Riding an ultimate wheel

With all the recent discussion about ultimate wheels I’ve become curious.
There seem to be two schools of thought here.

  1. A wider stance (like that of a regular unicycle) yields more stability
    and is therefore easier to ride.

  2. A narrower stance (planar disc) yields a smoother more wobble-free
    ride and is therefore easier to ride.

Intuition seems to suggest that the narrower the UW the easier it would be
to ride. But based on the comments of “experts” I’m left wondering. Has
anyone mastered both a wide and planar UW? Which is easier to learn? Does
riding an UW ever become as easy as riding a regular unicycle? Is it
possible to ride an UW without the wheel rubbing your legs or is that just
part of it?

I plan to remove the frame of one of my “spare” 24 inch cycles in an
effort to learn how to ride an UW. I tried a few months ago and gave up
after a short time but now I’ve got an extra wheel to work with.

-mg

I’m far from an expert, but I think I was the one who posed the original
question which started the discussion. What seems logical to me is this:

A narrow disc style UW is the easiest to learn. For a new rider, disc will
wobble a lot less than a regular uni wheel because your legs are closer,
and will stop it.

Once you are riding proficiently, a goal is to avoid having the wheel hit
your legs. Assuming the amount of wobble remains constant (not an entire
accurate assumption, I know), the wider version will hit your legs less
often simply because there is more room between them.

I have two UW’s with identical rims. One is the flat planar disc, the
other has spokes, a unicycle hub and cranks. I practice almost exclusively
on the flat UW because I fint it much easier (keep in mind, I’m still a
beginner – my record is about 100 revolutions, and I don’t often reach
that). Every now and again, I’ll take out the wider UW, and every time I
try, I find I’ve improved (as a result of practicing on the thin UW).

My philosophy – learn on a disc style thin UW, but as soon as you get
good at it, break out the cranked UW. Of course, I was fortunate to have
easy access to the parts needed to make the disc UW. I think it cost me
$10 to make. If you can’t get one cheaply, I say practice with your
unicycle wheel. There will be a steeper learning curve, but the benefits
will be greater.

So, I believe (right or wrong, who knows) that a wider UW is harder to
master, but will have much greater benefits. One thing I can see right
off, though riding a disc UW, and riding a unicycle with the seat dragging
are different skills, riding your unicycle without the frame, and riding
with the seat dragging are quite similar. The better you are at riding
your unicycle without the frame, the better you will be at riding your
unicycle in general.

jeff lutkus

> With all the recent discussion about ultimate wheels I’ve become
> curious. There seem to be two schools of thought here.
>
> 1. A wider stance (like that of a regular unicycle) yields more
> stability and is therefore easier to ride.
>
> 2. A narrower stance (planar disc) yields a smoother more wobble-free
> ride and is therefore easier to ride.
>
> Intuition seems to suggest that the narrower the UW the easier it would
> be to ride. But based on the comments of “experts” I’m left wondering.
> Has anyone mastered both a wide and planar UW? Which is easier to learn?
> Does riding an UW ever become as easy as riding a regular unicycle? Is
> it possible to ride an UW without the wheel rubbing your legs or is that
> just part of it?
>
> I plan to remove the frame of one of my “spare” 24 inch cycles in an
> effort to learn how to ride an UW. I tried a few months ago and gave up
> after a short time but now I’ve got an extra wheel to work with.
>
> -mg
>
>
>
>
>
_________________________________________________________________________-
__
> rec.sport.unicycling mailing list -
> www.unicycling.org/mailman/listinfo/rsu

Sent via the Unicyclist Community - http://Unicyclist.com

> With all the recent discussion about ultimate wheels I’ve become
> curious. There seem to be two schools of thought here.
>
> 1. A wider stance (like that of a regular unicycle) yields more
> stability and is therefore easier to ride.
>
> 2. A narrower stance (planar disc) yields a smoother more wobble-free
> ride and is therefore easier to ride.

One detail missing here. The wide stance was recommended for serious
offroad riding. Because it was recommended by George Peck, the expert’s
expert on offroad ultimate wheeling, I tend to be convinced by it.

But for riding on more “normal” surfaces, I (a very non-expert UWer) would
lean toward the narrow type.

Stay on top, John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone jfoss@unicycling.com
www.unicycling.com

“Our time is a most precious commodity, but it’s how we spend it that
makes us rich.” - John Foss

I would second Jeff Lutkus’s assertion that a planar (crankless) UW is
much easier to learn than a converted unicycle wheel would be. I just
learned to ride my new Semcycle 24" UW; after I finally heard about
putting tape on the wheel’s sides to reduce friction, I was able to go 10+
revolutions after just a few hours’ practice. When I tried a UW made from
a converted uni years ago, it was virtually impossible for me, tho my
brother got about 9 revs on the thing. I recently tried a seat drag with
my 24" uni and found it just as hard. So the learning curve is steeper,
but in the end, I am sure it’s possible and maybe even preferable to learn
to ride a cranky UW.

David Stone

                    Co-founder, Unatics of NY
                    1st Sunday / 3rd Saturday
                     @ Central Park Bandshell

1: 30 start time after 11/1/01

I’m far from an expert, but I think I was the one who posed the original
question which started the discussion. What seems logical to me is this:

A narrow disc style UW is the easiest to learn. For a new rider, disc will
wobble a lot less than a regular uni wheel because your legs are closer,
and will stop it.

Once you are riding proficiently, a goal is to avoid having the wheel hit
your legs. Assuming the amount of wobble remains constant (not an entire
accurate assumption, I know), the wider version will hit your legs less
often simply because there is more room between them.

I have two UW’s with identical rims. One is the flat planar disc, the
other has spokes, a unicycle hub and cranks. I practice almost exclusively
on the flat UW because I fint it much easier (keep in mind, I’m still a
beginner – my record is about 100 revolutions, and I don’t often reach
that). Every now and again, I’ll take out the wider UW, and every time I
try, I find I’ve improved (as a result of practicing on the thin UW).

My philosophy – learn on a disc style thin UW, but as soon as you get
good at it, break out the cranked UW. Of course, I was fortunate to have
easy access to the parts needed to make the disc UW. I think it cost me
$10 to make. If you can’t get one cheaply, I say practice with your
unicycle wheel. There will be a steeper learning curve, but the benefits
will be greater.

So, I believe (right or wrong, who knows) that a wider UW is harder to
master, but will have much greater benefits. One thing I can see right
off, though riding a disc UW, and riding a unicycle with the seat dragging
are different skills, riding your unicycle without the frame, and riding
with the seat dragging are quite similar. The better you are at riding
your unicycle without the frame, the better you will be at riding your
unicycle in general.

jeff lutkus

> With all the recent discussion about ultimate wheels I’ve become
> curious. There seem to be two schools of thought here.
>
> 1. A wider stance (like that of a regular unicycle) yields more
> stability and is therefore easier to ride.
>
> 2. A narrower stance (planar disc) yields a smoother more wobble-free
> ride and is therefore easier to ride.
>
> Intuition seems to suggest that the narrower the UW the easier it would
> be to ride. But based on the comments of “experts” I’m left wondering.
> Has anyone mastered both a wide and planar UW? Which is easier to learn?
> Does riding an UW ever become as easy as riding a regular unicycle? Is
> it possible to ride an UW without the wheel rubbing your legs or is that
> just part of it?
>
> I plan to remove the frame of one of my “spare” 24 inch cycles in an
> effort to learn how to ride an UW. I tried a few months ago and gave up
> after a short time but now I’ve got an extra wheel to work with.
>
> -mg
>
>
>
>
>
_________________________________________________________________________-
__
> rec.sport.unicycling mailing list -
> www.unicycling.org/mailman/listinfo/rsu

Sent via the Unicyclist Community - http://Unicyclist.com

I would second Jeff Lutkus’s assertion that a planar (crankless) UW is
much easier to learn than a converted unicycle wheel would be. I just
learned to ride my new Semcycle 24" UW; after I finally heard about
putting tape on the wheel’s sides to reduce friction, I was able to go 10+
revolutions after just a few hours’ practice. When I tried a UW made from
a converted uni years ago, it was virtually impossible for me, tho my
brother got about 9 revs on the thing. I recently tried a seat drag with
my 24" uni and found it just as hard. So the learning curve is steeper,
but in the end, I am sure it’s possible and maybe even preferable to learn
to ride a cranky UW.

David Stone

                    Co-founder, Unatics of NY
                    1st Sunday / 3rd Saturday
                     @ Central Park Bandshell

1: 30 start time after 11/1/01

I’ve been riding a disk-type UW for a couple of years–not very well, but
adequately. I vowed over Thanksgiving that I’d master a unicycle wheel by
Christmas.

I’m still struggling. I’m using a 20 inch Monty wheel, and I can get 6 to
8 revolutions at best. I practiced about 30 minutes twice a day between
Thanksgiving and Christmas. Since then the Monty wheel has been
unavailable–it’s the wheel my wife is learning to unicycle on. I’m
thoroughly hooked, but it’s taking some time–fun time.

Perhaps there is another science project in here somewhere? Like comparing
how quickly a skilled unicyclist can learn something else? (How skilled is
“skilled” and how different is the “something else”?)

David Maxfield Bainbridge Island, WA

Assuming that one is learning to ride a “cranky” UW, any ideas on how crank length would affect learning speed? Would shorter cranks help one learn faster?

here it is,man i’ve been lookin for this thread for an hour.

i was just bored enough to go rumage for the 24 inch cranked UW thats been collecting dust since the frame it was formerly on broke.

after about 30 minutes i got 5 sloppy revs and it seems alot easier now.anyway this thread was about the disc vs.cranked UW’s and i would agree that the cranked UW is king.i dont know how much harder it acually is compared to a disc because i’ve never tried one of them,but now i dont think there is any reason to.

ulimate wheeling today was fun.its like learning all over again.one nice thing is since there is’nt a seat its really comfortable and theres no chaffing.it sure is nasty when the wheel folds into one leg and the other leg thinks it can help by kicking wildly through the air though. (imagination use manditory)

I’ve never tried a crank UW, but have tried light and heavy disc types. The heavier UW is much easier and rubs against the legs less. I’ve also tried a larger wheel, and it goes faster, but is no easier. I haven’t messed with ‘crank’ lengths, but would imagine it will effect normal riding speed.
Thanks, Now I’ll have to try a cranked wheel -with different crank lengths.
I’ve gone a few miles (at the same “sitting” but not without stopping) so also am far from an expert. Off road on a UW is something I will probably never try…

im learning on a 24 with 150mm cranks.if they were any shorter i think it would be harder.