25 mph on one Wheel!

Welcome to the High Speed Gliding (HSG) page.  I've been HSGing for about a year and I'm just now getting around to web-izing HSG.   Prepare to be introduced to the world of going really fast on one wheel!!

HSG Intro

  1. What is HSG??
    HSG is gliding faster than you can ride a standard unicycle.  The top speed for most unicyclist is about 18 mph, so I'm defining HSG as gliding over 18 mph. What is gliding?  Gliding is a way of riding a unicycle without pedaling.  One foot is proped up on the frame while the other foot drags on the wheel for balance.  See the pictures below for clarification, or see Gliding in the Unicycling FAQ for more info. Also, medium speed gliding is defined as gliding between 12 and 18 mph and low speed gliding is gliding below 12 mph. It should be noted that low speed gliding (usually for distance on a very small grade) is as difficult as high speed gliding, but not as dangerous.
  2. Is it Safe?
    NOPE. In fact it is down right dangerous. I don't really suggest that anyone does it, but if your into thrills and spills, you might like it. I've fallen off at speeds over 25 mph and not gotten hurt. I've literally done hundreds of glides over 20 mph and I've yet to have any injuries besides a few small scraps. But nonetheless, it is not safe by any stretch of the imagination.
  3. Equipment:
    I glide a 24" Miyata with cranks. The Miyata has a very responsive and light frame with a good place to put your foot. But this is not the optimum setup for gliding. I haven't experimented much, but I think a 26" would be best. Cranks cause high speed oscillations (discussed in the how to section) so they need to be removed for optimum perfomance. Also, a peg would be affixed to the frame somewhere between the axle and the where the forks join to create a high leavage foot rest. I'm not sure where the best place to put a peg is but I believe the lower it is the better. Tires and shoes are of utmost importance to gliding. The best tire out there is the Miyata tire. It is very fast, and wears extremely well. As far as shoes, its up to your experimentation. A flat bottomed shoe with hard rubber is best. I use soccer shoes. Most tennis shoes don't work to well because they wear quickly (I've been known to wear a hole in tennis shoes in a single day of HSGing) and they have a nasty uneven surface under the arch of your foot. That makes them awful to glide with.
  4. Top Speeds:
    So far I'm the only one who has activily pursued high speeds, so my speed is the only top speed (that I know of). 25.6 mph measured with a very accurately calibrated bike computer is the top speed. The computer was calibrated the day of the run downto about .3 mph. I have glided several dozen times over 25 mph and several hundred times over 20 mph. An average glide is about 23 mph and is about a quarter mile long.

Want More?

Check out some Pictures
or The HSG How To Page Which isn't done yet.

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