Ultimate Wheel and friction

For several years I’ve been working on a better,
more frictionless ultimate wheel. My latest idea is
to sew on a nylon rope onto the whitewall. Though
this has its problems (a crowning surface) it so far seems
one of the best solutions.

Check out The Ultimate Wheel

Has anyone come up with better ideas?

This particular uw rider is amazing. The last time I saw him he was jumping rope and zig-zagging through long lines of orange cones.

Wouldn’t hard poly rope be better (slicker) than soft rope if one is wearing leg armor?

I presume you have tried various silicon sprays, furnture polish, etc. Nylon rope might generate a fair bit of heat when it rubs.

Personally, I just use long football socks and a carefully chosen slick tyre but I don’t tend to ride very far…

I tried to ride round a 400m grass track… knackered half way
Tried to play hockey… knackered after about 5 mins

Haven’t ridden it for a while. Maybe I’ll dig one out this weekend.

Is there a name for UW Muni… MUWni?

Gosh thanks U-Turn.

Yeah a hard polyrope may offer less friction but I think the crowning surface will give you quite a massage.

I have taken the UW on a few trips through the woods. I found it a lot of fun as long as the trail is not too steep… there is no handle to grab so it may be difficult to give it that extra torque sometimes. (Hopping over things, I find difficult enough on a unicycle.) Going down hill you can use friction to your advantage.

I am teaching my daughter how to ride her unicycle in the woods and being on the UW will keep it interesting for me as well.

My other solution is a dryrotted tire with silicone spray. Unfortunately for me, I find it hard to find a good dryrotted tire.

I’ve never ridden an ultimate wheel and have no idea what I’m talking about but…
I know horse riders sometimes whear sort of leather gaiters whcih protect the shin and calf, and which have the buckles up the outside of the leg. Would these help for riding an UW?

what about climbing rope? Kern-Mantel, that would casue alot less friction heat.

Yeah wear some protection! You can get bad leg burns otherwise. (In the woods I wear a helmet too).

I think of it as a winter sport because I wear thick wool ski socks + roach knee pads + an old pair of pants. (The pair of pants is mainly to protect the kneepads so I don’t have to buy new ones all the time).

Roach pads or 661 are best because other leg protection tends to spin around the leg to a spot that offers the least protection.

In regards to the hard polyrope: I tried something similar around the tire it was slippery but I could really feel it through all that protection.

What about tubular webbing? It’s typically made out of a soft, slick nylon, and is completely flat. See:


You can get it in various widths, from half inch to 2". Cheap too. You can find it at most rock climbing/outdoor shops, and possibly at military surplus stores as well.


Maybe you could try attaching something like free-spinning hubcaps to your ultimate wheel?

Making the wheel wider- say putting two wheels side by side would probably almost completely alleviate the problem with rubbing, I’d guess.

The problem with flat rolls is that its hard to make a saturn ring with it without creases. (I also go both forwards and backwards on my UW so I would have trouble with creases.) Maybe it can be bunched up when sewing it on… I would have to test it. Sewing is not something I usually do…

You also don’t want anything too thick because then you have trouble getting your legs around it. I think I maxed it out with the current thickness of the rope.

I like the challenge and also the manueverability of the UW so two wheels side by side is out for me.

The idea of sheet metal scares me… I can imagine it tearing and a sharp piece rotating into my leg. Maybe its just me.:slight_smile:

Save your money

Just tape some cardboard to your legs, you’ll be fine.


Your Tubular Webbing idea works great. You need it on the Roach pads too or it will wear out. Having them both seems like a friction-free surface. :slight_smile:

Pictures on http://www.tux.org/~bagleyd/ultimate.html