Lethal new toy!

Well, the ultimate wheel arrived today - thanks, Roger - and it’s like being a beginner all over again… but nearly 20 years older. :0(

The U/W is the one form Unicycle dot com but I asked dot uk dot com to get it for me as Roger supplies most of my equipment. There was a moment of concern when I saw the box was labelled “24 inch Torker unicycle”.

The U/W is a well - made piece of equipment. Basic but solid. The wheel is a 24 inch bicycle rim, with the spoke holes still visible. The spokes consist of two rectangular section tubes welded/brazed (?) into place ot make a cross, an the pedal threads are in brazed bosses on the continuous section of rectangular tube, rather than the two shorter sections which make up the cross. (The joints are butted rather than mitred.)

(The 20 inch version has only one cross strut, making two “spokes”.)

The frame and rim are painted in a solid gloss finish. The tyre is a Kenda 24 x 2.25, with white walls, and a roadster sort of tread pattern. The pedals supplied are plastic platforms, slightly larger than the round ended ones which come with the basic unicycles.

So, a decent bit of kit, at a reasonable price.

So, how do I ride the bloomin’ thing? Mounting it against a walll was easy enough, but I can tell it’s going to hurt the insides of my legs… and the tops of my thighs… and my calf muscles…

Knowing full well I wouldn’t be able to ride it more than a few inches, I tried riding it indoors. Within two or three goes, I put my helmet on. In 41 years, I have never previously found myself performing an activity in my living room which requires me to wear a helmet.

Afraid of damaging my furniture ina fall, I moved out onto the “patio” - an small area of rickety slabs at the back. The best I managed was 2 “paces”: right foot down, then left foot… then catapult forwards and headbut next door’s fence. Ironically, it is the only fence for half a mile that hasn’t been wrecked by bored kids in the last few weeks.

So, who’s got any help or advice at all for a perplexed mid-life-crisis victim who can’t begin to conceive how to ride his new toy?

Ask John Childs who bought one, learned to ride it in an hour, and then entered and finished the UW event for his age group at NAUCC 2003 right after learning. I think JC did it on water, too.

I have a draft of a skill progression for UW riding.

It may help you set some goals. Several capable u-wheel riders have helped to create it.

If you want to review it, send me a message.

cettermclean at hotmail dot com

I “rode” my UW last night. “Rode” in this sense means almost getting on and immediately stepping off then letting someone else try it.

Carol
Minnesota

I was worried about the solid rectangular spoke hitting my ankles…

I gotta get me one of those. That is, right after I get a Trials uni, a touring uni, AND a MUni.

And those Impossible wheels look pretty fun, too

Half an hour in the village hall with two friends providing supporting shoulders, lots of hilarity, two very tired arms… then I tried again on my own. Within 5 - 10 minutes, my longest rides were 9, 9, 8 and 5 pedal strokes. I even did a deliberate dismount, and managed one freemount. :0)

All this speed talk got me thinging…

I’m writing a Windows based program to calculate Uni speed; should be done later today and I’ll put it on my website.

QUESTION: What is a typical ‘cruising’ pedal cadence (RPM)?

Is this a crossed thread? Anyway, what is typical and what is cruising? I’d guess that with medium to short cranks, most experienced riders maintain a cadence between about 80 rpm and 120 rpm, but that’s a spread of 50%.

Cool! I’ve been meaning to make up a spreadsheet or MathCad worksheet to calculate the cadence at different speeds for my unicycles (muni’s, Coker, freestyle, 24", trials, etc.). It’s been on my to-do list for a very long time and I’ve just never gotten around to doing it. I’ve been curious about what cadence is required for various speeds on my different unicycles.

didn’t I do that a bit ago…

Yes still there:

http://www.unicycle.uk.com/calendar.asp

:slight_smile:

Roger

Disclaimer: I still suck at UW riding, even afer all these years.

I think the hard part about UW riding is controlling “wheel flop.” that’s where the wheel wants to fall side to side, mostly around the horizontal pedal position. So I think a big part of learning one of these things is to train your feet to do two things:

  1. “Spin,” like when trying to ride fast. In other words, concentrate on making nice circles with your feet, and keeping those circles vertical (not weaving to the left or right).

  2. Work against the wheel’s tendency to flop. With practice, I’m sure your feet learn to counterract the flopping tendency. Competent riders can ride very slowly, idle, and do other things.

Another tip I heard from Ashley Wood (TCUC) is to keep your knees a little bent, even at the bottom of the pedal stroke. My main UW riding is my annual attempt to go 30m in the race (or else I would have learned better by now). This crouching technique seems to work great for that.

Good link but not the right one and definately not the one I meant… :-S

http://www.unicycle.uk.com/cranklength.xls

Roger

Update: few opportunities to practise, but I took it out for 40 minutes today. ground wet and shoes picking up slime, pedals slippery, wind howling. I got very bad tempered indeed, but my best ride was 15 pedal strokes, and I managed a few others over 10.

My (in)famous ride reports will be much shorter on the U/W than on the Coker! :roll_eyes:

things i tried on a uw recently:

freemount with pedal at bottom.
jump mount.
kick up mount.(realy easy)
decend to floor stall.(kick it over and land feet on the side.)

hopping.

the bounce it on the floor and jump mount it on the bounce.

and some i couldn’t manage:

180 unispin(?)

rolling mount.

jump from one uw to another.

idling.

wheelwalking :wink:

I could ride an uw pretty good now but i will always remember my very first attempt . Christmas day I get it, I put the pedals on pump up the tire. Firmly grasping a wall I get on it push off the wall and I fall off. My ankels fall in between the medal thing and I land right on my chest. Hahahaha.