Freewheel Unicycling Megathread

I forgot about this 2nd tutorial video that I made back in 2014. It’s on a bigger wheel (26") and starts out with a mount in slow motion followed by one at regular speed. Thanks to my old mechanical brake you can hear when I disengage the brake lever (it clicks when it falls back into place).

(Watching this video again reminds me that I really need to practice what I’m calling “switch stance”.)

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Thank you @waaalrus and @mowcius. I’ve presented the pawls to my local mechanic with no luck. I’ve also searched online for replacement pawls with the product information from @waaalrus’s link. Just from looks https://www.woodcockcycle.com/product/spank-spoon-135-150-rear-hub-4-pawl-spring-kit-300020-1.htm and Universal Cycles -- SunRingle Hub Parts [281-37251-K001, EJPAWL, DJPAWK, 281-31620, ERRING36T, EDDRRING, 281-32014] are quite close. I think the search might me hopeless. Maybe there would be someone with a broken nimbus hub shell whose pawls are still there :confused:
My palws:

I’m finding pedalling against some sort of resistance makes it a little easier like grass so far. I was quite surprised how easy it was to ride uphill with a freewheel.

It really depends on the ground. If it is smooth enough, it’s really similar to a fixed wheel. If it is rocky, rooty or bumpy it is much harder as you have to fight against the wheel wanting to go away at each obstacle.

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My worst fall on a freewheel was uphill as I eased off the brake, forgot how a freewheel worked as I went over some bumps, and ended up flat on my back on some rocky ground.

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In general I’ve had much worse falls on fixed wheels. I had one on my fixed basketball unicycle recently where I injured my shoulder but it was similar to the worst kind of freewheel falls that I’ve had. I was riding fast, bumped someone, and started going in the opposite direction just as fast. The problem was my feet were no longer on the pedals and I coasted out of control until I hit the ground. That type of careening out of control with your feet off the pedals happens more frequently on the freewheel for me although I’m usually pretty quick to hop off and push the saddle down to the ground to avoid major disaster. One time my right foot got wedged between the crank and the wheel and I coasted along on one foot until I hit the ground pretty hard. I avoided a serious fall another time when my brake cable snapped and somehow my rotor ended up majorly warped. For that one it was a simple UPD to my feet but could have been much worse. I caught one good fall on video at the beginning of this video:

Spoiler alert: it was no big deal. I just got up, dusted myself off, and continued.

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I was just pumping up my tire and I remembered. The cable snap was a different UPD. My rotor was warped and my brake broke when my DBrake snapped in half. At the time unicycle frames with a brake tab for an interior rotor weren’t available. After that I paid someone to weld tabs onto steel frames. Another advantage for the modern era!

Here’s a challenge.
a.) Stand up and hold the saddle while free wheeling. This should actually be “easier” than sitting. (you’re probably at 3 & 9 o’clock, the most stable position.)

b.) Freewheel with your feet at 6 and 12 o’clock. A little tougher.

c.) Now stand up, with your feet at 6 and 12 o’clock and hold the saddle. This is close to SIF.

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Some more info I heard at Unicon20 about the Qaxle freewheel hub: 400€, should be available from September.

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That’s less than I thought it might be with the price rises that everything else seems to have had.

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That seems pretty reasonable. I spent less on either my GameChanger project or my LoopWheels project alone. Even the Flick Flock hub is less than what I’ve spent on all my weird freewheel projects combined.

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OT: What about your Loopwheel project? I tried to have them help me build a wheel without any result. What is your experience?

Feel free to PM me to avoid OTing too much

I built it unmodified into a peg unicycle. Overall it didn’t seem to have much greater benefit over a big, wide tire (and good old knees suspension).

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I just finished building my freewheel unicycle yesterday, and am amazed at how difficult it was to ride. I noticed that even pedaling forward was difficult. It was like I have never ridden a unicycle in my life.

I’m currently running a 26" rim with 114mm cranks on the Drift Trikes P-Hub.

I filmed my first attempts in 360 video, in case anyone wants to see me struggle. Around the 3:10 mark I fall and bring the camera down with me. Rough. Everything was okay, even my pride. I probably got too close to the camera but anyways, here it is. (video starts in the wrong direction, you have to scroll around)

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Great video! Thanks for posting! My earliest videos may have given a false impression of how much protection a baseball hat provides. :grinning: I would definitely recommend a helmet for anyone learning, particularly around a wall. I always wear a helmet riding off road and around cars. I almost always wear KH gloves, too. When I’m around rocky terrain or practicing something new I try to remember to wear elbow pads and sometimes knee pads, too. I wish I had remembered that last weekend when I was practicing switch stance! I still would have bruised my hip but at least my knee and elbow would have been protected! Next time I do switch stance practice I’m going to dig out my padded shorts. Even as padded as much as this I still hurt my elbow:

Thank you! I agree on the pads, I should’ve been wearing them as I usually do. Luckily no bad scrapes or bruises from this session. I saved that for my fixed muni ride today! Anyways, thank you for the videos you’ve supplied in this thread. It’s nice to know that other people ride these so well.

Hopefully I’ll have a better progress update video soon!

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I ordered a 27.5" wheel with a Flick Flock hub and I was trying to think what number freewheel it would be (it turns out it will be my eleventh pedal freewheel). I was trying to find a video with one of them and realized it didn’t make the cut when I re-uploaded my YouTube videos. This is the Hill Kicker Pro wheel whose axle I bent hopping in this video:

And here’s a short Game Changer video I found:

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I searched the thread and I don’t think this link has been posted.
Still out of stock/not yet ready but looks really cool

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In this this thread, @johnfoss mentioned a small group ride with a single freewheeler at the recently-ended Unicon 20. Does anyone know if anyone competed in any of the competitions there on a freewheel? I rode mine down Mont-Tremblant at Unicon 17 and “competed” in the Beginner category for Muni Downhill. My time was very slow. It would have been better if I hadn’t kept stopping to answer the questions people were asking me about the freewheel.

Sure, we were two freewheelers for advanced downhill and elite cross-country (Florian Kaiser and myself). In downhill, we both placed in the middle of the results - not really good but not bad either :slight_smile:
In XC, Florian didn’t make the cut-off so he did a single lap. I made it to the second lap and placed in the middle of the results, again. Same as downhill: not really good but not bad either!

We also had a fun “freewheel muni workshop” led by @Becky98 and myself with a group of 5 or 6 riders. Quite fun and we rode almost every single part of the elite XC - that was the day before the race.

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