Author Topic: Unicycling !  (Read 1640 times)

Bikefreak

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 10
Unicycling !
« on: May 06, 2018, 04:05:11 PM »
Anybody else on this forum ride unicycles ? I bought a 20 inch one last summer on kijiji for 40 Canadian peso. I was sure that I could never learn to ride it and I would put it away beside my guitar. After 3 hours of training I could go straight for a while but this wheel is slow! 2 weeks after I ordered a 26 inch mountain unicycle with a disc brake :) I ride most of the bicycle trails in my town, slower than on a bicycle but it's so much fun ! This week I will be receiving my 36 inch unicycle to replace my road bikes. Feels so badass riding those ! :) I sold 2 bicycles already. I'll be keeping a road and a mountain bike to pull the bike trailer to haul kids and grocery but for fun purpose 1 wheel is better for me

ThatGuy

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 75
Re: Unicycling !
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2018, 06:54:49 PM »
A disc brake on a unicycle?!  I've never ridden a unicycle and I doubt I ever will.  I'm uncoordinated as it is so I'll stick to two and four wheel transportation. 

nereo

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8278
  • Location: la belle province
    • Here's how you can support science today:
Re: Unicycling !
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2018, 07:02:20 PM »
how do brakes work on a unicycle?

Rubic

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1047
Re: Unicycling !
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2018, 03:02:29 PM »
See my avatar ;-)

I no longer unicycle, but I've owned several, including a 36"
wheel on a custom Hunter frame.

Many years ago I rode Six Gap on a unicycle:

http://www.6gap.com/

A picture from this ride was clipped into my avatar.

Rubic

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1047
Re: Unicycling !
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2018, 03:05:56 PM »
how do brakes work on a unicycle?

The uni brake works similar to a bicycle brake except the handle
is usually positioned under the seat.

You don't actually brake like on a bicycle, however -- or you'd go
flying off the wheel!  Instead you apply slight pressure to assist
in modulating your speed on long and/or steep descents. 

sol

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7017
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Pacific Northwest
Re: Unicycling !
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2018, 03:15:54 PM »
I used to ride regularly in college, and grad school.

I still have a wheel, but these days I only ride it up and down the street to amuse the neighborhood children.  It's one of those secret life skills that you hardly ever get to use, but is good for a surprise when you get the chance.

Chuck Ditallin

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 29
Re: Unicycling !
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2018, 06:19:22 AM »
This is one of my 'to do in FIRE' things; I'd love to ride a unicycle!

Soooooo, hints and tips please! What to buy, how to practise for a beginner? I'd like to avoid snapped limbs if possible...

Rubic

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1047
Re: Unicycling !
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2018, 07:15:31 AM »
Soooooo, hints and tips please! What to buy, how to practise for a beginner? I'd like to avoid snapped limbs if possible...

You'll want to check out:  http://www.unicyclist.com/forums/

I've had the best luck in training people to ride on an empty tennis court.  The
surface is flat and smooth, and they can hold onto the chain link fence while
learning to ride.  I usually stand/walk on the opposite side so they can hold
onto me during the initial mount.  Full-finger gloves are useful gear while
holding onto the chain link fence.

To avoid injuries:  Wrist guards are useful when you're in the process of
learning how to roll out of a fall.  Shin guards are handy when your learning
to free mount.  When I was doing off-road Muni, I also used knee pads due to
the uneven terrain, which could launch me off my wheel.

After I became more proficient, I stopped using safety equipment (except for
a helmet and bicycle gloves) unless I was riding off-road trails.  Bike gloves
are handy when you want to reach out and support yourself on a street light
or telephone pole.



austin944

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 78
  • Age: 56
Re: Unicycling !
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2018, 08:31:50 PM »

When you are first learning, you will feel the urge to tense your leg muscles and put most of your weight on the pedals.  This is the exact opposite of what you need to do.   Position the crank arms parallel with the ground so that the wheel is more easily controlled, relax all your muscles, and sit down completely on the seat like you would a bicycle.    The amount of force on the pedals should be about the same as that when riding a bicycle on flat ground and your legs should be relaxed and not tense.


JimmyFry

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 28
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Alpharetta, GA
Re: Unicycling !
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2018, 11:57:57 AM »
Many years ago I rode Six Gap on a unicycle:

WOW.  Rode 6G last year and was terrified by some of the descents on a proper bike!  That's some cojones there, sir!

OP, how much space has replacing bikes with Unis saved?  I would guess it's a good chunk.  And how does a Uni price point compare to entry level bike?

Chuck Ditallin

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 29
Re: Unicycling !
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2018, 01:57:20 PM »
It's not going to be an instant thing, but I'll certainly be taking it on sometime in the next 12 months; thanks for the info!

Rubic

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1047
Re: Unicycling !
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2018, 02:24:56 PM »
Many years ago I rode Six Gap on a unicycle:

WOW.  Rode 6G last year and was terrified by some of the descents on a proper bike!  That's some cojones there, sir!

Descents weren't too bad, but it would have been tough work without
a uni brake.

I've also done Six Gap once on a fixed gear and twice on a tandem.  Tandem
descents were somewhat exhilarating and we had a front tire blowout coming
down Hogpen Gap -- fortunately no crash.

Loren Ver

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 205
  • Location: Indianapolis IN
Re: Unicycling !
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2018, 12:21:19 PM »
I have a uni but have been unsuccessful in learning to ride it.  Maybe I will pull it out this summer and give it another try....

v8rx7guy

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1018
  • Location: PNW
Re: Unicycling !
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2018, 12:24:28 PM »
No offense to unicycle riders, but I have always viewed those who ride them as doing it merely get the attention of others, "hey look at me, I'm on one wheel!".  There is no other explanation.

techwiz

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 478
  • Location: Ontario
Re: Unicycling !
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2018, 12:53:58 PM »
I saw a lady riding one on my morning commute yesterday. I said hi as I rode by. She looked like she was having fun, but was moving really slow with what seemed to me be lots of pedaling. Looks like something fun to ride ,but not an efficient commuter vehicle from what I saw.  I will stick with the mountain bike or 10 speed.

Rubic

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1047
Re: Unicycling !
« Reply #15 on: May 16, 2018, 01:54:20 PM »
No offense to unicycle riders, but I have always viewed those who ride them as doing it merely get the attention of others, "hey look at me, I'm on one wheel!".  There is no other explanation.

Or maybe unicycles are just fun to ride?  ;-)

nereo

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8278
  • Location: la belle province
    • Here's how you can support science today:
Re: Unicycling !
« Reply #16 on: May 16, 2018, 04:39:09 PM »
I saw a lady riding one on my morning commute yesterday. I said hi as I rode by. She looked like she was having fun, but was moving really slow with what seemed to me be lots of pedaling. Looks like something fun to ride ,but not an efficient commuter vehicle from what I saw.  I will stick with the mountain bike or 10 speed.
I prefer the dual-wheeled unicycles. They're a lot more stable and much faster.  Can't comment much on the fun quotient - i think that's subjective
:-P

austin944

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 78
  • Age: 56
Re: Unicycling !
« Reply #17 on: May 17, 2018, 05:01:23 PM »
I saw a lady riding one on my morning commute yesterday. I said hi as I rode by. She looked like she was having fun, but was moving really slow with what seemed to me be lots of pedaling. Looks like something fun to ride ,but not an efficient commuter vehicle from what I saw.  I will stick with the mountain bike or 10 speed.

Unicycle speed varies a lot depending on the size of the wheel.  My guess she was riding a 24" wheel.
A popular size for commuting is a 36" wheel.

Here is a guy who built a geared electric assist unicycle which almost hit 25mph:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-C1n6XAypag

It looks like he was having a heck of a lot of fun.

austin944

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 78
  • Age: 56
Re: Unicycling !
« Reply #18 on: May 17, 2018, 05:06:11 PM »
No offense to unicycle riders, but I have always viewed those who ride them as doing it merely get the attention of others, "hey look at me, I'm on one wheel!".  There is no other explanation.

There's probably some of that, but I never get tired of it.   Riding a unicycle feels almost as good as flying when you are dreaming.  You are just floating along sitting erect with no handlebars in front.

Rubic

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1047
Re: Unicycling !
« Reply #19 on: May 17, 2018, 05:31:22 PM »
I saw a lady riding one on my morning commute yesterday. I said hi as I rode by. She looked like she was having fun, but was moving really slow with what seemed to me be lots of pedaling. Looks like something fun to ride ,but not an efficient commuter vehicle from what I saw.  I will stick with the mountain bike or 10 speed.

Unicycle speed varies a lot depending on the size of the wheel.  My guess she was riding a 24" wheel.
A popular size for commuting is a 36" wheel.

Also the length of the crank arm.  With a shorter crank arm you can go
faster, but it's harder to climb steep hills.  Some riders carry multiple
crank arms depending on the terrain (flat vs. hilly).


Rubic

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1047
Re: Unicycling !
« Reply #20 on: May 17, 2018, 05:39:34 PM »
I have a uni but have been unsuccessful in learning to ride it.  Maybe I will pull it out this summer and give it another try....

It requires a commitment of time and a belief that you will eventually
master it.  Unless you're incredibly gifted, learning to ride a unicycle will
be frustrating.  A friend in Georgia bought one after seeing me ride and
thought he'd never learn, but with my encouragement he finally picked
it up and became a big fan of unicycling.

I'm currently going through a similar process with learning to handstand.  My
max time up is < 10 seconds, but I continue work on it daily.  Goal: 15 seconds.

For both activities, there are a number of tips on youtube.

nereo

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8278
  • Location: la belle province
    • Here's how you can support science today:
Re: Unicycling !
« Reply #21 on: May 19, 2018, 08:05:30 PM »

There's probably some of that, but I never get tired of it.   Riding a unicycle feels almost as good as flying when you are dreaming.  You are just floating along sitting erect with no handlebars in front.
gwaphf!! 
Sorry, really trying to take this thread seriously :-)

austin944

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 78
  • Age: 56
Re: Unicycling !
« Reply #22 on: May 20, 2018, 12:30:10 PM »

Well obviously it's impossible to "float", unless perhaps you are doing something like indoor skydiving.  It's about the nearest approximation I can give to what it feels like to ride a unicycle, especially on the 29" and larger wheels.

If you want to meet random people, it's a pretty good tool.  Lots of people will come up to me, especially if I am riding on the trails with my off-road unicycle.

Loren Ver

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 205
  • Location: Indianapolis IN
Re: Unicycling !
« Reply #23 on: June 05, 2018, 03:22:36 PM »
I have a uni but have been unsuccessful in learning to ride it.  Maybe I will pull it out this summer and give it another try....

It requires a commitment of time and a belief that you will eventually
master it.  Unless you're incredibly gifted, learning to ride a unicycle will
be frustrating.  A friend in Georgia bought one after seeing me ride and
thought he'd never learn, but with my encouragement he finally picked
it up and became a big fan of unicycling.

I'm currently going through a similar process with learning to handstand.  My
max time up is < 10 seconds, but I continue work on it daily.  Goal: 15 seconds.

For both activities, there are a number of tips on youtube.


I think I can and will eventually learn.  My goal is to learn while I still have my companies Cadillac insurance policy :).  I dusted off the uni and gave it a try in the basement where I have access to an I-beam (I haven't found any tennis courts near by with free access).


When you are first learning, you will feel the urge to tense your leg muscles and put most of your weight on the pedals.  This is the exact opposite of what you need to do.   Position the crank arms parallel with the ground so that the wheel is more easily controlled, relax all your muscles, and sit down completely on the seat like you would a bicycle.    The amount of force on the pedals should be about the same as that when riding a bicycle on flat ground and your legs should be relaxed and not tense.


   

The bolded above has actually been the best advice I have seen so far.  I watched a lot of videos when starting but they all basically say hop on and ride.  That always puts me on the pedals not the seat.  When I just sat on the seat with feet on the pedals I was actually able to go for a little bit before needing my I-beam.  Yah!  Thank you!

austin944

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 78
  • Age: 56
Re: Unicycling !
« Reply #24 on: June 05, 2018, 09:03:27 PM »
The bolded above has actually been the best advice I have seen so far.  I watched a lot of videos when starting but they all basically say hop on and ride.  That always puts me on the pedals not the seat.  When I just sat on the seat with feet on the pedals I was actually able to go for a little bit before needing my I-beam.  Yah!  Thank you!

Rolling the wheel a little bit is huge progress!  The advice I gave is the exact same that you would find on the unicyclist  forums in the link that Rubic posted.  Some people post journals of their learning progress over there and they are followed with great enthusiasm.

Jesstache

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 179
  • Location: CA
Re: Unicycling !
« Reply #25 on: June 06, 2018, 12:08:08 AM »
There is a unicycling club at my kids' school and I think it's awesome!  I've seen the kids practicing in the gym before school and they either have a friend walking beside them to help them with balance or they use ski poles. Wish the younger kids could join but for now it's only open to 3rd - 5th graders and mine are too young.