First long ride on 36er or why I still suck at this.

Johnfoss, thanks for the advice. Your description sounds exactly like what I do when it’s working right. It’s just that the “working right” part still isn’t consistent. I spent about a half an hour in front of my house last night just practicing mounts. It’s just gonna take time. For the next week or so though, I’m gonna be focusing on my 24" getting ready for Moab. I’m pretty sure I’ll be sticking to the novice trails but it’s still bound to be a great time.

Sorry to hear you lost your need to commute to work but working at home is a pretty sweet deal too.

BTW I’m riding on the 150s that the uni came with.

Good note. My Nimbus 36" has been ordered, and I can’t wait for it to arrive. I ordered 150mm cranks because there’s not a single flat spot in Colorado Springs. Just putting 125s on my ancient Schwinn made it a completely different animal, I imagine I’m in for a similar experience (though probaly in spades) going to the 36".


And the “kid” posts seem less than useful… :stuck_out_tongue:

It’s true, the big wheels and road riding seem to appeal to an older crowd. The youngsters, here at least, are mostly focused on Trials and Street. Part of what makes those activities more accessible to people who can’t drive is that you can do them close to home. MUni trails usually aren’t close enough for easy access without a car

But that’s what’s funny. Many of us “old” folks are using our Cokers and 36ers to ride to work, or otherwise to replace the car for some trips. I wonder why more younger riders aren’t as interested in this?

I see I’m not the only one with a belief that there’s a pretty good correlation between age and wheel size. I should imagine it is partly to do with transport issues, and also that kids love the adrenalin buzz of throwing themselves down a set of stairs, knowing they’ll heal quickly if they wreck, but older people know if they break their legs trying to land the quad backflip they won’t be able to work and support their family (yes im stereotyping here). I find the attraction of riding trials wanes as I get a little older, and the nimbus 36 looks increasingly inviting, am I now one of the ‘oldies’?

EDIT: And if I’m not an oldie I like to make a hopefully useful contribution on behalf of the kids. I recently swapped to 125s (from 150s) on my 36 and it really isn’t that different to ride, I’ve not managed to exceed my previous max of 16mph yet, and my cruise speed isn’t up much, but holding the uni at a fairly fast sprint, but not flat out (say 14mph ish) is a lot easier and more sustainabe. The alloy 125s +14g stainles spokes + airfoil setup certainly climbs much easier than the steel 150s + 12g steel spokes + steel rim.

Perhaps because the purpose of the thread was to share concrete details and useful advice about unicycling… :wink:

OMG!!! LOL!!!

The Nimbus 36" has arrived!

Whoooo Hoooo! Got here last night at 8:30pm (I have no idea why UPS was working that late). Cut down the seat post and made it ready to roll this morning.

Mounting against the garage I got two false starts and then I was off – rode to the end of the road and back (maybe 0.1, 0.2 miles, nothing to write home to Mom about) but it basically was in the “indefinite riding distance” range so I was psyched! Far from relaxed, (in fact, pouring sweat from concentration) but relaxation will come with experience. Decided to try and shoot the moon so away from the garage I put the right pedal back, grabbed the wheel and hopped up – and rode off! So now that my mounting percentage is 100% on it I think I will never, ever try another free mount. :slight_smile:

I’ll be taking it for a spin in the company’s parking lot this afternoon and work on the free mounts because that one time was by no means easy, nor do I have any confidence in my ability to pull it off again.

One thing that helped a lot is that a couple months ago I put 125mm cranks on my old Schwinn Unicycle. The hysteresis that the short cranks introduced on that Uni is very similar to that experienced on the N36 so it turns out that it was a good training platform.

I got the Uni with 150mm cranks and I would not recommend anyone with an inseam less than 34” get those length cranks on the N36 – the seat currently is as low as it will go. I expect to raise it slightly as I get used to it, but it’s basically bottomed out at the moment.

Gawd this thing is nice! I hope to start riding it to work after my fitness improves a bit more. Might have to add brakes in short order as well, even slight downhill’s cause my legs to burn.


Sweeeeet. You’re gonna love it. I haven’t ridden mine much in the past week. I’ve been focusing on the 24 in preparation for Moab. I still have way too little control over my hopping to be considering muni so that’s what I’ve been practicing. Anyway, back to the 36. When I’m on mine and riding, it’s just so exhilirating. Feels like flying. Commanding view, smooth, fast. Gotta love it. I think I’ll probably take mine to Moab. Might squeeze in a little road riding and might be able to gather a few tips on taming the beast. It’ll be a gas being among so many unicyclists. Hope your lunch time rides around the parking lot went well.

I know. Too many words…can’t stay focussed…must change activity instantly…must be entertained. Those old guys are so deft verbalizing ideas with proper syntax, spelling, and grammar. They should just make videos. After all, a picture’s worth a thousand…what are those things…oh, yeah, words. You would “almoost” think they were literate.


Sweet Polly Purebred would have recommended that you use those offending speed bumps in your favor. Use them as mounting chocks when going uphill. Place your wheel right up against them and make them brake the extra torque you exert on an uphill mount.

Oh man, I’m hooked! Things went very well. The good news is you can really fly on the thing. The bad news is that you can really fly on the thing! :slight_smile:

Knock on wood, mounts aren’t a problem, I’m hitting about 3 in 4 or better freemounts. Thak you Roger Davies (?) for the mount he performed as he left the field of view on the “How to ride a Unicycle” DVD. He says something along the lines of: “I snuck in a different mount on you” after he comes back into view. The holding the tire trick and drawing it toward you feels quite natural and works very well for me.

Enjoy Moab, I’m planning on being there next year, I’m not good enough yet (fitness, skill, you name it :))

I can tell the N36 is going to be a ton of fun, can’t wait to do some distance on it!


Correction. A guy I work with is learning to ride (currently he mountain climbs, mount bikes and slack lines) and we spend a lot of time analyzing each other to figure out exactly how stuff is done to better explain it to others, and he figured out that drawing the tire under me is NOT what I’m doing.

I’m actually holding the tire stationary. To mount, I start with a hop and then the foot on the rearward pedal is pushed down to get me up and over the Uni. Holding the tire allows me to push down on the pedal without making the wheel roll backwards.

Works great!


Harper, I haven’t had a really good laugh in a few days; your post definitely had me laughing out loud as I read it. Well said my friend!

If I’m riding with my 150mm cranks arms I can idle at an intersection but with my 114mm cranks I can’t. A method I use regularly when approaching a controlled intersection with a red light is to slow down approximately 50 yards before the intersection. I ride as slow as I can until the light turns green. Another method I use when I approach an intersection is to spot a street sign or something else near the edge of the curb to lean on while I’m waiting for the light to turn green or an opening to cross. By combining both methods I very rarely have to get off my uni at intersections.

I am a big kid with a Coker and I love it. I don’t have a job so I don’t ride to work but I don’t have a car either so the unicycle takes me everywhere and the Coker’s size makes it ideal for transport.

The first time I tried Freemounting Ken’s 36" I think I got it by instinctively holding the wheel and pulling myself up. Since getting my own coker recently I have been mostly using static mounts and seldom failing. I find them easy enough, I’ve got the heavy steel Coker and 127mm cranks. I just apply enough pressure on the back pedal to keep the wheel stationary (similar to the holding the wheel concept) and leap on with downwards pressure on the front pedal- same as I do on smaller unicycles. I find the rolling mount pretty easy but it introduces less certainty to the pedal position since it is moving so I tend to favour static mounts. The rollback mount is pretty much out of the question as the inertia is so hard to overcome. I think the 127mm cranks are the perfect size, even quite steep hills are climbable with them as long as you keep breathing and keep your momentum up. I don’t understand how brakes are needed cos downhills are so easy to ride compared to uphills- you are releasing gravitational potential so a lot of the work is done for you- and surely the brake just weighs you down on the uphill climbs. Having said that I’d still like to get one to try it out, but my theory is that brakes will just slow you down and going fast is good. Have fun and good luck mastering mounting your Coker-beast.

I do the slow down thing too.

On the coker, I’ve graduated from grabbing onto things if I have to stop at a light, and now do tiny hops in place instead. Tiny hops are great. They take less effort than idling a coker, you don’t take up any extra space, and best of all, they’re not any harder to do on short cranks.

By the way, Rowan - are you anywhere near Wanganui? Just that I’m gonna be there something like 5th, 6th, 7th May, maybe 8th, something like that, and obviously gonna to do some riding like.


Thanks. It helped. (not that we have any ‘steep’ hills around here… but mounting on any upward incline skews my success rate)

edit to add: I’m just jumping in because the advice was relevant to my struggle. I don’t ride a 36. :slight_smile:

I wish I could idle, I wish I could idle, I wish I could idle :o :o

I use a combination of slowing down, grabbing things if I need to stop, and watching the pedestrian lights so I can cross in parallel to the pedestrians. (Yeah, I know that technically it’s jumping a red light, but in London, who doesn’t jump red lights!). Oh, and jumping red lights works too :smiley:


Bad Spencer.

Riding red lights is stupid. Riding red lights in London is double stupid.

You piss people off by doing it. If you ever say the word ‘bike’ in front of a non-cyclist, the first thing they say is something about red lights.

It’s also dumb cos some point you’ll do it at the same time as some other bugger does it in the other direction, and end up smacking into each other. I’ve seen this happen to cyclists doing the ride through pedestrian lights thing and was v. funny!

Or you’ll do it into traffic that has right of way, and get hit, or you’ll not pay attention and hit a pedestrian or something.

I know several London cyclists who argue that it’s often safer to ride through red lights than to stop. They are dumbasses, and have all been crashed into by cars.

Plus, as an added bonus, by stopping at red lights, you’re giving yourself interval training, which makes you fitter, so you actually end up faster in the long run.


Pedestrians too

I agree that running red lights is dangerous and a bad idea. But, don’t let non-cyclists tell you that cyclists are the worst about running red lights. I ride home from Paddington to Notting Hill (is everyone in London?) and there are a few intersections where about 90% of the time I get cut off by pedestrians when I have a green light and they are jaywalking. Pedestrians are ten times worse than bicycles about illegally crossing streets, and we should never forget that. Thank god none of us are pedestrians!

And Underdog – try longer cranks. It gives you more torque when you hop on, and it also means that you are jumping on to a lower platform, which definitely helps.

If it still doesn’t work, consider a 29", possibly with gearing but maybe not. They are much easier to get on.

Ah this is something that seems to confuse Americans, Germans and Japanese people in particular. In the UK, there’s no law about crossing streets. As a pedestrian, you can legally cross wherever and whenever you want. That’s why you see so many people ‘jaywalking’ in the UK. Traffic signals are just a handy way to tell you when the cars are going to stop and make it safer for you to cross the road. Oh yeah and if someone hits a pedestrian when they’re crossing at a pedestrian crossing, the driver is automatically in the wrong, whereas if a pedestrian is crossing somewhere else, it’s not automatic.