All over the world thousands of people are struggling to learn to ride a unicycle. This unique pastime has long been regarded as a nearly impossible feat, with few ever mastering the elusive technique. With Inventist's new invention, the Lunicycle, everyone can learn to ride a unicycle, even if you aren't a circus performer or have freakishly amazing balance.
The main innovation in the Lunicycle was inspired by one of Shane Chen's other inventions, the Solowheel (www.solowheel.com), a motorized unicycle without a seat. The Solowheel's uses leg pads to keep the Solowheel upright from side to side. The Solowheel got Shane thinking about applying the same concept to a human-powered version. The absence of a seat on the Lunicycle makes balancing a breeze to learn, allowing a new rider to catch on in a matter of minutes or hours instead of the weeks or months required to learn to ride a unicycle.
Seatless unicycles existed but are even harder than regular unicycles to use. It was difficult to balance on just the pedals, so Shane added leg pads as a place for calves to rest. By allowing the calves to brace against the pads, balance became much easier and riding more enjoyable. Standing instead of sitting utilizes a different, and more natural, form of balance. Instead of indirectly balancing by using the pedals to keep the rider upright, the Lunicycle uses the bodies natural walking motion to keep balance.
While redesigning the wheel, some other shortcomings of conventional unicycles were also addressed. A perfectly round tire created a problem: when the feet are at twelve and six o'clock there was a loss of momentum, creating a "dead zone." If you have ever seen a traditional unicycle, there is a little pause where the rider loses momentum until his feet turn over into the next revolution.
To eliminate this shortcoming, Shane decided to change the shape of the wheel from a round to an oval shape. He created this special wheel so that when the feet are at twelve and six o'clock, the longest part of the oval is just past its tipping point and assists the rider through the dead zone. This eliminated the loss of momentum because the oval tire was balanced on the smallest part, which caused the tire to naturally turn itself over into another revolution. Similar to setting an egg on its smallest tip, the Lunicycle rolls much easier, creating a smoother ride.
Unit weight: 5lbs
Unit size: 20x12 inches
Max load: 300lbs
Tire/Wheel size: 20 inches
US Retail price will be $180 each
Risks and challenges
We have connected with a manufacturer we have worked with previously. Since we have worked with this company before we are confident that the manufacturing process will go smoothly. The majority of the cost is associated with making molds for the Lunicycle, as well as placing a large enough order to begin production.
There is always a chance that product testing with the prototype will reveal necessary changes needed - however we can easily make those changes and stay on time for delivery. We are excited to bring a new unicycle to the market that makes it easier than ever for everyone to learn!
- (30 days)