Imagine riding a unicycle with these cranks

I went to the Seattle Bicycle Expo today and saw an interesting type of crank. They’re called Power Cranks <http://www.powercranks.com/>. The cranks spin independently, meaning that the left crank and the right crank deliver power independent from each other. It forces you to pedal in a circle and lift your leg up on the back part of the pedal stroke. Check the web site and the videos on the web site for a better idea. You really need to see the video to get an idea of how these cranks work, and even the video doesn’t give you the whole story.

Now imagine a unicycle with these cranks. You’d have to be clipped in because otherwise it would not be possible bring the cranks up on the backstroke. It would be a very interesting coaster unicycle. Both cranks have standard square tapers and the clutch mechanism is all in the crank so it would be real easy to put these on a standard unicycle.

However, they are really expensive. But imagine trying to ride a unicycle with those cranks.

On a more serious note. There is also an adjustable version of the cranks. See about 1/3 down the page here:
<http://powercranks.com/products.html>
The picture isn’t very clear about the design, but they have a washboard pattern on the crank and the mating piece with the pedal threads. Looks like one of the better adjustable crank designs I’ve seen. Offers very good adjustability and would allow for fairly easy adjustments on the road.

just how expensive are these these things?the link to prices was’nt working (of course) and this following quote was all i could find that mentioned money.

“You may pay in full or use our installment payment option. The installment option involves US $250 (plus tax and shipping, if applicable) down and then monthly payments of US $100 (you may choose to pay more) until paid off”

if they want $250 down just how many more payments of $100 bucks could there be?

They are about $800 to $1000 (in round numbers) depending on features. Quite spendy.

But his adjustable crank design is really cool.

If it isn’t obvious from the video, you can spin the cranks backwards on the spindle. When you pedal forwards the clutch locks and drives the spindle. When you pedal backwards or cease applying forward pressure the clutch slips on the spindle. There is no way to apply back pressure on the pedals. If you want to pedal with these cranks you literally have to lift the crank up on the back part of the pedal stroke.

Cool! …so you could become syncopated… or a word like that… so that at any given moment you could have a coaster kangaroo- or not. I’m impressed, John, that you so quickly recognised the inherent value to unicycling presented in these cranks- vertual enebriation. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

-Christopher

Neat find, John! You are always coming up with these things.

From the website:

This isn’t actually true. The cyclist gets a lot of feedback from the pedal pressure on his feet. In fact, by concentrating on this feeling, the cyclist can completely change his sense of what pedalling is and how it transfers energy to the cycle.

In addition, from one of the MB technique books I (cheaply) perused without buying, an excellent technique for improving one’s pedalling motion is one-foot riding. It was surprising to me to see this in a two-wheel book. One-foot, as far as I have gotten with it at this point, has really helped my unicycling, so it makes sense to do it on a bike.

So to me the real training advantage for a bicyclist that this could bring is the ability to one-foot without removing one’s idle leg from the normal riding position, and also the ability to do it standing.

However, using one’s quad to help lift the other leg is not necessarily bad; that may be the most efficient way to ride. But this device could help the rider to become more aware of these factors and perhaps develop some underused muscles.

The advantage of a more circular motion when standing, however, is minimal, at least to me; the advantage to standing is using a stiff leg to allow your body weight to drive the pedal, which is necessarily not circular. However! Lance Armstrong says in “The Lance Armstrong Performance Program” that one of his chief advantages in the TDF was to sit down and spin on the uphills, using more aerobic and less anaerobic power than his competitors. So this notion reduces the advantage of standing at all, circular or not.

If it weren’t for the clip-in aspect, though, these definitely would be cool to try on a uni, especially one with a brake like the unibiker.

Anyhow, that’s my geeky take.

Re: Imagine riding a unicycle with these cranks

I would think that a uni with these cranks would be essentially
unrideable. You would lose your ability to control your
forward/back balance.

On Sat, 1 Mar 2003 01:29:54 -0600, john_childs
<john_childs.jlq0z@timelimit.unicyclist.com> wrote:
>I went to the Seattle Bicycle Expo today and saw an interesting type of
>crank. They’re called Power Cranks <http://www.powercranks.com/>. The
>cranks spin independently, meaning that the left crank and the right
>crank deliver power independent from each other. It forces you to pedal
>in a circle and lift your leg up on the back part of the pedal stroke.
>Check the web site and the videos on the web site for a better idea.
>You really need to see the video to get an idea of how these cranks
>work, and even the video doesn’t give you the whole story.
>
>Now imagine a unicycle with these cranks. You’d have to be clipped in
>because otherwise it would not be possible bring the cranks up on the
>backstroke. It would be a very interesting coaster unicycle. Both
>cranks have standard square tapers and the clutch mechanism is all in
>the crank so it would be real easy to put these on a standard
>unicycle.
>
>However, they are really expensive. But imagine trying to ride a
>unicycle with those cranks.
>
>On a more serious note. There is also an adjustable version of the
>cranks. See about 1/3 down the page here:
><http://powercranks.com/products.html>
>The picture isn’t very clear about the design, but they have a washboard
>pattern on the crank and the mating piece with the pedal threads. Looks
>like one of the better adjustable crank designs I’ve seen. Offers very
>good adjustability and would allow for fairly easy adjustments on the
>road.
>
>–
>john_childs
>
>john_childs (at) hotmail (dot) com
>------------------------------------------------------------------------
>john_childs’s Profile: http://www.unicyclist.com/profile/449
>View this thread: http://www.unicyclist.com/thread/23786

Re: Re: Imagine riding a unicycle with these cranks

Check out the Unibiker- he gets by ok. :)… don’t let thinking be an impediment to cycling. :wink: (I don’t).

-C

Unibiker also has a brake.

at $800 to a smooth grand they better have diamonds encrusted somewhere.i hope the developer didnt quit his day job.

Did a spin on these cranks today. Pretty cool but not for uni unless you want to be clipped in and only go uphill (unless you’re capable of infinate accelleration).

For their intended purpose as strength training for the hip flexors and learning to pedal in circles I can see their value. I found out the hip flexors in my left leg are definitely not back to pre-injury strength after breaking my foot last September, didn’t take long before I started having trouble pulling through the upstroke.

Using their adjustable design on standard cranks would definitely have potential for uni’s (and tandems). Price dependent of course.

The product is lot rich for my budget.

JC, pictures please

Shure. :slight_smile:

unibiker.jpg

Oh… you mean THESE:

adjustfront.jpg

Re: Imagine riding a unicycle with these cranks

These look pretty interesting. I’ll bet that with an order
of some size (10? 25? 50?), we could possibly get these
guys to make some adjustable cranks without the
freewheel part – probably the most expensive part.

There’s no reason why someone couldn’t make adj
cranks like this and sell them profitably for < $100.

On Sun, 2 Mar 2003 08:22:11 -0600, rhysling
<rhysling.jo3ob@timelimit.unicyclist.com> wrote:
>Oh… you mean THESE:
>
> ±---------------------------------------------------------------+
> | Attachment filename: adjustfront.jpg |
> |Download attachment: http://www.unicyclist.com/attachment/107321|
> ±---------------------------------------------------------------+
>
>rhysling - Pontificating Vigilantly
>
>Sarcastic Placebo
>------------------------------------------------------------------------
>rhysling’s Profile: http://www.unicyclist.com/profile/411
>View this thread: http://www.unicyclist.com/thread/23786

There are a pair of these “powercranks” on eBay right now - here.

I found this old thread to resurrect instead of starting a new one. They’re quite pricey, but they’d be an interesting experiment for a unicycle. I think it would be like a coaster hub, more or less, but with adjustable length.

One of the racers who comes into the bike shop where i work recenly tried these. Theyre huge! They weigh 3lbs!

Wow!

:frowning:

Is that bad?

They are not square taper (see the photo on the ebay page). I don’t know of a uni hub that will fit them.

sounds interesting for training on a bike. i’d like to try them on a unicycle, but i doubt it’d be very useful.