I again loaded a backpack with replacement parts, water, and tools to set off on a longer journey on the uni.5 SH 29er. My house is at 300 feet elevation and I started by going south toward downtown in which case I lose all the elevation in about 3 miles. In 43.5" mode on a slight downhill grade it was bicycle fast with little effort and the only noise was the whine of the new NanoRaptor tread on the pavement. I went across a drawbridge and turned east and went about a mile to pick up a bike trail along the ship canal. I was now at about sea level.
The bike trail was smooth and unbelievably fast. I kept trying to slow down to Coker speeds but this monster kept asking for more. After a couple of miles I turned north and started a long climb to Greenlake park to pick up another bike trail. I was chugging up that hill, starting to get tired pushing that 43.5" gear up that long hill so I pulled over and shifted to 29" mode. Very weird. I loafed all the rest of the way up the long climb, probably about a half mile or so. I shifted back to 43.5" mode at the top of the hill and dropped down to the park to pick up the bike trail. This was starting to become familiar, dangerously familiar, and I started to scream around Greenlake on the street that loops around it. I was passing bicycles. I am going to seriously injure myself on this unicycle if I don’t rein it in until I learn its nuances.
I pulled into the restaurant where my son works to say hi. I refilled my water bottle and took off after managing to fail another freemount for his benefit. I had some trouble free mounting today, especially on slight uphills, so each dismount I practiced a different rhythm and style and consequently failed alot of them before I homed in on the one that worked best for me on this unicycle. I was now on the route that I commute. One of the monster hills was a couple of miles away waiting to test my legs on the big gear. I failed about half of the way up it. What a wimp.
The tiltable seat rail adapter that Steve Howard made for the Miyata seat and a 27.2mm seatpost are on this uni. I have the front tilted up fairly dramatically. This tends to make my pelvis tilt back releasing pressure from my genitals and placing most of my weight back further on the seat. It makes for a really comfortable ride and it also puts the roomy Kinport handle (also a Steve Howard design) up and out front where it can be easily reached.
I rode about 10 miles on this first ride today. Then I had to walk Buster to the sound or I would be paying dearly. Later this afternoon it was still rain-free so I took another 5 mile ride, this time without so many tools since I didn’t wander too far from home. The cranks required a little tightening after the 15 miles but the frame screws and bearing holder screws haven’t lossened at all.
I love this part. Scary!! I rode my 29" for about an hour yesterday (after seeing Harry Potter) and it was plenty fast for me. It would take a lot of nerves for me to work up to “greater than Coker speeds”.
Hey, we need to coin a term for that. The Coker Barrier? Coke 1? Well, I doubt we’ll ever have a unicycle that would hit Coke 2, so maybe that’s pointless. How about anything over Coker speeds being called “The Man Zone.” I like that.
Caught on to this thread a bit later than everyone else, but I think the Shiftable Uni.5 29er has to be the coolest thing since the chocolate chip cookie; in fact better even Greg, you’ve reinvented the wheel. Now I WANT ONE too!!!
How does a 29" uni handle? I have heard that the larger wheel you get, the harder it is to turn. By this philosophy, Cokers would be near impossible to turn. 29" would be in almost the same boat. Please explain this to me.
(And that bit about being cooler than the mighty chocolate chip cookie? I need to see this uni…)
Ken calls our attention to an important point: finding an adiquet comparison for what the Mad Gizmo has, in fact, exceaded in cool. I will offer then, for your criticism, that the article in question has surpassed in coolness our most highly esteamed tonic, Sasperilla.
The moment of inertia (a vector quantity) determines the degree of difficuly one has in starting the rotation of a wheel, slowing it down, and turning it. The moment has direction (usually along the axle) and magnitude. The magnitutde is most easily described as the mass out at some radius. Wheels are pretty simple and you can with an acceptable degree of accuracy say that all of the mass is in the rim and the tire and is located halfway between the inner radius of the rim and the outer radius of the tire. Heavy wheels have large moments of inertia. Changing the direction (start, stop, turn) of a large diameter, heavy wheel like a Coker is the extreme. Big wheels (larger in diameter than a Coker wheel and made with light rims and light, hard rubber tires) are, for a given crank length, generally easier to change the direction of than a Coker. The 29" wheel is made from a rim that is much lighter than the Coker and a tire that has a thinner wall and is, of course, smaller in diameter so much lighter than a Coker tire. This makes the wheel easy to turn. It’s still harder to start and stop by the gear ratio.
The amazing and infamous Greg Harper never stops.
What an amazing device. I think Greg has also built, in his garage, a ‘crude, to scale model of his town -although he presently didn’t have time to paint it properly’.
Not only does it sound like it rides well, but it looks good, and plays the piano. With a unicycle like that who needs a pet?
Keep up the good work, let us know what one of these will cost.
> How does a 29" uni handle? I have heard that the larger wheel you get,
> the harder it is to turn. By this philosophy, Cokers would be near
> impossible to turn. 29" would be in almost the same boat.
A 29er is only a little larger than a 26, and a 26 is only a litle larger
than a 24. A 29 handles fine on all but the tightest single track.I’m
rather fond of ours. Think of it as a big muni rather than a small