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Thread: Unicycle?

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    Ride On!! PanPanX's Avatar
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    Unicycle?

    Does anyone here ride a unicycle? I bought one a few years ago and have been practicing on and off for the last few years and the best i can do is go about 3 yards. Every time, I guess its how the seat is designed, i always end up sitting on my balls, or when i fall the seat bounces up and hits me there. I swear I cant have kids anymore because of this thing. I'm determined to ride it, but its soooo hard. Any of you guys ride have some advice? maybe a new saddle recommendation? Also, for the male riders out there, do you have a problem of sitting on your babies every time you get one?

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    This won't be any help to you, but I interviewed a guy a couple of years ago who was riding one across the country (I'm a newspaper columnist). He'd started in San Franciso and made it to Reno (@220 miles) in eight days, I think it was. He hadn't done any training at all, other than just riding around the city, but was hoping for at least 50 miles/day, so he was four days behind schedule a week into the trip. And there's noplace on a uni to carry anything--he had a bottle cage on the seat tube, but everything else was in a backpack. I spent about half an hour trying to ride the thing while he ate lunch, but it was way over my head.
    Don't know if he made it or not. He was supposed to call me along the way, but I never heard from him again, so I'm guessing not.

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    Keep all your weight on the seat and refuse the inclination to stand up or put weight on the pedals as if you were on a DF bike.

    The first step is just to learn to feel the balance point. Roll back the wheel to a piece of wood or a brick with your up pedal about horizontal (right or left, your choice). Step up and over, easing your weight onto the seat (not plopping down on it) and try to balance on the seat without moving. When you rotate back step down and then step up again. When you rotate over get off and go around and do it again. Adjust the seat height as if you were on a DF.

    Once you can pause a second on the block launch, then circle the pedals a little. Pretty soon you'll be jumping rope and bunny hopping up and down stairs.

    Should be no pinching of the huevos, just keep your weight and anatomy haevily anchored in the seat. Try to slouch a little so your legs won't flex and try to lift your weight.

    Once your weight is in the seat, pedaling is just moving in circles with your feet, combined with a slight lean forward or backward, depending on which way you want to go.
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    CRIKEY!!!!!!! Cyclaholic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PanPanX View Post
    Does anyone here ride a unicycle? I bought one a few years ago and have been practicing on and off for the last few years and the best i can do is go about 3 yards. Every time, I guess its how the seat is designed, i always end up sitting on my balls, or when i fall the seat bounces up and hits me there. I swear I cant have kids anymore because of this thing. I'm determined to ride it, but its soooo hard. Any of you guys ride have some advice? maybe a new saddle recommendation? Also, for the male riders out there, do you have a problem of sitting on your babies every time you get one?
    Have you tried a recumbent unicycle?


    There are 10 types of people in the world - the ones that can count in base 2, the ones that can't count in base 2, and the ones that didn't expect this to be in base 3.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclaholic View Post
    Have you tried a recumbent unicycle?




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    Quote Originally Posted by Wilbur Bud View Post
    Keep all your weight on the seat and refuse the inclination to stand up or put weight on the pedals as if you were on a DF bike.

    The first step is just to learn to feel the balance point. Roll back the wheel to a piece of wood or a brick with your up pedal about horizontal (right or left, your choice). Step up and over, easing your weight onto the seat (not plopping down on it) and try to balance on the seat without moving. When you rotate back step down and then step up again. When you rotate over get off and go around and do it again. Adjust the seat height as if you were on a DF.

    Once you can pause a second on the block launch, then circle the pedals a little. Pretty soon you'll be jumping rope and bunny hopping up and down stairs.

    Should be no pinching of the huevos, just keep your weight and anatomy haevily anchored in the seat. Try to slouch a little so your legs won't flex and try to lift your weight.

    Once your weight is in the seat, pedaling is just moving in circles with your feet, combined with a slight lean forward or backward, depending on which way you want to go.


    Yep, good stuff here. I'll stress that the first thing to learn is to SIT on the seat. As mentioned, if you can't, you need a new saddle. That was the first upgrade I made, and it made all the difference.

    edit: Here's the seat I use and enjoy: http://www.unicycle.com/shopping/shopexd.asp?id=986

    In concept, Uni is kinda like walking. In order to go forward, you lean forward, sortof losing your balance in a forward direction, and then using your feet to "catch up". If you didn't kinda lean forward, your feet would walk out from under you and you'd fall over backwards(exaggerated example, but the concept is the same). Same with a Uni, the most common beginning mistake is to pedal without leaning in the direction you want to go. If you sit up straight and pedal, the wheel's gonna roll right out from under you. You have to lean your body forward, and then pedal to "catch" yourself.

    You'll find(at least I did) that staying in one place(idling) is MUCH harder than going forward(or even backward). Don't be discouraged if you can't do that right away. Learn to mount and ride forward first. Then learn to mount, ride forward, stop, ride forward again. If you get that much down, you'll have a feel for it and will be able to feel your way thru the rest.

    Also, I found that learning on grass was easier for me. YMMV here. It's harder to pedal, but everything is slightly slower, and my confidence was MUCH better on grass. I wasn't afraid of falling backwards and cracking my head on the concrete, so i bailed later. (You are wearing your helmet, right? ) Speaking of which, my mtb shinguards also instilled extra confidence, and greatly helped my shins...I was beating the hell out of them learning.

    Uni is FUN. Once I get my bikes where I want them to be, I'm planning on getting a Muni(prolly a KH 24 or 26) and hitting the trails. W00t!
    Last edited by Barneco; 08-17-07 at 08:16 AM. Reason: posting link to saddle
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    There was a guy on a uni at the last ride i did... it was ~25 miles, and he was keeping a 13ish pace. He had also done the Houston to Austin MS150 before... but mentioned not doing it again
    It was a 36in wheel, and the uni was over 40lbs... half the bike for twice the weight.

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    unibent

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclaholic View Post
    Have you tried a recumbent unicycle?


    Not me, but I guess others have tried it . . .

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  9. #9
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bicycle View Post
    photos?
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    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


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    Yabba-Dabba-Doo! AlmostTrick's Avatar
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    I have a 24" unicycle that I learned to ride by reading Jack Wiley's "The Unicycle Book". The first lesson is how to dismount. By mastering this first you can minimize falls. Put a block of wood (or the curb) behind the tire so it can't roll back. Place the pedals at 3:00 and 9:00. Standing behind the wheel, place one foot on the leading pedal. With the other foot still on the ground place the seat into position. Now lift the foot off the ground and place it on the other pedal momentarily as you roll over the wheel and dismount in front. Grab the seat from behind as you dismount so the cycle doesn't crash. Do this over and over before you even try to balance on top or pedal. After mastering the dismount then try to balance on top before dismounting. Once you can momentarily balance on top and dismount forward or back, then try to add crank revolutions as you can. Lean forward to ride forward.

    By using Jacks method it only took me about 5 nights of 15-30 minutes practice to get it and be able to ride around the block. Plus, in all the time I've been riding I've only fallen twice... every other time I lost balance I made a clean dismount and caught the cycle.
    Last edited by AlmostTrick; 08-17-07 at 09:29 PM.
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    In two of the most recent towns I've lived in, there is one family(in both towns) that
    I would frequently see out unicycling(is that a word?) anyway I found it amazing
    I couldn't do it to save my life, but they had like 5,8,and 10 yr old in the one family..
    they were awesome.

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    Ride On!! PanPanX's Avatar
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    Do you guys wear padded shorts or anything? Cause it seriously hurts my jewels really bad each time...

    this is the one i have:


    its a 24"... is it because of how im sitting that it hurts my balls.. or the seat or what?

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    Silk boxers worked for me when I rode my uni.

    I learned by holding onto a chainlink fence in a walkway, just trial and error. Only thing I really learned was to have the seat high and keep your back straight.

    "the bus came by and I got on, that's when it all began...there was Cowboy Neal at the wheel of a bus to never-ever land."


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    Ride On!! PanPanX's Avatar
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    ahh man i finally learned how to SIT on my seat!!!! Learning how to do it on the grass made it much much easier too!!! I can go a couple of more rotations on the grass then on the cement!
    Do you guys have any tips on how to free mount? and like.. what order I should be learning how to do things on?
    For example:
    1) learn how to sit on the seat
    2) learn to go forward for x distance
    3) learn to make right turns?
    4) learn to make left turns? etc etc any good order i should learn in?

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    I've got a couple of unicycles. I'm kinda thinking about a 3rd someday that's actually nice. Learned to ride 'em in 4th grade (I'm 25 now) and it's really not hard if you REALLY want to ride one. I got drunk one night and rode my 6 footer and totally ate it in the middle of the street, haven't ridden since then.

    I taught myself at 9 years old, I think you can do it at whatever age you're at. Greatest part about unicycles is that they're cheap. And they're all over craigslist.

    I learned to ride them by riding against a wall. Ride 2 feet... lean against the wall.... ride another 2 feet... lean against the wall.... and then one day, you'll ride 100 feet without needing a wall. And so on. Best of luck.
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    A family of 5 all rode their uni's in our local sprint tri, 2 weeks ago. The bike race portion was 13 miles with many hills. All 5 made the complete race...thier bike times were about 1.25-1.5 hours. I cruised by the first one trying to get up a steep hill and thought ...what the heck....?

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    Biscuit Boy Cosmoline's Avatar
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    Is it similar to walking on stilts or a pogo stick?

    If I go for it, I'll do it in the middle of winter when there's a ton of snow around to absorb my fall.
    ''On a bicycle you're not insulated. You're in contact with the landscape and all manner of people you'd never meet if you were in a car. A fat man on a bicycle is nobody's enemy.''

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    Yabba-Dabba-Doo! AlmostTrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmoline View Post
    Is it similar to walking on stilts or a pogo stick?

    If I go for it, I'll do it in the middle of winter when there's a ton of snow around to absorb my fall.
    It's similar in so much as you have to lean into the direction you want to go. Practice the dismount first (see my post above) and you won't have to fall so much.

    Holding on to things (or using polls) didn't work for me, but others say it helped them learn. Everyone is a little different.
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