adjusting to a bigger wheel

my situation:
just began riding my 29er
150mm cranks, I can confidently freemount
125mm cranks, shaky…can barely mount uphill
I want to ride mostly on commutes with some hills, so hope to use 125mm length cranks.
I also have 100mm cranks…so I was wondering how that would feel.
Tried them, and I can barely mount on flat/slightly downhill ground…

My question: Has anyone trained/learned by using shorter cranks first, then transitioned to the crank you want to use?
I was wondering that, if I were to practice riding/mounting with 100mm cranks until I become somewhat decent at it, I could put on 125mm cranks and ride with ease…or is this a no-no?(just learn and ride on 125mm)

get more saddle time!!!

125’s will become easier and easier then natural. You will have good pace and climb most sealed hilly roads.
Why do you think you want shorter already?

If your looking for speed your only options really are a 36er or gear something. If you still want a decent amount of control that is

Continue with the 29er is my advice and i found 125’s with little time become easier to ride than 150mm. long cranks i find choppy and not real stable for my liking

For 29" Muni alot use 137mm seems to be the consensus.

I dont see learning to drown first is more fun than trying to float, all in obsession to be able to swim

… get a 36 and the 29 will seem easy. Of course you’ll no longer want to ride the ‘little’ wheel any more : )

The ‘hop up’ height difference between wheel sizes takes some getting used to. My 29" muni with 150’s seems easy (now). So mtaz’s advice of more seat time is sage.

Each time I switch wheel size and/or crank length (once a week at least) there is a recalibration required to adjust to a successful free mount.

Shorter cranks lead to bad road rash in my experience. I tried 110’s for a few rides on the 29 until the wounds were too deep. Good gloves help.


okay!i will probably get a 36" soon…(later, when I can spend some more money)
i’ll just practice a lot on 125mm cranks then.
I went on a 15.8mile ride on 150mm cranks yesterday.
I had less than half an hour of riding on the 29er before I went…bad idea
I was with 3 friends on bikes…and for first half, I could barely keep myself going straight, and had countless upds. They had to cruise as slow as they circled in place after they zipped through a downhill section :roll_eyes: I felt awesome at the end(when we arrived at the beach) though I felt very wobbly on my knees :smiley:

I’ll try riding to more places now. Thanks for the advice!~

You will love a 36er

Even then bikes are evil. We can only catch them on up hills that aren’t crazy steep. Eventually you will progress to a guni. Only then you will challenge your friends.
125mm will serve you well for now

Shorter cranks will give you more top speed and more stability but you need to build up your leg muscles first by riding on longer cranks. I use 75mm cranks on my 29er (on level surface)but I started on 125mm cranks. Using 75mm cranks on my 29er requires a rolling mount to get over the initial inertia.
When you UPD from a 29er you have less time to react than from a 36er because you’re nearer to the ground on a 29er and turning on a shorter axis.
I suggest that you use the 125mm cranks until you feel competent.

P.S. You were saying that on one occasion that you could barely keep yourself going straight. This difficulty was most likely caused by road camber i.e. sideways road slant,which causes your unicycle to veer off as you cycle.

Hope this helps.

How do you know that? Not everybody want to get gears. Besides, some people have been there and moved back to fixed wheels.

I will assume (and yes assuming is bad) that more than half riders who commute as this fellow rider does, would at some stage go to a geared hub if they continue riding regularly.
I have a mtb with gears but contrary to this I love riding my fixie.
Good thing about graduating to a schlumpf loaded uni is we have choice. Best of both worlds
Nothing wrong with fixi gear uni only I find my guni for me more enjoyable and easier to ride than a short cranked wheel spinning like crazy
As some riders may never wish or want a geared hub I revoke my statement saying ‘will progress to a guni’

Short cranks dont do favours for learning, mounting, idling, control, climbs or anything really I know of other than a little pace and smooth pedalling

No. Like most people I get comfortable on the longer cranks.

I have a 29 that I commuted on for a few months before I got the 36. I don’t think I ever used the 150 holes for commuting. At first I had a hard time up hills with the shorter cranks, but now I don’t even notice it. I would just get totally comfortable with the longer holes. When they start annoying you switch to the shorter holes. You’ll get used to them after a few long rides.

Also brakes are a consideration. If you have brakes you can more easily use shorter cranks because if you use the brake properly you will have more control on downhills. The key is trusting the brake and feathering it just right to give your knees a break and allow you to spin at a reasonable, consistent speed. I don’t think you mentioned if you have brakes or not. If you don’t, get some. At this point I find them essential for any wheel, say, bigger than say a 24.

I agree… When using the break you need to lean back and pull upwards on the grip handle otherwise you might UPD.

Big hiils? I ride a quax 26 in a v. hilly area and used to ride a 29er. With both, I settled on 150s, as do many others.

I did ride 125s, and, I could get them to work, but, chose 150’s because, overall, I found them preferable.

If I lived somewhere more flat, I might well switch to 125s, but, here, I like the greater control that I get with 150s, and, especially the fact that I can ride down hills in control and without damaging my knees (and no, I’m not at all interested in installing brakes).

So- it’s your choice, but, bear in mind that choosing 150s is fine- you’ll get a lot of people on here telling you that 125s are the ‘proper’ length, or, the ‘best’ length, but, the truth is that it’s your choice, and, plenty of 29er riders are totally happy with their 150s.

Yup, short cranks well smooth out your spin, but they also reduce your leverage, so I tend to error on the longer side.

For a 29er on trails, the shortest I ride is 150, though I did ride over vacation on a buddies uni and drop to 137’s for a day; it was not easier for climbing and I felt a little less in control all day.

I think it’s easier to reduce crank length once you get stable on longer cranks, esp if you are going up in wheel size.

My fav crank length:
150mm for everything XC (26, 29, 36)
150 for tech muni (26)
165 for tech muni (29, 36)
137, maybe 125 for flat road (36)
150 for moderate road (36)
165 for extreme road (36)

This is rubbish. Plenty of people have had a 36er and sold it on, cos they didn’t get on with it. I’ve got one myself- rode it a month then went back to my 26er, cos I preferred it, and, for the terrain round here, the 36er is a major pain due to the hills.

As for a ‘guni’, just like many others, I wouldn’t touch one with a bargepole- I like my uncycles simple- a wheel, some pedals and a seat- the kind of thing that, if it goes wrong, I can fix it myself, easily.

I’ve been riding 15+ years- I didn’t ‘progress’ to a guni. I’m not knocking 36-ers and gunis, just challenging this perpetual posting of an opinion that everyone will/should aspire to getting one- it’s not good for beginners to be seeing that kind of misinformation.

??Where have you got that statistic from?

More than half? At least do some kind of poll, cos I find it deeply unlikely that half of all commuting unicyclists will go to a geared hub.

I’m glad you’re really enjoying your guni, and are passionate about it- but, be aware that I’m enjoying my ‘fixie’ quax 26 (brakeless) and am also passionate about it, as are thousands of others on their fixies.

And if they had the money. LOL!! I think a lot of unicycle commuters would love to have a geared unicycle and are prevented from doing so by the HUGE prohibitive price tag on the schlumpf geared hub.

Look at bicyclists. Most of them choose geared bicycles for commuting for obvious practical reasons and because they’re AFFORDABLE. By deduction then, I ASSUME that more than half of unicycle commuters would buy a geared unicycle if it were cheaper.

Oh! I should have used a capital S when spelling schlumpf. I hope you legalists out there can find it your hearts to forgive me. From now I promise to always use a capital S when spelling schlumpf… oops i’ve Done it Againnn Lol !!

This is a really good point. I love that schlumpf 700c uni. In my eyes, that’s the perfect road machine, but there is no way I could afford it. I couldn’t afford to put a schlumpf in my existing 36er. But it get’s the job done and I love it to death.

If schlumpfs were more reasonably priced, I would jump on one in a heart beat. My parents just got cruiser bikes, and had the LBS relace a shimano 3 speed hub on one of them, I think the price tag with labor was couple hundred bucks.

Not to mention I’d be more interested if schlumpfs were geared down instead of up.

It’s not just the cost- there’s the fact that if it breaks, you’ve got to ship it to a different country and then there’s a long wait.

Also, apparently a lot of people who’ve bought one, just don’t really get on with them (there was a thread on this not so long ago) and either sell them on, or stick to one gear cos they can’t master the technique for changing gear while riding.

Then you’ve got those cyclists who, just like me, love the unicycle because of it’s simplicity- if we want brakes/gears etc, we just get on a bicycle :slight_smile:

Dream on, I had that talk with “the man” and “the other man”, both said it was highly unlikely. For a 36er it would be the boss!!

Big wheels are a hoot, probably my favorite kind of riding is fast flowy XC like they have in Bend. I like tech stuff too, but it’s a lot of work and sorta defeats the purpose of the big wheel.

When I was riding my 36er on single track in Laramie WY, I overtook three “pro looking” mountain bikers. I came riding up from behind, intentionally pacing them until they noticed, stuck to them like glue through a technical rock garden, to say they were suprised is an understatement. One guy asked me why he hadn’t seen me at the after work beer league XC races :stuck_out_tongue:

I’d take a Schlumpf for my 29er with a smaller step , say 1.35 to 1, might take the same for a 26er and/or 36er, but for sure I’d like a small step for my 29er so I can blaze the double track.

Actually it would be simpler to make a geared hub that gears it down than up.

I definitely think if the hub were geared down it’d open up a whole new world for 36er muni and road riding. I wouldn’t mind a granny gear for hill climbing.

I just don’t know why they (or any other hub manufacturer) couldn’t/don’t-want-to come up with something. I think it’d be fairly popular.