36er racing at Home Depot Velodrome

I’m wondering if you could maintain enough speed to stay on the highly angled track, and what speed would be required. It looks like the angle is the same from top to bottom, but it would probably be easier and lower risk to at least start on the lowest part.

I think a geared 36er might do well, but not sure about ungeared. If you couldn’t maintain enough speed, I’d think that you’d constantly be fighting to stay on the track. Has anyone ever tried riding a uni in a velodrome?

See #13 on John Foss’ “Things Not To Do On A Unicycle” :slight_smile:

Haha, that was based on a guy who fell while riding what looked like a 20" unicycle, and from 1986! No 36ers then, so today it might be much more doable.


I tried riding my uni in Manchester Velodrome. I couldnt ride the angled track and stayed on the bottom flat track. In the photo the track got steeper at each end. No way could I have ridden it :astonished: It still felt great thinking about being maybe the first unicycle to ride around the historic Manchester Velodrome.


If anyone could ride something that steep and stay on all the way around, it might be Chuck Edwall on his geared 36er. I think he could maintain at least 18-22mph–at least for a while–which more than enough speed to stay on, with your uni and body at the same angle as the track, or at least partially leaning, like bikes do. Some interesting facts about velodromes.

From what I’ve read about velodromes, the minimum speed to make the curves is 12 mph. But the upright configuration of a unicycle might make it totally different and thus require more speed than a bike.

Unfair! I asked the Manchester Velodrome about three years ago, whether I might ride around the track a couple of times. They refused to allow unicycles on the boards.


The upright position on a uni shouldn’t change the minimum speed. You still have to keep the force centered over the tire contact patch, and sitting up or leaning forward won’t change that, since the force is still inline with the unicycle frame.

I’m also pretty sure they would not allow metal pedals, as they could easily damage the wooden boards. Just like freestyle on basketball courts or other wood surfaces don’t allow metal pedals. So I think plastics would be ok, and I don’t see why they would not allow a uni as long as it would not interfere with or impede the flow of bikes. But then again, they’d probably only allow you to ride when there were as few bikes on the track as possible, if any at all.

You don’t need speed to stay on the walls I’ve done track stands (bike equivalent of still stand) near the top in a sprint race. Your bigger concern would be catching a pedal. I don’t see any reason why a 36 that approached the corner from mid-track couldn’t ride laps, but there is no point to it as if you are riding for time you would want to stay on the inner line where it is flat anyway. You might notice in the youtube clip that the riders only went up the track when they were done pulling.

I don’t see why metal pedals would be a problem. Track riders use metal quill pedals with cleats. Pins may be a problem, but I doubt it.

You could probably convince them to let you give it a try. They occassionally have trial sessions for unlicensed riders. 10 minutes onthe track for $20. You could show him a few of your videos to convince him of your abilities. Give them a call and let us know I would love to watch.

Wow, $120 per hour? That’s expensive! :astonished:

You can only do it once in a trial session 10 minutes is it. If you have a license or have completed the intro class it is only $20 per training session, but it is a pricy facility with few users

Oh well, I might still give it a try, and 10 minutes should still be enough for at least a few laps. Any idea how far it is around? Looks to be probably around 250 meters.

YUP, 250 on the blue line bottom of track

Forget the velodrome…
Why not just race around a Home Depot?

2x disagree.

a] some tracks do not have the same angle from top to bottom, like on below picture (me riding at the steepest track in the world - Gent, Belgium There is an identical one elsewhere in the world).

b] the bottom is actually the hardest place to ride. And for unicycles that would count even more; at least more than double (depending on wheel size).

Further falling isn’t that bad compare to road cycling. Except… if you ride on a wooden track that’s been wrong assembled… (then you might end up with pieces of wood under your skin). Having no breaks seems dangerous, but actually is more save. Although I’ll never forget how it was to have Olympic champion Leon van Bon passing me underneath(!) -while I made a near to impossible jump, and dito landing-.

Dusting schaap did his hour record on the cycling track of Alkmaar in 2006 …but he admitted he never left the so called ‘cote d’azur’, therefor the claimed record was impossible to be very accurate (but I don’t deny or doubt he actually broke the record). He counted an estimate of 240m for each round.

Haha, been there, done that…at least inside. :smiley:

(I had found a yellow card that had “Uni” on it, but it didn’t have anything to do with unicycles, but while I was riding I flashed it at employees that were about to kick me out, and I told them it was a “uni pass”, and they let me continue, lol! :p)

Woah. That’s way more expensive than my “local” velodrome. (Major Taylor)

I got my 45" in 2982. But I didn’t have it in Germany, which was where that track was. Wet leaves were a factor, though… :slight_smile:

Always that’s the danger in asking nicely…

Obviously you don’t own a velodrome (or a gym). :smiley:

Yes, you can ride around a velodrome at not-so-fast speeds, but it’s pretty awkward; like riding on a really steep camber. You want to be going fast enough to not have to fight the bank.