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

I think that’s where the 32 shines. It really feels much more like a 29 than a 36, but it has the inertia of the 36 and more of the stability.

I’ve read rumors that the unicycling powers that be have considered marketing a 32" unicycle. I’m not sure how much meat there is in that particular story, but you may not have to build your own in the future.

Even still, it’s not too bad building your first wheel. I have a lot of experience building wheels, but I will be the first to tell anyone to give it a shot. I don’t subscribe to the “voodoo magic wheelbuilding art” thing. Outside of building frames it is the highest skill of the cycle mechanic, but it is still a skill that can be learned, practiced, and mastered by anybody.

That’s impressive!
I love my 29" for its simplicity (just a wheel and a seat), but it’s got 125mm right now. Smaller would require a brake, no? Also, can you climb a bit with 100mm?

I’m the last person to knock on the 29er, it’s the only uni size I use. But to say it’s as fast as a 36er is crazy! I could probably get up to the speed of a 36er if I REALLY went for it, because my wheel is lighter. However, keeping this speed up, and holding it while going around corners and doing other ‘commuter’ things like not breaking my teeth everytime I hit a pothole… Yeah, don’t think I could do it. In a straight line I can see your 29er/100mm setup getting up to 36er speed, but yeah, in the real world, I don’t think I’d try it.

I’ve only ever ridden alongside 36er riders once, and while I could keep up, I was absolutely chugging the pedals, and they were just sat up straight, casually pedalling.

Must stop before I talk myself into dropping money on a 36er I can’t afford :smiley:

+1! I love my 32"! It seems like the ideal size, handles like a small wheel, but rides distance like a big wheel. And the Schlumpf hub is the “icing on the cake.” (I still ride the 36 though. I don’t want to “forget” how to ride it, and I still like the feel of it.)
It would be great if someone built a commercial 32.

(I just realized this is a thread hijack. Sorry about that.)

I agree. I don’t know if anyone said it was as fast as a 36er. I said that it was comparable. I didn’t intend it to sound like I thought it was the same. And sure it’s a little slower, but not by much for me. That could be saying more about my fear of going too fast on the 36 than it does about the limits of what it can do in the hands of a more capable rider than myself. I was holding a comfortable cruising pace of 12mph on the 36, and I’m at around 10 on the 29er. I’m probably as fast on the 32 as I was on the 36. Maybe I’ll take my gps with me on my next ride so I can get some current stats.

I’ll still hold that if I could have only one nice unicycle it would most likely be a 29.

I never rode cranks as small as 100, but did a lot of riding with 114’s. I live in a pretty hilly area and while I have brakes on my 29er never used them. Climbing was also never a problem. For me, I wouldn’t go any smaller than 114 (114s felt weird enough, I couldn’t imagine 100’s :astonished: ). I could definitely feel it in my knees with short cranks. I like 125’s a lot on the 29er, probably my favorite.

Good thread.

I have a 36 Coker and a 29 Nimbus.

I love both, but the 29 is much more versatile. I had it set up for light mountain unicycling, but the 150 mm Venture cranks started to jiggle a little no matter how much I tightened them. So I swapped them for the 125 mm KH moment cranks from my son’s trials uni. Then I took a Contenental Race King tire I had sitting around and put it on at 50 psi.

I took that out for my lunch ride yesterday for the first time and really enjoyed it. It was great! It was easy to control, easy on the hills, the Magura brakes gave my legs some rest on the downhills. There were a couple steep hills. I didn’t need the brakes for the hills, but applying them a little did take some of the pressure off my legs.

I actually enjoyed it more than the Coker on pavement. I do love the Coker, but it just isn’t as responsive even when I have the 150s on it. And the brake on it is either all or nothing. It is hard to find the sweet spot of applying just a little pressure.

The 36 does have a great awe factor for non-riders, but I am not a clown.

I have a 25 mile ride coming up with two wheelers. The first 20 miles is flat with wide shoulders. The last 5 is hilly with no shoulders on a narrow road, but a walking/biking path that is even hillier along side it. Since I don’t trust myself riding with traffic and I am even less comfortable with traffic on steep hills, I am thinking of switching to the 29 for the last 5 and riding the path.

So the 29 can be fast, not as fast as a 36, but I like the control.

The 36 is definately fast, but I bear to manuever (and almost dangerous on hills). I would recommend one you can put good brakes on.

My ideal wheel, if I should find some money is a G29. It would be a nice in between with manueverability and speed. I was sold on this idea when I saw this excellent video.

G29 is pretty much my dream/goal too. My 29 with 125 cranks can handle any terrain I chuck it on, any hill I come across. I just wish it were a bit faster… So a Schlumpf would give me speed when I want it, while keeping my 29er’s agility :smiley: in theory anyway :roll_eyes:

Yeah…I guess I should have qualified my previous comments by letting the thread know that I’ve only been on the 36er for about a year, and I’ve never been off the stock 150mm cranks. I plan at some point to move to the 127mm hole, but I’m not in any rush, because my favorite thing to do on the uni is hills…steep hills. I really like stoking uphill on a long steep climb, and I base my route choices on this preference. From what I’ve seen while riding with others, the shorter cranks really impact your climbing speed, so for now, I’m happy to cruise the flats at 11-12 mph and enjoy the luxury of a brisk uphill pace.

If I might be forgiven for changing the subject somewhat, here’s a question: I’ve been thinking that the Schlumpf might be a good way to keep my hill-friendly 150’s and also boost speed on the flats. Any ideas from the more experienced riders on this thread?
Thanks in advance! :wink:

That’s fast. I’m not sure whats up with my pace, I’m lucky to cruise at 9 mph on my 36 with 150s. Was your pace always that fast? I’ve only been on mine for 6 months. On my 29er with 114’s I could do about the same speed. I’ve been comparing average speeds from my 29er rides to my 36 rides and I’m lucky to have a 1 mph faster average time on my 36.

Hills are good, it’s nice to come across cyclists on a good hill and be able to keep up with them.

I am not an ‘experience rider’, but I took a photo at NAUCC 2013 finsihing results and, being a statistician try to derive some meaning from the results.

The hills on the ride were extreme! Having lived out west and in the east, these hills were comparable to anything I have seen.

It may give you an idea. The smallest crank with schlumpf for these hills were 137s.

It was amazing to see these unicyclists cruise down these hills at a good clip by using their brakes effectively.

My conclusion was that you are more likely to have a schlmupf if you really take unicycling seriously and are already fast. Or you have a higher disposable income - alot over 50 have a sclumpf.

According to Strava Follow Eddie on Strava to see this activity. Join for free. I averaged 7.5mph through 30 miles this weekend, this was starting and stopping (and occasionally walking) and on the last lap I was far too tired to really push my speed. This is on a 29er with 125’s. Averaging 9mph on a 29er for any length of time sounds crazily impressive to me :smiley: Though I think it depends how far you’re going and how many breaks/walks you take (plus obviously how fit you are/how good a rider you are!). Not to mention my 29er isn’t exactly setup for speed - with a 48-spoke wheel and 2.2" wide Twin Rail tyre (with puncture-protective kevlar installed), it weighs about 4 tonnes :roll_eyes: I’d be interested in any average speeds with a more lightweight 29er :smiley:

Riding a 29er with 114mmm cranks is almost exactly the same as riding a 36" with 150mm cranks in terms of wheel to crank ratio. So an average of 9mph is doable. The shorter cranks will also help to stabilise the 29" wheel.

The 29er is a great uni. I’ve gone as short as 75mm cranks which is fast but doesn’t cope well bumpy surfaces. I’d recommend trying 114mm Quax light cranks on your 29er for level terrain.

Glad your enjoying your 125s. 7.5mph is a great average for a 30 mile trip.

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: