Question regarding rollers/trainers

OK, we’ve all seen the old style bicycle trainers with two sets of rollers and a belt between them. They are used to ride a bike inside, when it’s too cold or wet to ride outside. It seems now all that’s around is the new style that lifts the back wheel and provides varrying loads to the wheel.
I’m wondering if anyone has tried to ride a unicycle on the old style roller trainer? Being the only uniyclist in my cycling club, I ofered to try it in front of the club, if someone would bring one to the meeting. So next month, I’ll be trying it. Any advice? I’m thinking the coker is most suited to roller riding and a doorway is a good place to start. Any ideas or suggestions you may have are welcome. (-Except, ‘take off your pants’.)

Jerry,
You’re correct about the Coker. You need a lot of speed to keep things stable. With a front wheel for steering, it’s not so critical, but with only one wheel, it’s very easy for the wheel to turn sideways. I have tried the Muni and the Unibike on my rollers. The Unibike in a high gear with high tire pressure works much better than the Muni. Crashes happen very quickly. It’s best to start in a hallway where you can touch both walls with your elbows. But, plan on doing some drywall repair. Even though you won’t be using the front roller, the belt should be left on for added resistance. And even though you are going nowhere, you will definately want to use all of your protective gear.
Good luck.

Re: Question regarding rollers/trainers

>OK, we’ve all seen the old style bicycle trainers with two sets of
>rollers and a belt between them. They are used to ride a bike inside,
>when it’s too cold or wet to ride outside. It seems now all that’s
>around is the new style that lifts the back wheel and provides varrying
>loads to the wheel.
>I’m wondering if anyone has tried to ride a unicycle on the old style
>roller trainer? Being the only uniyclist in my cycling club, I ofered to
>try it in front of the club, if someone would bring one to the meeting.
>So next month, I’ll be trying it. Any advice? I’m thinking the coker is
>most suited to roller riding and a doorway is a good place to start. Any
>ideas or suggestions you may have are welcome. (-Except, ‘take off your
>pants’.)
>
>
>–
>jerryg

I’m guessing that it would be difficult if not impossible to keep your balance
in the forward/rearward dimension. Pedaling faster or slower would have no
effect on the position of the wheel beneath you. Riding on a treadmill would
work though, I think.

Jerry
I got my rollers out and tried it just now (for about a minute), and it seems to me that Icky Slug is correct. You can’t control fore-aft position using pedal speed, so you are essentially having to do a perfect stillstand while pedaling. I know Unibiker said he can do it, but look what he rides. He is obviously a droid with a satellite stabilization system in his posterior.
I tried it on my 24 x 150 crank United. I am sure the Coker would be much more stable steering-wise, but I can’t see it helping the fore-aft balance. By the way I can ride a uni on a treadmill.

Video, please!

Scott

From a droid w/ SSS

I didn’t mean to give the impression that this is a common riding style; only a different kind of challenge. I haven’t managed more than about a minute on the Unibike (in high gear) before falling; only about 10 seconds on the Muni. It’s a good challenge when winter weather keeps me inside, practicing idling or riding the rollers in the garage. Since I have relocated, I will probably spend more time on the rollers in the future, until I locate another course for the 25k TT. It does seem almost like a ‘still stand while pedaling’ but in high gear on the Unibike (which equals about a 75" wheel), the friction of the rollers is amplified quite a bit, and forward pedaling pushes the body slightly backward, offering a very small, but slightly useable balance window. The brakes are not useable on the rollers. The balance envelope only extends from vertical to slightly forward of vertical, and I have to lean on a wall to get started. Every time I pedal too hard and try to compensate with the brakes, I fall off the back. But if it was easy, it wouldn’t be fun. I use my rollers for trying (and failing) with one wheel, more than I use them with a b*ke.

Some rollers have a fan or a mag unit for resistance (I have a fan). That might help. Unfortunately I only have a 20" uni and I haven’t had the guts to try it yet. Although I have to say I’ve been tempted…

Tim

Jeff,

I just realized that because of the configuration of the unibike, you are able to control your fore-aft rotation to some degree because of the torque reaction against the drag of the rollers. On a unicycle, there is no torque reaction because everything rotates about the axle.
Still an impressive feat, even for one minute. But I think it will be much more difficult on a uni, even a Coker.

I am quite impressed with your distance riding on the unibike. That is just wild.

Scott

More observations…

After thinking about it a little more, while there is no toque reaction to the frame, pedaling against resistance does push your body back.
So I added asome resistance to the rollers (a piece of styrofoam and a lead shot bag) and tried it again. After holding on to the wall and pedaling a little to get a smooth spin (it tends to be very jerky), I was able to let go and keep going for 5 seconds or so, which makes me think it is doable.
You may have trouble with the Coker because the wheel is so large that it may tend to run up out of the closely spaced rollers. Be sure you face away from the roller with the resistance on it so that it does not want to climb over it. Your 26" might do better.

Go for it, Jerry. The bikers will be impressed, as always. :astonished: