Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Alternative Transportation - The Monowheel

Yet another mode of transportation that never quite caught on, the monowheel is generally built for entertainment or recreation purposes, but was used as serious transportation in the early 1900's. You can get one with a motor (see video below), or you can go the old fashion route and pedal it! Either way, people are going to think you're a nut-case for riding one of these - but for some reason, I sort of want one...

 

Mechanically speaking, the monowheel is a one-wheeled (obviously), single-track vehicle. Unlike a unicycle, the person driving will sit inside the wheel as opposed to on top. The wheel itself is a rim, commonly driven by smaller wheels pressing against the inside of the rim.


Now, there are some very good reasons why you don't see people riding these. I've compiled a list of questions that someone should ask themselves before purchasing one of these:

1. First of all, how do you steer? Being a single-track vehicle, you can lean, but that makes your turning radius very low. Another option for steering is to provide friction on either side of the vehicle, but that will inevitably slow the vehicle down making it less efficient than it already is. Lack of steering = FAIL.

2. With so many other methods of transportation available, why would you choose something so stupid and impractical? You can purchase a bike, a skateboard, a long-board (which is my preference, second to driving of course), a scooter, and the list goes on. 

3. Do you hate your tail bone? If not, the monocycle may not be for you. Even with suspension and a padded seat, if you're taking a long ride with this thing, you're bound to do some damage down there.

4. Is gravity your friend? Unfortunately not. It is the only thing keeping you at the bottom of the ring, so if you brake too hard, the force could overcome gravity and a "hamster" effect can occur which spirals you around the ring...like a hamster on its wheel!


A close-up of the drive-chain for the self-powered monocycle:
Only one gear on this model
As you can see, balancing can be a slight issue

A video of a monocycle powered by a V8 engine!  Just a tip, skip to 3:00 because it doesn't end well:

46 comments:

  1. I have issues riding a bike, let alone something like that! lol

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  2. That guy looks exactly like the type of person I would expect to ride one of those.

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  3. No thanks! The video really made it. I was reading through all that thinking "I really hope there's a video showcasing it." Not only did I get it, but it actually ended up being a fail video. Thank you :)

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  4. it looks cool and will turn some heads... unfortunately that's all it's gonna do!

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  5. i wouldnt mind the pedal version, for fun. the v8 idea was extremely stupid.

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  6. This looks identical to the one in an early SouthPark episode, which was constructed to combat airport lines.
    Even so, do want.

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  7. The one in the south park episoade, is not really like this one. Do want this too.

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  8. lol long as they arn't the same from southpark we are all safe

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  9. Lanely, Lyle Lanely!
    Ahh forget it....it's more of a Shelbyville idea.

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  10. wow i have to make front flip all the time

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  11. looks like Mr. Garrison's jiration flying machine...

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  12. Oh man.. this is just great :D

    (btw south park did it better :D :D :D)

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  13. I can barely ride a bike, lol, I would never make it out of the driveway with this, but it is pretty sweet.

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  14. Wow there is NO way I would ride one of those. Especially after watching that video lol

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  15. Haha looks kinda cool actually, though obviously impractical and scary as hell.

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  16. Love that hat. buddy probably rides that thing like a champ

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  17. haha that looks like it is more for atheistic than for practicability

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  18. that is the stupidest thing i have ever seen.... but nice vid tho :D thumbs!!

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  19. I'd drive one of those but just for fun, don't think they're made for speed and they look very unstable

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  20. Never seen one before. lmao Makes me want to try it.

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  21. Aside from the mentioned limitations, it looks very uncomfortable and ridiculous.

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  22. that thing looks hard to manage

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  23. i skipped to the 3M mark ... hahahahaha moron. I like a heavy metal frame (and all of the accompanying safety features) around me. to keep me from skidding along the ground.

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  24. i've seen this before in the tv show, it's pretty impressive:)

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  25. Not my type of transportation, and as I see from this video, dangerous as hell too.

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  26. LOL that guy got destroyed in the video

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  27. I thought the M-wheel was also great for time travel.

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  28. Although assaild with fortune fierce and keen, Following!

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  29. You don't have to lie, we all know you want one of those.

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  30. That thing is fucking nuts.

    I still want one. Not the motorized one though. That thing spells certain death

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  31. didnt south park do an episode on this?

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