Frequently asked questions

Below is a list of some of the most commonly asked questions about unicycling. If you have a question and it is not answered here then please feel free to e-mail us. A good FAQ list is also given here and an extensive amount of information is available on the Unicyclopedia.

How can I learn to ride a unicycle?

There is no one way to learn to unicycle, some learn very quickly by themselves whilst others may learn much quicker with someone who can already unicycle or a unicycling club (see the club list). Here are a few helpful resources.

If you’ve found a great resouce that helped you learn then please let us know so we can add it here!

Where can I find others to ride with?

Nearby juggling/circus skill groups are a good place to start. Check out or club list to see if there’s a club near you.

Failing that there are various online communities you could try

Where can I buy a unicycle from?

This is a list of stores that are in/can deliver to the UK (not definitive). If you would like to add yourself as a trader please contact us.

What is “the law” regarding the unicycle and the road?

One question that is raised very frequently is how do unicycles fit into UK road traffic law?

This article will attempt to clarify matters, but please note that this has not been written by a lawyer. We have attempted to pull together information written by a number of people on the subject, but you should regard this as opinion and if in doubt consult the relevant legal documentation.

Up until 1994, a cycle was defined as a bicycle, tricycle, or cycle having four or more wheels, not being in any case a motor vehicle. A unicycle seemed to be exempt from many laws applicable to bicycles. However in 1994 the law changed, with Statutory Instrument 1994 No. 1519: The Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 1994. In Part 1, Section 1 (Preliminary), Item 4 (Interpretation general) it states:

“pedal cycle” means a unicycle, bicycle, tricycle, or cycle having four
or more wheels, not being in any case mechanically propelled unless it is an
electrically assisted pedal cycle of such class as is to be treated as not
being a motor vehicle for the purposes of the 1984 Act.

With regard to using lights on unicycles, the relevant law is Statutory Instrument 1989 No. 1796: The Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989. This has a slightly different definition of a pedal cycle:

a vehicle which is not constructed or adapted to be propelled by mechanical
power and which is equipped with pedals, including an electrically-assisted
pedal cycle prescribed for the purposes of section 189 of the Act and section
140 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984.

This also appears to include unicycles.

The rest of the regulations describe the lighting requirements for all vehicles including pedal cycles in very great detail. So it appears that unicycles are now subject to exactly the same rules as bicycles, at least within the scope of these documents.

Various discussions on the rec.sport.unicycling group referring to these regulations can be found here.

It appears that some individual members of the police force are not aware of the legal situation of unicycling.

In 2000, Mr Stuart Allbrighton was stopped by the police whilst riding a unicycle on the road, and was told he should be riding on the pavement. He disputed this, and wrote a letter to the Hampshire Police force (where the incident occurred) to clarify the legal situation. He also requested clarification over whether or not unicycles required brakes, reflectors and lights.

A copy of the reply from Hampshire Police is available here as an image or as a text file. Mr Allbrighton has said that he would like this information to be available to all unicyclists. The letter confirms that unicycles are included in the definition of pedal cycles and thus should be ridden on the road and not on the pavement.

They do not require brakes if they have a fixed drive (as almost all unicycles do). They do not require lights and reflectors if they are ridden in the daytime, but do require them if they are ridden at night.

We were not able to find an online copy of the “Pedal Cycle Construction and Use Regulations 1993” mentioned in the Hampshire Police force’s letter. This information comes from Hampshire Police, so we can probably infer that the same applies in the rest of England. Since 1999 Wales has had its own system for publishing such Statutory Instruments as mentioned above, so it is possible, although unlikely, that the situation is different there. We also do not know if Scotland and Northern Ireland are any different as they have subtly different legal systems.

Update 2006

The following information was found on the website of the Cyclists Touring Club (CTC).

“I've already noted that fixed wheel counts as a brake. Taking that a stage
further: if one wheel is not only incapable of rotating independently of the
pedals, but the pedals are fixed directly to it without any intervening chain
or gears, the cycle does not have to be equipped with any other braking system
at all.”
“Note that there is no requirement in these regulations for a cycle to
be equipped with a bell at the point of use. And if there were, this is where
you'd find it. So the bell and all those reflectors required by the Pedal
Cycles (Safety) Regulations, may be discarded just as soon as you get the
bicycle out of the shop!”