longest time, I had a success rate of 3-4% (5% on a very good day), on the easy side. The other one was rarely above 1%. Maddening.

After a few weeks of applying good old caveman logic (I see a plateau, I punch and punch and punch and…) I finally broke through :smiley:
10-15%, then the next day 20-25%, then today 30+%! Huzzah!!

Little follow up about the harder seat (Impact Athmos): I now like it better. Weird, eh?
I even feel I’m a little less sore than I was with the previous, much softer one.

Glad to hear you’re improving at the transition. As I recall, this was never an issue with my own riding. Maybe because I typically rode backwards until I UPD’d, not even bothering to try to turn around. Also, I recall learning backwards riding around the same time as idling. I think the transition from backwards to forward was built into the idle. So, I never had to learn it using your method, Garp. You will probably be approaching 100% very shortly!

Thank you, Emiliano :slight_smile:

Today’s success was 40+% on the hard side.
Amazing to go from less than 2% to more than 40% in 5 days!

That transition thing might sound puny to most of you seasonned riders but for me it’s a big thing!

No, on the contrary, once you are a seasoned rider, you will probably never experience such quick progress again!

Now that you mention it, though, I can only transition from backward to forward riding with my left leg -the leg I first learned to idle with. The times I have tried this transition with my right leg have almost always ended in failure. You are inspiring me to go back and fix the gap in my skills.

‘Quick progress’? Are you kidding me?
It took me almost 6 weeks before I saw any progress!

And for people like me, I haven’t made uni progress in years! I’m jut happy to get on and ride a few miles! (My sense of progress comes with learning to juggle clubs with a double spin while riding the uni, something I’ve been trying to get better at for 4 years.


Backchannel if you want to go for a ride in BK!

:astonished: :wink:

300 hours, 4 months to the day…

… and really not much to show for it.

Static mount, forward and backward riding and transitions between them.
Plus a bit of bunny hopping.

I knew I was a slow learner. Just not that slow :frowning:

I know how you feel. I watched the video someone posted from the recent Italian unicycle event, and that made me feel pretty inadequate.

My unicycle sessions are almost always of two different types. The first type is skills practice on my 19". The second type is going for a muni/xc ride. Each type of riding is an antidote to burnout on the other type. If I have been practicing too much on the 19", it feels really good to go on a muni ride. I tend to exert myself on muni rides due to all the hills in my neighborhood, and skills practice on the 19" is a nice break from that. Most of my improvements on the larger wheel resulted from practicing on the smaller wheel.

My consumerist solution to your problems is: Buy a muni! Riding muni is less about judging yourself and more about being in the zone. Your progress on muni is determined by how how adapt to external factors (the trail/hill/obstacle) rather than by the internal voice in your head telling you “I should learn this/that”.

I agree on the Muni :slight_smile:

I enjoy cross country riding and enjoy it so much I have not even spend 1 hour on idling or even bothered learning to ride backwards.
And I’m close to riding two years now.

Really, considering you’re only 4 months into it, I think you’re doing a great job.
Just take care not to frustrate yourself.

Sometimes you just gotta ride :slight_smile:

The thing is, I have zero interest in MUni. At least for now.
What interests me in unicycling is the trials/flatland stuff.

Oh but it’s not “I should”, it’s “I want”!

Thank you :slight_smile: It’s nice of you to say.
It’s more the 300 hours that’s bothering me.

Erm… I’m probably 4 months too late for that.

What I mean to say is that I know in which direction I want to go.
How far in that direction I’ll be able to go is something else. We’ll see.
It’s just going to take ages to get there.

Thankfully, being a slow learner since forever, I’ve compensated by developing a good dose of obstination.

On a more positive note, idling is progressing nicely and wheel walking feels a little less scary.

I dont think you should worry too much about how long it takes to learn certain tricks. As long as ur enjoying yourself along the way. I dont have any aim to learn many tricks. Just love to ride where and whenever. I have the rest of my life to improve where needed.

Quick question:

I just broke a spoke, for no apparent reason.
I then checked the others (which I had never done since I bought the uni) and it’s a bit of a joke. About a third of the nipples were completely loose (by several turns) and the rest very eneven, with barely any tension.

Can I retrue the wheel with one less spoke (while waiting for new spokes to arrive) or is it just going to mess up the rim?
This is for normal beginner activities, so no big drops or other demanding strains.

Bonus Q: How do I measure a spoke (from where to where, to make sure I order the right size)?

After I broke my first spoke, I had it replaced. Not long after, another spoke broke. After a third spoke broke, I had the wheel re-built. That was on my muni. Same chain of events happened on my trials uni. The cause was threefold, I think: 1. I was not educated about spoke adjustment (it still scares me). 2. I have been told the quality of spokes on some out-of-the-box unicycles are less than premium. 3. I was starting to use techniques putting a lot of tension on the spokes, such as hopping and steep hill climbing.

That chain of events is exactly what I had in mind.

Me too, but since the wheel was seriously twisted with the tire rubbing hard on the frame, I figured I didn’t have much to lose. Good time to actually try.
I bared the rim, used the frame as a stand and 20 minutes later the wheel was fine both radially and laterally.

I’ll see what happens after next practice.

Probably next practice they all come loose at the same time. :smiley:

So far the only probs I had were that one of the bolts that keep the frame connected to the hub had snapped off and from another uni a flange of the hub had broken off. I have no idea how that had happened. I’m too chicken to do any serious muni-ing and ride mostly just relaxed XC;

Yeah and also since you can go bigger distances with a municycle, riding on uneven sandy roads you also get a good feel of what the balance area is. When I ride in my forest I can sometimes semi hop over some protruding roots and lately I’ve been focusing more on riding through very soft sand. It is quite a challenge and often I find out that the uni is more capable of traversing it than I imagine in my mind.
Also sandy roads with many holes can be quite tricky. As soon as the uni starts bouncing I tumble off.

All new unicycles need their spokes tightened after a few weeks or months. There is a 3x3 method for tightening them described here that is safe and effective for a wheel that is not out of true.

I once had a spoke breaking every couple of weeks. It was on a wheel that I had just rebuilt, and I eventually figured out that what had caused the problem was that I had re-used the original spokes without paying attention to which ones had been trailing spokes and which ones had been leading spokes in their previous lives. I kept replacing individual spokes, which my local bike shop did not always cut to exactly the right length, and more spokes kept breaking, so finally I ordered a set of 40 identical spokes from Ebay and rebuilt my wheel again. That was several years ago, and not a single spoke has broken since then. I have barely even had to true it or re-tighten it. Some people would say that once spokes start breaking, it’s better to just throw them all out and rebuild, and that is what I ended up doing, but Garp probably doesn’t need to resort to such a drastic measure. Replacing a spoke, truing his wheel, bringing it up to tension, and truing it one last time should be enough.

Spoke length is measured from the “elbow” of the spoke to the end. There are also various online spoke length calculators. I think UDC even has its own. I definitely would not true my wheel until it’s got all of its spokes, though.

That sucks. Yes, it’s a good idea to check and retighten spokes on a new wheel after a few rides. But there are also thousands of people that don’t do that, and don’t get issues, so I’d say it’s a combination of you being unlucky, and whoever build that wheel making a mistake.

Yes. One less spoke is generally fine, as long as the rest of them are reasonably tight. As song said, I wouldn’t spend much time truing it with one spoke missing, just get them reasonably even and true-ish, and do a proper job once I have all spokes.

Inside of the bend, to end of spoke. If in doubt (or between two sizes) , 1mm less tends to be better than 1mm longer.

On my 19" unicycles, which after a few years always seem to have bent rims (ride enough street or trials, and that’ll just happen, unless you check and tighten spokes after every single jump), I try to find a compromise between a wheel that’s running true, and even spoke tension. If you pull the wheel straight with a bent rim, your spoke tension won’t be even, and spokes will break/losen faster. If your wheel is too wobbly, it gets annoying too. Never really easy to find a decent middleground.

Thanks for all the tips, people :slight_smile:

I did go for some middleground between truing and getting even (enough) tension throughout. It’s been 4 or 5 days now, 4 hrs a day and the wheel has stayed true, though I’ll have another pass tomorrow since some spokes feel a bit ‘soft’.

When the spoke broke, the wheel went immediately sideways, rubbing hard against the frame. It’s as if that one spoke was holding the wheel all by itself. No wonder it broke!

Anyway, I haven’t ordered the new spokes already since the shipping price from UDC (either UK or Germany) is a bit ridiculous.

edit: forgot to say thanks for how to measure the spoke.