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  • #16
    Originally posted by Gockie View Post
    I agree with you
    You say you agree Gockie, so you also mount with both hands on the seat? I think it is quite difficult, but I do expect I would be more in balance and not hang towards one side.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Setonix View Post
      You say you agree Gockie, so you also mount with both hands on the seat? I think it is quite difficult, but I do expect I would be more in balance and not hang towards one side.
      Sometimes, after I write something on the forum, I have to take a ride and "put my money where my mouth" is. To clarify, I start all mounts with both hands on the seat/handle. Yesterday I rode on my 24", and on a few of my more poorly executed mounts, I threw one hand up in the air somewhere between mounting and riding.

      I am almost a foot taller than many riders on this forum. The largest wheel I ride on is a 26". And my physique is somewhat "top-heavy". For shorter/lighter riders, hands-out may be necessary, depending on the size wheel.

      If you want to practice mounting with both hands on the seat, I suggest:

      If you don't already have one, get a 20". Personally, the 20" has been the base of my food pyramid, the foundation of everything else I know.

      Place the 20" on some soft grass. Put the first pedal in the 6:00 position. Hold the seat in front of you with both hands. If the seat is pushing against your abdomen, that is fine. Try holding the front of the saddle with one hand and the back with the other. This will give you maximum leverage and stability.

      The correct seat height will put the saddle in a position where you feel the most strength with your hands, somewhere around your core. At this height, the saddle may be too high to get your butt on from the 6:00 starting position of your foot. No worries, the goal is not to sit on the seat.

      Now that you've re-adjusted the saddle height, mount on the grass starting in the 6:00 position with both hands on the saddle. Lift your second foot off the ground slowly and bring it toward the 12:00 pedal. You will feel your arms working hard to maintain balance as you keep both hands on the saddle. You may succeed in riding 1/2 - 1 revolution in this position, but the important thing is that you're using the leverage in your arms and the movement of your hips to maintain balance.

      Setonix, I am sorry to hear you have limited time to ride. I probably would not have learned what I did without putting considerable practice time into it. There is another danger with having limited practice time; you may be more interested in seeking gratification during the limited time you have, rather than struggling through the humiliation of learning a new technique.

      The classical guitarist Andres Segovia, in the preface to his scale studies, said that if a guitarist only had 20 minutes to practice in a day, they should spend that time on scales. That doesn't exactly translate to the unicycle. With the uni, perhaps a limited practice time is better spent struggling with a new technique. Emerging techniques, those we suck at, IMHO contain the keys to better riding, rather than trying to perfect what we already know.

      I am also curious if Gockie can mount with both hands on the seat. I don't think it's necessary to be able to do a technique...in order to agree, in principle, that it's a good technique. As I said above, however, YMMV.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by elpuebloUNIdo View Post
        You win balance, but you lose stability.
        I don't understand that bit.
        Even after looking for 'balance' and 'stability' in the dictionary.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Garp View Post
          I don't understand that bit.
          Even after looking for 'balance' and 'stability' in the dictionary.
          By stability, I specifically mean that the rider and the unicycle are acting as a single mass, locked together, rather than two masses. The source of that stability is the hands on the seat/saddle. The greatest stability happens when both sit bones are pressed on the saddle and both hands are holding the seat handle / bar ends.

          If you take away that stability, the physics of mounting becomes more complex, a two-mass system rather than a single-mass system, and it is more likely you'll need your hands flailing for balance while mounting.

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          • #20
            How about this?

            A bull rider is only allowed to hang on with one hand as two would make it too easy to hang on.
            When the rider is thrown away from their balanced position they violently throw the available hand around to compensate for the lost balance in an attempt to bring it back under control.

            So two hands on the saddle is a very stable position and much easier to stay balanced as long as you stay within the narrow balance point.

            If you are not able to have absolute control during this then you throw an available hand out to regain your balance (because it's out).

            A single hand waving out achieves an asymmetrical balance which is much harder to keep track of then a two hand on the saddle, symmetrical balance.

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            • #21
              I was mounting no handed, then thanks to someone on this forum for the past 3 weeks I've been mounting left foot with left hand on handle. I use my right hand for momentum and balance.

              Mounting with no hands now feels very uncontrolled.

              Sometimes when I feel its an imperfect mount I have to let go of the first hand immediately and momentarily to get balance. But mounting with the left hand on the seat handle feels good.

              My left hand on the handle is my dominant riding hand btw. I leave the left hand on the handle and take the right off if I'm having troubles with hills and in a muni situation, right hand is the one I use for balance, left stays on the handle.
              Not sure how this evolved, but it was the same when bike riding too. Whenever I needed a break from being in a 2 handed riding position, I'd always take my right hand off the handle as a default.
              Anyway, my left is my weaker side, maybe I need my dominant hand/body side off the uni for balance. And if I'm riding right hand only on handle up a hill, I can't climb the hill with so much power. I'm trying to get better with right hand riding on more difficult things, but if I'm struggling, I think it's always going to be left hand on handle as the default.
              If you are female please join the Female Unicyclists! group on Facebook!

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Canoeheadted View Post
                So two hands on the saddle is a very stable position and much easier to stay balanced as long as you stay within the narrow balance point.
                The "narrow balance point" gets larger the more you practice with both hands holding on. Instead of sticking an arm out for balance, you stick out a hip. I can hold a still stand for more than 5 seconds while sitting on the seat and holding on with both hands. I have also learned to ride backwards and currently can do a sketchy backwards figure-8 in the "four points" (2 sit bones, 2 hands) position. I can idle in this position. My 24" is brake-less, and I have the most control going down steep hills while holding on with both hands. Okay, I'm bragging. But only to point out that I disagree with the notion that 2-hands-on only works within a very narrow balance point.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by elpuebloUNIdo View Post
                  I can idle in this position. My 24" is brake-less, and I have the most control going down steep hills while holding on with both hands. Okay, I'm bragging.
                  You know we have a different thread for that.

                  But you also hold the seat with 2 hands when mounting a 36"?

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                  • #24
                    Speaking of 36ers. I generally static, freemount mine with one hand on the saddle. But occasionally on my way in to work (in the summer months) I pick up coffee and a pastry for breakfast to eat as I cycle in (a nice side benefit of the uni commute over the bike). Obviously this requires a hands free static mount.

                    It is not a lot harder than with one hand to be honest. Though it probably also helps that there is a very slight slope downwards outside the coffee place I am most likely to frequent, which is pretty much an ideal mount point for me.

                    P.S. Before you ask, I only spilt (part of) the coffee once, that I recall.

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                    • #25
                      On uni's 24" and smaller it's easy to do no handed mount just place the seat in your crotch and keep both arms out like a plane and step over. Feels a little weird at first but is surprisingly easy. But I prefer to hold the saddle/handle with my riding (right hand) to do rollback mounts. I can mount and hold items in one hand with not much difficulty as I learnt to do this so I could carry a torch in the morning on the way to work and mail from the letter box too.

                      As for 36" I can only reliably mount via rolling mount, I just changed the pedals from 150mm to 137mm and it took a little adjusting to mount. I don't think I could do a rollback at all with shorter cranks now.
                      DRS 5'20" Giraffe || Nimbus II 24" || Nimbus Muni 29" || Kris Holm 36" Road

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                      • #26
                        I think mounting with both hands in the air is what most of us did when just learning to ride unicycle. With both hands in the air flailing to hold balance. I did try a while back to not have any hands on the seat, which worked fine, but felt strange. I reckon it just depends on what you're used to.
                        I do like what elpuebloUNIdo says about 2 hands on the seat. Nowadays I ride more and more with both hands on the seat ( when I have no TBar) and feel fairly confident. Only when the terrain becomes rough do I throw one hand in the air, but knowing how it is to ride with both hands on the seat, might make it easier to learn to mount that way too.

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                        • #27
                          On my 36er I original used two hands on the saddle but very but quickly changed to one hand on the saddle and one hand free. I find it is a benefit to throw the free hand/arm up and forward to give a little extra boost up. It you want more of a boost, put a weight in the free hand, as in this video.

                          One free hand is very useful for carrying things.

                          For jump mounts on the 36er the only way I can do it is with two hands on the saddle and with the brake set. As this.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Setonix View Post
                            But you also hold the seat with 2 hands when mounting a 36"?
                            I don't ride a 36". The physics would definitely change on a 36". I would be harder to get my center of gravity over the hub. Like JimT said, I can see how throwing up one hand during the mount would be helpful.

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                            • #29
                              I'm a two fister on my 36"er.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by ruari View Post
                                Speaking of 36ers. I generally static, freemount mine with one hand on the saddle. But occasionally on my way in to work (in the summer months) I pick up coffee and a pastry for breakfast to eat as I cycle in (a nice side benefit of the uni commute over the bike). Obviously this requires a hands free static mount.

                                It is not a lot harder than with one hand to be honest. Though it probably also helps that there is a very slight slope downwards outside the coffee place I am most likely to frequent, which is pretty much an ideal mount point for me.

                                P.S. Before you ask, I only spilt (part of) the coffee once, that I recall.
                                So you're eating and drinking coffee while fighting traffic on a brakeless 36" with 125 cranks. Pretty bad ass. You're too cool for scool dude!

                                I know a guy who mounts a 36'er with both hands free. He doesn't watch Youtube, so he just did what felt natural. He can't mount up hill however.
                                UniMyra's YouTube channel

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