Here’s a blog link to the 2017 KH lineup:
The main update is rims, plus a few component tweaks.
The rim design on the KH27.5 and KH29 is new - disc specific, tubeless compatible, Presta, wider at 55 mm and and lighter. With the Duro Crux 3.25" tire I’ve noticed that it is more forgiving on rough descents, especially in wet conditions where you don’t quite get the line right and the well-supported tire profile is much more forgiving.
At the same time it climbs incredibly well, so no sacrifice at all for XC riding. There’s no auto-steering or grabbiness in cornering.
For those who have the Fusion Zero saddle, the new(ish) Fusion One is also a major upgrade in comfort. I’m really stoked about it!
Anyway, check it out and let me know what you think.
I have a question on the new rims and hub. Are those still 36H versions? 32H hubs would open a much wider market of rims from the mtb world.
Forget the question, sorry. Found the info on your HP: 36H
How Long will 26-compatible parts be available?
I was thinking of getting a schlumpfed 26er in 2018 or 2019. (26 because of preffered 80rpm and Not wanting to run out UPDs faster than 18 kph.)
Would it make sense to get it now or will 24 do just as well? How about availability of parts?
If you want tu build up a schlumpfed uni, you don’t need to buy a whole uni and rip it appart. The you can buy all parts separately and mix parts of different manufacturers.
Just to let you know: on the Rims page the spoke length is listed as 268mm for both new rims even though they look like they are laced the same in the uni photos.
I know unicyclists bend the laws of physics but that can’t be right!
What do I win? Could it be an as-yet unannounced KH carbon fibre seat base?
Why is kh26 discontinued?
I guess its to simplify production, you could still get a 26 by putting a 26 wheel into a 27.5 frame and have a little more vertical clearance if so inclined.
26ers are on life support for now as far as the bike industry is concerned. It makes sense to follow the trends since that’s where companies are investing their time.
Tire and rim technology will be vastly more focused on 27.5 vs. 26.
It was a tough decision to take the KH26 out of the lineup. A few years ago I never would have imagined it would go. The first inkling was when I started testing the KH27.5 prototype. I thought I’d find it faster but perhaps a bit more clumsy on very technical descents. But I loved everything about it - rollability like a 29 and nimble like a 26. A real sweet spot.
But I’m fairly tall, so last year I kept the 26 in the lineup for reasons of fit. I still think that is valid - it makes sense to fine tune wheel size for fit.
But then riders like Stephanie Dietze got a KH27.5…and loved it too. I was surprised - she’s not that tall and basically the size of person for whom I thought a 26 would be ideal. That doesn’t necessarily mean others will feel the same, but it was significant.
Ultimately it’s the small size of our market and availability of plus size tires that finalized the decision. Our niche is tiny and simplicity rules - the 27.5 is really versatile.
For a geared uni, personally I’d suggest going with the 27.5 over the 24 unless you really do find it too high a gear, or are a very small person (or youth).
There are still KH26 unis in stock at some dealers, so if you are keen on that size, now would be the time.
Re the 32 versus 36 hole debate. That has gone on for years. A few thoughts:
- With the small size of our niche, it is a huge help to have a single standard. It’s tough to support more than that.
- Few as possible standards across brands = way better support of a riding community. The bike industry sucks for rolling out new and inconsistent standards.
- Given the benefit of a single standard, 36 hole best covers the extremes of our wheel size range - aggressive trials/street/flat on a 19" to the geometry of a 36er. And the shift to 27.5 from 26 also means that some riders are doing very aggressive riding on 27.5" and 29" wheels, where the extra spokes and external disc brake make a real difference for wheel strength.
Those are the main reasons I’ve advocated for staying with the 36 hole standard.
Thanks for your input on the 32 vs 36 hole debate. As uni is a niche market, should not that be the reason to follow the big bike market (=32H) to make things easier for everyone? By 36H it stays a non standard for a niche.
Understood you made your decision and it is not a big deal, as there are 32H ISIS uni hubs on the market, however I would prefer them being the excellent quality KH ones.
I can totally understand your decision.
A few months, I would have been shocked. That was the time when I still had a Specialized Purgatory Control 3" tire on my G27.5+. It was fast, but maneuvrability and nimbleness were way worse than on my 24" muni (which itself felt a bit slow). I was thinking that 26" may be the ideal muni size.
But now I changed for a Schwalb Nobby Nic 2.8" with the new apex carcass. And suddenly, the 27.5er is an absolutely perfect muni, despite I’m only 1,73m (8ft 5in) tall. The benefit in rollability is way bigger than the (nearly not to feel) loss in maneuvrability. Now I really feel that 27.5" made the 26" obsolete (as long as you have the right tire) and maybe even the 24".
Also the 27.5"x3" tires are only about 27" in diameter which is only 1 inch more than a 26" and puts you uni only 1/2" higher than a 26". That’s not that big difference. The 26" has 2" difference to the 24" and 3§ to the 29", the 27.5" has 3" difference to the 24" and 2" to the 29". so who cares. The differences in tire sidewall stability between different tires will affect your rideing way more than this one inch in diameter.
Eric, I agree. Out of my experiences changing tires within 26 or 27.5 makes bigger difference than switching from 26 to 27.5. But that was my experience. Still some people claim that 27.5 was a whole new world for them, but I haven’t met anyone yet who said they prefered 26 that much.
Actually 29" rim Is 28" And 29" mtb tyre Makes it 29"
Kris, How is the new 27.5 compared to the 26 with the 3" Knard tire ?
<applause> for that - it’s nice to see some thought going into this and presumably cooperation with Roger (I’m guessing there’s a lot more of that behind the scenes than most people are aware of), 36 does seem the logical choice given the requirement for a bit more strength. The only obvious downside is availability of rims, but actually it’s not that hard to find a 36H rim.
The actual difference in rim diameter between a 26 and a ‘27.5’ is almost exactly 1" - which is one reason I prefer the 650B designation (the quotes are deliberate). Though it should also be pointed out that a ‘29er’ rim is only 2.5" larger than a 26 - so the difference is 1" from 26 to 650B and 1.5" from 650B to 29er. Just to be pedantic, a 3" tyre on a 650B rim should be about 29" diameter - the actual rim diameters are between 4" and 5" smaller than their nominal quoted size, the difference being made up by tyres, the sizes of which obviously vary, so there is effectively some overlap in total rolling diameter (a 4" tyre on a 26 should actually be a bit bigger than a 2.5" tyre on a 29er).
I haven’t made the jump to 650B yet, realistically what is available new makes no difference to me anyway. However given I struggle to choose between a 26 and a 29 it may be the ideal size for me - would presumably also fit nicely with a 3" tyre in my Nimbus 29er frame (one of the older Oracles which won’t take a 29x3).
There’s a noticeable difference. The rolling resistance is lower and it is more forgiving. The Duro Crux 27.5x3.25" tire has really good grip in all conditions including mud. I particularly noticed it when descending on an off-angle; improved resistance to slipping sideway. The profile is still good for cornering. It is 81 mm measured width. Most 3" tires are in the 71 to 76 mm measured width range. I did notice the extra volume was helpful in absorbing shock. It’s still a good climbing tire. On the other hand, the Knard is quite a bit lighter.