bike technique as related to uni

i was watching one of the Echo TRA video’s today of a guy on a mod doing some huge ups. For the lift off, he would squat waaay down and then push up. this is something i have never seen unicyclists do. even the guys doing hops 90cm and above arent bending their legs much for the takeoff. why not? will this not work for unis? is it harder to “snap” the tire by doing this?

I have also thought about this. I think it is because they really lift the front tire up high, and then pivot around that point to pull the back end up. since we only have one wheel, this doesn’t really work, and you want to keep your center of gravity as high as possible so that you don’t lose any height that you have. However, i think it might also be a cause of progression, and next time i’m out riding, and doing a big up, i’ll have to try this.

well, peace out.

-Ryan

Huge Ups??? I’m still trying to learn to hop up on a Match Box! --chirokid–

I was trying to pedalgrab out of a fountain and thinking about this. I ride with some bikers who do 3’ sidehops very consistently, and they were telling me to stop prehopping and just preload. I’ve considered it, but I think that the way we have to hunch over and grab the seat makes preloading hopping very difficult, beacuse balancing during the jump quickly sucks the energy out of it. I agree withn Ryan, too, bikers jump differently. Finally, unicycle high-jump is a lot like sidehopping on normal feet. You can get onto higher objects with a prehop rather than without.

i was thinking this might be a factor too. tell us how it turns out when you try. not that i am a big jumper or anything, but i have noticed that a little more bending of the knees helps just a little bit more, but i still have no idea if this is a technique that should be pursued. You would think that we would be able to get just as high as the bikes though…

I used to be a big jumper, so I guess I should weigh in here. In both Track and Field high jumping and Volleyball I found that the most powerful jumping position was with the knee bent at a 90 degree (or slightly greater) angle (slightly straighter if you get what I mean). If you just squat down to that angle you’ll realize that it doesn’t look nearly as low as what a skilled trials rider will do. I think the difference is that they use their upper body and handle bars a lot in the process of jumping and as mentioned before shift their weight forward.

Trials bikers also are using the front half of their bike, something we don’t have. Have you noticed they can jump higher than unicycles, even though the bikes weigh more?

I’m not an expert at either of these sports, but I remember the first time I watched expert Trials bikers jumping. I could see how the mass of the front part of the bike was used to aid the jump. Not sure exactly how it works, but I think the front part of the bike is started in an upward motion, then the back tire is preloaded, then the rider gives the big jump. With the front part of the bike already going up, it’s like subtracting that weight from the whole, along with whatever extra momentum the front of the bike can generate.

On the unicycle, since we don’t have that front end to bob around, our way of jumping is going to be different. But our sport is still very new, and the best way of getting height is surely still developing.