> My 5 yr old just started learning on a 12" sem which came
> with 4" cranks from unicycle.com. (John - it's great).
I think 4" is pretty long for a 12" wheel. I don't know how long the cranks
are on my own 12" unicycle, but they must be shorter. The pedals still hit
the ground when I turn, but I know there's at least 1" clearance *after* I
sit on the uni and the tire compresses.
> meaning, he can't lean right or left. I think this is
> hindering him a bit in the learning process.
It may not be too bad for learning to ride forward, but it is if it keeps
knocking him off. Regardless of rider size/weight, I think you want shorter
> a standstill, then rotate my body along a vertical
> axis. (Talk about circus clowns!) Of
> course for a beginner, this is impossible.
Actually beginners usually turn using action-reaction in a relatively
clownlike motion (flailing). But still you need enough pedal clearance to
My 12" was made by Tom Miller from a disassembled, high-end children's bike.
This gave me a decent rim with adjustable spokes, a real three piece
cottered crankset (Tom had to make the hub), and some juvenile pedals. The
little pedals are narrower than ***-sized pedals, so they increase the
lean angle before they touch the ground. You could try getting some smaller
(narrower) pedals as a temporary fix. But the closer your pedal is to the
ground in the first place, the less difference this will make.
Since this is a low-stress unicycle (even an *** probably won't be doing
curbs on it), if you can't find shorter cranks you can probably get them cut
and welded back together. I'm sure they will last the lifetime of the cycle
unless your son grows up to be Dan Heaton or Adam Rysnar... :-)
Stay on top,
John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone
"Someone who thinks logically is a nice contrast to the real world."