Unicycling consists of three basic movements: mounting, riding, and dismounting. Because of the intense balance required for unicycling, the steps below take a great deal of practice to master. Start off with a plate of patience and an adventurous attitude and learn how to unicycle with the following sequence.


Mounting the Unicycle

  1. Find a low fence and place the unicycle parallel to the fence so that you can use it for support as you mount the unicycle. You want the fence to be high enough for you to rest your hand at a comfortable height while riding.[1]
  2. Position the pedals of the unicycle in a slightly offset, vertical position so that one pedal is in the 4 o'clock position and the other is in the 10 o'clock position, mirroring the hands of a clock. If you know which foot is your front foot for sports like skateboarding, surfing, and snowboarding, you will want the pedal in the 4 o'clock position to be on the side of your dominant foot, and the pedal in 10 o'clock position to be for your non-dominant foot.
  3. Tilt the unicycle toward you until the seat of the unicycle rests between your legs. Squeeze the seat comfortably with your upper thighs.[2]
  4. Continue to squeeze the seat between your thighs and place both of your hands on the fence. Keep your body and the unicycle facing forward and parallel to the fence.
  5. Step on the pedal closest to you in the 4 o'clock position with your dominant foot. Note that this is the opposite movement than you would perform on a bicycle, which requires that you step on the pedal furthest away to gain forward momentum.
    • It will take a lot of practice to get used to moving backward instead of forward when mounting a unicycle. Take your time and be patient.
  6. Give yourself a little push with your other foot and sit on the unicycle seat, placing your non-dominant foot on the pedal furthest away in the 10 o'clock position. You will immediately have to pedal slightly to keep your balance.
    • You want the wheel to rotate 1/4-turn backwards as soon as you mount the unicycle. Once you mount the unicycle, the pedals should be directly vertical.
  7. Hold on to the handrail and begin to pedal very slowly at first. Lean slightly forward in order to maintain your balance.
  8. Practice mounting and pedaling while holding on to a fence until you feel comfortable balancing on your own. This can take several hours to several days depending on your abilities.
    • Once you feel ready, you can learn to free mount by following the same steps above without the assistance of a fence or handrail. Instead, use your hands to hold on to the seat as you mount or use your arms to help you balance.

Riding the Unicycle

  1. Put the weight of your body directly over the seat. Make sure you keep your shoulders back, a common mistake while learning is to hunch you shoulders. This allows your legs and feet to be light on the pedals. If you are heavy in your feet, the pedals become more difficult to manipulate, making pedaling and balancing harder.[3]
  2. Move the unicycle forward by leaning your entire body and the unicycle forward as a single unit. This motion will feel awkward and possibly a bit scary at first, but you'll soon get used to it.
    • Make sure to move the unicycle and your body in one solid piece.
    • Don't just bend your upper body forward at the waist as doing so will throw you off balance and fail to propel the unicycle forward.
  3. Sit up straight when riding at a normal speed. Imagine that your back is an extension of the seat post.
    • To accelerate, tilt forward slightly and apply more force on the pedals.
    • To slow down, sit up straight and control the force exerted on the pedals. Be sure to keep your weight over the seat and refrain from tilting backwards when slowing down as this can be dangerous.
  4. Pedal backwards by sitting up straight with your torso over your seat and pedal the feet in short, 1/4-turn revolutions backwards. Be careful not to lean back and lose your balance. It is much harder to break a backward fall than a forward fall.[4]
  5. Continue to practice pedaling forward and backward while holding on to a fence or handrail for as long as necessary. As you feel comfortable, you can let go of the handrail and begin to pedal without any support.[5]

Learning to Turn

  1. Position your upper body directly over the seat and steady yourself for a turn. Be prepared to use your body to guide the unicycle in either direction.
  2. Use your hips to turn the unicycle quickly to the right or to the left. Because your hips are the most centered part of your body/unicycle unit, most of your power for turning will come from the hips.[6]
  3. Pivot sharply on the wheel of the unicycle as you swing your hips by guiding the pedals with your feet. This motion needs to happen quickly in order for you to keep your balance.[7]
  4. Hold on to a handrail when attempting to turn for the first few times. As you get more comfortable, however, you can take your hands off of the rail and use your arms to support momentum in the correct direction. To do so, wind up and swing your arms in the direction opposite of the way you are turning.
  5. Remember to tilt your body slightly as you turn to encourage motion in the desired direction. Stay close to your center of gravity and keep your weight over the seat.
  6. Continue to pedal immediately after you turn. It is much more difficult to balance on a unicycle when the wheel is stationary.

Dismounting the Unicycle

  1. Position the pedals in the same vertical position you used to mount the unicycle. Make sure your dominant foot is highest and your non-dominant foot is lowest.
  2. Transfer your weight to the foot on the lower pedal. Look forward with your gaze in order to maintain a grounded center of gravity.
  3. Hold on to the handrail with one or both hands depending on your comfort level. As you gain experience, you will no longer need to use a handrail to steady yourself as you dismount.
    • When you no longer need to hold on to something as you come down, you will transfer your hands to the seat simultaneously as you step down. This allows you to catch the unicycle instead of letting it to fall to the ground.
  4. When you feel stable, step down with the highest, dominant foot first. Keep the weight on your lower foot the whole time.
  5. Immediately step your lower foot off as the first foot hits the ground to dismount . Be sure to time it right so that you don't lose your balance in the process.[8]


  • When riding it is very important that you look straight ahead and not down at your wheel. If you look at the floor you may lose your balance.
  • If the seat begins to fall, let it. Stay on your feet and let the unicycle crash to avoid injury.
  • Adjust the height of the seat according to how high your hips are - this allows for more comfortable and convenient riding.
  • For beginners, learn to ride the unicycle by holding on to a support like a fence or friend.
  • When dismounting, do not force the seat to move backwards but tilt backwards and let the seat fall by itself due to gravity, with your legs ready to break the fall.
  • The first time you mount should be against a wall. Put your back against the wall and push down on the pedal closest to you and you will get pushed back and up the wall. KEEP YOUR HANDS ON THE WALL FOR SUPPORT.
  • For some people, unicycling in pairs by holding hands is the fastest method to learn how to ride by themselves.
  • While pedaling, do not crank as you would on a bicycle. Put pressure on both the pedals to smooth out the downward motion of the foot.


  • Make sure your feet are positioned straight on the pedals. If they are slanted outwards, your ankles might hit the wheel while riding.
  • Nobody ever learned to unicycle without taking a few spills. Always wear protective gear including a helmet and knee, elbow, and wrist pads.
  • Unicycles do not have brakes. Do not ride the unicycle too fast or attempt to ride down steep hills until you are very comfortable on your unicycle.
  • When you are about to fall from your unicycle, leap away from it and let it fall by itself. The unicycle (probably) has scuff guards to keep it safe from damage when it falls.
  • Learning to unicycle takes time so persistence, practice, and patience are required.

Things You'll Need

  • A Unicycle
  • Safety gear
  • A fence, handrail, or wall (for beginners)

Related Articles


Quick Summary