this may seem like a odd conundrum but thats how it goes for me sometimes:)
90% of my riding is singletrack on a 27.5 oracle with 150mm cranks and a fairly light 2.8" tire. i climb easily on the inclines that my area offers with the 150mmx27.5 combo but i am very quick and squirrley on the flats and turns to a point that i feel i need more resistance if that makes sense? in otherwords i feel i can out pedal and out maneuver my machine
so my question is should i consider a 29er or move down a crank size to correct?
FWIW it was better with a heavy 3" tire at low pressure but i much prefer the lighter, skinner tire for the climbs and extra distance i get with it but may lose that anyhow with shorter cranks or bigger wheel?
thanks pierrox, thats good to hear since its easier on the wallet! i have seriously considered picking up a set in the past but always heard 150’s were the best choice for MUni so i stuck with them. i should mention that i do not run a brake and one of the main reasons i hadnt popped on them in the past to have more control on the descents without stressing my knees too much. honestly, unless i start riding in the western part of the state i do not tackle too many big descents locally so it may not be an issue and should probably consider getting a brake when i start to venture out to WNC. i may be overthinging this as usual
It could be possible that you have trained up the muscles for climbing (ie. riding against resistance) but have not trained your muscles for flat/downhill riding. It definitely uses different muscles in different ways. Probably magnified by the fact that you have such long cranks.
It’s the spinning in circles vs mashing down on the cranks.
Oh so right… going down that hill you love on the 29… on the new 36/127mm it takes about 2 seconds to go from fun to fear. Downhill is hard on legs and and hard on the soul. Never ashamed to get off going uphill when it all gets too much. When it all gets to much downhill, it’s probably too late
You would make a great unicycle salesman Ted:D a 29er is definitely in my future! I’m just not sure what roll it will play in my aresenal yet so I am being patient. I’m 6’ 2” so I’ve often wondered if a larger wheel would fit me better once I became comfortable on the trail. Time will tell
The more you ride, the less it matters. I used to obsess over crank size. I have now settled on:
150s for my KH36, which I ride on and off road without a brake.
The long setting (150?) on my KH29 if I am mainly doing off road, and the short setting (about 125?) if I am mainly doing road. Again, without a brake.
150s on my KH24 which I only ride off road.
114s on my lightweight 700c, which I ride on generally easy trails, without a brake.
At one time, for me, it was all about long cranks (170) for torque on hills and rough ground, and short cranks (I went down to 90 mm on one of my unis) for spinning fast. Now, it is about compromise. I find I can pick my way over rough ground with medium cranks, and spin as fast as I need to on the road with the same cranks.
You mentioned “squirrelly” in the original post. Consider experimenting with the tyre pressure.
Most keen unicyclists end up with one of each size, but I would not recommend buying a whole new uni just because of an issue with the one you have, because most issues can be resolved by changing the crank length, tyre section or pedals, and simply by riding until you forget the issue existed.
Pretty hard, technical downhills, including big jumps, too. Brakes are amazing. Scary thing is you have to take technical sections fast. I think I’m personally staying with 125mm, but then again, I thought that about 140mm too…
For long mountain tours, most people I know go up a cranksize (127mm/110mm) dual holes are popular with the people I know riding 110mm cranks. It’s amazing how good you can go uphill with shorter cranks though, at least when you take gravel roads up. (Which is what most people I’ve been riding with do, easy up, technical down.)
It’s definetely always a compromise, that everyone has to find for their trails and riding style. And I also agree with you, it’s easy to get too obsessed with setup. I’m not saying never change it, but I’ve also ridden with people who on uphills said: “Oh, I wish I had a longer seatpost so I can put my seat higher.”, then on downhill wished they had shorter cranks, and on the way back to the car wished for a bigger wheel, always thinking about what could be better, not what’s good…
In response to 29" I’d say: If you are going to stay on those trails, a 29" will probably be ideal in your future. If you want to ride harder trails, the 27.5" might still be the choice in the future. I personally enjoy the feeling of riding down trails that seemed completely impossible in the past more than riding easier trails fast.
Finally got my first ride in yesterday with the new cranks. First impressions… smoother ride, climbs not affected negatively (Just different) but downhill went downhill haha! I’m sure i will get used to them but i may need to start considering a brake to help the ole knees out