Learning to ride a unicycle can be very rewarding, but make no mistake about it, it is going to come with plenty of challenges. Some of these challenges are going to be obvious, like the difficulty of balancing on shifting surfaces. Some of them might not be so obvious, like how much more difficult it is to crank a unicycle than it is to ride a bike. Not all of those challenges are even physical - some are mental.
Don’t fall prey to the misconception that riding a unicycle will be a simple performance act. While you can certainly make quite a show of your capabilities on a unicycle, there’s much more to it than entertainment.
Just like learning anything new, teaching yourself to ride a unicycle will present you with plenty of challenges that you might not have expected. It will require great determination in the face of obstacles, as, with riding a bike, there will be lots of bumps and falls - probably many more. In addition, you’ll need to hone your strength and stamina because a unicycle requires much more strength than other cycles.
If you’re interested in learning but entirely new to the world of unicycling, an affordable unicycle is probably your best bet for getting into the sport for quite a few reasons. Without any experience in unicycling, you might not know how you will stick with it and pursue the sport going forward. You might become interested in extreme mountain unicycling, you might want to use one to commute to work and you might even be interested in one for freestyle riding. Investing in a high-quality affordable unicycle like the ones we offer here is a great way to get into the sport, even if you’ve never tried before. It won’t break the bank and it will let you see what style of riding you want to refine.
Just in case you had any reservations about getting into unicycling in the first place, know that learning to ride one doesn’t just present you with challenges that will enable you to hone different skills, it will also afford you a number of benefits regarding your physical and mental health about which you may not have been aware. Consider the following if you are on the fence.
It Will Test Your Mental Faculties
Learning to ride a unicycle is just as taxing on your mind as it is on your body. Since unicycles are so mechanically inefficient, you will need to develop a keen awareness of the environmental factors and the area through which you are riding which could be constantly shifting. Especially with particular styles of riding like extreme mountain unicycling, the rider needs to be ever vigilant and perceptive of the conditions of the terrain.
With changing conditions and the need to maintain your balance at all times, you will have to be very environmentally and situationally aware.
For instance, extreme mountain riders, or muni riders, will have to face slopes that will change unexpectedly, navigate across streams and hop over rocks and logs in order to stay in the saddle, so to speak. Besides the obvious physical benefits that managing and balancing these changing conditions can have, it has the added potential to heighten and hone your mental acuity.
But there’s more than this. Not only can the simple act of learning to balance on a unicycle and navigate terrain heighten your ability to think and act quickly, it has other mental benefits as well.
There’s been evidence to suggest that learning to ride a unicycle has vast developmental benefits in pedagogical learning processes - which means that it likely can have those same benefits for adults as well.
Because learning to ride a unicycle is, in and of itself, a complex and intricate challenge, learning to approach new obstacles with shifting mental focus and perspective can help you learn to adapt to other similar mental challenges in your life. In short, learning to ride a unicycle can make you a better, more creative problem solver.
Does it mean it will increase your scores on a standardized test? Not necessarily. But it does mean that it will help you develop creative problem-solving skills and sharpen your mental focus, and those two aspects of thinking and problem solving can absolutely affect the way you approach difficult situations and complex problems in the future.
With success comes the feeling of pride and accomplishment that motivates you to tackle new challenges. If you become successful at riding a unicycle, you will realize your potential to tackle other different challenges in your life. While challenges vary, the determination and drive to conquer them does not. That’s one of the lesser-known benefits of the great sport of unicycling - even if you only become a casual rider for the fun it will offer you.
It Will Condition Your Body
Exercising the mind is only one of the benefits that riding a unicycle can offer you - most of the benefits are physical. When it comes down to the physical challenge, there’s no debate about it. Riding a unicycle is hard work, really hard work. You probably knew that it was significantly harder than riding a bicycle, and that’s true, but it’s even more taxing than that. Riding a unicycle is even less efficient than walking the same distance. In fact, the unicycle as a machine is one of the most mechanically inefficient designs ever devised, if not the most inefficient.
That sounds like a scathing criticism of the unicycle, but it’s far from it. Think of it this way. It’s terribly inefficient to lift weights. You don’t need to lift weights to go about your day, yet many people do it. Why? Because it is inefficient. That inefficiency requires your body to operate in a different fashion to accommodate the strain. You get stronger from lifting weights. As riding a unicycle is metaphorically similar to this, you get stronger from riding a unicycle.
Consider the extreme mountain unicycle rider we mentioned in the previous section, as well as the challenges he or she is going to face heading down a slope. Even without any physical obstacles, the grade and traction of the terrain will be ever-shifting. It requires great strength to move forward or backward on a unicycle, and your output will have to shift with the changing of these factors.
There are more obstacles than just a shifting slope gradient in mountain unicycling, though. You’ll come up against rocks, logs, stumps, creeks and whatever else is laying across the mountainside. You might need to hop, balance in place, or make sudden adjustments to your speed or the way you will approach an obstacle. Riding a unicycle in such an environment requires great strength from your legs and your core, both for being able to balance and for being able to progress forward or make adjustments to speed.
Even riding on a level, even road will require the rider to develop similar strength in the legs and core, although riding a unicycle really is a full-body workout. As a byproduct of the fact that your whole body will have to be in constant motion in order to maintain balance and progress, it will not only make you stronger but refine your coordination and vastly improve your stamina. Having to pay constant attention to your balance and progress will help you achieve leaps and bounds in building strength and stamina.
It’s Also Great If You Don’t Have A Lot of Time
On top of the fact that riding a unicycle is a solid workout in and of itself, it’s also very time efficient. Not everyone has an hour to go to the gym to lift weights or an hour for a five-mile run. Sometimes people want to prioritize fitness but they don’t have a lot of time for effective workouts.
Learning to ride a unicycle is a great way to get a compact and effective workout into a relatively small window of time. If you don’t have as much time as you’d like for longer runs or bike rides, you can hop on the unicycle for a half hour and burn just as many calories, maybe even more.
Start with An Affordable Unicycle
If you’re up to the challenge of learning, all that’s left for you to do is find the one that suits your lifestyle and your goals. As we mentioned, if you are just starting out it might be most reasonable for you to start out with an affordable unicycle so you can learn with your strengths and interests. Then you can decide how you want to proceed and one which features you would like to spend.
Pick up an affordable unicycle from our site that will help you break the ice and get into learning, without having to break the bank as well. Then, you never know what will happen. If your love for unicycling takes off and you want to get into mountain unicycling or commit to riding one to work, then maybe you should upgrade to a higher-end model that will offer features you will actually put to use. Take a look at some of these affordable unicycles from our site that are beginners’ favorites.
Club 20” Freestyle Unicycle - This model just so happens to be our most popular selection for beginner and intermediate riders, as it possesses a number of features amenable to learners and a price tag that will sit well too.
Though the size of the model you purchase for any use will be tied to your inseam, in this particular case it might be valuable to go with a smaller wheel like this one offers. A larger wheel will make it easier for a rider to cover longer distances, but at the same time will present greater rotational momentum that can make it difficult to stop and adjust speed. That’s just one thing to consider with this model. It also has a relatively large, comfortable saddle and a square crown where you can rest your feet as you become more proficient.
Club 16” Freestyle Unicycle - This is a slightly smaller version of the above model that offers a lot of the same features and is ideal both for smaller riders and for riders that would prefer to learn on a smaller wheel. The basic difference between these two cycles is the diameter of the wheel, so if you believe you’ll find some benefit in a smaller wheel, you might want to go with this model - and you can always consult us for advice.
Schwinn 20” Retro Unicycle - This unicycle by Schwinn offers a lot of classic appeal and features that beginners can appreciate while at the same time not breaking the bank. For example, the seatpost on this model can be cut down to fit certain riders better. It also comes with cotterless steel crank arms and a two-piece steel frame - the cycle comes in at 14 pounds. It would make a serviceable model for learners and it’s priced right, making it doubly suitable.
Nimbus II 20” Unicycle - This is a tough versatile unicycle that can scale with your skills. It not only happens to be excellently designed for learners but is ideal for intermediate riders as well-wishing to hone their skills further. This model offers a lot of the features of the Club Freestyles listed above, with a squared crown and a comfortable saddle. But in addition, it has a double-walled rim and an ISIS hub which is a substantial upgrade from the Club unicycle line.
These are four selections of what we can offer you in an affordable unicycle, though we offer many more on our site. If you’re not sure what features you need in a unicycle but are sure you want to give it a try, call our knowledgeable team at 678-494-4962 and we’ll help you figure out what you need. We have years of experience riding and we’d love to put our experience to work for you, so give us a call today.