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idling and wheel sizes



 
 
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  #1  
Old August 17th 03, 09:41 AM
Mikefule
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Default idling and wheel sizes


Hi, welcome to the sport.

First, the wheel sizes. The simple answer is that a 20 inch wheel is 20
inches in diameter; a 24 inch wheel is 24 inches in diameter, and so on.
That means 24 inches across, from the outer edge of the tyre to the
outer edge of the tyre.

However, it's not quite that simple. If you buy a standard 24 inch
unicycle, with a fairly average tyre on it, then it will be 24 inches
across. If you take that tyre off and put a big fat off road tyre on
it, then the actual diameter will increase, but it will still be
referred to as a 24.

So, think of the wheel size as 'nominal' or approximate. It is a
guide.

As a general guide:

12 inch and 16 inch wheels are mainly for children, or very small
adults, unless you particularly want a small wheel for some special
reason.

20 inch is a good beginner's size. It's easy to learn on. It's light
and manoeuvreable.

24 inch is a good all round size. You can learn on one. It's a bit
faster than a 20, and it will roll over rough ground better.

A 24 with a very fat tyre (3 inch section) is effectively 26 inches in
diameter, and very good for off road use.

A 26 is good for off road, but a bit less manoeuvreable than a 24.

A 28 is good for road use, and covering distance.

Put a fat tyre on a 28 and you get a 29, which is good for going fast
over rough ground.

A Coker is a 36 inch tyre (made by the Coker Tire Company) and a Coker
is very big, very fast, great fun, and is good at covering long
distances and rough ground as long as it's not too hilly.

Idling: This is one of the vital skills for a good safe rider. It's a
way of staying in one place without having to dismount. The rider's
head stays still, and the wheel passes a short distance forwards and
backwards beneath him/her. Imagine a pendulum.

Idling takes a bit of time to learn. There are threads giving lots of
advice. Use the search facility in this forum to find those threads.
If you can't get on with that, ask again, and someone will give you
whatever advice you need.

Idling on a 20 or 24 is pretty easy, once you have the skill. As the
wheel size increases, idling becomes more demanding. Idling a 28
requires care, and idling a Coker is hard work.

Later, you may want to experiment with different length cranks. Short
cranks make the unicycle faster, but less controllable. idling on short
cranks is harder work. very long cranks (170mm or more) also make it a
bit harder. Your first unicycle will almost certainly have 125mm cranks
or 150mm cranks. (125 on a 20, 150 on a 24.) These are the 'right
size' for general use, and learning.


--
Mikefule - Roland Hope School of Unicycling

"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we
fall."
Confucius
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  #2  
Old August 17th 03, 06:43 PM
iunicycle
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Default idling and wheel sizes


Although idling is an invaluable skill, and you might be interested in
learning it right away, there are a bunch of other skills that are also
important, but less exciting, or obvious. The unicycle skill levels were
developed as a rough guide on the order in which skills are easily
learned.

Skill levels are explained he

http://unicycling.org/usa/levels/

I have an integrated description of most of the skills at:

http://iunicycle.com/unicycle/skills/standard/

Search or ask questions here for any skill you don't understand.


--
iunicycle - Old back, new cricks
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  #3  
Old August 17th 03, 11:40 PM
Mikefule
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Default idling and wheel sizes


I know we've had this discussion before about skill levels... but...

The official skill levels no doubt serve a useful purpose in that they
provide a structure for people who want to develop their unicycling in
one particular direction: freestyle. On the whole, the skill levels
give an indication of which skills are easier or harder to learn.

On the other hand, unicycling is such an individual and eccentric sport
that I find it hard to reconcile the individualist mindset of the
typical unicyclist with the apparent need to have some sort of
'official' validation of one's ability.

But that's a philosophical or psychological discussion. The thread
started with queries relating to learning 'basics' like idling.

I like to differentiate between 'skills' and 'tricks'.

To illustrate: freemounting, riding in a straight line, turning a
corner, and stopping under control are 'skills'; doing a kick up mount,
and riding one footed in a circle would be 'tricks'.

As I see it, 'skills' are things which would help any unicyclist,
whether (s)he prefers MUni, cross country, trials, freestyle, touring,
hockey... whatever aspect of unicycling appeals most.

All unicyclists benefit from being able to do the following
confidently:
Freemount
Ride forwards
Turn in each direction
Stop under control and dismount

Once a unicyclist can do these things, it's simply a matter of
improvement. I rode for 15 years with no other skills.

The next stage for a keen unicyclist would be to learn:
to idle (ideally with either foot down)
to reverse for short distances

A unicyclist who can mount, ride, turn, idle, reverse out of a tight
spot, ride on, then stop and dismount is in a position to develop
his/her riding in whatever direction (s)he chooses.

Hopping may be the next 'skill' as many people use this to get over
small obstacles without dismounting. Likewise, most unicyclists would
benefit from being able to ride down small drops (kerbs etc.).

After that, anything else is a 'trick' rather than a 'skill', to my
mind.

I'm not saying this to denigrate the skill levels, or to denigrate
tricks. It's just that a complete beginner (such as mequauni, who
started the thread) might be misled into thinking that it is 'important'
to learn, say, one footed riding, or one footed idling, or 5 sorts of
freemount. It isn't important, it's just fun.. which is important as an
end in itself.

I keep reading rumours of a set of skill levels being developed for
other disciplines. On the one hand, it would be interesting to read the
list; on the other hand, I don't see how it could be quantified or
assessed. I think it would be helpful for beginners to have some idea
of what would be the best order to learn skills. I'm not sure it would
be a good idea to have people dropping off 6 foot walls in the hope of
winning a certificate.


--
Mikefule - Roland Hope School of Unicycling

"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we
fall."
Confucius
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  #4  
Old August 18th 03, 12:30 AM
paco
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Default idling and wheel sizes


Thank you Mike for two excellent posts. I agree with both your
assessment of wheel sizes and the difference of skills and tricks.
If you plan on buying a unicycle (Mequauni, not Mike), be prepared to
buy at least two. The first one is good for learning the basics on, and
after you know what you're doing and have decided on what type of riding
(or types of riding) you plan on doing, you can decide what size of
wheel to get for a higher quality uni. The most common are 20" and 24".
It's hard to confuse the two after seeing them next to each other.
And speaking of seeing, the best way to know what the skills and tricks
are is to see an actual unicyclist performing these tricks. When that's
not an option, looking at the videos on unicyclist.com might work.
Anyone have links to videos of some standard skills in the albums?


--
paco - Creator of the "BUni"

"One thing is for sure. Inspector Clay is dead. Murdered. And
-somebody's- responsible!"
-Plan 9 From Outer Space
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  #5  
Old August 18th 03, 03:45 AM
iunicycle
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Default idling and wheel sizes


Mikefule wrote:
* It isn't important, it's just fun.. which is important as an end in
itself.
*



In the end it is important to have fun. If you can have fun with a few
skills, great! I like learning new skills, or tricks, whatever you want
to call them, because I'm greedy.

The skill levels don't just apply to freestyle. My personal opinion is
that it is easiest to learn skills on a smooth level surface with a 20"
unicycle. These are usually termed freestyle unicycles, but maybe the
trials and Muniers will just start calling them trainers.

Skill level skills are a progression of skills. In general you should
learn skills in the order listed in the levels, but of course everyone
will find that they have certain areas they learn faster than average.
You can also learn a skill by just practicing it over and over until you
get it. But the skill levels can tell you a lot about why you might be
having a problem learning a skill. For instance, if you can't idle or go
backward, have you been able to ride forward, stop, go back 1/2 rev and
then continue forward? If you can't do seat out, can you ride with your
stomach on the seat?

If you have no problem learning a skill, the levels are probably useless
for you. If you don't care about learning new skills, they are also
useless. If you have seen someone gliding down a street for 100 yards,
and you think that is cool and want to do it, the skill levels might be
interesting to you, not necessarily to pass, but as a guide on how to
get there.

Once you learn something on a 20", it will be relatively simple to
translate that to another unicycle size or type.


--
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  #6  
Old August 18th 03, 05:45 AM
john_childs
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Default idling and wheel sizes


Mikefule wrote:
*
I like to differentiate between 'skills' and 'tricks'.

To illustrate: freemounting, riding in a straight line, turning a
corner, and stopping under control are 'skills'; doing a kick up
mount, and riding one footed in a circle would be 'tricks'.
*


They're all skills. I don't do tricks.

There is no trickery involved in doing any of the unicycle skills.
There is no trickery involved in doing a kick up mount or riding one
footed in a circle.

Calling it a trick makes it seem like there is some sort of trickery
going on. Magicians do tricks. Unicyclists do skills. A magician
doing a trick that involves slight of hand is doing something tricky
even though the manipulation may require great skill. If you know the
"trick" the magicians slight of hand trick or illusion isn't as
impressive. Somehow I don't think we'll ever have a "masked unicyclist"
going on a Fox TV special revealing the tricks behind the unicycling
skills because there are no tricks.

I would also differ with your opinion that learning the "advanced"
skills doesn't improve your overall riding. I firmly believe that
learning freestyle skills like seat in back, seat on side, one footed,
wheel walking, backwards circle, etc. improve your muni skills even
though you'll never do something like seat on side during a muni ride.
Learning how to balance and control the unicycle while it is held in
different positions improves your balance, improves your overall riding,
and improves your muni riding.


--
john_childs - Guinness Mojo

john_childs (at) hotmail (dot) com
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  #7  
Old August 18th 03, 07:40 AM
gerblefranklin
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Default idling and wheel sizes


I agree with John that there isn't such thing as a trick on a unicycle.
I think skills should be seperated into potentially useful skills and
cool skills. For example, a cool skill would be to wheelwalk with one's
hands, it ain't useful but it's cool. A potentially useful skill is
gliding, although it's also cool. I also think wheelwalking and
onefooted wheelwalking are potentially useful because they lead to
gliding, and they teach you to balance only with your hands instead of
your hips.
I also disagree that one should follow the skill levels to
learn new skills. For example, I can wheelwalk onefooted a figure eight
(a level 9 or 10 skill) but I sure as heck can't sideride or hand
wheelwalk. I also was very capable of chestriding long before I could
ride seat out in front. I've learned almost all of my skills by
usefulness. I only got into wheelwalking to learn to glide, and one foot
wheelwalking was just part of the bill. Unless you want to compete in
UNICON, the skill levels need only be a source of ideas and inspiration.
And as always the true goal is to have fun.



__________________________________________________ __
Pride in something hard earned is not a sin-It's an entitlement.


--
gerblefranklin
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  #8  
Old August 18th 03, 10:53 AM
GILD
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Default idling and wheel sizes


john_childs wrote:
*I firmly believe that learning freestyle skills like seat in back,
seat on side, one footed, wheel walking, backwards circle, etc.
improve your muni skills even though you'll never do something like
seat on side during a muni ride*



probably not
having mentioned it tho, i'm sure someone will try
pics please?

if u dont like the term 'tricks' as it's currently used, please suggest
a new term
suggesting a trick is only a trick if it involves trickery is taking
language on a bit of a holiday and is getting unnervingly close to a
discussion on faggots i recently had with sendhair

shouldn't we be out practising?




--
GILD - Waffle-tosser

Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life.
Immanuel Kant

'pleez check this out' (http://www.reuniteluna.com/)

JUST SAY 'KNOW'!

Namaste!
Dave
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  #9  
Old August 18th 03, 11:33 AM
duaner
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Default idling and wheel sizes


Mikefule wrote:
*I like to differentiate between 'skills' and 'tricks'. ... As I see
it, 'skills' are things which would help any unicyclist ... Anything
else is a 'trick' rather than a 'skill' ...*



john_childs wrote:
*
They're all skills. I don't do tricks.
There is no trickery involved in doing any of the unicycle skills.
...
*



I like the distinction between a "skill" and a "trick". Since there is
no trickery involved in "tricks", maybe "stunt" would be a better word
than "trick"? Whatever it's called, I like the distinction. As
Mikefule pointed out, there are more basic skills (e.g. freemount, ride,
turn) and more advanced skills (e.g. idling, hopping). The distinction
is of course somewhat gray, for example, hopping with seat out front is
(in my mind) largely a "stunt", but it would be useful as a "skill" for
clearing larger obstacles.

Mikefule, two comments on your ordering of skills:

I would put learning hopping (or some other manner of getting up / down
/ over small bumps) earlier on the list than reverse, because almost any
ride (past ones practice area) is going to require the ability to handle
small bumps; whereas I find that reverse is rarely needed.

I'd say that whether idling is desirable earlier or later than "hopping"
depends: if, on ones typically rides, bumps are a bigger obstacle than
waiting for traffic, then I'd say "hopping" is a more useful skill than
is idling, otherwise the reverse is true. I sure wish I'd learned
hopping earlier - I can idle (even one-footed) nearly indefinitely, but
I can't yet ride around in town without dismounting everytime I come to
a significant curb or step; arg! (I am, finally, working on the hopping
now).

Curious note: when you master idling, you are (at least) very close to
being able to "reverse for short distances".


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  #10  
Old August 18th 03, 06:01 PM
iunicycle
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Default idling and wheel sizes


Well, you never know when you will get trapped in a long thin hallway,
so thin you could not turn your handy unicycle around. The exit is in
one direction. One foot is broken badly, the opposite crank is missing.
Any vibration from hopping on your good foot would make the ceiling
fall. Crawling would get you to the exit too slowly to help. You must
side ride out of there!

Whatever you call it, skill or trick, I can cross that dangerous
situation off my list once I learn to side ride.


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