geared unicycles


> Mark Rushton wrote: I am in the middle of making a low rise carbon giraffe at
> the moment with a three speed gear. If this was geared up suitably it could
> theoretically be ridden very fast. Would this be the right sort of unicycle to
> have a go at breaking such records?

In the 1970s, a unicyclist named Larry Chebowski (a.k.a. Arnold Wheels) of
Phoenix, Arizona, USA built a one-speed geared up unicycle. Unexpectedly, it was
very difficult to ride. I will attempt to explain why.

When you push down on a front pedal of a standard unicycle, the wheel tends to
roll forward which causes you to fall backwards. By leaning forward, you
compensate for this and maintain your balance. When you enter gear ratios and
fulcrums into the equation, the result isn’t what you expect. You may have
noticed that when a car drag races from a dead stop, the front end pops up
before the car begins to move forward. This is because it takes less energy to
raise the front end than it does to move the whole car forward (momentarily).
When you push down on a pedal of a geared unicycle, it takes less energy to
rotate the fork (and you!) than it does to move the entire unicycle. You will
have to compensate for this in your attempt to maintain balance. Also, make a
seat that comes up high in front and back so that you won’t need to use your
hands to keep it from being yanked out from between your legs.

As far as I know, Larry and myself were the only ones who ever learned to ride
his geared unicycle.

o/ Thank you and have a FANTASTIC day! /|
>> Captain Fantastic
| (aka)