Mikefule's MUni "trials"

Over the last few weeks or months I’ve been toying with the idea of upgrading from my Pashley 26 (Holy Roller) to a more modern higher spec. MUni.

A few days ago, I posted a threadin haec foro seeking guidance on which would be most appropriate. I was persuaded to go for the well known brand named after “the man himself” (KH) although I am not normally brand-minded. I plumped for the XC - that’s the lighter of the two high spec KH 24s. It has a 2.5" tyre instead of 3", and I think it has a lighter rim.

Order placed Tuesday evening. The parcel arrives at work on Thursday. I arrive back at the office from lunch to be told, “Your flat pack furniture has arrived.” I carry/drag the larger-than-expected box through to my own office and wonder how I’m going to get it home.

My team manager arrives, sees the box and is jubilant - he’s been waiting for the two new PC tower units to arrive for the last few weeks. I disappoint and perplex him by explaining that it is not a box of computer equipment, but a cross country unicycle, and that his expenses will be reduced as a result of his new company vehicle. We work for the Co-Op so the story is so nearly plausible that he looks just a bit worried.

I finish work later than expected, and then drag/carry the box to the lift, then through the lobby, down the stairwell to the carpark, and up the next set of steps. Brilliant: a KH uni and I’ve done two flights of steps before it’s even out of the box. How cool is that?

Now, the dilemma. I have to go home on a 125 cc Vespa scooter.

The box is much much bigger than expected. The uni is a 24, right? So the box should be about two feet across… and as every skoolboy kno, a foot is about the length of a, well, that’s why women can’t park because men tell them that that’s about a foot…:wink:

I have with my scooter, two climbing slings - webbing straps - and plan A is to loop these through the packing straps on the box, and wear the box like a rucksack.

Fine, it works - until I sit on the scooter. The box is very large and heavy, and it won’t rest comfortably on the pillion seat. I start the engine, ride experimentally round the car park, and the box falls off the pillion seat, and hangs against my side like a satchel. It’s weight is pulling on my other shoulder, but I feel reasonably stable.

Plan B, of course, is to ride home on the uni with the scooter strapped to my back…

So, I decide to go for Plan A(i) which is riding the scooter with the massive box (I think it’s growing!) hanging at my side.

In the rush hour. :astonished:

So I get to the first traffic jam.

Where normally I would filter past the cars, sneering superciliously, I have to wait. At this speed, my 10 minute journey could last 40 minutes, and the box is getting heavier and heavier. I do a quick calculation. At this rate of exponential growth, by the time I get home, the box will be taller than Nelson’s column, and weigh as much as four London Buses. The bruise on my shoulder will be the size of a football pitch. (Note for foreign readers - these are standard British units of measurement.)

Finally I reach some faster flowing traffic. Common sense prevails and I keep the speed down to about 20 mph, but there is a headwind, and the box has a large flat side, and aerodynamics come into play. People at bus stops stare open-mouthed as a scooter buzzes past with a large cardboard kite looping and swooping alongside it.

This is no fun. I decide to avoid the main roads and filter through the back roads. This adds distance and time to my journey. It also adds traffic calming - that’s what we call those bumps that don’t make me any calmer, and do nothing whatsoever to stop kids in stolen cars from driving them really fast at 1:30 a.m. Each bump jerks the weight of the box down onto my shoulder, and things are getting bad.

And then my mobile rings. It is on silent (thank goodness - the ring tone is really annoying) but also on vibrate, and it is in my shirt pocket, buzzing away against my nipple, irritatingly. Whoever it is must leave a message, because it immediately rings again. Vodaphone 121 always does that: it rings you back about 30 seconds after you’ve just been unable to answer the phone, to see if you were pretending. Then I get a text. By now, I have a sore shoulder, a tingly nipple (so it’s not all bad) and a foul mood.

But at last I get home. Check my (unimportant) message, then carry the box in. With great ceremony, I cut the packing straps to reveal the magnificence of the Duro 3" tyre. Out comes the frame, with the beautiful braze-on brake fittings…


It’s the wrong model. After all that thought, I ordered the lighter XC, and I’ve been sent the heavier MUni.

Crestfallen, I swear.

Curiosity gets the better of me. I take all the bits out, match them up, tentatively bolt them together.

It’s actually quite fiddly to assemble because all the parts fit so snugly - almost too snugly because of the paint - and it is difficult not to strip the threads in the bearing clamps. Finally, it goes together, except for the seat post, which is several “feet” long. I try to pull it out, and it is stuck; I give it a twist, and it comes out, the bottom inch or so with a tell-tale zigzag scrawk.

Looks like I’ll have to keep it. :roll_eyes:

And the tyre does look sort of macho.

And the Holy Roller’s a 2.4" section anyway, and better for cross country than serious mud plugging… and think how it’d go with shorter cranks…

So the KH with the 3" tyre stays. Final answer, Kris.

And it took me three goes and a broken hacksaw blade to cut that bloody seat post to the right length.

First write up some time this weekend…

Through blood (ok, bruise) sweat and maybe some tears, you’ve earned that uni!

You wouldn’t have appreciated the unicycle without that kind of effort. Be thankful.

I know I appreciate hearing about people’s stories through posts like this.

You’re going to love that tire. It’ll roll over a small child.

OK, you’ve sold it to me.

Fetch me a small child.

Fab story. I laughed out loud a few times (funny looks from hubby). Can’t wait for the write up.

I always break the hacksaw blades when I get a new unicycle. I can’t even buy a KH unicycle cos I would have to cut the frame - it’s not for those with legs as short as mine.

Happy, happy riding.



That burly version of the KH 24 is so light it will never cause you pause on a speed run and you’re good to go on anything else, right up to world-class tech. muni over corpses, steeples, down mountainsides, up frozen waterfalls, et al. The only addition you might someday consider is buying a set of 150 crank arms (maybe 40 pounds sterling). You can really motor with those when the terrain is non-technical.


Fab story Mikefule, but did you ever think of opening the box and putting the uni together, then carrying the vespa on your back instead! It might have been the easier option. :roll_eyes:

I’m pretty convinced there isn’t a great deal of difference between the two. I ride my kh24 every day, and it rocks. You won’t regret it!

You should ALWAYS use a pipe cutter to reduce the seat post length. Works fast and leaves a nice clean, even cut.

think of it this way…you got more than you paid for. the XC is cheaper is it not? so in essence you just got more than you paid for.

haha good story… looking forward to some bitchin stories…


You could sell it for Freeride price, then buy an XC and save some money…

Or just keep it. :smiley:

u think uve earned it ive done yardwork till my hands have no skin oj them to get a new uni

Put the uni together at work on their time and charge the labor to them. Then, you know it’s the wrong uni before you decide to take it home. If you decide to take it home it is no longer a kite because there is no box around it. Tell Roger he sent you the wrong uni and demand a new one while you “test” the wrong one.

Oh great, now Mikefule is going to have the best MUni stories too!

He didn’t already? I thought he was the king of Muni writeups. Maybe I was mistaken or something.

As it happens, they are both around the same price at the moment, to within £5. It’s a sale price, and well below the normal price.

And full marks to Roger who was gracious and apologetic when I contacted him, and offered to make the change if I wanted. He was happy for me to keep the “wrong one”, or to swap, or to swap individual components (e.g. cranks) if I wanted. No complaints there at all.

<<Oh great, now Mikefule is going to have the best MUni stories too!>>

Thanks. The places I ride are unlikely to change significantly most of the time. Thee’s plenty of MUni stuff in the Sherwood forest stories.

The most recent was “Foller t’ Yeller brick” from Tuesday 25th April. I am more of a cross country rider than a MUni rider, in that I like to ride 5 - 15 miles over rough and varied ground, rather than spending a lot of time in a small area hoppin’ and boppin’ on obstacles.

The new uni has been taken around Sherwood forest and across the desert, past the black lagoon, over the BMX course and down the downhill MTB course today.

It has none of the disadvantages I thought might come from the very wide heavy tyre, and it seems to be almost unstoppable. Brilliant in soft shifting sand. I may need to tinker with the tyre pressure, and adjust the seat height, but other than that, fantastic.

I may write up the ride tomorrow.

Oi, how much is KH paying you?

I already miss ‘Mikefule the grumbler’ :wink: