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I received my V5F+ yesterday and have had a lot of difficulty getting starting learning this thing.  I've watched several videos and tutorials and did a lot of research prior to its arrival, and am still struggling to get on the thing comfortably.  I've seen a few showing a person practicing by putting one foot on the pad and balancing while slowly bringing the other foot up, but this put tremendous weight against the calf of the mounted foot and is a bit painful.  After 2 days and hours of practicing, I still cannot mount without it hurting my calf and wobbling all over the place trying to get upright.  Additionally, the process of mounting and dismounting puts a lot of stress on my calf, to the point of my calf being bruised a very dark shade of blue and purple.  Is this normal, or am I doing something wrong?

Also, most videos show it touching both calves, but my calves physically cannot touch the pads at the same time because I guess I'm slightly bow-legged or something.  Is that an issue for stability or is it workable?

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True. It's one of the reasons why allowing people to try the Wheel is actually detrimental to sales. Typical initial impression by punters is 'how hard could it be?'—classic case is Richard Hammond on

Pain is normal in the beginning.   You are right.  With the wheel straight up and down, the pressure on your calve will be unbearable.  So you must lean the wheel at an angle to relieve that unbe

@Joe Holliday I echo much of what @dpong said. The sensation of the calf/shin weight on the leaning EUC's pad counter-balancing the downward gravity of your same foot on the pedal is a key concep

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1 hour ago, Joe Holliday said:

am still struggling to get on the thing comfortably

Getting on unassisted was one of the last things I learned. I would hoist myself onto the wheel using a rail or similar support. Trying to get on without this was very difficult for me. Even leaning against a wall, I wondered if I would ever be able to do it. The only reason I continued trying was YouTube proved it is possible! After countless failures over probably two weeks, suddenly one day I could do it!

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Getting on was really hard for me, had serious buyer's remorse the 2nd day. Perhaps should of got the electric skateboard or electric scooter. This video helped. At ~1:20 describes an exercise where you make small arcs with the unicycle. 1000 km later, so happy I pushed through.

Note: Initially I used a rope like a strap to help catch unicycle on bail-outs. Getting rid of it made learning to ride much easier. Probably because I was able to use both arms to act as counterbalance? With the strap I was spending too much time falling & less time committing to the ride ('Do or do not. There is no try.' ). Just wrapped my unicycle with more padding. 

Edited by f0dder1024
pivot exercise, no straps, buyers remorse
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2 hours ago, Joe Holliday said:

I received my V5F+ yesterday and have had a lot of difficulty getting starting learning this thing.  I've watched several videos and tutorials and did a lot of research prior to its arrival, and am still struggling to get on the thing comfortably.  I've seen a few showing a person practicing by putting one foot on the pad and balancing while slowly bringing the other foot up, but this put tremendous weight against the calf of the mounted foot and is a bit painful.  After 2 days and hours of practicing, I still cannot mount without it hurting my calf and wobbling all over the place trying to get upright.  Additionally, the process of mounting and dismounting puts a lot of stress on my calf, to the point of my calf being bruised a very dark shade of blue and purple.  Is this normal, or am I doing something wrong?

Also, most videos show it touching both calves, but my calves physically cannot touch the pads at the same time because I guess I'm slightly bow-legged or something.  Is that an issue for stability or is it workable?

@Joe Holliday.just keep practicing. your leg muscles don't understand the left right balance concept and they need training. As a consequence you will be trying 20 times harder putting too much pressure on your ankles. Maybe step back in the process. 

 - Use a wall.

 - Get balance while being stationary and holding the wall. Feel the left right balance and get the feet such that your ankle bone is not crushed against the wheel. If the wheel gets wobbly is because your muscles still don't understand how to stiffen the correct set of muscles. Stay in position and while holding the wall softly keep feeling the balance and try to keep the wheel in the middle. Crunching the wheel with your calves is not a proper technique. You need to practice these until you feel your muscles understand the method to keep the wheel centered.

 - When to use the calves. As you learn to turn your knee bends  and will touch the left or right calves as you turn and that is proper. Also you might need to squeeze both calves against the wheel to regain control if your wheel gets unstable due to some terrain. Or you are approaching some rough surface and you might squeeze the wheel as a precaution. Otherwise your feet do the controlling.

 - Think of it as two legs joint at the top by an horizontal bar(pelvic bone). The legs are attached by a screws(left-right-hip).  If the screws are loose the legs fall left or right at the hip level. Since your legs are on a pivot at the feet then the shifting occurs at the feet level and until your muscles understand the difference, your wheel will feel lose and tipping left or right while you try to balance your upper body like if you where on solid ground and that wont work. So your hips need to learn to lock that shifting . So tighten those hips so the legs cannot shift up and down and the wheel wont be able to tip because you have a stiff bridge connecting your two legs.

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2 minutes ago, dpong said:

Pain is normal in the beginning.  

You are right.  With the wheel straight up and down, the pressure on your calve will be unbearable.  So you must lean the wheel at an angle to relieve that unbearable pressure. 

For example, if you are placing your right foot on the wheel, and your left foot on the ground, then you need to tilt the wheel to the left.  Your right foot is on the foot stand, and the wheel is tilted to the left along your calf.  As you mount, you will return the wheel to straight up and down position. 

I use something - like my car, or a wall - to assist the mount, especially in the beginning.   So for this example, place your left hand on a support, while tipping the wheel to the left.  With your right foot on the stand, use your left support to help you get your left foot on the left pedal.  From there you can decide to try to ride off, or in the beginning, you can work your way along the car (or wall) to feel what that feels like. 

Good luck.  Took me forever, so any buyer's remorse you may be feeling should be temporary.  The fun is yet to come. 

Thanks for the response!  I'm glad to hear this is normal at the beginning as I really wanted to move on from my Segway Minipro to something faster and more agile.      Unfortunately, I've already had a few bad incidents with this thing that has tainted my wife's view on it.  Once during my first few attempts to mount it, I fell off and the wheel slung wildly to the side and veered towards and hit our wall, tearing a big hole in the sheetrock (there are no outdoor areas nearby with a fence to hold onto, so I practice in the house).  Another incident had it just inches from hitting our youngest daughter when she came in the room to see what I was doing.  I honestly thought this thing would be cake after learning to ride a regular pedal based unicycle, but I was obviously wrong.

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Thanks for all the responses everyone!  I feel like I am starting to get the hang of it.  I can go forward about 8-10 ft before having to either grab onto something or stop.  Getting on is still a little rough, but it seems to be getting slightly easier.  I'm also trying to train myself to lean back and come to a stop before taking my foot off.  I've noticed I have a bad habit of trying to take my foot off to stop while moving, and they causes the mounted foot to keep going, causing either the wheel to take off like a missile or to do a full half circle before crashing into my shin (ouch!).   I'll update as I progress. :)

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@Joe Holliday If you can already ride a 'real' unicycle, then you will be way ahead of most of us who started with the EUC version.  I think you are probably only struggling with some of the unique ergonomic issues of the EUC.  Once you have cracked those, you will start having a good time and being safe.

Pretend that I'm a really good instructor.  I instructed a friend of mine who is a unicycle rider, I gave him about 3 to 5 minutes of instruction.  Then he rode like this:

(That will be you, soon...)  (Hey, he gets better very quickly, and I was astounded at his very rapid progress!)

 

 

Edited by dpong
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8 minutes ago, Joe Holliday said:

Thanks for the response!  I'm glad to hear this is normal at the beginning as I really wanted to move on from my Segway Minipro to something faster and more agile.      Unfortunately, I've already had a few bad incidents with this thing that has tainted my wife's view on it.  Once during my first few attempts to mount it, I fell off and the wheel slung wildly to the side and veered towards and hit our wall, tearing a big hole in the sheetrock (there are no outdoor areas nearby with a fence to hold onto, so I practice in the house).  Another incident had it just inches from hitting our youngest daughter when she came in the room to see what I was doing.  I honestly thought this thing would be cake after learning to ride a regular pedal based unicycle, but I was obviously wrong.

 Also you should use the strap to prevent the wheel from wondering too far. Do not use the strap as a reign. Just used to restrain the wheel if it goes flying away. use a wall. the take short 10-feet slow speed forward, stop and dismount. When you learned to ride a bicycle you used training wheels so this is the same. You need to take your time to figure it out and build distance slowly by mounting riding and stopping until you have master that. Then you can go for longer.

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1 minute ago, Carlos E Rodriguez said:

 Also you should use the strap to prevent the wheel from wondering too far. Do not use the strap as a reign. Just used to restrain the wheel if it goes flying away. use a wall. the take short 10-feet slow speed forward, stop and dismount. When you learned to ride a bicycle you used training wheels so this is the same. You need to take your time to figure it out and build distance slowly by mounting riding and stopping until you have master that. Then you can go for longer.

Mine didn't come with a strap.  Can I use something else like a belt or rope?

Edited by Joe Holliday
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@Joe Holliday EUC is probably by far the hardest PEV to learn out, which is why Shane Chen of Inventist/SoloWheel fame also invented (after the SoloWheel) the 2-wheeled HoverTrax (which later gained infamy as the misnomered "hoverboard") to be more accessible and easier to learn.

 

IMHO I would get away from the wall as fast as possible. It's fine in the very beginning to get the sensation, but during my learning, all was stunted by the wall. Best suggestion I read in the beginning was to twist at the hips and try like hell to stay on the EUC. All motion and adjustment should come from your lower half.

 

And yes, balance is always the key to EUC. You should remain 'stacked', all limbs, upper, and lower body never straying too far from your center upright body plane. Hence, to stop, lean back until all motion has completely stopped, then dismount, otherwise you get the runaway effect you seem to be having.

Edited by houseofjob
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1 minute ago, dpong said:

A fallen EUC can be a dangerous object.  A useful tip:  If it falls down, don't reach for it!

That's another reason why I'm practicing indoors.  I made the mistake of trying it on concrete and it already took a dive and scrapped up one of the pegs.  Unfortunately, they forgot to include the bumper stripping that I ordered, so I only had a cover on it.  By the way, random question, what is the zippered area with the velcro under it for on the standard V5F+ cover (if anyone knows)?

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1 minute ago, Joe Holliday said:

That's another reason why I'm practicing indoors.  I made the mistake of trying it on concrete and it already took a dive and scrapped up one of the pegs.  Unfortunately, they forgot to include the bumper stripping that I ordered, so I only had a cover on it.  By the way, random question, what is the zippered area with the velcro under it for on the standard V5F+ cover (if anyone knows)?

first aid kit. LOL. Just kidding.

 

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Just now, Joe Holliday said:

That's another reason why I'm practicing indoors.  I made the mistake of trying it on concrete and it already took a dive and scrapped up one of the pegs.  Unfortunately, they forgot to include the bumper stripping that I ordered, so I only had a cover on it. 

Grass is often recommended so your EUC doesn't get totally scratched up in the beginning.

 

1 minute ago, Joe Holliday said:

By the way, random question, what is the zippered area with the velcro under it for on the standard V5F+ cover (if anyone knows)?

Is this the V5F+ cover with phone / music player attachment?

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6 minutes ago, houseofjob said:

Grass is often recommended so your EUC doesn't get totally scratched up in the beginning.

 

Is this the V5F+ cover with phone / music player attachment?

The cover didn't come with any sort of attachment. I ordered the bundle that comes with a cover (mine came with 2 covers), the handle and mudflap, and fast charger. I took a picture of part I'm referring to:

uni1.jpg

Edited by Joe Holliday
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54 minutes ago, dpong said:

@Joe Holliday If you can already ride a 'real' unicycle, then you will be way ahead of most of us who started with the EUC version.  I think you are probably only struggling with some of the unique ergonomic issues of the EUC.  Once you have cracked those, you will start having a good time and being safe.

Pretend that I'm a really good instructor.  I instructed a friend of mine who is a unicycle rider, I gave him about 3 to 5 minutes of instruction.  Then he rode like this:

(That will be you, soon...)  (Hey, he gets better very quickly, and I was astounded at his very rapid progress!)

 

 

Nice!  Wish you were my instructor!  That guy seems to be progressing much faster than me, and on concrete too!

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I also have the same wheel as you.

Mounting the EUC was my hardest thing to learn, and I ended up using objects to mount for the first weeks. I couldn't really practice mounting on grass; I kept getting stuck as the weight of myself and the wheel would make a depression.

I ended up going to a children's playground that had the soft rubber ground, and practicing there.

I will also say there's nothing wrong with stepping off with one foot at slow to moderate speeds as that looks like a rollerblade stop. I like using this stop (without the dragging) because it doesn't wear the wheels out much.  But you can do this stop on a EUC for when a car or a person comes in front of you. The really weird thing about doing this stop with a EUC is that the EUC feels both weightless and frictionless.

 

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My first wheel was a ninebot one e, how I learnt was for the first 5 minutes I used my narrow hallway inside the house. I used the walls to hold me upright, I held the wall with both hands and used my feet to lean forwards and backwards. When I learnt the forward and backward motion I used the walls to learn how to step on I practiced this for 5 to 10 minutes. 

This gave me a sense of how the wheel worked then I went to an empty carpark and discovered the joys of riding a euc. Try and relax your muscles it makes learning easier the more stressed you are the harder it is to learn.

Good luck uou will get it soon enough.

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I would reiterate what @meepmeepmayer said about practicing 20 mins a day. I started out practicing after work in the hallways using cubicle walls to help me stand up and to keep me from falling too hard. My calf had a bruise too the first day I spent really trying to mount with no wall help. 

I never used the strap, but if you do make sure you disable the cutoff switch on the handle from the inmotion app. Ideally, you aren't applying much upward pull on the strap while riding. Howver, I would guess is that, because you are new to riding you might rely too heavily on the strap for balance instead of as a way to keep the wheel from running off, after falling. 

Good luck!  It's a lot of fun once you get the hang of it :thumbup:

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