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Old 2013-02-20, 02:20 PM   #1
onewheeldave
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New quax 36: first 36-er unicycle for me

Just taken delivery of a Quax Luxus Marathon 36-er

Had many doubts as I live in a hilly area and suspect that the 36-er isn't going to be able to tackle some of the hills. Up to now I've been happy riding, first a 24x3 (nimbus), then a quax 26 and found them very suitable for the terrain round here.

The Quax 36 looks v. nice- just finished putting it together, and will take it out for a bit of a try later on this afternoon.

I'm pretty sure I'll end up ordering some 160/165/170mm cranks as it's come with the stock 145mm, and, though they're fine on my 26er, I doubt they'll give me the level of control and hill descending ability I'll be wanting (the 36-er is a brakeless model).

Been back and forth on getting a 36-er for several years now, but it hit me that there's no chance I'm going to leave this mortal coil without having a good go on one

Figured that, in the worst case scenario of me just not getting on with a 36-er, I could sell it on so I shouldn't be massively out of pocket.

Inital thoughts on handling it when putting it together were that it's less intimidating than I imagined, though, having read the many 36-er accounts on here, I will be treating it with respect- on the 26-er I never wear a helmet, but definitly will on the 36-er, plus maybe some elbow pads etc.
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Last edited by onewheeldave; 2013-02-20 at 02:24 PM.
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Old 2013-02-20, 02:55 PM   #2
WheelieDaft
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Looking forward to hearing how you get on. I'm trying to get the money together for a new 29er and it WILL have 150mm cranks!

I rejected buying a 36er mainly because I live on the side of the Pennines and I'm just not skilled/strong enough to get a big wheel like that running on these hills
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Old 2013-02-20, 03:34 PM   #3
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I would start with the $10 quax 170s and move down, i run 150s on my 26 and 140s on a 24
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Old 2013-02-20, 03:37 PM   #4
Nurse Ben
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Nice, 36ers rule!

Hold tight on those cranks, esp if they are the newest style of QuAx cranks, they look very nice and durable.

I go back and forth on long cranks, for muni I prefer 165's, but for road a 145/150 is really pretty good, esp if you want to ride fast and have a smooth spin; 165's are terrible for riding fast.

If the new QuAx cranks are low Q, you might like the Moments or Spirits 150/125 which would give you a second hole for spinning even faster.
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Old 2013-02-20, 06:13 PM   #5
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welcome to the 36er club onewheeldave Watch out it's addictive...I'm pants at riding my nimbus 36. I can only free mount around 25% successfully. I hop it like a vibrating chicken. But after a ride I come home with a huge buzz 150s are working for me at the moment. As I nearly bought a Quax I'd be interested in how you get on.
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Old 2013-02-21, 12:01 PM   #6
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no photos? come on man
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Old 2013-02-21, 02:49 PM   #7
onewheeldave
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Couldn't post yesterday pm as my internet kept going down.

Did take the 36-er out for a first go.

First issue was finding a suitable place to try it i.e. a lamp post on level ground- surprisingly few of those in the immediate vicinity.

Found one which involved a small kerb drop- not ideal, but had a few goes.

It was interesting to be back at the beginner 'clinging to a lamp post and trying to pluck up the courage to launch off' stage again', but, after a few attempts I managed to ride a few pedal strokes.

Realised there was no way I'd be attempting free mounting at this point, so wandered off in search of a longer road (with some convenient lamp posts).

Never realised just how totally unflat this place is- not just in terms of the really steep hills that I ride on the 26-er, but just the milder inclines that are an issue when trying a new 36-er.

Eventually found a place where I could go 30 yards or so, and, though a bit wobbly, managed to do that.

Feeling confident on the flatter stuff, i thought it'd be interesting to tackle a nearby hill- at this point I started to think that the 36-er in it's current state, is not going to be viable- got part of the way up, but was at the limit. Not surprising really- the hills round here are tough on the 26-er, and, I'm currently pretty fit.

Also became aware of another issue- riding a 36-er round here is going to be primarily on the roads- as a non-driver, I don't have the option of driving out to a place with nice long paths. I think it's unlikely I'm going to feel that it's safe to ride on roads with cars, with the level of control I'd get with 145s. Possibly after a few months riding I'd consider it, but no way would I be happy actually doing the learning process on roads, and, I'm afraid, roads are the only practice option I have.

I came home and decided I needed longer cranks- I'm pretty sure I'll need them even when I'm confident on the 36-er, but, for actually learning to ride it, I think longer cranks will definitly help a lot.

So I put in an order with unicycle.co.uk for some nimbus venture II 165mm cranks, and with their usual excellent service, they arrived the following day (this morning).

I've just put them on and am about to embark on phase II of project 36

Will be interesting to see what difference a pair of cranks 20mm longer will make.
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Old 2013-02-21, 03:25 PM   #8
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How would you describe the build quality of your new ride?
Thanks!
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Old 2013-02-21, 05:17 PM   #9
onewheeldave
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newob View Post
How would you describe the build quality of your new ride?
Thanks!
As far as I can see- outstanding.

Which I expected, as I've had a quax 26 for coming up to a year and it's been an excellent machine with zero issues- I think most of the high end quax stuff is good build.

It's got the ISIS hub- in the case of the 36-er it's the red hub, which is not rated as being as strong as the yellow one on the 26-er, but as the 36-ers a road machine, it doesn't need the strongest hub.

Machined bearing holders, look similar to the ones on the KH.

Cranks look strong- though I've now switched them out to the nimbus venture 160mms as I needed longer ones.

Saddle seemed OK on the short rides I've done- I fully expect to be swapping it for something different as, personally, I generally find quax saddles not that comfortable on longer rides.

On the whole, I'd say build quality is fine- I regard quax, KH and Nimbus as being, for my purposes, pretty much as good as each other i.e. you won't go wrong with any of them.
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Old 2013-02-21, 05:37 PM   #10
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Todays efforts- having put on the longer nimbus 165mm cranks:

Starting on a lamp post, I immediately started rocking back and forth and could tell that the longer cranks would greatly facilitate idling.

Lauching off, I immediately UPD'd due to forgetting that longer cranks need a lower seat in this case, 20mm differerence meant my lower foot could barely reach the pedal when I set off.

It very quickly became apparent that the 165 cranks were 'beast tamers'- the 36-er with that gearing, seemed not dissimilar to the 26-er, though obviously I was a lot higher up, so I took things steady.

Hills are much more doable- I could head down something fairly steep and retain the ability to slow to a controlled crawl, without the danger of the wheel getting out of control.

Uphills were hard work- but this time soley down to the weight of the tyre, the cranks gave enough leverage to get me up them. Obviously not the super-steep ones, but, I feel that with a bit of forward planning concerning hiils/routes, it's feasable to run the 36-er round here.

For riding, 165's actually felt a bit long- I can see that, even with the hills in Sheffield, I'll be very tempted to try 160's. I have a KH dual hole crank with a 150 setting on my 29-er, so may give that a go, but I'd prefer to try 160s initially.

Tried a free mount and actually landed a roll-back mount on the first attempt couldn't do it again though. On the 26-er I've got into the habit of mounting into an idle, purely cos when jump mounting, I'd sometimes end up with my mounting foot imperfectly placed, and have to re-mount. Whereas with a roll-back to idle mount, it's easy to reposition the foot.

I use that mount so often that my jump mount has become very shoddy- managed a couple of times today on the 36-er.

Did a lot more actual riding today, and, got the all important fun-factor which was lacking yesterday with the 145mm cranks. Dismounted often, as I didn't want to take too many risks- found a ready supply of lamposts/walls which made mounting a lot quicker.

Then at the end of the ride, did some pure mounting practice on the flat- managed to roll back mount into an idle several times: this is very good for my confidence, as, if I can get a consistent idle down on a particular unicycle, I feel as though I've got a lot of control over it. It was also quite fun to work on it, and I'm not usually one for just practicing a trick- usually much happier actually riding.

So I'm more optimistic after today- as long as there's a reasonable amount of fun involved, I know I'll be more up for putting in the time necessary to get the hang of 36-er'ing.

I'm thinking that I'll try going out at night when the roads are quiet, to get used to being on the roads with it and maybe covering some bigger distances.

Just in case though, I'm going to hang on to the (inconveniently large) box, so if, as time goes by, I come to conclude that the 36er isn't suited to my type of riding, I'll have the option of selling it on.
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Old 2013-02-22, 12:16 AM   #11
newob
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That's all good news on the build quality -- thanks for the report!
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Old 2013-02-22, 09:59 AM   #12
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don't give up, you need time
thank you for sharing your experience
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Old 2013-02-22, 01:06 PM   #13
Wayne69
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I got my QX Series disc 36 a week ago and I can honestly tell you that keeping the box is not necessary...... The 36 is soooooooooo AWESOME! The smootheness and smiles you get from these machines are just too good to trade for anything else!
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Old 2013-02-23, 05:28 PM   #14
knoxuni
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what seat do the quax come with?
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Old 2013-02-26, 05:35 PM   #15
onewheeldave
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Did another practice today- a few things were different. First, no lamp post mounting this session- focused on freemounting.

I decided to use the jump/static mount, rather than the roll-back, as I thought it'd be more successful- wasn't really counting, but seemed to be hitting around 1 in 4 attempts.

When riding, it felt way more like a unicycle than it did last time- kind of like a big 29-er, rather than a monstrous beast just waiting to throw me off.

Got a new issue- last lot of riding sparked off an old right leg issue (planter/achilles tendon) that had been a problem most of last year, but, had seemed to disappear recently.

I'm guessing it was the impact from unsuccessful mounting attempts and UPDs with the last lot of 36-er riding. So, this time, I made a big effort to land on my left foot when dismounting.

Rode down to a nice flat stretch and just practiced mounting and riding- had a go at idling, without much success. Made sure I headed back before getting too tired.

Coming back is uphill- and, it was a drag. I do these hills every ride on my 26-er, and, they're tough, but, not the chore they are on a 36 (even with the long 165 cranks).

After the climb, I decided to practice freemounting again before going home.

This was interesting, cos I had a go at the roll back mount, and nailed it first time. So I did it a few more times and found that I could just jump up, catch the upcoming right pedal with my foot, get my balance/follow it back into a few strokes of an idle- then ride off.

The reason I switched to roll-back mount with the 26-er, was because with the static mount, every few mounts my right foot would end up annoyingly slightly misplaced, whereas if I roll-back mounted into an idle, it was very easy to adjust a slightly misplaced foot (which were rarer anyway, than with the static mount).

I really enjoyed doing the rollback into idle mount, so, by the end of the ride I was faced with the decision about which mount I'm going to focus on?

The static/jump mount is clearly more useful in more circumstances- e.g. on rougher ground or on inclines: on the other hand, I'm far more used to the roll-back from using it on the 26-er.

Plus, it will definitly help me nail idling, which I consider a very useful skill, as I've never got on with hopping.

All in all, an enjoyable session. Shame that the 36-er is hopeless on hills (uphills- the long cranks work well for the downhills) but, the mounting successes have definitly gone down well.

I did get tired of having the big box take up loads of space in my flat, but, rather than bin it, i just pulled out the staples and flat packed it behind some cupboards.

I'm guessing it'll be several weeks before I decide whether or not to hang on to the 36er.
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