How to ride a unicycle – 10 tips

Growing up, my sister had a unicycle. She didn’t know how to ride it and neither did I. As far as we knew, it was completely impossible to ride. Fast forward about 20 years, and i now know how to ride a unicycle. I learned in about an hour. Maybe I’m more coordinated now, or maybe I have an easier time wrapping my head around the concept. Maybe I just have a longer attention span. Whatever the reason, I only learned to ride recently, so the learning process is still fresh in my mind. Here are the ten key things that I learned.

First of all, forget free mounting. That’s when you try to start riding without holding on to something. This is for after you learn how to balance on a unicycle, so save it for later. Wasting your time on free mounting before you can ride will only hold you back.

Second, forget about idling. That’s when you kinda rock back and forth to stand in place. I still haven’t learned how to do this, but I couldn’t imagine it being the first thing I learned. Riding forwards and staying up will be your first goal.

Third, adjust the seat at a medium height, not all the way up like you would on a bike. This will allow you to move around a bit and keep your balance. It’ll also be a little easier on your—parts.

Fourth, keep the tires at a medium pressure. Of course you don’t want them super mushy, but you also don’t want them rock solid like a road bike. This delays the movements of the unicycle slightly and makes it easier to balance on.

Fifth, find a wide open area with something to hold on to. This hockey rink is where I learned to stay up, as there’s plenty of space and a barrier for support. The space must be sufficiently large because you’re going to be going all over the place once you learn to stay up.

Sixth, scoot along a fence or wall, holding on. This helps you get comfortable sitting on the unicycle and pealing. As you scoot along, try to direct yourself away from the wall and attempt to stay up. This is something you’ll need to do repeatedly to finally learn.

Seventh, keep your eyes straight ahead. You’ll have a natural tendency to look down, but that’ll only make you fall down instantly. Imagine how disorienting it would be to run while looking straight down. Runners look straight ahead and so do unicyclists.

Number 8: Flail your arms around to keep your balance. Someone told me this in the comments of a video and I thought they were kidding. Your arms will be key in keeping your balance when you first start out, and as dumb as it looks, it works. As you get more comfortable you can ride along with your hands at your side, but this might take a little time.

Number 9: Lean forwards. The unicycle should be tilted in the direction you want to ride. By pedaling forwards you keep the unicycle from falling over. This takes some commitment at first, and maybe even some time to wrap your head around, but it’s the key to actually making some distance. If you throw your weight too far forwards you can always just step off on to the ground. It’s when you don’t lean forwards that you end up falling off the back and getting hurt.

Number 10: Hold your back straight. If you’re flopping around everywhere, you’re not going to be able to hold your balance. This is one of the reasons unicycling is such a good core workout. Your torso is your center of gravity, which your arms, legs, and unicycle will move around to stay balanced.

Now that you know these ten tips, you should be up and riding within an hour or two. If you practice for a while and get nowhere, put it down and try again the next day. Riding a unicycle is a matter of learning to stay up through trial and error, and then doing it enough times to burn it into your brain. Just like riding a bike, you’ll never forget how.

Check out http://unicycle.com

Comments

PLAZY REX says:

Is riding a unicycle like riding a bike with no hands?

Henry PlaidJacket says:

I like this… If I ever snap my real bike in half, I’ll know how to ride the rest of the bich home.

fathers sage says:

I choked when he fell

Eleonóra Pető says:

Dab :O

Jake Paul Sucks says:

2000th like!

Doofensmirtz Evil Incorporated says:

Yo I’m famous for my balance comment

Yanay H says:

I just learned to ride a unicycle 2 weeks ago. You and Mike Boyd inspired me to, and these tips were really helpful. I saw that using your method of learning I progressed much quicker than everyone around me. Thanks!

Allen Dowe says:

When i was little i learned by brute trial and error, i think i spent at least a month every day trying to learn whats in this video. Cant go wrong here.

Lyne Xu says:

Hi Seth, I have more confident to learn how to ride my electric unicycle(KS-14D) after watching your video. Thank you~

happinessisasmile says:

brill advice thanks : )

Jonnie Lavis says:

Seems to mean dabbing the secret

Moto Pro says:

whos with me dab on dem haters seth

Malic Alex says:

2:37 longest dab ever

Legend has it he’s still dabbing to this day

Scoox says:

Saw this today, had to order one. Can’t wait to get started! SO says she’d like to try too, it really would be great to have a common sport we both love :) happy riding

Jason Bell says:

I’m confused about whether or not the saddle should be held – I’ve seen videos where people do it, and others where they don’t. I’m not sure about the effects – is it personal preference? Are there particular advantages/disadvantages, like balance?
Any answer, however experienced, would be appreciated;

Avidcomp says:

It seems to me that if children were encouraged to develop unicycle skills, then in the future they’d be a lot less adults with lower back pain. Core strength is an area of weakness even to many gym fanatics and bodybuilders, not to mention the rest of the regular folk.

Matthew Cain says:

ill be good at it cause i can rude 5 mons with no hands on my bike

James Games says:

Hey if you want to be a master unicyclist remove your whole ear because that’s what you use to balance your welcome XD

Jean Jacques says:

Tank u, have a brain injury an lost allot of ballese, my seribelum got hurt, witch effects my ballense

Mattdog 0616 says:

Is it a 24 inch or 26 inch wheel

choco bananas says:

when you hold the chair you look like you are grabbing something else

Zaiden Juarez says:

What type of unicycle is that

Cthulu Muramasa says:

Oh shit waddup

Nikolay Kutsman says:

is this 26″?

Kelly Rosemin says:

it’s easier on your…p a r t s

Eye_Of_Wither says:

look at 2:40 he’s dabbing

*John Smith* says:

Guys help I’ve been unicycling all around my city and I’ve been on YouTube trying to figure out how to stop

tavidermy says:

I just wanna unicycle so I can be a clown

Japheth Gady Garcia says:

The scene that you fall on your back its really hurts

עבדיאל בן משה גולדשטיין says:

Thank you, Seth. Just one question: does it matter how thick the tires are?

leo p says:

i would say that learning to ride a  unicycle in an hour is super human.  the average is about 10 hours spread out over days.

dennis maina says:

I will never know how to ride a unicycle

Roofingdoneright44 says:

shits easy….u just to imitate Joe Cocker

Chris Jeong says:

I’ve just started to learn to ride a unicycle thanks for the tip! :)

Derek Hansen says:

if you want to get really good at it try riding with your hands in your pockets on a flat surface and then move on to uneven with your hands in pockets

Ethan Tiusonco says:

Dab dab

awes ansari says:

abe meko de ta unicycle me paisa do ga

Cooks Biking PNW says:

I’m horrible at wheelies on a bike. Do you think that learning to ride a unicycle would be helpful to the process of learning to ride wheelies?

pawel187 says:

Man… You need a dropper post 😀

Leon Weber says:

Same

helene cornwall says:

Thank you soooo much! Haven’t had a chance to have a go on my unicycle yet, apart from holding onto the fridge in my kitchen!
I really look forward to it! H from Kent in England.

Raging with Reese says:

from my first times riding a unicycle (im decent at it now) i would say to learn how to fall on a unicycle

George Boris Ho says:

Do the salsa for balance.

writing shit says:

“Stay in an open space.”

Me: *tries to ride in my bedroom.*

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