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Old 2002-05-29, 12:08 AM   #1
Jeff Lutkus
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Jeff's final review on the Uni .5

Well, the Uni .5 is on its way to Gilby right now, so I might as well write
my final review.

I did not have a chance to take it on a serious distance ride, but I did
get to do some more riding since my original post.

After riding around campus quite a few times, I quickly became very used to
the unicycle. Mounting has become a lot easier than on my coker (of
course, my coker also has 5” cranks). Riding in general has just developed
a very natural feel. I never worked up to gliding out of riding, perhaps
someone like Gilby can give that a try… I’d imagine it could be interesting.

This weekend, I went off to Boston. Naturally, I found a parking spot that
wasn’t anywhere near where I wanted to be. Ah, Uni .5 to the rescue. I
could now travel the wrong direction down one way streets, pass
pedestrians, and most definitely make better time than driving.

I couldn’t bring myself to run any red lights (though, from watching people
on bikes, I really started to believe that lights were only suggestions),
but the unicycle’s small size made it very convenient to pick up, take to
the sidewalk, and jaywalk. Anyway, I had no problem getting where I was
going, and I was glad I had the unicycle to get me there faster. In terms
of maneuverability, I don’t see the uni .5 has having any advantages over
the coker (or vice versa), but in terms of being able to pick the thing up,
lock it at any bike rack, or bring it inside any building, it was way ahead
of the coker (as well as those silly two wheeled things people ride a lot).

The longest uninterrupted ride (well, excluding traffic lights) I made that
day was from Harvard to MIT. Mass ave had plenty of bumps and the like,
but they weren’t much of a problem. For the big ones, I’d grab the seat,
but that probably wasn’t even necessary.

As for other people riding it: to the best of my knowledge, everyone I
loaned the cycle to had never ridden a coker before, so could not compare
it to one. Except for people who were not proficient at the rolling mount,
it did not take anyone long to master the freemount. Depending on the
general skill level of the rider, it took a little while to get used to
riding. In general, this period of adjustment lasted less than 5 minutes.

Also, I had one person ride who had never ridden a unicycle before. I
explained to him how this one worked, and why it would not be the best
first unicycle to try. But, he wanted to try (and I didn’t have a standard
unicycle with me). He only spent about 10 minutes attempting to ride, but
I would estimate that his progress was about on par with your average
person learning to ride your average unicycle.

Anyway, in my personal opinion, I like the uni .5 more than the coker for
most riding. If it could be mass produced in the $400-500 range, I would
very seriously consider buying one (assuming I had a job at the time). The
small size is the key. It can travel at a speed similar to a bicycle, but
can be carried around inside and out with almost no effort. For
excessively long distance rides, I think I would favor the coker primarily
for its momentum, and zero backlash. Since I did not test the uni .5 for a
very long ride, however, I can’t say for sure.

Enough of figuring how it stacks to others. This is a really cool
unicycle. Many thanks to Greg Harper for taking the time to design and
build it, and many more thanks for sharing.

Jeff Lutkus


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Old 2002-05-29, 06:45 PM   #2
harper
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Jeff-

Thanks for the thorough reviews. I'm glad you had fun riding this little toy. Thanks also for hauling it around on your interstate exploits. I was hoping you would beat Rhysling's record and take it into two other states.
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Old 2002-05-29, 10:53 PM   #3
harper
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Jeff Lutkus sent the following to me in an e-mail. I wanted to share the joy of picturing him bop himself with the unicycle while changing pedals. John Childs and I tried to get Irene Genelin to apply this technique to recover from a front seat drag.

Jeff Lutkus wrote:

heh... cool. Well, I did ride the unicycle in CT if that counts for anything

Random bit of advice to pass around: when removing the pedals, remember that the frame connects to the hub. So, if you've got the wheel on the ground, and the frame resting in front of the uni, also on the ground, when you pull up to losen the pedal, the frame will come up and hit you
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