26" raise top end speed?

I don’t think so. You may ride on the street, but as far as I can gather, you don’t ride street, there is a big difference.
Street unicycling:

Street Unicycling- Youtube

Riding on the street:

Riding on the street-Youtube

Sorry, that stuff bothers me a lot.

I’ve been riding on 110mm cranks and saw some increase in speed but not much. I saw a bigger increase in speed when I built a new wheel with a lighter hub, tire and rim. I also removed my brake.

Big wheel = easy speed
Shorter cranks = less easy speed
Geared = not easy at all speed

If you want raw, consistent speed, I would consider a larger wheel and keep the 26 on the trails.

Funny how everyone else here knew exactly what he was talking about, then you have to pick on him about this? You need to learn to hold your tongue.

Sorry, but the senseless bagging on someone for their use of english bothers me a lot.

It’s not about the use of english, it’s the point that those are very different disciplines, and while in this case there is enough context to understand it is a mistake, I felt OP might not know the difference. I might have sounded a little rough, but I have come across the issue where people introduce themselves with: “I do street unicycling.” on this forum, when they mean “I ride on the street” or ask for a good “street unicycle” and after 5 people suggest different 19" unis, it turns out they are really looking for a 29" commuter. So no I don’t think correcting that mistake was senseless.

Anyway, to get to the real point of the post: a 26" will not be a really good long distance uni, if that’s what you are looking for, but if you want to upgrade it’s speed on the cheap, something like 100mm -110mm cranks are the way to go. Even 125mm will make big difference. I would only go below 100mm on a 26" if you have any sort of traffic/curbs on your rides, or you are very experienced, since it makes braking, accelerating and turning pretty difficult. And, like others pointed out, with shorter cranks you will get the possibility to go faster, but it doesn’t immediately make you faster.

Thanks for the comments! Yes, getting the hands out in front and pretty low makes a nice triangle with the seat and pedal contact points and seems the most stable. I like how the bars are set on the Coker that I got from LanceB, approximately level with the seat, but then I’m accustomed to a low posture from skating and from having a high-saddle/low-bars setup on bicycles. It feels more powerful to me and I can deal with the kind of lower back pain that comes from muscles needing to be trained. The shooting-down-the-leg nerve pain comes more often from being too upright with my lower back compressed and worries me more.

Neat! What did you go with? Pictures?

Unicon 18

Here’s a video from Unicon 18. It’s me on my 29er in the 10k.

Ok, so I’m not the fastest or most skilled rider but I try my best. It was wet that day which made the race a bit slower than anticipated. Only a few weeks earlier I had a face plant while riding at about 10mph on the new wheel build … and didn’t want to repeat that incident.

The wheel has a Velocity Dyad rim, KH Spirit hub and Marathon Supreme tire on a Oracle frame.

It depends. An extension handlebar gives you more leverage which I find important for large heavy unicycles (eg Schlumpf 36)

When pedaling very very fast at low resistance, I’m marginally quicker without the handlebar- I like to have the hands close to the seat as it gives me more control and less wobble.

I raced 700c/75mm cranks at the last 2 Unicons without a handlebar (came 2nd at Unicon 17 and 3rd at Unicon 18). On the other hand, the rider/s ahead of me had extension bars, so it comes down to personal preference and experimentation.

For long distance comfort, the bar is useful to give more hand positions, so I do use it for longer rides.

Cranks are cheap relative to geared hubs (or a different wheel size), and as long as one sticks with a single standard (eg ISIS), they are a good long term investment for any unicyclist.

My commuter unicycle for many years was a 29"/100mm unicycle, which was good for getting/holding groceries as well as getting me around town relatively quickly.

Optimal crank length does come down to experimentation- a heavy 26 or 29 with Muni tyres wouldn’t necessarily be fast with 89mm cranks, but a lightweight 700c has plenty of speed and power with 75mm cranks.

I just did Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge on a 29"/75mm, and there were plenty of hills (1600m climbing), but was an hour slower than when I did it previously on 700c/89mm.

This gives you an idea of speeds and crank length (or at least what different riders use), in relation to a 700c or 29" wheel size (note tyre choices vary, the correction notation should be 622 ISO rim size):
Standard Marathon Unicon 18

I never really thought about wheel weight when thinking about speed on my 29. So as you shorten your crank length, you should try and lighten up your wheel (if possible)?

One thing mentioned by Ken could also help. Find a good tire for riding on streets.
If you have narrow rim you could try puttin one of this road-bike-style tires in 26" size like https://www.schwalbe.com/en/road-reader/durano-dd.html
For wider rim you should find something wider, which will give more resistance, but also more cushion and might be better for you in the long run.
The classic is Big Apple coming in three widths @26": https://www.schwalbe.com/en/tour-reader/big-apple.html
but there are many other options from this and other brands.
If you want to go offroad from time to time find a XC tire for fast races. This gives still easy rolling but some more grip offroad.
The difference in speed between heavy DH tire and touring tire is enormous.

You’re movin’! :slight_smile:

From the way you had your arms, as though you’re poised to catch yourself at any moment, it looks like the incident might have still been on your mind. And I don’t blame you.

For me at least, there’s a feeling at higher speeds that if my balance gets a little bit forward, I might not be able to pedal any faster and catch the wheel back up to me. And then, if I couldn’t keep up and had to step off, I might have to suddenly start running really fast. It might get better with practice at high rpms. That’s another thing I should probably work at.

All great stuff. Enjoy!

It’s a neat wheel (sorry for hi-jacking this thread!), what width is the tire?
I’m shopping for a future 29" build for a Schlumpf hub. I’m more inclined to make that a road uni, therefore with a narrower rim than the stock KH taking narrower tires like a Big Apple 2.0".

On word of caution about using short cranks is that emergency stops are out. Also riding in the dark across uneven roads may result in a sudden fall. You need to be able to anticipate a little. Usually i take bumps by raising a little from the seat and keeping the wheel going. With longer cranks you can stay in the seat and use the pedals.

It’s 2 inches like the Big Apple I was riding previously. Tread is nearly the same. It’s lighter because it doesn’t have a wire bead like the BA.

The rim is a bit narrow for that tire.

I keep it at 45 - 50 psi. Could go higher but then it will bounce off bumps. Hubby and I have been discussing tire pressure and rolling resistance. He came across an article by a locale b-rider, Jan Heine of Bicycle Quarterly, who has done some interesting research on the topic. Here’s a video by GCN about the topic. Starts at 1:34. I’m not sure I get the correct profile with this tire and rim.

I’ve had two difficult UPDs in the past six months. One time I was rolling at 10mph and hit an unexpected bump. Couldn’t run it out and ended up on my face. Huge bruise on my face, wrist jammed, knee scraped and ribs very tender. After that, I started riding with less pressure. A month ago I had another crash but wasn’t going so fast. Landed squarely on my knee and got another huge bruise. It still hurts after 1.5 months. After janvanhulzen post, I’m wonder if I should go back to 125mm cranks. I’ve also been more diligent about wearing pads.

Well for reference i commute daily on 100mm on a 26" and have tried 85mm. Which is fine but there always is a part in the stroke without sufficient torque. On my 36" i also ride with 100mm cranks and do about 21km/hr average and 27 km/hr max speed. I have a smooth road track nearby where i can ride at high speeds. I have had a situation that i was on my 36" and an unexpected car appeared that had right of way. I tried to stop pressing on the pedals while leaning backward a little. The pedal just lifted me from the saddle and i was ejected off the back. I have full gear with leg armor and elbow pads.

I can mount a brake but i guess it would be hard to learn how to use it effectively at speed. I have seen a video of a person doing this but have no idea how to train for it without taking a dive.

For me on my 36er there wasn’t really any training involved when I started using a brake. As long as you start pulling it very gently, your unicycle mind should react to the difference in balance naturally. It’s releasing the brake that’s the scary part, especially after a steep hill… I tend to forget how much resistance the brake is really giving and, when I release it, the uni nearly flies out in front of me (rear upd)

I guess what I’m saying is just go for it with the brake, you won’t regret it!
If you really must train with it, start on the flat and learn to ride against soft resistance, and remember to anticipate the release!

And read this thread too!

yeah i saw that post, there is another movie in there showing a level run in combination with pulling the break.

Using a break going downhill is relatively easy since in most cases i can ease into the break. I did use a rim break which was set up to not block at full pull since it is hard to control the break force.

in the case of a level run emergency stop situation leaning and brake-force need to be managed so i guess setting up the longest cranks i have on a 36" and just trying may be the way to go since overpowering the break and staying in control may be the way to go.

On my 29 uni I recently switched from 125’s to 114mm cranks. Road crown had never been an issue for me previously on this uni. Now since the change, it’s become a real problem… What gives?

I’ve got about 20 miles into the new length, so am still adjusting for sure. Anyone else experience this?