How much harder is a larger wheel?

I’m curious how much more difficult it is to ride a unicycle with a larger
wheel. It makes sense to me that there would be additional gyroscopic effect
and momentum associated with the larger wheel which would have to be overcome
when turning. And I’d guess that the additional height may make mounting a
bit harder.

Here’s where I’m coming from, I’m relatively new to the unicycle and I’ve been
learning on a 24" generic. My primary interest is recreational, riding with my
children, learning new things, having a good time. I’ve also considered
attempting an occasional commute to work with it (8 miles). Given how much
effort it’s taking to make the 24 go very fast, I’ve been entertaining the
thought of getting a unicycle with a larger wheel.

Is it going to be a lot more difficult to ride say a 28"? How about something
like a Coker? (I’m 6’1" tall, if that matters)

Thanks! Greg

Re: How much harder is a larger wheel?

Greg, You need a Coker. I’m 5’10" and I ride at least 5 miles every day,
alternating between the Coker and a 26-inch Semcycle. Transitioning from the
26-inch wheel to the 36-inch wheel took less than 5 minutes. When my new Coker
arrived in March, I rode it around the driveway about 3 times, then went on a
4-mile ride without falling. Since then I’ve put hundreds of miles on it. The
best advantage to the big wheel is the response time. If your foot slips off a
pedal on a 24-inch wheel, you have a split-second to get it back on and recover.
The 36-inch wheel, because of its slower rotation, gives you more time to
recover. Also, the big wheel requires less effort. The best way I know to
describe it is, it’s like having cruise control; you sort of monitor the wheel
occasionally and turn when you need to. The standard 6-inch cranks that ship
with the Coker make hill climbing a breeze. You have to try it. But then, of
course I’d write that–I sell them!

Regards,

John Drummond UnicycleSource.com

Greg House <greg.house@SPAMMENOT.lsil.com> on 06/23/99 05:08:13 PM

Please respond to Greg House <greg.house@SPAMMENOT.lsil.com>

To: unicycling@winternet.com
cc: (bcc: John Drummond/Atlanta/IBM) Subject: How much harder is a
larger wheel?

I’m curious how much more difficult it is to ride a unicycle with a larger
wheel. It makes sense to me that there would be additional gyroscopic effect
and momentum associated with the larger wheel which would have to be overcome
when turning. And I’d guess that the additional height may make mounting a
bit harder.

Here’s where I’m coming from, I’m relatively new to the unicycle and I’ve been
learning on a 24" generic. My primary interest is recreational, riding with my
children, learning new things, having a good time. I’ve also considered
attempting an occasional commute to work with it (8 miles). Given how much
effort it’s taking to make the 24 go very fast, I’ve been entertaining the
thought of getting a unicycle with a larger wheel.

Is it going to be a lot more difficult to ride say a 28"? How about something
like a Coker? (I’m 6’1" tall, if that matters)

Thanks! Greg

Re: How much harder is a larger wheel?

>>From my education over in “wreck.bikes.tech”, I’ll pass on that riders
>really can’t tell the difference between lighter & heavier wheels and that
>gyroscopic effects are not detectable by the riders either. There are long
>technical threads on the subject…check 'em out in dejanews.

This is more true for bikes than for unicycles. On a unicycle you feel the
weight of the wheel every time you change your speed and direction (i.e.
constantly). On a bike, since you’re separated from the wheels it’s much less
noticeable. Though gyroscopic effects may be more noticeable on a unicycle, that
is offset by the fact that unicycle wheels “wobble”. The don’t go in a straight
line, but zigzag side to side as you pedal. Even big wheels. So the gyroscopic
effect of the wheel has less of an effect on your riding and balance.

>> I’m curious how much more difficult it is to ride a unicycle with a larger
>> wheel. It makes sense to me that there would be additional gyroscopic effect
>> and momentum associated with the larger wheel which would have to be overcome
>> when turning. And I’d guess that the additional height may make mounting a
>> bit harder.

You do indeed have to learn to compensate for a heavier wheel, and gyroscopic
effects when turning. But these are outweighed by the pleasure of cruising fast
on a massive, cool-looking wheel. Same apples to the mounting.

>> Is it going to be a lot more difficult to ride say a 28"? How about something
>> like a Coker? (I’m 6’1" tall, if that matters)

The above was written with large wheels like the Coker in mind. If you go to a
28", the differences will be very minor, and you’ll hardly notice them after
you’ve been riding it some.

John Foss Angeles City, Philippines

Re: How much harder is a larger wheel?

>From my education over in “wreck.bikes.tech”, I’ll pass on that riders
really can’t tell the difference between lighter & heavier wheels and that
gyroscopic effects are not detectable by the riders either. There are long
technical threads on the subject…check 'em out in dejanews.

I’ll let experienced unifolk answer to the rest but from what I’ve learned here
so far (in no particular order): Your weight (big) next to uni weight (small) is
what counts. The bigger the wheel, the faster you go. The faster you go, the
harder to stop. Smaller cranks are usually smoother to spin. Bigger wheels
require more torque on cranks to start & stop. If done right, the seat ain’t
much higher, the post is much smaller.

Anything I’ve got wrong and/or missed? Jim

Greg House wrote:
>
> I’m curious how much more difficult it is to ride a unicycle with a larger
> wheel. It makes sense to me that there would be additional gyroscopic effect
> and momentum associated with the larger wheel which would have to be overcome
> when turning. And I’d guess that the additional height may make mounting a
> bit harder.
>
> Here’s where I’m coming from, I’m relatively new to the unicycle and I’ve been
> learning on a 24" generic. My primary interest is recreational, riding with my
> children, learning new things, having a good time. I’ve also considered
> attempting an occasional commute to work with it (8 miles). Given how much
> effort it’s taking to make the 24 go very fast, I’ve been entertaining the
> thought of getting a unicycle with a larger wheel.
>
> Is it going to be a lot more difficult to ride say a 28"? How about something
> like a Coker? (I’m 6’1" tall, if that matters)
>
> Thanks! Greg

Re: How much harder is a larger wheel?

I agree with what the unicycle dealer said about the coker. I rode mine across
the state of Arkansas (USA, for Sarah Miller) and it was a dream. Well worth
the money.

DON

Re: How much harder is a larger wheel?

<html> <font size=3>At 6’1" tall, Greg House will definitely need to order
that 300mm seatpost if he decides on a Coker!<br> <br> “J. Michaels”
<jmichaels@home.com> wrote:<br> >From my education over in
“wreck.bikes.tech”, I’ll pass on that riders<br> >really can’t tell
the difference between lighter & heavier wheels and<br> >that gyroscopic
effects are not detectable by the riders either. There<br> >are long
technical threads on the subject…check 'em out in dejanews.<br> ><br>
>I’ll let experienced unifolk answer to the rest but from what I’ve<br>
>learned here so far (in no particular order):<br> >Your weight (big) next
to uni weight (small) is what counts.<br> >The bigger the wheel, the faster
you go.<br> >The faster you go, the harder to stop.<br> >Smaller cranks
are usually smoother to spin.<br> >Bigger wheels require more torque on
cranks to start & stop.<br> >If done right, the seat ain’t much higher,
the post is much smaller.<br> ><br> >Anything I’ve got wrong and/or
missed?<br> >Jim<br> ><br> ><br> ><br> >Greg House wrote:<br>
>> <br> >> I’m curious how much more difficult it is to ride a
unicycle with a<br> >> larger wheel. It makes sense to me that there would
be additional<br> >> gyroscopic effect and momentum associated with the
larger wheel which<br> >> would have to be overcome when turning.
And I’d guess that the<br> >> additional height may make mounting a bit
harder.<br> >> <br> >> Here’s where I’m coming from, I’m relatively
new to the unicycle and<br> >> I’ve been learning on a 24" generic.
My primary interest is<br> >> recreational, riding with my children,
learning new things, having a<br> >> good time. I’ve also considered
attempting an occasional commute to<br> >> work with it (8 miles).
Given how much effort it’s taking to make the<br> >> 24 go very fast, I’ve
been entertaining the thought of getting a<br> >> unicycle with a larger
wheel.<br> >> <br> >> Is it going to be a lot more difficult to ride
say a 28"? How about<br> >> something like a Coker? (I’m
6’1" tall, if that matters)<br> >> <br> >> Thanks!<br> >>
Greg<br> </font><br>
<div>—</div>
<dv>Rick Plavnicky
plav@eclipse.net from my box to
yours</div>
<dvi><URL:<a href=“mailto:plav@eclipse.net
EUDORA=AUTOURL>mailto:plav@eclipse.net</a>><URL:<a
href=“http://www.eclipse.net/~plav/
EUDORA=AUTOURL>http://www.eclipse.net/~plav/</a>></div> </html

Re: How much harder is a larger wheel?

Hi

I’ve just bought a Coker today! I learnt on a 20" uni and this is the first time
I’ve ridden a larger unicycle. Starting, stopping and turning are harder.
Freemounting is much harder (I haven’t managed it yet). But I found going
along smoothly in a straight line easier! And the speed I picked up was so
exhilarating! Get a Coker is my advice.

Mark

Greg House wrote in message <37714CBD.48DBE564@SPAMMENOT.lsil.com>…
>I’m curious how much more difficult it is to ride a unicycle with a larger
>wheel. It makes sense to me that there would be additional gyroscopic effect
>and momentum associated with the larger wheel which would have to be overcome
>when turning. And I’d guess that the additional height may make mounting a
>bit harder.
>
>Here’s where I’m coming from, I’m relatively new to the unicycle and I’ve been
>learning on a 24" generic. My primary interest is recreational, riding with my
>children, learning new things, having a good time. I’ve also considered
>attempting an occasional commute to work with it (8 miles). Given how much
>effort it’s taking to make the 24 go very fast, I’ve been entertaining the
>thought of getting a unicycle with a larger wheel.
>
>Is it going to be a lot more difficult to ride say a 28"? How about something
>like a Coker? (I’m 6’1" tall, if that matters)
>
>Thanks! Greg