So, I got an ultimate wheel on Sunday and started trying to learn. I spent 3 1/2 hours practicing with pants but not leg guards next to the fence. No luck. Next day I continued for about another hour and a half same thing no luck.
I got these cheap plastic leg guards at Academy on Wednesday. I noticed it made it a lot easier to ride because it reduces the friction problem. However, they twist a lot, which is very annoying because it causes them to restrict range of motion on my legs and as a result I fall off. I can go a few revolutions and then the twisting becomes a big issue.
I know I could master this so fast if I just had good leg guards that don’t twist. Anyone know of any leg guards that are good for this and not too overpriced? I tried Scheels on Monday but they were out of stock and then Academy on Tuesday for the temporary ones I have now. It’d be nice not to have to wait another week and order it so I don’t have to deal with more shipping delays. Honestly was already hard enough just to get an ultimate wheel shipped to my house. I may have to do that though.
Ice hockey goalie legs protections look like something that would both cover well and not move. I do not know how good the motion is. If you know somebody who plays or a have a team nearby, that could be something to try out before buying (or test in the store if they are cheap enough :p)
I never found anything that worked very well. I usually wore some heavyweight stretch denim jeans OVER my pads. But the pants still twisted around. I also tried making the tire more slippery, with tape on the sidewalls, or some kind of nylon webbing, but that didn’t work very well either.
Tall boots seem to be popular with people I’ve seen in videos.
I would try just cutting some hard plastic from a litter box or a Rubbermaid tote lid and then tape them to your legs with duct tape or electrical tape. Sounds extremely half-assed I know, but what I’ve found with this sort of thing is that off the shelf stuff usually doesn’t work that well as it was designed for something completely different and you’re probably going to have to make two or three prototypes before you get it right, so your first one may as well be quick and crude. Later on maybe add velcro straps or something similar.
Update: About 2 days ago I got a lot better at the ultimate wheel and haven’t needed the leg guards to reduce friction. My old ones were hindering more than helping and I realized as you get better and reduce leaning to the side the leg guards become less of an issue. Yesterday I got some good practice in as well. My main problem at this point is not so much reducing friction but the burns from leg rub. I noticed yesterday that double pants seems to work well with this.
Thinking a little bit more about this, I’d think that a couple of 2 liter pop bottles would have about the right curvature to match one’s calves or lower thighs and that Velcro tape would probably adhere to them really well.
For me, the best way to practice the ultimate wheel is to wear light synthetic hiking trousers. They don’t protect the legs, but the wheel slides on them. There are probably better solutions, but this one works for me.
I use the Lunicycle leg shields, which totally eliminate contact with the sides of the wheel. I can use them with any size UW, from 20-36". I did have to modify the shields by off-setting the calf supports, otherwise you would have to pedal on your heels! Here’s a pic of my 36er UW: