Comming from a bike background my major interest was getting the bike to be as light as possible. Now using this same methodology having a seat like a kh freeride which comes with a handle should be enough, and probably better since you have a big weight savings. I have no experience with a t7 handle even though I have one but did not install it because it’s so heavy. If the handle is to assist in repositioning on the seat, the kh seat handle works just as fine and with no weight penalty. I would like your comments on this subject.
I don’t think the weight of the t7 makes that big difference. I got one and I’m glad I have it. But it is true, that I haven’t been on a very long ride. So far on my rides (about 30-40 minutes) the weight doesn’t make it harder. Au contraire, it’s pretty sweat to have it. The feeling is way better than just the seat handle. You’ll see what I mean if you install it.
In my experience, the T7 GREATLY reduces saddle soreness in long distance riding. Yeah, it adds a good amount of weight, but there are always compromises when choosing equipment.
If you don’t like it, don’t use it. Still though, if you have one on hand, you may as well try it.
You will never change some peoples mind as to what they already have decided works best. I ride a lot. Never have tried a handle. Don’t see any handles available that I would like to try. Have not made my own. If I did it would be similar to what Lars Clausen uses but installed lower.
The T7 is heavy when you are speaking in road bike/touring bike terms. For the unicycle, it does not seem to add enough weight to make the ride harder. I rode a few hundred miles last summer with it and I’m more than glad I had the handle to make things more comfortable. Before the ride, I had to train on a 36" without the handle and it was all too painful.
I have had my Nimbus 36" for a little bit over a year now. It had a T7 handle on it from day one. Before the N36, my 36" riding experience was less than an hour in total. So there’s a hidden disclaimer here: I don’t really know how riding 36" without a T7 feels.
I totally love having the handle. My left hand is on the handle 99% of the time. My right hand is on the handle about 80% of the time. That is because in tight turns, or when riding very slow, or on bumpy stretches etc, I like to have one arm free for “balance flailing”.
If I occasionally ride with no hands on the T7 or the KH Freeride seat handle, it feels unstable. It feels like I should decrease the speed by 1 or 2 mph to reduce the wobble. Hands on the seat handle helps about half on that account of what hands on the T7 helps.
I ride in flat country. Weight hardly matters. If I would be riding in hills, I might have second thoughts. But then I would start saving weight on the wheelset. I love the T7 (even if I have some minor gripes with it).
i find the added stability, added max power when accelerating or ascending (because you can lean forward and really heave on the bars) and increased comfortable saddle time to be more than worth the wait.
light weight 36er handle options
I have a prototype two prong alloy 36er handle bar that I just posted in the trading post on this forum. It weighs in at 16 oz. its for sale.
Can you post a picture and perhaps the link to the forum posting?
alloy handle bars
This is the link:
I think people who race bikes want them to be as fast as possible. If weight is the only concern your answer is obvious. But let me ask. On your bike did you use a full handlebar or cut it down to just a few inches on each side of the stem? That should be pretty light while still allowing you to steer.
If I’m comfortable I can ride farther and maintain a higher average speed. I really like the handle on my old Coker (pictured below) but don’t know if it’s going to break off someday, as it’s been through a lot. I fully expect it to break off during RTL.
That handle gives me something to lean on and makes me slightly more aerodynamic, which is a factor for RTL-type riding unless there’s a tailwind. It works great for me, and the new handle we’re waiting for from Coker may do a similar job. Mine is a Wyganowski handle, with bar-ends attached to what was originally intended as a front bumper. I also hold the T-handle when going slower. Paul Wyganowski has retired, I believe, and no longer makes his nice stuff for us unicyclists.
I have a borrowed Nimbus 36 with T7 handle. I like it better than no handle, but it doesn’t take any of my weight off the seat, and it doesn’t really give me anything to pull on for uphill riding, it’s just kind of “there.” I’d like it if it were quite a bit lower. Or adjustable, like the Coker handle is supposed to be. The T7 does give you a lot of options for attaching accessories, which is nice.
I’ve also done long rides with just a regular seat. I hate it, perhaps because I’m spoiled by my Wyganowski handle. I definitely know I don’t want to do another ride on a borrowed Coker with a Viscount seat, yuck!
Coker or (non-Coker 36") wheels are heavy, no matter what you do. You’re going to have a relatively heavy unicycle with any of the components on the market today, even if you select all the lightest ones. So from that point, the question is whether a handle will make your riding more enjoyable (or faster if that’s what you want). If it will, it’s probably worth it for you. I know it is for me.
I haven’t ridden extensively with any handle other than a stock plastic KH saddle handle, but I don’t think the added handle weight would matter much on a 36er. Rotating wheel weight is such a hindrance that handle weight is relatively inconsequential.
Not light, but unusual handle-bar
My latest creation. . . made of steel, yet still lighter than the t-7 bar and a little different riding position. I used: a GB4 handlebar, a KH rail adaptor, 7/8" handlebar tubing and strong cable ties. Its narrower and way stiffer than the T-7, longer and provides a great leaned forward riding position. the extended handle grip is to provide brake lever protection and an offset positon for the right hand.
T7 used on both 29 and 36"
I’ve experience both unicycles (29 & 36) with and with out T7.
Weight addition of T7 is not noticable.
Increased speed due to greater confidence and ability to tuck further forward and ride fast by at least 2 - 3 mph.
I prefer a commuter unicycle equipted with a T7 then without.
I was riding up a very long bumpy rocky hill and I only had one hand on the t7 for most of the ride which made me think to myself “I should just get rid of this and save the weight”. However on the 10 mile long 1000’ decent I remembered why I had it and it feels so good to have the handle as a stabilizer. Having the handle to hold onto with both hands is great. The only time I notice the weight of the handle is when I am riding not holding onto anything and you can feel it when you turn. The additional weight of the handle is comparable to having your camelback empty vs. full
Can you upgrade the coker handle to fit on a nimbus 36 frame post vs the seat post? I am not so tall and my seat does not have enough seat post exposed to have this work for me. If you can do this, can you give me a price for that mod?
Sorry, I dopn’t think that will work so well with the set-up I’m trying to sell. The best hope for shorter riders would be a rail adaptor mounted handlebar like this:
The Coker handle isn’t on the market yet, so it’s probably not a good idea to speculate beyond what can be seen in the picture(s), which I can’t seem to find on their web site. Not sure if it clamps to frame or post. Also no telling when they’ll ship. Could happen any time, or there may be delays.
I rode during a little year on a daily basis with a pretty basic Qu-ax 36er, with no handle at all (except the one from KH seat).
That was great - because I had never tried any handle before on a 36er.
But then I changed my Qu-ax 36er to a Nimbus 36 WITH a T7 handle - more than 1 year ago. Since then, I continued riding it everyday, and I am now very used to the handle and how to get the most out of it (based on my own needs and practice).
Personally, I am always having my right hand on the handle, and pretty rarely my left hand, because I find it better to use it to “finetune” my balance and better react to unexpected bumps or drops.
Sometimes I volontarily try to do as if I did not have my T7 handle => I really don’t like the feeling at all (even though I do not have, and don’t want to have, a similar type of handle on my other smaller unicycles). And I can for sure not sustain the same maximum speed in these conditions (even though that might partly come from the fact I have lost a little bit of confidence riding without the handle?).
My conclusion is that the T7 handle is absolutely GREAT!
Yes it could be better, but it is really very precious as it is today.
I am looking forward at buying the new KH36 frame as soon as it will be out, but I won’t let my T7 handle go!!!
I would like to hear some real good reasons from experienced unicyclist concerning why the handle is so good even with it’s weight penalty. Does it really help in stabilizing the unicycle at higher speeds, lower speeds. Does it help climbing, turning, descending to really make it worth while having your unicycle gain weight and loose it’s simple look.
Thanks everyone for your comments they have been great information, just looking for more information from the seasoned riders that swear by having a handle.