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Old 2012-10-13, 04:51 PM   #16
scott ttocs
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Unigoat,

Your experience is not very different from mine. I did not find shifting all that hard to pick up when I was starting out. However, I still cannot shift on demand every time or in only one rotation. I have been riding on the road and so do not shift all that often in a normal ride.

I find proficiency with high gear to be more challenging than shifting with a 36". I can ride it fine, but the balance envelope is much narrower than a normal 36" and I had a number of falls, some not pleasant, early on. I have since backed off and have been riding it with the goal to be as comfortable as possible rather than pushing it. That attitude has worked better and I am riding more easily with very few UPDs.

Good luck with your new toy. It is a lot of fun and a new challenge.

Scott
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Old 2012-10-14, 01:34 AM   #17
aracer
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Originally Posted by scott ttocs View Post
I find proficiency with high gear to be more challenging than shifting with a 36". I can ride it fine, but the balance envelope is much narrower than a normal 36" and I had a number of falls, some not pleasant, early on. I have since backed off and have been riding it with the goal to be as comfortable as possible rather than pushing it. That attitude has worked better and I am riding more easily with very few UPDs.
The question then is whether the balance envelope is smaller than the envelope would be for a 54" wheel, ie is it the Schlumpf which makes a difference or is it just that a bigger wheel is harder? In other words does a Schlumpf 24 have a smaller balance envelope than a 36 unguni? Just wondering whether it's some added factor with the Schlumpf which makes it harder to ride - plausible, as the action of the torque arm on the frame could provide positive feedback.

I went out for my first proper ride at speed today. Went out with the intention of getting comfortable rather than pushing it - was actually surprised at how fast I did go, with my fastest 500m covered in 1:25.5 (average 21.1km/h, 13.1mph), which included slowing down to pass a group of people - my Garmin says I peaked at 25.6km/h which seems plausible and certainly doesn't look like a glitch. Wasn't actually expecting to be any faster than my previous ungeared 29er. Maybe not all that fast - I'm sure people go faster than that on ungeared 29ers, let alone 36ers, but it was my first ride on it at speed, and my previous fastest 500m (on the same track) was 1:35, so that's the fastest I've ever been on a uni. Only had 1 UPD apart from when shifting, and that was fortunately when going really slowly - though actually it seems to get more stable at speed. Had a pretty scary moment at speed once though when I found myself falling forwards and as I accelerated to stay on I realised that if I did come off I was making it worse by doing that!

As for the shifting, that's getting more comfortable, towards the end of my session I was consistently shifting up and down without UPD - in fact the only UPD I had after my first few attempts was when I tried to downshift when going too fast and my legs couldn't accelerate quickly enough. Not that I was always shifting when I wanted to - that's still going to take a bit of practice, but I think I know what I'm trying to do now. I do actually mostly seem to be shifting with my ankle bones, not my heels - helped by my right ankle bone being very prominent, and it is after all the upshift which is more important (at this point for me I'm not so bothered if I have to dismount to downshift). Means I need to wear the AM41s, but hopefully I'll be picking up some ankle protection tomorrow which will allow me to use the Gravels with that technique.

Oh - I also raised my saddle a bit - had deliberately set it low, more towards my muni height in the theory I had better control that way, but raising it actually made it more comfortable. Up a bit more tomorrow I think. The only issue then is that the 152 cranks definitely feel too long for road use. I'd really like some 140s, but they appear to be like rocking horse poo in square taper, so I guess I might have to try 125s - the same size as on my 29er unguni and they work fine on that, but I was kind of hoping for a lower bottom gear to help me get up the one steep bit of hill I can't make on that. I just hope I can get some which will fit on the short Schlumpf axle without hitting the bearing holders (the spare 152 cranks I got with the uni don't).
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Old 2012-10-14, 06:10 PM   #18
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Third Guni ride today

Today I went for a ride, first time in the daylight, and in the forest.
The first part was a single track, I did in low gear.
them I came to a tarmac bicycle path, I got of and switch to high gear.
A few km's tarmac and then onto easy forest road, still in high gear.
There I tried my first real shift, slowed down, left ankle inward, and CLICK, I was in low gear . No UPD, no hassle whatsoever. Also no problem anymore of adapting to the 1:1 gear ratio.
The trail I choose today was very easy, and I practiced shifting a lot today. Shifted up and down about 100 times, with only a few UPD's.
I find downshifting easier then upshifting.
Downshifting happens mostly in one try, upshifting requires two or three tries.
I experienced all the shifting issues that a lot of people write, like the "gap" between low and high gear, and the shifting delay when there is force on the pedals.
No of these issues throw me of, luckily.

I didn't expect to shift today, so I was very pleased to say the least.
I expected a far longer learning period.

I see that Aracer is also doing pretty well after just a week, keep going

The speed that I get in high gear is about 20 km/h, not that fast, but that will increase with practice.

After I got home I changed the big, heavy rolling tire, for a Schwalbe Furious Fred, the other end of the MTB tire spectrum.
400 gr light, no rolling resistance and no grip.
In low gear the Muddy Mary works fine, but in high gear I constantly have the feeling that it holds me down. Lets see how the FF works out next ride.
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Old 2012-10-15, 12:04 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Twente Muni View Post
The speed that I get in high gear is about 20 km/h, not that fast, but that will increase with practice.
You're also on a smaller wheel than me, with a draggy tyre - I bet you'll go faster with the Furious Fred (though personally that's too flimsy a tyre for me even on a bike). Given I had to slow down a bit for pedestrians on my speed runs yesterday I checked through my data to find a bit where I didn't have that issue, and my largest distance in any 30s interval was 189m, which translates to 22.7km/h or 14.1mph

Not been out on the guni today - I had an orienteering event and then went for a muni ride in the forest where that was. I don't suppose it will do any harm to have a break from the gears and do some different riding - I've certainly found before that all uni riding tends to help with progress. Did buy my ankle protectors, so hopefully I can go back to ankle shifting using my preferred Gravels. Also had a revelation on how to get some cranks the right length...
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Old 2012-10-20, 02:06 AM   #20
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An update on my progress - went on a longish road ride from home yesterday and the day before, working on using high gear in trickier situations (my routes from home are far from straightforward, involving steep hills, narrow paths and rough/slippery surfaces), so lots of UPDs! Definitely starting to feel a bit more comfortable on it though - and with the 152 cranks in low gear I even made it up the short steep climb on the way home which I've never managed on my unguni 29er which has 125s. Gradually getting the hang of changes, but frustratingly not able to change gear on demand, which means I didn't use high gear for all the bits I could and stayed in it for some bits where low gear would have been more appropriate.

However when I got home yesterday I went out again with the aim of trying to sort out the gear changes. With a slight change of foot position I was pretty much able to change gear on demand! Tried another little trip around today and seem to have mostly sussed it, am now able to change gear at higher speed which should help a lot. The foot position I need to change gear is still a little further back than I'd like (I have diddy size 7 UK, 8 US, 41 EU feet) - I reckon some slightly shorter 140 cranks should make all the difference and also help my spin a bit, hopefully without affecting my control too much (still a bit nervous at this stage about the idea of putting 125s on). Just need to get hold of some now...

Oh and fastest 500m now 1:17.6 (average 23.2km/h, 14.4mph).
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Old 2014-09-25, 08:42 PM   #21
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Schlumpf riding tips

I happened to notice this thread during a related search. Seemed like it died out early, and perhaps would benefit from reviving. It seems like there was a flurry of new Schlumpf riders at the time, and most of the previous posters were sharing their progress stories.
I was thinking it might be useful to use this thread for tips and technique suggestions, since there didn't seem to be one like that.
So here's one from me (actually, I'm just passing it along from someone else). I've been riding a G32 since earlier this year. It's been kind of a struggle for me, and I've gone for some long stretches without riding it in overdrive at all (and periods of going back to my Coker 36"). One of the things I was struggling with was up-shifting "on the fly." I was using the "heel click" technique, since it was pretty much the only technique that people were using. But it seemed problematic and inconsistent for me. To begin with, my cranks were too long (150mm), and my heel didn't conveniently fall in the correct spot to shift, so that was a problem. So not long ago I put on a pair of M4O 3-hole cranks (110/130/150) and started riding on the 130 spot. My foot position was much better, and I liked the shorter length in general. But my shifting success was not much better, even though my foot was in a better position. Sometimes it worked great, other times I got thrown right off.
Then a rider over on the Facebook "Road and Distance Unicycling" page suggested shifting with the ankle. I hadn't read anything about this technique, so I hadn't tried it before. But I didn't have anything to lose, so I gave it a shot. (My regular riding shoes are ankle boots with a collar around my ankles.) I've been practicing it for two days now, and I'm going to say it works way better for me. My shifts are consistently smooth and steady, and no more throwing me off. I was previously nervous whenever I went to shift, because I didn't know if it was going to be a hit or a miss, but now I have a fair amount of confidence, and it's growing.
So that's the tip I'm passing along today. Probably won't work for everyone, but if you're having trouble with the heel technique, give it a try.
Perhaps a few more people will pass along their gems of wisdom, and eventually I'll be half-decent at riding this thing.
Cheers!
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Old 2014-09-25, 11:34 PM   #22
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Then a rider over on the Facebook "Road and Distance Unicycling" page suggested shifting with the ankle. I hadn't read anything about this technique, so I hadn't tried it before. But I didn't have anything to lose, so I gave it a shot. (My regular riding shoes are ankle boots with a collar around my ankles.) I've been practicing it for two days now, and I'm going to say it works way better for me. My shifts are consistently smooth and steady, and no more throwing me off.
I mentioned a few posts up that's the same technique I'm using. I keep trying to heel change as then I'll be able to ditch the ankle protectors, but not really getting it, whilst I'm pretty consistent using my ankles now.

Unfortunately my riding hasn't moved on a lot otherwise since my last post - not helped by having lots of time off the guni due to injury.
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Old 2014-09-25, 11:50 PM   #23
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Hi aracer,

Sorry, I must have overlooked that mention. It seems like a good method to me, so I'm abandoning the "heel click" for now, anyway.

Mainly I was hoping to restart the thread with some new tips and techniques to help the newbies or (like me) slow learners.

Here's another (really minor) tip I picked up just the other day: put more weight on the pedals. This is kind of a "crutch," I know, but it helps the control when you've just shifted up, or going over uneven terrain. I think as leg strength increases and skill improves this can kind of go away, but for now it's helpful (to me).
Cheers!

edit: sorry to hear about the injury! Hope you are able to get back to riding soon!
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Last edited by LanceB; 2014-09-25 at 11:51 PM.
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Old 2014-09-26, 07:19 PM   #24
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It's good to see this thread revived.

Since my 2012 post I have found the Schlumpf to be quite a wonderful tool. I personally went for longer cranks (150s) than what mine came with (137s). I have size 12(US) shoes and don't find it a problem to get to the shift buttons. I typically heel shift (always have), and don't find it an issue for me. I found the 150s on the G36 offered me more control in 2nd gear, and a first gear that allows me to crank up pretty much anything. It makes the uni faster and more versatile than my ungeared 36. With that I could either go fairly fast with short cranks, or climb with longer ones. Sure- dual holes help with the ungeared situation, but the instantaneous change of the Schlumpf is very satisfying.

Some things I have discovered since the 2012 post:
For me it seems to be easier to get to the buttons with Moments, than with Spirits. I don't have too much difficulty with either, but the edge goes to the Moments.

Cadence affects upshifting. Too slow and it takes a while to catch. It does require a commitment, but pedaling a bit faster and going for it seems to help with shifting speed.

Keep in mind, the hub does not like to shift under load. Anticipate the downshift and shift early. Using a rim brake, rather than a disc brake can take the load off the transmission when upshifting downhill.

A G26 is indeed a blast. A G36 is great for covering ground in a hurry and a very versatile machine, but a G26 is a ton of fun in the woods. I've had some pretty spectacular high speed G26 UPDs, but have always managed to run them out or tuck and roll. Having the virtual big wheel along with a regular muni wheel is awesome. It took a long time for me to get over the cost of the hub and purchase my first Schlumpf (36). It didn't take nearly as long to get a G26 together. I had built an ungeared 36 for my wife to ride. She is concerned about a UPD from that height. So we built her a G26. She hasn't used it a whole lot yet, but feels much better about the possibility of a UPD from that height. In the interim, I can borrow the uni with a simple seat post swap.

Some of the details that seem to be springing up here regarding shifting were addressed by Kris Holm in his book: The Essential Guide to Mountain and Trials Unicycling. It's a fantastic read, even if you consider yourself just a Road rider.

Last edited by unigoat; 2014-09-26 at 07:23 PM.
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Old 2014-09-26, 09:31 PM   #25
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Cadence affects upshifting. Too slow and it takes a while to catch. It does require a commitment, but pedaling a bit faster and going for it seems to help with shifting speed.
Hi unigoat,
Great tip, thanks! I usually do a pretty long ride on Saturday mornings, like 20 or 30 miles, with lots of shifting opportunities, so I'll work on that tomorrow. I tend to be a little timid and usually slow down when I shift, so I'll try to concentrate on doing the opposite.
Cheers!
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Old 2014-10-09, 10:22 PM   #26
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Just thought I'd post a progress report.
After a couple weeks of riding using the tips posted above, I found my overdrive riding technique has improved, but I still found my self being thrown off by seemingly small obstacles. So I recently tried another change -- I put the pedals back out to the 150mm crank hole. Big difference! I've been riding (and struggling) in overdrive on the 130mm hole for quite some time, so now riding in overdrive on the 150mm spot seems easy by comparison. Way more control. So whereas before I rode 1:1 almost all the time, and only shifted up under ideal conditions, now I'm riding in overdrive for regular conditions and only shifting down to 1:1 when I get to unusually difficult conditions (steep hills, rough terrain, crowded people/traffic). Using the ankle shift technique really did the trick, because the 150mm length was too long (for me) to use the "heel click" technique effectively. Plus in general, I find the crank's shift position with the ankle technique more forgiving. I rarely miss a shift now. My main issue now is down-shifting when I'm going too fast. That will throw me right off. (But I've gotten pretty good at running it out!)
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Old 2014-10-15, 11:01 AM   #27
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Hi guys
My progress so far.
I'd originally bought my schlumpf hub so that I could keep up with the other guys on their 36"s.

Taken from another thread......
A final point, a geared 26" can go fast and if you need to hop off it at speed, it's less far to fall than on a 36" !!

That sounds good enough for me

I put my schlumpf hub in a 26" frame two weeks ago. My uni then sat there for days because I was too scared to try it out I knew I could freemount a 24" in second gear but was a bit chicken about a 26".
Originally had the hub in a 29" but couldn't freemount at all ! Even in first gear.
Anyway, to cut a long story short I finally tried it. While hubbs was flying his RC planes I was practicing freemounting on a grass slope. After about an hour I got it ! Lots and lots more practice needed but I've done it once so I can do it again. I have a touring bar on the front of my uni, so far all of my dismounts have been upd's all off the front. I'm pleased to report that the touring bar doesn't get in the way
I've got 150' cranks and size 7 feet so I guess the only way I'll ever shift is if I get off my unicycle and push the button. That's okay, I can cope with that.
My uni is for road use only. I've got a Big Apple tyre on it at the moment, may put a hookworm on it soon.

Slightly off topic.........
I'd finished practicing, sat down, took off my uni shoes, knee pads, gloves and helmet. I sat watching hubbs fly his planes and after a while I thought " I'll just give it another go" So I picked my uni up and attempted a freemount.......so what happens when I'm not geared up....I fell off sideways, stuck my foot between the pedal and spokes, landed on my bum and hands !

Last edited by Alucard; 2014-10-15 at 11:06 AM.
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Old 2014-10-15, 11:36 AM   #28
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While hubbs was flying his RC planes I was practicing freemounting on a grass slope.
Ooh, now why didn't I think of that before? Just to go completely OT, I used to fly RC planes, but have pretty much given up since I took up uni (you can point out to your hubby that a uni is far more fun ) Now one thing I've never thought of until you posted is that I could fly planes and chase them from my uni, thus combining both hobbies. Just need a suitable venue. Oh and this won't be from my Schlumpf!

Quote:
I've got 150' cranks and size 7 feet so I guess the only way I'll ever shift is if I get off my unicycle and push the button. That's okay, I can cope with that.
I'm not the only one with that problem then. I've now got 140s instead and can shift from those, but it's frustrating that crank size is limited by foot size.
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Old 2014-10-23, 12:41 PM   #29
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I took my 26" out for a ride yesterday on smooth tarmac.
I've found out that it is easier for me to do a static freemount to get going than it is to lean against an object and push off.
Doing a freemount gives me the momentum needed to charge away and hopefully keep on the pedals. I had way more sucessfull freemounts than pushing off from walls etc.
I'm having a hard time trying to keep my left foot on the pedal as the first wheel rev comes around. Good job I've got a few pins in my pedals otherwise I'd never stay on.
If anyone asked me what it feels like to freemount a schlumpf in second gear and pedal away, I'd liken it to riding with your brakes on
Guess I need a lot, lot, lot more practice. Either that or it's not meant to be
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Old 2014-10-23, 01:11 PM   #30
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I've actually tried freemounting in high a few times recently, and can do it, but it's not great. Have you thought about slightly shorter cranks - as I suggest above my feet are the same size as yours and 140 works (137 is probably the closest in ISIS), but is still OK even for a novice like me in high on a 29er. With more practice I reckon I might even be able to go back to 150, which would make geared muni a lot more feasible.
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