History of Monowheels and the Move to Bicycles

Pages: 2 (748 words) Published: December 4, 2013
Theoretically, monowheels have the potential to be the most efficient mode of land transportation. Monowheels have fascinated scientists for centuries. There have been many major breakthroughs in monowheel technology, but the vehicle is still not a practical mode of transportation. In theory, it could be a more efficient way of transportation because the single wheel has less rolling resistance than four or two wheels. A monowheel is a vehicle with one wheel that the driver sits inside (Southall). This is not to be confused with a unicycle where the driver sits over the wheel, or a diwheel where the driver sits between two wheels (Merchant). A monowheel may have more than one wheel, but only one touches the ground. A larger outer wheel makes bumps less jarring (History of the...). The main wheel of a monowheel is not always perpendicular to the ground (Motorwheels monowheels). The frame of a monowheel has ball bearings at each corner, which the outer wheel rotates on (Deliu). There is no steering mechanism for monowheels (History of the...). Steering a monowheel usually requires the driver to shift their weight to one side or place a foot on the ground. B It is hard to balance at low speeds and when stopped (Deliu). As long as a monowheel has forward motion, it will remain upright (Southall). Driving a monowheel requires careful throttle and brake control to prevent gerbilling. (Deliu). Gerbilling is when the inner frame and the driver of a monowheel makes a complete turn upside-down and then returns to the correct orientation at least once. It is called this, because it is similar to a gerbil or small rodent running too quickly on an exercise wheel. Gerbilling is caused when the driver accelerates too quickly or brakes suddenly. Alfred D'Harlingue made a propellor-driven monowheel. A propellor-driven monowheel has a lower chance of gerbilling during acceleration because it is pulling the frame forwards, not driving off the outside wheel. Small wheels or skis are...
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