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Unicycles

Unicycles

A unicycle is a human-powered, single-track vehicle with one wheel.

 

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Steven Mills

Steven Mills

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Curated Facts

Self-Balancing Unicycle (SBU)
a computer-controlled, motor-driven, self-balancing unicycle. This is science at its finest. The computer controls stability from a sensor box mounted beneath the saddle.

Article: Types of Unicycles
Source: Unicycle Guru

Kris [Holm] has ridden technically difficult terrain in 15 countries, including the summit of the highest mountain in Central America, the summit of the 3rd highest mountain in North America, trade-routes across the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan, and on the Great Wall of China. In 2006, Kris climbed and attempted a unicycle descent of Licancabur, a 5950 m volcano in Bolivia. Kris was the first rider to bring mountain unicycling to a mainstream audience through film, television, and magazine features. He has appeared in over 200 international media features since 1998, including numerous television segments and 13 films that have screened at festivals in over 30 countries, including 5 films on the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour. This exposure has caused a major increase in the worldwide popularity of unicycling.

Article: About Kris Holm
Source: Kris Holm

Street unicycling is comparable to skateboarding and BMX biking in regard to the type of tricks done and is often done at skate parks. A great street rider combines huge flip tricks (jumping off the unicycle and flipping the wheel and often spinning the unicycle with it), grinding on rails, riding or jumping off obstacles.

Article: Types of Riding
Source: Unicycling Society of Ame...

At the National Unicycle Competition, freestyle events include individual, pair, and group routines. Many of these events are similar to ice skating in form and all are performed with music.  For a routine to win in competition, it must have a high level of difficulty and project a high level of presentation and showmanship. New moves and variations are continuously being created and performed. Freestyle unicycling has been and still is highly influential in unicycling around the world.

Article: Types of Riding
Source: Unicycling Society of Ame...

Trials unicycles are similar to rough terrain unicycles but with smaller wheel, and beefed up parts o help them withstand the constant hopping and jumping of this activity. Due to all the hopping and dropping, a good Trials unicycle really needs to have a splined axle/hub. That’s a special hub and crank system, such as Profile or ISIS, which is much stronger than the typical square-taper axle found on beginner type unicycles. The Trials category also contains some unicycles geared to Street and Flatland riding Street is where you combine Trials riding with tricks, and Flatland is where you do the tricks without any obstacles.

Article: Unicycle.com - What are a...
Source: Unicycle.com

Since unicycles are generally limited in speed by their wheel size, the most common way to speed on up is with a bigger wheel. The Touring category contains wheel sizes of 26-inch, 28-inch, and 29-inch may also be called 700c by cyclists, as it’s the rim size used on the vast majority of road bikes. Combined with a thick tire, you get wheel sizes up to 29-inch. So these unicycles are quite handy for getting around, while not being too large to easily fit in the car, or other places when not being ridden.

Article: Unicycle.com - What are a...
Source: Unicycle.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 outside of the wheel turns - not the part you're sitting on.
Most monocycles can coast, meaning they can ride without pedaling, down hills for example.
They are chain-driven and fairly expensive. Aside from the cost, these unicycles are very cool looking.

Article: Types of Unicycles
Source: Unicycle Today

Giraffe unicycles' 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. The pedals rotate a gear, which a chain rests on. The chain is connected to another gear on the wheel. This makes it so when you pedal, the wheel turns also.

Article: Types of Unicycles
Source: Unicycle Today

Many types of unicycles are available today. Offroad unicycles -- also called munis, an abbreviation for mountain unicycles -- feature thick, knobbed tires to allow for easier rolling over tree roots and rocks, and have padded seats. Munis are sometimes equipped with brakes for steep descents. According to Unicyle Today, munis actually can perform better than mountain bikes in rough terrain because they are more maneuverable.

Article: Facts on Unicycles
Source: LIVESTRONG.COM

According to Unicycle Today, unicycling began to move beyond mere spectacle into competitive sport in the late 1980s, when cycling pioneer Khris Holm and his adherents took the unicycle offroad and onto rough terrain. Unicycle freestyling, in which cyclists perform jumps and spins, also began to emerge.

Article: Facts on Unicycles
Source: LIVESTRONG.COM
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