deterrent

i haven’t ridden much because… it’s too dang hard with 170s. i’m aware that gerblefranklin commutes on a 20 and that’s just impressive, especially in san fransisco. i’m considering a new crank/tire. is it a worthwhile investment? i like efficiency and not sweating/panting at my destination. getting around 170s is not efficient nor conducive to the latter.

is there an incredible difference in 102/110s over 170s? mikefule recommended 110s because a fat tire might make 102s unwieldy. terrain to be ridden? the streets of berkeley. slight uphills but no real gradient. i don’t want to invest in a commuter until i put some miles on the 24.

(i was going to ask where i should practice idling until i looked out my window and saw my narrow balcony with guardrails. i have a place to practice idling.)

i should learn idling on the 170s before i put on the shorter cranks, yes?

have any of you found your inability to ride well a deterrent to practicing in public?

I am not a big fan of long cranks. They have their moments though, and are ideal for steep hills, up and down. I felt like my legs were moving in huge arcs when I bought a MUni with 170mm cranks. Initially I ordered 165mm ones, because I already knew about my tendency towards short cranks, but they were out of stock, so I settled for 170mm like Unicycle.com recommended. Before long I was tempted by shorter cranks, and bought some 145mm profiles and have not regretted it. The shorter the cranks, the harder you work (I think you sweat more), because it’s like being in a higher gear ratio. It seems easier to cruise at a higher speed though, and your legs no longer seem to be flailing wildly, and you wobble side to side less, making for a smoother ride.

I think there is an incredible difference between 145s and 170s, each crank is one inch longer/shorter, together that is two inches diameter difference in the pedalling circle. The difference between 170s and 102/110s would be even more vast, and I am not experienced enough to be able to compare.

For general street riding from one place to another, I think the shorter the cranks the better (as long as you are comfortable with them), but depending on what other riding you do it could be a hinderance. With a fat tire you will notice a bit of drag as you maintain your top speed. If you need to accellerate or stop in a hurry, short cranks take longer to change speed than long ones, and if you drop off something it can kind of kick you forwards when you have short cranks.
This is my theory about the physics:
Long=slow +more control +more likely to scrape ground
Short=fast +less control +less likely to scrape ground

I don’t think idling is an essential skill. It’s not really much fun, unless you want to wait at a traffic light or pedestrian crossing, without dismounting and without leaning up against something (hopping works too). By all means practise idling, but you don’t have to do it just because everyone else does it. Long cranks are probably easier to idle with, but any length should do, except maybe the shortest would be tricky.

Don’t worry about people watching you. Some people are amazed even if you can go 20 or 30 meters. If they hassle you and put you down, offer for them to have a go. They will most likely either shut up, or have a go and then compliment you on being able to ride, taking note how much harder it is than you make it look.

If you have square taper cranks, experiment. Cranks are relatively cheap to change, so you haven’t got much to lose, and plenty to gain.

I’d be reluctant to go straight to 110’s from 170’s.

On my 29-er I went from 150’s to 125’s which was a challenge, but OK.

Then I went to 110’s and it was too soon, had a bad fall backwards due to lack of control.

If I were you I’d consider 125’s, which, on a 24"-er will give you a significant speed increase over 170’s.

And, if you’ve got some 150/145’s, try those first.

yeah, don’t get anything bigger than 125. to me, 150’s seemed huge, and i didn’t even have anything to compare them to. just huge. i’d say get 110’s if you’re just commuting. 102’s give me a little trouble going up steep driveways and such, so i suggest the 100’s because of your small hills

You’ve got 170’s on a 24! My God in Heaven, I have 170’s on my Coker, and I wish I had the time to switch cranks every time I hit level ground. Pop it down to 5+1/2 or 6 inch cranks and you will notice the uni has a lot more jump to it.
My 29er came with six inch cranks, and I haven’t seen a hill yet that it couldn’t climb [paved].

Re: deterrent

In article <carjug.u607u@timelimit.unicyclist.com>,
carjug <carjug.u607u@timelimit.unicyclist.com> wrote:
)
)You’ve got 170’s on a 24! My God in Heaven, I have 170’s on my Coker,
)and I wish I had the time to switch cranks every time I hit level
)ground. Pop it down to 5+1/2 or 6 inch cranks and you will notice the
)uni has a lot more jump to it.

He was talking about a MUni–if you’re doing anything steep on a MUni,
170mm is required. For cross-country trail riding, you can go smaller,
but don’t show up at Moab with 150mm cranks unless you want to walk a lot.
-Tom

Re: deterrent

On Mon, 22 Sep 2003 01:53:18 -0500, nosabe332
<nosabe332.u5azp@timelimit.unicyclist.com> wrote:

>i haven’t ridden much because… it’s too dang hard with 170s.
Hard? I can imagine it will be a bit awkward, but hard?

>i’m considering a new crank/tire. is it a
>worthwhile investment?
Yes cranks are relatively cheap. But why a new tyre?

>is there an incredible difference in 102/110s over 170s?
Not incredible, but yes a very significant difference. I would
recommend to pick an intermediate size.

>i should learn idling on the 170s before i put on the shorter cranks,
>yes?
The longer the cranks the easier to (learn to) idle, so yes.
I disagree with Rowan about the usefulness of learning to idle.
Depending on your style of riding idling may not be very useful in
itself, but it IS fun in itself (I believe) to master the skill. Also,
it serves as a very useful stepping stone to many other basic
techniques/skills such as various mounts, backwards riding, and
general control of your unicycle.

>have any of you found your inability to ride well a deterrent to
>practicing in public?
Only when I was a very beginner (I am now only level 2). Now I just
try to believe that they understand that I’m practicing something
difficult. That belief is not always justified though, people often
cast me a pitiful look or say things like “Never mind, keep at it and
you will learn riding it.” (As if they are the expert…)

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

If the crank is moving then it really sounds as if it’s loose. - onewheeldave trying to pinpoint the cause of a clicking crank

Re: deterrent

Just go for it Nosabe332. If I were you, I’d assume that most people watching you would be impressed that you were TRYING to learn to ride.

Face it, if Unicycling was really easy, everyone would ride one. (That is an unintended pun, LOL), so let them watch as you learn.

I don’t care who is watching me try new things. It’s just all part of The Great Unicycle Riding Adventure. --chirokid–

Re: Re: deterrent

you’re right. it’s not hard. it’s awkward. need to put the blame on something else other than me, right? i just need to ride more often. that cures a lot of things.

a new tire because a knobby isn’t entirely suited for road riding. and from some other experiences, a fireball works fine on the trails.

thanks for the pointers everyone.

Re: Re: deterrent

Funny. I’ve been out on the greenway paths just simply riding lately and I get several “good job” or “way to go” comments. I just say thanks but I wonder does just casually riding warrant comment of achievement? I’m just cruising from point A to point B. Neither flailing out of control nor exhibiting any higher skill. I really doubt they can tell whether I’ve been riding 30 years (in which case I’d be thinking ‘man do I really look like I just learned to do this’) or 3 days (in which case I’d be thinking ‘hell yeah its a good job’). I think they just assume it’s always hard no matter how long you’ve been doing it.

-Cubby
Maybe I’m just too sensitive.

Hey, I just re-read your original post. Slap some shorter cranks on that baby and go sidewalk hopping around Berkley. If you do the same route every day people get used to seeing you and the gawking stares cease. Don’t be shy, no-one else in the crowd can balance on that thing!

actually just to perpetuate the stereotype at berkeley, there are more than a few people who can unicycle. everytime i unicycle someone will say that there is a guy down west of campus that freestyles. i saw him once spinning about and gliding through the crowds. my roommate saw a giraffe. haven’t actually seen one for myself, so i wish i saw it.

question: how easy is it to ankle on 170s? it seems that when i try to do it, it doesn’t seem to help as i’m not really pivoting around my ankle.

Re: deterrent

On Tue, 23 Sep 2003 21:12:03 -0500, nosabe332
<nosabe332.u8nd9@timelimit.unicyclist.com> wrote:

>question: how easy is it to ankle on 170s? it seems that when i try to
>do it, it doesn’t seem to help as i’m not really pivoting around my
>ankle.

You may still be pivoting fine. My guess is that it does not seem to
help because ankling can only do “so much”, which is almost negligible
when compared to the large foot circle diameter when using 170’s.
Ankling only becomes relatively important with short cranks.

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

If the crank is moving then it really sounds as if it’s loose. - onewheeldave trying to pinpoint the cause of a clicking crank

It is still important to ankle with longer cranks. You want to be pointing your toes down (heel up) at the bottom of the pedal stroke. At the bottom of the pedal stroke you should pull your foot back like you are scraping mud off the bottom of your shoe.

If you pedal with flat feet you loose power, loose control, and loose speed. Ankling is also important when climbing with long cranks. If you climb with flat feet your loose power and waste energy. Work on the ankling and your pedaling with long cranks will get smoother. It takes practice.

I can’t maintain a high cadence with long cranks. On easy trails and on non-uphill logging roads you start wishing you had shorter cranks. But as soon as the trail starts going uphill or gets technical you really appreciate the long cranks.

I have two wheels for my muni. One with a Gazz and 170mm cranks, and another with a Hoggy G slick tire and 160mm cranks. I may decide to put 150s on the Hoggy G wheel but the 160s are doing OK for the way I’m riding it and where I’m riding it.

For what it’s worth, I’m a new rider and I learned on a 24 x 2.5 with 150 cranks. “Sofa” suggested a 24 x 3 tire and soon after I switched to 127 cranks. These 2 changes made a big differene to me. As far as practicing in public, I never heard any negative comments. You know what they say, “Practicing is it’s own reward”.