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Old 2019-07-26, 11:38 AM   #31
ruari
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elpuebloUNIdo View Post
Another principle of turning (and it almost seems too stupid to mention) is that you tend to turn in the direction you're looking.
Quote:
Originally Posted by OneTrackMind View Post
Knowing something about the physics can help but there is no substitute for experiencing it. Just keep riding and it gets better and better.
I entirely agree with this.

That said, for this specific example, I think turning your body/shoulders to be at right angles to the direction you is the key bit, i.e. you face it with your entire upper body (not just your head or eyes). It is the active twisting of your upper body and the rest of your body and uni naturally following that seem to be causing the turn from my perspective. I could be wrong but that is how I have always interpreted it.

If that doesn't work for people, then yeah… just keep riding/practicing and it will eventually just happen

Last edited by ruari; 2019-07-26 at 11:41 AM.
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Old 2019-07-26, 07:45 PM   #32
Richard C
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Thanks all for the advice about turning, I'll give the wall exercise a shot at home, and apply the other advice when I get to my open space. There's more info and detailed explanations in this thread than I've found in many youtube tutorials.

I have one question about turning: my hip-jerk turn seems to work best when I initiate it as the inside pedal goes down. Is the same true of a proper leaning turn? (i.e. does the position of the pedals matter when initiating the turn?). This seems to be a feature of unicycling: to perform a manoeuvre, you have to plan ahead so that the pedals are in the right position.
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Old 2019-07-26, 10:55 PM   #33
OneTrackMind
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard C View Post
I have one question about turning: my hip-jerk turn seems to work best when I initiate it as the inside pedal goes down. Is the same true of a proper leaning turn? (i.e. does the position of the pedals matter when initiating the turn?). This seems to be a feature of unicycling: to perform a manoeuvre, you have to plan ahead so that the pedals are in the right position.
Accelerating is part of coming out of a turn so it can be helpful if you are in a position to apply power as you exit the turn. However, ultimately you have to turn when you get to the corner so you need to be able to do it from every position. More so on a big uni because they go so far on each rotation.

All turns are proper turns. They are required under different circumstances. The hip jerk is an essential skill for low speeds particularly during free mounting. The counter-lean turn is a medium speed technique.

Leaning the body in is for high speeds where you use your momentum to lift your weight back up by doing what is essentially a controlled "high side" to come out of the turn. It can be initiated by accelerating and/or turning a little harder into the corner. You will eventually intuitively start doing it once you master the counter-lean.

Don't stress over the details. Subconsciously your brain is taking in all these experiences and will automatically set up your movements optimally for manoeuvres without you consciously knowing you are doing it. You are at a phase of learning where you mainly need to just keep riding to build up familiarity and embed the basic techniques as reflexes. Once you get through this you will continually be surprised by what you body just does without you thinking.
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Old 2019-07-27, 07:50 AM   #34
Chimeara
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Falls at speed

My concern about speed is running out of a UPD -- bad knees stop me running at all. So I'm looking for comfort rather than speed.



My advice would be to stick to smallish wheels if running is a problem. My worst injurys have occured because of UPDs at high speed on a 36", that i could not run out. Ranging from bruised hips gashed knees and elbows even when wearing pads as they can get dragged out of position and the worst was a dislocated shoulder that is still bothering me nine months later. I found that when learning most falls are very minor, and it is only when ability and confidence grow that you then start to encounter harder falls.

Good luck Phil
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Old 2019-07-29, 06:22 AM   #35
slamdance
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Turning Technology

I know someone mentioned to "just lean" when you turn, but I think that's very simplistic. In fact, we all try that first don't we? From other sports like biking, skating,..etc. we learn to do this. However, on the unicycle that doesn't simply work, because there is so much else going on with balance, weight and pedaling. Unless, we are talking about merely "power twisting" to turn such as in a stall, stop, going slow... Now I am just talking about normal riding speed control.

So, I would say to "focus" on your pedaling, are you kicking forward(weight on seat riders) or stomping down(crouching forward riders). If so, are you doing it evenly on both sides? If not, more force on your left pedal? Right pedal? Which way does it make the unicycle favor? Ah-ha.

If you ever want to ride straight and keep both hands down on the saddle, how do you keep going straight? How do you correct if you start going left or going right? Leaning? Seriously?(if it works, great, then stop reading this post)

No, It's the pedaling and how much pressure you apply on each side that creates the turning or off center tendency. So, just be aware and "compensate" by balancing with more force on the other side...or (what I prefer) just "lighten" the pressure on one side and you will see the unicycle respond from your pedaling adjustments.

Last edited by slamdance; 2019-07-29 at 06:26 AM. Reason: ,
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Old 2019-07-29, 10:27 AM   #36
OneTrackMind
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slamdance View Post
I know someone mentioned to "just lean" when you turn, but I think that's very simplistic. In fact, we all try that first don't we? From other sports like biking, skating,..etc. we learn to do this. However, on the unicycle that doesn't simply work, because there is so much else going on with balance, weight and pedaling.
Leaning does simply work. An unconstrained wheel on a lean will turn in the direction of the lean. It is fundamental to the nature of a wheel. Yes, on a unicycle, you need to move your body's centre of gravity to stay balanced. This is by counterleaning the body at first and eventually also leaning the body in to balance the "centrifugal force". Unless you are leaning the wheel to turn you are still doing a "power twist" as you termed it.

Most beginners struggle with turns as they try to move on from the twist because they slow down and lose the momentum that is keeping them up. Often it is because they are steering by backing off on one pedal. The acceleration in a turn is about getting back up again at the exit. High speed non-trivial turns cannot be achieved without leaning the wheel. I expect you would be surprised how much you lean the wheel yourself.

Quote:
So, I would say to "focus" on your pedaling, are you kicking forward(weight on seat riders) or stomping down(crouching forward riders). If so, are you doing it evenly on both sides? If not, more force on your left pedal? Right pedal? Which way does it make the unicycle favor? Ah-ha.
I don't relate to your pedalling categorisation. Whether I'm fully seated or standing and leaning forward on a hill climb (crouching?) my focus is on using as much of the available pedalling arc as possible.

Moreover I don't think about pedalling in terms of pressure at all. For me it is about position. I know my foot needs to reach a certain position at a certain moment for me to stay balanced. The force applied is secondary in response to that.

I have actively developed my technique to minimise the effect of pedal thrust on the direction of travel. I believe it is important to be able to decouple drive and directional control.

Quote:
If you ever want to ride straight and keep both hands down on the saddle, how do you keep going straight? How do you correct if you start going left or going right? Leaning? Seriously?
Seriously yes. Sideways movements of the hips tilt the uni to steer it. The response is instantaneous so the adjustments are small and frequent. You don't have to wait to do a thrust correction when the pedal is in the right place again, which can be quite a distance on large unicycle.

Limitations on opportunity to make adjustments when steering with thrust is a technique likely to induce a weaving track.

Moreover, how do you turn at a precise point if your pedals don't happen to be in the right position as you reach it?

Quote:
No, It's the pedaling and how much pressure you apply on each side that creates the turning or off center tendency. So, just be aware and "compensate" by balancing with more force on the other side...or (what I prefer) just "lighten" the pressure on one side and you will see the unicycle respond from your pedaling adjustments.
I used to steer by adjusting pedal thrust but soon learned of its shortcomings. Backing off for a single pedal thrust looses way too much momentum on hill climbs where every thrust needs to contribute.

Quote:
(if it works, great, then stop reading this post)
I left commenting on this to the end. In effect you are saying, "I don't want to hear your alternative opinion."
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Last edited by OneTrackMind; 2019-07-29 at 10:28 AM.
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Old 2019-07-29, 10:46 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slamdance View Post
If you ever want to ride straight and keep both hands down on the saddle, how do you keep going straight? How do you correct if you start going left or going right? Leaning? Seriously?
Yes, leaning. I didn't even know there was another way!
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Old 2019-07-29, 10:56 AM   #38
Richard C
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I don't have much to contribute at the moment, but I'm following the discussion with great interest. Thanks everyone!
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Old 2019-10-04, 09:18 AM   #39
Richard C
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I've ordered a 26" Nimbus Muni from UDC! Damn they're quick, I ordered it last night, and it shipped before 9 am this morning. It's arriving on Monday.

Here's my reasoning behind this choice, which I've been going back and forth on for a while: It's a bit of a jump in size from 20", but I'm tall so maybe it won't be too steep a learning curve. I'm confident with static free-mount on my 20", but realise free-mounting the 26" will be quite different. I'd be interested to give offroad a go, starting with some flat trails, but I have the option of putting on a road tire. If I really have trouble with the larger wheel size (quite likely, it took me a couple of months to get basic riding on the 20"), I can also get a 24" wheel built by UDC.

In terms of my progress, I'm definitely on a plateau. Riding is fine, but I still feel quite insecure and tend to bail out rather than attack quite small obstacles. I have one and a half "skills", namely static freemount and slowly dismounting from the back. I can ride with one hand on the saddle in smooth straight situations, but have to let go if there's a bump or a turn (I know that holding on is exactly for handling bumps!). I can ride very slowly, with momentary pauses. Gentle gradients are OK. Idling and riding backwards still completely elude me, as do any kind of transition. I can do a few hops, but only from support to support. I'm managing about an hour or two of practise a week.
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Old 2019-10-04, 11:46 AM   #40
Quax1974
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Congratulations!

You’ll have a lot of fun on your new wheel.
Just keep riding and you’ll feel more secure over time.
The larger wheel size and fatter tire compared to your 20” makes it roll over smaller bumps much easier.
I recommend you take it off road as soon as you can, start with relatively smooth paths and gradually you will be able to tackle more uneven paths.

As to specific skills:
I’ve been riding a little over two years now and I cannot idle or ride backwards either.
My free mounting is also just so-so.

In order to improve these skills I should put some dedicated practice in…
But I enjoy the actual riding too much and I have not yet felt the need to put time into idling and riding backwards.
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Old 2019-10-04, 12:28 PM   #41
Setonix
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quax1974 View Post
In order to improve these skills I should put some dedicated practice in…
But I enjoy the actual riding too much and I have not yet felt the need to put time into idling and riding backwards.
Well said Quax, I have the same thing. When looking on youtube and I see those unicyclists hop and twist and land and then riding backwards, I wish I could do that, but with as little as I ride, I just choose to ride a few kilometres. The feeling of just riding is very addictive.

As for steering, I always think about having to make speed, but on the bigger wheels (32" and 36") I find it easier not to go too fast. Im actually learning to keep holding on to the T-bar at not too sharp turns. When leaning to turn say 90º, I normally put both my hands in the air as extra weight to where I want to go. I find it is easier to turn that way.

Beside that, when I have 1 hand on the seat (for me always my right hand), if I remember correctly, I can make a smaller circle going around left, than to the right.

Richard, you did the same as me, I learned on a cheap 20 and then bought a KH26. In the beginning it is just about saddle time and making kilometres. The 26" is still small enough to quickly learn to freemount it. I got mine maybe 1 month after having learned to ride and had some frustrating evenings to learn to mount it, but after that it felt great to just be able to go trips on it. Have fun riding.
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Old 2019-10-04, 01:25 PM   #42
elpuebloUNIdo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard C View Post
I can ride with one hand on the saddle in smooth straight situations, but have to let go if there's a bump or a turn (I know that holding on is exactly for handling bumps!).
Holding onto the saddle also makes UPDs safer. If you can train yourself to hold onto the saddle handle (or bar ends) during the initial part of a UPD,rather than throwing both hands in the air for balance, that will help you avoid getting tangled with the uni during dismount.

I would suggest, as a first step toward that goal, that you practice riding on a resistant surface such as grass. The resistance will encourage you to keep your hand on the saddle. You will UPD often, but you'll have a soft landing.

There was a point in my learning when I could put a hand on the saddle, but I couldn't do much else with it. The hand was just "there", doing nothing. Sounds like that is where you currently are. Keep practicing!

Another thing you can do to get the hand more actively engaged: Once you are holding onto the grab handle, gently remove your weight from the seat. You will have no choice but to hold on tighter and exercise more control with your hand.

Getting control and stability with one hand on the saddle...IHMO...is the most important skill you need to get the most out of your 26". I wouldn't be too hasty getting a road tire for it. Work with the tire it came with. Just my opinion...

Congratulations on the static mount and the graceful dismount off the back. You will have to work harder to get your center of gravity over the 26" during a static mount, but I think for someone your height it is totally doable.
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Old 2019-10-07, 03:16 PM   #43
Richard C
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I've got my 26" Nimbus Muni! It looks like quite a beast next to my 20" Club with the white tire.

Thanks for the advice, ElPuebloUNIdo, Setonix and Quax. I started out on the grass, which I've not tried before. No trouble riding, but it was exhausting! I then moved to an unpaved track, which was easier. I was pleased to find that my static mount works on the bigger wheel. My failure rate is a bit higher, but there's not much more energy needed, and the slowness helps. The extra 3" of height is noticeable when UPDing, but I'm getting used to it.

I still feel quite unstable, wave my arms a lot, and can't grip the handle for very long. EpU, I'll try saddle unweighting while holding on. No doubt more saddle time will sort me out eventually.
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Old 2019-10-08, 11:00 AM   #44
Setonix
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Originally Posted by Richard C View Post

I still feel quite unstable, wave my arms a lot, and can't grip the handle for very long. EpU, I'll try saddle unweighting while holding on. No doubt more saddle time will sort me out eventually.
Congrats with ur 26". You will love it more and more as time goes by.

I would first just focus on feeling comfy on the uni and then as you flail less take to the grass. I traverse the grass with one hand on the seat and half standing on the pedals to incorporate the bumpiness.

Should your wheel all of a sudden lock up, then probably it is better to be sitting on the seat than half standing, which would also lock you in place and then the UPD will end up as a face plant. I had that this weekend on the 29" as I wanted to ride through wet-soft sand. I could barely run out of it and half twisted my knee. Having the weight on the seat makes it easier to just step off.
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Old 2019-10-09, 04:28 AM   #45
slamdance
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2nd unicycle? Don't expect copy/paste your current skills.

I remember my 2nd unicycle went from 20" torker to 24" nimbus muni with fat tires and 6" cranks. Guess what?

It was very frustrating, and I felt like I had to learn how to ride a unicycle again. Mind you I mastered the 20" to the point of being able to ride 1-2 miles, and I could free mount and idle. So, I thought I was ready for bigger/better...I really wanted a 27" hatchet, but too much $$$'s...so settled for a $300 nimubus 24".

1.) The cranks. When you get a bigger wheel, they tend to give you a longer crank. Going from 5" to 6"...doesn't sound like much but, it will completely throw off your timing and feel. So, I almost felt like I forgot how to ride a unicycle. It took a good week or two to get comfortable. Yes, you could get the same shorter cranks, but now you need extra power to turn the wheels.

2.) The extra height(2" radius of extra height(probably closer to 3" due to fat tires) really makes a different. I felt like I had a longer way to fall. Also, a quick step off or failed free mount can easily end up with a twisted ankle or sprain.

3.) Spikes on the pedals. Most muni's especially nimbus come with these "cool" spikes on the pedals, which tore up my shins on my first ride fall. Ouch, they took a few weeks to heal. They resulting scar looked like a swipe from a mountain lion. Remove those things or change pedals, asap; unless you are wearing those heavy Chris Holm pads that protect front/back.
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