Crank length?

Hi guys,

I used to ride a uni for a few years when I was teenager. I’m looking to buy
a uni for my mid-life
crisis. I have noticed on some models, you can order crank lengths.

Could someone please explain to me how I might want to choose on length. I’m
6’ 1’’ and weigh
185lbs.

Thinking about a cruiser type uni in a 26’’ wheel size. Any recommendations
would be appreciated.

Thanks

short cranks-faster
longer cranks-more control, more torque (better for climbing)
127s are really fast, 170’s are really easy to control, and 150’s seem to be a good compromise. i ride 170’s on my 24x3 MUni.

for you i would recommend 150s.

-grant

Re: Crank length?

“Don” <dwalstad@earthlink.net> writes:

> Thinking about a cruiser type uni in a 26’’ wheel size. Any recommendations
> would be appreciated.

My 26" cruiser came with 150mm cranks, but I switched to 125s and
couldn’t be happier. Shorter cranks make for much smoother pedalling
and take a lot of the choppiness out of cruising around. I can still
ride up hills and they even work fine for cross country riding. My
advice is to order 125s.

Your other options, as I see them, are 110s and 150s. An experienced
rider can get along well with 110s (or even shorter), but unless you
were good as a teenager you’ll be cursing every crack in the sidewalk
and bump in the road for throwing you off balance (and off the
unicycle) with shorties.

150s are probably a little easier for learning on because they give
you greater leverage. Balance this against a choppy ride. Don’t even
consider anything longer until you decide to buy an off offroad
unicycle.

In the big scheme of things, cranks are cheap. If you think you might
want a different length, you can buy new ones (and a crank puller,
torque wrench, loctite, and anti-sieze for changing them) and see
which you like best.

Ken

Re: Crank length?

That’s a cheap mid-life crisis! If you’re married I’m sure your wife is very happy about it.

Reminds me of a day in 1989 when my dad called me up and told me he’d just bought a Miyata. My dad, a Miyata? I couldn’t picture it. Just not his idea of fun. Not that I don’t think he could learn to ride if he wanted, just not interested. But I was wrong. It was a “Miata,” from Mazda. MX5 in most of the world. He got one the year they debuted. That’s a mid-life crisis purchase…

Crank length is dependent mostly on the riding you plan to do. The more hills, the more length you will need. I have ridden my 29" wheel to work (8 miles) with 102mm cranks, but those aren’t much good for anything other than straight cruising. 125 - 150 would be good for starters, then you can try a different size once you’ve been riding them for a while.

Enjoy your “old boy’s” toy!

I’m tempted to say, "150 mm, and don’t ask why,"but that would be unfair.

Seriously, though, 150 (or 152, there’s no real difference) will be about ideal.

170s or 175s will be a bit slow and ungainly.

140s will be pretty much the same as 150s.

125s will be just a bit tricky.

110s or shorter are too specialised.

So, 150s it is.

They will give you sufficient control for easy freemounting and idling, sufficient torque for reasonable hill climbing and forays off road, and a small enough pedalling circle for reasonably smooth riding on the flat.

Right now, your question is a bit like, “I am about to buy my first fishing pole; should it be 10 metres or 11 metres?” The important thing is to get something you can use and enjoy. Later, you will either:
a) Lose interest, in which case you need something easy to sell, or
b) preferably, get really into the sport, and develop your own tastes and preferences, based on experience and opportunity. (No good buying a top spec MUni if the only place you can ride is your local park; no good buying a top spec freestyler if it turns out that you keep being tempted to ride tricky bits of off road.

Good luck.

Are you sure you want a 26"? I think 26" is an awkward in between size, not as much fun as a 24" and not as fast as a 29". My first adulthood uni was a 26, and I eventually rebuilt the wheel to make it a 29.

A fat tire 24" with 150mm cranks is a very good all around choice. If you later want more speed, you can get a 29er or a Coker, and it will still be a cheap midlife crisis.

That’s a fair point but…

With the exception of the Coker, and the 20 (or 16, or 12) every size is an “in between size”.

But the general point stands: a 24 is more manouevreable than a 26. A 29 is faster and has better rollover than a 26. Is the 26 the optimal size, or is it neither fish nor fowl?

It perhaps depends on the weight and skill of the rider, and the nature of the terrain.

If bank notes are votes, though, the 24 seems to have more votes than the 26. It is becoming the standard choice. It’s certainly what I’d buy for a general purpose/MUni, knowing what I know now.

In the UK, the most votes wins. I understand they have different systems in other countries.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH HA HA!

Re: Crank length?

thanks for all the replys, they have been helpful. I’ve decided to go with a
24’’ uni with 150 cranks.
Now if I could decide on which uni to buy. I’m thinking one of the Miyata’s
or a Semcycle.

You might want to read the other threads about crank length.
I run 170mm on mine. I “bought” the idea that shorter cranks would be better so I ordered some.
I found no benefit to having the shorter cranks. I was a tad bit faster (at the 1/2 mile) and they seemed like they required less work once they spun up.

While they did feel “smooth”, I lost the ability to idle and change direction (backward to forward). I lost the ability to sprint as quickly. I lost some ability to climb slowly. Overall, I decided that longer cranks were more appropriate for off-road, freestyle, urban, and even cruising around.

Find out what the experts have on their municycles.
Try different sizes yourself and see what fits you best.

Re: Re: Crank length?

That is what came with my 24" Torker, at about $100 and still working great, it was a good deal. But that one probably isn’t for doing much more than riding on relatively smooth surfaces and singletrack.
What unicycle you get might depend on what you were able to do as a teenager, and think you want to do now. Also, it could take quite a while and many more unicycles to properly resolve your mid life crisis. Here are my present tire/crank combinations:

20"/127 (freestyle)
24"/127 (track)
36"/127 (Coker)
24"Gazz/170(Muni)

Re: Re: Crank length?

What about this fine thing, a bargain starter muni:

http://www.unicycle.com/shopping/shopexd.asp?id=584

PS: Get the 26" frame and the 3" Gazz tire…

Re: Crank length?

How do you like the Coker? I have miles and miles of sidewalks nearby and
think the Coker would
be a fun cruising machine, but I wonder how hard it would be for me to get
on that…considering
the uni I rode as a teen was either 20’’ or 24’’ and I haven’t rode a uni
since. I could just get a 24’’ and a Coker!! Hey it’s a crisis.
“iunicycle” <iunicycle@NoEmail.Message.Poster.at.Unicyclist.com> wrote in
message news:iunicycle.19vx8g@NoEmail.Message.Poster.at.Unicyclist.com
>
> Don wrote:
> > *I’ve decided to go with a 24’’ uni with 150 cranks.
> > *
>
> That is what came with my 24" Torker, at about $100 and still working
> great, it was a good deal. But that one probably isn’t for doing much
> more than riding on relatively smooth surfaces and singletrack.
> What unicycle you get might depend on what you were able to do as a
> teenager, and think you want to do now. Also, it could take quite a
> while and many more unicycles to properly resolve your mid life crisis.
> Here are my present tire/crank combinations:
>
> 20"/127 (freestyle)
> 24"/127 (track)
> 36"/127 (Coker)
> 24"Gazz/170(Muni)
>
>
> –
> iunicycle - Old back, new cricks
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> iunicycle’s Profile: http://www.unicyclist.com/profile/1869
> View this thread: http://www.unicyclist.com/thread/34024
>

Re: Re: Crank length?

Calling the Coker a fun cruising machine falls well short of reality. It’s the full-on Road Beast; it’s the unicycling equivalent of the Harley “Power Glide”. Nothing compares.

I can’t imagine NOT owning a 36". I’ve put 200 miles on mine since May, which is peanuts compared to some of the serious distance riders. For example, Lars Clausen has ridden his Coker roughly 750 miles since July 2nd.

http://www.onewheel.org/booksubs/updates/0000.htm#611

Given he did 9,000+ miles in 2002, that’s a relative drop in the bucket.

While there are some–well really only one–on this forum that would disagree, I think there is just no comparison when it comes to road work, either speed or distance. The Coker rules. It’s a bit tough to learn, but invest the time (and miles), and you’ll get there.

And as long as I’m loading this post with links, gotta include what my wife would now refer to as “the other woman”:

http://gallery.unicyclist.com/GB4-36-custom/IMG_0632

Don, I guess my question is still: what were you able to do as a teenager, did you ever ride any distance?

With the cheapo 24" you could test a little of everything: basic skills, distance, offroad. The 20" will get you everything up to about 4 miles, after which that gets boring after a few weeks time. The black ‘Stealth Torker’ does good here.

Since you can ride (I’m guessing) crank length isn’t critical. 150s would help a little on learning from scratch on either the 20" or 24" wheel.

I like the Coker very much, but wouldn’t have it as my only uni.

Re: Crank length?

The uni I had as a kid was a 20 or 24. I really didnt do any tricks. I
could ride it forwards and backwards and basically rode the crap out of hit.
It was my transportation, to and from school, to friends house or the store
and etc.

I’m thinking the Coker would fit me…for what I want to do now. But I
really dont think I could just get
on it and go. I’ll need to get a 24’’ first and play with that for a while
then move into the Coker.

Don, I guess my question is still: what were you able to do as a
teenager, did you ever ride any distance?
“iunicycle” <iunicycle@NoEmail.Message.Poster.at.Unicyclist.com> wrote in
message news:iunicycle.19wort@NoEmail.Message.Poster.at.Unicyclist.com
>
> Don, I guess my question is still: what were you able to do as a
> teenager, did you ever ride any distance?
>
> With the cheapo 24" you could test a little of everything: basic skills,
> distance, offroad. The 20" will get you everything up to about 4 miles,
> after which that gets boring after a few weeks time. The black ‘Stealth
> Torker’ does good here.
>
> Since you can ride (I’m guessing) crank length isn’t critical. 150s
> would help a little on learning from scratch on either the 20" or 24"
> wheel.
>
> I like the Coker very much, but wouldn’t have it as my only uni.
>
>
> –
> iunicycle - Old back, new cricks
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> iunicycle’s Profile: http://www.unicyclist.com/profile/1869
> View this thread: http://www.unicyclist.com/thread/34024
>

the Yuni MUni is not a good choice. It might work for you, though. i did break 4 sets of cranks on it within 3 months of ownership. of course, i was pushing it pretty hard considering it’s cotterless. it might be a good thing to get, and then upgrade it with a profile wheelset if you like MUniing, or get a coker if you like road riding more.

Re: Crank length?

On Sat, 24 Jul 2004 11:11:30 -0500, “iunicycle” wrote:

>150s
>would help a little on learning from scratch on either the 20" or 24"
>wheel.

150s on a 20" are a bit long, both for awkwardness in just riding and
for touching the ground when leaning. 125’s are better.

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

I like the idea of not having to balance when out on a ride - joe