High speed UPD

I had a high speed UPD last Monday. It was on my morning commute home. It was my first decent ride on my g36 since getting my hub back from the SSHS(Swiss Schlumpf Health Spa). It was about mile 3.5 into my 4.5 mile commute when I went off the front. It was on a road that was blocked to motor vehicle traffic. The road cuts through a big multi purpose park. The road is very uneven due to tree roots. I went off the front at about 23 mph. I was in high gear with 150mm cranks. I was increasing speed at the time of the UPD. I was wearing Kris Holm Percussion knee/shin guards. My right knee hit first and then the left. I slid for ten yards. I got raspberries on both knees and right elbow. I usually don’t wear elbow pads. I also tore my bike shirt and thermal bike pants. My right knee swelled up the next day. I normally wear 661 evo 3do pads. They protect bad knees better. I wasn’t clipped in. I normally clip in on fixed uni’s. My cadence was about 50%. My shifting is real good. My muscle memory in high gear needs a little work. I want to push the speed envelope higher. I felt comfortable at the crash speed. I will have to find better knee/ shin protection. I don’t think the evo 3do’s will be good for high speed sliding. I can’t run at all so any of my UPD’s are going to be either slides or tuck and roll.

Ouch! Hope you can ride again soon. The faster I go or the bigger wheel I have means that I have to look further ahead to spot hazards, the most times I come off if there dramatic slope or bump in the road surface. Oddly enough I’ve had worse UPDs on my 20", usually caused by the dreaded vertical crank dead spot position resulting in a face plant.

I had the same experience (knee took some damage) with the Percussion guards. You should read the [THREAD=82453]safety gear poll/thread[/THREAD] and check out the “protective gear” album on my profile. The POC VPD 2.0 stuff is coming out later this month. I might replace my old (and stinky) 661 EVO Knee and 661 EVO shin (I like them to be separate) pads with POC. I wear POC VPD 1.0 elbow pads. If they are of the same quality, they are worth the money. All of it is expensive and some of it needs to be replace after each season but the price of skin and bones on pavement makes it mandatory in my old age.

Eek. Glad you came off reasonably unscathed. I reckon you need something with hard outer shells for road riding so they slide rather than grip - less likely to get pulled down off your knee.

I’ve never had a nasty crash on the 36er - in fact I can’t remember the last time I fell off on the road, but then I tend to stick well within “definitely not falling off” speed on the road, which for me as a coward is between 13 and 15mph, and never above 18. I have crashed a fair few times off-road though, and the ubiquitous 661 or KH shinpads do a reasonable job as long as they don’t hook on a rock as you slide. Having them nice and big (long) helps so they hit your foot before they expose your knee.

I was looking at the POC VPD’s last night at work. I think I will have to order some.
The day after the crash, my commute was a lot slower. Most of it had to with riding in a mini blizzard. It started snowing heavily after I got off the bus. It snowed the whole time while I rode home. It took me 30 minutes to get home. After I got home it stopped snowing. That was probably a good thing. My knee is still a little sore now. Last week it was very sore.
I am getting used to high gear. I still tend to undulate a little. I think that is what happened last week. Before I went off the undulations were increasing. This is the second week of riding in high gear at least 3 miles. It is getting better every day. I still ride through a busy shopping center and several busy intersections in low gear. This makes for good shifting practice.

Ive had some high speed wipeouts that resulted in little or no injuries because of these awesome knee pads. I just slide on my knees and get up. Does do some damage to your shoes though.


Clipless has helped me salvaged a lot of my UPDs into ‘almost UPDs’ geared at high speed on the 36. Is it time to clip in?

Clipless might also help with controlling undulation if you work on it. Pushing to hard over the top of the pedal stroke adds to the undulation.


1 Like

What will you say when you really do get “OLD”?


1 Like

I’m pretty good at math, and if your data is correct you have the potential to go 46 mph at 100% cadence. You actually look like “Superman” more than anyone I ever met, so I would not question your numbers… unless it was fun.

I know that you have the "horse"power but it seems likely that at 46 mph the “valve train” of the human body may not hold together.

At 46mph on a unicycle you may “pitch a rod” and then have the further consequences from the UPD that surely follows.

I would slow down, throttle back, and stop highballing the equipment : )

…unless you get a Banana Bike. On a Banana Bike you could go clipless and commando, 100% balls out (who would know), but bike shorts would help with chaffing or at the least wear a banana hammock : )

I’m sure I have helped a lot


Kevin: I’ve learned that when attempting 100% balls out cadence on a unicycle things start to go wrong. Usually soon after accelerating to near 100% cadence my beak starts trying to dig ditches. A three point landing on my beak and both toes does some times help keep my knees in better repair.

Did you two have a fun time on the Chilly Hilly? I was busy this year getting ready for the Echo Red 2 Red.


1 Like

Thanks Joe. I will switching my pedals over this week. I have noticed that I pedal smoother when clipped in. I can also rest one leg at a time being clipped in. I have tried it on normal pedals but it take too much energy.
I will probably be getting some POC Bones leg armor also. I have the 661 Evo 3do knee pads. They tend to slide up when I go down. They still protect the knees during initial impact.

I think 46mph would have to occur on a down hill slope with a tail wind. I am happy in the 20mph range. I need to learn how much reserve I need to keep in high gear. I am building my Schlumpf hub muscle memory every ride.

It was a great ride this year. Maybe next year you can join us. James(uniShark) was thinking of joining the ride next year.

Yeah, but if I do it will be ungeared, with my happy 152’s, and waaay slower than you guys. :stuck_out_tongue: