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Learning To Ride A Unicycle, Types And Sizes Of Unicycles For The Beginner

February 21, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 149

To the casual observer, unicycles look very similar, but they are not all the same. Just like bicycling, unicycling is a sport with several types of riding specialties to master and terrains to conquer. Also just as with bicycling, each specialty requires a unique type of unicycle. In order to maximize enjoyment, not destroy your first uni, your property, or yourself while learning to ride, the proper unicycle choice and sizing is critical.


Unicycles are sized according to tire diameter. Since there are no gears (unlike a bicycle), the only thing apart from how fast you pedal that determines your speed is the tire diameter. You might be thinking, "I want to be able to go as fast as possible if I want to". Well, just as with most things in life, there are trade-offs. The bigger the diameter of the wheel, the more difficult it is to maneuver. With a 36" wheel, you could top 20mph, but you'd be limited to making wide swooping turns. It's also much harder to learn with a big wheel. I highly recommend making that 36" beast your second or third uni purchase.


Unicycles come in standard sizes of 12" diameter wheels, up to 36". Just a word of warning, if your plan is to ride indoors, you'll regret buying anything larger than a 24" wheel. Please also take into consideration that the small 12" and 16" tires aren't really built to go on anything but very smooth surfaces.

The first thing that you need to know is your leg length, otherwise known as inseam length.

12" wheel...19.5" to 24" inseam (indoor or smooth surface use only)

16" wheel...23.5" to 29" inseam (indoor or smooth surface use only)

20" wheel...28" to 33" inseam (versatile for indoors or out, great size to learn on, popular for freestyle tricks, not good for touring as it is too slow)

24" wheel...31" to 36" inseam (good learner unicycle for taller folks or those who want to tour a bit)

26", 29",36" wheel...(stay away from these if you are a beginner, damage to property or self will occur)


There are a number of types, but for a first unicycle, you should always buy one of the moderately priced unis that are suited for beginner to intermediate level. They are generally listed as "learner", "trainer", or "beginner" models. Once you become proficient, you can buy a specialized unicycle and concentrate more on one of the various unicycle disciplines. What to do with your first uni? Now you can turn your "learner" into a "loaner". Once you own a unicycle, you'll find that almost everyone wants to try it.


Learning to unicycle is really hard on the unicycle. It'll be rocketed across the floor and crashed into curbs and walls more times than you can imagine. Usually a good grade of trainer is only $20 or $30 more than the cheapest versions. It will last so much longer and usually provides greater seat comfort. If you can afford it, I'd recommend spending the extra few dollars.

For quality unicycles and related gear, bookmark If you want to add juggling and other circus skills to your riding, visit Be smart. Always wear a helmet, elbow pads, knee pads, and wrist guards.

Source: EzineArticles
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