built UW, Now what do I do with it?

Alright, so I saw some cool vid’s of ultimate wheeling, and thought it looked like a good challenge.

I built an ultimate wheel with an old mtb rim, and a scrap piece of plywood. I used an old pair of 1/2" bmx pedals and two dollars worth of hardware from the local home center.


Any ideas about how to get started learning to ride the thing? After a few attempts I find it impossible; however, I know someone can ride it (I’ve seen the vid’s). I’m sure that my uni skills in general are very low, and maybe this is just a bit too advanced for me at this time.

Sell it! :slight_smile:

That’s what I did with mine, only a few weeks after I’d built it. It’s a long story, but the buyer gave it back to me 13 years later, and I still suck at riding one. I guess I should have kept it…

The ultimate wheel does seem more impossible than the impossible wheel.

I tried one for the first and only time this past fall (no pun intended :stuck_out_tongue: ), and I think I got maybe 2 full revolutions. I mounted by backing it up against a wall and climbing on the back pedal first.

Then, I think, you just have to go for it. Like learning to unicycle for the first time, think half a revolution at a time but you want to build decent momentum to make it easier to stay balanced. Once up to speed I would think it’s like seat drag, which I can do, but I was never able to get up to a smooth feeling speed.

Those that I’ve seen have more success than I had a kind of rhythmic wobble with each pedal stroke, and the whole “sit up straight posture” that is generally pretty helpful on a saddled unicycle doesn’t seem as useful. It’s more of a hunch with your arms out and legs consistently bent.

Also wearing thick leg protection is highly recommended, although I just had long pants when I tried.

I suspect I’ll keep the UW. At least for a while. When I started making it I had a feeling that it might be hard, so I didn’t put too much time into the construction. My thought was that if I took to it I could always rebuild it lighter and with care. Translation: I don’t think anyone would want to buy it.

It is comforting to know that far more experienced unicyclists agree that it is difficult. Thanks for the replies.

Maybe I’ll post some pix of the hardware that I used for the pedals. It seems like there are far more complicated ways to do it than what I came up with. The pedals don’t flex at all, but we’ll see how they fair over time.


The big turning point for me on the ultimate wheel was getting the courage to stand up fully with my back straight. I ended up learning to ride in a two hour session on and off the wheel in one day, so it shouldn’t take too long if you are already decent at riding SIF and/or doing seat drag/pushes.

The biggest things were to force yourself to stay on, and keeping your back straight and your body upright.

For me I started leaning against something just to mount then I would level the pedals and get them horizontal and go away from the wall from there. After I could go about three revolutions I forced myself to start freemounting.

I found that the toughest part from freemounting was going from the deadzone to getting a cadence going. I would usually twist and turn a whole lot on the first pedal stroke, then if I stayed on I would be able to go across the gym. Near the end of the night I was finally able to do from one end to the other with one turn. I almost learned how to figure 8 but I could only turn in one direction competently. Hopefully next week I will get a chance to try again.

remember to keep your body at an even height above the wheel as you have an imaginary seat, so your body movement is not affected by the pedalling action.
I can’t seat drag (I’ll rephrase that: I’ve never tried seat drag) but within 1/2 an hour I was able to get a fair distance across a hall.

Why did you build one? Why did you not just take off your frame on your uni?

I like to build stuff. I had almost everything to build it laying around, and I read that it is easier to learn UW with the pedals as inboard as possible. I have all of $2.00 and 45 minutes of construction time in this project, so it’s not a great investment.

ok :stuck_out_tongue: But it would work, wouldnt it?

I understand that it does work; just harder to do/learn. Some of the threads mention that it can be better off road as it gets your legs farther away from the tire.

Would you post some pics? I’m curious to see what it looks like

I wasn’t as effective as jtrops since it took me 6 euro and half a day of work to build an ultimate wheel.
The result might not be too sexy, but sure it’s quite strong and pedals are as inboard as possible.
Here it is: Picasaweb

Are you joking? that thing is sweet, Good Job! It needs a paint job now

as cool as they look, in all honestly they look like a bitch to ride

PIx of my mounts

The UW itself is a bit crude, but the mounts are solid, simple and cheap. The flange is made of two stacked 2" diameter washers. It is backed on the other side of the wheel with tee nuts. The 1/2"x20 nuts are available at the hardware store in both left and right hand thread. Unfortunately 9/16x20 isn’t a standard thread pitch, and so isn’t readily available. If I could have used 9/16" it would have much nicer pedals on it. If I figure out how to ride this I will invest in some nicer 1/2’ pedals for it.

Keep practicing.

My thighs still burn mad after half a block, and I’ve been doing it for 6 months now.