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  • Got my first unicycle, quick question

    Got my qx profi 20 in the mail Monday night and have been trying for a few hours over the last few days to ride it.

    I'm starting using a 4ish inch platform with the wheel against it so I dont roll backwards while mounting. So far I can average about 5-8 feet of travel with my max being about 20 (total fluke)
    Now my question is about compensating, I seem to often veer left and go off the front or veer right and go off the back. I haven't quite figured out the physics yet and am wondering what is causing these. Is it pedal pressure, is it seat pressure, is it both?

    Any input would be great, really enjoying the unicycle so far and am hyped to learn.

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Don't overcomplicate it, especially in the beginning. It's a good sign that you are falling in all directions, it means you are not making the same mistake over and over. It's nearly impossible to tell you what is going wrong without a video/being there in person, and even then, the answer will likely be: You didn't make the right amount of adjustment. With any balance, no matter if it's unicycling, handstands or walking a slackline, it's a matter of "calibrating" your brain to make the right amount of adjustment for the situation you are in. Help from the outside can't teach you that, the most it can give you is tips on body position.

    As to why you are veering to the left when falling forward, and to the right when falling backward, I don't know. Probably either something with the surfaces/sorroundings you are riding in, or in your mind (most people prefer turning left for example). It will likely sort it self out by the point you are able to ride. Make sure your seat is straight, would be my only idea to check.

    Some people here will disagree, but I would suggest to mix in some training along a wall, fence or similar to learn how to pedal smoothly and balance forward/backward without worrying about falling to the side. This also helps to get some variety in your training also, it's usually not very efficient for learning to do the same piece of exercise for over 15 minutes at a time.
    In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move. -Douglas Adams.

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    • #3
      Sounds like you're doing just fine!

      some tips:
      use both arms for balancing, no need to hold the seat while learning
      don't ride too slow
      feel free to hold onto something while mounting, sit down and make sure your feet are place OK, then ride away from the support.
      tuck in your shoelaces
      wear some protection, in particular wrists guards
      for a beginner some elbow pads could be nice too (until you are no longer falling backwards)
      A helmet is always a good idea. (The changes of hitting your head are actually not that high but one good hit is all it takes...)

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      • #4
        I agree you're doing great. If the amount of travel is 5-8 feet, that means you're likely dismounting after either 1 revolution or 1.5 revolutions. The pedals are in the opposite position in those two scenarios. While I agree with finnspin that it's too early to worry about it, I'm guessing this is a dominant / non-dominant foot issue. If you are pedaling harder with one foot, that might accelerate the unicycle out in front of you, causing you to dismount off the back after pedaling with the "strong" foot. Conversely, the "weak" foot may slow down the pedal rotation, causing your body to move forward relative to the unicycle and dismount off the front.

        If this issue is related to dominant / non-dominant sides of the body (which we all have and have been discussed a lot on these forums), then finding your dominant / weak sides is going to help your practice in general. If you're not doing it already, I suggest you practice your assisted mount "both ways" (with your left foot back and with your right foot back). This could give you more hints about dominance.

        Keep us posted on your progress!

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        • #5
          Thanks for all the replies and advice,

          I've determined my preferred foot is definitely my right foot because starting with my left on feels terrible (I ride a lot of fixed gear bike and my left foot is my "chocolate foot" on a bike)

          Also I have been holding onto the seat but will have to try it with no hands. Oddly enough I find it safer to be away from the wall, holding onto the wall seems to kick me off in weird ways.

          Shortly after I posted earlier I moved my box from one end of the basement to the other and can consistently make 2 or 3 full rotations of the pedals, thinking theres a slight downgrade helping me.

          For reference my basement is an empty unfinished concrete room with support beams I usually ride my bike in a figure 8 around when I'm bored in winter. Thinking will be a prime unicycling spot through winter.


          Thanks again! Will keep you updated as I figure out more

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          • #6
            Not sure the rules on posting from other sites is but I can't seem to upload to the forum here so here's a link of me making it one end of the basement to the other.



            https://www.instagram.com/p/B21p7iOH...=1m3j0tfqcrhly

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            • #7
              Damned.
              Another fast learner.

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              • #8
                That's what happens when you're young... Aren't all young people fast learners?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by mrfixit View Post
                  That's what happens when you're young... Aren't all young people fast learners?
                  27 years old but everything with wheels makes me feel 10 haha

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Robzilla View Post
                    27 years old but everything with wheels makes me feel 10 haha
                    Damn... I reckon you could ride unlimited distances now. Already. Seriously good for a beginner.
                    Last edited by Gockie; 2019-09-25, 10:21 PM.
                    If you are female please join the Female Unicyclists! group on Facebook!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Robzilla View Post
                      Also I have been holding onto the seat but will have to try it with no hands.
                      I think it is much safer to ride with a hand on the seat. Maybe your balance is worse, but you have more control of the position of the unicycle and you will be able to place the unicycle in front of or behind you during dismount.

                      I'm sure you also have a "chocolate" hand. I had to do an internet search on "chocolate".

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by elpuebloUNIdo View Post
                        I think it is much safer to ride with a hand on the seat. Maybe your balance is worse, but you have more control of the position of the unicycle and you will be able to place the unicycle in front of or behind you during dismount.

                        I'm sure you also have a "chocolate" hand. I had to do an internet search on "chocolate".
                        Being able to ride with a hand on the seat is something most beginners can't do. I'm really impressed.
                        If you are female please join the Female Unicyclists! group on Facebook!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Gockie View Post
                          Being able to ride with a hand on the seat is something most beginners can't do. I'm really impressed.
                          Thanks for all the support, I can say even at this point I think I've made a great investment in a unicycle. Really looking forward to learning and honing my balance.

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                          • #14
                            Can't go straight? Wobbling?

                            Two things to think about:
                            1.) Use your thighs to "hold" the saddle. Pinch your thighs together to stabilize the unicycle. Not a death grip, but once you are aware you will do this without thinking.
                            2.) Equal down pedal force. Pay attention to the pedal forces and try to vary/control each foot, as needed to go straight. The riders who use handle bars and go fast know all about this. It's having perfectly precise pedal force that allows straight line balance, or when riding a "crowned" surface knowing how to vary/compensate with extra force on one side.
                            Last edited by slamdance; 2019-09-29, 08:37 PM.

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