New to Unicycling ....

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Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby barefoot » Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:17 am

ColinOldnCranky wrote:If indeed the Aldi is the one then there are two cautions:

As always, you need to be certain that it has a seat post long enough or even excessively long. You can buy unis that have a seat post that is inadequate for many.


+1 to this.

I have the Aldi one. I have the seatpost about 5mm beyond minimum insertion, and it's marginal. I don't have long legs (I wear 30-31" inseam trousers). That's how it came in the box, no cutting has been done.

That said, mine's a few years old now, and Aldi may have done a bit of design refinement since then.

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by BNA » Tue Nov 20, 2012 1:08 pm

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Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby DentedHead » Tue Nov 20, 2012 1:08 pm

Dammit. I was pondering the Ald one, but I'm just under 6'2". I think I'll be too tall for it :(

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Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby mikedufty » Tue Nov 20, 2012 2:21 pm

I had the post fairly well past the minimum insertion line on my Torpedo 7 20". Didn't cause any problems and it is hard to see how you can put much bending stress on a unicycle seat post, so I think the minimum insertion line is more conservative than it needs to be.
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Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Tue Nov 20, 2012 8:27 pm

mikedufty wrote:I had the post fairly well past the minimum insertion line on my Torpedo 7 20". Didn't cause any problems and it is hard to see how you can put much bending stress on a unicycle seat post, so I think the minimum insertion line is more conservative than it needs to be.

There are two post diameters. My Nimbus is one of the originals with a simple steel post of the lesser diameter (22mm from memory) and that has managed to get a bit of a bow in it. It is not great issue but it does make inserting and adjusting height fairly hard.

Thicker post or ally ones should give no problem. The later Nimbus II and most respectable unicycles will have at least 25mm, probably of a fairly decent guauge aluminium alloy.
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Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Thu Nov 22, 2012 10:53 am

DentedHead wrote:Dammit. I was pondering the Ald one, but I'm just under 6'2". I think I'll be too tall for it :(

Dent.

In my observations even cheapies these days tend to come with an excessively long post that you then cut down. However if you buy secondhand then the post will already have had the extra length cut off it by the first owner. Certainly a short post is an absolute deal-breaker. It doesn't matter what the price is, it is useless. Unless you can find the one you want in a shop to try, I don't know how you would check it online however.

FYI I am 6" with a longish inside leg and I ride as tall as is possible. Yet my post sits only an inch above the tyre so I still have several inches more upwards to play with.
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Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby Scarfy96 » Fri Nov 23, 2012 8:21 am

No one warned me how much these things work your quads!

Rode one in a car park and around a small cycleway/path around a playground last night (practicing my turning - it is probably a 60m loop) for about half an hour to 40 minutes last night and today my quads are aching something shocking! Can turn right now (mostly) and getting more confident at slow speeds as well. Haven't given free mounting another go yet just clocking up some hours to improve my overall stability and balance before going back to that.
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Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Sat Nov 24, 2012 6:43 pm

Scarfy96 wrote:No one warned me how much these things work your quads!

Rode one in a car park and around a small cycleway/path around a playground last night (practicing my turning - it is probably a 60m loop) for about half an hour to 40 minutes last night and today my quads are aching something shocking! Can turn right now (mostly) and getting more confident at slow speeds as well. Haven't given free mounting another go yet just clocking up some hours to improve my overall stability and balance before going back to that.


It does work them, doesn't it. It is that way because the natural tendency is to push down with BOTH pedals. In due course you will reduce the rear pedal weight for straight line riding on good level surfaces though it is hard to lose the habit anywhere you have to work a little harder - hills, among peds, o lumpy paths, on grass, etc. I don't even bother, as long as my straight line distance stuff id light.

I have posted a tip on freemounting for when you are ready. And if you find it too hard then Mikedufty has described a fall-back freemount though you should only need that one only for large-wheel unicycles like 36".

After a bit of practrice when freemounting you do not get that little indecisive moment that you get as you leave the wall or pole or shoulder.
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Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby Scarfy96 » Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:40 am

Yes I have read all those and taken note. However at the moment just want to clock more hours working on some basics then it should come easier when I come back to it.

I have really noticed my ability to "save" from an unplanned dismount and keep riding recently and starting to be able to turn one way. Also have noticed my ability to hold a slower speed at times so overall stability is improving. Happy to keep working on all this at the moment and banking time in the saddle and thus improving overall confidence and skill level. Then will return to free mount and hopefully wont be too hard. Watched a guy effortlessly mount a giraffe late last week (stepped up on the wheel, foot on the pedal, leg over and off) and was super impressed!
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Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:59 am

Scarfy96 wrote:Yes I have read all those and taken note. However at the moment just want to clock more hours working on some basics then it should come easier when I come back to it.

I have really noticed my ability to "save" from an unplanned dismount and keep riding recently and starting to be able to turn one way. Also have noticed my ability to hold a slower speed at times so overall stability is improving. Happy to keep working on all this at the moment and banking time in the saddle and thus improving overall confidence and skill level. Then will return to free mount and hopefully wont be too hard. Watched a guy effortlessly mount a giraffe late last week (stepped up on the wheel, foot on the pedal, leg over and off) and was super impressed!

Yuor approach is as it should be. Time inthe saddle first.

The mount you saw (stepping off the wheel) is the stationary freemount. It's the easiest, believe it or not, and it still looks amazingly impossible.

I am currently trying to learn a rolling mount and there is every chance that I will not succeed. But it has the significant advantage over the stationary mount in that the saddle can be set at the height it should be rather than the height that makes a mount posible. A stationary mount leaves the rider riding in a squat which is not much fun.

If people ask a giraffe rider to do a trick all he has to do is hop off and then remount. After that any other "trick" looks lame.
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Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby Scarfy96 » Mon Dec 24, 2012 12:43 pm

Well 2 weeks on holidays and took the unicycle with me as the place had a 25m front driveway onto a quiet street. Half an hour most days on it and riding comfortably down the drive, onto the road, left turn ride for a while and back. Total of each ride about 100m. Getting a lot more comfortable.

Last few days started to work on free mounting and woohoooooo I actually got a few. 3 the first day 10 the second and then we had to come home :(

Anyway I have had a couple more days and can get a free mount about 1 in 15 attempts now. Lots I get on and get about one peddle but not stable enough and have to step off. Improving all the time. Think I will nail free mounting between Chrissy and New Year and be able to do it like 1 in 2 or 3 attempts which then opens the world to me :)

Really happy with my progress now :)
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Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Fri Dec 28, 2012 3:12 pm

Congrats. Keep working on the freemounts and throw in some short 1 second stalls before moving forward again.

What are your plans now? Street riding? Tricks? Other skills?
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Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby norton75 » Sat Dec 29, 2012 8:23 pm

Scarfy96 my experiences are mirroring yours. Riding 100 metres or so and getting sore thighs. I checked the posts here and decided my seat was too low. Elevated it about 3 or 4 times and feeling more comfy. I too am saving plenty of UPD's and feeling confident. Turning on the tennis court OK. Colinoldncranky is on the money time and time again. Had a few attempts at free mounting. No real joy just yet, however getting more curious about it and really want to be free of those pesky Pole starts. False starts from the pole are now rare. I have a 50m track from house to shed which I rede many times a day. but I am becoming "course fit" I think. Will have to spend more time at the tennis courts. keep up the good work.
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Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Sat Dec 29, 2012 8:37 pm

Norton, something to consider with the soreness.

If it is because of the constant pulling and pushing of flesh then you could try something to allow a bit of slippage of yourself on the seat. I have added back the strip of sheep skin to my new air-seat even though I do not need it for padding anymore. It serves to allow my nether regions to not cling to the seat fabric. Without it I would be chafed after half a trip to work.

btw congrats on the progress. If uo are managing 100m then, other than discomfort of the bum, every extra hundred meters/kilometre/etc should no longer be any difficulty.
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Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby norton75 » Sat Dec 29, 2012 9:15 pm

I thought my contact with the seat was too light and not providing support for my legs, that's why I put the seat up. It was like climbing hills on a safety bike out of the saddle. With the seat up, the legs get more support. Thats the theory I'm running with at the moment. One other thing I discovered after a few xmas beverages, extra UPDs. Amazing how immediate the reactions were adversly effected after the beers.
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Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby Scarfy96 » Wed Jan 02, 2013 10:27 am

Seat is as high as it can go, already it is above the "maximum extension" bit. I am fairly happy with the height of it to be honest, and when rolling along the flat and straight it isn't actually too bad on my legs but any inclination or turning and I feel it again (or managing an obstacle - pothole, or start etc).

Free mounting is improving slowly. Have good days and bad ones. On a good day I have got it down to about 1 in 10 on bad days I just give up and grab a pole! Yesterday I was probably a bit better than 1 in 10, today I rode (mountain bike) to the pool, swam for nearly and hour then did some fire trail climbs on the way home to make my ride home about 1 hour and as I put my bike away thought I could give my unicycle a quick spin. LOL - couldn't free mount to save my life after 1 hour swimming and 1 hour mountain biking!
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Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby Scarfy96 » Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:09 am

ColinOldnCranky wrote:Congrats. Keep working on the freemounts and throw in some short 1 second stalls before moving forward again.

What are your plans now? Street riding? Tricks? Other skills?


Ahhh here is a key that slipped by me.

Had another play this morning and was again struggling so I just grabbed a pole and did some riding again. Then when riding I stalled and recovered and thought "that was just like a freemount". So then I started practicing stalling and recovering over and over again with each ride.

Ride, stall, recover, ride, stall, recover, ride, stall, recover.

Instead of getting one in ten or one in twenty freemounts I was effectively getting 2, 3 or 4 with every ride. On the unicycle, balanced, stalled and starting.

Tried freemounting again after 10 minutes of this. 3 in a row! OK then I missed the next 6 or 8 but then got a couple more and it definitely felt easier. Went back to riding and stalling for a while but noticed myself tiring so called it quits. Probably 25-30 minutes all up. Noticed definite improvement in that time.

So plan from here is a couple more hours riding with stalling and recovering and some freemount practice thrown in.

Once I am free mounting consistently next plan is just to bank km's on a range of terrain to build up all aspects of riding before trying to move to anything else. Will most likely be on a "shared path" or similar where I can trundle along for however long and have some easy undulations etc and moving obstacles (other people using the path). No real plans after that than just having some fun with it - although my 10yo daughter is VERY keen for me to combine my juggling skills with unicycling. I think she wants to paint my face as well ....
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Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:04 pm

Congrats Scarfy. Freemounts are cool, wall mounts are not for public display :/ I was a bit concerned that you were having that much difficulty as imo it should come quite easily after you have nailed a half dozen.

Yep - it now just takes T.I.T.S. Time in the saddle so do those kms yo are intending.

Things to consider now as you get out and about:

Riding a path - when crossing the road it is nice to be able to do so without getting off too much (thoughdont be in hurry there). But there is the rub - you will need to be able to look over your shoulder (usually right).And you know how on a bike the natural tendency is to wander a little to the side? Well, on theuni it is a lot worse and the physical feedback is almost non-existant. Practice it a lot on a tennis court or somewhere before trying it on the streets and paths. Stalls work will also come in handy as you need to adjust speed at the approach and at ramps.

On juggling, you can juggle as you ride, it just takes a lot of kms with your arms less out to the sides and is not a great thing to develop. However to entertain you need to do it on the spot. Now that is DECEPTIVELY hard as it involves being able to idle in auto-pilot mode. Good luck with that! I've never been prepared to put the work in even though I am a competent juggler. Paradoxically it is far easier to do idling on a giraffe which is one of the reasons why that is where you see street performers doing it up high and not an a regular uni. (There are two other pluses for entertaining on the giraffe btw.)
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Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby norton75 » Sat Jan 05, 2013 4:24 pm

Thanks Colin n Scarfy for the tips. Scarfy you are a bit in front and providing motivation to start free mounting. I was a bit intimidated. Today I decided each session I will do 10 free start attempts. On 10 I rode off. What a trill. I immediately put it away, as I didn't want to spoil the moment. :)
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Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby Scarfy96 » Mon Jan 07, 2013 9:28 am

Congrats Norton, it is a great feeling. I can remember my first one, it was on holidays on a 25m long flat driveway, I got it and whooped up the length of the drive waving my arms above my head, family came out to find out what had happened LOL

Didn't get much chance over the weekend, only about 5 minutes snatched on sunday arvo, got about 10 freemounts in that time in very limited space so basically got up, 2 pedals and dismount. Still barely 1 in 10 but each time I am getting more "almosts" - ie get up, 2 feet on, rocking the wheel back lose balance at the critical moment and UPD. That is where the stalls are helping I think, should be able to get another 20 minutes of that today with any luck.
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Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby norton75 » Thu Jan 10, 2013 4:17 pm

After a week I believe "it" (free mounting) is definately acheivable. I put my seat down a bit to make it a little easier. Now I'm getting away heaps of times. It is great to get away from the poles. I just wonder if there are any other lurkers out there thinking of having a go. I'm with Colin now. Just TITS which is happening as I'm off work for 3 weeks. Col, tell me abit more about that giraffe. Thanks again for the tips, you have been right on the money.
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Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Thu Jan 10, 2013 8:50 pm

norton75 wrote:After a week I believe "it" (free mounting) is definately acheivable. I put my seat down a bit to make it a little easier. Now I'm getting away heaps of times. It is great to get away from the poles. I just wonder if there are any other lurkers out there thinking of having a go. I'm with Colin now. Just TITS which is happening as I'm off work for 3 weeks. Col, tell me abit more about that giraffe. Thanks again for the tips, you have been right on the money.

There is a great ego-boost to free-mounts too. Every time someone sees you riding around they think "Cool" and will subconscioulsy rate a level of competence. For arguments sake, say, 5.

Then you fall off. Your rating goes down a point or so. Say, 3.

Then you mount. "Wow. Is THAT how they do it." Rating shoots up to low earth orbit. :mrgreen:

Aim to drop anything except free mounts as soon as possible, though perhaps not on busy PSPs for a while as it is takes quite while before you can mount with certainty of NOT wandering left of right.

As for the giraffe, what is there to say? They are not harder to ride, just different. And way better to ride in slow situations like parades, doing tricks like juggling and so forth. Dinkum.

The freemount on those is a lot tougher though. It must be because I had found no-one in my circle who could show me how. And I have none who have learnt since. But it IS impressive if you can nail it in public. :mrgreen:
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Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby norton75 » Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:29 am

Free mounts only was my plan. After a week or so then sneak the seat height up little by little when I'm not watching. Some freemounts have been wobbly and just saved (as you would expect) but every now and then I nail a beauty. Then see the big head !
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Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby Scarfy96 » Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:59 pm

I have had limited time on mine in the last couple of weeks unfortunately :(

Then I got on it a couple of days ago, did a free mount, was rolling along and got wheel stuck and went over the front. I stayed on my feet OK and ran forward 4 or 5 paces before coming to a stop.

Went back to pick up my uni and the front couple of inches of the seat was flopping in the wind :( Snapped the spine of the seat about 3 inches back from the peak.

Jerry rigged a brace under it but need a new seat.
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Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby isabella24 » Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:51 pm

Hi everyone, I've been reading this thread with interest since it started and finally bit the bullet today and bought a 20" unicycle! It's just a cheapie off gumtree but figured it would be good enough to have a go. Using the info in this thread I practiced on it for about an hour and have been able to mount it against a wall and complete two full pedal revolutions before falling off! Thanks guys for the motivation! :D
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Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:38 pm

isabella24 wrote:Hi everyone, I've been reading this thread with interest since it started and finally bit the bullet today and bought a 20" unicycle! It's just a cheapie off gumtree but figured it would be good enough to have a go. Using the info in this thread I practiced on it for about an hour and have been able to mount it against a wall and complete two full pedal revolutions before falling off! Thanks guys for the motivation! :D

20" is generally considered to be the ideal one for learning. Second hand is fine as long as the seat is not too low for you.

If your two revs are under control then you are WAAAAY ahead of the game.

On the other hand if you were furiuosly pedalling just to get the wheel back under you then you are on target as that is pretty much where everyone is after a few days or longer. (Though the number of unicyclists who claim to be the exception are much like the gazillion skiiers who reckon they can ski double-black runs.)

If you have someone willing then after getting a little control of the pedals with your feet - rocking and stalling and so forth while on a wall - get them to give you their shoulder on one side while you use the wall on the other. Start along the wallas normal and then ease off with your helper keeping their shoulder on track with you. It can cut your early development time right down.

Good luck.
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