Heavy Cruisers?

Heavy Cruisers?

I assume that a heavy tire and rim on similarly configured unicycles will be easier to ride. I assume this because the center of gravity of the rider/unicycle pair will be lower than with a lightweight wheel. A lower center of gravity will create a longer fulcrum above that center of gravity. The rider having a longer fulcrum against the center of gravity will have a more forceful control of the unicycle.

I make this assumption because I have very little experience riding different kinds of unicycles.

Please respond to my assumption. Am I right or wrong from your experience? If you had two unicycles exactly the same except for the weight of the tire and rim, would the heavier one be easier to ride?

If so

Is there a significant improvement in the subjective feel of “easier to ride”, or is wheel weight insignificant from your experience?

Muni configured unicycles are easier to ride generally if you disregard wheel friction. Yes?

Re: Heavy Cruisers?

In article <Zook.kvn1b@timelimit.unicyclist.com>,
Zook <Zook.kvn1b@timelimit.unicyclist.com> wrote:
)
)Heavy Cruisers?
)
)I assume that a heavy tire and rim on similarly configured unicycles
)will be easier to ride. I assume this because the center of gravity of
)the rider/unicycle pair will be lower than with a lightweight wheel. A
)lower center of gravity will create a longer fulcrum above that center
)of gravity. The rider having a longer fulcrum against the center of
)gravity will have a more forceful control of the unicycle.
)
)Please respond to my assumption. Am I right or wrong from your
)experience? If you had two unicycles exactly the same except for the
)weight of the tire and rim, would the heavier one be easier to ride?

I think the lighter uni will be easier to control. “Control” assuming
that you want it to do something other than continue going the direction
it’s going at the speed it’s moving. Every time you want to change anything,
the heavier wheel will fight you.

The smoothest ride I’ve ever had was on a 700c/23 wheel, extremely
lightweight by any uni wheel+tire standards.
-Tom

Re: Heavy Cruisers?

First way to conduct such research, if you don’t intend to just learn to ride, is to read this forum. Search out occurrances of people looking to add weight to their wheels. You won’t find it. Would not the same weight theory be true for a bicycle? On the contrary, the rotating part of a bike (the wheels) is the primary area where people look to reduce weight.

Putting more weight around the axle doesn’t make it easier to balance, it just makes the wheel heavier. This makes the wheel more sluggish and harder to move. The center of gravity of a unicycle with a rider on it is always going to be a little bit below the center of gravity of the rider. Making the unicycle heavier doesn’t make a big impact on this, as we hope we will always outweigh our unicycles.

A unicycle with a heavy wheel will be more stable to ride, once moving. Having more wheel to react against, such as on a big wheel or Coker, when pushing on the pedals riders not only move the wheel where they want it, but the action-reaction of pushing on the pedals pushes the body in the opposite direction. I have used this technique to maintain balance when pedaling too hard, or hitting bumps on the big wheel.

But a heavy wheel will not make a unicycle perform better, and it will definitely make it harder to learn on.

Wheel weight is definitely more significant than frame/seat weight. The heavier wheel will ride more stable and straighter, but will be unpleasant going uphill. The lighter wheel will be easier to freemount, and definitely easier to learn on.

But don’t believe me, check it out for yourself! Start with a light wheel, such as a Torker or other entry level model. Learn to ride, then get interested in off-roading. This will give you the excuse to get a big, heavy wheel with a nice downhill tire… :slight_smile:

The center of mass difference is minimal when you consider the weight of the rider. The influential factors are the weight of the uni (for vertical maneuvers) and the rotational inertia of the wheel (for anything where the wheel is rolling and must be accelerated, decelerated, or turned).

The concept of “control” is a complex one. Generally, though, the heavier the uni, the harder it is to do things that require acceleration, deceleration, or turning of the wheel. This is mostly because fixing balance problems requires more time, and thus more look-ahead.

This can help you during steady-state running, though, because the wheel resists changes. So an unseen rock will have less effect on a heavier uni than on a lighter one.

A seen rock, though, may be harder to maneuver around on a heavier wheel in that the maneuver may require too much strength to perform at the last minute, or may put the uni on a poor line that cannot be fixed in time.