KH / Schlumpf Geared 24" mountain unicycling

Congratulations on another guni Corbin,
I have not ridden my 24" much yet, still need to mastered free mounting it. But I have ridden it enough to notice in high gear, on the pavement, the knobby vibration, even on my well worn duro wildlife Leopard tire.

It’s good see more posts about the new hubs, Florian mentioned he shipped 50 of the beauties last month!

I have not had much time to ride this new wheel, so I have some questions,
What mount do you use for high gear? I tried the rollback a couple times and man, that high feels completely different, like the wheel isn’t going turn, then suddenly speeds back behind me. I’m thinking I’ll need to brush up on the rolling mount.

So far I’ve only used low air pressure 18 lbs (Maybe that’s why the mounting feels so dead at first.) What pressure are you liking?

And one of those video’s shows someone riding up a steep hill, in high gear, on 36" guni, awesome. Even stops and turns at the top, nice control.

:D:D:D My parents just offered me to give me a KH/Schlumpf hub for Christmas!:D:D:D I am so excited!:D:D:D

But now I have to decide which uni to put it on. That’s a difficult one. I think maybe the KH29 is good as a first geared hub? Or maybe I should put it in a 26" rim on the 29er frame, but then I’d have to mod the brake bosses. The KH24 would be great too, but that’s the one I do the most abusive stuff on, and I’m still trying to learn all sorts of tricks on that one. In any case, I think I’d build a whole new wheel set for the Schlumpf anyways, so I can go without it whenever I want to. If I had a KH36 I might put it on that one to have the fastest ride available… But I have a Nimbus Nightrider… can’t schlumpf that one, right? So maybe I would sell it… and get a KH36? The thing is that I currently live in the somewhat flat Netherlands, so the geared 36 would definitely make more sense than 24" guni. Although I don’t see myself going much faster than 36Km/h on one wheel anyways. I wish one could change hubs faster, quick release style… Because the geared 24/26/29 setup would be my choice for touring in the mountains. I’d want to go on tours in southern Germany and Switzerland then. Difficult decision, but I think probably I’ll gear up the 29er, either as a 26er or as 29er. It seems to be a good compromise. At the moment the 29er is the one I use the least, because for going on tours I love the speed of the 36er, and for going technical muniing in the few hills available and practicing tricks I use the 24"…

What would you guys do, if you had to make this decision? What do you think is the easiest one for getting into guni and shifting on the fly?

Shifting on the fly just takes practice; it doesn’t really matter what the wheel size is. Shorter cranks make it easier for most people.

I’ve just set up a Schlumpf 29er with a 29x2.3" MUni tire and the dual-drill 125/150 KH Moment cranks. I think that’s about as versatile a setup as you can imagine. In 125mm geared mode, it’s fast enough to compete in Ride The Lobster. In 150mm ungeared mode, it rides pretty much like a MUni. It fits in the trunk and it’s easy to take on a plane (at least relative to a Coker).

Thanks, I think that’s what I’ll do too!

If I had a 32" I’d probably gear that one up:D.
But I won’t link that thread here now…

Cool! Yeah, Beau and Nathan both have geared KH 36’ers now! I got my KH36 last friday, but I need another hub (mine is still getting repaired – and when I get it back, it is going in a 24" for Louise!).

I put quite a bit of air pressure in the tire; probably 22 - 25 psi or more (I guessed). It wasn’t squishy at all. I usually like 20 psi in my muni tires; low enough to absorb stuff, but high enough to avoid hitting the rim on drops (I weigh 135-140 lbs).

I don’t mount in high gear…ever! I always mount in low gear and shift. I recommend always doing this – it will quickly make you proficient at shifting. I already had quite a bit of guni experience, so riding the geared 24 was really not that big of a change for me. You do tend to lean forward more, and push harder with your legs.

Regarding shifting…I wrote up several things about it:

Give it a try!
corbin

Right now, my ideal muni is the geared KH24. Fast to the trails, and can do what I want to do; I’ve been taking it easy (no large drops), but most of my trail riding fun is fast technical stuff, and not doing huge drops. My ideal road machine is the geared KH36 (which I haven’t fully tried yet – only a geared Nimbus 36, with bad bearing holders). It will be fast, comfortable and versatile. (Heck, i was commuting 20 miles each way to work and 20 miles back when I was training! With huge hills…both ways!)

corbin

If I lived in the hills/mountains the geared 24" would definitely be my first choice. But it looks like I’ll gear up the 29er for now. I can still change it later on, in case I move closer to the Swiss Alps… Although it would be a shame if I wouldn’t have much use for my very beautiful 36er anymore, because the geared 29er would be faster then.

The reason to do a geared 36 over 29 is if you are going to race or you just really like 36ers better than 29ers. The reason to do a geared 24 over 29 is if you really will do big drops and very rough MUni along with big distances. Otherwise a 29er is the most versatile as a geared setup. It’s small enough to ride MUni and do huge climbs, and it’s fast enough to scare yourself.

Thanks for the small review corbin! I have been waiting for some people to start writing about their geared 24" experiences because i am planning on getting that set up in time for unicon in Wellington. That and i want to compete in some 12hr mtb races and be competitive. once you’ve had some more time on it can you post a more comprehensive write up on the forums?
cheers,
mark

I’m very jealous. I have a geared 29er, and it’s fun, but it does suck as a muni compared to a 26 or a 24. Maybe one day I will save up enough for another geared hub for the muni.

Did you use the 36" gear much off road? I’ve always found the 29er 45" high gear is pretty useless on anything much beyond a gravel track or smooth singletrack off road.

In terms of the guy saying 29 or 24, I’d say if you’re more road oriented, then get the 29, if you want to ride proper off road more than on road, get a smaller wheel. It’s a choice of which type of riding is your priority.

Joe

I recommend a geared 26"…I’ve built my (admittedly non-KH) schlumpf into 24", 26" and 29" wheels so far, and that’s the one I like the most. Whilst the 29er clearly would take me further/faster, it doesn’t have the technical/muni capability of the 26" (currently with 140mm cranks, but if I had a KH hub I’d use dual 125/150s) - and whereas for ungeared unis a 26er just doesn’t cut it for distance, as a guni the 26er takes me far and fast enough. (Max recorded on-road speed 18.5mph, “comfort zone” cruising up to about 15-16mph - both of these could be improved with practice I think, more so with shorter cranks too). Ok, so I can’t do big drops on the non-KH hub, but it’s substantially more manoeuverable etc. than the 29er…

The 24…wasn’t a muni build, so couldn’t really evaluate that, instead I did an ultra-lightweight build and tried it as a “portable coker”, but it was too unstable to really go fast…

In terms of tyres - 26" does indeed give you a lot of options - and it depends on your intended use. For mostly-road riding, mixed with dry off-road sections, I really recommend the Halo Twin Rail, which rolls very smoothly (I tried a DMR Moto RT also, but it was much noisier and didn’t corner as well); but for muddier conditions, I’m experimenting…currently trying a Maxxis High Roller Semi Slick, which both rolls well on-road and seems to have reasonable off-road qualities, but it’s not great with camber; not sure whether I’ll learn to live with that or try something else, but there are lots of interesting possibilities out there…

Hello geared riders,

I’d love to buy myself this hub but for the moment, it is just a dream as I can’t afford it yet:(…
But I’m definitely going to get myself one! I’m thinking about the KH29er…

What do you think will break first in a muni use, the rim or the hub?
I ask this question because I curently know the strengh of the 29, it is strong enough for what I want to do but I don’t want less.

thanks

If you build the wheel well, the 29er wheel/rim should be fine for MUni use unless you’re doing huge drops. (If unicycle.com builds the wheel, be sure to put significantly more tension into it before you do anything serious with it).

Didn’t think of that. Because you’re going fast on a smaller wheel? Like a short board vs a long board on a wave?

Hi Corbin, Did you get a sense of this?

Still…gunis are cool in all sizes.

Thank you for the advice tholub…But it is not really the answer I wanted to receive…

My question is:

Will I be limited in strength if I change the hub of a 29er KH by the geared one?
Or will it be fine knowing that on a huge drops the 29er rim will broke before the geared hub (even with enough tension in the spokes)?

It could also be a security as it is definitely more suitable to broke a 29" wheel than a hub @ 950euros;)

I think you’re asking if a well-built 29" wheel from a KH29 would be weak enough to fail on a smaller drop than would break a geared hub in a unicycle with an infinitely strong wheel… As in, if I do a gigantic drop on my 29er, will the wheel break before the hub, and, as it deforms due to its breakage, cushion the hub and prevent the hub from breaking as well?

I believe that the answer is no; I think it is definitely possible to build a wheel strong enough that you’d be able to use it to break your hub during a drop. That said, just be nice to it, and you shouldn’t break your hub. Kris Holm tested the hub for two years doing drops of up to 2 meters (6.2ish feet!) without breaking it. Now, Kris has really good technique, so a sloppy 1-meter jump to flat ground might be as hard on the hub as one of Kris Holm’s 2-meter drops to a slanted roll-out, so you’d have to keep that in mind as you decide how much punishment to give it, but I’d say if you kept the drops sane and tried to do good rollouts (i.e. not dropping to a flat, static “THUD”), you wouldn’t break your hub in a 29er. After all, it’s designed for that kind of stuff!

I think the hub is rated up to 1.5 meter drops, but I’m assuming that that figure is for people who know what they’re doing when they drop. When I drop, I can’t or don’t control my landings, and, I break things, pure and simple, If I ever put my hub in a mountain uni, I’ll definitely keep the drops under a meter. But who does drops that big on a 29er anyway? I’m sure some of us do, but a 29er is much more of a cross-country unicycle; big drops aren’t as common. So… if you got a hub and put it in a KH29, and proceeded to use the hell out of it, while keeping in mind that large, sloppy drops might not be good for it, I think you’d be just fine.

Hehe. I think that Boulou has been inspired by one of our local South African riders, who busted the rim on his K1 26inch trackmonster on the (first ever) South African Municycling Weekend last weekend. this guy was taking his 29er off some insane drops (1.5metres?). Well, maybe not insane by many other unicyclists standareds, but the biggest stuff we’ve seen locally.

The smaller wheel does feel a little more shaky. I’m going to drop a speedo on it soon so I can compare my sspeeds to what I do on an ungeared coker.

Corbin (in Honduras with limited access)

Well, there may be something to that - you are lower down on a geared 24" than a coker, for one thing, so it is going to take you less time to hit the floor, period. Also I think the play in the gearing is inherently going to reduce your balance slightly - the question tho is how much, and I think the answer is “not much”, as the geared 29 was fine.

However, the 24" I had used a Sun Rhyno Lite rim, and a Schwalbe Table Top SL tyre - I can’t confirm these figures, but manufacturer’s quoted weights are 425g for the former (i.e. quite a light rim), and 560g for the latter (an insanely, stupidly light tyre) - and I certainly can confirm it didn’t weigh much (!). As such, it was responsive and manoeuverable as hell, but equally unstable - not much momentum to preserve it’s speed over bumps, and whenever anything did happen to throw you off (including simple lapses of concentration), it did so very quickly indeed and largely without warning. Hence I didn’t really dare push my maximum speed too much…i.e. not beyond what I could run out of!

(ISTR one longish ride, 44 miles, in which I had half a dozen UPDs - never serious, I ran out of all of them, but on similar-length rides on an ungeared 29er or on the 26 guni, I’d hope to not have any UPDs, really!)

I’d not be surprised if a proper 24" muni, big fat heavy tyre etc., rode better than this on-road, TBH; I was trying it more as an experiment aiming for portability and ease of carrying.

–Alan