street/urban trials competitions

hey hey everyone.
just wondering: if at unicycle conventions, they had street competitions kind of like they do for skateboarding, how do you think it would go?

what it would look like would be: there would be sveral ramps, rails, gaps, and a bunch of stuff sitting around. you would have a minute or so to do whatever you can and you would get a score after from judges.

i think it would introduce a style that would appeal to many skateboarders and bmx riders and bring more people into our sport. ive dreamt of entering one and winning, but this isnt possible seeing as there arent any. it would also create new tricks cause people will be speeding up to the ramps and launching themselves up in the air and have more time to do stuff. (i know you cant get a whole lot of air on a uni, but im sure with time, people would develop certain ways of doing it).

anyways, tell me what you think, see ya Kevin

We’re sort of in the ballpark of that, with the Open-X event. The difference is you have to bring your own props. That’s a pretty big difference, but aside from that, the event is intended as a forum for riders to be innovative, and not have to be performers in the theatrical sense.

Something with ramps would be nice, but I think there is a limit to what can be done in the air on a unicycle. You don’t get much extra air time from a ramp unfortunately. For it to catch on it would probably have to start as a demonstration event, or grow out of the Trials event (which is still not a guaranteed part of every USA Nationals or UNICON).

But I’m all for new events. Riding around a track is getting old, at least on 24" wheels… :slight_smile:

Hey Kevin,

There actually could/might be an urban/street style comp this year in Toronto. For the past 2 years a bunch of us in Toronto have attended the Roundhouse Rumble every June/July and put on our own trials comp. It would be the perfect venue for setting up an urban/street event, most of which is in place for the bikers already.

Check out the website with highlights from last year …

There’s a video of the event which stars Nick from the Toronto Unicyclists and gives you a pretty good idea of the event …

And here are some pics from previous years … (2001) (2002)

I’ll definitely let you know what’s going on if it happens this year.


hey hey, thanks for the video… thatvideo of the bikes is exactly what id love to see on unicycles, except for the whole not possible thing hehe.

and as for ramps not launching uniers very well, i know its true, but having very short, quick, rounded ramps might work. im guessing flat ones wouldnt because you would only get as much air as you normall would off of flat and then the added height of the ramp. rounded however, if it could be the length of perhaps a little less than the diameter of a wheel, then i htink that if a very powerful push was given, and the right technique was used, it would give a little extra air. when summer comes along, then i think i will do some practical research on this subject to find out what the ideal ramp shape would be to get the maximum amount of air on a unicycle.

see ya all later. thoughts on the subject would be great

Yes, curved (concave) ramps will give better air for us unicycles. But we’re still talking relatively small air. It’s tough to do similar air stuff when you have to pedal wildly to build up the speed to get up there.

When building ramps, you probably have to find some sort of compromise in the amount of curve. Too much and the unicycle goes straight up (and straight down). Too little and lift is minimal.

I haven’t played on jump ramps since the 80s. It would be fun to ride on some of those again. What we did on them in the 80s was mainly try to cover distance, or jump over things. On height, it will be real hard to come up with anything that even looks interesting compared to bikes. But distance jumps can look pretty impressive.

yes, my thoughts exactly for the ramps. but i disagree with your idea about not getting good tricks done while getting air from them. i know that no one would be able to right away, but take skateboarding for instance. when it was invented, no one expected that anyone would be doing 900s and crazy crooked grind hardflips out, but skaters worked on their technique in order to get 12 feet in the air on a vert ramp, and to grind things that are 12 feet long. i believe that with enough pracitce, development in techniques, and development in equipment, then unicylists would be able to get a lot more air then we could imagine right now and a lot more new tricks would be invented. most of you probably think im crazy, but i know it can work. not exactly sure how or when, but its gonna happen, cause UNICYCLING IS THE SPORT OF THE FUTURE!

anyways, just my thoughts and hopes… but have one of these competitions and i bet it would turn out better then everyone thought

see ya. Kevin

One of harpers hubs might help get the speeds necasary for getting air off of ramps.

I’m sure he could gear it up past 1.5:1 say to 2 or 3:1? Then you could have a 20" wheel with an effective diameter of something ALOT bigger. Letting you hit ramps at the speeds needed to get serious air.

Just a thought, that or get really good at riding a freewheel unicycle.


I think the key to getting good air off a jump is to build up alot of speed, probably by gliding/coasting down a hill before the ramp. Otherwise, you’re limited by the rate at which you pedal.

Either that, or use a freewheeling hub, like Chex mentions.


yes yes, i agree, but gliding wouldnt work cause you wont be able to get a half decent jump in. the hubs that he mentioned would be great, except the ability to line up the distance to the ramp would have to be increased by quite a bit. who knows how its gonna happen, but i think im gonna try out some different styles of ramps once summer roles along and i will tell you all which is the best. anyways, good to see you guys got half interested in this. i think that if people try to develop their ability in this style it would introduce a whole new area of unicycling to have some fun with. anyways, must be going now, see ya, Kevin

caharper cant gear up to more than 1.99999:1 with his hub.

Could someone explain what harpers or freewheeling hubs are??

Anyways, I truly do see unicycling eventually heading in this direction. I believe trials and MUni will gain more recognition and popularity, and I think trials will end up evolving into something resembling a skateboard “street” competition.

I have experimented with several types of ramps and think each has their use. The ramp would have to be small. You can ride small quarter pipes (and im guessing equally sized half-pipes). I managed a hand plant on the quarter pipe once or twice. I imagine with a slightly smaller pipe and better technique I would be able to manage a much better handplant and other tricks. I don’t think that vert will be a direction that current designs of unicycles will go. Maybe a future version of Harper’s hub (for more info do a search for Harper Blue Shift). Street however (rails, smaller ramps, drops, while doing freestyle moves) will advance in strides as it already is.

  • Sal

2 different things.

Harper is the surname of one of the regulars in this forum. See his seductively posed picture in the faces gallery.

He has designed and built a special hub with internal gears. If you pedal at, say, 100 rpm, the wheel goes round at 150 rpm. and so on. Fiendishly clever! This gives a choice of making a small wheel as ‘fast’ as a big wheel, or making a big wheel as ‘fast’ as a huge wheel.

A freewheeling hub does what it says on the tin! If you pedal forwards, the uni goes forwards. If you stop pedalling, or try to pedal backwards, the uni continues forwards.

Most bicycles freewheel. The consensus is that a freewheeling hub for a uni would present challenges, but the disadvantages would outweigh any advantages. You couldn’t idle or reverse, and you could only control your fore-and-aft balance by pedalling faster… and faster… unless you fitted a ‘trailing brake’ of some sort. Descents of steep hills would be er… perilous. :astonished: