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John Eucist

How to ride an electric unicycle - understanding the dynamics

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I really worked hard today on the "triangle method".   I made some good progress on getting up without the training wheels.  The key thing I learned today is that you must put 1st foot at exactly the right "forward-back spacing" on the petal otherwise the unit will slide out in front of you or behind you.  The 2nd thing is that you must have a fairly steep angle of the 1st foot tilting the unicycle over towards the 2nd foot.  It also seemed very helpful to really jamb your calf against the upright of the unicycle.  That is what gave me the time to get the 2nd foot onto the petal during the "hop".

 

REAL PROBLEM:  3 times I experienced "unexpected stop" of unit while moving forward today.  See that thread: "Poll: Have you experienced an unexpected shut-off while riding?"   In it I tell my story.  Battery at 3 bars and just moving slowly.  The last time I was going like 5 mph and the stop launched me 5 feet through the air in front of the unit.  I am now afraid to ride it again.  It happens randomly when nothing special is happening.   Thank God for good knee pads and wrist protectors.  Does anyone else have this problem with the H3 Huanxi or MoHoo units?

   tjcooper

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I had good success training to run figure-8 on the euc. Large 8 at first and then try to get it smaller and smaller. Add a stop and go later on to it to train mounting at the same time. But yeah, hurt is part of the game, but its so rewarding afterwards

 

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10 hours ago, Jag_Rip said:

I had good success training to run figure-8 on the euc. Large 8 at first and then try to get it smaller and smaller. Add a stop and go later on to it to train mounting at the same time. But yeah, hurt is part of the game, but its so rewarding afterwards

 

Looks like a good suggestion I'll put in my learning schedule.

on second thought after today I'll add before the 8, the O figure left/right with the same suggested technique

Edited by EricGhost
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Hi,

I figured out that for me, learning to get on the EUC with the left and the right foot helps in confidence when getting on and off the EUC. We all have our favorite foot that we put on the pedal first, but I think it's worth trying to learn doing it with the other one, and not that hard.

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Yesterday I get out of the roller park for the 1rst time.

In the previous days I performed a lot of O at very low speed and then a lot of 8 at low speed once I felt very confident at low speed I tried the standalone jump up & start without the handrail,I succeeded somehow after three attempts and then got it around the 10-15 attempts

Then I performed 4rounds of the park lane (about 800 mt), avoiding pedestrians and bikes

Today I travelled up to the nearest big park 3km by bike lane, then performed 3rounds of the park (about 5 km) and got back home so around 11 km without problems.

I have a lot to learn still but I can say that after 12 hours of dedication in boring exercises you can safely start to enjoy the wheel

Critical now are the downside slopes even if they are not so steep, while upside slopes came to me more easily

Edited by EricGhost
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After about a week of practice, today I was able to go round and round the parking lot. I was on the wheel for about 10 mins without needing to hop off. Needless to say I am really thrilled... the practice is paying off :D

Now, I have started to practice mounting on the unicycle without assistance of a wall or pole. I have my right foot positioned correctly on the right pedal with the unicycle tilted at a diagonal to the right, right calf supporting the wheel. I now give it a gentle push forward and try to place the left foot and go. Problem is my left foot is usually way forward or back, never in the right position. One time it was so forward that I nearly tipped over while pushing off. I have managed to ride a little bit once or twice, but it's iffy at best... with me struggling to adjust the left foot constantly while moving.

What is the secret to having the 2nd foot positioned correctly? Would appreciate any tips on this.
Thanks
 

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11 minutes ago, animan said:

What is the secret to having the 2nd foot positioned correctly?

For me the secret was practice. At first, my second foot was almost never in the position I wanted. Gradually my success increased. Now I get my second foot in the position I want on the first try about 95% of the time. I am very bad at moving my foot on the pedal while in motion. I feel like I cannot keep the EUC under control while shifting my foot. Usually if I want to adjust my foot position, I either step off and back on again, or I find something to hold onto like a signpost or fence while I adjust my foot.

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21 minutes ago, MaxLinux said:

For me the secret was practice. At first, my second foot was almost never in the position I wanted. Gradually my success increased. Now I get my second foot in the position I want on the first try about 95% of the time. I am very bad at moving my foot on the pedal while in motion. I feel like I cannot keep the EUC under control while shifting my foot. Usually if I want to adjust my foot position, I either step off and back on again, or I find something to hold onto like a signpost or fence while I adjust my foot.

Yep. While it's possible to "wiggle" into my ideal position - it is so much easier to find a post to hold onto!

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I guess practice is it... no magic bullet. I did practice about 45-50 mins today, but mainly riding. Need to practice mounting as well so I don't feel embarrassed.

My TG-T3 went from full charge down to 1 bar in 50 mins...  time to look for another wheel :) 

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For me to learn riding the big thing that made it all just click, was riding in a narrow long corridor. Narrow enough to be able to always reach both sides and keep your balance with help from the walls. 

I tried some other tips from the forum for a few days like riding next to a wall outside and riding circles around a big clothes hanger outside, but that just didn't do it for me. Mostly cause I couldn't keep balance for more than 3-5 meters. So my tip would be to go straight to a narrow corridor to learn balance first, helped loads for me! Having things to grab on just one side of you or having a strap (tried both) just hinders your learning process because you ride bent and unnatural. Also you don't need a strap to not scratch your EUC if you learn to dismount one foot early on, think big triangle when you dismount one leg and you're fine. Arms out on both sides, no straps and walls on both sides was what did it for me!

Edited by Chris

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2 hours ago, Chris said:

For me to learn riding the big thing that made it all just click, was riding in a narrow long corridor. Narrow enough to be able to always reach both sides and keep your balance with help from the walls. 

a strap just hinders your learning process because you ride bent and unnatural. Also you don't need a strap to not scratch your EUC if you learn to dismount one foot early on.

Totally agree about using a hallway, due to heavy rain for the first couple of days I had mine, a hallway was the only place available and it helped enormously. By the time I was able to get out into the local park I could ride a good distance in a straight line and just needed to start working on turns.

However, everyone seems to misunderstand the use of the strap as your "bent and unnatural" statement shows. If you pull on the strap and use it as a balancing aid it does far more harm than good, if you ensure it is long enough to hold it loosely (but not long enough to go through the wheel) it prevents the wheel charging off and is a significant safety device. At least twice it prevented the wheel hitting a parked car and, when going faster and hitting the "wobble barrier" (I.e. Too fast to "dismount one foot" but suddenly wobbling so much you lose your balance) it stopped me faceplanting by pulling me up short as I flew off and the wheel fell over.

I kept a strap on for a couple of months, without it I would have been limited to the park for a hell of a lot longer as I'd have been too worried about damaging someone or something to use it to actually get from A to B. I only dispensed with the strap once I was sure I had speed wobbles mastered and sudden pedestrians, roots, speed humps, etc, etc were no longer a challenge.

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This has been a wonderfully helpful discussion for me.  I have about 3 hours of practice so far on my Airwheel X3 (about 45 min with training wheels, the rest natural).  The biggest problem I've had so far is one that hasn't been mentioned at all in this thread -- I have great difficulty getting the euc to move forward at any speed.  I can go backwards (but quickly step off because I'm not used to it) and I have pretty good balance.   But with or without the training wheels, I will push off pretty hard and move forward about 10-20 feet before I run out of speed.  I've tried weighting my toes and leaning far forward, but no matter how hard I try I have so-far been unsuccessful.  I'd be curious whether others have had this problem.  

I'm planning today to work through the triangle, etc exercises that this thread and videos have discussed and see where I end up after another few hours of practice.   

I learned to ride a motorcycle fairly late in life, and followed a similar path to the Airwheel, by reading everything I could get my hands on and putting them in practice (oh... and wearing protective gear).  I similarly found a huge amount of bad advice or incorrect science, and I've similarly found a lot of bad advice online with respect to euc's (in fact Airwheel's own instructions on riding their euc are sorely misleading IMHO).

Edited by Chris Westland
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@Chris Westland Try moving your feet further forward on the pedals if you're having trouble going forward. Don't worry if your feet stick out a lot in front of the pedals. 

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18 hours ago, Chris Westland said:

This has been a wonderfully helpful discussion for me.  I have about 3 hours of practice so far on my Airwheel X3 (about 45 min with training wheels, the rest natural).  The biggest problem I've had so far is one that hasn't been mentioned at all in this thread -- I have great difficulty getting the euc to move forward at any speed.  I can go backwards (but quickly step off because I'm not used to it) and I have pretty good balance.   But with or without the training wheels, I will push off pretty hard and move forward about 10-20 feet before I run out of speed.  I've tried weighting my toes and leaning far forward, but no matter how hard I try I have so-far been unsuccessful.  I'd be curious whether others have had this problem.  

I'm planning today to work through the triangle, etc exercises that this thread and videos have discussed and see where I end up after another few hours of practice.   

I learned to ride a motorcycle fairly late in life, and followed a similar path to the Airwheel, by reading everything I could get my hands on and putting them in practice (oh... and wearing protective gear).  I similarly found a huge amount of bad advice or incorrect science, and I've similarly found a lot of bad advice online with respect to euc's (in fact Airwheel's own instructions on riding their euc are sorely misleading IMHO).

I don't know where you ride but grass and gravel requires more effort to accelerate and maintain speed on. Maybe you should try a harder more even surface to practice on, I had problems maintaining speed on gravel when learning. It was like you describe about loosing speed, for me it was all an issue of failing to push the unicycle hard enough. The EUC just requires more when on those surfaces. Changing to a stiffer ride mode helped some for me as well, dunno if that's possible with airwheel x3 though!

@Keith Fair enough to not endanger others, but for learning I still think it's a misstake since it hinders the use of the arm you're holding it in. However maybe you could attach it to your belt, never tried that.

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I believe in the strap method, just don't hold onto it! Run the strap through the belt on your pants. Make sure your belt is worn sung around you waist so you don't loose your pants if the wheel drops?

My feeling is your concentration should be fully directed at learning how to mount and ride the wheel. If your focus is divided between learning to ride and fear of dumping your wheel the learning curve will take much longer. @Keith, yes I agree holding onto a strap is counter productive. You need your arms free.

I use my strap when learning a new technique. Riding forward and reverse is one example where I used it. I know many people pad the heck out of their wheels for protection. For me I don't like the idea of my wheel flailing out of controller as it bounces around the ground possibly loosing internal components or worse cracking the shell. 

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5 hours ago, Rehab1 said:

I believe in the strap method, just don't hold onto it! Run the strap through the belt on your pants. Make sure your belt is worn sung around you waist so you don't loose your pants if the wheel drops?

I just put the end of the strap loosely into my pocket - imho fixing the strap to the belt is dangerous if you are running off at higher speeds. Then the EUC will not get loose behind and could destroy your legs/ancles/etc...

if the EUC gets loose in front of you the force of "ripping" the strap out of your pocket is enough to kick the EUC aside so it stops. And if something precious/valuable/sensible is in front of you one can grap the belt and stop the EUC immedeately.

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@Chriull I never use the strap anymore except occasionally when learning new maneuvers or demonstrating like today. Yes I agree never use it going fast but I can see if the strap is not attached in some fashion it could easily become dislodged from your pocket without you knowing it and get caught in the wheel and instantly pull you down. There are so many methods so in my opinion what ever works best to help riders feel more relaxed and focused while learning. :)

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On 8/28/2016 at 11:14 AM, Shoe73 said:

@Chris Westland Try moving your feet further forward on the pedals if you're having trouble going forward. Don't worry if your feet stick out a lot in front of the pedals. 

Thanks Shoe73.  I have a few more hours under my feet now, and most of my teething problems just resolved themselves with experimentation.  There is a learning curve.  Right now I am struggling with uneven surfaces, but as you go faster most problems seem to evaporate.  It is very useful for me to hear about the experiences of others.   Whether I use a technique or not, it is something to try out.   

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