Here’s an email we received from a recumbent bike shop owner:
I would really like to see and try out that thing, I just don’t know about the timing. Is there any chance you could let the guy know that if he went to the event on Saturday that a large number of unicyclists would be there to see it?
i emailed him directly and invited him to come to the jugglefest where many more unicyclists would be available to try out his uni. he responded but didn’t mention the jugglefest. i think his time in austin maybe limited. i will reinvite him when i see him on friday the 11th.
I want to go, but I need to no more than “thereabouts” since it is a private house. Do you have the exact abouts?
Shift-able on the fly. Impressive. At $1300 it should be very impressive. I rode the UNI.5 (24" wheel). It was very much like riding a 36" wheel, but only using a 24" wheel. It was hard to free-mount.
I’m not sure what I’ll be doing that weekend.
Bump up…hope you Texans have a good ride tomorrow, we get him on Sunday!
Well, we met Florian and rode the uni.
Here are some pics . I’ll add movies later.
The uni was fun to ride. More comments later…
I’m curious. Does Florian know how to ride a unicycle? He’s carting a unicycle all over the country. I hope he knows how to ride.
He’s going to be in Seattle on Sunday. Wheeee!!!
Thanks onefiftyfour Eric,
Please do report more about riding the geared Schlumpf.
How’d it ride in high gear? More challenging? Were effects of riding surface amplified? How about your pedalling & body input in high gear, was that more amplified?
Was it 24" or 28" and was it heavy?
As you can tell, I am curious too. Glad it was fun.
Yes, he says he rides. He was unaware until recently of the “new” types of riding like trials/freeriding and muni. He says he plans on making his hubs splined. Now they are square-tapered.
The uni he brought was a 24" and when shifted-up, a quasi-36". He said that the production version of that model would accept a 24X3 wheel. I can imagine that would be a cool muni.
There’s also the 28/29" version being sold at the same price - approx. $1200. That comes with a BigApple tire and when shifted it becomes a 42" unicycle. We didn’t get to ride one of those, but I imagine that would be cool.
(more in the next post)…
I ride a coker, so I was a little skeptical about how stable this 24" wheel could be when shifted up.
When I first rode it in 36-mode, I wasn’t feeling all that great about it. I just kept thinking there’s no way I’ll feel like I do at coker speed on this thing. You know the cruise control feeling of the coker; the relaxed coker feeling of being able to ride relatively fast and not worry about minor bumps in the road.
Well, after a while I started to feel more comfortable on it and I can see the potential for feeling great about it. It’s really pretty cool! It’s a bit of a mental thing to overcome the fact that you are riding a 24" wheel and going that fast. I think by the last time I rode the thing, I was begining to overcome that issue. I felt like it was a pretty stable ride at higher speeds. I’d like to borrow it for a week to see how it would grow on me.
I didn’t notice that it was any heavier than a normal 24" uni.
Shifting while riding was difficult for me, but the other riders there were able to do it without much difficulty - both shifting up and down. I have videos of that. I will post them later.
Thanks for the info and photos. Did you try shifting on the fly? I heard it was either 12 or 16 slots so that when you shift the period of “weightlessness” is either 360/12 or 360/16 degrees… Any actual details there?
About making a Muni with this technology…I don’t think it would be very popular even though I have no doubt he has the skill and vision to make it strong enough.
Re: Florian Schlumpf in Austin, Feb 11th
Thanks a lot for the riding impressions. Sounds intriguing. Did
Florian mention anything about his plans for making a Coker-sized
Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict
people who unicycle are shyly exhibitionistic - GILD
Did you happen to ask about shipping to the US and VAT?
I was there to meet Florian Schlumpf also.
I was very impressed by the unicycle (as we all were).
It took me a few minutes to learn to ride it in 36" mode. There is something about looking down at a 24" wheel and “not knowing” how fast it will spin. There is also a very minor amount of “play” in the system that takes a few moments to get used to. Still, soon I was able to ride and imagine that I would be very comfortable with it after 50 miles.
One thing that was not mentioned before is that there was an ultra skinny tire on the unicycle. There was a light drizzle out, and I was able to slide the tire across the ground laterally (as well as skid the tire). I guess it was like a 1.75" width tire. THIS fact made the unicycle “twitchy” and “un-Coker-like.” With a 2.5 tire on it and slightly lower pressure, it would feel nicer. Also, I think it would be better in the 28/42" version to help smooth out the bumps and get insane speeds. My thinking is that 15 mph would be sustainable for 10 hours on it.
I was impressed by the workmanship. It reminded me of a brand-new well tuned road b*ke moreso than a unicycle. One downside is that one “must” use the frame that the unicycle is built with, I wanted to be able to simply throw this wheel on my current (MUni) rig, and have the exact feel of my rig rather than have to build a second unicycle.
I can also see this unicycle for being great to go cross-country on. For steep climbs, urban, and populated areas, it would be easy to shift to 28" and for moderate downhill and boring distances, the 42" wheel would be a welcome change.
Overall, I am motivated to buy one - if for no other reason but to mount it on the living room wall and marvel at it :). I think in part here, the greatest feature about it is the fantasies that come to the imagination moreso than it’s actual use; In my dream I yell with frustration “Damn it! Keep up you guys!” GizmoDuck, AspenMike, Nathan all cry out “We can’t!” . . .
You may be right about the 12 or 16 degrees. Florian mentioned this. I heard the number 60 mentioned. It must of been 16 with a swiss accent. I didn’t really comprehend what he was telling me. I did experience it though. I was able to shift it at virtually a stand-still. Then I was never able to ride off on it in the new gear. Other’s were able to shift it with relative ease with the wheel moving, and then keep riding. The “weightlessness” period (of time) will be significantly reduced if the wheel is moving. So, I don’t think that would be a problem after some practice shifting on the fly.
To be clear: the “weightlessness” period is when the wheel is not engaged with ANY gear (coasting). this happens during the shift.
Wow, that sounds awesome! Pity I have to wait till August to try one.
Couple of questions- how would it compare to a 36" Coker if you had the same length cranks on it? Will it be faster because of the lightweight wheel or slower because of the loss of flywheel effect?
Will the amount of play affect the length of cranks you can use? I know Greg Harpers Epicyclic had a noticeacle amount play which didn’t affect the ride at all- but that had fairly long cranks on them- so you couldn’t really spin that fast.
Did you get to try a 28" Schlumpf? Was it faster than a Coker?
I’m debating whether to get a 28" or 36" Schlumpf (hopefully they’ll be available in August). But I’m thinking a 28" with really short cranks would be almost as fast as a 36" Schlumpf because of the lighter wheel- I dread the thought of lugging 2 Cokers back on a plane from Europe!
Did you ask him about service life? Because it’s geared I’m guessing that the moving parts will eventually wear down- will Florian provide spare parts or will the whole unit have to be replaced?
Hi Ken! Are you recovered now??
A few of us in Seattle have been able to ride both my chain-geared 36, and Harper’s Blueshift 29" (w/ 2.3" Big Apple tire), in addition to direct-drive 36’s. Speaking only for myself, I much preferred Blueshift in 1.5 mode (=43.5") to a direct-drive 36. It has a lower center of gravity, and rode smoother with the near-slick Big Apple tire. I didn’t mind the slight play at the cranks (it had 150mm cranks when I tried it). I found it easy as pie to freemount, while I still have problems mounting any 36" wheel. And, I was able to make a U-turn on the bike path, whereas I can’t yet do that with a 36. On a tour, the Blueshift gets my vote hands down over a Coker.
I suspect I’ll draw the same conclusion tomorrow when we get to demo the Schlumpf hub. I think that hub will have lots of applications simply due to it’s easy shiftability. Even Blueshift is excitingly useable, so what if it takes a minute to change gears?? The “Holy Grail” of unicycling is now in sight…
It would be nice to have a higher gear for those fireroads, or for just cruising on the flats to get to the main trail. A low gear may be nice for the steep uphills. I think it has potential if the slop can be minimized.