Gyrowheel for beginners?

A kid’s bike where the front wheel has a gyrowheel so there will be no need for any training wheels:

Would it be possible to build a training unicycle along the same idea?

I think it would, but I wonderhow much help it would be. I mean, watch a newbie try and ride: he’s usually falling off the back or front, not the side. The gyro wouldn’t stabilize the uni front to back.

When I started, I fell off the sides more often than the front and back. I was confused, because I rode bikes without touching the handlebars a lot before then.

But I wonder if eliminating the variable would ultimately harm more than help, since they aren’t learning to balance side to side, but only front to back? Or maybe it would just help them focus on one variable at a time, and then moving on to side to side balance would be easier because they’ve already learned how to do front to back.

In teaching or learning physical skills, the basic methodology is to break things down into smaller steps so it’s easier to figure them out. Hence we (usually) learn to ride while holding onto something. Later we mount from a curb before doing it in the open. These are building blocks to the more complex or difficult skills.

So I think it couldn’t hurt. Unfortunately the device may be built around a standard bicycle front wheel and axle, which might make it hard to use on a unicycle. But it would be interesting to try one out and see how it works!

Hmm, so a spinning disc acts as a gyroscope within the front wheel to stop it tipping sideways - but somehow magically without affcting the steering? :thinking:

And of course on a uni, the disk is spinning one way under power, so by Newtons 3rd (?) law, the equal and opposite reaction makes the unicycle flip the other way, like a helicopter with it’s tail rotor shot off?:smiley:

Still if someone can find a way of making a unicycle easier to learn, it will give people more time to practice their autoharps. :roll_eyes:

Neat. A large gyrowheel on a uni could be interesting.

I’m thinking making banked turns with a large gyrowheel could real fun. Wonder if you could only turn left, but not right (or visa versa).

Oh yeah, I knew I was missing something! I guess that would make it really annoying as a learning vehicle, but fun to play with for people who can already ride. It would probably make turning extra difficult, and could make riding in a straight line especially hard, as the minor corrections we usually make would be harder to do!

I beat them by 2 years by adding almost of lead to my spokes near the rim. I thought it was the greatest thing until that crash that left my shoulder 6 inches lower than it was supposed to be…

Think I got it wrong, now I’m thinking it would be hard to left or right, hard to lean, and once leaning, hard to un-lean. Not sure.

I still need to try that. How much weight did you add?

Oops, not sure how that got left out. I think it was one 3/8 oz weight on each spoke but I could be wrong. I started a thread on it but it ended up talking more about drilled airfoil rims…

anyway if you do go the route of adding weight to your wheel be weary of the fact that you can’t slow down nearly as easily or make small corrections.

I somehow got leaning forward on my weighted 27" wheel and tried accelerating to keep the unicycle under me. Ended up going so fast my feet could not stay on the pedals. I think I got up around 35km/h right before the crash.

Ars Technica has an article yesterday about the gyrowheel/gyrobike. It mentions that the technology was initially designed to aid unicycling. Odd that.

The gyrobike wants to save children from scrapes, at a price

And a quote from the article:

I don’t see how it would aid learning to ride a unicycle much. Side to side balance isn’t the main problem when learning to unicycle. It’s the front and back balance that is the tricky bit, and a gyroscope in the wheel isn’t going to help with that.

I taught both my kids to ride bikes real quick by taking the pedals off. And I was just thinking, maybe that would be useful in learning how to glide…?

Yes, but not necessarily in the way you think. Taking the pedals off is a big help for high speed gliding, but you don’t want to do that until you’ve already learned how. With the pedals on, the wheel will “wobble” with each revolution, and this will get stronger as the speed increases. But also with the pedals off, you have to walk back up the hill… :stuck_out_tongue:

Doh, didn’t think of that. I will abandon this project and resume work on my clipless pedals invention that auto-release using programmable voice recognition software, such as when “oh sh@!” is heard. :smiley: