Just a little faster

I want to accompany my wife on her morning runs around the block. The block comprises anything from 2 to 7 plus miles of fairly serious hills, tarmac and off road tracks. I have a KH24 that I’m finding it difficult to get up the hills on and go consitently fast enough to keep up with the wife.

The KH24 is perfect for the off road bits and I only need a tiny bit more speed - so is it worth getting a KH26 or do I go for the KH29?

Apologies to all you veterans of this forum who will have visited this question a thousand times - I suffer from the enthusiasm of recent conversion and just love talking Munis.


oops wrong answer. :-S

The two models are different. The 26" is a big version of the 24 in a lot of respects. It feels heavier but does roll over things better. The 29" is different, it feels lighter and agile and I would describe it more as a Trail unicycle than a down hill one if I were forced to catagorise them. My guess is that the 29 would be the one you should be looking at as it is a different beast.


Thanks for that Roger I really value your opinion.

The optimum answer would be:


Any guesses why?

What crank size do you have?

Depending on how much more speed you need, shorter cranks will give you that extra little boost.

However, this may make climbing hills harder. I find that I can climb almost any hill with 125 cranks that I can on 150 cranks, but if you have trouble with long ones, then switching to shorter may not be a good choice.

I can pace a moderately good runner on a KH 29. It is fine for a bit of light cross country. It is probably what you want.

I can pace a world class marathon runner on my 36". How fast is your wife? :sunglasses:


Not to discourage you from increasing your stable of unicycles, but you could also try shorter crank arms. I used to be able to cruise at 8-9 mph indefinitely with 125s, and once averaged about 11 mph in a 9-mile race on an unpaved rail-trail.

Buy a KH24

For the wife!

I feel really slow. :frowning:

Does anyone have an estimate of their average cadence on a uni or muni?

I’ve done a fair amount of b*king and a cadence of 95 rpm was comfortable for long rides on the flat. I don’t think I often pedal my muni at this average for long stretches.

Let’s say a 24x3 has a diameter of 25" when weighted with a rider. This gives a circumference of about 78.5". So I need 807 revolutions to go 1 mile. 9mph would require 7263 revolutions in 60 minutes or 121 rpm. Do shorter cranks really allow people to pedal a cadence that high for an extended period?

Even watching some of the great videos posted here it doesn’t seem like people are spinning that fast for long stretches.

My 24x3 muni is currently equipped with longish (160mm) cranks. On last weeks 5.6 mile ride I averaged just over 5mph which translates to a cadence in the high 60 to low 70 range.

I could see myself getting up to the 80 range on average but being consistently over 100 means I’ve got a lot of learning to do.

To the OP, maybe we just need to get short cranks and learn to spin like madmen. :wink:

Thanks for any feedback.

Dont just look at cadence… ie RPM. Look at the distance the foot moves for the distance the wheel moves. When you look at this you can see that the shorter crank will allow you to move faster.
On the recently dusseldorf marathon I rode fixed and not geared with 100mm cranks on a 36" and according to someone who worked it out I was averaging 154 RPM.


The KH29 then - it’s got 125/150 moments.

If you get a 36 you’ll be waiting for your wife :wink:

29er is what I’d ride, esp if it’s a mix of on and off road. Also, a 29er will give you a nice balanced quiver of unis, then when you get a 36…

I paced my wife over 30 miles on my KH24 at a road 100 mile foot race a few years ago. Of course her average pace was something like 5-7 mph so not too tough to keep up. The configuration I was using was my KH24 with 150mm cranks and Maxxis Hookworm Tire (great road tire IMHO). I’ve also accompanied her when she runs some of the easier trails around our house and can up fairly well with my KH24 with Nokian Gazz. 24x3 tire and 150mm cranks. Then again, I’m a runner so I’m used to a high cadence!

Good Luck!

Funny, that’s the exact reason I got back into uni. My wife has always been into running and security (before we married I got her the pink taser gun and showed her how to use it) had always been an issue. Now I ride my 36" Nimbus (disc) Impulse along side. I switched to longer 165mm cranks to slow me down to her 6-7mph pace. Another thing that helps is to ride every sidewalk while she runs on the road. Even then, I barely break a sweat (get that 36" wheel turning and it practically rides itself) while she gets a major workout.


Thanks for the reply. I don’t know the actual diameter of a 36" tire but assuming 36" that puts you at 1h 36min ride time. I am impressed and inspired to work harder (and to get some shorter cranks).

If you want to up your speed, the heavy tire will also slow you down. Plus the tread on most tires of that size is not very pavement-friendly. You could also try a “regular” 24", with 1.75" tire or similar. That’s a huge difference over a 3" tire!

Yes. The smaller the circle, the less energy it takes to make those circles with your feet. Imagine your quads going up-down-up-down-up-down at such high speeds. Then imagine them doing the same thing, only 15mm higher at the top, and 15mm lower at the bottom. Tiring.

On my bike speedo, I have a diameter of 2872mm for my 36, not sure how accurate that is… Using that number as the circumference, I averaged 158 RPM in the 10k at UNICONXV. That was with lots of turns and wind and on 114mm cranks. What I have found with crank size is that for 125mm and shorter, my max speed is about the same not matter what length, but if I can power through the shorter cranks, they make my average time much faster. Also, in the 100m track races, with some of my best times I have “averaged” (it’s only over 100 meters) a cadence of 220 RPM, and that is with 125mm cranks… If anyone wants to know their average cadence for the 100m race, just do cadence=3090/time, where time is in seconds.