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Generic Header[edit]

Unicycle is also used when surveying land to measure distances walked. Of course the geologists do not sit on it, they just push it in front of them and read the revolutions from the counter. This is largely obsolete since GPS came into fashion. 15:58, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

Are you thinking of a trundle wheel? 20:45, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

As far as I know monocycle, rather than referring to a monowheel as in English, is the word for unicycle in most of Europe. Can anyone confirm? If so, maybe it should be mentioned.

I've heard many Europeans use "monocycle" to refer to a unicycle, but they were all non-native English speakers. Infotrope 23:08, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

There are many languages in Europe. "monocycle" is the french for unicycle. In german it is "einrad", in spanish it is monocyclo and in english (yes the UK is part of europe) a "unicycle". So let's not claim people in europe call it a "monocycle" -- (talk) 21:07, 9 September 2010 (UTC)


The article currently states "The unicycle's history began before the invention of the bicycle" then goes on to explain how the unicycle developed from the bicycle. Should this be altered? —Preceding unsigned comment added by DangerLaef (talkcontribs) 02:04, 27 November 2008 (UTC)

Yes, it is pretty goofy. -AndrewDressel (talk) 18:19, 27 November 2008 (UTC)

New Picture[edit]

The first (main) picture (captioned "Unicycling - Harvard, Illinois - 2006") added by Cosmo1976 at 23:10 on 10 January 2007 does not appear to be of unicycles at all. Instead, it appears to depict two men riding Penny-farthings. Anyone have a better picture than that? -AndrewDressel 20:14, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

I apologize for the mis-identification, and appreciate the correction. Cosmo1976 17:12, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
No sweat at all. -AndrewDressel 17:57, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
However, a question comes to mind as I look over the article: The other photograph is also a Penny-Farthing. If my image of a Penny Farthing is inappropriate, isn't it inconsistent to have another image of a Penny Farthing? Cosmo1976 17:30, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
The differences are that this second, remaining image is clearly labeled as that of a Penny-farthing, and it is positioned next to the paragraph that describes the theory that unicycles evolved from Penny-farthings in order to illustrate the point. Without a good lead image that clearly shows what a unicycle looks like (a temporary situation, I hope), it is not ideal, but I believe it is appropriate. Your Penny-farthing image, if apppropriately captioned, would work just as well here, but I think two would be over-kill, given the situation. -AndrewDressel 17:57, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

Wikibooks Unicyclopedia[edit]

Any guidelines on how to split or overlap the material between these two articles? -AndrewDressel 21:13, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

of course we should do it-- 23:43, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

Proposed WikiProject: Unicycling[edit]

I've proposed creating a new project to promote and coordinate unicycle and unicycling related articles. Please comment here. -AndrewDressel 18:39, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

Seems better suited to inclusion in the cycle, would you expect more than a dozen articles? 20:42, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

Leonardo Da Vinci[edit]

This is the discussion from the bicycle page. Perhaps it applies to unicycles as well.

Where is the mention of Leonardo Da Vinci in this article? Even IBM has a replica of his bike in their museum next to all the vintage computing paraphernalia. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Root Beers (talkcontribs) 12:17, 22 March 2007 (UTC).
Perhaps because it is a hoax: The Leonardo da Vinci Bicycle Hoax. -AndrewDressel 14:45, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

Separate articles for 'Unicycling' and 'Unicycle'[edit]

I am thinking about (not quite yet proposing) separating 'Unicycling' - the history, different sports, international organisation - from 'Unicycle - design/construction, different types.

The article already has separate lists of 'types of unicycles' and 'riding styles'. And 'cycling' and 'bicycle' have their own entries.

Any comments? Earthlyreason (talk) 04:21, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

Seems a bit unnecessary at this point. It hasn't grown long enough yet for the split to be useful. Nwimpney (talk) 20:07, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

So where does the Motor-Hoop belong in all this?[edit]

So where does the one-wheeled motorcycle motor-hoop fit into this series of articles?

It's much easier to just tell you to click on this link and read the article yourself:

"Speedy New Motor-Hoop Amazes Italians", Popular Science, December 1924, page 40
Scanned by Google Books:

DMahalko (talk) 22:24, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

The motor-hoop as pictured on the cover of Popular Science in 1924 is a Monowheel, about which there is already an article. -AndrewDressel (talk) 23:14, 5 February 2009 (UTC)


How will a unicycle negotiate a curve? No mention in the article! --Sganesh 88 (talk) 09:33, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

Actually, there's no real explanation of how it works at all. The theory section just links to a slightly related article. A proper explanation of how it works should be added which would include turning. It'll probably be a tricky one to write though, since most people who can ride balance instinctively and their explanations of what they think they're doing aren't technically correct. Nwimpney (talk) 20:25, 10 May 2009 (UTC)
There should be an explanation. We're not talking quantum mechanics here. :) What i thought was that to go left the rider twists his upper torso along with his hands (outstretched preferably) right. So to conserve angular momentum, the lower part twists left dragging the wheel left. Steering accomplished. Watch this video. Sganesh 88 (talk) 05:32, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
An explanation would be nice. However, the physics are a lot more complicated than they initally appear, and most explanations I've seen are at best incomplete, and more often incorrect. There are a lot of other how-to type websites where that kind of info can be found.
Your example, for example, is incorrect, and isn't really what the guy's doing in the example video. He's turning using 2 techniques simultaneously to make his left turns. First he's turning his torso in the direction he wants to turn(left), then he's applying a heavy force to the downward stroke of the left pedal, while simultaneously pivoting his legs to match the direction his torso was turned to.
The heavy pedal stroke simultaneously shifts the centre-of-gravity/centre-of-mass to the left (which will require/cause a left turn to prevent a fall) and applies a strong torque to the wheel, which is actually to the right of the centre of mass causing a rotation.
Turning the torso serves two purposes. The more obvious of the two is to provide an inertia to swing the lower body against (following the torso with the legs), but the more important and less obvious is that it's somewhat easier to turn the torso at the hips, and lean slightly forward (into the turn) than it is to bend the back to the left to get the same CG/CM. Of course, there's also the psychological "look where you're going" factor.
To further complicate things, very few unicyclists really understand what they're doing. It basically becomes instinct in the same way that you don't fall over when you start, stop, or turn corners when you walk.
Even most explanations of how to balance fore/aft are flawed. Lean forward to go forward, etc. This leads most beginners to lean their torsos forward, which causes their butt to go backwards with no net change of CG. More accurately, you need to shift your CG forward of the wheel's contact point to accellerate, shift it behind to decelerate (or accelerate in reverse), and keep your CG over the contact point to maintain a constant velocity. Of course, you shift your cg by adjusting your speed, not by leaning your body.
So, while I agree it's not "quantum mechanics" it is a lot more in-depth than could(or should) be explained by a short paragraph. The fact that there's more than one way to do most things makes it pretty much impossible. Nwimpney (talk) 05:17, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
I just realized the irony of giving a detailed description of how to turn as an example of why there shouldn't be a description of how to turn. ;) Nwimpney (talk) 05:20, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
Turning is effectively the same as not falling over in the other (wrong) directions. So as far as general theory for riding is concerned - try this.
OK I'm feeling bold - I'm going to add this to the Article <snipped> hope that meets approval EdwardLane (talk) 15:26, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
I would really like to see a link to the countersteering wikipedia page, and also a Physics of Unicycling video that explains at least half of the basics of balancing on a unicycle: (talk) 19:25, 10 November 2012 (UTC) Would this video be appropriate? Would the link?
The link would only be appropriate if it merely illustrated details already provided by reliable sources. As I have stated elsewhere in the past, videos may be fine to prove that something is possible, such as riding a unicycle, but do a poor job of proving how something is possible, especially something as complicated and subtle as riding a unicycle. For example, the researchers at TU Delft have captured a lot of video of people riding bicycles in very controlled circumstances [1] and have yet to publish a paper explaining just how people ride bicycles, despite publishing quite often. -AndrewDressel (talk) 16:20, 11 November 2012 (UTC)


Is "North shore downhill" really a type of muni riding at UNICON? Nwimpney (talk) 20:31, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

Have a look at the disciplines here There is Downhill unicycling (or downhill muni) nearly every year. Northshore single track muni is often also done downhill. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:38, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

Trials Uni, Splined hub/cranks[edit]

Splined cranks aren't really a recent development are they? has some catalog pages which list the profile splined hub in mid 2002, so it's been around at least 7 years.

Also, it says that it's a "very useful" feature without explaining how it's useful. Nwimpney (talk) 18:27, 27 May 2009 (UTC)


Methods of mounting a unicycle[edit]

There are various different methods used when mounting a unicycle. Individual opinions vary about which of these methods is easiest. Most if not all of these can be done with the assistance of a spotter or by holding a wall but can also be done as a form of 'free mount' without that assistance.

  • Standing mount
Standing with the saddle between the legs, placing one foot on the lower pedal, with half the rider's weight on the pedal and half on the saddle, picking up the second foot.
  • Rolling mount
Begun by walking with the saddle between the legs, and unicycle rolling slowly forward in front of the rider, then stepping onto the pedals in a fluid motion.
  • Ladies mount
Similar to a standing mount, except the saddle does not start between the legs and is held facing front but with the unicycle leaning out to one side, the foot furthest from the saddle is placed on the pedal, then the leg nearest the saddle is moved forward and the saddle is placed into the correct position before the leg returns to the other pedal. This mount would allow someone wearing a medium length skirt to sit on a unicycle in a 'ladylike' manner.
  • Kick mount
With the unicycle lying on the floor, step onto a pedal, putting your foot under the saddle, and kicking the saddle upward to a position where you can sit on it, then placing that foot on the remaining pedal.
  • Suicide mount
Standing the unicycle (unsupported) with the pedals level (facing away from you) - and jumping into a riding position. The name for this means of mounting the unicycle derives from the inherent danger of missing either one or both pedals.

Mounting Giraffe Unicycles[edit]

Either standing on the lower pedal and jumping smoothly to the saddle. or (for taller giraffe unicycles) Standing with one foot on both the frame and the tyre (to stop it rotating), before jumping the first foot to the lower pedal and pushing off that to get to the saddle.

Please suggest improvements[edit]

Well that's an attempt at a rough section on mounting unicycles - if someone would like to suggest improvements that would be great, otherwise next time I drift past this page I may well move it into the article. EdwardLane (talk) 20:56, 15 April 2011 (UTC)

"Known in other fields" unicyclists[edit]

Hi. There are references for only a few in that long and growing list. For most, there is currently no way to verify that they are unicyclists. (BTW, is learning to ride and riding a few times enough to earn a spot on this list?) Anyways, I checked each of the supporting articles and nothing on unicycling was offered there. So as references are found, we can delete these tags. --Ds13 (talk) 03:22, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

Thinking about this section, how 'uncommon' does a thing have to be before you get a 'known in other fields' section? I'm guessing there is no list of notable bicyclists known in other fields. I think I'd suggest removing all except the known as unicyclists section. EdwardLane (talk) 08:54, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
Have never heard of Mike Nesmith being a unicyclist, and have been a fan of his since the sixties; is it perhaps based on scenes from the T.V. show of all the Monkees being shown riding a sort of early skate-bike, which had a single large wheel, but also two small wheels behind? Jock123 (talk) 20:59, 24 November 2014 (UTC)

Team sports[edit]

Unicycle quidditch has not been mentioned - though I don't know if its actually played outside the BJC ? "Unicycle Quidditch Rules". Retrieved 10 October 2011.  EdwardLane (talk) 10:37, 8 March 2012 (UTC)

BBC article[edit]

[ this might be of some interest. EdwardLane (talk) 13:05, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

24hr distance unicycle (probably not a relay) record[edit]

New World record set [2] riders covered combined distance of 2742.5 kilometres in 24hrs EdwardLane (talk) 17:20, 13 June 2012 (UTC)

Rewrite in January, 2014[edit]

This is why I undid the changes described as "Clarified construction description and some adjustment to layout"

  1. "Unicycles resemble bicycles, tricycles and other similar vehicles. They are simpler in design but far more difficult to ride." What other similar vehicles? The impossible wheel and the ultimate wheel? How is "bicycles, tricycles and other similar vehicles" better than just "bicycles". And, why the "far more difficult"? Says who and how much more difficult? Twice as much? Is that twice as difficult as a bicycle, a tricycle, or an impossible wheel?
  2. What is the "cycle family of vehicles" and why is all of "they share many of the same components, while other components are variations on parts shared across vehicles such as bicycles and tricycles. A unicycle has the following main components" better than "unicycles have a few key parts." Is "component" better than "part" because it has more syllables? If so, why not at least use it consistently? Is there some special distinction between "part" and "component" that requires using both in the same sentence? What is the point of all the extra words?
  3. Why is "training aids" inserted between "construction" and "types"? The form is about an activity, and the latter two are about the device.

I stand by my edit summary that the changes are "a lot more words, but less clear." -AndrewDressel (talk) 11:41, 26 January 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for explaining your edits here first. I was trying to improve the article as I believe it needed greater detail and explanation so it is understandable to a lay person (which after all is the function of an encyclopedia). To explain my changes (although there is room for improvement)
1. Unicycles resemble only bicycles? Who says only bicycles? You admit yourself there are other wheeled examples (I know what they both are as I unicycle myself). So why include only bicycles? Unicycles if a comparison is to be made are far closer to impossible wheels and ultimate wheels than bicycles. So do we include all the different types of wheeled vehicles here or just one. And which one?
That's easy, there is no need for more than the most common example: bicycles.
No it's not easy, that's why I changed it in the first place. Bicycle example is the most common of course but an encyclopedia should inform as well and an online one with the ability to link to articles directly relevant to enable the reader to compare and contrast would be a useful addition. So in the main text (not in see also) it would be good to have tricycle, quadracycle (maybe) plus others in see also.
Listing all the vehicles with similarities to unicycles is not informing. It is stuffing with fluff. -AndrewDressel (talk) 03:26, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
2. Unicycles are far more difficult to ride than bicycles. A reference could be put in here from a unicycle book and a rewording to indicate that they are more difficult to ride than bicycles rather than other members of the cycling family of vehicles. The fact is they are more difficult to learn to ride than all multi wheeled types (maybe that is my mistake - I should have put 'learn' to ride)
Fine. Just state that it is harder to learn how to ride unicycles than bicycles. There is no need for words like "far" any more than "extremely", "way", or even "very".
Fair point taken re very etc.
3. The cycle family of vehicles was my attempt at using a phrase that included those vehicles which were mentioned previously in the article. It is not an illogical phrase because most members have the suffix of 'cycle' in their names but maybe it is not absolutely clear. It does however try to explain to a lay person that the way a unicycle is made has similarities to bicycle (and other such vehicles) construction/design. Similarly my extra text about components was to make a similar point. Components is a perfectly acceptable word and the mix of 'components' and 'parts' in the same sentence is merely a stylistic one so 'component' isn't repeated more than once in the same sentence.
There is absolutely no need to indicate here that bicycles have parts in common with tricycles and quadracycles. A simple mention of common and similar parts between unicycles and bicycles is sufficient. Finally, when explaining something technical, switching randomly between synonyms just creates confusion.
Why is there absolutely no need? You are not making an argument you are stating that your opinion is 'right'. Please explain. Happy to not switch between synonyms but I have seen this used by respectable authors. It doesn't confuse me.
There is absolutely no need because this article is not about bicycles, tricycles, or quadracycles. Should an article about fish enumerate all the types of reptiles that also have scales. No, of course not. -AndrewDressel (talk) 03:26, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
4. I did not move 'training aids'. What I did move was the list of types of unicycle from the bottom of the section on construction to the top of the section of 'Types of Unicycle'. A far more logical place for it to be.
this diff show that before your edit, the text "Types of unicycle include:" immediately follow the construction section, and after your edit, the text "Types of unicycle include:" followed the "training" section.
I don't understand. I have rechecked my edit and it was what I said I did above. I did not move training aids. Instead I moved the list of types of unicycle to go under the heading 'Types of Unicycle. What is wrong with that?????
And thereby separating the list of parts from the list of types. Here is the result of your edit. There is a list of parts, a section on training aids, and then a list of types. Here is the article before your edit. The list of parts and the list of types are together in a single section.
5. You did not comment about my changes to the text below the part or component list which describes how a unicycle is designed/constructed. I presume my edits in this part were okay? Therefore a straight revert is unwarranted.
I did not feel the need to comment on every change, but the changes to design and construction have similar issues: more words and less clarity.
I think my version is an improvement or at the very least the previous version needed changing. The comment about freewheeling in mine is a common comment I receive when teaching people to unicycle. They just don't realise that it is a fixed wheel and they have to keep pedaling (until they try it) I thought it was a useful point.
I'm not saying it was perfect before, but I am saying that this addition does not help: "Nearly all unicycle wheels are of this type which means that there is no possibility for the rider to stop pedalling as there isn't any freewheel function."
1. There are two trivial possibilities for riders to stop pedaling: they can stop moving forward, and they can take their feet off the pedals.
2. Contractions "are too informal" for "encyclopedic style".
3. A wikilink to freewheel would be useful.
Yes, all these issues are fixable, but I didn't have time to address them. When combined with all the other issues enumerated above, I decided that the article was better without all of it. -AndrewDressel (talk) 03:26, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
I still believe that the article requires more explanatory text so that it is understandable for the lay reader. I would be happy to work together to make this happen. I haven't gone through the rest of the article yet so there may be other edits I think it needs. Thanks — Preceding unsigned comment added by Robynthehode (talkcontribs) 16:52, 26 January 2014 (UTC)
What problems are lay readers having? Simply using more words to explain the same thing is not an improvement. -AndrewDressel (talk) 17:34, 26 January 2014 (UTC)
Yes I agree that the article should be succinct but I still believe it needs some change. I stand by my the ideas behind my changes but am happy to alter them to make sure they are concise. Robynthehode (talk) 19:16, 26 January 2014 (UTC)

Hi Folks, sorry to weigh in on this half way through - the current page has a few bits I would like to change. I'm not sure that even mention of a bicycle is required - and the mention of tricycle etc seem superfluous. Looking at the bike articleyou do not see description of them as 'similar to unicycle/tricycle' rather they are defined as "a human-powered, pedal-driven, single-track vehicle, having two wheels attached to a frame, one behind the other" so unicycle would be "a human-powered, pedal-driven vehicle, having one fixed wheel attached to a frame". There could be a section - comparison to other pedal driven vehicles which could mention bicycles trikes etc but that ought not (in my mind) to be part of th ebasic definition of a unicycle. The second part I mildly object to - is the statement that it is harder to learn to ride a unicycle than it is to learn to ride a bike. It might be commonly held to be true but I am not sure - I recall falling off my bike many times when learning to ride it as a child, several times I grazed by knee or hurt myself on the crossbar, when learning to ride the unicycle there was no crossbar, and all falling ended on my feet, I think the total time spent learning to unicycle reasonably was approximately 20 hours - I would guess that sort of time scale for learning to ride a bike reasonably too - but I didn't measure it in a double blind twin study so I wouldn't feel confident saying it was easier or harder to learn to swim than to cycle if you see what I mean. EdwardLane (talk) 21:11, 26 January 2014 (UTC)

actually having looked at the differences a bit more I am going to revert the 'additional words' version - but then I will go and grab some of that and add it back in. Hope that is acceptable to you both. EdwardLane (talk) 21:31, 26 January 2014 (UTC)
Good to have another perspective. I do not however agree with all your edits.
1. Description of unicycle. I agree that all references to bicycles and other such vehicles should be excluded from the description.
  • ok that's cool (I'm putting a dot in front of each chunk of text I've written to make it clearer as I've inserted into your comments EdwardLane (talk) 10:19, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
I do not understand however why you make a well argued point and then fail to include that in the edit you have done.
  • where? I did try and get that all sorted but I might have missed something.EdwardLane (talk) 10:19, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
I would be happy that the unicycle description concise and excludes all mention of bicycles, tricycles etc.
  • ok that seems the sensible choice to meEdwardLane (talk) 10:19, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
2. My point still stands that is it worth noting in the article that there are similarities between unicycles, bicycles, tricycles etc and that links within a brief text to that effect allows readers to compare and contrast
  • yes agreed - that's why I put the comparison between uni/bi/tri/quad - might still need links - I'll go check.EdwardLane (talk) 10:19, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
3. Learning to unicycle for most people is more difficult than learning to ride a bicycle. I have taught unicycling in circus workshops for over 20 years and the feedback from the students is invariably that it is more difficult. Clearly some people learn unicycling in the same time as bicycling but the vast majority do not.
  • I've done a fair chunk of teaching too over the same time period, the main difference seems to be that kids learn bicycles and then no one remebers 10 or 20 years later how easy/hard it was to learn to ride a bike - so they just see any lack of immediate progress as meaning it is defacto more difficult, when it might not be - and despite either of our opinions we would still need a citation from a reliable source for us to be happy claiming that it either is - or is not, more difficult to learn to ride a unicycle than it is to learn to ride a bike.EdwardLane (talk) 10:19, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
4. I cannot see the logic of reverting to an edit that lists different types of unicycles in the construction section when there is a major section below detailing different types of unicycles. It should either be in that section or be deleted.
  • don't think I did - I reverted the text only so I would have the least text to change before progressing - and yet the article is not finished - it can be honed. EdwardLane (talk) 10:19, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
I will leave Edward Lane's edits for now and wait for you and Andrew Dressel to comment. Hopefully we can move this forward. I will give fair notice that I am going to go through the article in detail and edit out all the unreferenced material and any duplication or other information that makes the article look like an instruction manual. Robynthehode (talk) 21:50, 26 January 2014 (UTC)
  • There will not be much article left if you remove all the unreferenced stuff - I think it would be better to add 'citation needed' type stuff to any statements you think are dubious, or ideally go find a citation somewhere that confirms/denies the statement. And then maybe in a few weeks time if there are still a bunch of citation needed statements around you can remove them if you think they are wrong. you don't technically speaking need to give 'fair notice' you can just boldly remove rubbish, it just seems counter productive when trying to construct an article about unicycles to remove chunks of content if they are likely to be accurate but are still uncited. There is no hurry to get this perfect - lets just go slow and let it evolve toward the perfect article. EdwardLane (talk) 10:19, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

How to ride?[edit]

There should be a big section at top to answer "so exactly how does one ride one of those things?" Jidanni (talk) 10:41, 9 February 2014 (UTC)

As per Wikipedia guidlines, wikipedia is not an instructional manual. So no there should not be a section on 'how to ride' a unicycle, although a short description of how unicyclists do ride a unicycle may be appropriate. Robynthehode (talk) 13:13, 9 February 2014 (UTC)

Unicycle v monocycle[edit]

Could somebody please explain how the name unicycling is derived? If mono means one and uni means all, surely a one wheel cycle should be a monocycle. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Josephina2002 (talkcontribs) 06:25, 22 February 2014 (UTC)

"Uni" means "one" not "all", as in "unique", "unilateral", and "unicorn". Check out the entry in wiktionary. -AndrewDressel (talk) 14:31, 22 February 2014 (UTC)