Would you ride this monocycle?

I recently found an old drawing of a monocycle. I don’t know whether its a drawing of an actual working monocycle or just some design that somebody thought up. I wonder whether it would have a tendency to fall towards the right hand side (the ‘spoke’ side). In any case the riding position doesn’t look very comfortable…

the proportions on that are really messed up…

I would think you would have a tendency to fall on the left (rider) side. That is unless you are able to ride while constantly leaning right. But if you were to do that, you would be constantly turning right. The only solution I can see is to counter weight the rider. All in all, I don’t think the design is a very good one from an operational point of view, but it is interesting and innovative.


I have seen that illustration before. Unlike others, I have never seen a photo of this design, so don’t know if anyone built one. Cycles that are not perfectly centered can still be ridden. All you would have to do for this one is balance things out. Ultimately, a seat that can be adjusted side-to-side would make it possible to adjust for rider weight in relation to the wheel.

Sociable tandems have two riders side by side. I remember being at a Wheelmen show, where a father and daughter (child) rode one. I thought it wouldn’t work, but the bike merely leaned a little bit toward the girl’s side. You could probably do the same with this monocycle, though steering would be more of an issue in any case.

Hum? I can’t see how the steering would work? Leaning appears to be the only way to steer this BIG wheel.

Speaking of steering, I think that would be the least of your worries, once you got the front of your pants hung in the chain! I see this Big wheel as a very cheap way to instantly transform oneself from Bull to Steer. I guess "Steer"ing should be a HUGE worrry!!! :smiley: --chirokid–

To me it appears that the spokes are curved at the end so that the rider is balanced in the center of the wheel. I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t work, it sure doesn’t look very comfortable though.

It looks that way to me also Todd. So, if this Monocycle was at a Unicycle Function, who would try to ride it?

Chirokid would try!!! :smiley: Steer or no Steer! --chirokid–

I agree with the top two posts, it looks like the spokes curve around the rider.

how would you mount?

Easier than a giraffe!

Yes, the spokes curve around to come out somewhere around the rider’s centerline. But rider weight would still be a factor in balancing out the cycle.

I would definitely try it if there were one around. I imagine you would need at least one spotter, or one on each side. Unlike the Chinese monocycle, you can’t put your legs down on both sides. In fact it would be hard to put your legs down even on the left side…

how does it stay together? looks very scary for that and other things

Q: Would you ride this monocycle?

A: Would I ride this monocycle? You’re damn straight I would!

And Why?

Because there does not seem to be and kind of freemounting issue here, that’s why…

Cool hat! And cool beard!

This may be stupid question but how do you pedal?


His feet are on the pedals, on the cranks. The cranks connect to the sprocket, and a chain turns the sprocket attached to the wheel.

The shading is decieving.

I don’t see any cranks though.


Hmmm Well spotted. It is in fact a BC monocycle.

The “crank” is riding it.:smiley:

The thing that looks like bar between the pedals is the set of cranks. The guy just did a crummy job the cranks.

This is the source and another photo of the same thing.


A French monowheel: the design of M. Gauthier. Post 1881.
This design has eight spokes and a wheel of 2 metres diameter. The picture apparently shows the machine with one side removed, but this by no means certain. The accompanying text seems to imply that there were spokes on one side only, offset so that the rider’s CG came above the wheel tread.

This picture was originally published in the French scientific journal La Nature at some date after October 1881. The text stated that this sort of monowheel, with the rider inside the wheel, was not new, and despite the improvements of M Gauthier remained “impracticable for ordinary mortals” because of the difficulty of balancing without the front-back stability provided by the two wheels of a bicycle. Having tried a monowheel myself, I can verify that this is true.