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Step-n-Roll: a caution for newbies

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If you are a beginner about to train on the Step-n-Roll, you will want to wear protection, not only from falls, but from the unicycle itself. Its sharp edges and hard surfaces will abrade your skin. Experienced riders, who aren't gripping the sides of the housing in a desperate effort to stay balanced, will not likely experience its ergonomic shortcomings.

170522_step-n-roll_chafing.jpg

Update 170524: With less than 10 minutes total on the pedals, the last time I mounted the unit and attempted forward navigation, the machine pitched me forward violently. Every time I have turned it on since then, the motor jerks to full speed, the emergency stop is activated, the motor stops, and the beep turns on.
On opening the controller panel, I found a loose connection in the yellow wire that I assume comes from the wheel position encoder. I pushed it back in, made sure all the connections are tight, and powered up again.
BAM! Same thing. Needless to say, I'm frustrated. I think the most likely fault is in the wheel position encoding or the gyroscope. I guess that if a traction MOSFET went bad, the wheel would probably stutter rather than accelerate to full speed.
Thoughts?
 

170524_step-n-roll_connector.jpg

Edited by alfu

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I think it's pretty much a given that new riders will abuse and bruise their legs as they learn to ride. Even with padding you can expect to experience discomfort for a month or two until you become fully adept at riding. No pain no gain as they say.

But the fun is very much worth the pain.

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I hear Thai kick boxers break their leg bones so when it next heals it's stronger, the pain you experience now will soon be gone. Funny thing with humans while we are in pain we feel it badly but as soon as it's gone we forget what the pain was, well for me it's always been that way. 

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Most issue could be avoided if new riders take a slow progressive approach. The people that get hurt are the ones that put one leg on the pedal, hastelly hoop on at zero speed and wiggle like a weed in the wind like hell fighting to figure balance and crash. Over and over. Eventually they get it. But not until a lot of pain and suffering an some face plants .

There has to be a central place with step by step with progression instructions. One foot, wall, shift forward and backwards on the same spot/.  Mount dismount until you are not hurting your inner leg. 

Forward stop dismount. Over and over for a couple of days. Forward for 5 meters stop and dismount. So on and so forth. The progression should last two weeks before they attempt to ride for extended periods.  Forward left turn stop. Forward right turn stop. Forward slow to crawl forward slow to crawl. Eventually start weaving left and right forward. 

Then uturns. And so on. 

Braking bones and brucing like others suggest it's just stupid. Because it only happened when you don't know the technics. Tech the technics, practice and use knowledge. 

 

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3 hours ago, Carlos E Rodriguez said:

Most issue could be avoided if new riders take a slow progressive approach. The people that get hurt are the ones that put one leg on the pedal, hastelly hoop on at zero speed and wiggle like a weed in the wind like hell fighting to figure balance and crash. Over and over. Eventually they get it. But not until a lot of pain and suffering an some face plants .

There has to be a central place with step by step with progression instructions. One foot, wall, shift forward and backwards on the same spot/.  Mount dismount until you are not hurting your inner leg. 

Forward stop dismount. Over and over for a couple of days. Forward for 5 meters stop and dismount. So on and so forth. The progression should last two weeks before they attempt to ride for extended periods.  Forward left turn stop. Forward right turn stop. Forward slow to crawl forward slow to crawl. Eventually start weaving left and right forward. 

Then uturns. And so on. 

Braking bones and brucing like others suggest it's just stupid. Because it only happened when you don't know the technics. Tech the technics, practice and use knowledge. 

 

It doesn't matter what technique  you use when you first start, you will always have pain somewhere on the lower part of your legs. Even if you could ride within the first few minutes your still gonna have to go through the pain factor of even standing, over time your body will adjust.

Yes true just keep practising over time everything will get better, techniques will only help with the speed which you learn, padding will lessen the pain but both of them won't mean there is none.

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On 23/05/2017 at 4:35 AM, Goodman said:

Funny thing with humans while we are in pain we feel it badly but as soon as it's gone we forget what the pain was, well for me it's always been that way. 

Would any woman ever have more than 1 child if that wasn't the case ?

Even an experienced rider can still get pain for a day or two when riding a different type of wheel. I used an IPS Lhotz for a day last summer on holiday (I really must get around to writing that up!) and had significant bruising and chafing on my calves at the end of it. I do not believe that is in criticism of the Lhotz, it was just its padding was not in the same shape and place as my Kingsong's, I probably would have had the same result riding a KS-14C for a day if I rode an Lhotz as my every day wheel.

P.S. I'm not at all sure about breaking a leg to make it stronger, the new bone around the break on my right leg I did in 1976 is certainly twice as thick as the original bone, but makes chafing of the skin twice as bad such that it was near impossible for me to ski for more than 1 week or the soreness becomes unbearable.

Edited by Keith

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Thank you all for the responses! You are right, of course: even Will Prowse says his feet are 'dying' after a ride around town.
I thought I would have to heal before trying again, but some guards cut from milk jugs stuffed down into my crew socks got me back on.

Sadly, that didn't last long; see update in original post.

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21 minutes ago, alfu said:

Thank you all for the responses! You are right, of course: even Will Prowse says his feet are 'dying' after a ride around town.
I thought I would have to heal before trying again, but some guards cut from milk jugs stuffed down into my crew socks got me back on.

Sadly, that didn't last long; see update in original post.

After putting in countless hours of riding my feet and legs can take anything now. I can ride at least 3 hours straight with no real discomfort. I guess you just have to put in the time.

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3 hours ago, Marty Backe said:

After putting in countless hours of riding my feet and legs can take anything now. I can ride at least 3 hours straight with no real discomfort. I guess you just have to put in the time.

I think you have natural endurance, Marty.  I've never found it easy to stand for long periods, especially in one position.  I have to shift my position constantly and can get pretty tired even doing essentially nothing, if I have to stand.  Having flat feet and scoliosis doesn't help, but everybody's got something ...

On the other hand, as a younger guy I could run for hours on end.  But that was changing position non-stop.  I think I'm going to have to move around and be a lot more squirrely and twitchy than most people on a EUC.  

3 hours ago, alfu said:

Thank you all for the responses! You are right, of course: even Will Prowse says his feet are 'dying' after a ride around town.
I thought I would have to heal before trying again, but some guards cut from milk jugs stuffed down into my crew socks got me back on.

Sadly, that didn't last long; see update in original post.

I love the ingenious ways people come up with to do things perfectly well and on the cheap!  Good going!

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I'll do a rolling dismount where I hop off the EUC then catch it one-handed as it goes by; the few steps I take does wonders in restoring my feet.

My intent is to smoothly do a dismount and mount while walking or running, just like that amazing French guy whose agility is second to none. I'm not there yet.

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2 hours ago, LanghamP said:

I'll do a rolling dismount where I hop off the EUC then catch it one-handed as it goes by; the few steps I take does wonders in restoring my feet.

I'd love to see a video! I think I know what you mean but it's always to get pointers on technique.

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4 minutes ago, dmethvin said:

I'd love to see a video! I think I know what you mean but it's always to get pointers on technique.

 

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I also (mostly) learned on step-n-roll.  I did not have the ankle injury; had the same leg injury - so added padding to the top of the EUC purely for leg protection.  (I'm an experienced manual unicycle rider - I beat my ankles badly when I first learned to uni).

I've had no mechanical problems with the step-n-roll other than screws in the front and rear fenders pulling out, and one battery level LED being flaky.  This wheel is now used almost exclusively for teaching others to ride, so it crashes lots!  I'm giving up on replacing the screws/filling the screw holes.  I'm now trying Gorilla Tape to hold the front and back fenders together; this seems to be working well so far (and also absorbs a lot of the abrasions).

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1 hour ago, duaner said:

I also (mostly) learned on step-n-roll.  I did not have the ankle injury; had the same leg injury - so added padding to the top of the EUC purely for leg protection.  (I'm an experienced manual unicycle rider - I beat my ankles badly when I first learned to uni).

I've had no mechanical problems with the step-n-roll other than screws in the front and rear fenders pulling out, and one battery level LED being flaky.  This wheel is now used almost exclusively for teaching others to ride, so it crashes lots!  I'm giving up on replacing the screws/filling the screw holes.  I'm now trying Gorilla Tape to hold the front and back fenders together; this seems to be working well so far (and also absorbs a lot of the abrasions).

Would you advise doing a tape-wrap preemptively, as soon as I get mine?

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Well I got mine today -- first unicycle ever ... and promptly scratched it.  I put some duct tape over the fenders and handle.  Not a big deal.

Definitely got some of the ankle and shin pain.  Since I don't know what I'm doing yet, the machine gets pressed into my ankle with my full body weight a lot.  Ouch dammit!

Wish my shin guards had arrived from Amazon, but it will be a few days yet.

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On 5/29/2017 at 4:09 AM, Dingfelder said:

Would you advise doing a tape-wrap preemptively, as soon as I get mine?

Sure. You should tape yourself all over. Make sure you put some armor under the tape unless it's Kevlar tape.  Make sure you don't tape your ears and eyes. You will need those.  LOL 

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8 hours ago, Dingfelder said:

Well I got mine today -- first unicycle ever ... and promptly scratched it.  I put some duct tape over the fenders and handle.  Not a big deal.

Definitely got some of the ankle and shin pain.  Since I don't know what I'm doing yet, the machine gets pressed into my ankle with my full body weight a lot.  Ouch dammit!

Wish my shin guards had arrived from Amazon, but it will be a few days yet.

I recommend boots and long pants, always.

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I have winter boots with gigantic clumsy soles.  They would provide padding but they are too big to fit on the tiny pedals.

Long pants, though, yeah.  

I do need  some serious protection, though.  I've got some nice bruises going in a couple places already.  No broken skin like the OP has.  But I seem to fall off in a way that jams the machine really hard into my shinbone with all my weight against it until I stumble free.  Not good.

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1 hour ago, Dingfelder said:

I have winter boots with gigantic clumsy soles.  They would provide padding but they are too big to fit on the tiny pedals.

Long pants, though, yeah.  

I do need  some serious protection, though.  I've got some nice bruises going in a couple places already.  No broken skin like the OP has.  But I seem to fall off in a way that jams the machine really hard into my shinbone with all my weight against it until I stumble free.  Not good.

WhenI was learning I bought construction worker type boots because I twisted an anckle and I did not wanted to get a really bad injury. It helped. It also helped with the anckle brusing.

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I wear these, usually. Be advised the sole is leather and therefore slippery on concrete. They provide good protection and since the sole is stiff a bit of comfort on the tiny pedals. The sole is quite thin; actually as a dress boots everything is thin and unpadded yet as leather provide good protection against errant pedals.

 

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