Advice on learning ultimate wheel

Today I finished assembling my 26" ultimate wheel. It’s based on the
Gemcrest pedal inserts that are available from www.unicycle.com (I think
Roger designed and manufactures these). I haven’t painted the wooden disc
yet. Any suggestions on colors/patterns?

The only previous experience I have with ultimate wheel is a failed 15
minute attempt to ride a 24" schwinn with the frame removed. So far I’m
finding that the 26" ultimate is far easier to learn on. I’ve actually gone
several revs already. I believe this is primarily due to the near planar
nature of the ultimate.

I made the mistake of buying the least expensive 26" tire the shop had in
stock. The problem with it is that there is a fairly aggressive tread
pattern that extends to the sides. After just a few minutes of practice my
legs were worn raw. I think if I’m going to continue to practice I’ll need
to either replace the tire with a smoother tread or cut the side knobs off.

I basically still have two questions (apologies if these have been covered
before, but sometimes it doesn’t hurt to refresh our memories):

  1. When one become proficient with an ultimate wheel is it still normal for
    the tire to rub against the legs, or can experienced riders ride without
    contacting the tire?

  2. What are some good ways to reduce the friction between my legs and the
    tire? I’ve considered trying duct tape on the tire but I wonder what others
    have tried that works.

Any other suggestions/tips?

-mg

Re: Advice on learning ultimate wheel

Michael Grant wrote:
> I made the mistake of buying the least expensive 26" tire the shop had in
> stock. The problem with it is that there is a fairly aggressive tread
> pattern that extends to the sides.
<snip>
> 2. What are some good ways to reduce the friction between my legs and the
> tire? I’ve considered trying duct tape on the tire but I wonder what
others
> have tried that works.

Using knobbly tyres is a bad idea. Ouch.

I have enormous trouble throwing anything away if I might conceivably still
find a use for it. Which means I’ve got a collection of tyres that I’ve
worn out on my bikes. My UW is fitted with a Vredestein S-Lick cast off
from my ATB, which is ideal. But it’s certainly not a cheap tyre.

So, do you know anybody who habitually rides a bike with 26" wheels and
slick tyres, and doesn’t throw their old tyres away? Otherwise, you might
want to go and buy the cheapest slick tyre that your LBS stocks.

One suggestion that’s come up here in the past is to spray the tyre
sidewalls with silicone spray, to reduce the friction between the tyre and
your legs. I tried this and found that it made no discernible difference,
but YMMV.

Another suggestion is to wear chaps, or half-chaps. But they’re bloody
expensive, so unless you’re into equestrianism as well it’s probably not
worth the cost.


Danny Colyer (remove safety to reply) ( http://www.juggler.net/danny )
Recumbent cycle page: http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/recumbents/
“I don’t think proofreading is adequate. All posts should be waxed and
buffed. Then they should wear little tuxedos.” - Greg Harper on usenet

Re: Advice on learning ultimate wheel

> 1. When one become proficient with an ultimate wheel is it still normal for
> the tire to rub against the legs, or can experienced riders ride without
> contacting the tire?

yes, but don’t try to stop leaning the tyre, it just happens. and you
learn a lot faster if you let the tyre lean, and lean back on the tyre
a bit, on whichever leg is lower at the time. and i think the position
of your feet on the pedal makes more difference than normal. if you
feel very unbalanced to start maybe move your feet out a bit, and have
a nice pronounced comforting lean with each half-revolution, but if it
all feels too jerky and clumsy then having your feet nearer the wheel
makes things faster and smoother. or maybe that’s just me. does make
sense though. i think. wrol, ages till bremen.

> 2. What are some good ways to reduce the friction between my legs and the
> tire? I’ve considered trying duct tape on the tire but I wonder what others
> have tried that works.

if you wear not-baggy jeans then you just get rubbed and red and not
actually grazed. not sure about for knobbly tyres. destroy the
knobbles and wear jeans that don’t flap. it doesn’t take that long
before you stop getting rubbed, so i don’t think it’s really worth
getting ankle guards or anything. just learn all in one or two goes
instead of a moderate approach. unless you’re an ankle model or
something.

Bethan.

Right now I’m waiting for my pedal inserts so I can get one put together. My sister said that I should paint it in a purple and green spiral. I’m going to paint it purple with yellow lightning bolts, though.

Paint it spiraly so it looks cool when you ride it. Or cheker it. Or stripe it. Or one color. Or put a fish on it. Or… Or… Or…

You can do anything you want, there are a million ways to paint it!