Hopping on geared 26 in high gear?

I’m sure some of you are hopping in high gear on a Schlumpf hub. If you are, do you use the brake to assist with the free play in the geared hub?

When riding single track on a KH 26 Schlumpf with rim brake I often need the speed of high gear to clear the rollers and banked turns. I some times come to a stall and need just a hop or two to clear the next obstacle or to get to the top of a tall roller and for speed prefer not to down shift for only half a wheel turn and then immediately shift back to high gear again.


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I rarely hop on the trails, whether geared or ungeared. I do hop sometimes on my geared 29er at intersections, if I don’t manage to downshift to be able to idle. I don’t feel like using the brake would work at all; it would be really hard to correct after a hop, and when you release the brake in high gear the uni really wants to fight you.

I wish I had a Schlumpf on a smaller wheel to play with. For me on my 36", gear changes are still kind of a big deal, so I only do them when I have to. I imagine it gets much easier on smaller wheels, but for tiny bits of rough trail I think I would still want to avoid it.

Holding the brake while hopping might make sense in terms of the more sluggish movement of the wheel in high gear; to avoid that just keep it still. But the penalty would be as Tom says, when you release it will be delicate to regain pedaling control. Yet another technical challenge to riding on rough terrain – a good thing.

I dream of a 26" KH with Schlumpf hub and disc brake to replace my 10-year old Wilder with no brake…

My loving wife bought me my three KH unicycles and my two Schlumpfs hubs. Thanks to her I’m not only dreaming.

Back on topic. I’m trying to move at a fast pace on single track both up and down hills racing with the mountain bikers. Some times I’m fighting a three hour time cut off / check point 18 miles into the ride. Some times there are multiple tight steep rollers 8 to 10 feet high back to back on an average down grade of 10%, dropping 2000 feet in 2 miles. Or +5% uphill with a three foot section of busted rock or roots to get over.

Shifting is not a problem. I might shift 10 or twenty times per mile. I’m just thinking shifting less for short half wheel turn sections will get me flowing better and staying “in the rhythm” more.


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I have always found that shifting more is better in most situations. If you’re talking about hopping from a standstill, I would definitely shift down. However, I rolling hop in high gear all the time. One of our local trails has lots of small logs across the path as obstacles and my usual strategy is to rolling hop over them in high gear. The obstacles are possible to roll, but when you’re cruising fast in high gear, they are a bit jarring to hit. I feel that rolling hopping over them is faster and smoother, and it helps keep me grooving along.

It occurs to me that if you’re already hopping, you should be able to downshift (long as your feet are in the right orientation). That would make it a lot easier to proceed over technical stuff. The larger question: is it cheating? :thinking:

Scott, I have found shifting at a standstill troublesome (especially if I start rolling backward). I think I’ll try John’s suggestion about shifting in the hop. As for cheating most of the two wheeled group already think I’m cheating and would not notice the difference between a hopping shift and a hop.


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Joe is also riding clipless, so that might make some things a little more of an imperative…

I pretty much agree with what Scott said. If you get to the point where you are in high gear, and not moving…then it is too late! You should have shifted way earlier when you were slowing down. You will be much faster, overall, if you shift more often. However, I realize that shifting is a skill, and this will take practice.

Holding the brake to assist with the free play will be difficult; it will hold the wheel firm relative to your body, and make it much more difficult to hop (try it in low gear or on a fixed uni, and you’ll see what I mean). Allowing the wheel to move relative to the frame when hopping is almost essential to be able to hop well. Also, if you have a disc brake; it is a moot point; the disc brake will go through the hub, and it won’t stop the slop.

My recommendation is to downshift as soon as you start to loose speed; usually for large bumps, this just after the lowest point in the bump and right before you start giving it power to go up the hill; otherwise, once your under power it will be difficult to shift.

(I have maybe 1000 miles on my geared 24 and 26 - I’d have to double check the odo.)

I have hopped in high gear to turn around and head back the way I came. In those cases, I do not use the brake and have no issues. As far as going up hill, if I get really stuck in high, sometimes I can power through by pulling hard on the handle and pushing the pedals. I have had this work when I am stalling out in high at the top of a rise.

Thank you corbin

I am referring to situations where I’m going 8 or 10 mph or maybe more three feet earlier. Three feet later I’m shifting back to high and building back to speed again. Hard for me to get much out of a rolling hop on a 5-8% incline.

2012 was my first real attempt at any serious muni. I put 900 miles on geared 24 and geared 26 during the five month Fat Tire Revolution series season last year. I’m hoping to gain some better skills and techniques for this year. Not that I will be any faster but like the challenge.

Thank you Tucson Uni
On the flat or on inclines?

I’m usually dealing with a short abrupt grade change or bump/root on an incline in high gear.

Or when going through steep tall roller coaster single track that are close together with no flat between them. The mountain bikers grab a little air where I sometimes stall.

I’m riding clipless and pulling as hard as I can both with the back foot and seat handle.

The picture is near the start of the Bavarian Bike & Brew, Leavenworth, WA where I finished ahead of several in my catagory. The rider who posted this video passes me at the 0:53 to 1:03 mark.


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Speaking of hopping in high gear, I’ve ocasionally used what I call the ‘hop-shift’ technique to change down in mid-hop. It can help when you’ve slowed to a near standstill in high gear and already hit the shift button, but the shift hasn’t happened yet because you’re still putting torque on the pedals. [An effect many Schlumpf owners will have experienced at one time or another.] A small hop can be enough to release the pressure and allow the shift to occur, in mid-air, allowing you to ride off in low gear, with a smile on your face! :sunglasses: