Hi All -

As some of you might know, I’ve been riding an imported prototype “Harper Hub” 29’er for a while. “Riding” isn’t really correct though … I’ve been trying to ride it. It’s tough for me to ride in 43.5" mode and although I’ve put some miles on it, I’m not at all comfortable on it.

I decided that something must be done about the situation so I took it all apart and re-laced the hub with a 26" Alex DX32 rim, then put the wheel set in one of my early 24" aluminum MUni frames. This frame was made to fit a 24 x 3.0 Gazz so it works equally well with a 26" rim and tire. I reason that the 26" wheel will be easier to ride in 39" (26" x 1.5) mode than the 29" wheel in 43.5" mode …

I had to do a little work on the frame to attach the torque arm for over drive mode. I got that job done this evening so took it for my first ride in 39" mode.

It was dark and the icy wind was blowing hard. Miserable conditions for riding but even so, I could tell that it’s much easier to ride than when it was a 29’er. I’m not crazy about the tire I’m using - An IRC Backcountry 26 x 2.25 - but that’s what was handy. I think I’ll get a 26 x 2.35 Big Apple for it eventually.

I feel kind of bad whimping out on the 29’er but honestly it wasn’t fun to ride … it was just too intense. My first impression of the 26/39’er is that it’s something that, with a little work, will work for me.

Steve Howard

You didn’t wimp out. Quite the contrary. You explored until you found something more suitable. Is it a painted frame? Does the hub fit the frame without shimming or bending the spacing between the forks? Can you still use the nylon spacer or did you have to make one of a different thickness? Does Brenda mind you propping up unicycles against the kitchen cabinets?

Re: 26/39’er

I like the way the thread title makes one think it is a typo.

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

I hope to be a 90 year old guy who rides his unicycle to the store for whiskey and condoms. - J.D. Miller

Re: Re: 26/39’er

Yeah, I also thought it was a typo.

Hey, I am very excited about the new hubs and the steps being taken to mass produce them. I was wondering if it would be possible (well I’m sure it is) to make/mass produce a hub which is “geared up” but not switchable. I know that a switchable hub is much more versatile, but I’d imagine that the production cost must be very high. If I were to fork out the money for a hub like this one, I would have it geared up most/all of the time.

I understand that for some activities (MUni, trials, and hills) more torque and leverage is what you need. But I wouldn’t be using this hub for MUni or trials, and unless I could shift it on the fly, I probably wouldn’t shift it for hills either.

BTW: That’s one great looking cycle. Good luck on mastering it.



When I first learned of Harper’s Hub, I thought the 26/39 combo was the perfect candidate. There is a plethora of 26" rims and tires available. The manueverability of the 26 would be slightly better than a 29er, and the 39er mode was just that bit larger than a Coker to make it interesting.

On a side note, the current issue of VeloVision (#12) has a recumbent bike with direct drive in the front wheel, using an un-modified Schlumpf Speed Drive in a custom hub shell. Due to the configuration, the SD gears up the 26" wheel by a factor of 2.54! Anybody for a 26/66er? :astonished: Unfortunately, it still freewheels if you stop pedalling.

Also mentioned in the article:

“…no internal-geared hubs exist with a pedal crank through the middle…”:wink:

Hey Steve, ya’ got any 24x3 frames in production yet? :smiley:

The frame is powder coated. I tossed it in with some other stuf I needed done just to see how it would turn out. It looks pretty good but anodizing is really the way to go since powder coat will chip and/or wear off over time. I didn’t have to do anything to the frame to make the hub fit but this frame is one of my early one’s before I started machining in bearing retainer lips. The nylon spacer is the same as used on the 29" frame. I had to put a spacer under the fixing screw bushing because the fork blade thickness on this frame is only 3/8" instead of 1/2". Brenda would NOT be happy if she knew I was leaning unicycles against the kitchen cabinets. You won’t tell her will you?

I’ve made a gallery of the geared hub 26" and the photos should clarify some of the above questions/answers. It’s located here:


Steve Howard

Hey Steve…do you sell whole unicycles or just frames? if you sell whole unicycles…how much do you normally charge for a 29"er like the one in those pictures? I have a broken leg right now, but once I’m able to uni again I’ll be interested in a 29"er.


bump again