"29" nimbus road unicycle - what's essential?

Hehe, I don’t really ride ‘level terrain’, that 30mile trip was a one-off that I probably won’t do again till next year :wink: I used to be a short crank hater and ran 145’s everywhere until recently. Baby steps… :smiley:

…wait a sec…didnt realize I was a hillbilly :thinking: :roll_eyes: :smiley:

A couple a times the cheapy , gadawful plastic scraping across assfault had apparently saved my wrist from near sprain or breakage. Just curious what great gloves do you recommend, so I can get new ones?

Stupid huh…?? …why dont they make a durable, grippy coating or an overlay to the slippery plastic guards??..duh. :roll_eyes:

…dunno. I’m just going by those electronic signs that report your speed as you go by. There are two of those on my Lake Washington loop route, and they always report my speed as 11 or 12. As I approach 'em, I sometimes try to see how fast I can go. So far, I’ve only managed 13 mph. I can probably force my legs to spin faster, but the loss of control is scary.
Yeah, I definitely have noticed my speed picking up as I spend more time on the 36. I’ve been on it for almost a year now, and it’s cool to notice how tracking, speed, confidence are all still increasing over time. It’s like the learning curve is initially steep, then flattens slightly but never totally–at least in my case, I seem to get a tiny bit better every time I ride, which helps keep me motivated to ride.

…flats followed by big hills are fantastic…you get passed, then you get revenge! muwahahahah! :angry:

hmm…thx for the info. surprised to see so many geared 150s. maybe i’ll spring for the hub, since i have the money and I’m old. :slight_smile:

3 items Ben has questions about…

Lance… Not to worry… I rate this knowledge under what’s essential. Although I’d Love to see a thread about who has built a 32, how they did it and what it cost. That might actually tip me from 29 to 32, especially if my bike building buddies here could guide me through it over the winter…

Meanwhile… my take, is I might appreciate brakes, (especially if I’m out of shape) which is what I thought. BUT which brakes? Rim, Disc… what are the benefits and problems of each? Will they work in the snow?

It was also pointed out to me, that all things being equal (they never are) that taking a uni up the hill will be easier than a bike. Is that true?!?

Discussion on the crank choices is definitely enlightening…

I find my 29er FAR easier for hill-climbing than my bike. I can overtake bikers on uphills without even trying! :smiley: I’m not sure if this is because I’m just more practiced on the uni (I ride the uni every day, whereas I might get the bike out a couple times a month when I feel like going fast :roll_eyes: ) but the difference is noticable for me. I think it maybe because 29er/125 cranks creates pretty much the perfect ‘gear’ for the hills near me, coupled with the far better (for hill-climbing) ride position of a uni (You’re stood up and leant forward all the time, doesn’t get much better).

As I’ve said on this thread already, my 29er is a really heavy one, and I hope to one day build a lightweight wheel for it and test that out for hill climbing. I would expect the Nimbus roadie to be much lighter and smoother uphill. No experience of 36ers/32’ers so YMMV on those :smiley:

  1. Cost to build up a 32:

Wheel from Kent $50 (includes tire, tube, spokes, and rim), UDC Cotterless Hub $30, Cotterless cranks $20 (take your pick this is an average price more or less), seatpost $20, Saddle $50, pedals $20, oh yeah and a frame. I used a Qu-Ax 36er frame that was $30 from Goudurix.

         Total $200-$250.  This is for a basic build.  You could cut some cost by using part that you already have, like swapping a saddle/post between two uni's.  And you could add some cost for a premium saddle.  If it's going to be a road uni I don't see much advantage in going with an ISIS hub, and cranks.  I also added a U-Brake for another $15 to mine.
  1. Brakes:

Rim brakes work great, maybe too good. Disc brakes offer great modulation, and are less likely to lock up. For a rim brake I think you would do better with a BMX style side pull caliper than a hydro (Magura). Cable operated brakes are easier to de-tune to adjust the lock-up/modulation factor. A V-brake mounted to the lower Magura boss is a great option as well. It has a lower profile than a Magura so it is less likely to catch on you pants, or hit your leg (this is from experience for anyone who wants to argue the point).

I have no experience using a brake on a uni in the snow, but on my cargo bike I put discs on after a couple of harrowing rides when my brakes iced up. So I would guess the same to be true for a uni.

  1. Uphill: Hmm. As a bike rider, and unicyclist I would have to disagree with this. I don’t think a uni is harder, but certainly not easier. I think many cyclists choose to use a much lower gear than necessary for hills, and it makes them climb slower; however, it is “easier” to make the miles this way. So, that said, I think it is likely a unicyclist will climb a grade faster than a biker, but will be working harder to do it. Having ridden the same hills on bikes and uni’s I would say that I work just as hard, and that I go faster on the bike.

Great stuff there! Do you mind saying what software you used to make that awesome grid of shaded scatter plots? Also, what was your criteria for deciding that some men were more/less male than others? :wink:

build a 32?.. Hmm…

jtrops I think you give me pause…

hmm… stay tuned…


I use a statistics program called JMP: The default for this graph is to have “dither” on. I think that is what is is called. So it moved each point slightly so you can get an idea of how many there are. “more/less male”! LOL.

It is a great tool for a statistician.

I was hoping to get stats like this from a bunch of unicycle events so I could put a value on schlumpf, cranks size, etc. So build a model adjusted for all the different factors. So for each mm of cranks size you get z change in speed - on average. However, the details seem to only be available at the events, the sample sizes are small, and there are obvious biases to who owns a sclumpf.

Ex. I have a good income, but not much of it is disposable - kids camps, vacations, etc, etc. If it was my choice I would skip camp and buy a schlumpf. Actually not, it was priceless hearing the stories from my daughter’s week at space camp in Alabama. Plus, I now have a photo of her unicycling under a space shuttle.

But once they are out of college it will be schumpf time. Oh wait, I may be afraid of breaking a hip by the time that happens!

Thanks for the info, Jigywigy. I’ve run into mainstream SAS a few times but didn’t know about JMP. Looks really nice if you’re willing to trust your data to Tobacco Road slackers. :slight_smile:

Your analysis of unicycling results brings to mind The Signal and the Noise. Too bad unicyclists aren’t as obsessive as baseball fans, where every game for well over a century has been fanatically documented and the dataset is enormous. Then again maybe unicycling is intrinsically more interesting than baseball and so unicyclists have less need to occupy themselves with the meta stuff.

Good luck with your Schlumpf quest! If you need a rationalization now, you wouldn’t have to go away for many weekends of skiing or golf to spend the same amount of money if your hobby was one of those. But yes, “empty nesters” with lots of disposable income are the marketer’s dream, aren’t they?

OK, now we’re way off the thread topic, but that’s life.

Here’s my Schlumpf story. I like to unicycle along with my wife, while she rides her bike. Well, it so happens that a bicycle is usually somewhat faster than a unicycle, on level ground. (Yes, this varies greatly, depending on the riders, but follow along a minute.) Since the goal was to have a pleasant ride together, I was able to make the point that a Schlumpf hub would benefit her, by making it easier for me to ride alongside her at her normal cyclng pace. See what I did there? You can get away with a lot if you make it seem like you’re doing it for your wife. You’re welcome.


If you start collecting parts just make sure to get a 48 hole hub since that’s what the Kent wheel has.

The tricky part is the frame, but used 36er frames aren’t too hard to come by. There’s a good bet that someone upgraded a Titan frame to an Oracle. I had an idea to make frame extensions to add to a 29er that would accommodate the bigger wheel. I still think that could work if it was done right.

Oh, and you might want to call Goudurix and talk to Benoit. He was very helpful when I was putting my project together and had an old steel 36er frame that he was happy to send my way.

Also, if you get a steel frame you can bend it to fit the narrower spacing of standard hubs so the hub width isn’t that important.

LOL! Hey, after 36 years, you learn to play the angles! (Although I will admit that being in the “empty nest” demographic helped. It would have been a pretty hard sell if we still had kids in college.)

As mentioned elsewhere, there are many Michigan roads whose spring pot hole season is severe enough to destroy cars. From my experience, additionally, we don’t always believe in sidewalks with consistent level paving. (although limiting oneself to bike paths, the trails are smoother.)

For this reason I wonder how the cost equation would change to go with a splined hub and pedals. Has anyone built a 32" uni from a splined hub and with a disc hub?

I think a 32 build discussion warrants its own thread… so… please join me there…

As to the 29 …we are discussing this at home, if the 32 is becoming an excuse to not commit to a commuting uni and give up on my fitness program that I’m currently in. …honestly it might be…

Guy’s gotta do what a guy’s gotta do, just remember the N -1 rule, where N is the amount of unicycles in your garage required to make your significant other leave you :wink: He just made the equation balance in his favour.

ha! You guys are cracking me up! I’m not married yet, but I’ll take some notes. The notebook will be entitled “Convincing Your Significant Other: Expensive Unicycles Are Necessary for Survival.”