Adventures in Freewheeling

Do you have a name for a vehicle in such a condition? I propose: “Double-free-wheeling-hi-lo-BC-wheel.” :smiley: I’m sure DFWhi-lowBC’ing will catch on in no time. I imagine that’s much harder to ride now.
Seriously, good luck with the repair/replacing.

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Thanks! I know Roger had a freewheel unicycle that had the same issue. I don’t have much experience with skatepark riding or pump track riding and those would probably be the best places for it. One of my new freewheels is going to be a 20" I’m hoping to take to the skatepark so I may leave the 24" as-is for a while.

I hope you’ll be taking your camera with you to the skatepark :wink: I’d love to see some more freewheel action!

There sadly just isn’t enough freewheeling videos available on the internet at the moment :frowning:

Me, too! I’ve found freewheel videos to be few and far between. I’m overdue myself for doing another video because I’ve been waiting on my fat wheel in order to shoot a downhill video. I’m crossing my fingers it will be done soon and then a video should soon follow. It may take several months before I get even mild success at the skatepark but I’ll almost certainly shoot a skatepark video. As soon as I receive and then gain proficiency on my high-geared freewheel I’ll make a video of that, too. What are you looking for in a video?

To be honest, I’d be quite happy to see anything. I’m just coming up to one month of training on my freewheel in a few days, and I’m still pretty lousy at it, so even just basic riding is enough to inspire me :wink: but I’d love to see some of the more advanced stuff you can do.

High geared sounds pretty awesome, where did you get a geared freewheel hub??

Is that the one your discussing in this thread?

If so i would very much like to see that in action!

Yes, that’s the one. The project’s a little behind but I think they’ll be shipping out the pre-orders in the next few months. I’m going to save it for the road given my propensity to break hubs.

One of the things I like best about freewheel unicycling is that there are only a few basic things to learn and the rest is just practicing them. At Unicon I got some experience giving about a dozen people an introduction to freewheel riding but I could do a video to show these basic things. Types of riding:

  • pedaling
  • brake coasting
  • coasting
  • transitions between above [/LIST] Postures:
    • foot position (pedals horizontal or not)
    • body position (and angle of the frame relative to the ground)
    • position relative to the saddle (weighted, unweighted, completely off)
    Ultimately the goal is to use the brake for decreasing speed when necessary but not for balance correction although this is harder with the onset of fatigue. Balance correction should be done by pushing the wheel forward and backward although on rough terrain all bets are off and you want to stay balanced however you can: body leaning, braking, and pushing the wheel.
  • This is a tiny video demonstrating how it freewheels in both directions.

    Yeah that would be great! Looking forward to it :wink:

    I made one a few weeks ago but I didn’t publish it because actually I made it just for myself to see my progress. But you can watch it here if you want :wink:

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    Wow, thats amazing! I knew there must be some other freewheelers lurking about :wink:

    So how long have you been riding to reach that level? Do you mostly coast using the brake for balance or just using your body? Any tips for a relative newbie at freewheeling? I swear this first month has been so much more frustrating than when i first learned to unicycle…

    Awesome video, Carina! I’m excited to see such a great mountain unicyclist take to the freewheel because my own skills in that area are sorely lacking. Since I broke the hub on my 24" freewheel I rode a fixed wheel unicycle on a trail for the first time in a long while yesterday and I was amazed how much my overall skills at mountain unicycling improved since I’ve been riding freewheels. I think it really improves your pedaling technique as well as concentration. I think it would be great practice for competitive mountain unicyclists to train on.

    If you are looking for something to work on I would try this. Find a level, smooth place to practice and try to do pure coasting with the pedals level (3 and 9 o’clock). Start by pushing with the same weight on both pedals and work up to the point where you can stand up on the pedals without touching the saddle. Practice this until you can push off the saddle and sit back down easily. This will be a big help in rolling over obstacles at speed. It’s also a step towards the next big goal which is making balance adjustments by pushing the wheel forward and backward instead of moving your upper body.

    In your video you’re doing what I call the pedals up and down technique although one is actually a good amount forward. That’s how I started, too, and what I fall back on whenever I need to slow down to ride around people, dogs, cars, etc. Once you get the pedals level technique down try those same tree roots from the video and you’ll find going over them is much easier and you can go a lot faster over them. It lets you get much longer coasting runs, too.

    My small jump video is really the only one I have which shows the pedals level technique and it’s also a good demonstration of body position before encountering an obstacle (frame tilted to the rear, body up off the saddle). I’m planning to work on a video this weekend to demonstrate a wider range of techniques and exercises to practice.

    Excellent video! I love how smooth you are riding. Your balance is outstanding!

    Camera Test

    I did a quick camera test for the video I’m working on: Does anyone have feedback? I wanted to get a good shot of the wheel but also include body position. I’ll probably take that video down once the tutorial is finished so if it’s dead look later on in this thread for the tutorial video.

    Hey Waalrus, you humble the rest of us with your amazing free wheel skills. imho… I would suggest a more neutral setting for your video with no background distractions. I think that the traffic in the background is very annoying

    Thanks for the feedback! I almost never listen to the audio when I watch unicycle videos and didn’t even notice the traffic. I’ll keep that in mind.

    In terms of camera angle, i think thats pretty good for seeing body positioning etc. Just watching that has already answered some questions i had :wink:

    Some longer distance shots would be great as well, so theres more time in the shot to watch what your doing, because at that distance your almost gone before you can properly see what’s going on.

    Looking forward to the proper video :smiley:

    Freewheel Unicycling Tutorial 8-30-2014

    I previously made a very simple freewheel unicycling tutorial but this one shows the basic techniques and then how they’re applied on a ride. The riding shows four styles:

    1. The basic style a beginner would use which is pedals up and down. In the video I’m riding switch stance to simulate this.
    2. Pedals up and down which is a conservative riding style used in situations where maximum control is necessary like around hikers, dogs, cars, and some precipices.
    3. Pedals level with intermittent braking.
    4. Coasting pedals level.
      Listen for the click of the brake lever and pay attention to pedal position, frame angle, and how much I’m on or off the saddle.

    Thank you for your great tutorial waaalrus :slight_smile: I think I have to practice the pedals level technique, thanks for your hint!
    At the moment I mostly coast using the brake but I have to change this :stuck_out_tongue: Especially because of my weak brake. Maybe i should have spent more money for it :roll_eyes:

    I bought my freewheel about 10 months ago. At first I just practiced on a flat parking lot and later I also rode it in the woods.

    You’re welcome! Thanks for posting your video! Of course it’s just my opinion but the pedals level technique is essential to getting to the next level of freewheel riding. I wish I had practiced it sooner. I think it’s important to practice it in an easier environment, too. Try to work up to the point where you can stand up on the pedals. You don’t really ride like that but it’s good practice. I always try to keep my rear foot below horizontal. It takes more effort to hold that body position but paying attention and not letting that rear foot drift up has reduced the number of UPDs I have over the front.

    Riding pedals level also make it easier to coast-brake-coast. This is an essential skill when you’re riding down a long downhill. I used to ride such sections pedals up-down and the rhythm was coast-brake-pedal. I would have to slow down enough to drop down to pedaling speed which saps a lot of your momentum. Now I can ride down road sections at 10+ MPH with almost no pedaling.

    Yes, the brake is very important to freewheel riding! I have a love-hate relationship with it and am constantly adjusting it. The setup that I like is:

    TRP Spyke (caliper) with stock disc pads
    Avid Speed Dial 7 (lever)
    180mm rotor
    Disc tabs welded to the frame

    Keep up the great work! You rock!