How to Idle on a Unicycle

Once you master the skills necessary to free mount and ride a unicycle, you might like to try your hand at some more beginner-intermediate skills that serve as a jumping-off point for more advanced maneuvers or tricks.

One of these is idling on a unicycle. Here’s what you need to know.

What Is Idling?
Idling, which is a fairly basic skill for any unicyclist, the ability to stay on the unicycle, bringing it to a stop, rocking backward and forward in the saddle, and then continue riding, without the need for support or a dismount.

Why It Matters?
Idling, as basic as it is, a necessary skill to learn before trying more advanced skills such as pulling out your seat in front or rear, wheel walking, or one-foot riding.

Learning how to idle improves your balance and control of the unicycle, making an attempt at these more advanced skills more reasonable.

How to Do It (Idling on a Unicycle)
Before you start, there are a few things you need to be aware of.

You must be able to free mount and ride a unicycle before you attempt to idle. If you don’t have those basic skills mastered, you will experience a higher-than-usual number of unplanned dismounts if you attempt to idle.

It also helps if you try to learn idling on a nice, flat surface. Indoors is great – you don’t want to be doing this on rough, uneven terrain.

Also, having something to hold onto, like the back of a chair, a rail, or a fence, is also helpful.

Before you start, make sure your saddle height is adjusted properly for your measurements. You can adjust the seat tube up and down by loosening the seatpost clamp or you can cut your seatpost down (that’s another project, though).

Mount the unicycle, take hold of whatever you’re using for support, and, using your dominant foot, try to rock backward and forward only stopping with your feet at 3 and 9 (cranks level to the ground).

Keep pressure on your dominant foot; your non-dominant foot should just be resting on the pedal and shouldn’t be providing any power or pressure.

Rock back and forth between the 3 and 9 o’clock positions, keeping a sure hold on your support. Try to remember to focus your efforts on idling through your dominant foot.

When you feel comfortable, release your grip on your support. Your idles will probably be wide, and you’ll probably wobble back and forth a bunch, but as you get more comfortable, you should be able to tighten your idle sequence.

Like everything else about this sport, it’s all about consistency and persistence. Keep at it. Idling won’t be easy at first, but as you start to get comfortable it should get easier.

As you build muscle memory, you’ll probably find that eventually, it will click and everything will fall into place.

Plus, you can use this skill as a springboard for other unicycle riding skills and tricks, so it’s worth the work.

Where Can You Learn More or Get Unicycle Safety Gear
If you’re looking for a step-by-step tutorial video on how to idle a unicycle, please consult the previous link.

Also, make sure to check out’s USA YouTube Channel, where you can find a bunch of other helpful tips and insights.

For unicycle parts like seat tubes, seatpost clamps, saddles, tools, and unicycle safety gear, check out

The staff at can also help you choose gear, install parts, and answer any basic questions you have about learning how to ride.

If you’re looking for a specific subject, please consult their blog or reach out to them directly at 678-494-4962.

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