1. Pull the seat into place.
2. Spin the wheel so that the pedal is in the 4:00 position.
3. Put both hands on the handrail or fence.
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!
Safety: Although safety gear is not mandatory, we strongly recommend wearing a helmet, gloves, wrist guards and knee pads. It is always better to be safe than sorry!
Location: The best location to learn how to unicycle is somewhere that has a flat, smooth surface preferably with a wall or handrail to hold onto. A back deck, gym, tennis court or baseball field with a chain-link fence all work great! If you don’t have anything to hold onto, you can always have a parent or friend help you out and they can be your “moving wall”. Actually this is the best method as you’ll learn below.
Seat Height: Having the seat the correct height is crucial for learning. If it is too low or high it will be very hard to learn. For most people, the seat should be about where your belly button is when you are standing with the unicycle in front of you. As everyone is different this is a rough estimate and you may need to adjust it accordingly. When seated and the pedal is in the farthest down position, your leg should almost be straight with just a slight bend in your knee.
Figure out if you are left or right footed. Stand with both feet together and step forward. Usually whatever foot you step with first is your dominate foot. As most people are right footed we will use this as the example. If you are left footed, just replace all the rights with lefts from here on out.
Place the unicycle in front of you with the right pedal in the 4 o’clock position. This means that the right pedal should be towards the down position and slightly towards you.
Grab a wall, handrail or another person and place your right foot on the right pedal. When you step on the pedal the unicycle will naturally rotate ¼ of a turn backwards and come under you which is what you want. Note that this is different than a bicycle where you step on the forward pedal.
Place your left foot on the left pedal and you should now be sitting on the unicycle.
Position your cranks so they are horizontal or parallel to the ground. This is the “stop” position and is a good position for the unicycle. When the cranks are vertical or perpendicular to the ground (one pedal is up and one is in the down position) they are in the “dead” position. You will always want to stop when the cranks are in the “stop” position and never in the “dead” position. This is due to the fact that it is much easier to control when in the “stop” positions and very difficult to control in the “dead” position.
Now that the cranks are in the “stop” position, sit there for awhile and get comfortable. You want to be sitting on the seat instead of standing on the pedals. This means that most of your weight should be on the seat with little weight on the pedals.
After you get comfortable, lean forward and pedal ½ a revolution to the next “stop” position. You will want to learn in ½ revolution increments. Regain your balance in the “stop” position and then try and go another ½ a revolution. You will want to keep on doing this until you get good at it.
The next step is to do a full revolution every time instead of a ½ a revolution. Again, every time you stop you will want to make sure that the cranks are in the “stop” position (parallel to the ground).
Continue the practiced steps 1-8 for at least three hours. Then it is time to keep on riding without stopping. Congratulations as you much closer from learning to ride without holding on to anything!
Over the next several times you practice you’ll want to slowly start easing your grip on the wall, handrail or person you are holding onto. Eventually you will only be slightly holding on and then you can go for gold and let go and see how far you can go! At first it will only be a foot, then a couple feet and eventually you will be able to ride as far as you want!!
Very helpful tricks and tips to speed up the learning process:
The single most important tip we can offer is to NEVER GIVE UP and keep trying it over and over until you get it. Yes, you will get frustrated at times and want to give up, but keep with it and you will not regret it. Practice makes perfect!
The second most important tip we can offer is to let the unicycle fall to the ground when you fall and try to stay on your feet. Do not worry about catching it at first. Unicycles are built to be dropped unlike bicycles. They have protective bumpers on the seat that will last a very long time. They will get scratches on them but that is normal and they can be replaced if needed for a very minimal cost. Sit up with your back straight and look forward. Do not slouch or look down! DON'T look down at the ground. Look straight ahead at the horizon. As soon as you look down you lose the horizon and your balance.
Place almost all of your weight on the seat. Do not stand up on the pedals!
The balls of your foot should be on the pedals, not your toes or heels. When you get on, if your feet are not correct, twist them back and forth until they are correct.
The quickest way to learn is to have two parents, adults or friends help you out. Have a person on each side of you and have them walk around with you while you ride it. At first you can lock arms and eventually go to holding hands. Then once you get comfortable you can let go of one person and practice with one helper. With one person you will want to hold hands until eventually you are only holding fingers and then nothing!
Make sure the seat is the correct height (the top of the saddle should roughly be an inch higher or lower than your naval/belly button ).
Use your hands outstretched for balanced. Yes, it might look like you are swimming at first but with time you’ll get better and look like a professional!
Lean in the direction you want to turn and the wheel will follow.
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN LEARNING IS TO DON'T FORGET TO SMILE! Have fun and you will learn in no time.
Please be careful as you are responsible for your own safety! Do not learn around busy streets, parked cars or other things that could be dangerous. Feel free to contact us anytime if you need any help repairing the unicycle or want more tips on learning how to ride.