Tandem unicycles [Was: Re: Hi, I'd like to introduce myself]

> The latest project is a tandem unicycle for Sam and myself to ride (or attempt
> to ride) its not finished yet but I’ll keep you posted.

Which kind of tandem unicycle? front-to-back or side-to-side?

I have a front-to-back tandem which a fair number of expert unicyclists
have ridden.

Two People, On One Wheel,

Ken Fuchs <kfuchs@winternet.com

Re: Tandem unicycles [Was: Re: Hi, I’d like to introduce myself]

> > The latest project is a tandem unicycle for Sam and myself to ride (or
> > attempt to ride) its not finished yet but I’ll keep you posted.

> Which kind of tandem unicycle? front-to-back or side-to-side?

> I have a front-to-back tandem which a fair number of expert unicyclists
> have ridden.

> Two People, On One Wheel,

> Ken Fuchs <kfuchs@winternet.com>

Cool ! I’m glad that someone else has already tried this and proved that it is
possible. Ours is also a front to back design based around a lightweight
motorcycle wheel with a sprocket on each side. The front rider will have the
drive on the right hand side, as on a normal bike and the rear rider will have
it on the left driving the sprocket on the other side of the wheel, How does
this compare to yours ?

Also I’d like to know just how hard this thing will be to ride, ie is it
possible to free mount, do tricks etc… I’d appreciate knowing a little more
about your experiences with one

thanks

Bob Knight

Re: Tandem unicycles [Was: Re: Hi, I’d like to introduce myself]

Robert Knight <rgk@ptc.com> wrote:

>Cool ! I’m glad that someone else has already tried this and proved that it is
>possible. Ours is also a front to back design based around a lightweight
>motorcycle wheel with a sprocket on each side. The front rider will have the
>drive on the right hand side, as on a normal bike and the rear rider will have
>it on the left driving the sprocket on the other side of the wheel, How does
>this compare to yours ?

Tom Miller and I built the tandem together the summer of 1990. The tandem has a
16" bicycle wheel and the chain follows a triangular route past the two bottom
bracket sprockets and the wheel sprocket.

The tandem’s frame is shaped as follows with approx. dimensions:

                    &lt; 20"&gt; 3" long seat tube -&gt; | | ^ 1" sq. x 15" tubing -&gt;
                    | | 19" 2" sq. x 18" tubing -&gt; |______| v 2" x .25" x
                    10" flats -&gt; /||\ ^_ 10"
                    | &lt;&gt; | v
                     \__/

The bottom brackets fit one piece cranks. Note that the bottom brackets are only
20" apart measured center to center and so also the seat tubes for the seat
posts. The idea was to position the two riders as close together as possible to
avoid excessive torque around the vertical axis while the two riders try to
balance. (The design seemed to work well in this respect, but it is still quite
hard to ride, even for two expert riders.)

>Also I’d like to know just how hard this thing will be to ride, ie is it
>possible to free mount, do tricks etc… I’d appreciate knowing a little more
>about your experiences with one

The key to riding a tandem unicycle is near total cooperation between the two
riders, though some think it might work better if one of the riders tries to
dominate the balance with the second rider following the first rider’s lead
(like dancing perhaps?). Note that two intermediate riders who cooperate fairly
well will ride more confidently than two expert riders who fight each other. My
point is the tandem unicycle isn’t for expert riders only. Many intermediate
riders have ridden it too.

I’ve only seen people ride “forward” and turn perhaps 20-30 meters. Riders have
faced the same direction or faced each other which is a little harder to do,
since one rider is actually pedaling backwards. I’m not aware of any one ever
free mounting a tandem or performing any skills beyond simple riding and turns,
but I don’t see any reason to believe it isn’t possible to free mount or do
simple skills with enough practice.

Two People, On One Wheel,

Ken Fuchs <kfuchs@winternet.com

RE: Tandem unicycles [Was: Re: Hi, I’d like to introducemyself]

>> There is a picture of
[a tandem.
>> one of these being ridden on the Japanese site posted a little while ago. You
>> have to follow some a couple of links from (looking back in folder)
>> http://www.japan-net.or.jp/~mhayashi. The links are japanese so you have to
>> follow each link till you find it. Looks like a similar design.

>The photo is : http://www.japan-net.or.jp/~mhayashi/museum/2nin.jpg

It appears on the page: http://www.japan-net.or.jp/~mhayashi/museum/museum.htm

But go for a wander, anyway. There are many unicycling photos to look at, even
if the captions are gibberish if you don’t have the right set-up, and are in
Japanese if you do.

Would someone care to translate the caption on this one?

Julian