Florian Schlumpf in Seattle

Were you guys able to get any top speeds for the geared unis?

My apologies. It had a tapered axle so it was a CX or LX. I get them all mixed up. I do have a picture of the unicycle and broken crank with the axle fragment still in it to prove I’m wrong if you want to see it.

I’m interested in that break also :slight_smile: pix ?

‘CruisnUni’s’ :smiley: :sunglasses:

The riding area we used was a public venue, and so was not condusive to top speeds, with all the pedestrians about. Besides, who among us is ballsy enough to spin out Purple Phaze? I know I’m not! :smiley: I’m happy to keep it down to a dull warp.

Schlumpf visit.

I was expecting a write up from John Childs. Weren’t you there John? He is coming to MN on the 16th and I hope I can get over and see it.

Re: Florian Schlumpf in Seattle

On Mon, 14 Feb 2005 02:00:41 -0600, “harper” wrote:

>Frank Bonsch’s 1.67:1 28" unicycle was missing from the bunch.

For the record: Frank’s gear ratio is 1:1.5833.

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

people who unicycle are shyly exhibitionistic - GILD

Wow, what a great time. Thanks for all the photos! Red Square looks like a great place to ride, although I suppose it can get crowded at times in the summer.

These are ground-breaking times in the history of unicycling and it is a privilege to be able to see the changes as they occur.

Did anyone try idling any of the geared-up unis?

Pete’s uni is aesthetically beautiful in its simplicity.

There isn’t much that I can add that hasn’t been said. Schlumpf’s hub is beautiful and incredible. The guts of it are all very well made. I spent some time just playing with the cutaway samples that he had looking at how it all fit together and how the shifting worked. It’s beautiful.

The shifting is easy. You just press the button on the crank. It can be done while riding. I managed to shift it once while riding and didn’t try again after that. But it’s also very easy to just stop, shift, remount, and then ride away. The shifting is so easy that it encourages you to shift when it would be appropriate to do so, like at the bottom of a hill.

My only complaint with the Schlumpf hub is that one of his design goals was to keep it narrow to keep the Q-factor down. That means that the flanges are pretty narrow. Similar in width to the flanges of a Suzue hub. That’s a bit narrow for larger wheels like a 700c or Coker. A wider hub with wider flanges would be better since the hub is going to get used on 700c and Coker size wheels. We’ll have to see if he makes a version with a wider flange. He said it may be possible to do (it depends on the constraints of the machining equipment used). The flanges are bigger than a normal unicycle hub so the spokes will be shorter. That will help compensate for the narrow flange width. It’s probably wide enough for a 700c but I don’t consider it wide enough for a Coker wheel.

The Schlumpf unicycle rides great. Very smooth. He’s got it on a 24" wheel and 165mm cranks. It’s all a very manageable combination to test ride the hub.

We were playing on a level area and didn’t get to try it out on hills. I really should have taken it to an area with a short climb just to see how it behaves when going up or down a hill. There are plenty of suitable hills at the university there.

Blue Shift is also a blast. The 29er Big Apple tire is an ideal size for a 1:1.5 hub. More maneuverable than a Coker, lighter than a Coker, and easy enough to get up to a speed that I’m not comfortable with. The Schlumpf hub on a 29er Big Apple would be a fantastic setup.

The other geared unicycle there was Pete’s Purple Phaze. That thing is incredible. It’s currently geared up with a monster 1:1.89 gear. I tried about 5 times to ride it around and didn’t get very far. It’s not an easy one to ride. I could have tried some more but I was more interested in playing with the other unicycles.

Unicycles with the type of gearing on Purple Phaze will be the future of the time trial records. You can gear it up to as high as you are willing and able to go. The internally geared hubs like the Schlumpf are limited in how high they can be geared. They can’t get above 1:2 and that limit assumes an infinitely small planet gear which is an impossibility.

A Purple Phaze style unicycle with a 29er Big Apple and geared at something over 1:2 might be quite the record setting machine. Lighter and more maneuverable than a Coker sized wheel and the extra gearing makes up for the smaller wheel. I’m interested in seeing what develops for the unicycles that will be used in the record attempts like the 100 mile time trial record and other time trial records. Some exciting possibilities ahead.

Wow! What can I say but I wish I could have been there :stuck_out_tongue:

As I told Jagur, it was not a DX. Here’s the photo of the latest edition of my growing collection of breakage of other people’s unicycles:

It’s a torker LX thats around 7 months old so it’s been beaten for a long time. i decided i’m getting a whole new uni that will last me through college so i’ looking at unicycle.com right now. i’m having fun with your coker harper :slight_smile: i can free mount most of the time now and made it around the block once without injury.

Just make sure you treat it with the same level of respect that Greg shows when borrowing unis… :wink:

I am the greatest LOANER of unis ever. It’s just when I borrow that things go wrong.

Top speeds, slop, etc.

I had my GPS wrist watch so I tried measuring top speeds on some of the unicycles. I got Purple Phaze and Shifty up to 15.5 mph. At that speed Purple Phaze had lots of room to go faster, but felt unstable (and indeed threw me off). Shifty felt perfectly in control, but was getting close to maximum speed. Purple Phaze would take more practice and a longer straightaway to get up to full speed (25-30 mph).

A UPD at 15.5 mph is not something to be trifled with. I managed to stay on my feet, but just barely. Red Square is too small, crowded, and with too many bumps for serious speed work.

Blue Shift was feeling loose, so the consensus at the time was that it had the most slop. It turned out the left crank was not even finger tight! Once that was fixed it seemed as tight as the others. During normal riding I noticed no play in any of the unicycles. I know there is some, but I didn’t notice it.

I borrowed Blue Shift so I’ll be trying to hit some personal speed records on it.

Free mounting Shifty and Blue shift is nice and easy. It’s like mounting a Coker, only you don’t have to jump as high, which actually makes it a lot easier. The weird thing about free mounting Shifty is you can do it even if you don’t know what gear you’re in.

Free mounting Purple Phaze is trickier. You need an absolutely perfect jump–perfect height, perfectly straight, perfect amount forward. You’re not really stable until about 8 mph so there is a long period of instability. The one advantage over free mounting a regular Coker is that the longer cranks arms (175mm) means you are jumping onto a slightly lower platform. The height of a Coker seat is a big part of the free mount challenge. As I’ve said before, one of the best tricks for free mounting any Coker–Purple Phaze included–is to try to be at least 6’ tall.

Sometimes the shifting on Shifty is remarkably smooth. Sometimes when I kicked the shifter I would not even be sure if I’d shifted it was so smooth. It’s amazing how easily your legs adapt to the difference. Other times the clutch would take too long to engage and I’d be instantly thrown. Not so fun.

Hand shifting is interesting, but not really as practical as heel shifting.

I also brought my giraffe (see picture), since it is technically a geared unicycle. Nobody else seemed to buy that argument however.

All in all an awesome day.

The final technical discussion of the day was the flange width of Schlumpf’s hub. It measured only 51mm. I agree with JC that this is not suitable for a 36" wheel, and marginal for a 700c wheel. Our wide coker hubs are 100mm flange width.
Florian & I discussed how to widen the hub shell without affecting the innards, and there is an easy way. However, with all the R&D costs into his hub, Florian cannot just go and change his tooling to make a one-off prototype. However, he did say he would consider re-tooling and making the wider flange IF there were sufficient interest. So for what it’s worth, a kind email to Florian to please make a wider hub would go a long way toward getting it into the next production run! (That and buying one now…!)

I had a nice, long-winded congratulatory post written and pushed the wrong button.

Thanks Greg, Florian and Pete, for your inspirational and truly inspiring creations. And thanks also (while i’m at it) to Ken Looi for your great feat of endurance, and skill.

You guys not only puncture the envelope of the possible, you also show how much [I/]fun[/] it is to do. You gentlemen are truly inspirational.

Many thanks, Kudos and BZ.


How does the geared hub hold up to hopping, drops, and rough terrain?

There isn’t really a limit, it would just be more complex with more gears in the assembly.

The Schlumpf unicycle hub is 1.5 times.

His bike hubs come in 1.65 up (speed drive), 2.5 up (high speed drive) and 2.5 down (mountain drive).

Since Gilby raised yet another issue…I asked Florian about his gear ratios. He indeed makes bicycle hubs with those gear ratios. All of those high gears each have the 1:1 direct drive. Florian said it was possible to make a uni hub with the 1.65, or even the 2.5 ratio, but again would only consider it if there were “sufficient” interest for the 2nd production run.
The only one of those alternative ratios with real sales potential would be the 1.65. (Imagine accidentally shifting on the fly from 2.5 down to 1.0!) Whether or not the 1.65 has undeniable benefits over the 1.5 will remain to be seen. So if anyone would be interested in that ratio, please email Florian and tell him you’d like to see the 1.65 next time!