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RockyTop's beginner guide


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This is a general guide for beginners. It is pier to pier advice from a fellow enthusiast. Not responsible for results.  Post is likely to be edited. 

Can I learn ?

  If you have normal movement of your legs and feet.  If you can walk a miles (1.6km) in gusts of 20 mph ( 32km/h) winds without assistance.  If you are strong enough to withstand falling to the ground and don't mind bumps and bruises then yes you can learn to ride an electric unicycle. Riding an electric unicycle combines the skills of walking and riding a bicycle.  When you walk forward you lean forward first then move your feet to catch yourself.  It is the same motion on an electric unicycle except you can't just step to the side. Like a bicycle you have to steer the wheel to catch yourself side to side. This takes time and patience to learn. 

Note: We have several forum members that experience pain when walking more than 100 yards ( 91 meters). In stead of employing a wheel chair or sitting on the couch they have found freedom using EUC's . While this might not be recommended, it seems you will not change there mind on the subject any time soon.  I myself respect their decision. 

  Learning to ride is a challenge.  Determination in most cases is more important than skill.  Don't expect to be able to ride efficiently in a few days or even weeks.

Should I learn? 

Risk is involved. It is like learning to ride a bicycle or skate board.  

Unlike a bicycle you are depending on an electrical device to keep you from falling. 

Some people see an electric unicycle and have to have one.  If you are not one of those people the electric unicycles may not be for you.

How long does it take to learn to ride?

  While some people can learn to ride around in a few hours or days most of those same people would not be able to ride comfortably with bike and pedestrian traffic.  In most cases it takes 15 minutes a day for a month to be able to ride peacefully down a bike path.  Unlike learning to ride a bicycle most people learn gradually.  In the beginning any wrong movement can upset your balance.  As you get better you can move more freely. Example:  As a beginner I had to use both hands to adjust my glasses while riding because if I used one it would throw off my balance. I could not turn my head to see behind me and any small bump would almost send me to the ground. Three months later and I could turn my body around and video record my wife as she follows behind me while  I blindly hit speed bumps. ( NOT recommended , result may very ) The point is you learn slowly over time.  

  One additional reason that it may take time to improve your skills is that you may need to build up your leg and core muscles.  Don't worry, all you have to do is continue riding the unicycle. As a beginner It is a one wheeled leg and core workout center.  Once you have learned to ride properly it becomes more of a calf builder. 

Wich Electric Unicycle should I buy?

  This topic starts wars that rival the US Ford Vs Chevy war.  

  Several factors come into play:

 Weight and Aggression. The power of the unicycle is important. The unicycle has to be able to over power your moments.  If you are heavy or aggressive you can over power the unicycle and fall on your face.  Knowing this helps but having the proper unicycle is better.  The unicycle uses beeps and tilt back to warn you that you are getting close to the limits. If you gradually become more aggressive you should hit a beep before you hit a limit.  When choosing a unicycle you should pay close attention to the weight limits. Keep in mind that the weight given is for maximum weight of a non aggressive rider on flat ground.  Quick maneuvers, rapid changes in speed , bumps at high speed and dropping off curbs with an under powered unicycle can over power the unicycle. 

  Wheel size. The bigger wheels give a smoother ride and tend to be more stable at high speeds. The down side is that they are less maneuverable at low speeds and more difficult for beginners and non weekly riders when riding up hills.  The geometry requires more force on your toes to lean the wheel enough to go up a hill. Once you build up the calf muscles the hills disappear  but if you go months without riding your calf muscles disappear.  Smaller wheels tend to give a rougher ride. They are more maneuverable at slow speeds and less stable at high speeds. They are also easy hill climbers.  See hill climbing physics here

  Battery Size. The bigger the battery the further you can go.  Keep in mind that the bigger motors can deplete the battery faster and that it makes the unicycle heavier. Also batteries that are too small for a rider are over worked and do not last as long. 

  Motor Size,  A larger motor gives you a larger safety margin. Remember the unicycle has to be able to control your moments without being over powered. A larger motor is also faster and more powerful. 

  Now the bad news.  Bigger and more powerful means more expensive. Plus the added weight means that when you crash you are more likely to damage the unicycle. This is why some people choose to get a beginner unicycle. A beginner unicycle is a unicycle that you don't mind damaging and takes damage well. Some of the unicycles that are known for speed do not take damage well. After you have learned to ride you can trade up and sell your beginner Unicycle to the next beginner or keep it as a backup. When people come along and say, " That looks fun! Can I try!?" I tell them, "Sure !" and pull out my beginner unicycle. 

  While learning to ride you can party protect your unicycle from low speed damage with padding and automotive door protector. You can wrap your unicycle with padding or an old towel or blanket and lots of packing tape. Just make sure nothing can get in the wheel. After the padding is removed you can continue to protect the edges of the unicycle from getting scratched with a roll of automotive door protector. 

Note: 2018  We are still in the beginning days of the electric unicycle. Changes and improvement are happening every day. It is best to research the product you are buying. You might want the " I got one first"  people to test the wheels before you get one. There has been surprises, good and bad with all brands. 

Where do I get one?

  Beware of old stock. The most expensive part of the unicycle is the battery. The batteries only last so long even if not used. When unused batteries sit on a shelf too long they can loose their charge and fail to ever take a charge again. Older model unicycles tend to lack improvements and updates. Even when you think you are getting a new unicycle you might be getting one that is a year old. Getting an older unicycle is not always a bad thing. Just make sure you are not paying new price for an older model.  Places like eWheels.com and  Speedyfeet.co.uk are there for you during and after the sale. If you have a problem chances are they can and will help. You can buy from other good electric unicycle shops but you need to research their reputation first. I have always enjoyed buying things on E bay but it is not likely the best bet for an electric unicycle at this time. 2018

 Buying from a friend or fellow enthusiast is also a good place to get a deal. 

Your Protection

  You should always wear protection. The very minimum protection should include wrist guards and helmet. The most likely part of your body to get hurt is your hands and wrist. Your wrist guards do an amazing job of preventing that. The most important part of your body to protect is you head. That is where we keep our brains and we need those. When looking for a helmet it is best to chose one with extra coverage. The common bicycle helmet leaves a lot to be desired. Better helmets include, Skate board helmets, Snow board helmets, White water helmets, and for full face protection, BMX helmets, and paragliding helmets.

  Other protection strongly recommended,  Knee pads, elbow pads, shin guards, dirt bike body armor, motorcycle jacket.


Foot position 

Most people start out with thier feet too far forward. This will wear out your calf muscles quick. Every unicycle and person is differant. Positions may very. A good starting point is to have the back of your shoe even with the back edge of the pedal or the front of your shin on the center line or the unicycle. For more control on bigger unicycles while going up and down hills you can move one foot forward and one back. 

What to expect when learning to ride

  • My feet hurt after just five minutes. - This is common in the beginning phase of learning. 
  • I am exhausted after 15 minutes. -   When you are learning you tend to use every muscle in your body to balance.  It gets much easier with time.
  • I can't figure this thing out. -  You are over thinking. It is easier when you don't think about it. 
  • The longer I practice the worse I get. -   Shorter more frequent sessions are better.
  • I forgot everything I learned yesterday. -   It takes a few minutes to get back to where you last left off. 
  • I would do better in a wide open parking lot. -   Not true. After learning basic skills big open spaces can be scary and lack purpose. They make you think about what you are doing instead of naturally responding to surroundings. 
  • The Wobbles -   Wobble is tricky and never really goes away but we learn to control it. A bump or over correction usually starts the wobble and a repeated over correction keeps it going. Proper foot position can reduce the affect.  A change in momentum can stop the wobble. When a wobble accrues you can stop it by: Turning, slow down, shift your weight, favoring one foot, take a deep breath, or even stop trying to stop the wobble. The worse thing you can do is freak out.  I like to call it the force feedback loop error.
  • I can't turn right. -   No one can. It is a heavily concealed secrete among unicycle riders.  Just kidding. Most people are right foot dominate. Turning right requires you to trust the left foot more than you are used to. It will come with time. Doing figure eights around  fixed object helps get over the problem.
  • I freak out when I get near people. -   And you thought you were above psychology. It is easy to lose confidence when  you are not really sure how you are doing what you are doing. While you should always be safe and leave proper space between you and others your comfort zone will likely shrink smaller than the people you are around. 
  • People keep staring at me -   They have never seen anything so cool before.   At college, a student on a nice electric scooter stopped and said under his breath as I passed by " I feel pretty lame right now." 


Mistakes to avoid

  • Tire pressure - When you receive your unicycle the tire pressure is usually too low.  Riding with low tire pressure can damage the expensive hard to find tube and reduce the life of your tire. Filling the tube to the proper pressure can be difficult.  The valve is often difficult to access. Once the proper pressure is achieved air that is lost while disconnecting the pump makes a huge difference in your final pressure.  
  • Pitfalls - Always watch the ground in front of you for pot holes, bumps, roots, uneven pavement, curbs,  slippery surfaces  and anything else to trip you up. kids, dogs, angry spouse ..
  • Over confidence - After learning the basics people become too confident and push themselves past their abilities resulting in injury.  You might think you have learned everything but you will be surprised how much better you get each month. 
  • Lifting the unicycle while turned on. - The unicycle will spin the tire to maximum speed in an attempt to level it'self. If this happens continue holding the unicycle up off the ground while it pitches a fit and eventually turns it'self off. Putting the unicycle back down before it has turned off could result in damage to the floor and tire. 
  • Leaving the unicycle turned on while on public transport - Sudden unexpected movements can send the unicycle on a dangerous mission of it's own.
  • Transporting upright without a case. When the electric unicycle is on it’s side I will not turn on. When transporting upright, if something hits the power button it will turn on. If the tire is touching something it will either burn rubber or move forward.
  • Putting your unicycle in a bind -  stopping against a curb then trying to climb the curb over amps the power system.  Avoid such power binds. EUCGUY  damages MSX pushing car.
  • Water - As of today's date electric unicycles are not water proof enough. While some brands are better than others water can still be an issue.  Although most models can handle lite rain, wet roads and shallow puddles it is best to keep them dry.  The buttons and connections on top have been a problem. Check your model for warnings.
  • Storage - Electric unicycles store an abundance of energy. If punctured the batteries can become a fire hazard.  In the case of a home fire the batteries can add fuel to the flame. 
  • Charging - Batteries should be charged at least once every six months.  It is best to unplug the charger from the power source and the unicycle once the unicycle is charged. Reduces possible hazards and damage.

Links to my posts 

  Thoughts as a beginner  My progression starting out. 

  This is why it is harder to get a larger wheel up a hill  Expiation of how wheel size can affect force needed to climb hills

  This is my wheelhouse.  Stand or storage I made for my unicycle in my work van

  2007 E350 Ford van vs. MSuper cost per mile  Cost of an EUC versus a one ton van cost per mile


Cool Stuff


Hansolo and Tbx Nicolas       Eugene Sazhin        FoamieNinja



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Nice! I'm about a month in and started commuting to work (3.5 miles, with 500-600 elevation gain) on Friday. I'm still a bit wobbly when adjusting my sunglasses, but I can turn right like a champ (left is another matter, for this left footed rider).

The biggest thing I'm struggling it right now is starting on an incline.

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8 hours ago, Jon Stern said:

Nice! I'm about a month in and started commuting to work (3.5 miles, with 500-600 elevation gain) on Friday. I'm still a bit wobbly when adjusting my sunglasses, but I can turn right like a champ (left is another matter, for this left footed rider).

The biggest thing I'm struggling it right now is starting on an incline.

I knew I would find a lefty.  

I was recording my wife as she was learning to ride and she had adjusted her glasses one handed several times without thinking about it. I asked if she could adjust her glasses one handed. She then tried and almost wrecked. "Not Yet " she replied. It was funny when I showed her the video. 

Starting on an Inclines can be tricky. It is all about foot control. Learning to ride one footed helps.

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11 hours ago, Jon Stern said:

The biggest thing I'm struggling it right now is starting on an incline.

You can always start (a bit) sideways and turn into the incline.

If you start into the direction you're going (both uphill and downhill) the key is to put the first foot on the wheel in a way so it won't run away when you lift the second foot to step on. So it has to be balanced in place then, on the incline, and the foot position will be different than when starting on flat ground.

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