Learning to Ride

Welcome to the world of unicycling. We are so pleased you are interested in learning to ride.

Almost anyone can learn to ride a unicycle!

Many people would love to learn how to ride a unicycle, but they don’t know how to get started.  You don’t need any special talent; you just have to want to learn. It takes practice, and can be challenging at first, but if you want to, you can do it.

Getting Started

One of the the best way to get started is to take a few lessons and/or join a local unicycling club, but here are some important tips:

1. Get the right sized unicycle

If the unicycle is too big you can’t reach the pedals. If it’s too small your knees will be too bent and it will make learning almost impossible. The wheel should be the correct size and the saddle should be slightly below your belly button.

The rider’s leg with the foot on the lower pedal should be slightly bent when the pedals are in a vertical (6 o’clock) position.

You might need to raise or lower the seat or even shorten the seat post. Ask your local unicycle or bicycle shop to help you with this or you can cut it yourself with a pipe cutter and a file to smooth the cut edge.

  • For young children about 3-4 years of age the wheel should measure 12 inches
  • For children about 5-8 years of age the wheel should measure 16 inches
  • For children older than about 8 years of age and for adults, the wheel should measure at least 20 inches

2. Find the right place to ride

For beginners, a smooth, level surface is important. Learning to navigate hills and bumps comes later. Look for a wooden deck with a railing, a tennis or basketball court with fencing, a gym with a large space along a wall; basically, any flat surface near a fence, railing, or low wall will do.

3. But how do I learn to ride??

Learning to ride a unicycle is like learning to play a musical instrument. It takes practice!

How to mount (get on) the unicycle:

  • Place the pedals so they are at “6 o’clock”.
  • Put the seat between your legs. The narrow part of the seat is the front.
  • Put your dominant foot on the lower pedal.
  • Hold onto the wall, railing, or fence and pull yourself up so you are sitting on the seat.

How to start pedaling:

  • Roll forward, slowly, ¼ revolution so that your pedals are at “3 o’clock” (this is called the “power position”).
  • Look ahead
  • Keep your back straight
  • Keep your arms straight and out to the sides
  • Put your weight on the seat (not on the pedals)
  • Pedal slowly from power position to power position. Try to develop a rhythm by saying “Go. Go. Go.” Or “One. Two. One. Two.”
  • Try to keep the motion going forward and fall or step off the front of the unicycle onto your feet
  • When you fall or step off, let go of the unicycle and try to land on your feet

Happy riding!