Got my geared uni today...I can't ride it!

So, finally got my geared uni today.
The 150-mile ride is Saturday, so I have to learn to ride it really fast.
It’s a giraffe, 4 feet tall, with 2 gearing options: 1:2, and 1:1.8 with a 26x1.5 tire. Cranks are 175mm. (Lots of steep hills where I live.)
That’ll give me a virtual 52-inch wheel, or a 47 inch wheel. (I have to get off to change gears, though, but at least I don’t need to dissassemble anything.)

I can’t ride it. It’s so freaking hard.
I thought I could do it, because I was able to freemount a coker on my first try ever, and I can do several miles on my 6’ giraffe without a upd.
So far, I can’t mount it without holding on to at LEAST two people.
I’ve made it about 75 feet holding onto people very firmly. Not a chance of being able to do anything without cluting people for dear life as they try to run next to me.
I’ve got 3 days to get really, really, good at this.
Any advice here would be greatly appreciated. I know someone here has a 26" geared 1:2…how do you do it?

just ride it man!

I don’t think that will help.

I expect it’ll just take practice. it probably feels pretty weird, riding such a flippin huge wheel…or the equivalent of one. so yeah, the only advice that I can think of is, practice…

This thread is worthless without pics!

Good luck getting that under control by this weekend. It will be an amazing weekend if you can ride it.

and when you can ride it post videos of you doing 30mph while 4 feet in the air:D

On the geared uni, you feel like you should be pushing harder on the pedals to compensate, but you actually want to push less, lean forward less, everything less. It will take you longer to get up to speed, but you can’t fight against it.

Getting a geared giraffe represents a pretty major equipment change, never advisable right before a major ride like you’re planning. I would say that if you can’t reliably free-mount that thing by Friday, you won’t have any fun out on the course.

Do you have access to a Coker? That might be a shorter learning curve given your time constraint.

No, I don’t plan on riding with that Savage Seat.

More pics to come after I get it pimped out with Cold Cathode Neon lights like my other uni. :smiley:

yeah, I’d hoped to have this thing done by 2 weeks ago. Hopefully I’ll be able to get lots of mileage in by the end of the week, but that’s not very likely.

I wish I had a coker…I almost bought one, but I managed to get this together for about the same price, and I just think this is cooler.
Coker would certianly be easier, though.

Dang that looks fun. Just ride it as much as you can until your deadline. Usually when you learn to ride a new type of uni or learn a new simple trick it just clicks while you’re practicing.

Don’t eat. Don’t sleep. Ride.

Skippi, if you can’t get it together on your geared creation, if you treat it with loving care you can use my Coker.

I made it 50 feet!
…and then the lower cog fell off.


PDC, I hope to get this all sorted out by friday. I’m still pretty confident I can get it down, but, that’s a very generous offer, and it’s really very reassuring to know that in the worst case, there’s a second option…If things don’t go as planned, I might give you a call and take you up on that. For now, I hope to get this worked out…
But seriously, thanks for the offer.:slight_smile:

just fyi, a short geared giraffe is known as a “penguin”.
try the search tool with that term.

In my other thread, it was said that Penguin was a brand of unis that made short giraffes called Travellers.

hmmm, what should we all call them, then?
they certainly are a separate breed of uni!

how about a… umm…

I’ve just been calling it my HSU, for High Speed Uni.

I made it about half a mile today. If I could figure out how to mount it unassited, I’d be in good shape.
Like many uni tricks, there seems to be a very fun learning curve, where it’s darned near impossible when you first try it, and shortly after that it’s really easy…if you don’t give up at first, you’ll get it. It was maybe 1/2 hour of practice between my first attempt of barely being able to stay on with two people holding me up, and riding 1/2 mile with no problem.

Excellent…it’s good to see you stuck with it and are making progress. It will only get easier! I don’t have a ton of geared uni experience, but Harper let me borrow his Blueshift (29" wheel, 1:1.5 ratio) for a couple weeks and I was able to get from “whoa, this thing is unridably weird” to a no-problem six mile cruise in less than a week’s time. Could have gone further than the six too if I had had time in my schedule.

But a half mile to 150 miles in 5 days is a bit more ambitious. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you on that one.

Actually, it’s 3 days…I leave friday night, and start riding 6:30am saturday…:frowning:

u’re basically saying the same thing
but i’m with zack on this one
if u want to go ride a 150mile ride on a brand new machine u can’t freemount yet, u need to get some serious ‘windgat’ attitude going
a bit of arrogance is not a bad thing here

just ride it man

as for the freemounting, can u mount a normal giraffe?
exactly how high is that seat off the ground? (they never seem to measure raffies from the same place)
and when compared to a Coker’s seat?
i’m thinking that if u could freemount a coker on your first try, u might be able to cobble together a half-coker-static-mount/half-jump-mount
alternatively a step-on-the-lowest-pedal-and-go-for-the-seat-rollback-mount might be the ticket
those are possible on 5ft raffies, it should be a doddle on the 4ft

but right now i suspect the distance is more of a challenge than the freemount

like i recently said to

have a good ride and get lots of pics

What makes mounting so insanely difficult on this one is that on a normal giraffe, you can comfortable step on the down pedal to pull yourself up. On this one, unless the uni is PERFECTLY verticle, it just pushes the seat down. ON a normal giraffe, standing on the down pedal will pull the uni up to verticle as long as you’re close–say, 10 or 15 degrees in either direction
On this, you’ve got maybe 1 or 2 degrees in either direction where that works. With a virtual 48" wheel as I’ve been running it, there just isn’t enough torque for it to move.
No, I can’t freemount my 6’ giraffe, but I don’t have any problems getting up on a street sign or something.
I think it really needs a brake, for a number of reasons.
First, it would make mounting so much easier.
Secondly, as it is, it’s REALLY hard to slow down. Even at a slow speed, I can stand up all my weight on the downward (backwards) pedal, and it’ll still raise me up and keep going. Kinda makes idling hard when you don’t have enough force to change direction
Third, resisting the pedal motion on a downhill is going to unscrew the bottom cog again, I’m afraid.
I’ve got Loctite “Tit’n” on there now, seems to be holding up, but it’s not very strong. I used Tit’n just because the blue or red stuff takes 24 hour to dry, and this was 20 minutes, and I desperately needed that time for practice. Any advice here on what to use if it comes loose again, or if it comes loose during the ride?