First Muni, some thoughts and questions on cranks

Well, I was quite happy riding 24" unicycle and after a few days of short offroad experience I decided I’ll surely enjoy muni. In fact I was considering it for some time…
So today it came… qu-ax cross 24" ISIS (I knew I won’t be doing big drops).
It came with a new qu-ax seat (based on this low-profile KH seat) – very comfortable.
I must admit this uni is a beast. :wink: After some some riding I it feels like a hybrid of a huge, massive tank and a comfy armchair :wink:
I’m almost happy with my new toy.
There are a few things, however which bug me:

  • 170mm are loooong, riding is slow. So slow I sometimes lose control due to slowliness and sometimes due to doing too large circles with feet.

  • on a related note, long cranks make shifting weight to pedals a lot more cumbersome and straining. (because I have to bend knees much more)

OK, so please give me some advice: have you had any similiar feelings at first? How have you resolved them?
Since this is an ISIS hub (I thought it’ll be stronger than a regular square tapered and weaker than a regular yellow hub) I have two options, either
try to exchange this red isis hub based wheelset for red-square tapered and have a larger selection of cranks. Or just change cranks to shorter… but…
which? Do you know of any ISIS cranks of length about 150/152/155mm?
Preferably with a price not reaching the roof :wink:
Any ideas?


170mm cranks are definitely long. One possible remedy is to ride steeper terrain, where 170mm cranks excel. But if your terrain is not that radical, you’d probably be better off switching to 150mm or 140mm cranks. I recently switched to 150mm from 165mm; it didn’t change my ability to ride difficult terrain very much, and it definitely feels faster on easy stuff.

UDC in UK has these in 145 mm. But its across the pond and I don’t know if you can get the cranks separate.
Edit: maybe not so bad for you though.

My first uni was a DX 24" w/ 150 mm. cranks and they felt fine, but it felt like a long way down and going away from the rail was frightening. Then I got a 16" and quikly rode all over, then a 20" and had more speed and got over bumps and driveway ramps better. I whent to 102 mm. cranks in search of more speed, got comfortable with that, and rode it for a few weeks.

Reacently started the 24" again. It took 20 min to adjust to the basics, but the cranks now felt way too long (even though before they felt fine) for the entirity of my 45 min. practice session. I haven’t got back on yet. Not enough time in the day!:frowning:

you can put some koxx-one cranks on that hub, they are isis also and come in a wide range of lengths plus they are really strong. tholub is right when it comes to the lengths ans stuff’d say

170mm is long - exactly as long as most bicycle cranks on bikes ridden by everyone from time trials athletes to granny doing her shopping.

The problem is not the length of the cranks, it’s the length of the cranks relative to the “gearing”. Your uni is equivalently geared to a mountain bike locked in bottom gear. You have almost nothing to push against, and the long cranks feel silly. When you try to go fast, it feels ungainly, and you probably bounce up and down in the seat, and zigzag more than you would like.

I know, coz I bin there.

But if you can learn to ride well with long(ish) cranks, you will be a more versatile rider than if you rely on short cranks for speed.

Short cranks impose a limit on how much steepness you can cope with. Long cranks impose a limit on how fast you can go. It is much easier to stretch the speed limit than the steepness limit. Practise riding smoothly, with your feet moving in circles, instead of just pumping up and down. Get some miles under the wheel.

You may well find that 150s are more comfortable. Even 165s (5mm difference sounds negligible0 can be more comfortable. It depends on how tall you are, the proportions of your legs, and so on.

For now, I recommend riding what you have and getting used to it. Then if you feel the need, you can invest in a new pair of cranks that suits your own style.

There is no logic to it, as the problem is 90% psychological. To illustrate, my current fleet is:
36 inch wheel (Coker), 150 mm cranks
24x3 (tractor MUni), 165 mm cranks
28 (700c x 28mm, Road Razor) 125 mm cranks
28 (700c x 25mm, Bacon Slicer) 114 mm cranks
26 (light MUni), 125 mm cranks
20, er… varies, but 125 at the moment, I think.

No logic there.

I unicycle for excercise.
Generally, I like freeriding and tough terrain.
I have a bike with 170s.

With that in mind, I have been very happy with 170s.

You just have to decide
what terrain you’re riding,
what you’re trying to accomplish,
and go with the setup that helps you,
or take pride in using odd (i.e. a unicycle) equipment.

same feeling: I recently bought a Qu-ax (yellow ISIS axle) and found the wheel heavy… but as I got accustomed to this strange feeling (curiously I have a fleet ressembling much MikeFule’s) I found that single-tracking had a different taste (you just crash through evrything: that’s why I nicknamed my Muni the “boar”) and descent were fairly easier and smooth. So I’ll continue to learn using those Looong cranks. just a different experience.

Just practice with what you’ve got.

There’s not much difference between 170 and 150 cranks once you’re used to them. You either learn to spin with 170s, or you learn to ride technical terrain with 150s.

My muni has 150s, but I have a tendency to borrow people’s unicycles to ride, I’ve ridden muni with everything from 125mm to 170mm. It really truly makes way less difference than people say on here.

The only reason I’d bother changing them is if you find your pedals hitting the sides of the trail a lot. This might be a problem with a 24", particularly if you’re riding very narrow rutted singletrack. 150mm cranks make a real difference for narrow stuff.


Guys, thanks a bunch for your comments and explanations (especially Mikefule for your in-depth analysis).
As most of you suggested I’d ride what I have for some time and then decide whether change something or not.

Well, Joe, my common sense tells me that having relatively short inseam (about 30") long cranks mean yet shorter seatpost which again means moving knees closer to my face which again means aching knees…
…or maybe I have wrong riding technique and must work on this more…

Nevertheless I’m just beginning my 2-week-long vacation and the last week I’m gonna spend practising on some definitely off-road and quite hilly terrain :slight_smile: