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Old 2015-08-10, 05:01 PM   #46
pierrox
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Originally Posted by elpuebloUNIdo View Post
Anyway, here's a suggestion for adjusting you foot position on the pinned pedals: Rather than lifting your foot off the pedal (this is, imo, too difficult for beginners), try achieving the correct foot position by rolling your foot around its perimeter as you gently pull/push the foot into the right position. This allows you to maintain connection with the pins with some of your foot while the rest of your foot slowly finds the right position. Worked for me...
That's the way to do it! I would avoid grinding the pins.
The pegs are pretty important as they allow you to control the unicycle with very little weight on the pedals - a combination of using the hips and the feet.

EPU described it well, you don't just lift your foot up and reposition it (I mean you can, but it's not easy), you sort of roll it gently as the pedal hits the 12 o'clock position. Sometimes, it might takes a couple of revolutions to get it in the desired position. As you get more confortable and put more weight in the saddle, it's easier to lighten the foot to shift it.

Or you learn to ride one footed. That surely helps with lifting the foot and repositioning it.
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Old 2015-08-13, 02:10 AM   #47
Engineer on a Unicycle
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Finally got back out tonight on the quasi-commute sections of the bike path after not doing much since my big ride on Sunday.

Initially I found I was very uncomfortable - gave up on free mounting after a few attempts and even after an assisted mount, though I could ride for a fair distance on the bike path I just wasn't very comfortable to be doing so, but forced myself to go back and forth on one section a few times.

After that I walked through a presently unridable section to another which I think of more as a practice area, and it was quiet enough that I decided to forget about distance and just work on mounting, pedaling a bit, and trying to program myself to feel the instants of opportunity in each pedal cycle to commence a clean dismount to the rear.

What a difference state of mind makes - something about just feeling like I was in the right place to be doing what I was doing and I started getting mounts I could almost ride out of, then a fair percentage of rideable ones. Mount fail, mount fail, mount to ride, pedal 50 fifty feet, get off to the rear, and repeat...

At times when I was being a little more comfortable about balance I'd start trying to relax my weight more into the saddle - making progress there, but it still really does tend to put the balance vs. acceleration off. Meanwhile re-grabbing the seat still tends to result in the other arm quickly getting into extreme swimming mode. Also worked on rolling my foot around as yet another way of making myself feel off-balance - but did manage to improve foot positiona bit in some cases (though I seemed to be doing better with my initial foot placement anyway). Not doing too many turns though - I think I will bring the 26" to NYUC Grant's Tomb this Saturday - I'm letting myself ride it in straight lines too much, and should use the more open area there to force myself to work on circles and turns without the excuse of a confined cycleway.

I knew it was going to be late by the time I got out of work meaning this would be my first real dusk ride, so I designed a little snap on adapter to put an old LED blinkenlight on the seatpost and ran it off on the 3d printer during my last meeting of the day. Also tried out the helmet-light concept with a flashlight I'm supposed to be evaluating for work tied on with string looped through the helmet vents - have mixed feelings about that vs. trying to mount it under the seat. On the one hand it would light up wherever I was looking, though there was enough ambient light it was more about making me visible than lighting my path. The downside is that I tend to look over my shoulder for approaching fast cycles before mounting, and doing that while repeatedly practicing mounts can tend to light up the same group of evening walkers / casual observers over and over again: "hey everybody, I'm going to try to get up on this silly thing again, but first I have to look and make sure you're all looking at me!"

On the walk home realized I was on a quiet side street with a marked bike lane, and decided to ride it. Got up in a try or two and went a ways despite it being brick. But then it commenced an extremely gentle hill and my progress dropped below stability - wow, I'm a wimp. Guess I need to find myself a gentle upgrade to practice on, too.
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Old 2015-08-13, 03:41 AM   #48
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For all your progress you already have great advice. The best one is: if you find yourself failing the same way a couple of tries, try failing differently. Mix it up as much as you can. Often slight changes learned in one environment translate to other skills. The second thing I have is very trivial and you probably read about it: Count your pedal strokes! This helped me with mounting (I still miss some occasionally) as it forced me on getting a move on instead of focusing on the perfect balance point, perfect foot position, etc. A lot of things can be corrected once you are in your normal cadence and moving along steadily.

As for foot positioning I had the same trouble as you and what I'm doing when I can't lift my foot of the pedal is this: Assuming you want to reposition your right foot: Keep more pressure on left pedal during the entire stroke. This will allow you to be a bit lighter on the right foot. If it is still not light enough to move your right foot, tilt it so only the outside or the inside edge of your foot touches the pedal. Then try to slide your foot on the edge into the desired position and tilt back to being flat on the pedal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Engineer on a Unicycle View Post
I knew it was going to be late by the time I got out of work meaning this would be my first real dusk ride, so I designed a little snap on adapter to put an old LED blinkenlight on the seatpost and ran it off on the 3d printer during my last meeting of the day.
For lights here is what I do during the winter months when I ride in the dark. I have a little LED light I got cheap of fleabay (search for "7 LED Frog Lamp") in my backpack that goes on my seat post. I also carry a bicycle tail light that I either clip to my backpack or on my belt in the back. The LED seat post light does practically nothing for letting me see the path in front of me. The main purpose of my lighting setup is for me to be seen on the trail or in the bike lane.

And don't obsess too much over footwear. Whatever is comfortable and practical is what you should wear. I have some 5.10 Karver shoes that I absolutely love, but they are not practical for my daily commute as the main purpose for that is to wear my normal day shoes. The 5.10s mainly come out when I go for dedicated unicycle rides on trails and in parks, etc. on the weekends. Despite the rigid and super sticky sole, they are very comfortable to walk in.
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Old 2015-08-15, 01:43 AM   #49
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Finally got back to the East River Greenway tonight, and decided to start out by going South to the more beautiful and open part (with signage that unusually allows slow, yielding "bikes" to mix with pedestrians on the waterside promenade, rather than being confined to a cycleway).

Mindful of last Friday night's toe injury that cancelled the following Saturday, I didn't force myself to free-mount, but rather tended to compromise on mounting without aid, then grabbing a railing and adjusting everything to my satisfaction before riding off. I'm also starting to develop a theory that I need to do a number of ride - stop - walk cycles to get myself mentally and physically warmed up to comfort for longer stretches, as both tonight and Wednesday started out "why did I think I want to be doing this?" uncomfortable but later became a lot of fun. Indicative of that, relaxing into the saddle was initially making me unstable, but later I was doing better about sitting my weight, and using my legs more to move.

Additionally, I am noticing that some times I ride smoothly, and sometimes I have a lot of back-and-forth torquing as I pedal. I'm beginning to suspect that this may occur when I end up with my feet in unmatched positions on the pedals.

Had a cyclist in a rest stop comment on the brightness of my helmet light, but then express more approval of the unicycle. Followed by 12 or so of his friends cheering "Unicycle!" as I rode past.
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Old 2015-08-15, 12:46 PM   #50
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I'm also starting to develop a theory that I need to do a number of ride - stop - walk cycles to get myself mentally and physically warmed up to comfort for longer stretches.
Completely agree!
I find that I need to warm up my muscles before riding, and do some lite stretches, otherwise I'm too tense and end up with aching muscles. So I (most) always start with some ankles/knees/pelvis/arms/neck movement. And I also always take the very first ride from a wall or lamp post, not free mounting. It allows to place everything in the right position for the first warm up.
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Old 2015-08-17, 03:25 AM   #51
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Did five and a half miles of ride/walk tonight after sunset, down the East River Greenway to the Williamsburg Bridge and back, to round off the weekend after Saturday's 6+ ride/walk home from NYUC Grant's Tomb by way of Riverside Park, the Central Park loop, and a long walk from 72nd down to 42nd as street riding did not look attractive in the least.

Jeans tonight were definitely a mistake, even after sunset. On the other hand, my first ever experience of padded cycle shorts yesterday (stealthy, under cargo shorts) left me unconvinced too, as the pad seemed to interfere with sitting far enough back on the saddle.

That needing warmup time still holds true. I am finding I eventually relax though - and am starting to notice the saddle pressure as a result.

Another big challenge at present is asymmetry. After someone commented on the over sized backpack I had yesterday (extra shoes and clothes, lot of hydration) potentially being a challenge, it became one, and today even my little string bag backpack with a liter of water and my unicycle carrying bag was bothering me, to the point where I'd find myself riding one arm to the side and the other in front to try to go straight without jerking back and forth.

More seriously I started noticing a prominent clicking sound on the way home tonight. The Nimbus 26" road is two weeks old, and has never done anything but gentle bike path riding and a few tentative bunny hops - I wonder if it is normal spoke seating? No noise spinning the wheel or the pedals unloaded, but heard it in a distinct spot of two while rolling back and forth holding a railing. I'll try swapping the pedals for those on my 20" tomorrow (or fake wheel walking in a narrow hallway?) to rule that out. May have to run across the street at lunch and get a spoke wrench.
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Old 2015-08-17, 04:58 AM   #52
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prominent clicking sound
It is really hard to figure out the source of noise. I ran across an interesting thread, can't remember which...some hubs are made of three parts which are pressed together, the spindle and the two flanges. I think Kris Holm mentioned that microscopic motion between the spindle and flanges can cause noise. And the acoustics of the unicycle spreads the sound throughout other parts of the uni. Tightening the spokes can diminish the noise, but that does not necessarily imply that the source of the noise is the spokes. The source could still be the hub. I put little pieces of paper where the spokes rub together on my 19". Didn't change much. Creaking can change from day to day. We're having a heat wave in SoCal right now, and today at noon, my 19" was creaking like mad. Expansion? In general, it's a good idea to check the tightness of every part of the unicycle before or after you ride. I would suggest buying a long pedal wrench. This tool has been my best friend. It is typical for one or both pedals to take a snug after a session. I don't know if less-than-snug pedals can contribute to sound or not.
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Old 2015-08-17, 05:07 AM   #53
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More seriously I started noticing a prominent clicking sound on the way home tonight. The Nimbus 26" road is two weeks old, and has never done anything but gentle bike path riding and a few tentative bunny hops - I wonder if it is normal spoke seating? No noise spinning the wheel or the pedals unloaded, but heard it in a distinct spot of two while rolling back and forth holding a railing. I'll try swapping the pedals for those on my 20" tomorrow (or fake wheel walking in a narrow hallway?) to rule that out. May have to run across the street at lunch and get a spoke wrench.
Did you check the cranks and pedals? Especially the left one? Could be coming lose. If that's the case you could end up stripping threads. A common mistake is to assemble unicycles backwards: left crank on the right side and vice versa. Happens when the seat is turned 180 degrees.
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Old 2015-08-17, 08:47 PM   #54
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I read the hub splines and epoxy article after some searching last night, but had the impression (hope?) that was unique to a particular model year of KH, rather than a general and ongoing issue across the industry.

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Did you check the cranks and pedals? Especially the left one? Could be coming lose. If that's the case you could end up stripping threads. A common mistake is to assemble unicycles backwards: left crank on the right side and vice versa. Happens when the seat is turned 180 degrees.
Loose pedals was the first thing I checked during last night's ride, followed by the bearing caps.

And no, it is not assembled backwards. My first unicycle came used that way however - when I discovered that mid ride thanks to a loose pedal, I retightened it by hand and simply turned the seat around in its quick release until I could get home and access tools to flip the wheel. But on this one, since the Nimbus seatpost clamp needs the same allen key as the bearing caps, I now generally have that with me anyway - and I was extra careful in assembling it, though the stickers on everything would make it hard to get wrong.

Squeezed the parallel spokes to stress relieve, swapped the pedals with my other unicycle, checked the crank bolts and the seat, put a little more air in the tire, and it doesn't seem to be making any noise right now. Will try putting the original pedals back on later and more seriously ride it.
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Old 2015-08-18, 02:33 AM   #55
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I hereby declare this thread OBSOLETE

Well, that might might be overstating it a bit. But tonight even before I really loosened up, I was riding much better, and by mid evening was finally starting to feel more limited with regard to time-in-saddle than by an inability to get settled or fatigue at making those cranks go round and round.

Skipped the water bottle to avoid its potential backpack asymmetry. I may have to invest in a camelback, though started eyeing the seatpost and underseat space a bit as potential attachment points for a dispose-when-broken liter or 750mL.

Unicycle was quiet - not sure what the issue last night was, but my poking and prodding earlier this afternoon seems to have settled it for the moment.
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Old 2015-08-18, 03:05 PM   #56
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Just one tip regarding the noise. It seems like unicycle spokes always make some noise, I think it's because the stresses are different from regular bicycle wheels. Anyway, I have a bottle of paraffin-based chain lube, and I periodically put a drop of it on the main cross points of the spokes. Wiggle them back and forth to work it in the joint, do this all the way around the wheel, and they stay quiet for quite a while.
cheers!
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Old 2015-08-19, 12:17 AM   #57
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Skipped the water bottle to avoid its potential backpack asymmetry. I may have to invest in a camelback, though started eyeing the seatpost and underseat space a bit as potential attachment points for a dispose-when-broken liter or 750mL.
Great to hear that the noise problem has been conquered.

As for asymmetry, I wouldn't worry too much. Road crown, tire pressure, etc. has a lot more impact than luggage. I still consider myself a beginner, but I can sling a 10+ pound bag over either shoulder and ride away. I normally throw a water bottle into my backpack or use the water bottle pocket on my light backpack which is on one side. If you like a dedicated hydration pack, by all means get one! But don't get one just for the symmetry factor while learning to ride a unicycle.
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Old 2015-08-19, 03:36 AM   #58
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And wait for sales, I got my CamelPak for $35 instead of $70! Just because the color was removed from their catalog...
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Old 2015-08-19, 04:08 AM   #59
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Sales would be an idea, but actually If I end up going the camelback route, what I may do is buy a replacement reservoir/plumbing system and make my own custom pack for it. But first I'm going to give the water bottle in the string bag another shot on an evening ride now that my comfort level overall is improving - or maybe I'll try two smaller ones and draining them evenly.

I managed to get fabric for the new zipper-sided unicycle bag on Saturday in between Summer Streets and NYUC, but haven't tackled that project yet. I did get id'd on the train with the original sack bag yesterday by someone curious if his "unicyce" guess was correct, and who then proceeded to ask if the festival at Governor's Island was on for this year, but apparently neither a unicyclist nor a prospective one.
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Old 2015-08-19, 02:20 PM   #60
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...and who then proceeded to ask if the festival at Governor's Island was on for this year, but apparently neither a unicyclist nor a prospective one.
Maybe a clown?
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