Adventures in Freewheeling

AK KJ, your riding is incredible.
Almost makes me want to try.

For my clarification… could you head down an unknown green downhill trail and stay on the whole time? Or is this something that takes time and practice before you could sweep it?

You make it look smooth and easy. Which means you’re really good.
Very impressive.

With using the brake, absolutely, and probably a blue too. I’ve decided to stop practicing my jumps until I can get the basics of coasting without the brake. I skipped the fundamentals and now I’ve got to make up for it.

Thanks! I’m glad I look like know what I’m doing…

Freewheeling seems awesome so far. The feeling you get when your hub starts clicking is really satisfying! And I managed to mount without assistance today. Also remembered how big of a difference free mounting makes to unicycling! :smiley: I can actually get somewhere with my new contraption now :sunglasses:

Here is a video of my fourth free mount: https://youtu.be/7mp4MokgVEc

I wanted to post this video here to give me an incentive to work on doing it the “right” way. Hopefully I’ll post another version in 6-12 months which shows coasting where I’m pedalling here. https://youtu.be/8M215NhAWRM

Hi waaalrus,
I am actually waiting for a freewheel hub shipped to Europe :slight_smile: . Can’t wait to try freewheel kiting. :smiley:
Have you already posted detail experience with the 1:3,8 hub anywhere? Just have seen the video and would be interested how difficult it was compared and if the hub lasted more than the try in the video.

There’s this thread. It works well on flat, smooth terrain but is so highly geared (and cranks are limited to 125mm) it’s difficult to pedal with any kind of elevation gain. I still have it and ride it occasionally. I would ride it more if I had a good place to ride it.

I wouldn’t think it would be good for freewheel kiting (compared to a regular freewheel hub) because even small feet adjustments would translate into big wheel changes. I’ve looking into kiting but I don’t have a good place to ride. If you have a place to ride and already have the kite skills you’re most of the way there! I personally feel a peg unicycle would be better for using with a kite but a freewheel unicycle may be more practical.

Today I did a fun exercise that other beginner freewheelers may also benefit from. I’ve had som difficulties with the transition from brake-coasting to pedaling. I’ve also had a tendency to lean too far back for this reason. So today I practiced doing continous pedal motions while brake-coasting. After a while I got better at it, and when I was going from brake-coasting to pedaling my feet was already moving in circles so the transition was much easier. It can now keep the body in the center of balance because I’m not afraid of falling forwards. I still have a long way to go, but I felt it helped me. As I have mentioned earlier, going from 150 to 125 cranks has also helped a lot.

Thanks for the link. Experience from unicycle kiting is that you profit a lot from the ability to have cranks if you need to pull the kite a bit through a wind hole or upwards a slope if kite power itself is not sufficient. I think gears could become interesting but later.

Anyway, have done my very first experiences with freewheeling these days. :slight_smile:

And very happy so far, think it really has potential. I have writen a more detailed report for kiter and unicyclists here:

http://kj4l.com/2018/01/21/first-ever-freewheel-kiting/

Fascinating! I noticed in your report you said coasting a couple times, but also mentioned that you were using a hand on the brake. Do you mean that you were brake coasting (using the brake as a substitute for back pressure), or that you were coasting (not losing any speed or using the brake) with a hand on the saddle for control? Either way, it sounds impressive.

Hi AK KJ,
yes I think I was not precise with the wording, if it is the right one, than it was just: “break coasting”. Still to early for me to ride completely hands off. :o
Anyway also for the kite flying it can be pretty important to have sometimes the ability to hold against its force, with the help of the break, so for sure this will be the normal way of riding most of the time.
And as said, I think, for somebody with experience with unicycle and or kites it seems to be not too difficult if conditions are good, as on a beach with constant wind and hard sand.

Hope to come back with a video in the near future. :slight_smile:

For those not on the Facebook group, I might as well try and update things here as well.

I’ve just got myself some bars for my freewheel and it seems so far like it might be an improvement.
I’ve been having some issues with hand pain recently and I don’t think that holding a handle and brake lever constantly for miles on end was helping.
The bars and more standard lever setup seems far more comfortable. I’ve even managed to brake coast for short sections (a meter or two) without taking either hand off the bars which, as primarily a road rider, I’m pretty excited about!

I was concerned that freemounting would be much more difficult, but to my surprise that seems easier as well! Holding the handle with both hands and doing a brake assisted jump mount felt very controlled, even when I was getting a little more tired.

So far I’ve not managed to coast as far with this setup as before I put the bars on but most of my ride was spent doing adjustments to try and get things to feel right.
I’ll report back again once I’ve had more chance to practice!

Thank you, is it an open group? Link?

And understand your point with the break. I am also a big friend of first fit everything to body’s demands and then start learning. So the first ride I stopped every 100 m to adjust distance of break lever to saddle handle by some mm up and down.
My impression was that helped me a lot to have the right lever position to get a first feeling for break coasting. But I am also still beginner on normal muni, so maybe not an issue for anybody used the break.

Not yet presentable, but very first, short clip of freewheel kiting, again in bad conditions :frowning:


(kite has just been cut out, as it is still a proto)

It is a public group, here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/699742363564661/

I think unicycling like cycling, to get the best out of your cycle, you need it to be set up right for you.
We’re obviously limited in ability to try unicycles, we can’t normally walk into a shop to try one, and bike shops are clueless on providing advice for their setup.
Until everything feels right, it’s always a good idea to take a set of tools with you!

That’s awesome. I’ve got a friend who also used to build kites and do occasional unicycle kiting. Freewheel kiting looks fantastic!

Any hub out there with a clutch? The idea is to be able to switch from fixed to freewheel like changing gears on a schlumph, or a hand clutch cabled mechanism.

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Amazing and inspring footage of Ben Soja riding some very technical Muni on a freewheel (~ 1:40 - 5:30) !

This came from the AZ Muni Weekend we just had. Thanks to Cody Williams for putting this video together. Enjoy!

Sadly not. It would be great though.

I’m sure it would be possible to modify a Schlumpf to do that (since it already has a switchable clutch inside) - though it would be a rather expensive way to go, and I suspect having to switch using the buttons might be tricky.

Geared hub?

Does exist a multigeared hub which could be used in a freewheel uni?

Possibly although nobody’s tried any yet.

Best contender right now looks like this one: http://www.mc2bike.com/store/p11/MC²_DRIVING_WHEELSET.html

Hype!

Spring 2021 (probably)

Personally I’m expecting double the price of their current disk hubs but I’d love it to be less to really help push more people to try freewheeling.