About Unicycle

By | 05/05/2013

History of the Unicycle

unicycle

unicycle - credit to www.bikeforest.com

Unicycle is a unique type of bike because it only has a wheel. Unlike its two-wheeled cousin the bicycle, the unicycle is a much simpler creation. It has no gear or chain and brake arrangement to move it. Rather the pedals are fashioned to directly crank the axle and move the wheel. [1] Throughout the history of the unicycle, the basic form remained more or less unchanged in form up until the late 1980s. Is a man named German Baron Karl von Drais who already use bicycles as a means of transportation jobs since 1816, Baron managed to complete this models in 1886, and later patented the design of the one-wheeled bicycle. You can see the bike at Paleis het Loo museum in Apeldoorn Netherlands. [2]

Types of Unicycles

Believe it or not, there are a lot of types of unicycles. Each type has its own qualities and advantages that makes it unique from others. [3]


This model fall into 7 different groups. These groups are:

Standard (unicycle)

This type has become the most popular unicycle ridden. It has a 20″ wheel diameter. If you’re just learning how to unicycle, a 20″ unicycle is probably your best option.

Cruiser

Unicycles with a 28″ or more wheel diameter are considered cruisers. This is a great size for all-around unicycling as you can learn lots of tricks with it, cover some distance, and basically do a little of everything. Cruisers are often called “Big wheel unicycles” or “Road unicycles”. They are meant for speed and to be ridden on the road. Due to the big wheel, it is more difficult to make sharp turns on cruisers than it is for standard unicycles.

Giraffe Unicycle

giraffe unicycle

giraffe unicycle - credit to virtual.cpcc.edu

These are tall unicycles, usually with a chain drive. Believe it or not, they are much easier to ride than they look. Giraffe unicycles start at 5 feet tall, a respectable height. It’s quite a view being 8 feet tall while riding. But even on a 6-foot tall Giraffe, your feet are only about 3’ off the ground so it’s not really as high as you think, even though observers will think you were ten feet up Giraffe’ pedals aren’t attached to the wheel. If they were, your legs would have to be about 5 feet long themselves! Not likely. Instead, the pedals are above the wheel. This category also includes multi-wheeled unicycles

Mountain (Muni)

Muni is mean mountain unicycle. This model using strong frame material, wheel sizes range from 24″ to 29″, but a 26″ wheel provides the most momentum allowing you to roll over rougher terrain and keep you more in control. Specially designed for use in little extreme places. For off-road riding, you generally want a thicker tire with beefier tread, longer crank arms for leverage, and stronger parts, especially in the axle and crank arms. It’s not really riding down a mountain, unless you want it to be, but rather it’s riding on trails in the woods. Just when you found a few rocks you have to ride over, and a lot of hopping over obstacles in your way.

Ultimate Wheel

Ultimate Wheel

Ultimate Wheel - credit to www.unicycle.com

it’s a unique one, with only a wheel and pedals. An ultimate wheel doesn’t have a frame or seat. The ultimate wheel doesn’t have spokes, if you noticed. This is because it’s a safety precaution so you don’t hit your ankle on the spokes while riding. Ultimate wheels come in pretty much the same wheel sizes as normal singgle wheel – from 20″ to 36″.

Impossible Wheel

Impossible wheel

Impossible wheel - credit to www.unicycle.com

The impossible wheel is also known as the “BC wheel”. An impossible wheel is basically just a coasting wheel with a place to put your feet. It’s a wheel with metal plates replacing the pedals. You stand on the metal plates and glide for a little bit. There is no pedaling required to ride this unicycle. BC wheels only come in one wheel size – 20″. You can ride on flat land and gliding until the wheel stops, or go down hills. Impossible Wheels are the only unicycle type you don’t have to constantly pedal

Monocycle

monowheel

monocycle - credit to gizmodo.com

A monocycle or monowheel, is the rarest unicycle. You sit “inside” the unicycle. You pedal like a normal unicycle, hold onto the handlebars, and the outsideof the wheel turns – not the part you’re sitting on.

How to Ride A Unicycle (The Easy Way)

  • The first thing about learning how to ride this type of bicycle is getting comfortable with the seat and mounting yourself on the unicycle. You can get two friends and have them stand next to you and hold their shoulders or you can hold onto a railing. Keep your weight on the seat, not the pedals. After you get comfortable sitting on this and manipulating the pedals you can try to ride.
  • Or you can use railing to support you. While you support yourself with the railing, practice pedaling forward and backward half way in each direction. and then simply begin pedaling forward just like on a bicycle while holding the railing.
  • After you learn how to ride a unicycle while holding onto the the railings, its time to go for it and ride on your own. Its a good idea when you first start riding without support that you create a goal and go that far. For example, set a goal of riding to the lamp post and rode that far and then stopped. You can continue doing this to get further and further. When you first start doing this your movements might be a little jerky as you pedal and try to balance. Over time your movements will become more and more smooth until you are so good that you are stalling and doing unicycle trials.

This is a great size for all-around unicycling as you can learn lots of tricks with it, cover some distance, and basically do a little of everything.

Reference:
[1] Unicycle | Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unicycle
[2] History of the Unicycle – http://www.unicycletoday.com/history-of-the-unicycle.html
[3] Types of Unicycles – http://www.unicycle.com/education-beginner-unitypes/

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About K. N

I am a graphic design and website programmers, as well as photography and bicycle lover. The founder & co-owner of PODOTEKO.com, a blog dedicated to giving cool information! I do what I love, and I love what I do!

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