I designed this cool little device that reproduces the balance required to ride a BC! It’s actually harder to stay balanced on simulator, which is also good because it will make riding an actual BC seem all that much easier. This is a short tutorial on how it works, and how you can make it one for less than $10 with just a few pieces of wood and some screws:
That’s super cool!
I have no desire to ride a BC Wheel, but now I want to make one of those just to have one.
haha yeah, it’s fun to try balancing on it even if you aren’t a unicyclists to start with! Please post a clip of how long you can balance after you make yours! I’m trying to get a comp going on this on fb as well!
Is this any different from standing on a rail or a tightwire sideways?
Well, a solid, non-moving rail would be a closer approximation, but a slackline, tightrope-type line would add a much greater degree of difficulty because of the inherent fore/aft wobbling in addition to just balancing on a static surface. I actually came up with this idea out on the trail, when I tried balancing on a broken, rounded branch with about a 2" diameter that was on the ground.
I think what makes the BC simulator so challenging is because the plates are above the axle, vs several inches below, like BC plates. So it’s almost like trying to ride a BC with the plates upside down, or above the axle, where you’re also fighting gravity that wants them to “swing” or rotate back down below the axle. I’m still trying to stay on for 10 seconds, and it’s frustrating, but in a good, fun way! I love the challenge!
I had a little time yesterday so I made a BC simulator. Thanks for the idea Terry.
The boys and I worked at it for about an hour and a half last night. My 8 year old gave it the most effort and managed 12 seconds. (I’m sure it was very accurate with me counting 1 onethousnd… 2 onethousnd…). All of us hit 8 seconds at least once.
My 8 year old usually isn’t interested in these things for long. So I had to reward his exceptional interest and bought a BMX front wheel today from a LBS. Now to make the plates.
Haha, very good!
Here’s my 2nd version “BC Simulator”. This one exactly mimics the balance of a real BC, because now the plates are below the center of gravity, and “swing” like a pendulum (like on an actual BC) rather than rotate directly on top of the axle, above COG.
But to my surprise, this one is just as challenging to stay on, even with the wheel taken out of the equation! On this one I used the 14mm axle, bearings and plates, taken from my other, 24" BC, so it would have a smooth and solid connection. Pretty cool!
Updated and simplified. Plates raised so that feet or front/back of plates won’t contact ground while at maximum fore/aft balance point. This is literally feels the same as when riding a BC, but without the risk of falling while honing your balance skills.
I made some plates today. I have to say as a beginner the trainer is much easier. I found it to be “impossible”. Then I tried it with a wheelchair for support. It was doable then. Now to find a good practice spot. The sidewalk near my house that I thought would be good is too steep. I bail off before I get very far due to excessive speed. How did you learn the skateboard start? You make it look so easy. I will make a leg guard next, that should help.
IMHO One thing that the two designs ignore is the other balancing axle - the side to side balance.
With real BC you do it by balancing on 2.5" tyre, no solid base… So I can’t figure how does it feel harder than the real thing?
There is very little side to side balancing while moving at a normal speed; only when you are slowing to stop does side to side balance become more necessary. The main balance is fore & aft. You only have to make your own simulator to be convinced as to just how difficult it is staying balanced on it! Although there is no risk of falling like on an actual BC, but without a wheel, which actually helps with balance corrections, the static device is much harder to stay on. I too thought it would be easier than the real thing, but it was just the opposite! And that’s a good thing since it will make riding an actual BC seem that much easier.
Agree with your point with side to side balancing while moving but… Still the main obstacle for begginer is to mount the wheel first, and that action has learning curve. For me most off my big falls were during mounting the wheel, struggling all side balancing challenge. Falling from the BC while already riding it, never bothered me, I just bail and keep running
I use the “skateboard” mount as it is the easiest compared to the running jump mount, which is scarier and you could end up with a really bad fall it you land on it the wrong way. I find that having a an initial downhill that flattens out within about 20 feet is a great way to get initial momentum, but without becoming a “runaway train”! A downsloping, smooth section like sidewalk that flattens out soon after you reach peak speed is the perfect scenario for learning. You must have enough initial momentum to get you going fast enough quickly, which will make the ride much more stable with a minimum of side to side issues.