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Old 09-06-12, 09:32 PM   #1
Scooper
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Gyro-stabilized Electric Unicycle

Since it only has one wheel, it's not a bike, but it looks like it has potential for a multi-mode commute. It appears to be a sort of portable Segway. At $1800, it ain't cheap.

10 mile range, 10 mph, weighs 26 pounds.

http://www.gizmag.com/solowheel-gyro...nicycle/17900/



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Old 09-06-12, 10:15 PM   #2
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There must be some kind of formula for a cost to benefit ratio. This would have a negative number. $1800 my $#%. Yeah, I'll rush right out and get one.
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Old 09-07-12, 01:16 AM   #3
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Not considering the price tag but only the potential merits of the device since it can't be pedaled and it only goes 10-12 mph at its maximum speed and has a (in bike terms) short range capability. Looks to me like would be for side-walk and MUP riding for someone who doesn't like to walk. Not really my cup of tea.

I have no problem at all with adding motorized assist of any type to any type of cycle including unicycles if one so desired. But once you remove the pedals or make them fairly pointless (like those factory built mo-peds that you really don't won't to try to pedal unless you absolutely have too) then I start to get a little suspicious. As far as I'm concerned any type of assisted cycle should be set up so that it can be pedal powered only with no disadvantage beyond the additional weight of the power assist system and that when under power assist pedaling increases speed or range or both so there is still a serious incentive to pedal.

Once you loose the pedals or make them minimally functional such that they are really only there to meet legal requirements in my mind you are no longer a cyclist and rather in the motor-cycle category right along with the Harleys and such. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing since many motor-cycles are more fuel efficient then most cars and thus allows the user to expend less resources and leave a smaller ecological footprint to service their transportation needs and for the most part I'd rather share the road with more motor-cycles and less cars but I much prefer functional pedals that allow me to make a meaningful contribution to the system. Even my 35cc 4-cyl assisted bicycle is set-up such that me pedaling makes a meaningful contribution. On the flat running under the motor power alone I get just a little over 100 miles per gallon and go about 20-mph. If I pedal constantly it boosts my fuel economy up to about 150-mpg and my cruising speed to 25-mph a noticeable difference in both cases that provide enough incentive to keep me from getting lazy even with an IC set-up which a lot of electric assist guys turn their nose up at failing to realize that the power they use to charge their batteries also requires an ecological footprint to generate and send down the wires to them to use in their bike. And when I want to run silent I can still pedal the bike without the motor running no problem with the additional weight of the motor making only a slight difference in performance.

Don't get me wrong, the smooth quiet power of an electric assist drive is very nice and I run electric assist bikes as well but they have their limitations but I'm fully willing to consider any power source that allows me to make my bicycle a more versatile tool that allows me to use it more and the car less and leaves less of a ecological footprint. I'm a conservationist and an athletic-ist not an environmentalist. To conserve and use less resources to accomplish the same needs is highly desirable and to promote physical fitness and athletic prowess as a daily part of living ones life is also highly desirable.

When you take away the pedals or make them less then functional that is where I draw the line and call fowl and say you aren't promoting the athletic benefits of cycling and are just giving people another tool to be more lazy so instead of walking a mile or two to work (a mile or two is within easy walking distance and doesn't even need a bicycle in my mind) they just step onto this little rechargeable wheel thing the moment they step out of their front door and then ride all the way to work just lazily standing on the motorized wheel thing not pedaling or nothing. Yes, It is most certainly a better option then a car with most certainly a smaller ecological footprint but it doesn't pass the lazy test to my mind. So yes if it is this or a car go with this but a cycle that allows you to pedal and provides a tangible incentive benefit for doing so would be much better.

Put fully functional pedals on it and make it cheaper and we may have a good option but short of that I give it only a barely passing "C-" grade.
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Old 09-07-12, 01:38 AM   #4
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I'd rather walk. Or for that matter ride my bike. If you aren't travelling under your own power for a trip of under 30 miles or so I don't see the benefit.
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Old 09-07-12, 07:40 AM   #5
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The pricing is clearly a major stumbling block, but on a multi-mode commute I think it could be a real time saver. If you have an hour long walk on one end of your commute, something like this could shorten it to fifteen minutes without the hassle of dealing with a bike on the bus or train and secure parking for it. Just take it into your office and plug it in for a recharge.
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Old 09-07-12, 07:51 PM   #6
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I bet they would sell like hotcakes in NYC
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Old 09-08-12, 10:09 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooper View Post
The pricing is clearly a major stumbling block, but on a multi-mode commute I think it could be a real time saver. If you have an hour long walk on one end of your commute, something like this could shorten it to fifteen minutes without the hassle of dealing with a bike on the bus or train and secure parking for it. Just take it into your office and plug it in for a recharge.
Agreed, as I said it is a better choice then a car but they need to make a model with fuly functional pedals (folding perhaps to go along with the portability factor?), preferably the market dominant model.
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Old 09-18-12, 06:29 AM   #8
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Now here's a good idea: http://www.grindtv.com/outdoor/blog/...ation+forever/
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