Further evolution of the Road Razor

Just put some Qu ax freestyle cranks on the 700c. Noticeably lighter, and no Q factor, and the wheel seems to spin so much more easily.

Took delivery of my new Suzue hub and a basic spare 28" frame yesterday and today I dropped them both in at the local bike shop to assemble the super skinny wheel with the mavic Open Pro Rim. Couple of weeks and I will be more niche than thou with a tyre down to about 21 mm section.:o :slight_smile:

Just put some Koxx 125 mm cranks on the Holy roller too - down from 170 to 125 making it an intermediate cross country machine, less extreme than the KH, and less niche than the 700c

Et tu, Mikefule?

(It seems no matter how many times I correct the mis-use of the term Q-factor, people still don’t get it. See the Q-factor Page).

Q: What is this Q-factor thing?
A: Q-factor is a commonly used term which refers to the distance between the pedals.

You knew exactly what he meant, even if you disagree with the precise terminology. The inclusion of the word “factor” to me suggests the value is a modifier, such as the angle of the cranks to the plane of the wheel; is your source authoritative on the matter, or just another (abeit louder) opinion?


well if noone uses it correctly ehy just not change what it means, so then everyone will be saying it correctly and will save you a job

or we could not, and say we did

The term was invented by Grant Petersen, formerly of Bridgestone Bicycles, now of Rivendell Cycles.

Part of the point is that even cranks which appear straight contribute to Q-factor, depending on the design of the tapers and the width of the metal itself. You can accurately refer to low-Q and high-Q cranks, but not zero-Q.

Must I quote Wittgenstein? The meaning of a word is its use.

I am fully aware that the important thing is the distance between the pedals, or the distance between the pedals and the centre line of the wheel. However, the term Q-factor is almost universally used in a less precise sense to refer to whether or not the cranks are shaped to increase this distance.

you will not reach full niche unless you run a sew-up tyre.

It is primarily the unicycling community that has gotten confused about the correct or full meaning of Q-factor. The bicycling community knows what they’re talking about when the speak of Q-factor.

In the unicycling community we have lost our way and think of Q-factor as only a property of the cranks. In the bicycling community they know that Q-factor has to do with the width of the bottom bracket, the width of the cranks, and the extension of the pedals. When they want to adjust the Q-factor of a bike they typically look for a different bottom bracket width first and then look at cranks and pedals. Unicyclists are the opposite. We look at cranks first and pretty much ignore the other aspects of Q-factor.

The definition of Q-factor in the unicycling community is diverging from the definition used by the bicycling community. Our accepted (in common use) definition is not fully correct. If we want to speak Q-factor with a bicyclist we had better realize that our accepted definition is not fully correct.

The inmates haven’t fully taken over the asylum yet.

Re: Further evolution of the Road Razor

On Fri, 16 Jun 2006 18:21:32 -0500, tholub wrote:

>The term was invented by Grant Petersen, formerly of Bridgestone
>Bicycles, now of Rivendell Cycles.

>> It’s the distance between the pedals at the outside of the cranks. In
>> other words, it’s how far apart the cranks put your feet.

So Q factor is not how far /everything/ that contributes puts apart
your feet? The above two statements by Grant Petersen seem to
contradict each other.

Also, the fact that a term originally meant something, doesn’t mean
that it will mean that same something forever. Many words (maybe even
most words) nowadays mean something else as when they were ‘invented’.

Personally I don’t like the word ‘factor’ in Q factor, as factor means
a multiplyer which the Q factor isn’t. Therefore, and because it is
easily misunderstood, I largely avoid the term.

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

“I’m slowly but surely stealing Wales and bringing it back to my house on the wheel, frame and cranks of my muni. - phil”

Is the term Q-angle an exceptable one? It clears this all up by referring to just the angel that the crank makes with the plane of the wheel, which is what most unicyclists mean when they say Q factor. Unfortunately people seem to have a tendancy to say things like ’ a Q-angle of 15mm’. I guess some poeple are beyond help.

And a carbon aero frame with 0.5mm tyre clearance:p

But what you’ve got sounds pretty good for now!


Perhaps we should invent our own terminology when it comes to q-factor.
Q-Factor is as far as i am concerned the way that a set of cranks contribute to q-factor and not q-factor itself. The KH/Onza cranks for instance have a q-factor of 1/2" and maybe we should never use the word q-factor like this, maybe we should never use it at all.
Most hubs will be the same width (other than the obvious exceptions) so that the only way we get q-factor is with cranks (mostly ok). i will stick to the fact that KH/Onza have 1/2" factor where as Koxx-One cranks have 0" Q factor. hense NO Q-Factor. If someone gives us a new term to use (or we make one up already) then we can remove the problems with terminology borrowed from bicycles.
On a very similar note: A Unicycle frame is a frame to a unicyclist, but maybe a fork to a cyclist?

My new wheel will have the Suzue hub which is around 12 mm narrower. This will reduce the Q-factor. This will make the uni smoother at speed, but slightly less manoeuvreable.

The angle of the bend in the cranks is irrelevant. Consider this: a hypothestical pair of cranks made from 4 inch diameter metal rods. They might be perfectly straight, but would have a huge effect on the Q-factor because the pedals would be mounted about 3.5 inches further out than if the cranks were a standard thickness.

yeah, see your point (not that blind lol)

The angle is entirely relevant, it’s just that the width of the crank has to be taken in to consideration aswell.

Take your hypothetical 4 inch thick cranks and put an 60 degree bend in them, now the pedals are even further apart, the width that your feet are spread has increased dramatically.

I guess that if you describe the thickness of the crank as the distance perpendicular to plane of the wheel from the outside of the pedal boss to the inside of the crank where it pulls up against the bearing or spacer then this accomodates both the thickness of material and the shape of the crank, it would sem like a more reasonable measure to use.

The angle can also be relevant for certain styles of riding. I like having space to the side of my foot when ridng muni caused by the angling of my KH cranks. I find crank grabs alot easier on my Onza than on a koxx, because the angle of the cranks means they effectively form a wider platform to land on.

Sorry for not staying on topic but I have to ask: Is that a fly swatter or a balloon that the colourful chap in your avatar is holding, Mikefule?

What would happen if you de-Q-factored your cranks by taking some Q-factor cranks and flipping them around so they were inside out, and threaded the pedals onto the new outside of the cranks.

your Q-factor would be much less, with the cranks coming very close to the frame.

would this help anything in terms of high speed control, or would it be as wrong as my use of the term Q-factor?

Maybe you could be selected to ride for a Q-Factory Trials Team

you would bloody your ankles.

Of course!

I knew something had to be wrong with it…

It is a pig’s bladder (or sheep’s bladder) - the traditional “weapon” of the Morris Fool. (As a vegetarian, I don’t use one, of course.) The picture itself was used as the logo of the Illustrious Order of United Fools, sometimes called (with deliberate tautology) the United Fools’ Union.