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Old 2014-10-18, 04:12 PM   #31
elpuebloUNIdo
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Your seat-post sounds like it's too high; can it be lowered without sawing a bit off the bottom? I hear a lot of beginner advice about keeping the seat as high as possible and focusing on putting your weight on the seat. This advice seems, IMO, dangerous. For beginners, I think it is better to err on the side of too much weight on the pedals, and this may be done more effectively with the seat somewhat lowered. All the awkward UPDs I had as a beginner were a result of losing contact with the pedals. Don't let this happen to you.
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Old 2014-10-18, 05:57 PM   #32
song
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Yeah, in the beginning a high seat can be more intimidating. It's good to eventually learn to put as much of your weight as possible on the seat, but just having one leg fighting the other as you pedal around can be an OK way to get started learning to ride. It's simpler, or at least seemed simpler to me, than adding the third variable of my full weight on the seat.

Now that you've got a good unicycle for your specific needs, all you gotta do is practice. Someone watching you who knows how to ride can be extremely helpful, if you can find such a person. A friend of mine started learning to freemount before learning to ride, and it seems to be working for him, but that's definitely not what I did. This thread is by a guy who learned to ride on a large wheel like yours starting from day one, so it might help.
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Old 2014-10-18, 06:37 PM   #33
sacherjj
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I took off about 1.5" from the seat post with a tubing cutter. That is some thick wall aluminum. I am not worried about seat post strength at all.

It feels a lot better as far as balance comfort and UPDs with the 1" lower seat. I can step off with confidence and hold the seat with my legs. I got up to two wheel turns unassisted before I had to get back to the wall. This is past where I was on the 20" before the welds let loose.

I also got a nice shin hit. I'll be picking up some guards. I also may have sent the edge of the pedal into the pine post at the top of the stairs, when I launched it forward. My wife was not at home, and a little stain and it blends in well. But I'm going to have to start moving outdoors.

This is really working some leg muscles that I haven't in a while. I have a problem with one of my knees and got into cycling to help it, which it did. But my wife is not a cycling person and we just walk. I can see already that this will really help the muscles around my bad knee.

I'm going to setup some blocks and practice free mount like in the YouTube video by Terry, I think. It will be a while as I build muscle strength to get more stable, I'm sure. I've been taking 5-10 minute sessions. That seems to work out well. I'm sure being unsure of balance really burns up energy that is wasted.
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Old 2014-10-18, 07:00 PM   #34
sacherjj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by song View Post
Now that you've got a good unicycle for your specific needs, all you gotta do is practice. Someone watching you who knows how to ride can be extremely helpful, if you can find such a person. A friend of mine started learning to freemount before learning to ride, and it seems to be working for him, but that's definitely not what I did. This thread is by a guy who learned to ride on a large wheel like yours starting from day one, so it might help.
Reading through that makes it look like some people came out of the womb with unicycle skills.
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Old 2014-10-18, 10:29 PM   #35
song
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Originally Posted by sacherjj View Post
Reading through that makes it look like some people came out of the womb with unicycle skills.
Yeah, it does, but you're on the right track, so don't worry.

Taking it outside is definitely better- it's amazing how inspiring an open stretch of flat pavement can become. You'll see the beauty in every abandoned lot and every defunct strip mall. Unicycling converts it all into poetry. It's also a workout when you first start learning, but if you want it to stay that way, later you'll have to start climbing steep hills or hopping up the stairs.

You're right about those Nimbus seat posts, they are high quality and unbelievably strong.
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Old 2014-10-22, 01:21 AM   #36
sacherjj
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Well, I finally was able to carve some time to taking it to the tennis courts. Last night, I was ready to give it a go. But got hit with a thunderstorm just when I got to the house.

I put on my wrist guard gloves and my head lamp, then walked and rolled or carried the Uni 4 blocks to the tennis court. An unridden unicycle that is being rolled along is really a mocking little joker. 4 blocks of it whispering that I could already be there if I just knew how to ride it.

The 30 minutes I spent on the 20" Sun, before the hub broke, was a good bit easier than this guy. I can see why a 20" is an easier start. I worked along the outside of the fence for almost half the circumference. This is a two court fence. I got one run of 3 crank turns with only fingers dragging. I then switched sides and tried on my left arm. I made it about 1/3 of the way down that side in half or full crank turns at a time. I started jumping off instead of trying to hold up on the fence, to get used to bailing. One thing seems to precede the "wrecks" I've read about on here, hesitance to bail.

I'll call it a half way around as a measurement for now. I rode recumbents for a while, so I've gotten used to strange looks. I expect I'll get more on a uni. I don't know if I will look any more ridiculous than I did tonight. Holding onto a fence, wobbling on a unicycle with a head lamp lighting the path in front of me. The older couple that walked by had a nice chuckle.

I think I'm going to cut just a little more off of the seat. I'm not uncomfortably low and I could see how the lower mount height and shorted distance to jump down could help a bit. I also wish this old fence was a little tighter. I might go looking for a little nice practice area.

My uni was even a little more mouthy on the walk home, as I wasn't quite as successful as I had hoped this outing. I rolled it over to the other side of the bed, where it can't talk to me any more tonight.

Last edited by sacherjj; 2014-10-22 at 01:25 AM.
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Old 2014-10-22, 03:04 AM   #37
LargeEddie
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Sounds like you had a really good session there. Well done! Keep at it, focus on process and not results as they say. It takes a while for everyone but one ride at a time and you'll get it.
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Old 2014-10-22, 05:22 AM   #38
song
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Be careful about sawing off the seat post. You can always cut more off, but you can't put any back on!

What I always tell people to do when first starting is:
1) Grab a pole or other support in the middle of some flat pavement and get on your uni
2) Get your cranks horizontal
3) Let go of the pole and fall forward as if you're going to do a faceplant, but then start pedaling. You will fall eventually, hopefully forward rather than back, but you almost always land on your feet. You have to physically commit to that forward fall, though- it's the first step, and for my first few days of riding, it was what I had to re-learn each time I arrived at my little practicing area.

Once you rely on your pedaling to keep you upright, you will be surprised how quickly it does just that. All you need is a bit of patience for trial and error. It's definitely better if you have daylight, though!
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Old 2014-10-22, 12:38 PM   #39
sacherjj
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Be careful about sawing off the seat post. You can always cut more off, but you can't put any back on!
Yes, at worst it is a $28 mistake.

I figure that there are going to be times that I might want it lower than currently possible once I'm ridding. As long as I can get it high enough that I'll be rocking back and forth to reach the pedals (i.e. too high) with a sufficient length in the frame for strength, I'm good.

I mentally know about the lean forward and go for it. That is what I've been doing along the fence, but not fully committed. Daylight would definitely help with that. Kind of a bummer coming to work in the dark and leaving after dark. I'll have daylight on Friday.
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Old 2014-10-22, 09:32 PM   #40
song
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Keep enough seat post so that you can safely raise your seat to the highest point you would ever raise it on a bicycle. The insanely long cranks you have right now are good for learning, but if you ever want to put on shorter ones, you'll need to allow another two or three inches of seat post for that as well.

Ideal seat height on a unicycle depends a lot on what sort of riding you plan to do. When I first learned, I wanted my seat low because I was scared. Once I got good enough to travel around my neighborhood, I started putting the seat much higher so my legs wouldn't get tired. Later I got interested in hopping and lowered it again, etc.

Once you learn to ride smoothly, darkness isn't too much of a problem, especially on a large wheel.
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Old 2014-10-22, 10:09 PM   #41
sacherjj
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Hadn't thought of the shorter cranks. 125s are probably the minimum, so 40 mm difference. So I need an extra 1.5" there. Good to keep in mind.
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Old 2014-10-23, 04:23 AM   #42
song
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No, in the future you could go a lot shorter than 125.
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Old 2014-10-23, 02:50 PM   #43
sacherjj
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Wow. OK Good to know. Thanks for the education song.
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Old 2014-10-26, 03:09 AM   #44
sacherjj
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Replaced the stock tire with a Hookworm. This gave me about 1" less effective diameter. It also allowed me to lower the seat post by another 1/2" without cutting.

I tried the "just ride" method. I kept locking at the bottom of the first stroke. It was a mental lock of knowing I could hold the foot down and bail forward. I finally talked myself into a full revolution. I was mostly stable, but was bailing after a full revolution. I finally got two revolutions. Ended one on my butt pretty hard. Anyhow, I'm pleased with the balance progress today.

Second real practice time with the 26". I'm about 2 hours total uni practice so far. I think I'll keep this as a training journal. Little more accountability for me. I'm trying to keep me learning this mostly a secret to many people, because I think it will be more fun to be half way decent before they find out.
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Old 2014-10-26, 05:20 AM   #45
song
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Originally Posted by sacherjj View Post
I finally talked myself into a full revolution.
Too bad more people don't do that!

Knobby tires aren't necessary when you're first learning, though eventually any fat tire, knobby or not, can be a lot of fun. Once you start to go for longer rides on cambered streets, you may find the Hookworm makes you dance the Twist a bit, but it's not a big problem. The Hookworm has a nice range of tire pressure you can experiment with, too. The qualities and behaviors of different tires is something unicyclists talk about a lot.

When I was first learning to ride, I used to take my uni apart and carry it to my practice area in a trash bag so nobody would see it, but soon the fascination of possibly getting there on one wheel grew to outweigh my fear of becoming the neighborhood clown.
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