You are familiar with bicycles. It is an integral part of everyone’s childhood. From bicycle races to dropping your sibling off tuition, bicycles are just like your motorcycles. But do you know about unicycles? When was the unicycle invented? This article has the full-on information that you need all about who invented the unicycle. Also, you will learn about kids electric unicycles and building a unicycle.
1. What is a Unicycle?
A unicycle is a single-wheeled structure that performers traditionally use in circuses.
- A unicycle is made of a wheel, pedals, and a tube-shaped structure attached to the seat.
- The seat is attached to the mainframe which is connected to the wheel.
- Unlike bicycles, the seats of the unicycle are symmetrically curved downwards.
- Some even have bumpers and handles to protect the rides and help them perform various tricks.
- The unicycle parts are produced separately and are attached by the manufacturer.
When was the unicycle invented? Read further to find out about the same. (See How to Make a Super Ball?)
2. Who invented the Unicycle?
When was the unicycle invented? The invention of the unicycle was ambiguous and not entirely clear. The invention of the unicycle resulted from an attempt to invent a type of bicycle. There is a theory that pixies brought unicycles to the earth. But you all know that it is not true. Must read the article on who invented the sticky note?
- In the mid-1870s, James Bedford Elliot invented a unicycle by removing the rear wheel from a penny-farthing, and the first high wheel was called a bicycle.
- He patented two different designs: one with a handlebar set in a frame steering structure and the second where the saddle was placed above the wheel, just like in modern unicycles. (See When Was Silly Putty Invented?)
3. What are the Types of Unicycles?
As you already know when was the unicycle invented, it is time to read about its types and uses. After the popularity of one-wheeled penny farthings, various types of unicycles came into use. Despite the various changes and additions, certain components like saddle, cranks, pedals, and fork-styled frame remained the same in all the models. (See Why some people don’t like video games?)
Some of the common unicycle models are listed below:
- Freestyle unicycles,
- Trial unicycles,
- Mountain unicycles,
- Touring unicycles,
- Multi-wheeled unicycles,
- Kangaroo unicycles,
- Ultimate wheel,
- Impossible wheel,
- Self-balancing unicycle, and
- Geared unicycles.
4. What is a Mountain Unicycle?
The mountain unicycle, otherwise known as a muni, is a sturdy type of unicycle built with rugged tires, longer cranks, and heavily padded seats to help the drives drive through rougher terrains. The wide tires in this type help the driver to wade through uneven obstacles like rocks, grass, roots, etc. (Also read What is a Flight of Stairs?)
5. What is a Freestyle Unicycle?
The wheel of this model is small, and the seat is placed high. The tires are smooth, with a wheel width of 20 inches. Performers use this model to perform tricks and freestyle routines.
The invention of this model is a result of the rising unicycle competition. This model is used by individuals or group performers for a music set. Freestyle unicycles can also be used indoors to play unicycling activities that include basketball and hockey. (See What is a Chuckwagon?)
6. What is an Electric Unicycle?
An electric unicycle is a self-balancing single-wheeled personal vehicle that uses accelerators, gyroscopes, and a magnetometer to control speed and direction.
- The timeline of the development of the unicycle is not linear as it emerged from many predecessors. But the velocipedes by Fredrick Meyers were said to be the prototype used in creating the electric unicycle.
- Another model that is believed to be the precursor of the electric unicycle is the monowheel, where the rider has to sit inside.
- The Flying Yankee Velocipede was introduced in 1869 by Richard C Hemming. This model is deemed to be the original prototype of the electric unicycle. (See What Does 3D Mean?)
7. How does an Electric Unicycle work?
The mechanism in an electric unicycle is simple. The electric motor is connected to the rim, rechargeable battery, accelerometer, motherboard, and gyroscopes.
- Self-balance in the electric unicycle is achieved through gyroscopes and accelerometers.
- The rechargeable battery propels the motor.
- Unlike other electric vehicles like electric skateboards, the rider’s body movements trigger the speed, acceleration, direction, etc.
- The motherboard determines the inclination, which helps spin the unicycle forward or backward. Leaning the body back or shifting the bodyweight backward will slow down the vehicle. (See How does a Thermos Work?)
8. What are the Best Kids Electric Unicycle Models?
Apart from when was the unicycle invented, you should know that there are a variety of several models of electric unicycles for kids. It is always best to choose based on your kid’s age and needs. Below are some best recommended electric unicycles for kids:
- Immotion V8: It offers a gentle ride with a maximum capacity of 20 miles speed per hour. Weather-resistant tires are meant for cemented roads.
- Inmotion V10F one-wheel personal transporter: It has large pedals to avoid pedal scrape, a speed capacity of 25 miles per hour, and a weight capacity of up to 260 pounds.
- Solowheel Glide 3: It has a speed capacity of 19 miles per hour with Bluetooth connectivity and integrated speaker systems. Overall experience may be reduced for riders over 200 pounds.
- MTen3 10 (The Pocket Rocket): It is portable and has the maximum speed capability of 25 miles per hour on one charge with adjustable pedal angles.
- Swagtron’s Swagroller: It is easy to use with wheels meant for all kinds of terrain. The only drawback is this electric unicycle cannot suit kids under 10. (See Top 10 Strongest Beyblades)
9. What type of Games can be played using a Unicycle?
The unicycle is not simply used for a personal commute, but also for playing numerous games and sports. (See What is the Best Martial Art?)
- Many people use unicycles for entertainment and fun, from British bulldog to unicycle basketball.
- Not just basketball, there is a sport called unicycle hockey too.
- There is also a governing body named the International Unicycling Federation that works to achieve an Olympic status for unicycling.
- In Essex, The Radical Bikes in Chelmsford conduct extreme unicycling championships where a unicycle rider has to jump over obstacles like logs, telegraph poles, etc.
- Unicycling is quite a popular sport in western countries. Also, checkout what is Marathon distance?
If you want to use your extra energy in cool activities, you can always opt for a unicycle. Unicycles are a great way to achieve balance and a sense of direction. If you are still interested in investing in unicycles, I hope this article acted as a motivator by giving information about what are unicycles. And you know when was the unicycle invented and also the process of creating unicycles must have inspired you to build one. So happy riding! (See What are Rubies made of?)