New to Unicycling ....

open topic, for anything cycling related.

Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby isabella24 » Mon Jan 28, 2013 6:42 pm

Hi ColinOldnCranky thanks for the encouragement and sharing your tips. The first revolution I'm pretty much under control although the second one is a bit more wild! I'm pretty sure I'm not exceptional - aiming for average here! The 20" size seems ok for me - I am short, 158cm, so I have the seat post down a fair way so it's a similar height to my road bike saddle. I actaually feel pretty comfy in the saddle. Looks like ill have to con mr Isabella into lending his shoulder to me and trying out the wall method you explained. At the moment im in the garage (which luckily for me is carpet-tiled!) and im using the pool table in the middle of it as a support. Im riding round and round the pool table ( its a big one) with one hand ready to grab it if i need to. So i mount the uni with one hand in the pool table and then try and ride alongside it for as long as i can without putting my hand down again. Ill keep going and try the shoulder method as well. Thanks again!
User avatar
isabella24
 
Posts: 301
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2012 4:54 pm
Location: Sydney

by BNA » Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:08 pm

BNA
 

Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby norton75 » Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:08 pm

Great work isabella24. Stick to it, as Colin's (The Uni coaching guru) tips are unicycling gold. Very pleased to see another uni rider out there as I hoped. I think there is one piece of advice I have to offer. DON'T give up. Well done thus far.
norton75
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2011 10:46 am

Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:41 am

You are going to be OK isabella24.

While on the wall (or on the shoulder) do a lot of half-a-rotation pedalling. Pedal to 6 o'clock, pause an instant, another half turn, pause and instant. I don't mean you stop, you just don't do a continuous rotation. You could imagine it as a sort of stepping action similar to what you would do on an exercise stepper if that helps you see what I am getting at.

If you intersperse your normal continuous pedalling with this it will help keep you OVER the wheel rather than you always being a bit far out in front and having to work furiously to get the wheel under you (a losing battle when you are starting). It then primes you to ride over the hub when you ride simply forward with continuous cadence. Intersperse the two styles.

btw this stepstepstep style is a very useful skill in itself. I would use it regularly every ride - where I have to slow right down to wait for a car to pass before I cross or when being held behind pedestrians in the malls, or when picking my way through glass and other hazards.
Unchain yourself - Ride a unicycle .Image
User avatar
ColinOldnCranky
 
Posts: 4301
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:58 pm

Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:58 am

norton75 wrote:Great work isabella24. Stick to it, as Colin's (The Uni coaching guru) tips are unicycling gold. Very pleased to see another uni rider out there as I hoped. I think there is one piece of advice I have to offer. DON'T give up. Well done thus far.

Pretty much everyone of us learnt to walk. Any parent will know that it did not come easily to the baby.

I reckon that learning to walk was every bit as difficult to do as it is to learn to ride a unicycle. The difference is that, to a developing baby, the option of giving up is not there. Baby just keeps at it.

Prospective unicyclists DO fail. But IMO only because they see it as optional while baby sees it's task as imperative.

As Norton says, "Don't give up". Then as certain as it is that a baby will learn to walk, you will learn to ride a unicycle, with or without our advice.
Unchain yourself - Ride a unicycle .Image
User avatar
ColinOldnCranky
 
Posts: 4301
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:58 pm

Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby Scarfy96 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:27 am

Great stuff isabella24, I'll add in my encouragement to keep at it.

It is sooooooo rewarding when you actually start to get some distance and control. Always great comments and fun from others when you are seen in public, laughs and smiles all round.

Plus it is a great core workout ;)

Update from here, I have decided that my cheapie is too small for me. I have the seat post above it's maximum height and feel it could still go up a bit more.
This is supported here:
http://www.municycle.com.au/View.php?ac ... gaUnicycle

As my leg length is 85-86cm which is above the maximum leg length for a 20" one.

Since I have broken my seat (sort of fixed but temporary only, need a new one) I see I have 2 options.

1) Buy a new seat and a longer seat post
2) Buy a new uni.

So I am thinking instead of spending like $80-90 on seat and longer post I am better of spending double that on a new uni.

Colin, what are your thoughts on this:
http://www.municycle.com.au/View.php?ac ... =UNICLUB24

Also will the larger wheel (24" instead of 20") be much different to ride? Thoughts, comments, suggestions, recommendations, observations before I buy the wrong one again!

Thanks.
Scarfy96
 
Posts: 400
Joined: Tue Sep 28, 2010 9:56 am

Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby Scarfy96 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:36 am

OK here is a link to how I ride. Still about 1 in 10 free mounting but think part of my trouble is to do with seat being too low (and lack of time on it of late)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhPxM5Dt4HA

I can turn OK if given enough width to do a full 180, I can almost get around in a my driveway, but not quite. I can ride for a couple of minutes no problem without coming off and can avoid obvious obstacles (less good on unexpected ones). In that video above I come down off the drive way and onto the road no issue (ie small drop off drive way into gutter and then up and over a well cambered road) and bumps etc aren't a problem (can't come back onto the driveway however), I also easily did 3 x 180 degree turns using the width of the road (can do sharper turns now).
Scarfy96
 
Posts: 400
Joined: Tue Sep 28, 2010 9:56 am

Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:24 pm

Scarfy96 wrote:Colin, what are your thoughts on this:
http://www.municycle.com.au/View.php?ac ... =UNICLUB24

Also will the larger wheel (24" instead of 20") be much different to ride? Thoughts, comments, suggestions, recommendations, observations before I buy the wrong one again!

Thanks.

Because of the offordability of perfectly good unicycles, it is not worth the expense to replace a seat AND post. Going for a new one as you are is usually the better option.

I have seen a few of this uni you link to. They are fine, unicycle.com is a good supplier. And the seat is good which is what you often lose out on with cheaper unicycles.

However, if you can pick up a Torker for not too much more then I'd go for the Torker first but there is not much in it. I do have an idea that the unicycle.com you are looking at has a skinny seat post which is not ideal as it can/will get a bit of a bow in it. That makes it difficult to adjust the post. However without one in front of me I am not that sure.

With the unicycle.com one you will get a tyre that, while rated as 1.75" is a pretty skinny 1.75". Still OK though, especially on the larger diameter uni. Assuming that you become a regular rider tyres are a consumable anyway.

Moving down a size takes no getting used to but moving up a size does. But it's only a brief thing even if it feels like a bad choice initially. You may find yourself introducing some body movement fore and aft for control where before you relied only on how hard you pressed on the pedals and constant change in cadence. More body movement is a good thing anyway.

24"is more suitable for riding around in the open, getting places and stuff. Still OK for tricks and stuff too so if you are willing then yes, go to the 24".
Unchain yourself - Ride a unicycle .Image
User avatar
ColinOldnCranky
 
Posts: 4301
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:58 pm

Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby Scarfy96 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:09 pm

So you would recommend this one instead?
http://www.municycle.com.au/View.php?ac ... UNITKCX24B

$10 is nothing so if it is a better product then no choice really.

So in summary, even if going for a totally new unicycle a 24" one would be better for me to move to (over 6 ft tall and 87cm leg) as opposed to a 20" (new) with longer seat post?
Scarfy96
 
Posts: 400
Joined: Tue Sep 28, 2010 9:56 am

Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:41 pm

Scarfy96 wrote:So you would recommend this one instead?
http://www.municycle.com.au/View.php?ac ... UNITKCX24B

$10 is nothing so if it is a better product then no choice really.

So in summary, even if going for a totally new unicycle a 24" one would be better for me to move to (over 6 ft tall and 87cm leg) as opposed to a 20" (new) with longer seat post?


I ride gridlocked pedestrians at knock of time in the CBD, with bus queues on one side and blind shop doors on the other with irregular paving surfaces and constant log jam on a 24". Admitedly I have done a lot of hours but my skills are not broad. And at 6 foot and long legs the 24" is an even better fit. Obviously the 24" will soak up irregularities better. 29" is a common choice for those who do my sorts of distance though I don't know if there are any around the price you are looking at.

If you intend only doing more-or-less stationary unicycling (juggling performance, etc) or in very constricted spaces such as riding around kiddies at parties or on stage or you wish to ride in parades (they hold very low speeds) then the 20" will give far better control in those circumstances. (My giraffe is 20" as are most because that is the most likely application for them.)

But at the end of the day, it all comes down to you and the type of riding you envision.
Unchain yourself - Ride a unicycle .Image
User avatar
ColinOldnCranky
 
Posts: 4301
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:58 pm

Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby Scarfy96 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:57 pm

Type of riding I envisage is cruising along cycleways with the kids on scooters or while the wife jogs. Or on holidays cruising about 400m to the shops to pick up take away or just generally cruising around having fun. My daughter wants me to juggle but she also wants to paint my face and put big red boots on but reality is that isn't happening!

Sounds like a 24 inch is probably a good option then.
Scarfy96
 
Posts: 400
Joined: Tue Sep 28, 2010 9:56 am

Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby norton75 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:03 pm

What a good read this thread is for those uni lurkers. Isabella24 this thought crossed my devious mind. Sound out two mates (vaguely interested in uni's) mount the bike, an arm over each mates shoulder and get escorted about. I'm sure before long they too will want a turn. More uni L platers into the club. The more the merrier I reckon. On 24" uni's. I want one. recently went to a swap meet where I saw one at a stall. How much ? $20 bucks mate, I just bought it. (Dam) A few words of encouragement for hi. (I'm thinking, should I give him my phone No. in case he gives up ?) More words of encouragement. (I really would like to ride further and a bit faster). I left without a 24" uni. But I do hope another opportunity comes my way.
I've had 3 weeks leave and expected to be free mounting with ease. Not so. Some days good, up to 4 out of 10. Others 1 in 10. I guess it's like basketball free throws. Just because you get one, there is no guarantee everytine you step to the line you are going to drain some points. But I'm in for the long haul and loving it. seat post is back up to maximum also, did 7 laps of double tennis courts, figure 8's, followed lines etc. Not so good away from made roads/tennis courts etc. But enjoying it.
norton75
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2011 10:46 am

Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby isabella24 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:20 pm

Hi scarfey and norton, thanks again for all the encouragement on this forum. That's an interesting idea to get more people interested in unicycles norton! Ill have to give it a go, although I think mr Isabella24 almost died of laughter watching me go round the garage on it, so think it might be more of a deterrent... Thanks for the YouTube video scarfey, that's fantastic going! You got all the way down the driveway, out onto the road AND did laps! That's impressive! Be interested to see what new unicycle you end up getting - you definitely deserve it.
User avatar
isabella24
 
Posts: 301
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2012 4:54 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Tue Jan 29, 2013 11:55 pm

Scarfy96 wrote:Type of riding I envisage is cruising along cycleways with the kids on scooters or while the wife jogs. Or on holidays cruising about 400m to the shops to pick up take away or just generally cruising around having fun. My daughter wants me to juggle but she also wants to paint my face and put big red boots on but reality is that isn't happening!

Sounds like a 24 inch is probably a good option then.

You got it! 24" and even then the kids will eventually be leaving you behind. :lol:
Unchain yourself - Ride a unicycle .Image
User avatar
ColinOldnCranky
 
Posts: 4301
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:58 pm

Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Tue Jan 29, 2013 11:58 pm

isabella24 wrote:...although I think mr Isabella24 almost died of laughter watching me go round the garage on it,

until you scratch his precious car. The he will gladly take you outside and lend you a shoulder. :mrgreen:
Unchain yourself - Ride a unicycle .Image
User avatar
ColinOldnCranky
 
Posts: 4301
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:58 pm

Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby isabella24 » Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:04 am

Except its my car thats the precious one! Besides, that's what carports are for - garages are for bikes and most recently, unicycles :) now if only I could get rid of the damn pool table...
User avatar
isabella24
 
Posts: 301
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2012 4:54 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby Scarfy96 » Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:41 am

isabella24 wrote:garages are for bikes and most recently, unicycles :)


:mrgreen:

7 and counting now, although I do want a TT bike (I do triathlon) so that would be 8, and a new Uni, is that 9 or 8.5 ;)
Scarfy96
 
Posts: 400
Joined: Tue Sep 28, 2010 9:56 am

Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby barefoot » Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:02 am

Scarfy96 wrote:... and a new Uni, is that 9 or 8.5 ;)


I average my uni and our tandem out; combined, they add 2 bikes to the tally :mrgreen:

tim
always under pressure to reduce the tally... I think it's about 16 bikes and two trailers at the moment, but I sometimes miscount...
User avatar
barefoot
 
Posts: 824
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2008 10:05 am
Location: Ballarat

Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby mikedufty » Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:01 pm

Scarfy96 wrote:Type of riding I envisage is cruising along cycleways with the kids on scooters or while the wife jogs.

You definitely want a 24, the 20 is way too slow for kids on scooters. I escort my kids home from school on unicycle occasionally with them on scooters. The 24 is about right, although they could probably get away from me if they tried. The cheap 24 I got off ebay came with the same short cranks as my 20", which made it a bit difficult at low speeds. I found some cheap longer cranks, I think from that unicycle.com page and fitted them and it is now much better.
User avatar
mikedufty
 
Posts: 584
Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2009 4:52 pm
Location: Western Australia, Kewdale

Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby mikedufty » Sat Feb 02, 2013 2:12 am

My freemount cheat.
I described my cheat method for freemounting using a hand on the wheel earlier,but can't find the webpage I got it from.
I've now uploaded a short video of my doing it on youtube to illustrate the point better. (got my 6 yo son to film me).

The video is at

Or you can watch in slow motion by going to
http://www.youtubeslow.com/index.php?v=ExGQZVGkUPw


I start with pedals roughly level, one foot on the back pedal, a hand on the wheel in front of the fork stops the wheel from turning, allowing you to pivot over the wheel without it rolling away from you - then let go and ride away.

It really helped me by making it much easier to practice by going out and riding somewhere and being able to easily restart anywhere.
I think it also made a no hands freemount easier to learn, and I had them going well on the 20" but found it hard on the 24" and haven't really bothered trying to learn it since the hand method does what I want really.

Edit - having said I couldn't find the page I learned it from, I now see it appears in the youtube suggestions after the video plays - for me anyway.
User avatar
mikedufty
 
Posts: 584
Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2009 4:52 pm
Location: Western Australia, Kewdale

Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Sat Feb 02, 2013 8:55 am

It looks a little odd but you are by no means the only person to find it useful. I've come across, maybe, three or four riders using it as their sole method.

I gather it can be particularly useful to larger wheels which can be pretty tough to mount otherwise. If I ever get a 36" job I expect that it may be the way that I go.

Whatever works. :D Thanks for the clip.
Unchain yourself - Ride a unicycle .Image
User avatar
ColinOldnCranky
 
Posts: 4301
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:58 pm

Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby Scarfy96 » Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:06 am

Nice. Thanks for the clip. I haven't tried that method at all, but recall reading about it a while ago. I am so damn close on the hands free free mount but can't quite tip it over the better than 50% success rate that I would like. Most days it is still 1 in 10 to maybe 1 in 5 or 6 at best.

I can feel it as soon as it starts if it feels right and in that situation I am probably about 1 in 3 of nailing it. Must be subtle differences in body position or something.
Scarfy96
 
Posts: 400
Joined: Tue Sep 28, 2010 9:56 am

Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:35 am

Scarfy96 wrote:Nice. Thanks for the clip. I haven't tried that method at all, but recall reading about it a while ago. I am so damn close on the hands free free mount but can't quite tip it over the better than 50% success rate that I would like. Most days it is still 1 in 10 to maybe 1 in 5 or 6 at best.

I can feel it as soon as it starts if it feels right and in that situation I am probably about 1 in 3 of nailing it. Must be subtle differences in body position or something.

I never had as a great problem (as I recall) exce[pt in getting the first one.

However I DID for a long time (which means many hundreds of mounts) finish most of the mounts with a not very pretty lurch (to the right is my natural tendency) so that the completion of my mount required a fairly vigourous jerking arm and stamping-on-the-pedals sort of correction. And I could not mount very well and remain stationary for a moment - I would have to IMMEDIATELY be moving into forward direction. If I was to expect a balanced stable mount without having to lurch forward and vigorously correct direction away from the right then I would have been bailing out most mounts for a long long time.

So if you are simply bailing out because you are not in a good stable launch position then perhaps do as I did and always finish it and launch into travel anyway. And wait for the improvements to follow in their own time.

btw I do find that as I mount my right arm will want to go wel out front of me and high, and that that this then enables me to use that arm for corrections that are not so violent. No special reason I do it, but I think that my body must have discovered that it works. So perhaps as you are mounting let the dominant arm move up and forward as you getting up. It might work. (That move is now just a reflex that, after ten thousand or so mounts, I can easily over-ride as I have to when in among crowds.)
Unchain yourself - Ride a unicycle .Image
User avatar
ColinOldnCranky
 
Posts: 4301
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:58 pm

Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby Scarfy96 » Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:27 pm

Thanks I will look into it, love the arm flailing. Don't need it much now when riding.

I have noticed my mount fails fall into a number of categories.

1) Just straight over the front, almost a step straight off the front. Weight is all wrong and wheel just keeps going out the back.
2) Miss the pedal with 2nd foot. So mount with dominant foot go to place 2nd foot onto pedal and slip off
3) Lazy and not noticing where pedals are at start and not getting the uni under me properly with the first step
4) Occasional just fall sideways

1) is the most common, can't recover the wheel quickly enough. I can significantly reduce this by putting the brick behind it as you suggested but they are awkward to carry with you when cycling and a bugger to pick up once you are under way ;)

2) is probably 20% of misses
3) is normally at the tail end of things when I am getting a bit tired or just over it
4) is random.
Scarfy96
 
Posts: 400
Joined: Tue Sep 28, 2010 9:56 am

Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby norton75 » Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:54 pm

How good is it to see others having a go and joining the 'L uni' club. I'm really enjoying reading about their journey.

I was hoping to be free mounting everytime first time by now....but no.

Some days 3 out of 4. some 1 in 10. (Gurrr) I too have tried to analyse the reasons. However the reason is probably not that important. I believe if I just keep going, get that muscle memory going and Don't over think it the free mounting will happen more and more regularly with the practise.

I'm taking more of Colin's advice. I have decided to ride the uni to the shop when I go. Not far about 1 kilometre each way. Up a bit of a hill. This way if there is an UPD no option. Free mount ........... or walk the walk of shame.

Peps are laughing etc. How good is it. people laughing. Makes it all the more fun.

Checked out some kids on utube doing hands free mounts (unbelievable) and the nutters riding on handrails on bridges or on piers. (I would settle for a freemount everytime........at the moment ! )
norton75
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2011 10:46 am

Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:58 pm

Scarfy96 wrote:Thanks I will look into it, love the arm flailing. Don't need it much now when riding.

I have noticed my mount fails fall into a number of categories.

1) Just straight over the front, almost a step straight off the front. Weight is all wrong and wheel just keeps going out the back.
2) Miss the pedal with 2nd foot. So mount with dominant foot go to place 2nd foot onto pedal and slip off
3) Lazy and not noticing where pedals are at start and not getting the uni under me properly with the first step
4) Occasional just fall sideways

1) is the most common, can't recover the wheel quickly enough. I can significantly reduce this by putting the brick behind it as you suggested but they are awkward to carry with you when cycling and a bugger to pick up once you are under way ;)

2) is probably 20% of misses
3) is normally at the tail end of things when I am getting a bit tired or just over it
4) is random.



re(1) On your first problem, perhaps revisit the posts I have somewhere here about using a block of wood or paving brick and do some sustained practice. I really expect that that will enable you to fairly quickly work out the amount of distance and force to move the unicycle backwards.

re (2) Try and set the second pedal so that it will be (when it is at the 12 o'clock position) about horizontal so that you place your foot onto it from above. An alternative is to set the 12 o'clock pedal sloping down-forward a fair bit so that you instead place the second foot onto it by moving it over the pedal and then back onto it. Probably harder for most but it could be worth a try after you have tried the more normal horizontal setting. (With time I can manage to put my foot on from any angle now so I seldom set my second pedal now. But my learning preference was the first one I decribe in t his paragraph.)

re (4) it happens. For a long while I always had a falling to the right anyway - I would recover it by riding it out but it meant I always had to wait for passing cyclists to clear before commencing the mount. 100% solid now from thousands of thousands of mounts.

I urge you particularly to try intensive drill sets of couple of dozen mounts each day or two with a block/paver.
Last edited by ColinOldnCranky on Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Unchain yourself - Ride a unicycle .Image
User avatar
ColinOldnCranky
 
Posts: 4301
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:58 pm

PreviousNext

Return to General discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: alchemist, Eleri, GaryJ, mlee123



Support BNA
Click for online shops
Torpedo 7 Torpedo7 AU
Ground Effect Ground Effect NZ
Chain Reaction Cycles CRC UK
Wiggle Wiggle UK
Cycling Express Cycling Express
Ebay Ebay AU
ProBikeKit ProBikeKit UK
Evans Cycles Evans Cycles UK
JensonUSA Jenson USA
JensonUSA Competitive Cyclist