Jump to content
John Eucist

How to ride an electric unicycle - understanding the dynamics

Recommended Posts

I wouldn't try to mount until you're good at riding, because mounting is so much easier when you can balance the wheel. But I think it helps to have a little push off (like a skateboard). I've seen people try to "get on" then "go forward" in two separate steps. The problem is you can't really balance the wheel if it's not rolling. So a little push off can help.

When I start, I have one foot on the pedal, and the foot that's on the ground is right next to the pedal. Do a little push off, step onto the pedal and go.

Edited by erk1024

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi guys. Thank you for all your responses and experiments. I have ridden my EUC about 3 hours and a bit more relief now. As I have posted, the problem of mounting is a challange for me still. I tried a bit but the balance of the EUC was so difficult for me. Now I can start riding after I mount totally with my two feet.I pushed a little and tried to mount but I was unsuccsessful. I have reached the top speed of my little EUC first time today. I really shocked how the selfbalancing techonolgy can understand and start slowing down just a smooth bending backward.  KS14D is mine first EUC so I can not compere to others but I was so relief and balanced as riding amid people or bikes. As a beginner I posted a pic of mine and do you think that my legs and knees position are correct or wrong? I really feel how tighten my EUC with my knee and legs today. 
https://ibb.co/mXbL0ZX

Edited by rdogus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, rdogus said:

do youthink that my legs and knees position is correct.

Looks good, just be sure to bend you knees a bit. There's a lot of bumps that you can't really see when you start to go faster.

You can see all the bumps (that's me riding) oin this video at 2:11:

 

 

Edited by erk1024

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@erk1024 It was an awesome trip with a wonderful atmosphere. I live in Turkey and unfortunatelly our city roads are worse than yours and we have so many bumps even in dowtown streets. I have not ridden my EUC amid the traffic just on the cycle way now. Today I fell over the grass because of there was a really a big hole and ıt was coverd with the grass. Luckily I had wore my protective gears. I will not ride in the trafficc unless I am totally relief to ride. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, rdogus said:

Today I fell over the grass because of there was a really a big hole and ıt was coverd with the grass

Yeah, I'm always warning people about grass. Grass can hide anything: holes, water, sand, mud and then getting back up onto pavement from grass can be tricky. ;)

You can ride on grass, I do it all the time, but just have to be aware of the risks.

Edited by erk1024

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi guys. I have been learning to ride for two weeks, I have noticed something when I am riding my KS14D. My feet number is 43 and the pedals are not so big for me. My fingers and heel are not on the pedal. When I am acclerating, I feel that my center of gravity is starting to flactuting its positon towards the back. Is it normal? When I feel that, I start thinking that I will fall onto my back. Thank you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, rdogus said:

Hi guys. I have been learning to ride for two weeks, I have noticed something when I am riding my KS14D. My feet number is 43 and the pedals are not so big for me. My fingers and heel are not on the pedal. When I am acclerating, I feel that my center of gravity is starting to flactuting its positon towards the back. Is it normal? When I feel that, I start thinking that I will fall onto my back. Thank you.

As a beginner I am not sure how much you know about your wheel. The KS14D is small and slow compared to many wheels but it is a good wheel and great to learn on. 

1) The Wheel has a top speed. When you get to that speed the wheel can not go any faster. It will tilt you back to slow you down.  You do not want to push past the tilt. 

2) The wheel has ride settings. The soft setting moves around quite a bit. You might want to set to a hard setting. 

3) When you hit bumps your feet might slide back a bit. Learning to bend your knees will help.

4) Your toes (fingers) should hang over the front more than your heals hang over the back. In your case I would guess that your heal should only hang off the back 1cm at most. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi guys, I am asking so many questions amid my learning period. Yesterday, I had a serious onface fall because of my panic, delusion and mostly related to my wrong decision. I was practising on asphalt cycle way that most part of it empty. I was listening to my one of favorite song and focused on the song. I heard the tiltback warning from my device and than I remember trying to slow down. But I guess I did not lean backward. I lean forward much more because of sudden delusion and panic on my mind. Then I thought that I could not slow down. I made a decision and jumped off from my KS14D. I was wearing my protective gears but I had some small bleeding on my knees. I really have fun as riding a EUC. What do you do when you are really riding fast and in panic. I will rest a bit and then resume riding again. Really need some advice amid these fears. Thanks for now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry you got hurt. You can set the Audio warnings to a lower speed so you will have more time to react before the tilt. The DarknessBot app even has a Separate speed setting that you can set that will stop the music on your phone and beep in your earbuds. Warning on the DarknessBot speed setting. Last I checked it only beeps at set a speed and does not take into consideration the battery level. 
I set my tilt to 10 mph and got used to the tilt so that when I hit it I would have practice. Setting the tilt at 3 mph Is to slow. It will likely throw you off every time. 
The truth is, The small KS14D is actually more difficult to ride than the bigger wheels. Small wheels are more twitchy and they make the bumps bigger. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@RockyTop thank you much. I have chosen my KS14D to use on pavements and amid people easily. On the other hand the budget also made me to choose KS14D. My tiltback limit is 20 km/h which is the half of KSD14D speed limit. Listening to a rejoiceful song make you ride more and more fast I guess so. The problem in fact I was shocked and frozen. This happened in a second and I decided to jump instead of reducing my speed by leaning backward. Will it be same again and again this is the point I really wonder. 
https://ibb.co/44gmxJF

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, rdogus said:

@RockyTop thank you much. I have chosen my KS14D to use on pavements and amid people easily. On the other hand the budget also made me to choose KS14D. My tiltback limit is 20 km/h which is the half of KSD14D speed limit. Listening to a rejoiceful song make you ride more and more fast I guess so. The problem in fact I was shocked and frozen. This happened in a second and I decided to jump instead of reducing my speed by leaning backward. Will it be same again and again this is the point I really wonder. 
https://ibb.co/44gmxJF

You are making it sound like the KS14D can do 40kmh. Did I misunderstand?

As Rockytop said you can practice the tiltback at a lower speed like 10-12kmh.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

2 hours ago, rdogus said:

Listening to a rejoiceful song make you ride more and more fast I guess so.

Don’t listen to music while riding, until you fully know how your wheel behaves, and you are comfortable controlling it in all everyday situations. Even still, many of us don’t listen to music at all, since we ride in traffic with other people, and hearing what happens around us is crucial for our and their safety.

2 hours ago, rdogus said:

The problem in fact I was shocked and frozen.

Practice the tilt-back. Set the top speed first to 10mph, then 15mph, and so on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your welcome. :rolleyes:

Top speed on a KS14D should be 30 km/h  (18.6mph)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just curious what foot stance you guys use when riding. Somehow I got it into my head to keep the heels out and my toes in/closer to the wheel but I'm noticing some lateral pain in the knees from what feels like unnatural twisting in my legs at times and I'm not sure if the foot stance has anything to do with it. Do you let a good part of your foot hang off the side of the pedal to keep it away from the wheel? That would keep my foot straight vs pointed in but still off the wheel, could feel a little sketchy hanging off like that though. I did manage about 20km yesterday but turns were pretty limited and knees still didn't feel so great by the end (this might have happened with other stances too, just not sure in my limited experience).

I found this recent post in another thread from @houseofjob referencing @Unventor's duck stance, maybe that's where I picked it up...

Quote

Keep doing this (wide stance).

It's more important that the heels are wide, not necessarily the toes, as my feet while riding are like @Unventor says, "duck feet": toes narrower than heels. This positioning allows you; with alternating weight emphasis of ball of one foot (knee bent), heel of the other foot (leg straight), then switch; to rock / dip the wheel. I never think of operating the wheel body fully erect and upright, always leaning one way or the other. The byproducts of this are sharper turning, and having the wheel body leaning one way or the other, the weight compensation of the heel emphasized, locked leg foot will create a vibration dampening that eliminates speed wobbles. Speed wobbles happen because, when the wheel body and rider are both fully erect and upright, any slight waver in maintaining equal weight in both feet (due to fatigue or an unforeseen bump, etc) can cause a wave of wobble alternation compounded by the natural gyroscopic force of a spinning wheel, a force that increases with higher rotational speed .

 

Edited by manieuc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, manieuc said:

Just curious what foot stance you guys use when riding. Somehow I got it into my head to keep the heels out and my toes in/closer to the wheel but I'm noticing some lateral pain in the knees from what feels like unnatural twisting in my legs at times and I'm not sure if the foot stance has anything to do with it. Do you let a good part of your foot hang off the side of the pedal to keep it away from the wheel? That would keep my foot straight vs pointed in but still off the wheel, could feel a little sketchy hanging off like that though. I did manage about 20km yesterday but turns were pretty limited and knees still didn't feel so great by the end (this might have happened with other stances too, just not sure in my limited experience).

The response of mine you quote was worded to help a newer rider overcome speed wobbles, and, as being a new rider, I didn't want to overcomplicate the wording / advice. 

"Duck feet"/heels-wider-than-toes, is just a simplified wording to help guys visualize the basic foot position easier: the actual motion (or at least the way I do) is much more dynamic and complicated than that (I go into this more on another post, but can't seem to find it at this moment).

 

To clear some misunderstandings you might have here:

I'm not literally just standing body straight up, wheel body straight up, never straying from this vertical plane, with my feet immobile, permanently flat on the pedals in a duck feet/pizza wedge/heels-wider-than-toes stance, whatever you want to call it, set-it-and-foget-it.

It's waaaayyy more dynamic than this.

There is no point where the wheel body isn't falling one way or the other.

There is no point where my legs aren't shifting/trading my body weight between the legs.

There is no point where one of my feet isn't heeling up and off the pedal.

There is no point where my feet aren't changing angles vs the wheel body.

 

The whole point of heels-wider-than-toes is so you can dip/fall the wheel body sharper to the ground. Having that wide heel clears the leg from the dipping wheel body for it to fall deeper.

Why do this?

So you can leverage the angled wheel body for better & easier acceleration: when the wheel dips/falls over to the ground, the pedal opposite of the "fall side" pops upwards at an angle, allowing you to press this sticking up pedal downwards for all-bodyweight, no-muscle acceleration force. And while the foot on the "fall-side" pedal needs to be heel wide to clear that leg (locked) from the wheel body for the dip, the other side leg/foot does not have to be heel wide, since there's no need to clear anything (mine is usually pretty neutral with heel up, any pressure on the ball of that foot; leg is bent).

As the wheel body dips over to the other side, the roles switch, where the heel-up "acceleration foot" pressing downwards, pivots outward at the ball of the foot so that the heel lands wide on the pedal, as that side reaches maximum dip.

Mind you, all this is for acceleration or turning. If I'm just cruising at lower speed, minimal lean, I can keep my feet relative 11's parallel with the wheel body, everything upright, just like most riders do. But start to introduce higher speed, higher acceleration or maneuvering, that's when my feet start pivoting at the balls, heels pivoting one wide to the other wide, and the wheel body starts rocking left-and-right.

Also, the degree of heels going wide is dependent on how deep I need to dip/fall the wheel body, ie. how hard I want to accelerate. For milder accelerations, my heels don't have to go very wide at all.

 

Not sure if this went over your head, but perhaps this might clear up some things(?) dunno.

Edited by houseofjob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks @houseofjob for the in depth response, that makes sense to me. I definitely knew you weren't riding "vanilla" as I've seen some of your videos and how much you carve. I guess I'm too much of a beginner yet (about 8 actual days of riding atm) to be able to adjust my feet on the fly like that, I can only do very slight adjustments. I'll probably be better off with less angle to them, but maybe still try to keep some distance from the wheel. I like to sway back and forth when I ride but I'm not to the point yet where I would call it sharp carving...more like a left and right flow.

It's wild how far off the pedal your left foot is here...that's kinda what I was picturing for being able to keep your feet straight but still have the room to tilt the wheel for carving. So I can test my knee pain, I'll probably try that next time I ride, but not quite so far off the side! I've had my toes pinned pretty much against the wheel and my heels angled away but still mostly on the pedal.

 

foot placement.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

just for reference, this is the extent of my limited left and right swaying at the moment, around the 20 second mark and at the end of the video:  

 

Edited by manieuc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@manieuc

I think foot stances can be very diverse. I know lots of people that use tight heels and wide toes. Others that do the complete opposite. Some like asymmetrical stances others want perfect symmetry. It often also depends on your wheel shape, where you are riding, pedal angle, etc... It goes to show that a lot of stances can work, and you just have to develop your own style.

Personally on the KS 16X I ride with my feet close to the wheel body and my feet parallel with a slight asymmetry, where my right foot is slightly more forward. Personally I do a lot of off-roading, and I find that I have better control over the wheel with a tight stance, it also reduces braking wobbles for me if I have to make an emergency brake at speed. Also, I find that tight helps for one-legged riding.

As for the asymmetry I use one foot mainly for braking and the other for accelerating. for example if I have to give way or at traffic lights it allows to slow down and accelerate very fluidly in a slight S-curved motion.

But on long rides I will often be moving my feet around on the pedals in different stances to reduce foot fatigue.

Maybe this vid shows my tight parallel stance a bit, sorry for the poor quality. I just filmed on my phone, fooling around while teaching my brother how to ride.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good stuff, thanks @Tazarinho I will definitely experiment with some different stances now that I know all sorts of options work. My next 3 rides I'll try the more straight stance close to the wheel like you mentioned for your 16X, then a straight stance slightly off pedals, and then lastly try with toes slightly out to see what feels better on my knees. I know that I like having one feet slightly forward of the other, that seems to work pretty well so I'll keep doing that too.

Once I get better with moving my feet around then I can adjust on the fly, looking forward to being that comfortable on the wheel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, manieuc said:

Thanks @houseofjob for the in depth response, that makes sense to me. I definitely knew you weren't riding "vanilla" as I've seen some of your videos and how much you carve. I guess I'm too much of a beginner yet (about 8 actual days of riding atm) to be able to adjust my feet on the fly like that, I can only do very slight adjustments. I'll probably be better off with less angle to them, but maybe still try to keep some distance from the wheel. I like to sway back and forth when I ride but I'm not to the point yet where I would call it sharp carving...more like a left and right flow.

It's wild how far off the pedal your left foot is here...that's kinda what I was picturing for being able to keep your feet straight but still have the room to tilt the wheel for carving. So I can test my knee pain, I'll probably try that next time I ride, but not quite so far off the side! I've had my toes pinned pretty much against the wheel and my heels angled away but still mostly on the pedal.

Sure thing!

While there are no rules here, nothing should ever feel unnatural IMHO, so knee pain from over-pronation is a sign something is not right.

The way I first started down this rabbit hole, and the way I would recommend (if you even want to go down this route), is to first have your feet in a natural and relatively 11 positioning, parallel to the wheel body, not too close to the wheel body, but also not to far away (something natural feeling, as if you would stand casually on the ground off the wheel). Then, focus on "leaning" the wheel for acceleration, not by by actual full body superman-style leaning, but by putting weight emphasis on opposing left ball of foot / right heel of foot, then switch. Your feet can stay on the pedals, but the key is to learn to apply foot pressure on the pedal at either the ball or heel, not both together. As you get comfortable and exaggerate this motion more, you'll notice the wheel will rock/dip left-right a little bit more and more between your feet, while your body independently remains relatively still and upright. 

The above is how I started messing with all this and ending up with the more complicated version above (2+ years in the making). Before this, I did a version of the "asymmetric" stance @Tazarinho explains above, which is a great and easy way to get you to split up your feet, operating on balls & heels. But ultimately, I went back to developing a more even feet with heels wide stance, because the asymmetric stance limits you with turns, one becomes turn direction becomes stronger than the opposite turn direction.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Finally got a chance to ride again, my left foot has been bugging me so I gave it a week's rest. I really liked keeping my feet fairly straight but with plenty of space away from wheel.

Whatever I end up with eventually as my main position, it was nice just riding with the knowledge that a variety of stances will work....I felt a lot more relaxed riding today with that in my mind.

Thanks guys!

Edited by manieuc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...