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John Eucist

How to ride an electric unicycle - understanding the dynamics

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7 hours ago, Bigwheel said:

Beginner question: How slow can people go before they fall off? I see riders coming to a stop but they are doing it in such a controlled way it looks impossible to me at this stage. It's like they glide in the direction they want to go to without any wobbles very very slowly without having to steer into any turns and just take their foot off.

I presume this is all experience? :)

It is more an advanced skill, and it will come later on when you are able to balance yourself faster and more precisely. To me the key was tilt-steering, where I let the wheel tilt left and right between my legs. Bending the outside curve leg and keeping the inside straight, is how some guys explain it.

This video was a big thing for me back then:

 

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8 hours ago, Bigwheel said:

Beginner question: How slow can people go before they fall off? I see riders coming to a stop but they are doing it in such a controlled way it looks impossible to me at this stage. It's like they glide in the direction they want to go to without any wobbles very very slowly without having to steer into any turns and just take their foot off.

I presume this is all experience? :)

Don't worry about it. This will come by itself once you get enough miles on the euc.

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i'm going to get my wheel on some grass as I can see a lot of falling and a lot of practice needed! Thanks for the support!

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I found it a lot harder on grass than on smooth asphalt. Now I can ride in grass without problems, but it's a lot bumpier and requires more lean to get going because of the resistance.

Just put lots of padding on your wheel and use some kind of leash around the handle that you keep in one hand to keep it up when you fall off (that's how I did it when I was learning, just do not use the leash to keep the wheel straight when you are riding it, it's only there in an emergency). I still use it when trying to learn new stuff (such as riding backwards).

Edited by ir_fuel
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24 minutes ago, Bigwheel said:

i'm going to get my wheel on some grass as I can see a lot of falling and a lot of practice needed!

Honestly, you should not fall (respectively, the wheel) that much if you're just riding instead of maybe practicing stepping on freeform as a beginner. I'd say if that happens (falling), you're too slow. Speed keeps you stable.

Just start by going in a straight line (wide open road with no mental distractions like nasty, head-cracking curbs, or a similar place with lots of free space straight ahead), not too slowly (like 15+ km/h to help you stabilize), and progress into curves, figure 8s, progressively slower and narrower. Use some help (a post, wall, hand) to comfortably get on if necessary.

Then you can practice going slower without losing balance, keep the balance by slightly twisting the wheel with your hip like a bicycle's front tire.

Anyways, my point ist: speed is good, grass slows you down, so grass=bad. Speed makes it easier to stay on the wheel, which is where you learn riding (fastest way to learn ist being stood on one, having a second rider take your hand, and just go, and you try to emulate that a bit by getting and staying on as quickly and long as possible).

But the most important tip is, learn the way you feel like you should (even on grass:efeebb3acc:) and enjoy! Everything else are just suggestions.

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Practically everyone can slow down and stop without put a foot in the floor with some practice. Keeping that position without a foot in the foor is harder every second passed, I see classic unicycle rider doing loong time like in a bike, but I don't know if is possible in a electric unicycle

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10 hours ago, Bigwheel said:

Beginner question: How slow can people go before they fall off? I see riders coming to a stop but they are doing it in such a controlled way it looks impossible to me at this stage. It's like they glide in the direction they want to go to without any wobbles very very slowly without having to steer into any turns and just take their foot off.

I presume this is all experience? :)

I am not there yet.

But practice makes perfect. Once you master super slow speed you will probably be able to do more much more advanced "moves" and tricks easier. 

I for hot his name but the French Inmotion ambassador Hi-something have very good videos to show. Unfortunately in French, which far byound my language skills.

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12 hours ago, Bigwheel said:

Beginner question: How slow can people go before they fall off? I see riders coming to a stop but they are doing it in such a controlled way it looks impossible to me at this stage. It's like they glide in the direction they want to go to without any wobbles very very slowly without having to steer into any turns and just take their foot off.

I presume this is all experience? :)

Going super slow is a great skill to learn.  When the way ahead is blocked by wandering nim nods  (pedestrians) it's very handy to be able to roll behind them at their pathetic caveman speed, until an opening presents its self.  Don't put it off, start practicing now, and your wheeling opportunities will increase many fold.

I wheeled down La Rambla in Barcelona when I was still quite a new wheeler.  it's one of the main tourist attractions in the area.  I wasn't a skilled rider and it was harrowing to say the least.  Now, I wouldn't have a problem, thanks to super slow riding, and rolling start skills.

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On 6/6/2018 at 9:04 AM, GetupStandup said:

No shortage of frustration, pain and ninebot abuse for days on end.

LOL :roflmao:

and.... Welcome to the insanity, forum/sport/hobby/lifestyle/fill in the blank.

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3 hours ago, ir_fuel said:

use some kind of leash

I wouldn’t recommend a leash, as in the beginning stages you sometimes need to use your whole body to balance, even hands.

As you can see, there are opposing opinions on several matters in learning the EUC. Grass, no grass, leash, no leash... You’ll just have to try them and pick yours.

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2 hours ago, mrelwood said:

I wouldn’t recommend a leash, as in the beginning stages you sometimes need to use your whole body to balance, even hands.

I learned with leash, without walls :) 

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I learned by just trying it, no walls, no leash, just open desert. Wheel fell a lot of course but I was zipping around within 2 hrs. Still can't ride backward tho hah. 

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13 hours ago, dbfrese said:

It's possible to go very slowly, even somewhat slower than walking speed, but it is a skill that takes a while to master. That's why many on this forum will advise learners to speed up while in the beginner phase. Speed makes balancing left to right a little easier -- just like riding a bike too slowly is very difficult. 

i find at high speeds its easier to stand straight up and at low speeds its easier to maintain balance with a lower center of gravity (IE bend your knees)

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9 hours ago, Glitched said:

but got next to no practice in due to a local wheeler who approached me and proceeded to geek out w/me re:ewheels for the rest of the evening ?.

That's awesome!

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On 6/8/2018 at 1:32 AM, Adumb said:

Still can't ride backward tho hah. 

Same here. Working on it though. Manage to do 8 meters backwards and then go forwards again, but it's like in the beginning, I'm following the wheel as to not lose balance, I'm not really steering (yet), and it takes A LOT longer to learn.

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On 11/6/2015 at 4:31 PM, John Eucist said:

EDIT: This thread has become a wealth of information for beginners.  Please check out all the other posts by the community within this thread too.

Most of us who have been riding for quite some time don't give it much thought as it has been incorporated into our muscle memory and have become second nature.  However, for a beginner, it is important to understand the physics behind balancing on a euc and to be actively aware of this until it becomes second nature and incorporated into one's muscle memory so that one doesn't even have to think about it anymore.

When you ride a bicycle at LOW speeds (before gyroscopic forces take significant effect) you have to manually compensate by steering your front wheel left and right to avoid tipping over to any one side.  Balancing on a euc at low speeds is a similar concept.  If you are losing balance and falling (tipping) towards the left, then you have to steer or twist towards the left.  If you are falling (tipping) towards the right, then you have to steer or twist towards the right.  The magnitude of manual compensation decreases as the gyroscopic effect increases with speed.

While on the topic of helping beginners, another tip is to loosely hold a luggage strap looped around the handle of the euc.  This will increase your confidence as you no longer have to worry about damaging your unit, making loud tumbling noises, and/or hurting other people when you decide to step off in an emergency during your learning process.  Note that this is absolutely NOT used to help you balance.  The only downside to this is that one of your arms will not be free to flail to help you balance, however I believe the upside outweighs this downside.  Be careful not to allow too much slack on the strap to hang too low as to let it get sucked into the wheel.

Totally true. I try to both demonstrate this to people I train and in my videos as well. I noticed though scateboarders tend to grasp this concept extremely quick. Check out my video i just posted last night. I was jut riding around after work and since I am off today, I figure I will ride around Boston late. I ran into a scateboarding crew having fun. One of them asked, can I try that, I said yes. I demonstrated to them once how to do it and I just let them go at it. It was amazing watching them just hope unto after just a few seconds/minutes, where it had taken me about 15 minutes to 1 hour to really get going. These guys are awesome. I think it's a natural for them.

 

On 11/7/2015 at 12:30 AM, Paulandjacquelyn said:

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.  

Exactly. Once you start moving it's similar to a bike, with the help of your legs you pretty much lean and the unit will take care of the rest. I tried demonstrating that last night wight some skateboarders. So although conceptually it's similar to a bike, realistically it's more like a skateboard. Check out the video. Skateboarders also have to balance sideways although it doesn't seem like it to an onlooker, there is definitely a-lot of balancing action going on, which is why i feel it comes so naturally to them when learning to ride EUC's. I was shocked.

 

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I'm 4 to 5 hrs in and wanted to share my progress on a ks18s.  after a few hrs of trying the drills found mostly here minus the ones with a partner (how to ride a unicycle in about an hr) , I still couldn't go more than 5 ft.  I was thinking it's was because the 50lb monstrosity is almost half my bodyweight.  Then I was instantly able to increase my max distance to probably 50ft by just squeezing my knees together, touching (gripping) the euc (i'm slightly over 5ft).  I was informed not to because of the video below (valgus knee causes many girls to wear knee braces in sports as their hips make them more susceptible to it).  Hopefully in the longrun i won't need to squeeze the wheel so much, but for now it was the critical piece i was missing to get moving. Now I need to learn how to control speed.

The other most helpful things i did was practicing the triangle method for getting on the unit (turn on captions),  the touch and glide, and the   pivoting or swerving practice on a fence first.

Next I'll try going up and down a hill to practice picking up speed and slowing down, respectively 

Do most ppl who ride keep their knees straight or out vs in towards the wheel? If the former, do you remember at first death gripping your euc to get balance?

 

Edited by someguy152
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13 minutes ago, someguy152 said:

Do most ppl who ride keep their knees straight or out vs in towards the wheel?

I don't know where the count is at, but it is a common saying that in the beginning you tend to squeeze the wheel, but later on you learn to relax and let go, at which point your legs will not even touch the wheel. This is contradictory to the videos of several advanced riders, who have their feet at the very inside end of the pedals, and legs hugging the wheel at all times. I tend to ride so that my knees point forward, and legs touching the wheel just enough to feel that it's there and what it's doing.

I don't think any of this should matter to you that much though. 18S is an extremely tall wheel, and I've read that it requires a stance of it's own. What I would concentrate in is to find any position for your legs where you can relax them the best. I think it's OK to have them "wrong", it's not a bad habit you'd have a hard time learning off from later on.

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Alright - I think this was mentioned in passing several times but this is the reason I've fallen off my wheel 3 times now over my first month of riding - unexpectedly difficult bumps! I'm talking about riding right through them, not at an angle (still an issue for me sometimes but more understandable).  This would include terrain like uneven sidewalk edges - creating a raised 'mini-cliff' to ride over - or transitioning off of grass back onto road or sidewalk where, turns out, the threshold is too deep. In all scenarios I found the wheel gets jammed into the bump and I fly off.  All the above have happened on my firewheel f260: 16" x 2.125" wheel, and at this point I can't really tell which bumps to avoid, causing me bump/transition anxiety. I look at one threshold and think 'lets test it', I go slowly over it, and it was TOTALLY fine.  Then I go over another one that looks similar in severity to the last several tolerable bumps and my wheel gets stuck like it hit a wall. 

What do?? Change the tire pressure up/down, go faster/slower, any suggestions? Things like this are keeping me from going beyond like 8mph lol. Where every 3 feet is another bump or patch of crumbling sidewalk/road to negotiate. 

Edited by Glitched

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24 minutes ago, Glitched said:

Alright - I think this was mentioned in passing several times but this is the reason I've fallen off my wheel 3 times now over my first month of riding - unexpectedly difficult bumps! I'm talking about riding right through them, not at an angle (still an issue for me sometimes but more understandable).  This would include terrain like uneven sidewalk edges - creating a raised 'mini-cliff' to ride over - or transitioning off of grass back onto road or sidewalk where, turns out, the threshold is too deep. In all scenarios I found the wheel gets jammed into the bump and I fly off.  All the above have happened on my 16 x 2.15" wheel, and at this point I can't really tell which bumps to avoid, causing me bump/transition anxiety. I look at one threshold and think 'lets test it', I go slowly over it, and it was TOTALLY fine.  Then I go over another one that looks similar in severity to the last several tolerable bumps and my wheel gets stuck like it hit a wall. 

What do?? Change the tire pressure up/down, go faster/slower, any suggestions? Things like this are keeping me from going beyond like 8mph lol. Where every 3 feet is another bump or patch of crumbling sidewalk/road to negotiate. 

What wheel are you riding specifically? The power of the wheel greatly determines how it will interact with bumps.

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It's the firewheel f260 I got second hand, sorry should've stated it or just added it to my signature. It's actually 16" x 2.125" and the motor is guesstimated by others on here at around 550W. It's been modded by dmethevin to have two battery packs so that's like 520Wh.  ?

Edited by Glitched
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8 minutes ago, Glitched said:

It's the firewheel f260 I got second hand, sorry should've stated it or just added it to my signature. It's actually 16" x 2.125" and the motor is guesstimated by others on here at around 550W. It's been modded by dmethevin to have two battery packs so that's like 520Wh.  ?

I suspect that's your problem. It's a woefully underpowered wheel. The 1200w and greater 16-inch wheels out there will not have the issues that you're experiencing.

I have an old 14-inch wheel with equivalent spec's and it can fail on small bumps. This reminds me that I need to throw it in the trash. Underpowered wheels are the most dangerous devices around.

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