Cross Country Ride on KH29.

Most of the people that know me know that I mostly ride MUni on a KH24 2007 with 165mm cranks.

I do have a KH29 2005 with 150mm cranks but it mostly gathers dust. I just don’t ride it very often. I have done some rides with it on the road when I needed to cover distance but have not given it a serious off road workout until this Friday!
Below I will try to compare the difernces betweenthe 24 and 29.

I did a 26 KM circular route known as the Kibbutz Beeri single. (The name is derived from the nerby Kibbutz.)This is a single that goes though pastures of rolling hills, orchards, forests and streambeds. I would consider this single a classic Cross County ride. Longish with no mountains but plenty of landscapes, some very steep slopes but no drops. There were countless crossings of gullies that were between 2 to 4 meters deep. this was very cool because you rode down the steep bank and then tried to ride up the opposite bank converting to pecking once you ran out of steam. The single was not very technical. It was usually about 30 cm wide and in some of the forested areas you had to slalom around trees. Apparently somone rode horses on the ringle when it was still muddy from the winter rains. On friday the ground was dry and hard as cement. However there were tons of horse hoof prints which made the trail quite ruff. Another interesting aspect of this route were the orchards. The trees are planted on embankments of earth that are raised about half a meter above natural ground level. Then between the rows of trees you have drainage ditches that are about half a meter deep. This causes a rippled trail with 1 metter ripples about 2 to three meters apart when the single cuts accross orchards. Very fun to ride!

The 29 is much faster than the 24 probably about 50% faster. I rode with mountain bikers and they comented on how much faster I rode. On the single I did not get the sore ass that I have gotten in the past when riding the 29 on the road. I guess that this is due to the frequent standing up when going over obstacles. I put 40 PSI into the tire of the 29 when I usually use 18 to 20 psi in the 24 tire. I felt the difference in suspention, bite and bounce when pecking up the gully embankments big time. If the 29 had a 3 inch tire it would be awesome. However I did not feel the hoofrints that much due to the bigger radius of the tire. I was quite surprised that my upper thighs got tired riding the 29. When I do longer rides on my 24 it is always the mucles right above my knees that feel the burn. I must say that the first third of the ride I struggled for control over th unicycle. The shorter cranks and bigger wheel just gave it such a different feel when going over obstacles. It was also very hard to switch from going downhil to uphill and vice verca. These are problems that I never encountered with the 29 on the asphalt. Every obstacle although not causing UPDs did cause an intereption in the “flow” of my riding. By the end of the first 10 kms I seemed to get used to the feel and started riding much faster with less interuptions to the flow of my ride. this was an awesome feeling. I actually could hear the spokes cutting though air! I must say that I was surprised that downhilling the gully embankments withthe 29 was no problem!

In short I was very pleased with the performance of the 29 and intend to do more cross country rides in the future. The speed is great. However if there are any drops more than 30 to 40 cm and or a lot of pecking that has to be done I would prefer the 24 hands down.

Unicorn

Great write up unicorn

I had a similar ride this weekend, only 20km but different surface (snow & ice)

Here in the east coast of Canada we have had record snow fall.
Normally at this time of year the snowlevel is less than 1ft. We have an average of 3 - 4 ft snow covering.

On top of the snow fall has been freezing rain causing an icy hard crust.

Yesterday I rode my 29" on a cross country safarie through the woods and pastures. Got some great video’s. Climbed some banks and road on froozen streams.

Even though I have a brand new 36, my 29 is an awsome cross country machine. It grips the snow and ice well. It was great at dodging treess, and zig zaging through the trail.

What, does neither of you own a camera?

I have both the KH24 and the KH29. They’re like two children: different, but equally well loved. The 29 is quite a bit faster, but harder to control on steep downhills. (I don’t a have a brake on either.)

Camera

Usually I am to bussy riding to take pictures. However the purpose of my thread was not to show the wonderful scenery but to compare the 24 vs 29 riding.

Unicorn

Took video shots, not picture

I don’t have youtube account, maybe I can post it in gallery.

I have a 24" Muni and was planning on getting a 36" commuter. Now I have 2nd thoughts. Is a 36" only good for very flat roads? I have never road a 29" or a 36". :thinking:

Nope! A 36 is good for so many things. Here is a photo of me climbing a mountain pass on my 36er:

They are fine at climbing once you get used to them. You can also take them offroad on XC tracks or gravel and a lot of other things.

29ers are easier to ride on XC/singletrack though, but if you are going to be covering any serious distance on a uni, the 36 is the way to go. Especially if you will be mostly riding on the road.

With that said, I busted out my old 29er the other day and took it on a sweet singletrack a few miles away from my house. I built it up with a Kenda Navegal tire and it rolled like a dream, so much better than the Nanoraptor I had on there originally.

Good write up, man.

I too have a 24 and a 29, the 29 being quite new and unused compared to the 24.

I agree with you about uphills and downhills being harder on the bigger wheel. Also your part about “not falling but interrupting the flow” rings very true in my experience. Sweet and smooth on flat and not too bumpy but as soon as the going gets rough the 29 feels awffy unsure.

From what you say after this, I think I need to ride mine more and maybe I too will get over the unsteadiness on the bigger wheel.

Nice one!

T.

Like DarkTom, I also have a 24 and a 29 - I have had the 24 for a year and a half and the 29 for only a month…
Since I bought the 29, I have forced myself to use it all the time instead of the 24 (to make sure I go over the disappointment of not being able to have fun through the same technical bits I enjoyed on my 24…).
I still find it harder than the 24: steep and/or bumpy, rooty, rocky sections are all easier on the 24.
The 29 rolls better than the 24, so I guess it will take me some time to adapt my skills and make the most of it.
Tyre pressure was important: I had to lower my tyre pressure quite a bit on the 29 before I could start hitting bumpier sections without falling off. Just a shame the tyre is only 2.2" wide.
Wrt speed, I was not overly impressed by the 29, I have to say. I think I will realise how much faster it is than the 24 when I use my 24 again, but I was expecting more… The one thing I have noticed and love is the momentum of the wheel: the riding feels a lot smoother on the 29 than on the 24 (big wheel + smaller cranks size).
Crank size: 165 on the 24 (should try 150) - dual 125/150 on the 29 (but do not feel confortable at all with the 125 offroad. 150 feels right offroad, 125 for road).

so… still working on it… hoping to enjoy it as much as my 24 in the not-too-distant future!!

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20 vs 24 vs 29 vs 36

Let me just say what every you ride the most will be your uni of choice!

When we ride in different environment we discover the strenght and weakness in our ride of choice.

For example, I used to ride my 20" on bmx trails, through the woods, off road.

Then my 29 came along. It felt big and bulky for freemounting and going over courses. So I continued to use the 20 on trails.

Then came along my 36. Man the 29" suddenly felt small and really manuverable. Now I ride my 29, not my 20 on trails.

As my experience level increases, I’m sure I’ll use the 36 for simple offroading. But for now I’m having a ball on my little 29" (Yup little 29")

Oh yeah, with 125 cranks too.

Size of Choice.

Legtod2,

I totally agree with you. I am hoping that by forcing myself to ride the 29 I will become more daring and comfortable on the 24. By the way I have gotten into Trials in a big way in the last half year and it really improves my jumping on the trails. However it always feels huge getting on the 24 after a few trials riding sessions on the KH20!

The flow is so important in my eyes. I am seeing protoges of mine getting tired after very short distances because they are constantly accelerating and breaking. Whith the flow comes energy conservation, self confidence and more riding pleasure!

It seems like in the biking world more people are going the 29 route. I hope that this means better tires for us in the future. I would love to have a 47mm KH rim with a 3 inch tire on my 29!

Unicorn

Keeping the flow…

Unicorn,

I am trying to improve in keeping a good flow, but I still find myself changing speed too often when the trail is bumpy. Any tip to improve on this?
I suppose you have to force yourself to roll over obstacles as opposed to hopping over them whenever they are small enough…
How about going for a smaller crank size? Have you tried smaller than 165s on your 24"?
I am looking forward to this week-end when I will try the 150s on my 24" - I will see what my month of using my new 29" has done to my riding!..

Improving Flow

Hi Gonzo,

Improving flow in my opinion is mostly practice. However on bumpier more technical trails you have much more control and power with the longer cranks. I have tried using 150s on my 24 and did not feel that I had enough power for climbing steep hills,or enough tourque for the really bumby rocky areas in the trails. Another pionter is to keep your hips back. Shorter cranks, a larger wheel, a new tire with new tread and different thickness of tires are all things that need some getting used to.

There Was a thread where “Goats” and I debated hopping. The best is to roll or ride over whatever you can. It is the most energy effecient and affects your flow the least. If you can’t roll over the object then Rolling hop it. As a last result do a side hop.

Unicorn

gkmac what crank length

Gkmac, what crank length do you use on 29" ?

Hill Climbs

GKmac,

All else being equal, tire pressure, cranks and so on, a 29 to a 24 is like riding a bike in a higher gear. You go approximately 91 inches for each pedal revolution on the 29" rather than about 75 inches for the 24". Now on some hills it might be more comfortable to use braun to get distance. However all else being equal a person riding a 24" will be able to climb steeper hills than he could with a 29".

I think that the key word that you used is “Gentle”.

Unicorn

I don’t think it’s that simple. In my experience, the difference between a 29er and 24 is not the same as switching gears on a bike. One difference that doesn’t apply to bikes is that the 29er is more stable than a 24.

Also, I suspect there’s something about the ratio of crank length to wheel diameter that seems to fit my body and climbing style better–I think biomechanics play a much larger role when climbing with a unicycle than with a bicycle.

I think the 29’er climbs better for me in most situations. A 24" with long cranks tends to be very choppy with a much more noticeable dead spot. It doesn’t roll over bumps as well either.

A 29’er is pretty versatile too. Slap on some short cranks and you can cruise at over 25km/hr, or put on long cranks and it will ride just about anything. If it can’t be ridden on a 29’er, then it would be faster to run anyway. Hence I don’t feel the need to use anything smaller than 29" these days.

You can tour on it and you can also ride MUni. For me, it’s the best all round Uni. I luffs my 29! :stuck_out_tongue:

I’ve been riding my 29er almost exclusively lately (for muni). I think I climb a little more smoothly on it than on my 24, but there are some hills I can make on the 24 that I haven’t been able to master on the 29er. I have 165s on the 24, and 125/150 on the 29er, running the 125s only on really gentle xc trails. The biggest challenge I’ve found is drops and downhills; on drops I’d take on the 24, I’ll often dismount and walk down instead if I’m on the 29er. Some downhills, too, are pretty challenging that wouldn’t scare me nearly as much on the 24.

I think that what I like best is the slightly faster speed I get from the 29er, but I too am waiting for a true fat 29er tire. I like the Exiwolf I have on it now better than the Nevegal that came with it, but neither really give much suspension.