By ‘move’ I meant translate sideways.
It’s weird, btw. Even though I don’t feel one side being easier than the other, it’s like I use two different styles. On the right side, after 20 or 30 idles I’m still facing the same direction but I can end up almost a meter away (usually to the right) from where I started. On the left, I stay pretty much on the same spot but sometimes I’ve rotated almost half a turn. Funny.
On the right foot, if you’re able to move your contact patch a meter away during 30 idles, that suggests to me you are pivoting both clockwise and counter-clockwise while idling, which takes some control. With the left foot, when you rotate, is it generally in one direction (either clockwise or counterclockwise)? My guess is that your right foot is your “dominant” one. Kudos for practicing idling on both sides, Garp! Idling is a skill, IMHO, that should be practiced on both sides.
Shouldn’t they all?
It’s something I decided to do with unicycling since day one: get equally comfortable on both sides, with whatever I’m learning.
My usual approach is to set an easy goal and try it on one side until it’s attained, then repeat on the other side, over and over, aiming higher over time. Obviously, this makes me practice more on the weaker side, which forces it to catch up.
It has worked nicely so far.
After learning to idle on one side, I learned to idle one-footed on that same side before going on to learn both kinds of idling on the other side. Making every skill both-sided as soon as possible is not what I did, but it’s obviously a better habit. I can hop to either side, but if I am going up the stairs, to the right is way easier for me, and I think almost every unicyclist has a preferred side for hopping.
Wow, I never even had two spokes snap at once, let alone five! I hope your rim isn’t too far gone.
My successful wheelbuild was my second attempt, and it happened when I followed the tutorial posted on this thread. You might want to read through the whole thread before starting, as it includes a lot of helpful discussion. Order 40 spokes of the same length (assuming your hub has 36 holes), get a spoke wrench and some grease or chain oil and you should be ready to go. That’s all I used, anyway. Some people put all kinds of weird stuff on their spokes to stop them from unscrewing, but I have found that if you tighten them properly, they almost never come loose.
1. You can soon join the “I built my own wheel”-club.
2. Whatever you do, you can’t do a much worse job then what the factory did.
Depends on your goals, I guess. For idling, I absolutely agree, you should practice both sides. But for jumps as an example, I’m much happier about jumping up to 90 cm with my right foot forward, and (Rough guess) 50cm with my left foot forward, than I’d be with a max height of let’s say 70 cm in both stances.
Thanks for the link.
I’m not particularly worried about building my wheel. I find that all the various decisions (I can think of) have a simple rationale.
Plus, how hard can it be? After all, I can ride a unicycle!
I wasn’t too serious about the two-sides thing. It’s just that: a thing.
There is some intellectual - possibly misguided - satisfaction to it and also I’d like to see how far I can push it, but I’m not convinced that it brings any significant advantage.
From the videos I’ve seen, most urban riders have a favorite (exclusive?) side for just about everything. They seem to do just fine without any ambidextrosity (is that a word?).
The only time where I see ambidextrosity (I like ur word) be helpful is when riding in the forest and you have to hop over roots. Then you have to be lucky that the right foot is in front. Mostly I would try to go around, but that is not always possible. Mounting with my other foot feels too weird and I don’t see the point.
I prefer to think that one of the qualifications I have for giving advice on the forums is that I have tried techniques on both the dominant and non dominant sides. Working on a technique on the non-dominant side forces me to think extra hard on the specifics of that technique. If I’m wondering whether a slight change to my technique will make me more successful, then that tweak should produce results on both the dominant and non-dominant side.
My Nimbus aluminum seatpost broke in the spot where seatposts usually break, at a time when I was frequently making small hops up lots of stairs. I replaced it with a Nimbus CrMo seatpost, which seems to be stronger.
But Garp, what about that wheel you just built? Is it still OK? Spokes still tight?
Thankfully, I had a spare!
Months ago I changed my cranks and bought a bunch of parts with them.
I keep doing minor adjustments, though. Not that they’re needed (they’re probably not) but I can’t decide where to compromise between truing and evening the spoke tension, which reintroduces some wobble.
If a spoke is so loose that I can rotate the nipple with my bare fingers, I consider that to be a fairly urgent problem. Otherwise, though, as long as my wheel is true, I don’t worry about it much. If your wheel is true and you have a few very loose spokes, a good thing to do is just uniformly tighten the whole wheel. Your loose spokes will then become tighter, as the wheel redistributes the tension. In this case, I go around and tighten every spoke a half- or quarter-turn. I count from the valve hole, and tighten spoke number 1, then spoke 4 then spoke 7, then 10 and so on, all the way around the wheel. Then I start from spoke 2 and do the same thing, and then start from spoke 3 and go around once more, and then it’s done. This is the best way I know of to tension a wheel without damaging it, but be sure to true it (if necessary) before you begin.
There are people on this forum who have been professional bike mechanics for years and know way more than I do, but this method is what has worked for me. I rebuilt my 20” wheel 3 years ago, and have trued it maybe twice since then. I am not good at high jumping and usually do not even attempt it, but I weigh about 90 kg and ride my 20 pretty regularly, and almost every time I take it out, I ride it down several flights of stairs.
Thanks for the advice, song. The thing is, I was going pretty much the other way.
Here’s my reasonning:
Since I’m going for flatland stuff, I don’t care much about riding (as in tracks, road or even muni). So a bit of wobbling shouldn’t be an issue.
On the other hand, robustness is important. I’m not 100% sure but from what I’ve read, a somewhat high and even tension is what makes a wheel sturdy.
Ideally, we should have both. But that would require a perfect rim and mine is not.
Right now, the tension is not exactly even but close and there’s a wobble of about 2mm.
I’m not sure what to do from here.
Also, when I’m idling on the left, I can hear some spokes ‘ping’ a little. Should I be worried?
High, even tension is good, yes, but tension will never be 100% uniform.
2mm of wobble is acceptable to me. It’s about what my wheel has. Others may disagree, and would probably be right to do so, but we are not talking about racing bikes here- not even racing unicycles!
What is imperfect about your rim? Did you set it on a table before starting your rebuild and it didn’t lie flat?
Noises coming from a unicycle can be a sign of serious problems, but most commonly it just means that the spokes need to be tightened, and in your case, that’s an even better guess than it usually would be, since you just built your first wheel. Loose spokes can be a serious problem, but they can also be fixed easily if you notice them in time. I would recommend giving all of them a half-turn and see if the noise goes away. If it doesn’t, perhaps you could do another round of tightening. Be careful not to over-tighten, though, as you can damage your rim that way.
I did and it didn’t. Two contact points, with the two high points each less than a centimeter up.
So it is wobbly but not by much. I’ve seen people (on youtube) retruing wheels that were waaayyyyy more twisted than mine.
The thing about tension is that I have no idea what a good tension is. I have nothing to compare with.
I am indeed afraid of tightening too much and messing up the rim.
If you have a “calibrated” musical ear or a frequency meter app on your smart phone or something similar, you can measure the tension and resulting stress on the spokes. Here is a write up about using the musical pitch to determine the stress on each spoke.
On my 36er I check the tone of each spoke as part of my regular maintenance. If I find a spoke that the pitch is lower then the others, I tighten it so all are about the same. Normally they stay the same but if I happen the hit a spoke with my foot or something, sometimes I find the spoke looser with a lower tone. If I don’t fix a loose spoke soon, sometimes it will continue to loosen and start to effect other spokes.
When I first built the wheel I used a frequency meter (PitchLab Pro) but for just checking every so often I do it by ear. They have had special bike spoke apps for checking the tension but I’m not sure if they are still available.