So today I was looking at bike computers and this idea dawned on me:
Nike + goes in/on your shoe as a pedometer to use your stride to calculate your distance and speed (right?). Now, this is not perfectly accurate while running because your stride length is not perfectly accurate, however the distance of one revolution on a unicycle is the same every time. So, what if you used your Nike + to calculate your speed and distance while unicycling?
If you could calibrate it to the right stride length to match the circumference of the tire, and if it could sense each revolution accurately, it could be a very useful computer.
Has anyone ever thought of/tried this? If not, would anyone with a Nike + care to try it out? I’ve never even used Nike +, so I have no idea how it works. However, I would quickly buy one if it was accurate. That would be cool!
I recently bought a Nike+ GPS watch with also came with the in the shoe pedometer. I haven’t tried the pedometer yet because it’s mainly for running indoors when your GPS won’t help measure your distance. And since I mainly run/ride outdoors… However, I’ll give it a try on the unicycle and see what happens. Problem I foresee is that I don’t know how or if it’s possibly to calibrate, if it requires an impact to trigger the sensor, etc… Also, unless you cut a hole in the midsole of your shoe, you must use a Nike+ equipped shoe and these shoes don’t make the best riding shoes… Still, I can report that this GPS watch works pretty well. It’s based on the TomTom GPS technology so it’s a bit different than the Garmin Forerunner’s I’ve used in the past. The watch functionality is very simple and somewhat primitive, all modifications must be made through software when you plug your watch into the computer via USB connection. It also is primarily driven for runners, so you won’t see any MPH or “cycling” specific settings. As this is new technology and it’s all firmware driven, I’m hoping there will be more revisions and enhancements, cycling specific, to come.
Anyhow I’ll try the foot pod on the uni and let you know what happens!
Ok, first trial run with the Nike+ foot pod v. 24" unicycle over a measured 1/4 route. Results? Not good. While it did measure it was off by over 50%!! I’m impressed that it functioned at all, so clearly it’s not the impact that it’s measuring. I’m looking into if there is a way to calibrate it, surely there must be because everybody’s stride length is different. I’ll report back when I find out more and do some more tests. For me, I’d probably not use this method too much since I already have the Nike+ GPS watch which works very well, but perhaps when connectivity isn’t good or if I’m in deep woods???
EDIT Missed the edit window. Just now read how I’m supposed to calibrate the foot sensor with the GPS on. Didn’t do that with this first trial. I’ll attempt to calibrate the sensor and give it another chance. Sounds like this might actually work!