Unicycle push-along?

I did ask this before, but embedded in my other thread and no-one picked it up. But it’s a serious question. Since my kids learned to ride bikes there as been something of a revolution in little-kid learning with the introduction of the pedal less crank less push-along bikes, propelled by feet on the ground. The plus is that kids get to feel the balance without having to coordinate it with the balance-disturbing activity of pedalling. So when they get a pedal bike, they only have to learn to pedal. So my question is, would this work with a unicycle, or does the physics of one wheel, with its lack of forward backward stability mean that you couldn’t scoot it with your feet? If I could get hold of an old kids unicycle I would try it, but I don’t fancy trying to take the cranks off mine!

Just a thought, How about you just take your pedals off your 20" and lower your seat.
Would that work ?

Edit: Oh no I just realised. You need to practice taking your cranks off for when you get more unicycles. :sunglasses:

I thought of trying it with just the pedals off, but I can’t get the seat post low enough unless I cut it down. Though, I did think that the shorter post from my 24" might do it if I swapped it over. I have no idea if they are the same diameter, though.

I just about know how to take pedals off, having put them on in the first place, but no idea at all about cranks!

No way as a beginner. In order to control the forward/backward balance on a uni you need to have the possibility of accelerating/braking the wheel. This is normaly done by pedaling. Once a pedal less uni would be slightly in front (or back) of your center of gravity, it will be accelerated by you body weight and just fly away :smiley:

Basically it is possible as coasting shows, but it is much harder to control than normal riding. If you can do this trick you do not need to modify your uni, just put your feet on the crown when having enough speed. :slight_smile:

You would have feet on the ground, though? But I accept it may not be feasible, which is why I thought I would ask rather than try it<G>.

With your feet on the ground, you can not bring the uni under your center of gravity as you have no control over it.

Pedalling is integral to unicycling so I don’t think a trainer uni with no cranks would help.

However I have seen little bikes with a long handle out the back, clamped on under the seat. The adult trainer holds the handle to stabilise the bike while the kid learns.

This could work with a small unicycle. Clearly there is a limit to the size of the child that the adult could support so it would only work with really small children.

A set of handlebars on the end of the training handle would help.

BTW I have read posts about very small children (about three years old) learning to ride a uni. One had not even learnt to ride a bike until later.

So it would be like a wheelbarrow

I personally don’t think there is a shortcut to learn unicycling, but this guy in one of my favourite videos is beeing very creative:

For a child, I don’t think there would be any point in trying to stabilise the unicycle itself with handles etc - better to just hold the child’s hand. I was just trying to work out whether there was any way to split the balance from the pedalling for a child or adult learner.

As has already been said - fundamentally the answer is no, because on a unicycle (unlike a bicycle) the pedalling is integral to the balancing.

To look at the idea of the balance bike from a more fundamental perspective, what it is doing is breaking down the components of riding a bike so that the child only has to learn one at a time. Whilst you can’t quite do the same thing with a uni, you can (and most people do) learn by breaking it down a bit. For example one of the standard things is to ride along a railing, which not only removes the need to balance side to side, it also helps a lot with the fore aft balance and allows you to learn the pedalling and how to balance using that.

Unimyra, that thing is insane! What does it even do? I can’t work it out!

A sort of cantilever principle, I suspect one gets a decent hold on the handle, and when pressure is applied either forward or backward, the seatpost/frame corrects itself to suit the rider balance. I certainly would not entertain one, especially as a learner. It could well be a case of UPD impalement, plus the weight is ridiculous. But, it may work, who knows… ?? :thinking:

If you need training wheels to get the feel for uni, removing the pedals is not going to help.
You can try the ski poles, but not are not great in the long run. Others have experimented with supermarket trolleys and got something out of it. As long as you let it go before you can only do it with the trolley…

Pedalling uphill helped me. It seemed to slow everything down a bit. Just a slight uphill though. I had a rail on my left for that. I could slowly use less and less rail

Lower tire pressures helped at first as well. It made the unicycle less twitchy at first. I then slowly raised the pressures and moved to a flatter surface.

Bottom line is you just have to keep falling off until it clicks - and it does. Then you just fall off less and less!!

My son learned on rough grass and found a flat surface hard to ride on at first.

What a clever idea; a stillstand cheater device! Or it might more usefully be a stillstand training aid.

When you move the lever, it shifts your weight to the front and rear. Never tried anything like it, so it’s hard to tell if it would make for a useful training aid. I get the impression that the guy in the video has just completed it, so is showing what the mechanism does, but isnt’ (yet?) riding the unicycle. I’d like to try one.

If you are going to teach children, don’t let them hold you. Hold their wrist instead, so that they can not drag you down. The last thing you want is a 40lb flailing child trying to hold themselves upright with your finger, either you end up falling on them, or bad things happen to your finger.

Also, that still stand trainer looks very interesting, though very time consuming to make.

Some insurance company actuaries studied old people and broken hips. The only correlation they were able to make was: using a cane increased the likelihood of someone breaking their hip.

A cane is supposed to help, and some people rely on it, but the moment it stops working, bad things can happen. I spent a fair amount of time holding onto a wall or fence as a beginner. In retrospect, I think that increased my chances of falling into the fence or the wall. Once I improved and stopped using the wall, returning to the wall made me feel like I’d forgotten how to ride. The wall was psyching me out.

I ride alongside a fence practicing wheel walking (beginner stages). There are some nice side-to-side hip stretches that can be done while holding onto the wall. For beginners learning how to sit on the seat and turn the pedals, the wall is a good thing. But for learning to actually ride, holding onto something means that both arms can no longer flail madly.

Whenever I read that someone ‘didn’t learn until they ditched the fence’ I am reminded of people who say ‘Why is it that my keys are always in the last place that I look’…

Which is not to say it is wrong, just that I think that at a certain point you are ready to ditch the fence, but that doesn’t mean that ditching it earlier would necessarily have been better.

Didn’t know about the cane making things worse, but it makes sense. I’m an advocate of not using poles/canes as it doesn’t take much to become good at riding with them. And the second (less than a second actually) you throw them to ride “bare”, you fall. I did that when I first learnt, 20 odd years ago, never did any good.

The launching in space is the thing. Scary, but probably the only way. But only once you have a good feeling of the front/back balance (with a fence or a wall). When I learnt again, a couple of years ago, I had a high railing around the building where I was staying. It took me a while to let go of the railing, and I was always trying to stay within grabbing distance. I could have stayed there forever, thank God it had a portion - about 15 to 20ft - without the railing. It became the launch point where I could let go from A to B for a few revolutions. Always good to have a grabbing point you can aim at, like in that great learning video from my favorite scot uni riders:

I made a lot of progress once I voluntarily decided to veer frankly off the railing when I would let go of it. But it took a lot more unplanned dismounts too!