Stationary excercise bikes - hands free

Was intending to go out practice unicycling today, but the predicted sunny weather did not materialize. I also think I better invest in some different pedals so my feet don’t slip off so much.

For those days that I don’t feel up to going outside and battling the elements, pressed for time etc., would like to see if I can come up with a compact set up, hands free to somewhat mimick unicycling. At this point I am also a beginner, so not sure I want to struggle with balance at home and do an UPD and damage the furniture or anything else valuable.

I never cared much to be hunched over on a bicycle. I think that unicycling is much better for posture and balance etc.

This Tony Little contraption might do the trick, you can pedal backwards with it. I would rather have something with the pedals closer to directly beneath the seat, if such a thing exists. If anyone has any better ideas please let me know.

The only thing that comes to mind is riding your unicycle on a treadmill.

It doesn’t match what you’re looking for but I also like to have the opportunity to have fun while pedaling when the weather is horrible.

I have a PS3, a 3d Screen and 3d glasses, and I bought a training bike that can control all my driving games (Motorstorm 3Drift, Test Drive unlimited D, Grand Turismo 5, GTA5, Motorstorm apocalypse…)
It’s called cyberbike 2.

Most of them are in 3D so mixed with the act of pedaling (the faster you pedal, the faster it goes) and controlling the handlebar it’s really immersive and I see it as a good substitute to train while still having fun.
You can increase or decrease the torque thanks to a magnetic wheel inside the bike.

Now I have to open it (just received the special tri-wing screwdriver I have been looking for for a while) cause something seems to be broken inside, that’s the main issue with the cyberbike 2: not made to last long.

Here is a video of someone who uses it on GTA5
Fun ! see?

Now that looks like fun.

Can it be rigged up to work with any game? Potential ridiculous fun there.

PC version?

It’s basically a PS3 controller, most of the usual buttons are there, but the pedaling (forward or backward) simulates one of the analogical triggers (L2 or R2) or one of the joysticks pushed up or down, and the handlebar simulates one of the joysticks pushed left or right, you can calibrate it.
So you can virtually use it on whatever game.

The original game that comes with it is boring as hell, but I knew that I could use it on my fun games when I ordered it.

It’s PS3, I don’t know if there is a PC version.
Here is something more advanced, way more expensive, and with only one game I guess, discussed on a previous thread

What? I can’t believe it was 2 years ago I spoke about the cyberbike 2.
Well, it lasted more than I thought.

There are USB HID controllers available which can be used to create game controllers very easily. Example:

They’re frequently used to build flight simulators and similar contraptions. It wouldn’t be too hard to use one to build a “bike joystick”.

You could just get an exercise bike and ride it without holding the handlebars…

Is there a compact well made one with feet directly underfoot, or at least less forward?

I find that most exercise bikes are uncomfortable and that the riding position is neither bike-like nor unicycle-like.

I know you said you don’t like the riding position for a bike - although there is no need to be “hunched over” if you have the right bike - but have you considered riding a bike on free rollers? It is a real challenge requiring at least as much concentration s unicycling, and is good exercise for the body and brain.

Here’s a link to the rollers that I have. Cheaper ones are available.

Here are two videos of riding a uni on rollers.

Well Jim you just made me break out my rollers! My rollers have a flywheel attachment which gives extra drag and inertia. With the combination of the 36, I think there will be enough resistance to be able to make the necessary slight fore aft pressures to stay on top. The hardest part was getting up on the 36er on rollers. I put a chair next to it which worked out good. I’ll have to experiment with different tire pressures because the nightrider felt like I was on a bumpy road.

I believe it can be done. I had a spin class instructor that could spin on the stationary bike no hands standing out of the saddle. I think the biggest surprise was the ease of keeping the wheel going straight. Certainly easier than keeping my bike going straight. I believe if I can get the tire to roll smoother I’ll be able to let go.


I used to ride in the living room and practice super idles in the kitchen, but after getting a new floor I haven’t done it so much.

Riding a unicycle part 14: Unicycling indoors - YouTube

I don’t think you would like that, not for long sessions of training. I’ve been trying out various spin bikes and similar at a local gym, and I find a bike-like position much more comfortable for a 30-minute workout. One of the machines has the seat only a little bit back from the pedals, and that one is just hard on the crotch. Without the handlebars on it, I would never finish the 30 minutes!

The purpose of indoor training like that is more to work the muscles and improve fitness, so it doesn’t have to be exactly similar to the unicycle you’re balancing on outside. For best results, seek a machine that is comfortable, and/or gives you multiple positions and/or handlebars for variety.

I don’t think I’ve ever done it, but I’m having trouble with the idea that it takes as much concentration as unicycling. I’m sure it does at the beginning, as you develop the skills and technique to start, stop and be confident riding on them, but after that, isn’t it just a matter of not drifting too much to either side? Maybe it’s like riding on a postage stamp or, what comes to my mind based on experience, trying to do a unicycle performance on a comedy club stage. :slight_smile:

I have seen Unigeezer’s unicycle rollers, and it looks like a good idea.

I see potential to do a lot of damage to valuable items close by if something goes wrong so it’s not for me at this point.

I’ve done a lot more hours unicycling than riding a bike on rollers. However, from fairly early in my unicycling, I was able to ride for several minutes without intense concentration. On a bike on rollers, you have to concentrate because the bike is going fast (sometimes faster than it would be on the road) and you’re effectively riding in a very narrow corridor, the width of the rollers. If you get slightly out of line, the error magnifies quickly. If one wheel comes off the edge of the rollers, the results can be hilarious.

So, for me, riding on rollers on a bike takes a lot more sustained concentration than cruising on a unicycle.

Maybe some folding adjustable parallel bars would be useful when using a roller?
These are available on Amazon for a couple hundred USD.

I’ve spent more hours than I care to admit riding rollers in my previous life cycling but I’m quickly catching up with unicycle hours!

The two are very similar in that you have to pay attention where the wheel is going. Day dream too much on the rollers or follow a car around a corner on the movie you’re watching and you end up off the side of the rollers. If clipped in that usually means falling to the side. Contrary to what some may think, you don’t go racing across the room because you and the bike are stationary and there is not enough inertia in the wheels to accelerate you from the stop.

Unicycling I can be cruising along and if I’m not paying attention where the wheel is I might hit a bump. Well I guess this is where the similarity ends because at that point my body is moving and if I can’t run fast enough, I fall!


Off topic , cyberbike (PS3) opening and fixing

For those who’d be interested to see what’s inside the Cyberbike 2 main body, since I received the special Y (tree wings) screw drivers, I opened it to see what was wrong (after about 2 years of use, pedaling was getting weird and making funky noises).

Answer : the belt was falling apart.
Fengshou 280J 012 4F that I will replace by this one I just ordered.
Easy repair.
I like the cyberpunk style of this naked cyber bike.

This was also the opportunity to see how the settable magnetic resistance works and how the pedaling cadence is measured.