John Eucist

How to ride an electric unicycle - understanding the dynamics

203 posts in this topic

Thanks John for that tip.

Although on a bike if one is falling to the right, the tendancy would be to twist to the left then wouldnt it?

If the EUC requires one to twist in the direction on the loss of control is this a characteristic of the gyro?

Thanks mate for the advice, appreciate all these tips greatly...

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I just posted about my first day riding a bit ago in ninebot forum.  I also noted that the sensation of balancing a bike while stopped is the feeling I got yesterday when first jumped on.  I also recommended learning on dirt or dry grass because I was able to learn in a few minutes because of ability to pivot easily on ground with little friction. I think this helped me "use" the bike tip you mention so to speak.  

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4 hours ago, Phil Wright said:

Although on a bike if one is falling to the right, the tendancy would be to twist to the left then wouldnt it?

As far as I understand, if your are falling (tipping) to the right on a bike and you twist the front wheel to the left that would make you fall even faster to the right.  It would be like countersteering the wrong direction.  Hopefully more people can chime in regarding this and correct me if I'm wrong.

4 hours ago, Phil Wright said:

If the EUC requires one to twist in the direction on the loss of control is this a characteristic of the gyro?

I don't think this has anything to do with the gyro (accelerometer).

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Hmm.....I've played the fall/turn scenario in my head and think it may be both ways depending on your stance and lean, center of gravity.   I think turning into the fall is the normal thought as you state John but also if the front wheel is big and towards frame may serve as counter also if counter steering.  

 

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Great video Michael, I know understand the physics...

it's funny that what we think we are doing isnt ACTUALLY what we are doing..

cheers mate,

Phil

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54 minutes ago, Michael Vu said:

What John is saying is completely correct. When you are leaning to one side, you essentially have to "catch" yourself by putting the wheel under your center of mass whether it be a bicycle or an electric uni. This video that explains how Bikes stay up without a rider demonstrates this principle well.

 

That is an incredibly informative video.  Thanks for finding and posting it @Michael Vu

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is the best how-to-balance vid that I know of. Another illustration can be found in this post: 

On 06/11/2015 at 5:31 PM, John Eucist said:

The magnitude of manual compensation decreases as the gyroscopic effect increases with speed.

I think the main reason why the (necessary) compensation magnitude goes down with increasing speed is that the effect of the compensation in a given time (i.e. the magnitude of the side-displace of the wheel) increases linearly with increasing speed. For the same reason, the compensation becomes effect-less with zero speed, i.e. balancing becomes impossible without moving the wheel. Additionally one needs less effort to twist the wheel at higher speeds (because of reduced tire friction), making compensation less difficult in particular on sticky grounds. 

Edited by Mono
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@Niko  Wow.  This Solowheel video basically say the same things including the luggage strap part.  Funny thing is that I've actually never seen this before.  I wish I had seen this video before I started learning last summer.  I actually think when I first started learning I might have been doing the opposite with the fallacy of thinking "oh no I'm falling right so I better turn to the left!".  :D  But after the first hour of complete failure I figured out the physics part.  Then during the second hour when I finally decided to use the included luggage strap that came with my IPS I almost immediately got the hang of it.  I think both these tips can cut down a beginner's learning time by at least a half if not more.

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@John Eucist I indeed found the Solowheel instruction vid(s) the best I have seen for beginners (let me add that I neither own a Solowheel, nor am I overly excited by their protectionist approach). The second vid is this (a little over 2 minutes of instructions starting at 1m42s):

 

Edited by Niko
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thanks @Michael Vu, that's the best bike physics vid I have ever seen!

Edited by Niko
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The gyroscopic effect is directly related to your speed. The gyroscope tries to resist any force angular to its spinning axis. That is why you have to lean in when turning.

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Very helpful, thank you - my first few sessions I was trying to balance my weight and finding it very frustrating. Today, my forth session (2nd after reading this) I managed to do several laps around the park! 

A few things that I wish I had know before hand - learning is physically exhausting if you are out of shape (as I am) so take water and rest between attempts. Try and find a big open area - I'm forced to learn how to turn and stay on narrow paths which also increases the frustration as I find myself falling frequently while turning. And listen to the advice about safety gear. I didn't think I would need it but wore some anyway and had my first major spill today - if I hadn't had a helmet on I would be in hospital now!

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My Ninebot showed up with a 15psi wheel which I practiced on for the first week.  Nearly impossible.  I finally pumped it up to the recommendations of the users here to 55psi and have had a completely different experience.  I'm now having fun!

 

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Indeed it is very challenging, but also very frustrating to learn euc for the first time. No foam bumper gonna save my learning euc, since I had it crashed sooooo many times earlier today. Luckily it's a cheap universal euc that I'm willing to had it crashed as many times as necessary. Spent like 90 minutes or so, I manage ride if for couple hundred meters one time, and sometimes not even few inches right after, haha. I even manage to almost fell into the river, literally stopped one meter before, by falling and got scratches on my face from the bushes, and had a very good laugh. 

Wont give up. I'll try again tomorrow.

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8 minutes ago, Vanquiz said:

Indeed it is very challenging, but also very frustrating to learn euc for the first time. No foam bumper gonna save my learning euc, since I had it crashed sooooo many times earlier today. Luckily it's a cheap universal euc that I'm willing to had it crashed as many times as necessary. Spent like 90 minutes or so, I manage ride if for couple hundred meters one time, and sometimes not even few inches right after, haha. I even manage to almost fell into the river, literally stopped one meter before, by falling and got scratches on my face from the bushes, and had a very good laugh. 

Wont give up. I'll try again tomorrow.

You'll get it Vanquiz. That was my experience until very recently. I've been learning to ride off and on over the last few months and it finally click. I tried using a strap and mounting first without and then with walls. I tried inside on carpet and in a narrow hallway  where I could grab the walls in case I lost my balance. After taking a few weeks off I jumped on mine and took off down the street. It must have been a fluke because I fell 3 or 4 times after that. But that little ride was enough to hook me again. Today I rode it flawlessly down the street and back. Boy, it's a workout riding a euc. I didn't realize how much of an active sport it would be lol. My legs felt like jelly after practicing today for about 30 minutes. I hope to build up my endurance for long rides. 

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Riding on carpet is in my experience very difficult (probably even worse than 15 psi). Not at all to be recommended for starters.

Edited by Niko
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53 minutes ago, Niko said:

Riding on carpet is in my experience very difficult (probably even worse than 15 psi). Not at all to be recommended for starters.

The carpet worked well for learning to balance. The extra little friction helped me to wobble less I think. It is a little harder to turn on it but we don't have very thick carpet. Most of the time I balanced or wiggled back and forth with one hand on a wall while watching TV.

With that said I don't think I would recommended riding on carpet because of the wear on it. I bet my wife would have killed me if she knew I was riding my wheel inside. :) 

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right, I meant of course riding free-handed.

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This is the quintessential beginner's tutorial - it's a great compilation of all beginner's exercises that are mentioned over and over again in other tutorials.

 

This guy's has very detailed tips, this is definitely one of my favourite tutorial set. His other curb jumping vid is fantastic too.

 

After you learn to ride, you can follow this progression to learn tricks.

 

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