Multi Wheeled Unicycles

Welcome to the oxy-moron department, where unicycles have more than one wheel. A vertically stacked two wheeler is one of the most difficult unicycle types, because the rider's pedaling reflexes must all be reversed for successful riding. Any even number of wheels (count from where the pedals are) is reverse drive, and an odd number is normal drive. Three wheelers are very popular because they're very visual, and they ride like a regular giraffe except for the added weight.

Yuichiro Kato of Japan actually coasted briefly on his two wheeler at UNICON VIII. He is probably the first person to have done this. Difficult enough on any type of unicycle, he's doing it on a two wheeler with a lot of friction between the wheels (that's how the pedaling power is transmitted). Kato also does a rolling mount from a standard unicycle to this one.

Manfred Hartung of Germany hand cranking a wooden-framed 3-wheeler in his Individual Freestyle performance at UNICON VIII in Guildford, England.

Putting the wheels side by side is called a Dicycle. This one was hand built from existing parts by Al Hemminger back in 1980. On this one, the two wheels turn independently, so it had an annoying habit of rather swiftly becoming a two wheeled kangaroo.

Jack Halpern's amazing 150! This is a unicycle with 1 1/2 wheels, combining the difficulty of a "normal" two wheeler (hard enough) with the impossibility of only half a wheel. As you may have guessed, when the top wheel is in this position, there is absolutely no drive control. Jack brought this cycle to the National Unicycle Meet in Minnesota in 1982, and kept it tightly under wraps until his Freestyle performance. Later when he let people try it, it turned out to be surprisingly rideable! It has since been turned into a 1/2 wheel "standard" unicycle, which is far less useful (and less comfortable to ride!) I hope he puts this one back together someday!

Jack Halpern, again proving that less is more, and more is baka. He's riding a unicycle with 13 wheels, way back in 1981 or so. I believe this is the record for the most wheels on a unicycle; an oxymoron if I there ever was one. Jack also has a unicycle with half a wheel, and one with no wheel, which he has often brought to the conventions (they're easier to get onto the plane).

Multi wheeled giraffes. Built by Mr. Tsukahara of Nagoya, Japan in 1980, these beautiful cycles must be very visual to watch, with their many wheels turning in opposite directions. You will see that each has an even number of wheels, but upon closer examination notice that the pedals are on the second wheel down. This allows the "wheel motif" to extend up to the seat, but the rider gets to pedal normally. Unicycles like this (even with small 12" wheels) are very heavy, so they have rings around them to protect them in the event of drops.

Put two small children on this Japanese-built "trainer", and who knows where they'll end up (Probably about three feet away after half an hour)? I believe this thing was also built by Mr. Tsukahara.

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