Cranks for a 24"

I am enjoying the 24" Torker LX unicycle I got a few weeks ago and am riding it well. It is great exercise and I like it a heck of a lot better than running to stay in shape. Today I rode twice totaling about 6 miles, 2 miles this morning and 4 miles tonight. I don’t have any trouble getting on the unicycle, although I use only one method. I am able to relax as I ride and I enjoy the time on one wheel.

I want to go faster. On this unicycle. I am wondering about using shorter cranks.

My uni has 150 cm cranks which enable a lot of control, especially in rougher spots but the place I normally ride is smooth and I’d like to get a little speed up. I figure one way is to shorten the length of the pedal cranks to reduce knee motion.

I have been looking at shorter cranks (102, 110, 114, and 125) and wondered if there are opinions out there for best crank length to add speed comfortably on a 24" wheel?

I will keep the 150s for more difficult environments and I know the 125s are a conservative compromise…how bold should I be here? My instinct leans toward 110 or 114s. Is that about as short as you can reasonably go?

As I look at pictures of capable unicyclists, I notice that many use relatively short cranks on their cruisers?

Inquiring minds want to know. Thanks for the advice.

Carey

Next week I’ll come back and ask what to do about my sore butt, man!

well, I’ve never ridden a 24". however, I’ve ridden a 29er with 125mm cranks. And that, while a bit hard to control (stopping and idling was near impossible!), could still make it up pretty steep hills, and the wheel had enough momentum to carry it over bumps. I’ve got a 127s on my 20", and they’re way more than enough torque.

If you decide to go shorter, I’m sure you’ll still be able to pedal around on the smooth (not neccessarily the flat! :D) just fine. Rougher terrain, especially larger obstacles and stuff you need more torque to get over (really steep hills come to mind) will be a bit more of a pain.

Even so, the way I look at it is that people ride cokers with cranks smaller than 125mm. So there shouldn’t be any reason a 24" shouldn’t be very rideable with something like that on it.

I have ridden my 24" with the excellent lightweight QU-AX 114mm cranks. Although it is easier to get up to speed very quickly, and go a fair bit faster than before, overall I found that the trade-off of control over my heavy wheel and excessive calf strength required to get up hills was not worth it. I say go for 125s on a 24", but not shorter.

Re: Cranks for a 24"

On Mon, 20 Jun 2005 20:27:51 -0500, “Carey” wrote:

>I have been looking at shorter cranks (102, 110, 114, and 125) and
>wondered if there are opinions out there for best crank length to add
>speed comfortably on a 24" wheel?

I have ridden with 150, 125, 110 and 102 on my 24" Semcycle. Mikefule,
our (ex?)resident crank length specialist, went down further, at least
to 89 mm, and he liked the setup as a ‘special purpose’ item. All of
these are valid crank lengths but the shorter they are, the more time
you need to get fully used to them and to get the speed advantage out
of them.

I’d say, if your goal is speed, 125 is definitely too long. I’d shoot
for 110 or possibly 102 mm and give them a good few hours of riding.

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

“As with all great social movements, the origins of mountain unicycling are unclear. - Hannah Nordhaus (Los Angeles Times)”

Carey Wrote:
I am enjoying the 24" Torker LX unicycle I got a few weeks ago and am riding it well. It is great exercise and I like it a heck of a lot better than running to stay in shape. Today I rode twice totaling about 6 miles, 2 miles this morning and 4 miles tonight. I don’t have any trouble getting on the unicycle, although I use only one method. I am able to relax as I ride and I enjoy the time on one wheel.

First, Congratulations on your new LX and the enthusiasm that you have for this sport - 6 miles on a 24" is nothing to sneeze at.
We need more people like you ! :slight_smile:

As for cranks, others have already posted some pretty good answers…

A 24" uni with 5" (125mm) cranks is the standard for the track racing events at USA and IUF conventions. Go to a convention and there will be a lot of 24’s with 125mm cranks.

125’s on a 24 will give an experienced unicyclist plenty of control. 125’s are good for everyday riding and freestyle on a 24" uni. Shorter cranks can give more speed and if shorter cranks were legal in the standard track events people would be using shorter cranks.

Try 125’s and once you’re comfortable with them try some shorter cranks. Eventually you’ll find a length that suits you best for the riding you do.

For the extreme there were some Japanese or Chinese riders who raced in the 10K marathon using 24" unicycles and crazy short cranks like 55mm or 65mm. They were able to keep up with the Cokers and 28’s. But 55mm or 65mm cranks wouldn’t give you much control.

24" wheel crank lengths

Howdy!

I started with a 24" onza muni with 165mm, and wanted faster. So I got another 24" wheel with 102mm cranks on it. This was only about 2-3 months into me starting unicycling and I could hardly control the wheel with 102’s on it. It was very fast tho.

So I put 125’s on it, lost a bit of speed and gained loads of control.

Fast forward about 9 months and I’v got more control and experience now, the 102’s are back on (this unicycle is now called the donkey!) and I’m completely used to them: can idle, backwards, one footed, I want more speed so I get 89’s. These are crazy! so fast! I got 17.7mph down a hill but have very little control. I can only just idle on them and I’ve went about 3 revolutions one footed. Going backwards with them is just too fast! And it takes ages and loads of effort to stop.

But they are so fast, comfortably sitting at 14mph, legs are spinning a bit quick, but I’m used to it. I ride to work on this uni 1.5 miles thru town centre.

And then, being all used to it and high-speed tastic, I was showing a mate how fast it is and down I went and broke my collar bone!

So,

89’s v.fast! no control you probably will fall

102’s fast some control you might fall

114’s never tried them

125’s quick loadsa control you wont fall

165’s slow on road, just for (tough) muni!

When I’m healed, the 125’s are going back on the donkey and I’m gonna leave the high-speed cycling to bikes. I might go down to 115 after a bit tho!

125’s seem to be the best match for speed and control. When you’re really used to them try 115’s. The drop in control won’t be so noticeable if you’re really used to 125’s beforehand.

Hope my crank experimenting is helpful to you Carey!

T.

I’ve got QU-AX 114s on my 20" freestyle, and whenever I have to go up a hill to glide down, it’s pretty tough. That of course would be even harder on a 24", so unless you aren’t going up hills a lot, get something a tad bigger. Although you must remember momentum because of your increased speed, so you might be able to get a little ways up without much effort.

–Tyler

I have 89’s onmy 24. It’s funny to ride because my legs hardly move when I pedal. Get 89’s!

I ride with 125’s on my Coker,
and 102’s on my 29er.

For pure road speed, I’m sure I’d find 102’s very comfortable on the 24", though I think I’d want to go down at least one size. The 102’s on the 29er run great (though I was passed by a number of Japanese kids in the abovementioned 10k race), so something shorter on a 24" should still work for any kind of pavement except steep hills.

If your’re riding a mix of pavement and dirt, you’ll need something longer. When I used to use a regular 24" unicycle for MUni, it had 140’s on it. For a mix, I’d go with 125 or shorter, depending on the roughness of your terrain.

I just switched from 152’s to 125’s on my 24" freestyle unicycle. It’s definitely faster, but climbing a steep hill is a lot more tiring than it once was. If you’re going to be going up and down hills a lot, I wouldn’t suggest anything shorter than 125. The shorter cranks seem to be better for pretty much all the freestyle riding I do, especially spins and pirouettes. Hopping up stairs is harder though, and so is side ride.

Cranks for speed

Friends,

Thanks for all the advice. Great perspectives. Since my unicycle is light, I ride on hard surfaces, on flat terrain, I decided to get the 114s for hopefully, controllable speed. I know that 125s would be a conservative compromise–but I have my 150s if I need the torque. The speeeed without control and broken collarbone story inspired me not to push for supersonic on this effort with 110s or 102s Looks like I am coming down right in the middle. 114s it is and I’ll see how I do. Ordered them tonight.

Thanks again–great forum.

Carey

I’m in a similar boat to Carey…24" Torker LX, starting to think about trying shorter crank arms. I’ve got what’s standard on an LX, which I guess is 150mm. I was looking on Unicycle.com and was wondering if I have to buy the Torker crank arms or can I get any kind? I am starting to do a lot of hopping and weigh about 215. Can I buy stronger, shorter cranks to extend the life of my uni or will I warp the square hub all the same?

I ride a 28" with 102s. It gets a little squirrelly at high speeds, and isn’t very manoeverable, but I can cruise along pretty fast. 110s might also be a good ride with a bit more control.

Same with me cept mine are 89’s, i want some 114’s though i want to be able to idle…

Chase

Cranks

Just got the Qu Ax 114 alloy cranks and they are nice. Hope try them before I leave town but schedule is tight.

Carey

Mikefule, the ex resident crank specialist here…:wink:

Not ex, just very busy. New job (same place), vastly under-resourced and overworked. Also, spending most of my leisure time fencing - not that I’ve given up the riding, it’s just that the fencing, being a specific commitment to when the club’s on, has ended up taking precedence. I also got out of the habit of unicycling a bit with hospital visiting leading up to a bereavement late last year. Also, suffering with a wrist injury which will prevent MUni for a while.

But other than that, I’m OK, and hoping to ride tomorrow!

But back to the cranks and the 24.

I no longer have a 24. I sold it. However, I had a lot of fun on it before I decided it served no unique purpose in my fleet.

It came with 150s and was no more than a “big 20”.

I tried 125s, 110s, 102s and 89s.

125s are virtually indistinguishable from 150s in average riding.

110s give brisk road riding, with some loss of fine control off road.

102s give very brisk road riding, with considerable loss of fine control on hills.

89s… were a short-lived novelty.

On 102s on the 24, I rode 24 miles one day. I was also able to ride off road on uneven ground, but had to avaoid steep hills.

My general advice would be:

For MUni, choose long: 150s or thereabouts.

For general use, 110s if you’re pretty good; 125s if you’re not yet pretty good.

For road and distance, 102s if you’re pretty good; 110s if you’re not yet pretty good.

Remember that each step between crank sizes is pretty small. 102s are only 7% shorter than 110s. It’s easy to be intimidated by extreme numbers. In most circumstances, you won’t notice 7% difference. 125s are 17% shorter than 150s, so you will notice that. 140s are as near as dammit the same size as 150s, so the choice between 140s and 150s is only fine tuning.

Whatever size you choose, you will rapidly get used to. For safety on the roads or in crowds etc., you should be able to stop under control, and idle at least briefly. The shortest cranks you should use are those which allow you to freemount and idle briefly. Any shorter and you will derive no benefits, but will incur additional risks.

Cranks

I put the 114s on today and freemounted right up and went on my merry way. They work great. I like the extra speed and I strapped a strip of sleeping pad to my seat to eliminate the numb seat phenomenon. Really glad I got hte 114s. The 150s are available for more torque and the 114s leave me with a nice balance of control and speed. They are nice quality also. I’m very happy.

Thanks for all the great advice. Nice to meet you all.

Carey

now that this thread is kind of, well… closed by the original starter, i have another crank question:

my KH Freeride (24" muni) came w/ 175s

i was riding in Santa Cruz w/ Corbin, the Hoovers, and many others, and was keeping up with the “lead pack” of 4-5 riders out of say 10. I noticed that Beau H. was WAY faster than me on flats and downs, and he has 152s
I’m wondering if I should think about something that length. Do you sacrifice much control or uphill power?
it seemd that I was SUPER tired after each section whereas people w/ shorter cranks seemed less winded, but that could also be because the 3 people who were in front of me have ridden for years and were training for a 24 hr. race
would an inch of crank lenght make that much difference?

also, where can i get KH '05 cranks?