New Old Question

Hi folks, I just returned to the forums after an extended absence. I had to re-register. Still riding semi-regularly my coker, muni, and giraffe.

I have a question I’m sure has come up many times, and I thought would be easy to research on the 'net, but I can’t find the answer! What’s the official, unlimited, top-speed world record for a uni?

Secondly, are there rules for official attempts? For example, 100 meters flying start, two runs in opposite directions within a certain time period, equipment rules, etc?

Thanks, and I look forward to staying more involved this time 'round! :smiley:

Paul in Florida

In 1986, Floyd Beattie (from Ohio) took his brand new 45" Unicycle Factory big wheel to the IHPVA championships in Indianapolis and got a speed recording for their 200m speed trap. Unfortunately I don’t remember the times, but it came out to something in the neighborhood of 22-23 mph. That’s official with the IHPVA, but unknown to Guinness. I think the main “fast” unicycle records they keep track of are the 100 meter sprint.

Last I looked, that was 12.74 sec by Peter Rosendahl, done in 1992 or so. Faster times have been done a Unicons and in Japan, though not necessarily up to Guinness’ standards. I held the previous record at 13.71, which was set at Unicon III in 1987.

Faster speeds are possible. Christian Hoverath of Bottrop, Germany reportedly reached a speed of about 29mph during the European Unicycle Tour. This was brief, and I think while going downhill, but was witnessed by several top riders who seem to be pretty objective. I believe them, and I know Christian was a great athlete, and in exceptional shape for the tour. So I take this as the highest “unofficial” speed ever attained on a unicycle under human power.

Now to make something official…

Guinness Book 2001.

Thanks for the input! I plan to look into the IHPVA site tonight and see if they publish any guidelines for attempts.

Oops, forgot guidelines. When Floyd did his time in 1986 it was a 200m speed trap which had to be done in both directions (to eliminate wind). I don’t know how much of a time limit there is between the two attempts, but figure an hour or less.

For Guinness records, I think Guinness would actually like to start getting their information from the IUF, but the IUF hasn’t really “gone public” with its World Records Committee so I’m not sure what the status is.

Also I question the 18.74 mph mentioned for Peter Rosendahl’s 100m record. Since it’s from a standing start, where did they calculate that speed from? It sounds like it’s in the ballpark though. Much slower and you’ll never fit within the time. Peter’s record was done on a 24" Miyata Deluxe with Miyata (blue/white) tire and 125mm IDOL cranks.

That would be his average speed over the 100m.

18.4718108344 mph. (from my calculator)

Scary. That means his top speed was even higher! The best I ever managed (according to a Cateye Solar mounted on the unicycle) was 17.5. I suppose this could have been anywhere between 17.5 and 17.99 as it only did halves. Plus the calibration could have been a bit off, but still that’s quite a difference!

Question for you

John Foss,

Seeing how you are the guru of unicycles, I wanted to ask you if you know where I can find information on (or the actual record) of the longest distance recorded for a BC wheel ride? I can’t seem to find any site or anyone that knows. If you know or have an answer for me, I’d be happy to hear! :slight_smile:

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Joe , that record could be yours !

I once coasted down a hill in a '65 econoline in South California with the engine off, for 15 miles or so. Find that hill, and the record is yours!:slight_smile: I forget the name of the road, but it was all dry looking and we were heading west.

BC wheel record

Engine off? :thinking: So you were on a motorcycle? :astonished:
I’m talking about BC wheel! I just want to know who has the record for the longest BC wheel ride. :smiley:

i don’t believe that i have ever heard of a record for ANYTHING on a BC wheel

and the whole IUF record thing is kind of lame. I can’t set an official record unless i go to some competition across the country? LAME

He’s saying, if you want the record, find that hill.

By Econoline, he means a van.

I’m not aware of any “official” records for BC wheels, and haven’t even heard of any unofficial ones for distance. It’s like coasting on a bike. Once you learn how, you’re limited only by the hills you can find. Or if you allow yourself a pair of ski poles (which I used to use), you can ride anywhere. Enjoy!

In 1988 or so I did an unconfirmed “record” for downhill gliding at 0.8 miles. Same thing, you need a nice hill with no flat spots.

If you want to set an IUF record, you probably have to go to an IUF competition. It might not be anywhere in your country. If you want to set a world record you have to be on this planet. If you want to set a Unicon record, you have to do it in a Unicon competition. For national records, they might have to be at your national championships (USA rules for the USA), or maybe that would be a NAUCC record. We don’t actually have national championships in the USA or Canada.

Did you think the IUF was lame because you have to prove your records beyond a shadow of the doubt? Guinness is no less strict. Would you expect anything less from somebody who beats your own records in the future?

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Thanks everyone. Yeah, I was just wondering what the longest ride was for a free-wheel. I guess that 0.8 glide would out-do any BC distance. That must be better though, because you can use your foot to brake. On BC, you can use your legs, but it’s very difficult to do and unconventional.

yeah, I agree, it is dumb that you have to go to a particular competition to “set” a record. Maybe I should just get good at flatland BC wheel riding and try to set a record. I’ll have to try out that ski pole thing…it must be hard because I need to keep my arms up and symmetrical to stay on the BC…and moving!

Thanks everyonE! :slight_smile:

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Thanks Borg

That is a '65 econoline, mine was tan and van style, but that one looks very good.

I was never one to shy away from encouraging someone else to be brave. Not only would the Cali hill provide the longest BC ride, but also surely one of the coolest uni You Tube vids, and the out right one wheeled speed record perhaps.

See, the hill wasn’t all down hill. To make it up the series of rises, with the van in neutral, at times we were going maybe 80 MPH or so. It was quite thrilling at the time, as the steering on the old van was a bit loose. As I recall, courage and thrill seeking was in greater supply then gas money at the time. The van would barely make it to the crest of a rise, then no brakes unless it got to hairy. The speed would carry us up the next hill, as the general trend was down.

Perhaps a BC with a brake would be advised. Perhaps you could be sponsored by a motorcycle leathers company. If not, wear them anyway.

I don’t think you will need to worry about official record sanctioning. They will have to come to to your hill. The vid would stand on it’s own.:slight_smile:

It’s definitely possible to go further than 0.8 miles on a bc, like it has been said it all depends on your hill because it isn’t hard to just stay on for a long time. If you have a slick tire and something wrapped around your leg it isn’t hard to control your speed with your leg (unless you are going really fast and trying decelerate really quickly).

Is this a crazy idea or what?

Thankfully, someone will steal my great idea before I (cough) can get around to trying it myself. :wink:

How about making a BC wheel with a small motorcycle rim and spokes (for strength). Then wrap lead around the rim, and balance it precisely. By the time it hit 60 MPH the gyroscopic effect of such a heavy wheel spinning so fast should make the platform much easier to balance then a BC wheel usually is. Sort of like an inertial segway sort of balancing effect. :sunglasses: