Keep your center of gravity over your onewheel!

  • I think everyone here at some point either has experienced or will experience nosing in and going over the handle bars. Here's to running it out first of all! But I feel like I should say something if it can in any way help others anticipate and avoid the physics of a nosedive. Riding a onewheel is essentially riding a wheelie or manual. You are keeping the zero point or axle locked in with your own center of gravity to maintain balance. The onewheel does a lot of this balancing for you but the torque of the motor can only counterbalance so much weight and when too much is cantilevered out in front of the wheel boom you get a nose dive. All of this happens super fast because as you point the board farther and farther into the ground it only accelerates even more quickly into the ground. This is why a nosedive is often preceded by the motor reving or toping out. You can sometimes avoid this by riding and accelerating from your center of gravity instead of throttling the board around with your feet. It's fun to push it around with your feet and there is a place for it but I think riding as one unit with the onewheel is a great fundamental starting point. If you allow the onewheel to accelerate first and allmost lead the way you end up keeping the wheel out in front of you just ever so slightly. This really pays dividends as you encounter any irregularities in riding surface. Here is a short clip of a recent nosedive just to illustrate.

  • @ashewheeler Excellent post, and great recovery! You were hauling @ss and didn't even take a tumble, very impressive.

  • @thegreck thanks man got lucky! I've had to tuck and roll a few times as well as just completely eat shit! Hate to say it but kinda necessary to learn the limits.

  • @ashewheeler Excellent point! It takes a little finesse on the front and back side. One thing I'd like to add, which I know you do well from watching your vids, is to also counter balance your weight on the toe/heel sides, especially when banking. I learned this the hard way on flat pavement while doing some simple carving, but it was one of those "Ah hah!" realizations and the lesson really improved my off road performance.

  • @Code-ster Can you expand on this? Just been riding about 2 weeks and finding I still have a ton to learn.

  • @ashewheeler very well said and very important for all riders to understand.

    I've never ridden a manual unicycle and one reason for that is the learning curve. Onewheel does most of the balancing work but it has its limitations based on so many factors that all riders in extreme mode need to learn.

    I think leaning off both sensors is also a big factor in nosediving. And although firmware improvements have helped reduce this, it is still easy to do as your foot can pivot easily on one side or the other completely coming off both sensors.

    When I was a beginner I occasionally would nose dive and at first it seemed like I had not done anything wrong. Now as an experienced rider it only happens when I know I'm pushing it on purpose while understanding the risks.

    Beginners need to take it slow and proceed in extreme mode with great caution. If the board nose dives and not after low battery pushback, chances are the rider needs to think about what they did wrong rather than thinking the board did something wrong.

  • @Franky said:

    Beginners need to take it slow and proceed in extreme mode with great caution. If the board nose dives and not after low battery pushback, chances are the rider needs to think about what they did wrong rather than thinking the board
    did something wrong.

    Completly agree !!! A good knowledge of board reaction and how it works is very important. A few weeks of slowly practise, with good sensor foot placement and "nosedive" will not be part of your vocabulary...I mean that when nosedive will happen you'll certainly know why it happen...

  • Here's another Mike Tavares video I watched that's a great example of someone is usually able to avoid a bad nosedive situation by keeping his center of gravity over the wheel. He's also hauling a$$ when it happens (at 00:24) but still manages to run it out:

  • This tip has helped me a lot. I was riding on a bike path in the foothills yesterday, and twice I outran the motor and the front of the OneWheel scraped the pavement. But since I was centered and not leaning forward, I was actually able to recover both times without wrecking.

  • Michael Tavares is a OneWheel god... this is a great example of proper balance, and it's just fun to watch:

  • Great thread. Today was day 3 on my board after 2 demoralizing attempts. Stayed on for 30 minutes and no falls. Before I was leaning forward with my front leg which led to multiple nosedives and a serious gash on my hand. Now I just gradually move my center of gravity forward or back, using my core as the starting point. So much easier and now I'm starting to really have fun. The learning curve seems pretty steep so I'm psyched. I also tried grass today. That was tough but no concerns about falling on soft grass.

  • Day 4. Really getting the hang of it. It's starting to feel a lot like snow boarding. Today I discovered how to use my ankles. It's more intuitive than using your toes and allows you to maintain that center of gravity. Flexing deeply in the ankles to carve right and extending the ankles allows me to turn left.

  • Thankfully we had a warmer weekend in WI so the snow melted and I got some riding in. i was thinking of what makes the best onewheel rider and I think it comes down to controlling center of gravity at maximum speed for the given terrain. This is especially hard off-road where the surface and contour is constantly changing.

    Yesterday the grass was real soggy where as today there were only certain soggy parts. When that wheel starts slipping and spinning, can you balance through it and keep on riding? When you are trying to push the speed and you have maxed the board out, can you balance on the middle of provided torque and nose dive?

    I don't think most riders need to be great riders to enjoy onewheel, but I think it is something you can get good at and enjoy it further clearly as Tavares has demonstrated.

  • Cheers from Madison, Franky! I as well enjoyed the warmer temps this weekend on my Onewheel. I had the pleasure of experiencing a little wheel spin on gravel and it gave me some joy. I'll say that there's something so unique about this product that critics just don't understand. There's a challenge to riding the Onewheel at its limits that can't be fairly compared to any other board. There's only one point of contact with the ground and that must always be considered while riding. I haven't flirted with the pushback in Extreme much. It seems like the motor really winds up at its peak and that's when I back off. I had a funny wipeout near a mall Saturday. I was going fast onto a pedestrian ramp and had to turn fast afterwards. Not sure how it happened, but i fell forwards and rolled like a burrito off the curb and into the street. It wasn't as dangerous as it might sound as there were no cars around. I quickly got up, saved by my wrist guards, and wheeled away. A van soon pulled up and asked about the Onewheel. I answered their questions and told them that they just missed my wild crash. They said they had seen it and were all laughing. By the way, I find that I'm only getting 4.5 miles per charge, but the top speed I've seen is 18mph.

  • @dcosmos Agreed. As far as mileage, check your tire pressure. I was riding with a group of people and found that the people with low tire pressure got much worse mileage than ones with more air in the tires. 14psi seems to be a happy medium for a lot of people. Below that, and you start getting bad mileage.

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