crank swap experiment

In preparation for a speed run, I removed the 5.5" crankarms and installed 5"
cranks on my 26" MUni. I don’t have any hard numbers on speed since I don’t yet
have a cyclocomputer installed but I can say qualitatively that it makes low
speed maneuvers harder (less leverage) and made a small but noticeable increase
in top speed, at the cost of some decrease in forward/backward balance control.
Idling was possible but the uni was less forgiving and had an effectively
smaller “envelope of balance”.

I’m not saying I couldn’t get used to this new configuration but it makes it
less of an all-purpose machine in my opinion.

I wouldn’t recommend this except for speed on fairly smooth & level ground. I
will be going back to the 5.5" cranks for normal street riding and the 170mm
ones for rough terrain/offroad fun.

Re: crank swap experiment

d.kathrens@genie.geis.com wrote:
|> In preparation for a speed run, I removed the 5.5" crankarms and installed 5"
|> cranks on my 26" MUni. I don’t have any hard numbers on speed since I don’t
|> yet have a cyclocomputer installed but I can say qualitatively that it makes
|> low speed maneuvers harder (less leverage) and made a small but noticeable
|> increase in top speed, at the cost of some decrease in forward/backward
|> balance control. Idling was possible but the uni was less forgiving and had
|> an effectively smaller “envelope of balance”.
|>
|> I’m not saying I couldn’t get used to this new configuration but it makes it
|> less of an all-purpose machine in my opinion.
|>
|> I wouldn’t recommend this except for speed on fairly smooth & level ground. I
|> will be going back to the 5.5" cranks for normal street riding and the 170mm
|> ones for rough terrain/offroad fun.
|>

I ABSOLUTELY and TOTALLY disagree. I have experimented considerably, and have
ridden unis with cranks ranging form 3.5 to 6.5 inches. And I know quite a few
world-class unicyclists who will swear that 5.5 is too long for general
unicycling. Japan’s top riders use 4" or 4.5" in expert class races and 5" for
normal riding. Koike Takayuku, holder of Guiness 100 mile record, rides my 42"
big wheel with 5" or even shorter cranks!

I think that as soon as you get used to the 5" cranks you will NOT want
5.5" anymore. They feel sluggish and unresponsive. If you use for special
purposes such as rough terrain this migth be justified, but I DEFINITELY
recommend staying away from them.

Stay on top, Jack Halpern, IUF Vice President

Re: crank swap experiment

Jack Halpern disagreed totally with the suggestion of using long cranks for
normal riding (whatever this means). I have a 28’’ uni with 175mm (= 7 inches)
crankes and I use it for traveling. Of course it is not good for racing or
freestyle but it’s excellent for riding distances when there is not only level
concrete on your way but also some sand, grit (that’s not mountain unicycling
for me, but simply road riding) or some hills where you have to go steep upwards
or downwards (I’m doing about 20% to 25% upwards and even more downwards

  • I’m living in Bavaria, that’s not far away from the alps so there are a lot of
    hills and mountains in my place). Because of the long cranks you have a lot of
    leverage for bad ground and a lot of power for steephill riding. So you can
    use it as other people use their bikes for a sunday afternoon trip or you can
    even do bigger tours (my personal high score is 80km per day including a lot
    of acclivities.) If you want to ride at a gym hall or in your backyard I’d
    recommend smaller wheels and shorter cranks (I also own a 20’’ and a 24’’ uni
    and a 2m giraffe with cranks from 110mm to 175mm which are swapped regularely
    for different purposes like racing, skill training or riding distances. I have
    already tried all of these things with any uni and any crank. So I have some
    experience with these things) but I don’t want to miss my 28’’/7’’ uni for
    long distance riding at normal streets and ways, even if it is not crossroad
    or rough terrain riding (this may but it needs not to occur).

By the way: my 28’’ uni has an excellent alloy rim, so there’s no need of
readjustment the wheel after any 50 to 100km like the other unis need. It’s
hardly impossible to get durable rims at a size of 20’’ or 24’’, but you can get
such a rim at 28’’ at any bike shop. But a good rim is essential for long
distance riding (I call it traveling) because there are bumps and holes at the
street and on pathes in the wood and I don’t want to find myself 30km or more
away from home with a broken spoke or even worse a broken rim.

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                                                 c oo ********************


Re: crank swap experiment

In article <9509221234.AA23205@aixcip02.Math.Uni-Augsburg.DE>,
wstroess@mathpool.uni-augsburg.de writes:
|> Jack Halpern disagreed totally with the suggestion of using long cranks for
|> normal riding (whatever this means). I have a 28’’ uni with 175mm (= 7
|> inches) crankes and I use it for traveling. Of course it is not good for
|> racing or freestyle but it’s excellent for riding distances when there is not
|> only level concrete on your way but also some sand, grit (that’s not mountain
|> unicycling for me, but simply road riding) or some hills where you have to go
|> steep upwards or downwards (I’m doing about 20% to 25% upwards and even more
|> downwards
|> - I’m living in Bavaria, that’s not far away from the alps so there are a lot
|> of hills and mountains in my place). Because of the long cranks you have a
|> lot of leverage for bad ground and a lot of power for steephill riding. So
|> you can use it as other people use their bikes for a sunday afternoon trip
|> or you can even do bigger tours (my

I have to agree, i have a 27" with 172’s. Some of the hills I regularly ride
would be terribly hard with shorter cranks. I have a lot of experience with
various lengths also.

Eric

Re: crank swap experiment (fwd)

Forwarded message:
> From: eag@n8pph30.nt.com (Eric A. Gebhart) In article
> <9509221234.AA23205@aixcip02.Math.Uni-Augsburg.DE>,
> wstroess@mathpool.uni-augsburg.de writes:
> |> Jack Halpern disagreed totally with the suggestion of using long cranks for
> |> normal riding (whatever this means). I have a 28’’ uni with 175mm (= 7
> |> inches) crankes and I use it for traveling. Of course it is not good for
> |> racing or freestyle but it’s excellent for riding distances when there is
> |> not only level concrete on your way but also some sand, grit (that’s not
> |> mountain unicycling for me, but simply road riding) or some hills where you
> |> have to go steep upwards or downwards (I’m doing about 20% to 25% upwards
> |> and even more downwards
> |> - I’m living in Bavaria, that’s not far away from the alps so there are a
> |> lot of hills and mountains in my place). Because of the long cranks you
> |> have a lot of leverage for bad ground and a lot of power for steephill
> |> riding. So you can use it as other people use their bikes for a sunday
> |> afternoon trip or you can even do bigger tours (my
>
> I have to agree, i have a 27" with 172’s. Some of the hills I regularly ride
> would be terribly hard with shorter cranks. I have a lot of experience with
> various lengths also.

I’m not as opinionated as Jack on the topic, but I have a 28" with 5-1/2"
cranks, and the length works fine. I wouldn’t want anything longer, especially
since I use it for commuting and bike trails. I will admit, though, that Akron
isn’t as hilly as Bavaria.

Beirne


Beirne “Bern” Konarski | Unicycling Web Page: bkonarsk@mcs.kent.edu |
http://nimitz.mcs.kent.edu/~bkonarsk/ Kent State University | “Untouched by
Scandal” |