GUni: Shifting Techniques

I’ve been experimenting with a few new, alternative shifting techniques over the past weeks, (mostly for the sheer fun of it) including one that I named the “toe shift”, and the “Heel kick shift”. All these, as well as the first one below, are done in static, momentary still stand. The other two are done while in motion.

On this morning’s ride I came up with a few more. The first is what I call a “Hand Shift”. Also an “Idle shift”, and the hardest one I’ve tried yet, the “backward shift”!

During the ride I also experienced the dreaded BEARING SLIP! (Caught on video) :astonished: Yesterday I had been trying several different tire & tube combinations, so the bearing caps were taken on and off many times. After the last combo I set the GUni aside, and had dinner. I was planning to decide on which tire and tube was best, and then I would properly torque the bearing caps before my next ride.

But this morning, in my excitement to get going, I just grabbed my GUni and proceeded to the trail, totally forgetting about torquing the caps! :roll_eyes: Well, for the first hour all was normal and nothing happened. Then while upshifting-- form a dead start–it slipped, and the uni flew back and I flew forward! It was a shock, but as soon as it happened I remembered my stupid oversight from the night before.

Well, I’ll never let that happen again! :o

You can see the shifting in this new video:

Haha, the sky got too excited watching you muni, that’s why!

Cool video! I really liked the backwards view off of the mountain bike!

Great angle to film from a completely different and fasinating perspective!
Very much enjoyed, thank you:D More!!!

After learning how to shift in the usual way, I thought it might be fun to try to come up with more unusual ways to shift. So far, I have done the following shifts below. All were done from 1:1 to high, but can also be done as a downshift as well. If anyone else has come up with any other unusual ways to shift, please let us know! :slight_smile:

1-4 are done in a static still stand, 5 and 6 while in motion.


  • Toe shift
  • Heel kick shift
  • Tire grab/kick shift
  • Hand shift
  • Idle shift
  • backward shift [/LIST]

    After seeing my last video, Jamey Mossengren thought of another “unorthodox” shifting method to try, and one that I will try next: Shifting while one-foot pedaling! That could literally throw you for a loop! :smiley:

  • Luckily not enough for a lightening strike! :slight_smile: An mtber said as long as your on your wheel(s) the rubber tire would protect you from lightening. Not too sure about that!

    Thanks, yeah I thought that would make for a cool view. But it was hard to match my speed with the bike in front when he was speeding up and slowing down. I could have gone faster but then I would’ve gone out of view. :smiley:

    Thanks, and welcome to the uni forum!

    I was trying to explain this thing to my friends who are very interested in my riding (but refuse to ever try :roll_eyes: )
    And they would NOT believe that it was possible xD

    What wouldn’t they think was possible, riding a unicycle, the shifting, or just the fact that we now have geared unicycles? :slight_smile:

    Me neither. In a car, you’re protected from lightning by the metal shell around you (Corvette drivers take note). No such luck on a unicycle, and the tiny gap between your rim and the ground is nothing for a massive lightning bolt…

    Cool video and shifting! I liked the squeak of protest your uni made when the bearing slipped. I would learn such techniques if my hub were on a smaller wheel (or any wheel; hopefully Florian is working on it now). I’m just happy to be getting more consistent on my “regular” shifts.

    Thanks for these MuniAddict! I don’t know why I never thought about static shifting. Never occurred to me to try. Since I’m opposite footed as you, my static heel shift is to high-gear, which is good and fairly easy to do for me. The toe shift? Not so much as of yet. I found the static “up-shift” to be very handy when I’m starting out heading downhill, especially when it’s steep. I found it can take forever to up-shift on the steep downhill because of the torque I’m putting on the cranks. But a quick static up-shift works quite well as I can impart just enough momentum to get going, much easier than trying to freemount in high-gear.

    wow, nice technique (I think, muni is not my disipline:D)

    Can you upshift on a downhill with the brake on? I have thought about it but haven’t tried it. I’m just happy to be shifting on flat-ish stuff just before a climb or on a peak before descending.

    You, who adapt to this thing right away, are lucky. It’s taken me a long time to get it. It’s become my favorite on-road unicycle (and I never thought I would be able to say that).

    I can definitely up-shift while on the downhill, but it seems to be easier when I’m not applying as much torque on the cranks. So to accomplish that I either apply a bit of brake or attempt to “soft pedal” on the cranks. Both methods seem to work, especially when done together. I just know it sometimes takes several more revolutions to up-shift on the down hill than it does for me on the flats; thus the static up-shift solution really seemed to help me.

    So on a downhill you come to a complete stop (static), engage button, and go? Will this work on the uphill for a downshift? My biggest problem is going up a hill in second and then it becomes too steep for second, but I can’t shift with the torque on the pedals. Stop, shift, and go. I’m glad I have a small wheel.

    Hitting the shift before you need it seems to be the key, just like on bikes, so a missed shift is a deal breaker if you wait to long; of course we all wait as long as possible :wink:

    I got some good shifts last night when transitioing from double track to steep single track, but still had to stop and downshift on one transition when I missed the shift twice.

    I had a good ride last night, didn’t mind the 137’s that much, was able to handle most tech sections, though there were a few places, esp on steep downhills, where I could use some more crank length.

    Uphills, even when technical, seem to be less of an issue with short cranks.

    I wish there was a 135-140 low Q crank that fit the hub. The K1 goes on too far and hits the bearing holders, the KH is not low Q.

    Anyone using 140mm Tensiles?

    What I’d really like to see is Venture II’s in a size range with breaks every 10mm :slight_smile:

    100, 110, 120, 130, 140, 150, 160, 170

    Yeah I figured that, but with all the thousands of super tall trees on that trail, lightening usually strikes the tallest structure first. Hope you don’t have to wait too much longer for your hub! Hopefully someday soon there will be a US-based place to send the hubs for repair; Unfortunately Bronson doesn’t do Schlumpf repairs.

    I think the hand shift or the heel shift-both done static-are the easiest, and only require a momentary still stand.


    You can upshift or downshift on hills by reducing the pedal torque to a minimum. If the hill is wide enough, you can tack right or left at an angle to help “flatten” the ascent or descent enough to take pressure off the pedals, which would then allow for a clean shift. The static shifts are also easier to do this way as well. I was doing a rather steep climb (in high) this morning, and began to run out of momentum. I hop-twisted 90 deg. to my right–so I wouldn’t roll backwards–and was able to do my static heel shift back to 1:1, then continue on. :slight_smile:

    On the downhill static up-shift I’m typically starting from a stand still, if I’m already rolling, I’m better off trying to anticipate when I need to shift and shift before I absolutely have to. I’ve got all this pretty well dialed for my familiar routes, gets a bit more dicey on new terrain though.

    I’m really enjoying getting around and pounding out the miles on my KH24 GUni. Since I’m constrained to non, buff MUni until my heal stress fracture has heeled (no pun intended) I’ve got a road slick on there instead of a trail tire. For the stuff I’ve been riding, I’ve been able to ride as fast or faster than my ungeared 36er and I feel a lot more stable as well on the GUni. I think the lower center of gravity makes it feel more stable to me. Also, it’s so much nicer to be approaching an intersection and just downshift and slow to wait for traffic to go by rather than be stuck trying balance and slow pedal on the 36er. Hill climbing is also much better since I can get up much steeper stuff on the 24er on low-gear. Also much easier to fit the 24er in my car than the 36er…

    Still, there is nothing like that fly wheel effect of the BIG wheel!

    As we know, the Shlumpf hub is a lot heavier than a non-geared hub, and so switching from the heavier ardent 2.6, to the ardent 2.4 tire, and maxxis freeride tube, I shaved a full pound off the rotational weight. I’ve also ordered a pair of venture 150’s which are also about 1/2 lb lighter than the 150 moments, and today, I just got my new wellgo C135 sealed bearing pedals that are an amazingly light 290g for the pair! They are about 185g lighter than my primo UNsealed magnesum pedals. They’re a bit narrower in width but after trying them, shifting seems to be the same. So with the change in cranks, pedals and tire, I’ve reduced rotational weight by about 2lbs. I will have to see how these pedals work out on the trail, and if not good, they can go on my 36er. :smiley:



    The ventures or the venture 2s? Let me know how they work on your hub, I am hesitant to use anything but KH moments on my kh/schlumpf - didn’t have any success with my previous hub trying to use Nimbus ISIS cranks (pushed too far on the spindle and hit the frame). It might not be as big of a deal with some of the later batches since the ISIS spindle was increased by a few mm in width.

    Also, I like the slight additional Q the KH moments provide, and it looks like the ventures are flat (no additional Q).

    Wellgo pedals…

    I had the same pedals on my 36er with the Sinz 150 cranks, until one of my cranks snapped at the 125 drilled-out position. I tried to take the pedals off the cranks, but they were basically bonded to the cranks. I used a grinder to cut all of the surrounding crank, but they still wouldn’t come off. Maybe the heat from the cutting further solidified the two parts together…

    Anyway, your post reminds me to get a new pair. They were my favorite pedals from the six different kinds I have tried thus far.

    I plan on saving for a Schlumpf hub and having one for my next 100 mile 36er ride. When I rode NurseBen’s 26er GUni last week it made my decision easy.
    I want to pad up, and attempt to hit 30 mph with the geared 36er.

    Nice job on all the different shifting techniques Terry. I have really enjoyed your videos. You are a prolific videographer!