I decided to “MUni-tize” my kh 36er again, and try riding the very steep and rocky Hummingbird trail in Simi Valley today, 4/30/11. The wind was insane, gusting close to 60 mph at times. I actually got blown off my uni more than once, the wind was so strong!
But I had almost forgotton what a total BLAST it is riding a 36er off road, and so much more wild on rocky, steep terrain! This is definitely one of those trails that you’d put in the advanced category! Mtbers here almost always have full face helmets and leg/arm guards, as this trail will test your skills to the max, and it is quite UNforgiving if you make mistakes!
One big issue with riding a 36er on terrain like this, is that forward dismounts and UPD’s can be really scary, since the “arc” of travel is so much greater–and a lot higher–than on a much smaller 24" or even 29er. This arc is greatly increased when you upd off the front while riding down really steep sections! It can feel like your falling off a 6’ giraffe! :o
If I hit a depression or decide to bail, I prefer dismounts off the back, but sometimes the uni has other ideas, and on steep, rocky terrain, that long, high arc over the top seems to take forever, especially if the 36er is staying upright too long and your almost doing an unintentional coast!
Yeah that’s happened to me too! The worst one was about 4 years ago, on a similar rocky trail, I tried to bail but coasted for a couple revs and got thrown off, but the back of my calf got smacked something fierce by one of my pedals, and had an impression of my drillium on it for about a month! :o
Wow, looks like a great trail. What size cranks do you use for that? I’ve done some technical MUni with Cokers, but it’s aways hairy and scary. And it used to be a little worrisome because I was on an original Coker axle, but that one’s still going strong. Then I had the new Coker (wide) axle which was fine, and now I have a KH/Schlumpf axle which I probably can’t hurt. I haven’t ridden that one offroad much, because I don’t like getting my pretty new unicycle dirty…
But for the really technical stuff I still prefer 24" or 26". 36" wheels are at their best on tight, swooping singletrack that’s not real technical, and allows you to go fast!
‘Getting a schlumpf soon…I wonder how i’ll go on the technical stuff in high gear???’
And then we get this video as a result. (Am i close?) I’m just wondering because taking my 36er to the trails was the first thing i did when my schlumpf was being built up too!)
Looking good on the 36er there Muniaddict. But if i’m right then I think you will find it is better to ride the tech stuff in low gear (with shorter cranks if necessary to get the speed you want) and reserving the high gear for more of the swooping single track and fire trails style terrain. Thats my set up- A geared 24" with 125mm cranks.
Terry, I love watching your videos, always great fun and excellent quality. I’m having trouble with hills so I watched your Fargo hill climb again the other day, and I’m thinking of getting a larger Muni so, again, your video featuring the KH29 has been very informative.
Finally, having discovered the sport of Municycling on my 47th birthday I am grateful to you for the inspiration. Thanks.
Thanks John. I was going to just use my 150 moments, then decided on the lightweight nimbus 165’s. I think it was the right choice for this trail, which is so steep that my brake barely slowed me down on some sections, with all the forward momentum and massive wheel!
No need to hope Dane, you will for sure!
Thanks Mark, and I totally agree that a trail like this is a low gear deal all day long, haha!
Yeah sometomes you have to go a ways to find good trails. This one is about 100 miles round trip from my house, but worth it!
Thanks and congrats on getting into MUni! Yeah the 29er is loads of fun, as is the 36er and well, ALL size unis are a blast!
Thanks Sean. Congrats again on getting the 180 spins and post a viddy of it soon!
I’ve been thinking that even when I get my G26er, I probably wouldn’t use it on trails like this one (Hummingbird). Since I would never use high gear, I wouldn’t see the point in riding a Schlumpf there, plus I also wouldn’t want to chance damaging the hub on such hardcore terrain.
My traditional kh 24 MUni is really the number one choice for this type of trail, but for less technical and smoother single track riding, the G26 will rule! But I still would be very hesitant about doing drops bigger than a couple feet at most, with all those delicate and expensive moving parts in the geared hub!
Overall, I think that the G26 will mostly be best for getting through the more boring stuff like fireroads a lot faster, and be much quicker on smoother singletrack than an ungeared uni. But for pure technical riding, I see no practical use for it.
So one way I look at it is, my kh 24 MUni is the classic “workhorse” with super strong legs. The G26er is a “Racehorse”, also with strong legs, but are also more prone to fractures and breaks if ridden to hard!"