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17 Y/O daughter wants a E - unicycle .


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Looking for advice and feedback.  She would be ridding it in an urban area on the streets. Traffic can be busy. She is athletic and has good eye hand coordination.  Still, I am unsure.  Is there training available?  Instructors etc.?  I have been looking on line to see how old one has to be to ride one. I am unable to locate any.  She does have a drivers license.

 

Thanks

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Youngest riders are something like 4 year olds, oldest above 80. So there definitely are no limits because of age.

 Your post does sound a bit as if you were looking for correlation between an electric unicycle and a motorcycle more than an EUC and a bicycle, which it what it legally is related to in most countries’ legal system as well as riding habits.

 There are great learning guides on YouTube, and local riders all across the world tend to be helpful in teaching the basics to new riders. You could even find a local group ride and simply meet up with them asking if someone could help out, if the YouTube lessons don’t feel tangible enough.

Most importantly though, whether your daughter should try riding should be up on her, whether she wants to invest the time and effort it takes to learn to ride. An EUC is not a vehicle as much as it’s a lifestyle, since there is much more to physically learn before one can be considered safe enough to ride in traffic, than there is with any other vehicle. If she can’t be bothered to be interested enough, I don’t think she should even give it a try. I’d go ahead only if the idea of riding an EUC is exciting or interesting to her, enough to make her invest the time and effort.

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Maybe try using a supermarket shopping cart/trolley at the start.  Acts like a Zimmer walking frame.

Stand upright, no slouching or crouching.

Place ankles above the center of the pedals.  This lines up the vertical line of the body, with the vertical center line of the wheel.

Very slight body lean forward to start forward motion.

 

 

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Is she already good at riding the crowded streets on a bicycle? The same risks and rules apply, tho more so. An euc isnt as safe as a bicycle nor a moped in Southern Usa traffic conditions. As an adult (17yrs is close) with a license, I'd make her save up for a car, motorcycle or moped, if the commute was standard speeds of 35mph+. As @mrelwood mentioned, its more of a lifestyle . Euc's are a blast to ride and you can get around on them for sure. However, the stakes are high among traffic, and the legalities are grey.  Training is available(come on down to ShanesPlanet for a weekend), but its more to just get a person started. For some, it can take months to become somewhat safe on crowded streets. Most learning is done on our own. I am at a few thousand miles and 2 years and still not comfortable with driving busy downtown traffic here in the south. People simply don't know wtf they are looking at or how to act. Maybe she'll figure it out in no time and she will be a whizz at traffic patterns. A lot depends on how fast the road speeds are (limits +10mph of course) and if the city has bike lanes. I don't know if I'd suggest a young adult to spend $2k on an euc for their primary vehicle, unless they simply dont ever plan on going very far or very fast (relatively speaking). Of course, if they live in an area that is bike friendly (down here, cars HATE bikes), the risk is lower and feasibility is higher. Fwiw, my Sherman is the ony wheel I feel comfortable on, when the speed limits of the street are a mere 35mph. For most streets of 45mph+, I don't even bother. 45mph streets = 55mph cars. At a safe top speed of barely 45mph for even the biggest wheels, you WILL get run off the road on a fast two lane.

I'd suggest her watch a lot of euc vids and see what she thinks. Its pretty obvious to see what the skilled riders are riding, and what it takes to survive traffic patterns. I personally think it looks easier than it is, but I must be a slow learner.

Edited by ShanesPlanet
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Falling down with an EUC is quite likely to happen someday. Is she willing to use all needed protective gear? Many Youtube videos will give a very underestimating image of needed protection. Minimum is full face helmet, wrist guards, knee pads, sturdy shoes and covering, abrasion resistance clothes. At the higher speed or on the road with cars, more gear in needed: motorcycle helmet, motorcycle jacket, motorcycle pants, gloves, elbow pads, shoulder pads, back protector, chest protector and shin guards.

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4 hours ago, ShanesPlanet said:

Euc's are a blast to ride and you can get around on them for sure.

To summarize my previous babblings:

 I think that learning an EUC primarily for to be used as a vehicle for transport or commuting very rarely works, while if riding is already a lifestyle, it can definitely be used as a vehicle for transport and commuting as well.

And by “rarely works” I mean that it is very far from being safe, and due to the lack of experience not even very practical (stress, all the required gear, etc). Enthusiasts use a ridiculous amount of time and effort to learn the required skills. No other vehicle is the same on this regard.

 

I have no idea if the usual stats for beginners, but I practiced myself every day for a week before even trying empty cycleways in the middle of the night. Almost another week before going on peaceful cycleways during the day. By the time I considered myself relatively safe for crowded cycleways, I had been riding every day for a month, for well over a 100 miles in total.

Ask your daughter if that sounds like something she’d be interested in committing to. Replace cycleways with peaceful suburban roads if you don’t have any.

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30 minutes ago, mrelwood said:

I think that learning an EUC primarily for to be used as a vehicle for transport or commuting very rarely works,

While the warnings of @mrelwood are fair, don't feel discouraged. I would indeed check how determined your daughter is to learn and then ride and use the EUC. Young people, especially athletic ones usually have a much easier and quicker time learning an EUC. I have seen athletic people (not professional athletes) in their 30s learn to balance in a matter of minutes and riding confidently in a park among pedestrians within hours. However before sharing the streets with cars (which pose a higher danger than anything else) I would recommend getting proficient riding elsewhere -- bicycle lanes, sidewalks, parks, forests, fields etc. At that point you should also learn about the inner workings of the EUC: what do all the beeps and warnings mean, what is an overlean or overpower, how performance is affected by battery level etc.

It is definitely easier to crash on an EUC than on a bicycle [though I and many others believe EUCs are still much safer than the small-wheeled flimsy e-scooters offered by most kicksharing companies], even at slow speeds and I concur that safety gear, at the very least on a rollerskate level, is highly recommended, both during learning and later on. A full-face helmet is encouraged since faceplants are a common way to fall from an EUC [I personally wear a non-full-face bicycle helmet, this is a calculated risk on my part - I ride 90% on bicycle lanes and sidewalks and strictly < 15mph].

To summarize, if your daughter is really excited and dreaming about riding an EUC I do not see why not. If you are particularly worried about her safety you could perhaps come to an agreement of her always wearing safety gear and to only ride streets after she has a certain number of miles under her belt (100 as a ballpark figure?) and only after she has mastered the basic skills (confidently mount and dismount, emergency breaking, getting up and down minor curbs, riding over sticks, bumps and potholes)

 

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8 hours ago, mrelwood said:

By the time I considered myself relatively safe for crowded cycleways, I had been riding every day for a month, for well over a 100 miles in total.

This for me too. If not longer. Same with my 12 year old.

Theres a world of difference between being able to get going on an EUC on a patch of grass with no one around within a couple if hours, and being totally proficient/confident around people/dogs/vehicles etc at all speeds on all terrains. In fact, I have yet to see any new rider looking anything like a seasoned rider without a lot of hours under their belt. And a seasoned rider is what you need to be before you can call yourself proficient. Even riders with with a lot of ride time seem to struggle with certain skills - dismounting and mounting being one of them! Understandable I guess if you pick chill rides where you never tend to stop..

I would hate to put anyone off a life of euc and would always encourage newbies but some good points have been made and must be taken into account if the idea is to use it as anything other than a pastime, along a lovely empty coastal path into the sunset with no one around :)

 

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Might need to get to the stage when you can hit totally unexpected pot holes and bumps, and the body just automatically absorbs it and not fall over.

Falling off with protective gear on a bike path or park is fine.

On a road with moving cars, not so great.

 

Suspension wheels might be safer, and more comfortable.

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If she wants one, I'd let her get one. I'm seventeen and been riding since I was 15, so definitely not too young if thats what you're asking. As long as she knows the traffic rules, can be attentive to the road, and can use common sense, riding in the street is totally fine (That's where I ride). Best instructor is experience, just go for it and learn from your mistakes. YouTube is good for getting started, but after that, you're on your own (part of the fun). 

14 hours ago, ShanesPlanet said:

As an adult (17yrs is close) with a license, I'd make her save up for a car, motorcycle or moped, if the commute was standard speeds of 35mph+.

I'd take my RS over a junky old car any day. No insurance, gas, registration, little maintenence, and you feel like you're flying. Yeah, she should stay off of 35mph streets at first, stick to bike lanes and slower streets at first. Once she improves, knows her wheel, and common sense says its safe to do so, 35 mph roads are no problem.

Edited by Menace
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51 minutes ago, Menace said:

If she wants one, I'd let her get one. I'm seventeen and been riding since I was 15, so definitely not too young if thats what you're asking. As long as she knows the traffic rules, can be attentive to the road, and can use common sense, riding in the street is totally fine (That's where I ride). Best instructor is experience, just go for it and learn from your mistakes. YouTube is good for getting started, but after that, you're on your own (part of the fun). 

I'd take my RS over a junky old car any day. No insurance, gas, registration, little maintenence, and you feel like you're flying. Yeah, she should stay off of 35mph streets at first, stick to bike lanes and slower streets at first. Once she improves, knows her wheel, and common sense says its safe to do so, 35 mph roads are no problem.

Good advice for sure. I don't have issue with keeping up with 35mph streets on my sherman, but its simply too fast for my 18XL. 35mph means traffic is 40mph. I'd say it mostly boils down to the actual area and the person riding. Out here in the mountains, it pretty dicey to ride during rush hour traffic in town.

We should get together sometimes. You leave from NM on the RS and I'll pack up a wheel in my junky old '92 camry with 400,000 miles on it.  We can meet in the middle, how long you think its gna take? :P

Edited by ShanesPlanet
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10 hours ago, mrelwood said:

To summarize my previous babblings:

 I think that learning an EUC primarily for to be used as a vehicle for transport or commuting very rarely works, while if riding is already a lifestyle, it can definitely be used as a vehicle for transport and commuting as well.

And by “rarely works” I mean that it is very far from being safe, and due to the lack of experience not even very practical (stress, all the required gear, etc). Enthusiasts use a ridiculous amount of time and effort to learn the required skills. No other vehicle is the same on this regard.

 

I have no idea if the usual stats for beginners, but I practiced myself every day for a week before even trying empty cycleways in the middle of the night. Almost another week before going on peaceful cycleways during the day. By the time I considered myself relatively safe for crowded cycleways, I had been riding every day for a month, for well over a 100 miles in total.

Ask your daughter if that sounds like something she’d be interested in committing to. Replace cycleways with peaceful suburban roads if you don’t have any.

This is very very very very far from my experience. Quite a few people come to me for lessons with commuting as their intended application. In my area at least, success is more common than failure in this regard.

It may help that they are coming to a semi-formal school to take training and learn properly of course, that'd be a difference here vs most other places.

 

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4 hours ago, ShanesPlanet said:

Good advice for sure. I don't have issue with keeping up with 35mph streets on my sherman, but its simply too fast for my 18XL. 35mph means traffic is 40mph. I'd say it mostly boils down to the actual area and the person riding. Out here in the mountains, it pretty dicey to ride during rush hour traffic in town.

Yeah, I basically go as fast as I can because I don't want to be the one holding up traffic... I tend to get tailgated otherwise. Any road is too fast for the 14s, its side walks and bike paths for that one.

 

4 hours ago, ShanesPlanet said:

We should get together sometimes. You leave from NM on the RS and I'll pack up a wheel in my junky old '92 camry with 400,000 miles on it.  We can meet in the middle, how long you think its gna take? :P

Haha!! It would take a heck of a lot longer if I have to go through any of those hurricane states thats for sure... RIP bearings. No, if I needed to go places far I'd take the car, but where I am in life I can just catch a ride with my parents if I need to, and I plan on going to college in a big city... so a car doesn't make sense for me until after college. Plus I'm still working on my permit... :ph34r:got my euc right after the permit and kinda lost interest in driving. When I turn 18 I won't have to bother with it anyhow, just take the driver test and not worry about 50 hours including 10 at night. I already know the rules of the road because of the EUC and my silly drivers ed class and just need more practice actually driving.

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15 hours ago, mrelwood said:

I have no idea if the usual stats for beginners, but I practiced myself every day for a week before even trying empty cycleways in the middle of the night. Almost another week before going on peaceful cycleways during the day. By the time I considered myself relatively safe for crowded cycleways, I had been riding every day for a month, for well over a 100 miles in total.

Ask your daughter if that sounds like something she’d be interested in committing to. Replace cycleways with peaceful suburban roads if you don’t have any.

Nah, it took me like 5 days of riding about an hour a day to be able to ride on sidewalks. About a week and a half to be comfortable on peaceful streets/bike paths. Maybe I picked it up faster than usual, but being young and athletic would certainly be in her favor. Not sure about hand eye coordination because you can literally hold a bag of groceries in each hand while riding, but everything helps I suppose. If shes done her research on it and still wants to, I say go for it. Like I wouldn't impulse buy it, but if you've been looking at it for a week or so and are still interested, "nothing to lose but time" as one of my friends says (and money I suppose).

Edited by Menace
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8 hours ago, Menace said:

just go for it and learn from your mistakes.

And this is exactly what I wanted to be vocal about. The above quote being a method many use for learning to ride an EUC, makes a disaster out of a person who buys an EUC in order to commute ASAP.

You definitely don’t go learn from your mistakes amongst other people, traffic or not. The skills must be learned well before. There is no panic button, or even brakes for that matter. Even stopping in a way that doesn’t cause a fall at speed and a dent in someone’s car (or ramming over a toddler) requires practice.

I was a bit on the careful side when learning, which took me more time than it does for some. I’m aware of that. Still, @Menace’s two weeks of daily practice is still two full weeks. Does the OP’s daughter understand that it will take her weeks of daily practice, or does she think that if she was able to ride in traffic on a rental e-scoot after just 5 minutes, surely she’ll get the hang of EUCs in an hour or a few?

 

 I’m the last person to try to talk someone down from wanting to learn to ride, I hope you understand that it is definitely not my goal here. Simply based on the very limited amount of information we have, the original question reminded me of a scenario in which an EUC would absolutely not be a smart thing to buy.

 It also brought up dozens of scenarios in which this could be a start of a huge positive change in her life bringing an immeasurable amount of joy for years to come, but if a 17 year old girl is asking her dad for something she wants, I’m pretty sure she has laid them out point blank quite  a few times already. ;)

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23 minutes ago, mrelwood said:

And this is exactly what I wanted to be vocal about. The above quote being a method many use for learning to ride an EUC, makes a disaster out of a person who buys an EUC in order to commute ASAP.

You definitely don’t go learn from your mistakes amongst other people, traffic or not. The skills must be learned well before. There is no panic button, or even brakes for that matter. Even stopping in a way that doesn’t cause a fall at speed and a dent in someone’s car (or ramming over a toddler) requires practice.

I was a bit on the careful side when learning, which took me more time than it does for some. I’m aware of that. Still, @Menace’s two weeks of daily practice is still two full weeks. Does the OP’s daughter understand that it will take her weeks of daily practice, or does she think that if she was able to ride in traffic on a rental e-scoot after just 5 minutes, surely she’ll get the hang of EUCs in an hour or a few?

 

 I’m the last person to try to talk someone down from wanting to learn to ride, I hope you understand that it is definitely not my goal here. Simply based on the very limited amount of information we have, the original question reminded me of a scenario in which an EUC would absolutely not be a smart thing to buy.

 It also brought up dozens of scenarios in which this could be a start of a huge positive change in her life bringing an immeasurable amount of joy for years to come, but if a 17 year old girl is asking her dad for something she wants, I’m pretty sure she has laid them out point blank quite  a few times already. ;)

Yes, I meant go for it and learn from your mistakes, not in the middle of the street, but rather in a controlled environment (ie. empty street, parking lot, tennis court, driveway, etc.) I was saying that more in response to the question asking about instructors and training.

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My anecdotal experience is learning with no instructions and getting comfortable enough in 45 minutes to go out on the road.

I let a young guy I knew try my wheel once (18XL at the time) he learned in 15 minutes and was riding around well. Really bugged me.

Your milage may vary.

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