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Forget pads. We need clipless pedals!


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This thought struck out of the blue while taking shower:

For next level unicycle control we need to have our feet attached to the pedal.  The initial thought is bindings like you have with skis and snowboards.  These will detach when a strong enough force is applied so you don't break bones in a fall.

 

The problem with bindings is that they aren't quick enough to release when you just need to quickly bring a foot out, but that's exactly what clipless bicycle pedals do!  

Picture a regular unicycle pedal, only there is a little recessed pocket in the forward middle of the pedal that has the mechanism to catch the dongle doohickey on the bottom of your riding riding shoes. 

A twisting motion releases the foot from the pedal.

When you want to ride casually and not be locked in, the pedal would still work as it does now with regular shoes.

If this idea is already out there, my apologies.  Otherwise please send me 10 percent of all profits from best idea ever if you develop it. 

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Why would you want that? We have a lot of control already with good foot positioning, large pedals, good grip and power pads, people are doing figure skating with EUC's, acrobatics, going off-road, high-speed maneuvers, doing tricks in skate-parks, high jumps, steep ramps, you name it, so there is already plenty of control but you have to practice and practice some more to get there, being locked in with your feet is not going to help.

Edited by Rawnei
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Clipless pedals are small an have tiny point of contact. On the bike you are sitting on seat and don' lay all your weight on pedals. Wheel is another story, you need comfort of flat big pedals. Believe me or not but it wont work that way. Carbon soles wont help either. Try standing on clipless pedals for longer period without touching seat and bar.

It would be a lot harder to unclip after increasing pedal contact surface.

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I should have been more clear with the use case as I was really thinking about off-road riding and jumping. 

I will concede that the main problem is being able to instantly disengage... That would be the challenge and it would be crucial.

As for contact point... Your entire pedal is still the contact patch for your foot. It just happens to be physically attached at one point.

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Yes, 'will probably work better on rough terrain (off-road).  I've seen non-powered unicyclist use them on the trails and I've seen videos of folks riding EUC's on one leg. So, yeah, it's possible.

The metal cleats sticks out from the sole and will be slippery on hard surfaces but there are "recessed" shoes to minimize this issue. 

Disengaging will be instinctive and effortless in time and I would recommend Shimano "multi-release" SH-56 SPD cleats. I've used them on my trail bike in the last 15 years and reliably unclips every time I crashed (plenty). 

The bigger challenge, I see, is converting/fabricating the pedals for SPD.

And if you're really guna try it, start with only ONE foot clipped in - keep the landing foot free until your confident. But be warned that you're also, potentially inviting an ACL injury on this idea.

Good luck, safe riding and update us when do.

Edited by Surfling
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17 minutes ago, null said:

Hehe, this thing is invented every few months around here .
(We didn't hear back from the guy who was going to tape his feet to the pedals BTW)

*shivers* that's ominous to say the least. Well if we don't hear back from op I guess we have confirmation of the dangers associated with strapping/wrapping your body to a 25-42kg vehicle going who knows how fast. 

But I just don't understand what op's idea improves that isn't already optimized with proper pads. They lock you in more or less and disengaging is about as easy as not having pads, sorry if I missed something. 

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5 minutes ago, xiiijojjo said:

*shivers* that's ominous to say the least. Well if we don't hear back from op I guess we have confirmation of the dangers associated with strapping/wrapping your body to a 25-42kg vehicle going who knows how fast. 

But I just don't understand what op's idea improves that isn't already optimized with proper pads. They lock you in more or less and disengaging is about as easy as not having pads, sorry if I missed something. 

Indeed, if you wanted to apply more force with the feet (to replace power pads) it would be by pulling from the heels, not by locking the toes. While it might be possible to do something with magnets or a heel based mini pull pad it doesn't seem worth the hassle and added danger. If you dont want to MJ or use power pads, press with the tip of your foot. 

Edited by null
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I've spent many thousand miles in clipless pedals (3/4 on the road).  They are great for a bike but would terrify me on a EUC.  Coming off an EUC is quite different than coming off a bike. 

Imagine having an issue on an EUC and having to suddenly disengage a foot as a precaution in case it gets worse.  You would have to reduce your already compromised stability by almost 50% just to get out of the pedal (unload weight and kick out the heel).  Without being clipped in, if you hit an obstacle on an EUC, get the wobbles, or have an electronic failure, you have a chance to save yourself by running it off or setting yourself up to more gracefully try to tuck and roll.

I think it may be a good thing for extreme riders who are properly geared up and want every bit of advantage off road they can get.

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I have been riding mountain bike trails in Franklin NH and Ascutney VT this week on KS 18XL.  That's what got the brain working on ideas. (ideas which started with improving my pad placement which obviously is where my energy should go!)

In the cold light of day after riding some trails my idea doesn't seem as brilliant as it did in the shower.  

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No harm entertaining and sharing this thoughts, bro. You never know. Heck, initially, the EUC was daunting for me.

Topics of Clipless vs Flat pedals had been argued extensively and beaten to a pulp in most Mountainbike forums on-line. It eventually boils down to personal preference and skillage. I use both selectively on my bikes; Flats on pavement/commute and clipless on the trails.

'wouldn't surprise me if someone clips in on an EUC oneday and ride it like no other.  I'm sure the debate will continue then as well.

Happy riding to all!

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1 hour ago, Obee said:

I have been riding mountain bike trails in Franklin NH and Ascutney VT this week on KS 18XL.  That's what got the brain working on ideas. (ideas which started with improving my pad placement which obviously is where my energy should go!)

In the cold light of day after riding some trails my idea doesn't seem as brilliant as it did in the shower.  

Shower Ideas < toilet ideas....  The thought of clip ins on an EUC, sounds a tad suicidal, but I'd enjoy watching someone else do it.

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I only off-road for entertainment value (MTB trails). Only time I wish I had more grip on the wheel is extreme downhill where the wheel would effectively fall away from me and the power pads don't do enough to keep me locked in.

Now, for the times I was speeding down a trail and one of my pedals got clipped by a branch.. I am very happy I got launched forward and I could freely smack into the ground... As opposed to start spinning/flying around going from my speed to 0 in 0 seconds attached to a heavy wheel 😂

Even though I haven't tried it, for that reason I wouldn't even suggest studded pedals...

Some guy posted how his ankle/foot got completely smashed with just the studded pedals...

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7 hours ago, Crooznfbroozn said:

Some guy posted how his ankle/foot got completely smashed with just the studded pedals...

Only because of studded pedals or in combination with full logged in Power-Pads? :confused1:

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I find karambits to be a nice solution so that I don't have to go 100% pure commitment mode.

Even multi-release SH56 wouldn't work well as if we were to get air we would end up on the balls of out feet potentially disengaging from the pedals.
We would need to be clipped on the heel as that is where we go up first.

 

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you cannot adjust the weight on your feet to front or back.  You cannot sit down. Feel free to put some Look or Shimano on your EUC, I really don't recommend it.

I wear tactical Police boots, and I feel like I am locked into my EUC, the stability and support are better than any Skateboard sneaker. 

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I can't see a situation where I would want to use these. To unclip, you need to twist. On an EUC, a twisting motion will move the wheel! It would make fast mounting/dismounting harder too by adding an awkward unnecessary step, and wouldn't allow for adjusting foot position, or an offset stance.

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On 11/12/2020 at 5:20 PM, GothamMike said:

 

I wear tactical Police boots, and I feel like I am locked into my EUC, the stability and support are better than any Skateboard sneaker. 

Same here, I only ride with my calf-length heavy motorcycle boots. I had an accident while learning to ride (in sneakers) and rolled my ankle really badly. I have been riding in boots ever since. I tried riding in sneakers for a very short trip some days ago and it felt terrible, really wobbly and unsafe, like I had suddenly unlearned how to ride.

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How about electro magnets as pedals and steel plated soles? When the wheel is at speed, the pedals are magnetized. Cut outs, falls, stopping, they demagnetize. 

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1 hour ago, Kekafuch said:

How about electro magnets as pedals and steel plated soles? When the wheel is at speed, the pedals are magnetized. Cut outs, falls, stopping, they demagnetize. 

What if you are in a position where the motor will not stop?

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On 11/18/2020 at 6:40 AM, GothamMike said:

What if you are in a position where the motor will not stop?

Wow I searched electronagnets and they are cheap and 12V can hold 25lbs drawing 0.5A. Now I want to try putting a magnet on the pedal and a metal plate to my shoe. 
 

I think for round one, I will just have switch on my hand. For round 2, I think I can put the switch on the side pad. If My body tenses on bumpy terrain, locked in, if My legs release then the magnets release.

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20 hours ago, Kekafuch said:

Wow I searched electronagnets and they are cheap and 12V can hold 25lbs drawing 0.5A. Now I want to try putting a magnet on the pedal and a metal plate to my shoe. 
 

I think for round one, I will just have switch on my hand. For round 2, I think I can put the switch on the side pad. If My body tenses on bumpy terrain, locked in, if My legs release then the magnets release.

By no means do i encourage this however if you actually go through with this you need to film every time you ride so we can all witness what will become of you in an accident with eletromagnets...for science.

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