Ben Coxworth, GizMag
Riding a unicycle is kind of like juggling or playing the bagpipes, in that it’s infamously hard to master. While some people might say that that’s the whole point in learning to do it, others just want to get riding that one-wheeled bicycle ASAP. If you’re among the second group, then you might like Inventist’s uniquely-designed Lunicycle.
There are two features that reportedly make the Lunicycle much easier to ride than a regular unicycle.
First of all, its custom 20-inch wheel/tire is slightly oval. Like various bicycle chainrings such as Shimano’s now-defunct Biopace, this is claimed to compensate for the so-called “dead spot” in every pedal revolution, where the rider’s pedaling momentum momentarily dips. As described by the folks at Inventist, “When the feet are at 12 and six o’clock, the longest part of the oval is just past its tipping point and assists the rider through the dead zone.”
Secondly, as you might have noticed, the Lunicycle has neither a seat nor a hub. Ordinarily, seatless unicycles are considered even more difficult to ride than their regular counterparts. By incorporating calf-bracing extensions into the offset pedal cranks, however, the 5-lb (2.3-kg) Lunicycle is claimed to utilize a more natural type of balancing, like that used in walking.
Inventist CEO Shane Chen based its design on his company’s existing Solowheel, which is a powered self-balancing seatless unicycle. He’s also the guy behind the Segway-without-handlebars-like Hovertrax, as well as the Hydroglide electric hydrofoil surfboard.
His team is currently raising production funds, on Kickstarter. A pledge of US$130 will get you a Lunicycle, when and if they’re ready to go. The planned retail price is $180.
You can see the Lunicycle in action, in the pitch video here.