With Race the Train this Sunday I thought it was about time to dust off the 36’er and start…err… train-ing!

I haven’t ridden any significant distance on a uni for a long time, in fact I’d reckon you could count the minutes spent on unicycles in total in the last couple of years on one hand. It’s not that I don’t love uni’s, it’s just that they ended up hurting my balls way too much.

Muckleford Muni Recon
Muckleford Muni Recon

Riding a unicycle off road is just that much harder than riding a mountain bike – both physically and mentally. As an example there’s a rocky climb I’ve often rolled up mindlessly on the Mojo HD which required so much focus and effort on the uni. A big part of the appeal and fun of riding uni’s off road is the challenge, and the feeling of satisfaction when you get it together.

I’m super glad I got out for a decent length ride before Sunday and was able to blow out at least a few of the uni cobwebs. While the basic skill of riding a uni doesn’t seem to go away, mounting a 36’er is something that gets a little rusty and requires practice, as does reading the terrain uni-style vs MTB. I usually prefer 137mm cranks but am running 150’s for a bit more confidence on Sunday. Fitness-wise it’s brutal too – unicycling uses muscles so differently to riding a bike!

Muckleford Muni Recon
Muckleford Muni Recon

Did my balls hurt? You betcha! I spent a while tinkering with the saddle angle along the way to help minimize discomfort but unlike a bike there are limited ways to distribute your weight on a uni and being way out of practice couldn’t have helped much. I’d guess crotch management is as big a topic of discussion now in the uni community as it has always been 🙂

I was completely destroyed by the end of the ride. It felt great. Training complete – roll on Sunday!

2 Responses

  1. I used to read your articles on unicycles – have been away for a while and hadn’t realised you’d practically stopped riding.

    I wonder if you’d be tempted to try flattening your seat(s) or to buy a Kris Holm Fusion Zero to ease weight on the man parts.
    I’ve myself bought a Zero and I can say without a doubt that in that department, it’s the most comfortable saddle I’ve ever ridden with. Unfortunately my sit bones are not too impressed with the hardness of the saddle in general. I’ve done a few longer miles now (>40 miles each) and I do seem to be getting more used to it but I’m still going to give flattening my Fusion Street Gel a try to see if that works better for me.

    It’d be nice to see you back in the unicycling world, I for one would be subscribing to your site if unicycling resurfaced.

  2. Heya Rob thanks for the post.

    I have been back on the uni a bit this year and ran a Fusion Zero saddle for a while. Yeah agree, awesome saddle comfort-wise but too much flex for me when used with a handlebar off road – especially on the big old fat tire Oregon which is now my only unicycle. It’s a lot of fun, have some adventures planned for it in the coming months. Cheers!

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