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never_home

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Hello guys

I'm getting frustrated and I know I must be doing something wrong but I can"t see what.  I've watched just about every beginners video on Youtube and it looks so simple!  Any advice would be MUCH appreciated

My problem is that I can't step onto the wheel!  I have a brand new Begode T3.  I can easily hold the wheel upright with one leg (left leg dominant) and I can quite comfortably control it in a half moon circle around my right leg.  The problem comes the moment I try to step on.  The wheel immediately tries to tilt left and my left leg is pressed hard against it to counter the tilting moment.  This does two things:

1). The pad presses painfully into my upper calf/shinbone to the extent that I now have a large bruise there.

2). My knee is pressed laterally sideways (i.e unnaturally and painfully) in an effort to prevent toppling left by compensating with my upper body.

I can, potentially, mount this way but there is no finesse about it, no possibility of placing the right foot on carefully and absolutely no prospect of any delay or one footed riding.

What am I doing wrong?  From a physics perspective I can see why the wheel would behave as it does.  My 90Kgs (194lbs) weight downwards is placed off centre and the wheel reacts with approximately 13Kgs (28lbs) horizontal force directly at the point where my calf/shin meets the edge of the pad and not far below the knee joint.  My question is: how do I deal with this in a calm, controlled and painless way?

I have ordered a 10mm yoga mat to cut up and some double sided tape.  I figure that, even if I can't stop the forces, if I can remove the "sharp" contact point of the edge of the pad and distribute it evenly along my lower leg things could improve.  A towel acts as a good pad but my leg is still bruised (so painful) and the sideways knee forces are undiminished.

It could be that I am doing something quite wrong and that extra padding is unnecessary but I just don't know what that would be.  Do you guys have any ideas?

Many thanks

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Hello! Welcome to the forum. Initial pains are I think common, they sure were with me when I was learning. Perhaps one power pad on the dominate leg side would help here.

I suspect that part of what you are experiencing is coming down to a fear of dropping the wheel. If you have grass available that would take a lot of pressure off of that fear, a large indoor carpeted room like a recreation center if available would also be good. Or you can try padding the wheel areas that are likely to contact the ground on a drop.

It sounds like you have been working on your free standing control which is great but when you are attempting to fully mount are you also rolling forward? Mounting requires a simultaneous mount and roll, not a mount and then roll. Also bringing the second leg up should for a person learning just be a momentary thing, bring it up and right back down again repeatedly as this teaches your body the movements you ultimately need to mount/dismount.

This whole process can take longer than what you may have initially imagined for your learning process. It just has to be done to the point where you are finally successful for however many times you need to do that. Some people learn super quick, others not so much. :confused1:

As for the videos, I found a lot of them were actually giving bad advice for learning. Too many of them focus on using crutches that in reality handicap your learning.

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Half circles then full circles with one foot on ground, then little hops off the ground with your other foot pushing slightly harder each time until you 'roll' your body up and into the centreline position directly over the wheel. Your kick-off should have started you moving slightly, and go with that, leaning smoothly forwards whilst looking straight ahead. As soon as your other foot is up lean forward slightly more to get to 6 kph, after which angular procession will take over and keep you level...

When you first start free-mounting, do so next to a chain link fence, or something you can grab if you kick off too hard, and feel yourself falling over the centreline. 

As soon as you are moving with constancy readjust your foot positions if you need to so that you are in the most comfortable stance on the wheel, which is sometimes not instantly achievable when you first get up.

If you find your leg is hurting loads holding the wheel at the right angle as you mount, and that doesn't go away after a weeks daily practice, you probably need better padding or better foot-ware. Motorcycle touring boots are excellent in this regard as you have full leather & inner padding at least half way up your shins, and if you have better third party pads on the machine as well it'll stop hurting and you won't even feel much pressure. If you can cope with MotoX boots they are even better in that regard and have the best leg, foot and ankle protection available. However they lack flexibility and are heavy, and hard to reposition (SO grippy) so not recommended for new guys so much. Touring boots much easier to cope with.

Edited by Cerbera
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Maybe try approaching the problem in the reverse order.

Ride first....learn the mounting/dismounting later.

Use a supermarket trolley like a walking aid, mounting will be easy.

Practice riding in a straight line, forwards and backwards, moving onto gentle curves, turns.

The riding familiarizes the brain and body to controlling the wheel.

The mounting and dismounting freely, might then become a lot easier.

 

electric unicycle Msuper: learn with the shopping cart

AMLnZu8ZcN_CZ9qBYk_JECJHXlfSnzZTqWreiAbe
Apr 19, 2016
 
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Thanks to both of you.  The problem is simply the difficulty of raising my right leg off the floor without causing pain to my left leg and maintaining the wheel upright.  Its not to do with moving forward or putting my foot on the other plate.  Simply shifting my weight from the floor foot to the wheel mounted foot causes the problem.  I am able to make continuous circles with the wheel but that involves keeping my weight on the floor.  If I could post a video I would.  Is it possible to post a link here?

Thanks

D

 

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Yes posting a link is definitely possible. I think you are going to have to keep experimenting with foot placement and it sounds to me like a power pad (or something home brew) would help you. A lot of this really comes down to perseverance and pushing through the pains while your body is learning and building muscle. I definitely had a lot pains when I was learning, in fact I still have pains but fortunately they are no where near as bad now.

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I hate the trolley method. Not only does that make you rely on having something to hold on to, but there are 4 wheels on a trolley that often have their own independent ideas about where they want to go, and you are actually making yourself hold a lot of tension in your legs, arms and body to maintain correct distance from the trolley, which leads to over-tired muscles, is the opposite of the way you should be riding, which is almost entirely tension-free, and actually makes controlling direction significantly harder if the trolley disagrees ! AND it divides your attention, which should be focused the wheel, and the feeling / feedback you are getting from it, not on trying to control the direction and distance to a rickety old basket on tiny rubbish wheels ! :)

Literally the only good thing that trolley does is stop you falling over initially. In all other aspects it is teaching you the wrong things to do and training the wrong muscles to do it !

Edited by Cerbera
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3 hours ago, never_home said:

2). My knee is pressed laterally sideways (i.e unnaturally and painfully) in an effort to prevent toppling left by compensating with my upper body.

 

Sounds like maybe your left foot on the pedal, is positioned too far away from the body of the EUC.

If you have your left foot in contact with the EUC, then when mounted, the left leg, from ankle to knee/mid thigh, is in contact with the EUC.

The knee would therefore not be:

2). My knee is pressed laterally sideways (i.e unnaturally and painfully) in an effort to prevent toppling left by compensating with my upper body.

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1 hour ago, never_home said:

maintaining the wheel upright

ah. Try allowing the top of the wheel to tilt inward so it follows the line of your leg when your feet are a bit more than shoulder width apart. There's a video somewhere... You don't want the wheel standing straight up and down or it'll have too much leverage against your leg. If it's hugging your leg when you mount, it won't smash into it (as hard). The mounting part then involves a subtle sideways and forward 'slide' to the wheel so that your weight eases onto the pedal. Padding helps BTW, tape-and-rags or baby foam... anything!

Check out the 'rules' topic on the forum, you'll find instructions for posting videos and pictures. Pasting directly into a reply does work but each member has very limited space and that quickly fills up. It's better to link to another host.

Edited by Tawpie
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When you learn to "mount" it - you won't notice it pressing against your leg anymore. The more you mount on/off the less you will press against upper part of the leg. (My case - i barely touch the wheel with my knee, while mounting. It takes 1 second to mount and go..) So you won't even notice the wheel pressing against your leg.

"New" rider pains.. Simply keep trying and you will get it.

Don't forget ass soon as you place both feet on pedals. You MUST do the "trust fall" forwards. Same as if you stand up right now and start falling forwards. (Naturally you would step forwards to catch yourself.) When you are on EUC - it will catch you.

 

You don't even need to tilt the wheel. At least i don't do that anymore. I simply ride one legged (Wheel is already going forwards.) And then put my other feet on pedal.

Push of the ground as you would be riding skateboard. :D And then place feet on pedal.

Don't press it... Simply put your other feet on the pedal FAST. The contact of my knee and EUC is about 1-2 second. While i place my other feet on it. - I do that.

 

Also try placing you feet little bit over the pedals. Like 1/3 Over the pedal front. (Wheel will start to ride itself forwards, so it would be easier to mount as it will automatically go forwards..)

 

Soon as you place your second feet on pedal. Do the same on EUC. Fast as POSSIBLE!!!! trust-fall-failThis did the trick for me..

Edited by Funky
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Did you see at the very start. He isn't pressing the wheel again the side of his leg.. He simply leans it sideways. More or less all contact/weight is on pedal only.

And as soon as he place other feet on pedal - he leans forwards "trust fall". (Check his upper body as soon as he places both feet on pedal - he is falling forwards. The same way as falling on face. It's literally a "trust fall".)

Also don't look at EUC while mounting - it helps.. Look forwards. (Even if you don't place feet in right position - you are learning to mount it DOH.. Over time.)

 

 

Edited by Funky
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5 hours ago, never_home said:

Thanks to both of you.  The problem is simply the difficulty of raising my right leg off the floor without causing pain to my left leg and maintaining the wheel upright.  Its not to do with moving forward or putting my foot on the other plate.  Simply shifting my weight from the floor foot to the wheel mounted foot causes the problem.  I am able to make continuous circles with the wheel but that involves keeping my weight on the floor.  If I could post a video I would.  Is it possible to post a link here?

Thanks

D

 

If the pain is psyching you out, take a few days off. It will help your brain rewire and your bruises to callous up a little. Trust me, you will be better when you try again.

Also, not sure if you got the point about little hops with your right leg being done while in motion. In other words, use your left leg to scoot the wheel straight forward with your right leg hopping along on the ground to keep up. As you scoot along a straight line, just hop your right foot up onto the pedal for a second and back down without stopping. Knowing you are going to step right back down makes you more relaxed about the whole thing.

Keep moving and keep hopping up longer and longer until eventually your right foot stays on and you are riding. At that point, if you're already at the place where you can ride once mounted, you are good to go. Controlled dismounts are pretty easy in comparison.

Edited by UPONIT
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5 hours ago, mrelwood said:

Sounds like most of the responders don’t fully understand the issue, and have probably not encountered it themselves. @Tawpie is on the right track though, like he usually is.

The T3 has abnormally sharp top edges. Most EUCs are curved at the top, but the T3 only has a small additional padding over the top edge. If the top edge of the wheel just happens to reach a hard point on your shin, it definitely does get painful! I had the exact same issue with my first two wheels, Lhotz and especially the 16S, since the contact spot was so low that it made the wheel push against my leg that much harder. I still can’t mount an unmodified 16S without pain.

I and my dad have zero issue mounting 16S. It doesn't even touch our side leg. (Okey it touches little bit..) But most of the weight is only on pedal. I don't even press against my 18xl side almost at all while mounting. (It touches only lightly.. The whole weight isn't againt's it's side, but only on pedal..)

While you are "hopping" one the pedal. The wheel angle straightens. And when your second feet is already on pedal. Wheel looks like you're image. - It's straight. Not pressing against the dominant leg.

Edited by Funky
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I have an Mten3 and as I and other Mten3 owners such as Tawpie knows it requires a specialized technique to mount it.  You almost have to not put any weight on your pedaled foot; kind of like allow it to "float".

 

 

Something like what this girl does in this video -----

 

 

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Thanks again, all for taking the time to add your help.

To be clear, this is solely a mounting issue.  I am not concerned about falling backwards, forwards, or damaging the wheel.  I am trying both outdoors unsupported and indoors with a wall/ doorjamb for support.  I am not trying to follow through into movement yet, nor am I, necessarily, trying to get my second foot on the wheel; even lifting it up and putting it down is difficult and painful.  Whilst I fully acknowledge that commencing the mount at the same time as rolling forwards will help stability, this is not the issue.  The issue is the immediate lateral force that is applied to my leg as soon as the floor foot is lifted.  If you imagine mounting a pair of stilts, the top of the stilt might be hip level, or even shoulder height and, therefore, the force required at that point to overcome the lateral movement is much reduced.  Not so with mounting a wheel. It is true that the bruising to the shin bone is now so great that I will have to wait a while for that to subside before trying again then, hopefully, the padding I fit will help.  Perhaps the "invisible" box method is something to use.  I notice that in videos of people riding one legged, the wheel is tilted over much more than when they mount, so perhaps that is needed for prolonged balancing but for momentary mounting you are only counteracting the imbalance briefly and can be ameliorated by "hopping" on.

I will try to post the link to a video for your comments.

 

Many, many thanks

 

D

PS mrelwood is right.  The lower edge of the T3 padding feels sharp and not like padding at all!

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11 hours ago, Funky said:

(My case - i barely touch the wheel with my knee, while mounting. It takes 1 second to mount and go..)

I can see how, once you get a bit of experience you could "hop" on the wheel without upper support but if it takes 1 second, that is either one high hop or you must be supporting it in some other way?

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2 minutes ago, UPONIT said:

Can I get a signed print of this sketch? It's strangely pop-art adjacent...:D

I think you illustrate the problem perfectly.  The contact point, for me, a long legged 1.86m male, is the lower edge of the support pad.  It has become excruciatingly painful to the point that even putting a towel padding in place doesn't help much.  I have become a bit like the princess and the pea (if you know that fairy story?).  I'm sure once the bruising has gone down it will get better and I will put in longer 10mm thick padding.  I will persevere and get there, with your help!

 

D

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16 minutes ago, never_home said:

It is true that the bruising to the shin bone is now so great that I will have to wait a while for that to subside before trying again then, hopefully, the padding I fit will help. 

That's why I encouraged you to take a few days off. That's spot's got to untenderize. All the other tips are to help it not happen again by only spending a second with that sharp edge against your shin.

One thing I didn't see mentioned: there's no law that says you HAVE to mount with your dominant leg. Eventually you'll learn to mount with both legs. Why not start now learning to mount with your right leg on first?

Good luck!!

Edited by UPONIT
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1 minute ago, UPONIT said:

there's no law that says you HAVE to mount with your dominant leg. Eventually you'll learn to mount with both legs. Why not start now learning to mount with your right leg on first?

Thanks

It's a good idea and I have tried a couple of times, and the bruising is less (because I've only done it a few times).  One reason I tried is that I noticed that when mounting my bicycle, I place my non dominant foot on the pedal and push off with my dominant leg before swinging it over the saddle.  I tried the other way round and it just felt weird, so maybe there is some mileage (pun) in trying that on the EUC.

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Okay so this sounds familiar. As I said before when I started out I had various pains to deal with, some of them really daunting. It's a matter of toughing up those parts and muscle building. Your body has never been used like this before so it is not surprising you're encountering these difficulties. In my early days my feet would be screaming so bad on my initial commutes that I questioned if I could go on.

Slowly and gradually the body parts in use toughed and got stronger, it just took time and me taking care of myself. I wish the wheel was around a long time ago but I'm very happy that it came around when I was still able to muster the ability to ride. The wheel for me has been a major game changer for my needs. It saves me an incredible amount of time and gives me a great deal of satisfaction.

Keep at it, when things click for you it will all be worth the start up costs. :)

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I'm not sure if this will help or not but as funky pointed out, there shouldn't be enough pressure on your leg to cause pain. Most of your weight should be on the pedal and make sure you keep the EUC directly underneath yourself when "hoping" on. I actually mount sometimes with the EUC slightly flopped away from the leg i have on the pedal and when i mount , it stands upright again. You can practice the mounting part holding on to something. Hope this helps.

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