Here’s 2 quick videos of me, one on a 24" UW and one on a 20" UW. In both cases I have 55mm pedal extension as I’ve explained in another post so they’re sorta cranky UWs. But I have the same issue to various extents even on true cranky UWs and standard disc UWs, and whether I ride fast or slow.
I’ve been riding various types of UW for almost a year. I’ve read that eventually the wheel “balances itself”. If I knew that was true, I would just continue practicing. But I fear right now I’m further cementing bad habits. I can idle, ride backwards, ride 5 or more city blocks in a single go without falling off, ride over rough ground and upturned cobblestones. But I still have this issue. So I’m asking here for advice. How do the best cranky UW riders do it? How do the best seat drag riders do it? Is there someone specific I should ask?
I’ve always thought it’s just the small pedal offset and long “cranks” of an UW - or at least I can ride dragseat (forward and recently also backwards) on a 20" without the tire touching my legs, but a normal ultimate wheel hits my leg almost constantly.
Common dragseat suggestion would be:
squat a bit more, that tends to smoothen the pedalstroke if you don’t extend your leg as far
ride faster (you are still riding relatively slow at all times in both videos)
One thing I have noticed is that Anthony doesn’t seem to “land” on the 6 o’clock pedal position, or place more weight on the down pedal. This makes his pedal stroke very fluid. That may be because he seems to crouch about an inch or two lower? This is just my very basic take, given the fact that I am watching videos and can not ride my ultimate wheel any distance whatsoever.
I am hoping someone with a lot of experience on an Ultimate Wheel can chime in.
I would like to end with some compliments and encouragement. Not many people can ride an Ultimate Wheel at the level that you do. Maybe a handful. Maybe a large handful. Watching your videos provides encouragement that it can be done. With work. And repetition. I commend you on your continued efforts to master that crazy beast (or beasts in your case, since you can ride multiple sizes). Good job, and best wishes in your efforts. Thank you for sharing your progress!
I am definitely looking for both general suggestions, and common dragseat suggestions.
I will work on squatting a bit more. It is more tiring for me, but, I agree it does smooth the pedaling out a bit, and it does seem to be the way all experienced riders ride.
I will also try riding much faster during some of my practices. Although I am still hopeful that one could eventually balance perfectly well even at slow speeds and maybe even achieve a stillstand without the tire touching either of their legs.
From your experience, at this point even if it takes extra effort, can you slow down your dragseat riding quite a bit but not fall off, and not have the tire hit your leg? To me there is something that feels really cool to me about just hanging in the air, even though admittedly my form is pretty bad right now. But maybe what I need to do is ride fast at first to get the feeling of riding without tire contact, and then I can work on slowing it down while maintaining that when I want or need.
Lastly, can you share some specs of that 20" that you can dragseat on please, specifically crank size and how far the surface of the crank is from the edge of the tire. I might try to replicate that and see how it changes my riding. Thanks for everything!
Yeah, maybe I need to change the focus of my practices, or at least some of them. Previously, I’ve been finding various challenges and trying to overcome them to increase my skill, such as riding on steeper hills or rougher paths or longer distances. But maybe I do need to at least in some of my practice sessions go back to basics: just trying to ride as fast and smooth as I can.
Thanks everybody for the advice!
Here’s 5 minutes out of my practice session today trying to get a smoother pedal stroke.
In some ways I’m more out of control since I’m still used to my rhythm being tied to the wheel tapping each leg each rev, and sorta re-centering my balance at that tap . But, I am now getting many more revs in a row sometimes where the tire doesn’t touch either leg at all! So I think this is an incredibly valuable thing for me to practice to reach my goal.
Looks much better! I did randomly film a dragseat clip today and threw it on instagram, so I thought I’d just link it here for reference. Link to instagram reel
Even though I tend to ride too slow, but my leg touching the tire is not a problem I tend to encounter.
Thanks man! I really appreciate everything. While searching around the forum I stumbled upon this from you. This is exactly what I once told my wife I want to try someday. You did it perfectly!
I want to try it outside on a sidewalk as I’m about to pass some people.But first, gonna keep working on cleaning up my pedaling. Hopefully it will be fun to look back on this thread in a year and see how far I’ve gotten.
I found this surprisingly easy, if you can dragseat you can probably learn it quickly
If I ever do a unicycle stage show, it will be playing with this concept. There is a surprising amount of tricks you can do without bearing caps, so I think coming onto the stage with a bunch of unicycle parts and wrongly assembling them could make a whole show.