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Senior Coffee

A unicycle is a unicycle is a unicycle

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Hello all, I wanted to throw some thoughts out there.  There's talk out there that it's not a good idea to learn on a 10" wheel and that the skills learned won't transfer to a larger wheel at a later time.  I've even seen where it's mentioned there may be something of a relearn process going on.  Here's my thoughts on the topic.  Remember just my opinion.

A unicycle is a unicycle is a unicycle.  Whether it's a 10" or a 20" the same physics apply as far as riding as long as the same physical build of the unicycle is maintained.  For instance, once the physics of a left turn are learned on a unicycle, they apply to all unicycles regardless of size.  The same goes for a right turn, starting, stopping, etc.  When switching to a different wheel, adjustments have to be made for the difference in size and weight but the physics of riding remain the same.  There aren't any skills that have to be re-learned because of switching to a different diameter wheel.  A left turn on a unicycle is the same as a left turn on another unicycle.  If you can ride a 20" bicycle you can ride a 27" bicycle of the same physical build type.

Case in point.  I went directly from my 14" wheel to my 10" wheel and was able to ride it.  Not because it's got some magical properties that hold me upright or help in turns but because I already learned the physics of riding a unicycle.  While I'm not a pro by any means, the basic skills learned on one unicycle transferred directly to another.  I simply had to adjust for the difference in size and weight in this case it was the decrease in size and weight.  The diameter of the wheel was irrelevant.

I have an mten3 and I have posted on here about the ability to ride it easier than the KS14 that I have.  That's a basic generalization and not completely accurate.  It's not actually easier when you look at the details, it's just that the adjustments are faster.  When riding, we all make adjustments while riding to keep us upright, turning left, right, etc.   Because the mten3 is lighter and has a smaller wheel, the adjustments work better and faster for me than they do on the 14" wheel.  It's actually the same adjustments and the difference in size and weight make it seem easier.  Once I get better at the adjustment for the size and weight of the 14" wheel it will seem easier.

So, in my opinion a new person learning on a 10" wheel or 18" wheel is irrelevant.  Learning the skills is the hardest part, transferring them is easier because size doesn't matter.  :P  Never got to say that in any forum lol.  

Edited by Senior Coffee

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I agree. My wife rides an Inmotion V5F and I ride the V8, and we are able to ride both wheels once we got the basics. The V5F feels more "squirrely" vs the V8 feeling more stable, but we both have no issues riding either wheel. I've only tried one other wheel, the Gotway Nikola, and I had no problem jumping on and riding it. 

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9 hours ago, Senior Coffee said:

So, in my opinion a new person learning on a 10" wheel or 18" wheel is irrelevant.  Learning the skills is the hardest part, transferring them is easier because size doesn't matter.  :P  Never got to say that in any forum lol.  

Agreed, learned skills largely transfer over to different wheels. However, I think you missed the main point why people recommend or advise against certain wheels for learning: because learning may be significantly easier on some wheels and more difficult on others. As you write, learning the skills is the hardest part, transferring them is easier, so we want to make learning as effortless as possible. For example, I suspect that both, small pedals or high wheel weight will unnecessarily impede and prolongate the learning process. Hence I'd recommend rather a light wheel with large pedals for learning.

Edited by Mono

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9 hours ago, Senior Coffee said:

There's talk out there that it's not a good idea to learn on a 10" wheel and that the skills learned won't transfer to a larger wheel at a later time. 

Where this occurs is the rider on the small wheel learns to turn by lifting the leg to turn. Bigger wheels do not easily turn using such method, and turn by swivelling.

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I think something you’re also forgetting is that larger wheels tend to weigh more and will behave differently to lighter wheels. 
 

And a dumbbell is a dumbbell is a dumbbell - but that doesn’t mean I can lift (in an appropriate, safe, and controlled manner) any particular dumbbell just because I can lift a 5lbs one.

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1 hour ago, BarrettJ said:

I think something you’re also forgetting is that larger wheels tend to weigh more and will behave differently to lighter wheels. 
 

And a dumbbell is a dumbbell is a dumbbell - but that doesn’t mean I can lift (in an appropriate, safe, and controlled manner) any particular dumbbell just because I can lift a 5lbs one.

Strength is not skill. I could ride a 200kg motorcycle right from the spot, because I knew how to ride a 20kg bicycle.

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I think some people are missing my point and it may be because I'm not explaining it correctly.  A skill that is learned and a compensation of that skill is two different things.  If you have learned to ride a bike, then you can ride any other bike of the same physical design. To ride the other bike you have to compensate for the difference in size and weight. You don't have to relearn the skill of riding a bike. That's my point with the unicycles. Once you learn how to ride a unicycle you have the skills necessary to ride any other unicycle, you just have to compensate for the difference in size and weight.  If you can lift a dumbbell then you already have the skill needed to lift any other dumbbell, you may not have the strength to lift a different dumbbell but that is not a skill problem that is a strength problem.

Which leads to the main point of the whole topic which is your skills always transfer because they don't go away, you already learned them. The adjustment and compensation for the differences is something that is brand new when you ride a different unicycle or a different bike or lift a dumbbell.

I already know how to ride straight on a unicycle which means I can ride straight on any other unicycle. Will it be different in feeling and maybe strength level well yes but that's not relearning the skill of riding straight, that is compensating for the difference in the unicycles.

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I think we all think you’re waiving away an awful lot with “if you just compensate for size and weight” - particularly that you’ll just naturally know how to handle said larger size and weight and have the necessary balance muscles to be able to handle it.  To us it feels like you’re starting your argument off with: “if you just ignore the relevant factors...”
 

I found that riding my second unicycle (MSX coming from a V8) was very different from riding my second bicycle - it took me a good 50 miles before I had fully adjusted and could do some of the turns and stops I could do previously. I also had to relearn mounting and dismounting (as in it was no longer a guaranteed one shot - sometimes it’d take three or four tries). My second bicycle was literally no different feeling from my first (or 6th) and took zero additional training and zero additional miles.  Some of the things I learned weren’t how to ride a unicycle, rather they were how to ride a V8.
 

If by “ride” you mean go a few yards without falling down the we’re also going to have a very different discussion as to some people unless you could handle riding in Manhattan traffic than you still can’t actually ride - you can just make it go sometimes and in some places  

 

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4 hours ago, Mono said:

Strength is not skill. I could ride a 200kg motorcycle right from the spot, because I knew how to ride a 20kg bicycle.

I definitely feel you’re misguided or miscounting a lot of cross/transfer learning - unless you really intend to argue that we could find a 9-year-old riding a bike and put them on a motorcycle with no additional training or skills.

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25 minutes ago, BarrettJ said:

I definitely feel you’re misguided or miscounting a lot of cross/transfer learning - unless you really intend to argue that we could find a 9-year-old riding a bike and put them on a motorcycle with no additional training or skills.

The 9 year old idea isn't relevant.  It goes away from the bicycle to bicycle skill.  I made no statement about bike to motorcycle skill.   I'm only talking about skills learned.  Nothing else.  Not whether it's harder, easier, faster, slower, bigger or smaller.  Only the skills.  When I was younger, I learned to ride a bike with a 20" wheel.  Years later, I got a 27" wheel bike for Christmas.  It was a good bit bigger.  Could I ride it? yes because I already learned to ride a bike.  The skill I learned transferred.  Is it bigger, yes.  Is it heavier, yes.  Do I have to compensate for that yes but the learning to ride a bike skill is already there.  In my statement, not an argument, I'm only talking about skills, nothing else applies.  I was making a statement/opinion about the skill only.  Whether I had a hard time adjusting to the new bike is irrelevant to the already known skills.  

With that said, I'm done with this conversation.  It was supposed to be a brief opinion but it appears to have gone off track.  That wasn't the intent.  Happy riding to everyone.  : )

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24 minutes ago, BarrettJ said:

I definitely feel you’re misguided or miscounting a lot of cross/transfer learning

writes someone who suggested an analogy of lifting things of different weight and handling things of different weight by pointing to the funny fact that lifting 5 lbs does not transfer to lifting any weight, LOL.

I don't even know what "misguided or miscounting a lot of cross/transfer learning" is supposed to mean :efef36327c: I just wrote

  1. Strength is not skill, which is a fact (and hence lifting things of different weight is not comparable to handling things of different weight), commenting on a very misleading analogy and
  2. I could ride a 200kg motorcycle right from the spot, because I knew how to ride a 20kg bicycle, which is my own experience, hence I must count it as a fact too (with the caution that my memory could be wrong, which I can't rule out for sure).
39 minutes ago, BarrettJ said:

unless you really intend to argue that we could find a 9-year-old riding a bike and put them on a motorcycle with no additional training or skills.

No, not without and arguably not even with additional training. A 9 year old cannot even reach the ground and maybe not even comfortably the handlebar of a grown up motorcycle, so why would I argue they can ride it?

Let's get out the crackers :cheers:

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15 minutes ago, Mono said:

writes someone who suggested an analogy of lifting things of different weight and handling things of different weight by pointing to the funny fact that lifting 5 lbs does not transfer to lifting any weight, LOL.

I don't even know what "misguided or miscounting a lot of cross/transfer learning" is supposed to mean :efef36327c: I just wrote

  1. Strength is not skill, which is a fact (and hence lifting things of different weight is not comparable to handling things of different weight), commenting on a very misleading analogy and
  2. I could ride a 200kg motorcycle right from the spot, because I knew how to ride a 20kg bicycle, which is my own experience, hence I must count it as a fact too (with the caution that my memory could be wrong, which I can't rule out for sure).

No, not without and arguably not even with additional training. A 9 year old cannot even reach the ground and maybe not even comfortably the handlebar of a grown up motorcycle, so why would I argue they can ride it?

Let's get out the crackers :cheers:

Developing strength is definitely a skill - nobody just magically has strength.
 

I maintain - especially if you think a 20kg bike handles the same as a 200kg motorcycle - that I want you to have a lot more training than being able to ride a bicycle before you’re riding a motorcycle on any road near me. 

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Enjoy :cheers:

1 hour ago, BarrettJ said:

Developing strength is definitely a skill - nobody just magically has strength.

I see, I guess we have different ideas of the meaning of the word skill then. The mere fact that something requires training (muscles) doesn't make it a skill to me. I could be wrong, in particular as I am not a native speaker, though the dictionary definition looks about right to me.

Quote

I maintain - especially if you think a 20kg bike handles the same as a 200kg motorcycle

I don't think that a 20kg bike handles the same as a 200kg motorcycle (and I never wrote this). I wrote and meant that I could ride a 200kg motorcycle right from the spot, because I knew how to ride a 20kg bicycle. I didn't intended to imply that I mastered riding a motorcycle right away as I did master riding a bicycle at that time or that motorcycling in general does not require additional skills that cycling does not (and vice versa).

If it wasn't clear enough, my point is that I could ride (i.e., stay on) the motorcycle right away only because I could ride a bicycle, giving a clear indication of transfer of a skill.

Quote

I want you to have a lot more training than being able to ride a bicycle before you’re riding a motorcycle on any road near me. 

I certainly do agree that we should require more training and proof of abilities from motorcyclists than from bicyclist, in particular because the former pose a much larger threat to other people than the latter.

 

Edited by Mono

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