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Can learning on old, crappy unicycle to start be counterproductive?

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  • #16
    Oceansea,
    I'm in the same boat you were a couple of years ago. I've had a no-name unicycle for about six months and put in some time on it (not really dedicated for most of it) and I'm just getting 3-4 revolutions now. A friend of mine suggested a move to a "real" uni would make a huge difference.

    How did it play out for you?? Are you still riding? Did you master it on your old clunker, or did you pop for a new wheel? Did it make a big difference?

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    • #17
      A Loyd unicycle when I was learning to ride would have been extreme luxury. I learned on a P.O.S. with a hard plastic 16" tire, tricycle crankset, no bearings, and a hard plastic seat. I gave up many times, but in general stuck with it until the thing fell apart.

      What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. That said, it's unicycles like those that may have turned off a whole generation to the idea of riding unicycles because they're so much harder to learn on.

      If you have something with a real tire, and enough air in it, and a seat that can be raised beyond the point where your legs are all squished down, it doesn't matter too much for the beginning stages. If the cranks and pedals can't be kept loose, or if the thing is so out of alignment it can't be ridden straight, that could be a problem but most other issues are not relevant until you can start riding short distances on your own.

      Afterthought: If it has a seat like the Loyd unicycle I bought through eBay, that could be a problem too. A nice, leather bicycle saddle. Ouch!!
      Last edited by johnfoss; 2010-08-11, 04:23 AM.
      John Foss
      www.unicycling.com

      "Who is going to argue with a mom who can ride a unicycle?" -- Forums member "HiMo"

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      • #18
        my dad has been re-learning to unicycle. he rides the 24" lead-heavy uni my grandpa built in the late-forties. thats old. with a bike seat and bent cranks. i forced him to try my less-shitty 20" and he went twice as far in a few tries.
        "I'm probably not advanced enough to have thoroughly tested it while riding, but I'm unadvanced enough to have very thoroughly tested it while falling." -uniShark

        I ride for Christ-opher Walken

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        • #19
          I don't think you can call it counterproductive... if you cannot unicycle then you can't get any worse. Even if you can ride a bit I think this would be a good lesson as the more strange things you ride, the better you are getting.
          But for sure the progress on such an old one may be slower with a new shiny machine, both because of the uni and your attitude to it.
          http://vooni.kkdt.org My unicycling adventures including RomUni ride.

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          • #20
            those who say it doesn't matter and to persevere are exactly the same people who never had a dodgy uni in their lives and only ever owned a nimbus or KH from day one.

            a rubbish uni will definitely screw you over. case closed.

            once you upgrade to something decent like a nimbus you will be in a whole new world.

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            • #21
              Moving Up

              Okay, that's the second time someone has warned me to get a new uni to accelerate my learning curve. And Nimbus seems to be a consensus for those who cant afford a KH....thanks.

              P.S. Is it okay to buy used or are you buying someone else's problems? It seems like you shouldnt be able to mess up a uni too much. (I dont mind scratches as long as it rides fine)

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              • #22
                I'm in the "wheel is a wheel" category.

                If, after you've tried your darndest to fix it without spending any more money, the wheel wobbles horribly, the seat makes your junk hurt or the pedals fail to turn or support your feet, then yes, toss it and get another. Otherwise, learn on it and by the time you can ride you'll know more specifically what you want to upgrade to and you'll appreciate it more!

                That said, give it a fair shot 4-6 weeks or so practising every other day
                - 4umfreak

                Geagle Search Engine a unicyclist.com inspired search engine. (kh longneak vs shortbeak)

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by 4umfreak View Post

                  That said, give it a fair shot 4-6 weeks or so practising every other day
                  every other day? that would take forever. i recommend at least 20 minutes every day, and an hour or two on the weekends.
                  "I'm probably not advanced enough to have thoroughly tested it while riding, but I'm unadvanced enough to have very thoroughly tested it while falling." -uniShark

                  I ride for Christ-opher Walken

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                  • #24
                    I practiced for a couple hours each day....

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by unireed View Post
                      every other day? that would take forever. i recommend at least 20 minutes every day, and an hour or two on the weekends.
                      LOL, clearly it didn't! I needed the alternate days to recover!
                      - 4umfreak

                      Geagle Search Engine a unicyclist.com inspired search engine. (kh longneak vs shortbeak)

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                      • #26
                        Every Other Day?

                        Yeah, I'm trying to get time in every day, but it is kind of playing out as three evenings week and an hour or two on Saturday.

                        Hope that does the job.

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                        • #27
                          well it is a lot like having an old computer with some random hardware / software issue. yes you can type your assignments on it and email it to work / school, but you have to contend with the occasional random lock-ups and reboots, system hangs etc. you can still be productive, but the odds are working against you.

                          buying a new pc is almost guaranteed to set you free of any hardware and software problems and you will be able to do what you need to do without fighting against the system you are using.

                          if your uni just looks like crap but works, then so be it just use it. but if you feel yourself fighting against it (it leans turns to one side, peddles or cranks keep falling off) then retire it and get something decent.

                          and, considering i hardly ever ride my uni i still can't say enough good things about my nimbus trials.

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                          • #28
                            If you think it's junk, and have the money, then replace it. When you are learning, it's nice to know that what you are riding is OK so that you can concentrate on learning the required skills. If you are not happy with the uni, you will constantly wonder "is it me or this piece of crap that's causing this problem" If you have something decent, there is no excuses, and you know you just have to keep trying.

                            Ya, it's possible to learn to ride on pretty much anything given enough time and sheer stubborn pride, but why bother if you don't have to?

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by FrostyDon View Post
                              If you are not happy with the uni, you will constantly wonder "is it me or this piece of crap that's causing this problem" If you have something decent, there is no excuses, and you know you just have to keep trying.
                              Very true.

                              I learned on a 20" Norco from the late 80s. I new no one else the unicycled, all I had was a book. By today's standards, that unicycle would be considered low quality, but the unicycle worked fine and I did learn to ride. Once I started crusing the length of a street it became obvious that I need something better, but I still have the original.

                              It's determination that is the biggest factor to learning how to ride.

                              One thing you could consider is to buy something new, like what's been suggested, and then if you really don't enjoy it, sell it for a bit less. Unicycles tend to go quickly on the used market in this area.

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                              • #30
                                Moot point maybe, But that sure looks like an old Schwinn to me.
                                What's a Loyd?

                                BTW... I rode my preverbial wobbler (if it applies) all over the place as a kid, the outdoor mall, to School, all over the neighborhood for years. Good memories.
                                Live life full, Right up to the finish line, slidin sideways, in on one hand and screaming in defiance. Hey I'm also on Facebook. 'Dan Staples' , pic with kabota tractor. That's where I lurk mostly. But will be here more often I think.

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