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

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  • krjames
    replied
    Originally posted by 454unicycle454 View Post
    i learnt how to ride on a Torker LX unistar 20" except thanks to messed up UPS shipping i payed more for shipping then i did for the unicycle itself
    Unicycle was 100$ new shipping was 112$
    Free delivery for my Quax 24 (within Korea). Makes me feel very happy

    Probably the important thing is whether the beginner has other people to coach him/her. Without some support there is always going to be the fear that you are wasting your time with something that is not good enough. Learning by yourself is always the hardest way to do things. I doubt that I could have ever leant to ride if I hadn't had someone helping. And lots of little kids riding around making it a really fun experience

    Otherwise work with what you've got until you get something you have more confidence in.

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  • 454unicycle454
    replied
    i learnt how to ride on a Torker LX unistar 20" except thanks to messed up UPS shipping i payed more for shipping then i did for the unicycle itself
    Unicycle was 100$ new shipping was 112$

    Leave a comment:


  • Dr D
    replied
    I can think of a few rides where learning would be very painful. I don't know how anyone learned to ride on this one. Although it's true the basic motions would all be the same, practice time would be very limited.

    http://www.unicyclist.com/forums/showthread.php?t=84259

    Perhaps the answer is, you can learn on any unicycle, but some of the really low end ones will limit achievement.

    Leave a comment:


  • johnfoss
    replied
    Originally posted by nubcake View Post
    1. the OP has ALREADY got an old clunky pos.
    2. has had bits of it breaking
    3. it seems to not be centered correctly
    4. personally feels that the uni is creating issues on top of the already difficult learning curve and feels a struggle with the uni
    It would be nice to hear back from him; we've only gotten the one post in this thread. Hopefully he's out learning to ride (or shopping for an upgrade):
    1. He has a Loyd, not a POS. Though we don't know what the seat is, or if it goes high enough, otherwise it's luxury.
    2. The valve stem broke because the unicycle is over 40 years old. No other reports of breakage. Hopefully he didn't take off the crank to change the tire...
    3. He can't ride without holding onto a wall; how does he know if the unicycle is centered or not?
    4. New rider is surprised at the learning curve. Is there anyone out there that did not experience this? It is natural to question the hardware, but unless we get more information that's all we know.

    It's important to remember the point of view of the beginner rider. They don't know what to expect, and before learning to ride, it's basically impossible to tell if it's a hardware problem or a user problem (or both).

    Originally posted by oceansea View Post
    I am expecting there to be a big learning curve, especially now at the beginning. But its seeming like this unicycle is just overly difficult to keep upright.
    Yes. All unicycles are overly difficult to keep upright during the learning process.

    Originally posted by ezas View Post
    1985, 24" Schwinn, no internet, no book, didn't know anyone who could ride.
    Luxury. As I've written about in other threads, during my attempts to learn on the Troxel unicycle I started out with, I had the opportunity to take one ride on a 24" Schwinn. While I could get maybe 3 meters on the Troxel, in my single attempt I rode the Schwinn 100+ meters down the street. It was a dream! In my case, the hardware was definitely holding me back. For those that haven't been following along, a Loyd is essentially the same as a Schwinn, except for the unknown seat.

    Originally posted by Mikefule View Post
    The seat was a solid horizontal bar of metal with a thin pice of sponge held loosely in place on top by a seat cover made of fabric about as thick as typical ripstop.
    Yikes! I've seen pictures of the old DM and Pashley unicycles, and always wondered what those seats were like. Apparently worse than they looked!
    Last edited by johnfoss; 2010-08-16, 04:00 AM.

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  • Rubix
    replied
    I learned how to ride on a Gravity uni I bought off eBay for $60. Thing lived up it's name, being extremely heavy. I taught myself how to ride and free mount on it. I rode it till I striped the hub. Afterwards I bought a Nimbus II. Much lighter, wider tire and more responsive, I can't say the learning curve got better.

    As others have said, it's the determination that gets you riding, not the ride itself. I would practice everyday till I could ride around the tennis court. Once I got comfty with that, I braved up and rode out the gates, and the rest, as they say, is history. Just keep at it and you will get it. When you do finally upgrade, you will appreciate it more.

    Leave a comment:


  • goldan
    replied
    Originally posted by ezas View Post
    I'm in the ride what you got team.

    In motorcycling there is an often repeated phrase. Ride more, worry less.
    All good points, See what it takes to fix it, go from there. Then go..!
    And yes...I too am an old school "run what you brung" to the races kinda guy as well. I ride acording to conditions, bike/uni included. Onward

    Leave a comment:


  • Mikefule
    replied
    Originally posted by nubcake View Post
    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.
    My first unicycle was a Pashley 20" UMX. It had cheap lollipop bearings held in place with self tapping screws, so that the bearing holders rattled slightly in the frame. When I tried to tighten the screws one sheared off.

    The seat was a solid horizontal bar of metal with a thin pice of sponge held loosely in place on top by a seat cover made of fabric about as thick as typical ripstop. It caused horrible bruising in two lines on my backside, matching the hard edges of the metal. The cranks were cottered and regularly worked loose. The pedals were plastic. Seat adjustment required a spanner - until I scavenceg a "quick release" (one winged wing nut) from a shopper bicycle.

    Soon after I bought the 20" UMX, my neighbour "built" me a unicycle by cutting the seat tube and bottom bracket off a bicycle and welding it onto the front forks. He made a similar seat to the one on the Pashley UMX, but without the padding. I softened it a bit with a piece of old carpet tile.

    I bought a crank set from a child's bicycle (because I needed a small chain ring) and the cranks were probably about 110 mm long. There was a chain drive down to a child-sized wheel (12"? Maybe 14"?) with a sprocket that was not welded in place or held on with a lock ring. This produced a low-rise giraffe (seat around chest height) geared to somethign around 30 - 35 inches. If I trie to slow down too suddenly the sprocket unwound and the wheel locked.

    The same neighbour made me another frame a bit taller, with similar problems.

    On these three unicycles, I learned to ride, and although the two "giraffes" were never more than a novelty for short rides along the road outside my house to show it could be done, I soon got into riding around the local nature reserve (unmade muddy tracks) on the 20" Pashley. I was regularly riding 2 - 3 miles in an evening.

    This was in 1987.

    I bought my first "good quality" unicycle around 17 years later. That was also a Pashley, but with a 26 inch wheel. The lollipop bearings were now held in place with bolts that went all the way through, which were more secure. The tyre was cheap and nasty, with a central row of nobbles that made it squirm on hard surfaces. Square taper hub, and heavy steel cranks. It had a Viscount seat which is heavier than about three KH seats tied together with lead piping. The whole thing was about half as heavy again as the Nimbus equivalent, and about half as good.

    On this I was soon riding 10 miles in an evening on roads and footpaths. I also rode "cross country" around rough field boundaries and the like.

    My first Nimbus was a 20" and my second was a 24" Nimbus 1 withthe inverted Y fork crown, square taper hubs, steel cranks and a Viscount seat. The tyre was about 38mm section (?) suitable for a shopper bicycle.

    None of this is exaggerated.

    <<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.>>

    I say persevere. When you do get a Nimbus or a KH you will then genuinely appreciate how much easier it is.

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  • nubcake
    replied
    Originally posted by oceansea View Post
    im starting to wonder if this old 24" Loyd unicycle i bought a few weeks ago is maybe to clunky to try to learn on?.

    I am expecting there to be a big learning curve, especially now at the beginning. But its seeming like this unicycle is just overly difficult to keep upright. I replaced the old tube after its valve stem broke while trying to inflate it.
    New tube inflated to fairly firm. Maybe too much, so i released a little air. Dont know actual psi as no gauge.

    But still seems like tracking even with one hands fingers touching a well is pretty off.?

    edit : OP - maybe get a bike shop to give it a good service if it isn't too hard on the wallet. After that you will either know or not whether to keep going or start with something better
    How much will an old clunker like mine be useful or possibly counterproductive for learning to ride?
    it seems everyone here has already forgotten that

    1. the OP has ALREADY got an old clunky pos.
    2. has had bits of it breaking
    3. it seems to not be centered correctly
    4. personally feels that the uni is creating issues on top of the already difficult learning curve and feels a struggle with the uni

    the OP is already beating an old horse and is fighting against its sucky nature. time to bury it and start new. you don't rechew a piece of old gum stuck under a desk.

    Edit : OP - maybe take it to a bike shop for a good service if it isn't too expensive. After that you will either know it's worth continuing with or not.
    Last edited by nubcake; 2010-08-14, 06:01 AM. Reason: because

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  • ezas
    replied
    I'm in the ride what you got team.

    1985, 24" Schwinn, no internet, no book, didn't know anyone who could ride. Figured it all for myself including free mounting in about two weeks of 15-30 minutes a day.

    I sort of agree about the not beating up your new uni, but realistically a uni on flat ground can only hit the pedal and the seat. Not really a problem since dropped Unis are a given at any level of riding and today's saddles have bumpers so seats are not as vulnerable as in days past.

    Here is how I look at it. Assuming it is mechanically sound, an old beater is not what is holding you back.

    In motorcycling there is an often repeated phrase. Ride more, worry less.
    Last edited by ezas; 2010-08-14, 01:29 AM.

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  • johnfoss
    replied
    Originally posted by brendan View Post
    Sounds like you need to root....
    Maybe. But do I really need to be a hacker for my hardware to not suck?

    Problem is, I'm the administrator for about 65 of those phones (Samsung Moment) and I'd prefer keeping it the same as everyone else's...

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  • goldan
    replied
    Originally posted by brendan View Post
    But if all you want to do is learn how to install an (let's say linux ;-)) all you need is an old computer.

    To learn to ride all you need is a unicycle. If it's old, good you wont mind getting it bashed and when it breaks and you want to do more, buy a nice shiny one. I learnt on a no name second hand trainer with a terrible seat without a handle. I wouldn't want to learn on a nice shiny KH or even a Nimbus X.

    Sounds like you need to root....
    ** Hey oceansea, old dog new trick and ?...I'd say..yea..just relax on hurting your wallet. My first uni was one of the better ones of the day (nishiki 20"), and I trashed it real fast trying to not fall off, but did, a lot.. Seat got so bad it had sharp edges like a folded tin can and tore my jeans/shorts. It's all I had so I rode till I bled, literally, man that hurt.
    Then I ended up with a 1975 schwinn 24" (and things happen faster on a 24, "zip bonk!" although not new and strong) I occasionally still ride it. It's a 20" monty trials (conversion) rig now.
    Bottom line, get an old beater and get your ride base, Don't destroy your pretty new stuff learning, see if your really into it, then figure out what you want from there. Simple...just ride.
    Last edited by goldan; 2010-08-13, 10:30 PM.

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  • brendan
    replied
    Originally posted by nubcake View Post
    well it is a lot like having an old computer with some random hardware / software issue.
    But if all you want to do is learn how to install an (let's say linux ;-)) all you need is an old computer.

    To learn to ride all you need is a unicycle. If it's old, good you wont mind getting it bashed and when it breaks and you want to do more, buy a nice shiny one. I learnt on a no name second hand trainer with a terrible seat without a handle. I wouldn't want to learn on a nice shiny KH or even a Nimbus X.

    Originally posted by johnfoss View Post
    Now I have the same situation with my (Android) phone!
    Sounds like you need to root....
    Last edited by brendan; 2010-08-13, 09:31 PM.

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  • nubcake
    replied
    Originally posted by johnfoss View Post
    Sorry, got to disagree with you on the unicycle and the computer:
    It may be a better situation in Australia, but around here, most new PCs come with so much crapware pre-loaded, you already have a mess on your hands. Now I have the same situation with my (Android) phone!
    Parts falling off yes, but otherwise, how is a beginner rider to know why the unicycle won't stay right-side up? That's why I said if it's a "real" unicycle with real parts and a real unicycle seat, it's fine for learning. Beyond that, if you can't ride you can't tell the difference.

    There is a tendency for beginner riders to blame the hardware. After all, it can't be *this* hard to ride a unicycle... can it?
    i think you nailed it. from what i have experienced we don't get loaded with bloat. hell, a little bloat might even be nice considering the prices of a new system and software etc.

    "beyond that, if you can't ride you can't tell the difference." <- that is the problem though. for ages i thought i had some issue with turning to one side and read all the threads about this and was so unsure if it was me or the uni, once i got my nimbus my riding was 100x better and no lean, no nothing, just bliss. when you don't know you don't know, and it goes both ways unfortunately. taking away the psychological issue of being unsure if the tool you are using is faulty or not is a big monkey off the shoulders, plus you can't go wrong with getting a new uni... needed or not.

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  • Mikefule
    replied
    Crappy unicycles were the best we could get in the old days. Don't let the quest for perfection be the barrier to finding the good.

    I know two young lads who have learned on a rough uneven lawn, one on a tired old 20" with 150mm cranks, and one on a KH24 muni. The common factor is a desire to ride.

    And when you can ride, you will appreciate the upgrade to a better machine.

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  • johnfoss
    replied
    Originally posted by goldan View Post
    ...that sure looks like an old Schwinn to me.
    What's a Loyd?
    Basically an old Schwinn. Schwinn bought the design from Loyd Wicker Smith. His unicycles came first.

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