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John Eucist

How to ride an electric unicycle - understanding the dynamics

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3 minutes ago, RockyTop said:

Just wait, Keep riding and you will just keep getting better. Every time I think I have plateaued I find myself doing something that I could not before.

I agree. 3000km and still getting better. :) And not only in skill - a lot of it is the choice of equipment too.
If I lose 30kg I'll get better just because of physics...

Edited by atdlzpae

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Good suggestion. I am confusing maybe I could master it faster if I read this thread before I learnt. Now look back at the time I was learning it, I really wasted a lot of time on struggling with some trivial moves again and again. Past experience like hell.

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@Andy5225

14 minutes ago, Andy5225 said:

I really wasted a lot of time on struggling with some trivial moves again and again.

Don't you take pleasure in figuring stuff on your own? I often just skip instructions and go right into experimenting. :)
The 3 hours when I learned EUC were the best 3 hours of my life! And I took care not to read any tutorials on riding.

Edited by atdlzpae

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7 minutes ago, atdlzpae said:

And I took care not to read any tutorials on riding.

I tend to agree, the only 2 pieces of 'help' I would suggest to total newbies, having both my daughter and myself using them successfully, is

1: Statically turning the euc 90 degree, then 180, then 360 then ultimately spinning on the spot, using both feet. This really helps the body learn the weight, feel and power control of the wheel.

2: After this, I would advise the A frame mounting and dismounting. I cheated a bit as I can only do this with one foot but mounting and dismounting without assistance is such an essential requirement IMO that it can't be left out at the early stages.

Following both the above, we went right into trying to ride. No 'comfort blanket' walls or fences, just 'waypoints' for example a trampoline or shed in the garden say 10 feet away. This gives focus and a goal. Once one waypoint is reached without stopping, increase it bit by bit up to say 50'. Once you can ride 50' in a straight line without falling, you are pretty much there :)

All of the above can be done in a matter of hours although some do it in a lot less.

Of course, cornering comes after that but again I agree with atdlzpae, don't overthink things or spend hours watching tutorials. The learning of the above (which by default will involve lots of wobbles/twisting) will already have provided the groundwork needed to make turns. Just need to ride :)

 

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@atdlzpaeActually I am, I get excited once I could put my feet on the pedals smoothly without fear any more. It was super flushed like I finally conquer a little beast, LOL. BTW, I think your way in learning things would get more acquaintance in mind and much better sense of achievement. I would like take it.

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I like learning skills that require 100% concentration until I fail. And then I try again. :)
You could say that they don't require you to learn, they require the subconscious to learn the reflexes.

A few of those skills, every single one was a huge fun:
- Learning to ride a unicycle
- Learning to fly a drone
- Learning to fly an RC plane
- Learning to juggle
- Learning to free-dive
- Learning to play levels of Doom 2 on Nightmare
- Playing arena shooters (Warsow)

I'm waiting for a mechanical unicycle to show up somewhere near to learn to ride it. Just for the fun of it. :D
And the best thing is you never forget those skills!

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5 minutes ago, atdlzpae said:

- Learning to fly a drone
- Learning to fly an RC plane

I hear you there! Learning to fly an RC helicopter (in the days before any gyros or flights aids whatsoever) was and remains the hardest thing I have ever done.

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17 hours ago, Andy5225 said:

@atdlzpaeActually I am, I get excited once I could put my feet on the pedals smoothly without fear any more. It was super flushed like I finally conquer a little beast, LOL. BTW, I think your way in learning things would get more acquaintance in mind and much better sense of achievement. I would like take it.

That was the one thing that stopped me venturing out into traffic. It is essential to be able to do a smooth takeoff at junctions and traffic lights. I was really wobbly at first and know I would have wandered into any oncoming cars. I'd love to be at a Chooch level, where he just goes in small circles and backwards and forwards. Having said that, it isn't as easy here in the U.K as most of the roads are much narrower. 

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4 hours ago, Retrovertigo said:

That was the one thing that stopped me venturing out into traffic. It is essential to be able to do a smooth takeoff at junctions and traffic lights. I was really wobbly at first and know I would have wandered into any oncoming cars. I'd love to be at a Chooch level, where he just goes in small circles and backwards and forwards. Having said that, it isn't as easy here in the U.K as most of the roads are much narrower. 

So you should be extremely familiar with how to ride it before you get on road. I also a bit lack of confidence to ride on road because there are more complicated road condition than the places where you practice. Some mistakes may cause something bad, like hitting the strangers (horrible I was so close to let it happen once). Now I ride it to crowded places as less as possible, will look for a more suitable road instead.

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So...  I’m a very new rider (I now have a grand total of 3.5 hours of wheel time). I’m getting comfortable with some of the dynamics and am capable of getting pretty good linear runs in (long as I have a means to start).  I’m hit and miss with my turning comfort but can, with enough room, make the wheel go the way I want. I see turns the way I do on a motor(cycle) or car... brush off speed as needed, apex and accelerate out. Not sure if that’s appropriate, but.... Anyway, rather than brag about how accomplished I’ve become (tongue very firmly in cheek)... I’ll get to the liability.
 

I’m trying to get the free mounting (is that the correct term? - mounting without a fence or a tree or pole, etc. and getting up on the pedals) and incorporate it into my VERY early on training. Beside being MUCH more difficult than anybody on YouTube makes it look (at least for me) it seems to be affecting my sense of stability and comfort on the wheel. I was able to get maybe four (out of twenty or so) starts and actually stay on the wheel. Strangely though, nothing (even starts by pushing off a post or a tree) feel as confident. The wheel feels more wobbly all of a sudden.  I feel like I’m working much harder at balancing and the act of turning has not been easy, but felt better prior to free start practice today and turning feels more haphazard. I’m curious if others have experienced this and if I should keep trying to practice the mounting and riding from this position or get better from fence / tree / pole takeoff first. I’m trying to just put in small amounts of practice (15-20 minutes) at a time and know that there will be better and worse days. Any suggestions or direction on the best way to feel more confident and ideas as to why the wheel is less stable (clearly it’s me and not really the wheel - or the way I’m standing or positioned) would be welcome.  I did adjust the pedal sensitivity from 50 percent to 90 percent (seems that upping the sensitivity would make feee starting easier as the wheel would move forward more readily?). I also changed the ride mode (Inmotion V10) from “comfort” to “classic” (I’m not really sure what that has done?!?). Should I  keep practicing the free mounting or work on turning and getting more confident with the wobble? Both? Change tire pressure (I’m at 40PSI)? Thanks in advance!  Bradley 
 

 

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Free mounting is hard. Don't expect too much from yourself, it takes time. Seems you're doing well already!

The ideal stance and foot position is defined by being in balance (center of gravity over the wheel, so it stays still) while you're standing relaxed with minimal muscle tension. So the wheel doesn't do anything that you would have to counter, resulting in a less relaxed stance, less control, etc. It's not hard to imagine how a frantic free mount can result in less good stance and subsequently worse feeling of control. Maybe that also somehow transfers to your assisted stances?

Don't overthink and just do what feel the right thing to do. Be it further free-mount training or just ignoring that and riding.

Also, be aware how one-legged riding (free mounting is very short one-legged riding) works. You don't only put pressure on one side of the wheel with your leg, you literally (and consciously) rotate your knee in to push on the wheel's side with the front of your leg (approximately), not the side of your leg. It makes a huge difference.

This video is very good in general and also shows the knee rotation ("tuck your knee in") nicely.

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41 minutes ago, MR BRAD said:

Any suggestions or direction on the best way to feel more confident and ideas as to why the wheel is less stable (clearly it’s me and not really the wheel - or the way I’m standing or positioned) would be welcome.  

It may be related to different foot positioning. Usually the feet of beginners are too far backward on the pedal. It is pretty useful to be able to adjust the positioning. 

This is an exercise: put, at the same time, almost all weight to the tip (the ball) of one foot and to the heel of the other foot; it is not too difficult to even lift one heel and the opposite front foot at the same time; this is possible while standing and holding on to something or while riding. This is a first step to freely position the feet on the pedals by then twisting one foot back and forth. Twisting the foot moves it in direction of where its weight is.

In any case, keep trying, step by step, that's the way how to get there.

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@MR BRAD From what you have said, if you continue and use the advice above you will get there. It just takes time. As you said you will have good days and bad. I have not found anyone yet that could not learn to ride and become comfortable. Some learn quicker than others. From what you have said you are in the normal zone. My wife was in the much slower learning zone. (15 minutes a day for 6-8 weeks) She has no regrets. 

Some people like my daughter and brother learn in just a few hours but that is very rare. My daughter could stand in a hammock and swing back and forth before riding ...so yeah  ... some people just learn quicker. Don’t let that stop you from a good thing. 

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2 hours ago, MR BRAD said:

So...  I’m a very new rider (I now have a grand total of 3.5 hours of wheel time). I’m getting comfortable with some of the dynamics and am capable of getting pretty good linear runs in (long as I have a means to start).  I’m hit and miss with my turning comfort but can, with enough room, make the wheel go the way I want. I see turns the way I do on a motor(cycle) or car... brush off speed as needed, apex and accelerate out. Not sure if that’s appropriate, but.... Anyway, rather than brag about how accomplished I’ve become (tongue very firmly in cheek)... I’ll get to the liability.
 

I’m trying to get the free mounting (is that the correct term? - mounting without a fence or a tree or pole, etc. and getting up on the pedals) and incorporate it into my VERY early on training. Beside being MUCH more difficult than anybody on YouTube makes it look (at least for me) it seems to be affecting my sense of stability and comfort on the wheel. I was able to get maybe four (out of twenty or so) starts and actually stay on the wheel. Strangely though, nothing (even starts by pushing off a post or a tree) feel as confident. The wheel feels more wobbly all of a sudden.  I feel like I’m working much harder at balancing and the act of turning has not been easy, but felt better prior to free start practice today and turning feels more haphazard. I’m curious if others have experienced this and if I should keep trying to practice the mounting and riding from this position or get better from fence / tree / pole takeoff first. I’m trying to just put in small amounts of practice (15-20 minutes) at a time and know that there will be better and worse days. Any suggestions or direction on the best way to feel more confident and ideas as to why the wheel is less stable (clearly it’s me and not really the wheel - or the way I’m standing or positioned) would be welcome.  I did adjust the pedal sensitivity from 50 percent to 90 percent (seems that upping the sensitivity would make feee starting easier as the wheel would move forward more readily?). I also changed the ride mode (Inmotion V10) from “comfort” to “classic” (I’m not really sure what that has done?!?). Should I  keep practicing the free mounting or work on turning and getting more confident with the wobble? Both? Change tire pressure (I’m at 40PSI)? Thanks in advance!  Bradley 
 

 

Mounting and dismounting will teach you wheel control and foot placement. It is definitely a good drill. The problem is finding a way to do enough reps without dropping the wheel.

Here is my friend Mohamed learning how to ride. I filmed the process and I put time stamps in the description.

40 PSI would be very high for me on a V10. It would feel like riding a razor. But my riding weight when I tried 40 PSI on a V10 was 65kg.

 

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Thanks for all the words of encouragement and the advice. I don’t know if I could ever stand up in a hammock! Wow! Thanks for the encouragement @RockyTop and @Mono
 

I’m a little unclear (maybe that’s an understatement, but I’m a dolt! 😃) about keeping my knee (or below my knee but above my shin / ankle) pinned to the wheel @meepmeepmayer  I’m thinking it’s just a matter of practice and building muscle memory. The videos are great though. Thank you!!!

@Mike Sacristan, I’ve seen some of your other videos too. You and your wife (or girlfriend?) make it look so easy. And Mohamed seemed to get the mounting bit really quickly! I am doing a LOT of push off / step up and trying to ride further and further (still a lot more failure than success!). I recall a video where you were coaching your wife and breaking her of the habit of watching her feet. Any suggestions for that? There’s just A LOT of things happening at once!!! I’m 70ish KG and do feel that the 40PSI makes the wheel harder to ride (it feels slippery?? - not sure if that makes sense, but less pressure feels more stable to me). I just don’t want to get used to something too low or something that will hurt the wheel or pop the tire from compression against the rim. Any suggestions on what I should do for pressure? 
 

Thanks again gents!!! The support in this community is amazing!!!! 

 

 

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1 hour ago, MR BRAD said:

I’m a little unclear (maybe that’s an understatement, but I’m a dolt! 😃) about keeping my knee (or below my knee but above my shin / ankle) pinned to the wheel @meepmeepmayer

Ideally you only touch the wheel via the pedals. In the extent that this makes sense for your wheel's geometry.

I meant that you keep balance when riding one-legged (aka when free mounting) by rotating your knee in and then pushing against the wheel with the front of your leg (more or less), not simply by pushing your leg inside towards the wheel but not rotating your leg/knee.

It's a conscious step (at least if you've been doing it "wrong" before, like I did) to do it like this, and it helped me greatly going from precarious balance while free mounting to easy balance while free mounting.

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Oh and @meepmeepmayer, I’m assuming you’re referring to my already planted (on the pedal) foot being rotated in at the knee (as opposed to the leg that I’m pushing off of or hooping up with)?

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1 hour ago, MR BRAD said:

Thanks for all the words of encouragement and the advice. I don’t know if I could ever stand up in a hammock! Wow! Thanks for the encouragement @RockyTop and @Mono
 

I’m a little unclear (maybe that’s an understatement, but I’m a dolt! 😃) about keeping my knee (or below my knee but above my shin / ankle) pinned to the wheel @meepmeepmayer  I’m thinking it’s just a matter of practice and building muscle memory. The videos are great though. Thank you!!!

@Mike Sacristan, I’ve seen some of your other videos too. You and your wife (or girlfriend?) make it look so easy. And Mohamed seemed to get the mounting bit really quickly! I am doing a LOT of push off / step up and trying to ride further and further (still a lot more failure than success!). I recall a video where you were coaching your wife and breaking her of the habit of watching her feet. Any suggestions for that? There’s just A LOT of things happening at once!!! I’m 70ish KG and do feel that the 40PSI makes the wheel harder to ride (it feels slippery?? - not sure if that makes sense, but less pressure feels more stable to me). I just don’t want to get used to something too low or something that will hurt the wheel or pop the tire from compression against the rim. Any suggestions on what I should do for pressure? 
 

Thanks again gents!!! The support in this community is amazing!!!! 

 

 

Omg 40 PSI at 70kg. That is hell. Take it down to 30 PSI at least. Just don't go racing into any curbs and damage the rim.

The brunette in my videos is Monika (my wife). The blond is Petra (my friend). 

It is fine to be in contact with the pads. Just don't squeeze your knees together.

Don't worry about watching or not watching the mounting. That will take a few thousand km to get down haha.

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@MR BRAD welcome to the world of EUCs.

And yes it can br frustrating at times when learning. 

The post here below is some on my videos from my learning days. 

All  in all took me 1.5 hours of practice before riding to work. 

I would also like to add that after a few hundred km I got too confident... I didn't know that at the time, but looking back it took the better of 2500km before I got a native response when things go bad when you are not prepared for it. 

My best tip though, you just need to set small goals and if you can film your practice. Don't ride too long and then review your recording.

Once can ride, that is when the pain starts due to going long, pushing more for speed.... This is the part where accidents easily happens, as your body is tired and aching but yet push that little further helps build up stamina. 

BTW feel free to laugh at me flapping my arms in the videos above 😉 trust me we have all done this at some point in time. 

Side note, just saw you have an V10. It just so happens I have yet to ride a V10f/V10, but I just bought a V10f so hopefully I will get this next week. 

Edited by Unventor

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25 minutes ago, MR BRAD said:

Oh and @meepmeepmayer, I’m assuming you’re referring to my already planted (on the pedal) foot being rotated in at the knee (as opposed to the leg that I’m pushing off of or hooping up with)?

Yes, the foot on the pedal.

I used to push against the wheel body with the side of my knee without rotating it, and it doesn't work nearly as well as rotating the knee inside does. That's all I wanted to say.

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It’s amazing how you just keep improving the more you ride, I’d consider myself a intermediate rider, I only have 3000km total experience, there’s many things I can’t do and some that I could never do but now don’t even blink

 

i ride rough MTB trails reasonably well, but until yesterday never tried going up a gutter, or kerb/curb as some may call it

half an hour riding around a car park going up gutters and I feel comfortable now, a lot more practice is needed, but already the same off road trails I feel more confident hitting tree roots now knowing I can hit a square 8” obstacle and climb it like nothing 

 

then I watch a YouTube video and realise how much of a novice I am as you see people getting serious air and hopping much higher things...

 

oh well back to riding around practicing 

 

I need Kuji Pads I see, but I’m avoiding that as I feel I’ll be pushing the wheel beyond my abilities 

 

baby steps!

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@MR BRAD I'm still a relatively new rider, and I had a lot of problems mounting the wheel as well. I would eventually mount it, and go off in all sorts of directions. The problem of course, is that when mounting it, I was setting off with my feet not in the ideal position at all. When holding onto something to start, I could get my feet comfortable, and set off. But when mounting, my feet ended up in a completely different position, and that made it much more difficult to keep going once mounted.

 I learnt to ride and really relax as much as possible. Because while you are tense, it feels like gravity has increased a 100 fold and you can't move your feet at all while riding. Whereas now, I have found the position I'm most comfortable with (heels aligned with the back of the pedal. It stops my feet aching) and so when I mount, I can quickly adjust my feet and then be in control. 

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@Retrovertigo... thank you! So, is it just a matter of getting the feel (through practice) that helps you get your feet aligned? Do you always get your feet on the pedals where you want them or do you move them around as necessary? 
 

Moving my feet!!! another skill I can hardly imagine feeling confident with - but, eventually? Right? 
 

 

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8 minutes ago, MR BRAD said:

@Retrovertigo... thank you! So, is it just a matter of getting the feel (through practice) that helps you get your feet aligned? Do you always get your feet on the pedals where you want them or do you move them around as necessary? 
 

Moving my feet!!! another skill I can hardly imagine feeling confident with - but, eventually? Right? 
 

 

I very rarely mount with my feet exactly where I want them. I am still quite the beginner though. I've had my wheel for about 4 months now, but haven't even done 50 miles on it yet, because of various things getting in the way. And yeah, it's strange how you'll be riding and think "oh, I turned much easier"...."I just moved my feet without wobbling" … "I just looked over my shoulder to check for traffic without veering sideways"

 It all just starts to click the more you ride :) 

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