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View Poll Results: Do you feel Brakes are important on a 36" Unicycle?
Yes - Brakes are very important 16 22.86%
Somewhat - Brakes are OK, but I feel they are a luxury 17 24.29%
No - I don't feel brakes are necessary on a 36er 6 8.57%
I have never used brakes on a 36er and it seems fine 8 11.43%
I have never ridden a 36" unicycle 23 32.86%
Voters: 70. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 2011-01-02, 01:14 PM   #16
bluesman
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SO are you guys saying that having longer cranks is more likely to require brakes? I figured the longer cranks would provide more leverage for a hill decent?
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Old 2011-01-02, 05:11 PM   #17
justtysen
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Quote:
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SO are you guys saying that having longer cranks is more likely to require brakes? I figured the longer cranks would provide more leverage for a hill decent?
Did anyone actually say that? I didn't see it.
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Old 2011-01-02, 06:28 PM   #18
bluesman
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Minkuni said "found that I didn't really need the brakes with the longer cranks."
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Old 2011-01-02, 06:31 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesman View Post
SO are you guys saying that having longer cranks is more likely to require brakes?
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesman View Post
Minkuni said "found that I didn't really need the brakes with the longer cranks."
These seem to be the opposite.
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Old 2011-01-02, 08:50 PM   #20
bluesman
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OK, so I shouldn't make posts to the forum when I am half asleep!!
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Old 2011-01-02, 09:10 PM   #21
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It's safer than unicycling half asleep.
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Old 2011-01-02, 09:16 PM   #22
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I voted "brake is important" because I really need it when I ride downhill steeper than I can ride uphill. The larger the wheel (and the shorter the cranks), the more I need the brake
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Old 2011-01-02, 10:18 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by bluesman View Post
Sorry you didn't like the poll options John.
I should have looked at your # of posts first, to realize you were a new user and not familiar with the history of people using the poll feature. There are rarely enough responses on polls to add up to anything meaningful other than a batch of random opinions. Rarely enough to even start to indicate trends.
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Originally Posted by uniShark View Post
..."need" is too strong a word...
I took the original question at face value. Do I need brakes on a 36"? Yes I definitely do. If I lived in Florida (very flat) I wouldn't. But even then, I might travel occasionally to places with actual hills, so I might want one for that anyway. Similar to my MUni experience, where I've always operated without a brake, though there are times when I could really use one. Another example was my trip to Unicon XV last year. I had a (borrowed) 29" Schlumpf with no brakes. The Marathon race course had nearly 2000' of downhill, and brakes would have been really useful! The second of the two laps were painful on the downhills. Also, the MUni course had some really steep spots in it, where I could have used brakes on my MUni and stayed on, rather than walking those parts.
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It's situational.
Definitely. Where you live, how you like to ride, and the youthfulness of your knees are all factors.
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Originally Posted by justtysen View Post
Descending steep hills isn't that bad if you go slow and stand up on the back pedal as it goes around. My leg is mostly locked when the greatest force is on it so it isn't that hard on the knees.
I am tempted to say that your hills aren't very steep or very long, but your location suggests otherwise. In that case, I'll just note that you're only 25. Wanna trade knees?
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesman View Post
SO are you guys saying that having longer cranks is more likely to require brakes?
There's some truth to that. Using longer cranks often means the rider is going on steeper terrain. This will increase the need for braking help, possibly beyond what the longer cranks offer. Again, especially for those of us who are no longer youngsters...
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Old 2011-01-03, 01:29 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnfoss View Post
I am tempted to say that your hills aren't very steep or very long, but your location suggests otherwise. In that case, I'll just note that you're only 25. Wanna trade knees?
There's some truth to that. Using longer cranks often means the rider is going on steeper terrain. This will increase the need for braking help, possibly beyond what the longer cranks offer. Again, especially for those of us who are no longer youngsters...
Of course, if the rider chooses much steeper terrain to climb/descend on the long cranks, they could have a greater need for a brake.

But, if the incline/declines are the same in both cases, clearly the longer the crank, the less need there is for a brake.

Pretty much by definition, the extra leverage than goes with a longer crank means that the legs can take care of the braking better than they would on a shorter crank.

My knees are 45 years old and I'm very aware of the fact that they are somewhat fragile and I avoid activites that I feel would damage them.

I also live in a hilly place, which is why I've never gone below 125mm cranks on any of my unicycles (24x3 and 29-er).

Personally, I've no interest in using a brake- to me, unicycling is about simplicity and, brakes are just a step beyond that idea of simplicity.

However, if I was into long rides of 50 miles upwards, maybe I'd be more inclined to go for shorter cranks and so have to reconsider a brake.
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Old 2011-01-03, 05:59 AM   #25
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I love having a brake on my 36" guni, and that's even with 165 mm cranks. I've got a lot of long steep single track around my town and the brake makes riding these trails possible and fun.
I also agree that even if the brake isn't necessary, using it will save your legs on the longer rides.

Brycer's Frankenbrake works really well for me. It allows me to set the pads far from the rim so that with the side to side slop inherent in a Schlumpf, the rim doesn't rub against the brake pads.

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Old 2011-01-03, 09:11 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naturequack View Post
It allows me to set the pads far from the rim so that with the side to side slop inherent in a Schlumpf, the rim doesn't rub against the brake pads.
Is that a problem? I have standard Maguras and my Schlumpf does not cause the rim to rub against the brake pads. I adjusted the brake pads when I had a standard KH hub, and after installing the Schlumpf hub several months later I did not have to re-adjust them.
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Old 2011-01-03, 04:18 PM   #27
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Is that a problem? I have standard Maguras and my Schlumpf does not cause the rim to rub against the brake pads. I adjusted the brake pads when I had a standard KH hub, and after installing the Schlumpf hub several months later I did not have to re-adjust them.
Yes Hugo, that is the way things are supposed to work out. . . . .
in 2008, I had problems with brake pads rubbing on the rim on my single speed KH36 (stock HS33 brake) and I couldn't adjust the slaves far enough back form the rim so the pads would not rub on the rim at idle and under hard acceleration. I ride a well built/well tensioned wheel and the KH frame is among the strongest 36er frames out there. I even tried introducing some "float" in the brake system by overfilling it a bit, but the nusiance rubbing still was there.

I know other riders have this problem and others don't seem to be bothered by this at all. Some of the variables: Wide vs. super wide hub width, wheel build quality/spoke tension, wheel bearing wear, frame flex, air in the brake lines, ammt of bearing wear in Schlumpf hubs and rider weight (I'm 200 lb) all contribute to this.

Anyway, I developed the frankenbrake for my own KH36er use and after selling a few of them on here, I found that it made it possible to guarantee good brake performance on ANY 36er with Magura brake bosses, regardless of all the other factors listed above.

Cheers,
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Old 2011-01-03, 04:47 PM   #28
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In my opinion, on flat hard surface one doesn't really need brakes at all, but if we are taking about going down on a slope than brakes might help, although they are not 100% necessary. You have to be carefully not to apply too much of brakes because they can throw you off balance.
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Old 2011-01-03, 07:38 PM   #29
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I need brakes on my 36er. Long cranks, short cranks, the only difference between the two are a couple inches... after enough miles of downhill it still hurts the knees just as bad.
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Old 2011-01-04, 08:38 PM   #30
Nurse Ben
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I have brakes on all my unis (26, 29, 36). Though I don't use them all the time, I do find that they increase my stability on descents and for holding me steady when resting against objects. I could get by without brakes on my 36er if I was running longer cranks (165), though even then there are some downhills that I would always use my brakes.

Maybe if I was better at spinning and had more "nerve", brakes culd be optional on my 36er, but at this point I am still sorta new to riding a 36er (less than a year) so it's not my natural ride. I could get by without a brake on my munis, but they make riding more fun and help with fine control or when my legs need a rest.
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