100 Mile world record attempt on March 10th


I’ve been composing an elaborate announcement thing in my head for this forum for a long time. But instead I’m just going to say: “Hey! I’m trying to break a world record!” because there are a ridiculous number of tasks to finish, I’m completely overwhelmed, and if I don’t do this right now I never will. And it’s happening really soon!

So. There is a website. I’m tweeting about it, blogging, and, uh, facebooking. twice. (funny story I won’t bore you with).

Saturday March 10th is the date. It’s in Kingston Ontario. Any Ottawa, Toronto, or Montreal riders free that weekend let me know! There are driving coordination plans going on right now for all those cities. The local unicyclists here in Kingston are putting on a learn-to-unicycle workshop during the attempt (among lots of other cool stuff), and the more people to help spread the sport the better!

We’re (I’ve got a team of about 9 dedicated people helping organize this, and it’s backed by the Queen’s University chapter of Engineers Without Borders) trying to promote sustainable food. Eating locally grown produce, and choosing fair trade products where possible.

Ok I’m going to cut myself off at that, since I need to get sleep so I can get in a ride tomorrow morning. I like this better too – instead of me trying to start off by covering all the points in one post, we can just see where the discussion goes! If it goes. Hopefully it goes. I like the community here. I don’t post much, but I’m an active lurker.

Good luck!

I am leaving on the 9th heading out east again but I don’t think I will make it to Kingston in time… :stuck_out_tongue:

What setup are you using?

I’m excited to see this happen! It sounds like you’re doing a great job at getting people involved and making it an awesome event. It should be fun!

This record has been asking to be broken for so long now, and I really hope you take it a good notch down. It’ll be especially cool to have it broken ungeared before anyone takes it on geared up.

From what I know, Phil is doing it on an ungeared 36" unicycle, with aerobars. The track is a quite long - was it 800m - tarmac loop?

Hope the snow clears for you!


Eric: Sam is correct!

  • Nightrider Tire, 29" tube, Stealth rim
  • KH (ungeared) hub, Qu-Ax 100mm cranks, Odyssey pedeals
  • 5:10 Impact shoes (just got them a couple weeks ago, very pleased)
  • KH frame with KH adjustable seatpost. Fusion freeride seat. I really want to try the street, but it's too late to think about changing configurations.
  • KH T-Bar and Profile Airstryke aero-bars -- just upgraded from a broken cheapo pair. Got the new ones used from my LBS (for free!).

Here’s me riding, pretending not to be cold in the -2c air while my friend took some photos (old aero-bar setup):

Where’s the eastern destination?

Sam: Thanks!! Pro-tip for anyone thinking about trying a distance record: Sam is a fountain of quality supportive advice.

Yeah, we got a good dump of snow last weekend that’s still hanging around (crazy blizzard right after this tv interview)… If I believed the 10-day forecast, there will be snow-showers on the 9th. But also a high of 5c which is rideable!

Weather is going to be a pretty big factor in this. It’s been frustrating trying to train in the winter. I’m hoping for at least 3c when I’m riding; colder than that and it starts irritating my lungs after a while. I’m optimistic about that though!


Good luck with that Phil! Hope the weather is kind to you.


How come such heavy shoes? I would have thought that setting a fast spinning record would be easier with less rotational weight, therefore shoes are a fairly easy place to lose a few grams. Maybe it is worth it for the grip. They seem over-specced for distance riding to me- I would want to try clip-in shoes some time but I mostly go for light breathable shoes if possible but I don’t set any records (apart from slowest person around the mountain).

You might want try a Foss tube. I ran a 29er tube in my KH36 until I discovered the Foss. It is actually lighter than the 29 tube, and no stretching required.

Good luck Phil,

It does sound as if you are doing everything right there.


Thanks Rob, I hope so too!

Personally I value grip and stiff soles over weight. The roads in Kingston are very rough, and sometimes when I hit big bumps that I don’t see, my feet slide on the pedals, which is very scary at high speed. So far I’ve been lucky they haven’t actually slipped off the pedal. The 5:10s have been much better for this. There probably are more appropriate shoes for road riding, but they seem to have a good reputation and I have no time to experiment.

I was actually a bit disappointed in the stiffness of the soles at first. Thought they’d be stiffer. However in actual use they’ve been just fine, and it makes walking in them a little nicer.

And the weight isn’t as bad as it looks. They’re lighter than my last pair of cycling shoes, and I get the impression they’re about the same as my smaller-looking runners.

I’d love something lighter, but these work.

Also… the very idea of clipping in terrifies me. Haha. I’d end up riding super-slow just out of fear.

Is the foss tube really lighter than a typical 29" tube? I will have to check it out! …after March 10th. I’ve had really good luck with 29" tubes, and this one’s been going for about 1000 km so I’m pretty confident in it.

I really wanted to experiment with shaving my nightrider to save some weight, but school got in the way, and now it’s too late. The one I’m on is about 1/2 worn down in the middle, and the profile has become annoyingly square, but it works. It’s really great actually, just the lure of something a bit better gets me…

Thanks! Your vote of confidence means a lot Roger!

Just got back from a good, if short ride (35km). It was take-it-easy learn-to-pace-not-race day. Rode out into a headwind averaging about 23.5 km/hr, and then managed 25-28km/hr on the way back. Probably should have tried to keep the top speeds a little more in line, but I wasn’t over-exerting, and I feel like I could have kept going forever.

Wind is going to be a huge factor. If it’s calm on March 10th, I’m going to be really really happy.

Good luck with your attempt Phil.

With regards to the shoes; I picked up a pair of five ten freeriders a few days ago at M.E.C. They’re about 300g lighter than the impacts per shoe. I really like them so far.


300g per shoe? Wow. Something to look forward to in a couple years when the impact wear out I guess.

What is the current record?

From the “Who has completed a 100 mile ride?” thread.

Nah it is not. According to the website it is 247g which is good, about half the weight of a rubber 36" tube, but it is not as light as a 29er- I weighed one at 178g. If I were you I would stick with what is working- if something works don’t fix it!

I’ve had trouble with my Foss tube in my 20" Equinox that I bought late last year. I pumped it up to 80psi a few times after about two or three days it would always be back at 40psi. The sidewall is rated 85 to 110psi. One day about a month ago I pumped it up to 90psi and the next day it was flat. I discovered a hole in the seam - a manufacturing defect.

I tried a patch on the hole, the special Foss ones and put a small amount of air in. The air crept out along the seam and under the non-vulcanised patch. I tried a lighter- encouraged by the videos on youtube of people sticking nails through their Foss tubes and fixing them by melting it with a lighter and stamping it shut. It made it worse as it seemed to melt the glue holding the seam. I tried again with a patch but I sanded the seam down so it was a nicer surface. Again the patch did not stick. I went back to an old rubber tube and patched the slow leak. I found several other people on Bike Forums who had problems including seam failures with them and gave up. Others swear by them so maybe I should try again.

I reckon good luck on the 29er tube!

Where do you get your figures? I used scales. Stretching isn’t that hard if you are careful and patient. You must be getting really heavy 29er tubes, what brand?

Hmm, I’ll have to weigh the spare 29" tube I’ve got. No intent to change my setup before March 10th though.

Maybe if my plans to build a 48" rim pan out I’ll look at the Foss as a tube option. Might be pushing it for a 29"… that’s a ways off though.

Good luck. Get lots of rest before the event, stay hydrated, stay focused but have fun.

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
― Theodore Roosevelt

Actually, now I think it might per pair, not clear on website. In any case, they’re still significantly lighter.

Thanks Straightarrow, haha planning a big event around it makes this challenging, but I’m doing my best!

That is an amazing quote. Great thing to wake up to. I’m going to read that again before the ride!

I’ll try to find a scale to weigh the impacts at some point. They’re really not that bad! And are much lighter than my previous shoes (I’ll try to find out their brand when I’m back home… Axo or something?).

Best of luck to you Phil.

Good luck Phil~!

It’s a beast of a record, particularly on an Unguni. It’s been in existence for almost 25yrs, so thanks for kicking off interest in this again.

There have been at least 3 or 4 attempts at this record since 1987, so hopefully this will be it!

Phil is also going to be the first unicyclist to attempt a record under the new IUF World Record Guidelines. It aims to standardise records and make it reproduceable. As such, this will be even tougher than the previous record- there is no drafting allowed.

All the best Phil!

Ken Looi
(former attemptee of the 100mile record :slight_smile: )