Does riding a geared hub improve overall riding skills?

Maybe it’s just the gain in strength because of more XC rides but since I own a Schlumpf hub I think my riding on technical downhills has improved a lot.

So do you think riding a hub with a gear ratio higher than 1:1 (it doesn’t matter if it’s a fixed gear or a Schlumpf hub) can improve your overall riding abilities more than riding an ungeared uni with the same “Total Gear Ratio”?


You might develop some new balance skill at slower cadence.

Yes from me too. After riding geared unicycles, what seemed difficult on non-geared unicycles is much easier. Like short cranks and/or technical terrain on a Coker. Also it makes me a more confident, stable rider.

I think Total Gear Ratio isn’t of much value when comparing an ungeared uni with a theoretically equivalent GUni. e.g. a single speed 36’er with 150mm cranks is a very different experience to a 24 GUni with 150mm cranks in 1:1.5 i.e. virtual 36’er.

To answer the question though - yes, I think riding a geared hub in 1:1.5 improves overall riding skill. GUni’s in 1:1.5 have a significantly ‘smaller’ sweet spot compared to 1:1 uni. In order to ride in that smaller sweet spot balance, control and strength improve.

After our Africa unicycle tour on geared 24’s, my wife became a much better rider overall. She believes it is due to riding the geared hub in high gear.


Does “less sweet spot” mean there is more dead spot to deal with? I’m just trying to imagine this.

I think they mean a smaller balance envelope. Or however you want to say that position where you won’t fall down. :slight_smile:

I know that riding my 29er has made me better on my 24. Soon I will have my 24 guni and see for myself.

I’m tempted to think that it’s also due to just riding a lot, high gear or not.

Hehe…possible! Then again, we have logged thousands of miles on ungeared coker’s before the Africa tour. She said she really felt like a better rider afterwards. Granted, she doesn’t like the geared uni, and now prefers the ungeared coker now.


maybe but I think it has more to do with the consequences of the wheel rotating faster than you are spinning when riding in high gear, and the effort required to push through the gearing.

At last we will be able to answer the recurring question “Will buying this <widget> make you a better <widgeteer>?” with a confident “Yes” :smiley:

I want it, I want it, I want it!

So if Louise doesn’t like the 24 Guni, does that mean it is up for sale?:slight_smile:


I was wondering if this could also be due to the added weight? If so would there be any value in riding/training with additional weights inserted somehow into the wheel?

If it really improves the riding skills I want one!:stuck_out_tongue: Is a 29er with a geared hub a good setup for a guy who wants to ride super fast single track and road? Maybe one day I’ll be able to get a schlumpf hub… and a 29er:)

There is a guy that lives near me (I see him out riding once-in-awhile) who loves his geared 29. He’s on/off road all the time. I chose a 26" for my geared unicycle because I’m hoping to be able to climb well. Speed is not my issue. I’m too old to ride faster than I can safely run out a UPD. I just want to be able to move faster on a wheel that I can also climb with.

My exact reasons for getting a 26" Guni and after only 30 miles of mixed terrain I’m confident that I’ve made the right decision.

I’m loving it, even though it requires more effort and skill…although if that worried us we’d all be riding bicycles!!

I converted it to a KH26. I know it is excessive, but I now have a geared 24, 26 and 36. The 26 is currently out of commission (it had an old hub which is being replaced by Florian due to bad bearings). The extra hub is nice, since it lets me rotate them whenever I have issues. I do ride the KH36 and KH24 quite a bit (although, for the past few months I haven’t been riding much at all – mainly due to bad weather, but also me being lazy and wanting to do other things).


Definitely helps the overall skills I think; much more of a challenge (for me) riding my geared 24" MUni slow in overdrive as compared to riding my ungeared 36" slow. It’s not the same feeling at all. There is sort of a delay in the gearing between when you apply the force and when you see the result, not at all like the truly direct drive we’re used to on ungeared unicycles. This was the biggest challenge for me to overcome, but thankfully I’ve got it down now and shifting is much easier as well; practice makes perfect!