Making and Riding the Un-Cycle (Back Pedaler)

From NY Unicycle Club:


Idea of Back Pedaler
Pieces of Back Pedaler
Experiences Riding

Idea of Back Pedaler

A double wheel unicycle is a unicycle wheel stack where one wheel drives the other backwards. I originally learned to ride, idle one footed, and juggle on it but what I could not do was pedal forwards (ie. ride backwards). Another problem I had with the double wheel was that after numerous drops it fatigues the joints and it eventually breaks. Also I like to stop short on it and the tires would sometimes slip (high pressure between the tires is also not good as it makes the wheels hard to turn). I figured a gear on both sides would get the unicycle at a reasonable height where I can be brave enough to learn to ride backwards (ie. pedal forwards) and it also survive numerous drops since it would not come down from a height. I sent this idea to Tom Miller of the Unicycle Factory. Tom Miller did the hard part turning the idea into reality. I received it in mid February 2012.

Pieces of Back Pedaler

back pedaler screws

Back Pedaler screws hold two gear boxes together from underneath.

back pedaler flange

Custom flange, 18 spoke holes, 9 decorative, and one for axle. Grooves in flange to accept gear and locking screw.

back pedaler gear box

Back Pedaler gear box. A collection of brass spacers is provided to get the 2 gears to mesh exactly right... not too tight and not too loose. 6 bearings are needed to hold the 4 gears and 3 axles.

back pedaler gear and flange

Back Pedaler axle with flange and gears assembled. Notice the holes on top of boxes, they are used to screw the top gears in place and also to inject grease into the assembly.

back pedaler wheel

Back pedaler spoked wheel (4 cross) with gears.

back pedaler whole

Whole Back Pedaler as shipped (Un-Cycle). Powder coated frame.

back pedaler close up.

Close up of Back Pedaler.

back pedelar maintenance

How to take apart Back Pedaler. (In purple, one dot gear box for .008 and .010 spacer, two dot gear box has .015 spacer. This fine tuning spaces the gears apart, just right.)

I have "rough" design specs. I am not sure how to present yet. Let me know if interested.

Experiences Riding

I can now go backwards. :) It took me a while. I found one foot idle harder than double wheel, as a giraffe idles slower. Also got a circus idle down (almost a still stand with pedals at same level)... for a double wheel that would be harder, as it tends to slip.

I am now learning how to juggle confidently. I also found going backwards between pylons a little too hard yet.

Its still so much fun... and still a little scary too. By far, my favorite unicycle.

Down side, well I hear sometimes ... "Look, he is riding a unicycle."

Special thanks to Tom Miller for making it possible.

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Last Revised: 19 September 2016