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Bent Bill 12-10-13 11:59 AM

I realize this is a "BI" cycle forum
and I have done a couple of searches here
but I was wondering if anyone here rides or has attempted to learn to ride one
I have been thinking about it for a while just for fun
I figure it will be a good way to get rid of some excess skin on my elbows, nose,
palms of my hand, knees ect.ect. :D
Anybody have any tales to tell ?

fietsbob 12-10-13 12:07 PM

get protection to wear on those knees and elbows, and give it a go ..

I was impressed seeing [video] a couple guys on uni's in Bhutan

brake on that wheel and the observed trials techniques of bouncing up stone stairs-steps

came in handy for them.

StephenH 12-10-13 12:30 PM

I learned several years ago. One of the posters here, Unigeezer, I think his screenname is, is a regular unicycle rider of considerably more skill.

I started on a 20" Torker unicycle, purchased off Ebay.
I started riding down the hall. Turns out, keeping the wheel centered fore-and-aft is easy. The trick is getting up enough speed to balance side-to-side.
From the hall, I graduated to riding beside a chain link backstop, then just free riding.
Riding is easier than mounting. Starting next to a parked car helps, where you can steady yourself with the car.
Most of the time, when you "fall", the unicycle just shoots out from under you and you're on your feet. So skinned knees, etc., are not as common as you might think, although it can happen. Of course, if you're hopping down stairs or something, that's a different story.
Once you learn to ride in a straight line on level ground, doing anything different (turning curves, going uphill) involves some more learning, so you have to keep at it.
I'm 53 now and on the heavy side, my son, who was around 20 at the time, and lighter, came to it more naturally than I did, and could turn easier than I could. I'm not sure if that's age or weight or natural ability or some combination showing up.
I guess it took me maybe 4 weeks to go from start to riding it down the block? Just went out and worked at it a half-hour or so.
When I started, it took a lot of muscular control and was a good workout. When I got better, I was a lot more relaxed, but that also meant it wasn't much of a workout, about like walking.
There are some unicycle forums that were helpful, by the way, see if you can google them up. There's also a specialty unicycle dealer that can furnish a lot of odds and ends.

RPK79 12-10-13 12:34 PM

I saw a neighbor in the parking lot of my apt building last summer showing his friend his unicycle, but I've never seen them ride it. I have no desire to even attempt it.

hyegeek 12-10-13 12:52 PM

When I was in college, someone on campus had a unicycle and I did try it. I was surprised at how easy it was to get up and moving. I've thought about getting one sometime, but I have enough trouble finding enough time to ride my BIcycle.

Coluber42 12-10-13 02:18 PM

I learned to ride a unicycle as a kid. I got rid of it a some point in a move, but at such time as I have more space, I'd like to get another one. Maybe with a 24 or 26" wheel, for a little more speed. Actually, it's useful kind of like one of the small folding bikes in that you can ride it somewhere and then just toss it in a bag and get on the train or toss it in someone's trunk if you're meeting someone. It's not very fast (I had a 20" one before) but it's fun and still faster than walking somewhere.

A good place to go learn is a tennis court, because you have a long stretch of smooth pavement next to a tall fence that you an hang onto. It might be helpful to start in a hallway first if you have one because you can hang on with both hands at once, but failing that, a tennis court fence is a good place.

Darth Lefty 12-10-13 02:26 PM

This summer I accidentally went to the park for a picnic while they were using it as a triathlon area, lo and behold here came someone on a unicycle with a VERY large wheel, larger than 30". Can you imagine?

How It's Made had a feature on 2-speed planetary unicycle transmissions. That was cool.

fietsbob 12-10-13 03:47 PM

Yea there are 36 wheel Uni's . Florian Schlumpf * is a Uni guy he made an overdrive Uni Hub ,
in Switzerland.

so a 24" wheel acts like a 36er when rolling along ..

saw someone doing traffic speeds thru town on a 36" wheel a few years ago..

*Schlumpf makes planetary geared 2 speed cranksets for bikes ..

thehammerdog 12-10-13 06:52 PM

I came across a guy MT biking on one....crazy knobbies hand brake crazy on wicked single track it looks fun...

Homebrew01 12-10-13 07:47 PM

Unigeezer posted recently about riding 100 miles or so. Regular road forum I think.

KZBrian 12-11-13 05:29 PM

I received a unicycle as a gift when I was 11 or 12. I learned how to ride pretty well with a few weeks of diligent practice, and rode that for 6 years, when it wore out.

Fast forward 32 years, and my wife bought me a 20" like this. I did not have any trouble remembering how to ride, and in the year since I got it, have put over 100 miles on it. It's great for riding around the neighborhood. In cold weather I can keep my hands in my pockets. It gives very good core exercise. I had some minor nagging back pain last year that has since disappeared. I am limited to 30-45 minutes due to seat discomfort. That gets me 3 to 4 miles.

I can see that a 29 or 36" Uni could be useful for commuting, although I would not want an unplanned dismount at 15 mph. One does not simply step off that that speed.

Bent Bill 12-11-13 08:58 PM

thanks for the info
After a lot of reading and researching I may pick up a cheap one tomorrow at my lbs.
The owner of the local shop used to ride them when he was a kid
and will sell me a cheaper one for under $100.00 to try out
so I figure why not
stay tuned for the entertainment to come :D

cplager 12-12-13 06:57 AM

Unigeezer just posted today.

Unicycles are fun. They're more challenging to ride than a bicycle, but if you've been riding a bike for a long time, it should be doable.

Knee and elbow pads aren't a crazy idea (although I didn't wear them then, but I probably would now).

P7HVN 12-15-13 06:32 PM

Might want to check out
If you're a mountainbiker, you'll probably want to gravitate to some kind of offroad riding in the future, so don't get too cheap of a model. Or find a used one at first, that you could pass on to someone else. Torker makes some good ones under $200. I have one of their muni's(mountain-unicycle), the 24" DX. It's pretty stout. Smaller wheels are easier to learn on, but not as versatile later. They are great exercise(no coasting :)).
I learned to ride in middle school, continuing throughout high school and would go out for epic 2 & 3hr rides on Friday & Saturday nights. Mostly because I was too embarrassed at first, by the attention you get. Got away from it close to 20yrs, then got my Torker, after seeing a bunch of cool offroad muni videos. Tho' I haven't done any "real" mountainbiking with it, mostly just doing dirt roads & stuff, I like the sturdier design of the munis. Here in hicksville, cars slow down and take phone pics when I ride...

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