I finally installed the T-bar on my KH 29er yesterday. I had to swap the 29er freeride seat for a street gel that was on another uni, as the freeride was an older model and wouldn’t accept the stiffener plate.
I’m finding that riding the unicycle while holding onto both handles is quite a challenge. I wasn’t able to hold on for more than a few seconds at the time before I had to release at least one hand in order to recover my balance. I’ll keep practicing though.
I have the same issue - it does help to apply pressure with one hand to relieve your seating area for a bit though. I have been unicycling for 31 years and cannot hold on with two hands for more than 20 or so rotations.
once I learned to put my right hand on the Shadow handlebar (my left braking hand never leaves it) I was able to square my shoulders and I just took off. Speed and cadence came naturally. Granted this is on a smooth road. For MUni, I waive my arms all over the place.
When I first got my KH bar for my 36 I had to get used to the extra forward weight on the seat. The uni crashed over several times scuffing the bar ends. Like the others state practice nails it and for me now I can’t imagine riding without the handle. Two hands is not a problem unless I’m going over really uneven surfaces and I too prefer to hold with one hand when negotiating hills. The bar is also really handy to attach a good torchlight and a water bottle.
Yes it does take some getting used to, but I think that if more people realized how much more comfortable it makes riding (not just for Distance but also XC muni) it would become perhaps as common as brakes. Speaking of brakes you’ll also find it takes a bit of getting used to, braking from the T-bar position, but with practice it feels as normal as braking from the saddle handle.
Kris, my other hero (sorry for the use of the picture John but it’s just so darn sexy) has his brake lever mounted half-way-up rather than way out on the end in the T-bar position like mine (2nd picture). Granted I’m talking about Distance riding with a slightly different (Shadow) HandleBar but the concept is the same. My left “braking” hand never leaves the handle. I use my right hand to recover my balance (when it gets too bumpy to hold on with both) so I want my lever handy (pardon the pun). Most of the 36er pictures I see have the lever mounted half-way-up (like John’s) presumably to simulate braking from the saddle handle. I would be interested to hear from both you and John on this subject as I could not imagine mine any other way.
The difference between touring and muni, in my view, is that with muni there’s often the need to pull up on the handle while simultaneously braking, say to go over a bump while descending. Plus with XC you often want to have your hands in a “distance” position while being able to pull up over bumps on up-and-down terrain.
Attached are a couple of photos of my T-bar setup for muni (since this photo was taken I’ve moved it about 10 mm forward and 10 mm up). Flip the slotted tube around so it’s oriented towards the back. Cut the T-bar shorter, and cut it narrower to 120 mm width so it avoids the knees (also makes it easier to reach the brake). You can raise it up just so that there’s plenty of room for your knuckles when curling your fingers around the saddle handle. In the very beginning I did find it slightly strange to brake from this position but it was only because I was unfamiliar with it; now it feels totally natural.
In this orientation I have no problem pulling up hard on the T-bar over XC-like singletrack bumps, and on bumpy descents while braking. The lower position keeps my arms fairly straight which is less tiring when leaning on it. For steep climbing I want my hand facing back and as close to the saddle as possible, so I use the saddle handle.
I find this combo really helpful for XC Muni, and wouldn’t ride without it now that I’ve gotten used to it. I prefer it to an asymmetrical handle that would replace the plastic saddle handle because I find that I use different positions depending on the kind of riding.
I rode my kh36 with the t-bar installed for the first time on Saturday. Had previously tried it offroad on the 29er, but didnt like it at all with that setup and took it off after one ride.
But on the 36er on a sealed bike path, I found it much nicer than holding the seat bumper. Had both hands on it quite a lot. It was very comfortable spinning at a higher cadence due to reduced side-side wobble. Unfortunately, I UPDed faster than i could run out so now have missing skin on my hands and knes. The tbar will stay on this time.
I’ve had some trouble tightening it enough so that a UPD doesn’t push it up towards the bumper. A small allen key just isn’t fantastic and now i’ve burred the screw head somewhat.
I told you a handle makes a big difference! What length cranks are you running on your 36er? Is your Tbar the 1st gen with dome nuts on the two bolts, or 2nd gen with allen key inserts instead of dome nuts? Hope you’re doing well, and that the skin grows back. Remember, chicks dig scars :P.
I’m still on the 150mm holes of the dual hole moments. The Torrens Linear park undulates enough that i like the extra torque, especially brakeless. The 125s will get a go at some point. This path is made for 36er riding, there are even some unsealed sections to blast along.
I guess i have the newer tbar, with lugged allen bolts inserts on one side and allen bolts on the other. Chix will love my legs, there is nothing but scar tissue…
Yeah, I think the design was changed very quickly after release of the T-bar to the newer lugged allen bolts. My understanding is the design was changed to eliminate the need to carry a 10mm spanner to adjust the bar. I have 2 T-bars: one old, one new. Never had tension issues with either of them, so maybe a bigger allen key will fix what ails ya’! So will you be riding the winter CX series on your 36er??
Yes, I think i’ll finally hold my own against the slower bikes at CX. Looking forward to it. You’ll be pleased to know that the third leg is currently uninjured and unscarred. The tbar doesnt stick out that far. Guess I just need to be more careful not to burr the bolt heads so they cant be tightened well enough.
As was just mentioned I don’t think the brake lever is exposed to damage any more on the T-bar than under the saddle; maybe less if you push it further back. For riders trying it offroad for the first time I do suggest keeping it on for a while, certainly more than just a few rides - I also found it strange at first but now prefer it.