Getting the cobwebs off my 36er...

So I’ve not ridden my 36er in about 3 years now, just got it out of my parents garage as I’m going on a ride next month and thought I should get some practice in.
I’ve just been on my lunch break and had some time to kill, I hopped on (holding onto my car as I’ve never learnt to free mount my 36er :() and realised I was terrified, legs shaking, nervous as hell!! In the past I’ve covered over 200 miles on it so did not expect to feel this way, I must have only ridden around 50m and the urge to jump off was huge, I dismounted, out of breath and very shaky.
I know this will pass once I get into it again and keep practicing but does anybody have any tips for a unicyclist that appear to have ‘lost’ it?? Also it appears I have shrunk since I last rode, I couldn’t reach the pedals too great, as far as I can remember I used to be able to fine so must be the shoes I’m wearing, I had to shorten the post when I bought it, it’s as low as it goes now but feel it could be lower for a comfier ride!! Does anybody know if its possible to shorten the frame a touch, I have the Nimbus frame not sure which year, here’s a picture:

Does the seattube outer diamete is getting as it does with the KH frame?
This may limit how much you can cut off before it’s to wide for your double clamp. If i had to cut my frame any more i would have to use a single clamp.

Tips? Well, just ride it! Maybe experiment a little bit with seat angle, seat height and tire pressure, your preferences may have changed over the time.



Can you use shorter cranks? Slim saddle?

Clothes may well be a factor. Try using baggy trousers or cycling shorts and thicker soled shoes.

Easiest way to get the saddle down would be to take the pivotal handlebar assembly off and replace it with a plain seatpost. That should give you an inch or two without cutting the frame.

After a little while you will be able to get used to riding with the saddle higher and can put the handlebars back on.

Cheers for the responses guys!!

I think it does yes, would obviously rather not cut the frame and use a single clamp.

Tyre pressure was a little on the low side so when I get chance I shall pump it up a bit and see how I get on, I used to ride it with no worries so don’t think changing the angle will help much!?

I’ve thought about shorter cranks, would it be worth trying, will it give me a smoother ride?

Thats a good idea, I think I have a spare seatpost somewhere!! I’m under the impression its my shoes at the moment as it used to be fine, I do want to ride it without having my legs so straight at the lowest point though.

Your cranks looks like very long ones. Which size are they?
Shortest cranks I rode on my 36er as experiment were 114mm - chellenging. Stock ones were 145mm - perfect for learning.
Nice and comfy for me appeared to be 125mm cranks (but required parctice till feels natural).

BTW what is wrong with your freemount? Why you can not do it? Which type did you try?

Not sure of the length possibly 145mm if they are the usual stock ones I haven’t changed them. Think I will upgrade to some slightly shorter ones then.

The only one I’ve tried is a rolling mount (not sure of others/easiest for 36") I can mount others with no problem in many different ways, I can get up onto the seat but never well enough to start riding.

Can you have a look inside of the crank? It must be size stamped there.

Rolling mount is the best way for me as well. I have heaviest QA 36er - 10.5Kg… So now I switched to G29 w/150mm cranks.

You can accommodate a shorter inseam if you remove the handlebars and get a new post, that would be much easier then cutting your frame and it would be reversible.

Just had a look, they are 152mm so I think a change is definitely in order!!

140mm cranks + standard seat post = about 5-6cm.

If you only need a 1/4" or so you could turn your clamp around and grind a small relief for the rear seatpost adjustment bolt to clear.

You could also use a standard post on those T7 bars but you need to grind down the corners of the top plate so it fits inside the handle, you may need longer bolts in the seat, I would check before ordering or cutting anything. Replacing seat bolts is relatively strait forward

If at all possible I would avoid shortening the frame as there isn’t much room for adjustment when/if you decide to change cranks etc, and need a different seat height.

My take: ride more.

It feels like a stretch right now, but on every unicycle I’ve owned, the more I ride it, the higher my seat gets. On a new wheel size, initially I’ll start with the seat a bit lower, but as I acclimate, I raise it.

I was pretty scared when I got my 36. Looked like a monster and it was pretty scary. First thought that came to me was “craziest purchase ever”. All of my friends and relatives agree. A neighbor asked me once “how do you ride that thing?” I just smile and said “I have no idea”. Just ride it :stuck_out_tongue:

I had some height issue too, I’m pretty short and took a lot of advice. Was going to cut my frame but eventually I went with 127 mm and the freeride saddle is thick, almost an inch thicker than a street kh saddle.

Surprisingly, I found that I liked the KH street on my 36er, but can’t stand it on my 26". I tried the 150mm on the 36 and found that the street saddle hurts after a short while, maybe I could get use to it but I didn’t care enough to try. I bought my 36" for speed so 127mm or shorter for me.

What do you think of flattening your seat? When done by boiling the seat it’s easily Indonesien (brought back to it’s original shape).



I’m not good at the DIY / tinkering-around-with-stuff… stuff, someone did link it to me. I’m just afraid I might mess up somehow and ruin a $70 seat. I’ve screwed up on stuff no one ever thought I could’ve screw up on :stuck_out_tongue:

When I first got my 36" and after bringing up the subject here at the forum, I switched the seat and removed a few things and swapping some minor parts on the seat. Major issue with the reinforcement plate. Took me a total of 4 hours because there was one random bolts that wouldn’t screw back in, every time, no matter how much I match all the other holes.

Maybe one day I’ll meet a group of unicyclist close by and someone would have that and I’d give it a try to see if it’s worth it. For now I just ride, keeping it simple.


Surprisingly, shorter cranks made my kh street saddle possible. I also found shorter cranks easier to rotate so my rpm went up, smoother to go up hills (referring to 127mm, I’ve not gone shorter to say), and the friction in the groins go way down.

If you’re getting back to the 36, I’d say it’s better to try to static mount (parallel to floor).

One other thing I found out, but while I do jumps and stuff on my 26, the pedal is in the middle of my foot. If you put it at the ball of your foot, you get more reach as well.

I think someone also said it, it’s just probably that your preference has changed over time and the way you ride so now that you’re back on the 36, it just seems really weird. I think before you change anything, you should just ride it for a few days. It’s late night, hope you don’t mind me getting a little chatty :stuck_out_tongue:

Thank you for all of the replys people has been a great help =). Managed to get out yesterday on it again, all I’ve done is put some extra insoles in my shoes and slightly alter my seat angle, I tilted it up slightly thus getting my bum a bit lower and flatter on the seat.
Unfortunately I cannot even think about buying shorter cranks at the moment due to having moved and buying an hs33 brake for it. So yesterday I rode around a park near Manchester just inside a basketball court with fence around it, I rode about half a mile inside it in circles and figures of eight, with no problems. I then moved onto the path and set off (adrenaline pumping) I rode around 100m before the overwhelming urge to jump off hit, and I did jump off at speed. I can’t seem to get past this urge to jump off, I’m ok if there is something near me I can stop at but in the open I’m terrified. This is rather annoying considering how much I used to ride!!
Ah well I must keep practicing and hopefully be back on the roads in no time!
Cheers for the support guys =)

I have a scientifical explanation! You’re 27… As you may not know, 27 is the age where whatever fearlessness which was remaining from your crazy youth / teenage years is now entirely gone. You’re now officially an adult. Which is why so many rock stars can’t stand life anymore and disappear at 27. :smiley:

That fear is a new thing that helps preserving the integrity of your body. You may overcome it, but as us old folks, it’ll now take longer to learn a new crazy skill like unicycling. But of course you can, and the trick is to grow up without growing old.

(of course, there’s nothing scientifical about that, but I liked that explanation. :sunglasses: )

That is a brilliant reply, and oh so very true unfortunately!! These past few years I haven’t pushed myself enough in such ways it’s going to take a while to get used to it again!! I shall update my progress as and when it happens.

Stop analysing it and just ride it. One day soon you will forget there was a problem.