Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQs)
Tips For New Unicyclists
Q: How do I learn to ride a unicycle?
A: Here's the information we give to new students.
Introduction: Welcome to the fun-filled world of unicycling! To kids young and old, you're about to embark on an adventure that will last a lifetime. The average time needed to learn unicycling is 10-15 hours. That's about an hour a day for two weeks.
Safety Gear: The Unicycle.com team strongly recommends a helmet and wrist guards. We've been unicycling for many years; we all wear safety gear.
Where To Learn: The best place we've found for training is a back deck, preferably made of wood, with a handrail. Wood is more friendly than concrete, and you'll need to hold onto the handrail while your leg muscles learn to react. If you don't have a back deck, try a baseball field with a chain-link fence. Pick a grassy area with solid, flat dirt and you can hold onto the fence.
Does This Thing Have A Front And Back? Yes. The seat post clamp skewer (bolt/nut or quick-release handle) is on the back. The pedal marked "L" should be on your left, "R" on your right.
How High Should The Seat Be? When you're seated on the unicycle, with one foot on a pedal in its lowest position, your leg should be almost straight.
1. Pull the seat into place as shown in the top picture.
2. Spin in the wheel so that the pedal is in the 4:00 position, as shown in the next picture.
3. Put both hands on the handrail or fence, as shown in the third picture.
4. Step on the pedal closest to you. This is different from a bicycle, where you step on the forward pedal. Bicyclists are used to moving forward when mounting. On a unicycle, you want the wheel to rotate 1/4-turn backwards. Step on the pedal and you should now be on the seat with the wheel underneath you.
5. Hold onto the handrail tightly and lean forward slightly while pedaling slowly. Next is the most important tip we can offer you. When the unicycle starts to fall, let it. Stay on your feet and let it fall. The seat can be replaced; your seat can't. Continue to hold onto the handrail until you've practiced steps 1-4 at least three hours.
Congratulations! You're about 10 hours away from riding without assistance! During the next several days you'll ease your grip on the handrail and then hold on with one hand. You'll travel a few feet without assistance, then a few yards, then you'll soon discover the secret to unicycling: Lean in the direction you want to travel and the wheel will try to catch up with you. Always use caution when riding a unicycle. You are responsible for your own safety!
Unicycling Clubs: Unicycling is an individual sport, but unicyclists are a close-knit community. There are lots of unicycling clubs around the world. In the U.S., see the Unicycling Society of America at: www.unicycling.org/USA, and find the club nearest to you. If you don't find one, start one! You'll also find information to help you start a club.
Happy unicycling from the entire Unicycle.com team!
Q: Why do unicycles have only one wheel?
Q: Where's the other wheel?
A: Real men don't need two wheels.
Fitness and Distance Riding:
Q: What type of unicycle should I buy for fitness?
A: Fitness riding usually means you're covering some distance. If you're riding less than 3 miles, we'd suggest a 24 or 26 inch wheel. If you're traveling greater distances, we'd suggest a 29 or 36 inch wheel. The 36 inch wheel is the ultimate size for long distances. 36-inch riders can easily reach speeds of 10 to 12 miles per hour. If you're new to the 36, we suggest 150mm (6-inch) cranks. After you've ridden it for a few months and built leg strength, try switching to 125mm (5-inch) cranks. You won't have to move your knees so much and your ride will be much smoother.
Wheel size: 24-, 26- or 29, or 36-inch
Cranks: 5-inch; 6-inch for 36-inch wheels
Seat: Airseat conversion (remove foam pad, replace it with a 12-inch tire tube)
If you're between 5 and 5-1/2 feet in height, a 24-inch wheel is best. 5-1/2 feet to 5-8 should consider a 26-inch wheel. 5-9 and higher will prefer the 28- or 36-inch wheel.
Q: What makes a mountain unicycle different from street unicycles?
A: Off-road unicycles have stronger axles, longer (and lighter) crank arms for climbing, and a big fat knobby tire.