Building a tandem uni: Two people on one wheel?

Discussion in 'rec.sport.unicycling' started by Skippii, Feb 13, 2006.

  1. Skippii

    Skippii Guest

    Okay, this is probably a horrible idea, but then, I thought building my
    high-speed geared giraffe was, too, and it worked out pretty darn
    well.

    I was thinking of something were two people would ride side by side,
    with their cranks connected by a single axle with a wheel in the
    middle. Obviously, it would have to be some form of a short giraffe to
    get the axle below the cranks, but it could be shorter than my HSGG,
    where the bottom bracket has to be above the top of the wheel.

    Main problems I see right now are that the frame and wheel would have
    to be very strong to support ~ 300 pounds, and that it would be really
    hard to ride and steer--but hey, that last part never stopped us
    unicyclists, did it?

    Any opinions or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I'd be
    building this for an MS150 charity ride. I don't want to do an
    additional-wheeled thing like those kid's bike attachments that someone
    here clamped onto the back of a unicyled.

    Thanks,
    -S


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  2. dale_dale

    dale_dale Guest

  3. ThisGuyIKnow

    ThisGuyIKnow Guest

    It could actually be done without any chains. Have a look at the pedal
    configurations on a paddle boat. They have one continuos axle with two
    sets of pedals. The hard part would be coming up with a frame that
    didn't get in the way of legs.


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  4. I sure would love to have the honor of riding that thing with you, if
    you do go ahead and construct one... especially through the streets of
    NYC :D (if you were up for it)!

    Good luck!


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  5. It's been done and has been ridden by asians. Search...


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  6. leo

    leo Guest

    HardcoreCokerRider wrote:
    > You mean something like this...



    pic token on EJC in Rotterdam, at the booth of Semcycle, who made it.

    Later and elsewhere ive been riding that one succesfully with a girl
    from Bruxelles, but facing each other was a requirement.


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  7. Klaas Bil

    Klaas Bil Guest

    On Mon, 13 Feb 2006 22:45:13 -0600, leo wrote:

    >but facing each other was a requirement.


    Why? It looks from the pic that both riders could ride forward.
    (And you make it sound like facing this girl was a bad thing.)
     
  8. leo

    leo Guest

    Klaas Bil wrote:
    > Why?



    cause without eye-contact it simply was impossible to ride it.


    Klaas Bil wrote:
    > (And you make it sound like facing this girl was a bad thing.)



    No, I don't. But you make it sound like her back looked better than the
    front, while I explicitly mentioned she was from Belgium, as indication
    of her appearance.

    Anyway, further I remember mounting it was a funny part to. Now I did
    do acrobatics on unicycle before -so I was aware of the forces it
    takes-. Also we holded each other arms, which may have been a form of
    communication to.


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  9. Skippii

    Skippii Guest

  10. Matt.Weston

    Matt.Weston Guest

    I have wondered about taking two unicycles the same, sitting them side
    by side, then 'bolting' the two inside cranks together - I suppose
    technically that'd make it a bike, but I think it'd still be fun.


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  11. Matt.Weston

    Matt.Weston Guest

    I have wondered about taking two unicycles the same, sitting them side
    by side, then 'bolting' the two inside cranks together - I suppose
    technically that'd make it a bike, but I think it'd still be fun.


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  12. silverfridge

    silverfridge Guest

  13. Erant

    Erant Guest

    silverfridge wrote:
    > i ahve actually seen a tandem uni, it had one person in front of the
    > other, not side by side, and the cranks were linked by chains to the
    > gear




    I have too, there's a picture of it, in this thread.

    Seriously though, sounds like a really fun thing to do! Maybe with a
    little practice you can do it without eye contact, though if I'd be
    sitting opposite Leo's Belgian girl that might not be a priority.


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  14. Does anybody have any film of people riding one of these tandems? I've
    seen a still picture, but it would be good to see how well people can
    ride them. I would think turning would be pretty interesting...


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  15. johnfoss

    johnfoss Guest

    dale_dale wrote:
    > sounds like fun , the people would have to be about the same weight
    > though or it would tip over like a see-saw



    I've seen a sociable tandem ridden by a father and his daugter, who
    appeared to be about 10 years old. It just tilted a bit to one side.

    But that's a two-wheeler. Here's my take on a side-by-side unicycle
    tandem:

    First, I've seen two other types. I've seen Steve McPeak and a partner
    ride a stacked tandem giraffe on a high wire (on TV). The top rider
    basically does all the work, because the bottom rider can't feel much
    of the balance. So I get the impression that she kind of keeps light
    pressure on the pedals and tries to minimize interference rather than
    supply her share of the power. This is probably the easiest type of
    two-person unicycle to ride.

    Second I've seen one like the one pictured above. Ken Fuchs built it
    and brought it to a USA convention in the mid-90s. I watched him have
    several goes at it with Sem Abrahams. They were both highly skilled and
    experienced riders, but it seemed clear that they would probably need a
    few hours of practicing together before they could ride it
    consistently. I did see them go several feet, but I think turning was,
    at that point, out of the question. It also worked for one rider (Sem)
    to be the main driver while the other one stayed relatively still (not
    counting feet) and did not also try to control things.

    I think the hardest part about riding the tandem above would be
    steering. The front/back balance is probably the easier part. So if you
    put the seats on the sides, controlling side-to-side balance will be
    much, much harder. Because the wheel won't pivot under either rider,
    they will have to develop a different "flailing" motion to push
    themselves forward or back in relation to the wheel's pivot point.

    At the very least, it should make for some interesting video! :)


    TheObieOne3226 wrote:
    > It's been done and has been ridden by asians. Search...



    I never heard of such a thing. I'd love to find out more. Are you sure
    it was side-by-side?


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  16. wowunicycle

    wowunicycle Guest

  17. unicycle6869

    unicycle6869 Guest

    I rode Ken Fuch's tandem unicycle many moons ago with several different
    people. It is very awkward at first to get used to but after awhile you
    get used to it. Falling off safely is the hard part, with turning
    coming in second.

    What works the best is for the person sitting in the back to 'control'
    the unicycle while the person up front just lightly pedals. The person
    that weighs more should sit in the back. We were both facing forward
    (the same direction) and not looking at each other. The problem with
    his uni I remember is that it had a bar from seat to seat (like a mens
    bike vs. a womens bike) so that if you fall forward, the guy in the
    back could easily hurt himself (if you know what I mean) by landing on
    the bar. And vice versa if you fell off backwards. Definetly some scary
    falls trying to learn how to ride it but so cool once you figure it
    out. The best I did was probably 20-30 meters? I was usually in the
    front since I was the lightest and it was so wierd at first cause it
    feels like you're going to fall off.

    You could ride it with only one person as well! My friend actually made
    a frame many years ago and just hasn't gotten around to putting the
    wheel, chain, seats on. I've been trying to convince him for awhile but
    he just never gets around to it. Maybe I'll buy it from him and do it
    myself.

    I think the side by side tandem would be more difficult (to ride and
    build) but fun to try?!


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  18. leo

    leo Guest

    Erant wrote:
    > Maybe with a little practice you can do it without eye contact.



    I've been told it is, but then only 1 person should be "riding" and the
    other "not".


    Erant wrote:
    > though if I'd be sitting opposite Leo's Belgian girl that might not be a
    > priority.



    What's wrong with sitting opposit to me?
    Unfortunely I've been also told the tandem-unicycle was shipped to the
    US... but they are available on request.


    Skippii wrote:
    > do you mean to say that side by side might be too difficult to ride?



    If both riders have both have a side-ride caliber of skills...
    ...then still I wonder how you are gonne deal with a weigth difference
    between riders?


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