unicycle definitions

Allow me to jump in on the ‘unicycle definition’ discussion.

Karl Frankowski wrote: The rulebook definition that I gave is for a standard
unicycle intended for standard [Standard Skill] competition. For those of you
who have not been fortunate enough to attend a num, In standard [Standard Skill]
competition the rider doesn’t have music or a costume, but simply demonstrates
skills on one wheel. Standard competition means standard unicycles, ie, they
don’t allow giraffes, only ONE standard uni. No two wheelers, no 0 wheelers, no
nothing other that the standard uni.

About the wheel walking, sure, it’s allowed, but you just can’t use a unicycle
intended solely for wheel walking. (without cranks or pedals or any other
unusual modification.) Your unicycle needs to have cranks and pedals, but if you
wanted to you could do an entire routine without ever touching them. You can do
anything you want as long as it’s in the list of tricks (the IUF has a rather
elaborate list of tricks from which your skills must be chosen for standard
skill routine.) There is a time and a place for giraffes and more innovative
unicycles; The artistic freestyle competition. There are virtually no rules or
limitations on the number or types of unicycles that you use in freestyle. This
is the area where you would see a unicycle like the floor killing 0 wheeler :slight_smile:
or any other demented creation that you could possibly imagine. Sorry for the

A very good explanation from Karl. Now, let us read from the rulebooks: Both the
IUF and USA competition rulebooks have a definition for ‘standard unicycle:’
“Has only one wheel, is driven by crank arms directly attached to the axle, and
has no additional devices to support it. For racing, standard unicycles have
limitations on maximum wheel size and minimum crank arm length. For Standard
Skill, there are no size limitations.”

This is a very specific, technical definition, intended to delineate what may
and may not be used in competition. Basically, when we say ‘standard,’ we are
referring to a ‘regular’ unicycle with no chain or drive system, and where the
rider pedals directly from the wheel axle. Many people outside our group of
definition makers also refer to this as a ‘three foot unicycle.’ Probably
something else in the metric world.

In the dark ages of unicycle competition (a few years ago), the USA had a rule
that would automatically disqualify you if you used a bicycle in a freestyle
performance, even if you only rode it on one wheel. This was dumb. But we did
need a way to differentiate between skills that were truly ‘unicycling,’ and
those that were something else.

Hence, in the area of Freestyle judging, there is a description of what makes up
‘unicycling skills,’ as opposed to ‘non-unicycling skills.’ The IUF and USA
rulebooks contain the same passages:

5.1.1 UNICYCLING SKILLS: All skills (feats of balance) performed with only one
support point in contact with the riding surface, this not being a part of
the rider. Examples of unicycling skills: Saddle Dragging (only one support
point on the riding surface), Touching Fingertip to Floor (finger carries
no weight).
5.2.2 NON-UNICYCLING SKILLS: Any skills without rider on vehicle, any skill with
more than one support point on the riding surface, such as standing on the
unicycle with it lying on the floor, or hopping while standing on the frame
(seat on floor); two contact points with the riding surface (wheel and
seat), both carrying part of the rider’s weight. Also, the riding of any
vehicles with two or more wheels on the ground, and any skills not performed
on a unicycle.

As you can read above, those descriptions are intended to separate skills
performed on one point of balance from those that are not, without restricting
the types of vehicles used. Can a rider use an artistic bicycle for the entire
routine? Yes, but it would be a lousy routine for a UNICYCLE competition. We
leave it up to the judges to remember this fact.

As for a general dictionary of the English language, my Websters says: “a
vehicle with one wheel, esp. a pedal-driven device kept upright and steered by
body balance.” To me, this, or a similar definition is more than clear enough
for the meaning it is intended to convey. Beyond that, it’s up to us to educate
the world that the unicycle is not one, but many things.

John Foss, chairman IUF Skill Levels and Rules Committee former chairman, USA
Rules Committee

Re: unicycle definitions

>In the meantime, the following (near-) synonyms for “unicycle” have
>appeared so far.
>1. UNICYCLE Stanard American
>2. MONOCYCLE Traditional British

I think that should be ‘obsolete’ rather than traditional. I’ve certainly never
heard it used in Britain, although it may have been used back in the golden days
of bizarre cycle inventions. I have heard monocycle used in France though
(pronounced monoseekluh of course) where I believe its the standard term.

>3. ONE-WHEELED VEHICLE “Scientific”
>4. ICICLE Colloquial (I know one family who use it)
>5. IKE Colloquial (not sure where I got this)
>6. YIKE Colloquial (according to Adam Stork)
>7. ONE-WHEELER Unattested, but I think I’ve heard it
>8. ONE-WHEEL BICYCLE Unattested, uneducated
>9. BIKE Substandard, uneducated, illiterate, stupid! :->

>Jacj Halpern IUF Vice President

Tim Sheppard tim@lilliput-p.win-uk.net Lilliput Press - Publisher of fine books
in miniature