Lets talk 700c/29er

I was riding my 20" freestyle in the club yesterday and was pretty pleased with recent progress - pretty solid/relaxed idling with my right foot, up to 12 idles with my left foot, 70% success with rolling mount and managing to crack the roll back mount with my ‘other’ foot. I felt that I had gained a lot of control of the uni recently.

On the other hand, on the 29er I get on, point her straight ahead and ride in a straight line for a few miles.

One question I have got is, will I be able to get the same control of the 29er, with practice of course? Is this a worthy/achievable goal for the winter months when I am more likely to snatch half an hour in a deserted carpark inbetween rain showers than ride along a glorious beach for hours? And can I expect to do the same things - hop, idle, etc on the 29er as I do on the 20"? (Bearing in mind that I score in the bottom 10% of learners in Klass Bill’s learning graph thingy - ie I am slow at learning uni - I am balancely challenged.)

Any comments/suggestions/tips will be greatfully recieved. Thanks.


Re: Lets talk 700c/29er

On Sat, 3 Sep 2005 14:15:05 -0500, “cathwood” wrote:

>One question I have got is, will I be able to get the same control of
>the 29er, with practice of course?
No I don’t think so. The 20" uni is inherently more controllable. If
you work on more control on the 29", that will easily cross over to
the 20". In other words, I think you will always have more control on
the 20".

>Is this a worthy goal (…)?
I’m not sure. The 29" beast wants to be ridden over longish distances,
that’s where it excels. More control will never hurt, but at a certain
point you get at skills which are just not very useful on a 29".
Unless you venture onto new ground with your 29’er and the local
inhabitants ask you to “do a trick”.

>And can I expect to do the same things - hop, idle, etc on
>the 29er as I do on the 20"? (Bearing in mind that I score in the bottom
>10% of learners in Klass Bill’s learning graph thingy - ie I am slow at
>learning uni - I am balancely challenged.)
Over time, you will learn to do the same things on the 29’er that you
can now do on the 20". Provided of course that you work on them. I go
out on the 29’er on average once per two weeks. I ride some distance
and then upon returning home, I check if I can already idle.
Invariably the answer is “No I still can’t”. I never practice it,
except if you want to call this checking “practice”, it’s about two
seconds per two weeks. I have 125 mm cranks on them, with 150 I can
idle somewhat - longer cranks give more control.

I score in the third 10% band on my own learning graph thingy. i.e.
clearly below average. I think I still can learn a lot, it just takes
longer, and I believe the same holds for you!

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

“Unicycling is like glue: you have to stick with it, and it’s not to be sniffed at - Mikefule”

I am not a quick learner. Never mind graphs and that, I just know I had to work hard at idling for several long sessions before I could do it. Ditto with freemounting, reversing, and even turns in each direction. It seems so long ago.

I bought my 28 with 110 mm cranks and was able to idle it with reasonable ease on a smooth gym floor the first time I rode it.

With 102s, I now find it is idleable as long as I show great care.

I have no doubt that with 150s, it would idle almost as easily as the 20.

A 29er is only marginally bigger than a 28 (3% bigger) but it is a bit heavier. So if I can do that on a 28 with 102s, then you can do that on a 29 with 125s, with practice.

I don’t want to get too heavily involved in the maths, but a simple comparison of leverage shows that if your 29er has 125mm cranks, that is in a sense equivalent to a 20 with 86 mm cranks. However, that simple comparison misses much of the story.

You don’t have a 29 to do tricks and stunts on, but to ride. The skills you need to be a good all round rider are freemount, ride straight, turn smooothly, turn sharply, stop under control, idle briefly, dismount neatly. Anything else is a bonus.

The reason that idling a 29 might seem difficult is that it begs you to ride it far and fast. When you are simply riding far and fast, you are learning/practising nothing except riding. It takes a certain amount of self discipline to devote a few minutes of each ride to practising idling or mounting or reversing.

The trick to idling a big uni is not to think of rocking backwards and forwards, but to think of moving in a controlled way from one position to another.

Position A is wheel forward, uni just starting to tip backwards, and position B is wheel backwards, uni just starting to tip forwards. You need to “ride” smoothly from one position to the other at low speed, rather than simply “pumping” like you do on a 20.

Although I blow my own trumpet a lot by writing up my adventures, there is abundant evidence from many witnesses in this forum that I am not a particularly talented rider, so if I can idle a 28, I’m 100% sure you can idle a 29. But it will take time and practice.

Have fun trying. It’s a skill that will improve your riding pleasure, not a duty, or an exam. A bit at a time. Try stopping under control then starting again. Get better at the idling. Always dismount of the back. Maybe shorten the cranks on your 20. Learn to idle the 20 one footed, and idling the 29 two footed will be easier.

Good luck.

You will have the best control on the uni you practice on most. If you give them equal time, the 20" will be generally easier to do almost all “tricks” on. But everything you listed can be learned on you 29er.

ignore this. i cant delete it

My 28 is my main uni. I can ride that one best one-footed and wheel walking and backwards, and doing 180 hops. (Riding, hopping 180, landing and riding away backwards…whatever that’s called.)
I can hop up about 11 inches on the 28, and about 13 or so on the Muni, so although there is a difference there, it’s not really significant for freestyle work.
But I don’t have a 20, so all my other experience is based on a 24 crusier and a 24 Muni. But, I’ve been so happy with the 28 I haven’t really felt a need to get a 20. But I will soon, because I want to be awesome at freestyle.

Thank you all for replying. That was great.

I’m now feeling quite confident that I will be able to do what I want to do on the 29er. I find unicycling a great adventure and ditto learning anything new. I almost feel sorry for the people who learn quickly as they never will know the triumph of achieving something that’s taken a very long time to learn.

I also plan to do some off-road stuff on the 29er. I’ll start on the Big Apple tyre and see how that goes. Or I could set up another uni for off road with a knobbly tyre and the 150 cranks that I’ve just taken off my present 29er. MMm, that sounds like something to think about over the winter. I could get it round about xmas time to celebrate my 1st yr on 1 wheel.

The future’s bright - the future has one wheel (and it’s quite a big one).