MTB vs Uni

Well, as an avid mountainbike supporter and rider, what I am about to post scares me.

I will continue to say that biking will bring thrills on the trails that unicycling never will (and vice versa, that’s why I do both)

However, today, my bike in the workstand, tweaking the drivetrain, and changing suspension fluid, for the first time ever I said to myself…‘man, what a pain all this maintenance is!’

Up until now, I enjoyed maintaining the bike as much as I enjoyed riding it. Now, like dishes and laundry, it has become a chore.

But like I said, man is the riding part fun! The thing about unicycling though, your $500 ride will last forever. Everytime I go for a bike ride I seem to break a $100 piece here or there :frowning:

Something I said to a friend, “I don’t think my bikes are going to see much action this year.” I took up uni-ing late December to help my balance riding bikes. I ended up finding too much fun in the learning process. Out of my five bikes and three uni’s, my Coker has the most mileage. Just got to make my bearings last another two or three weeks.

I’m in the same boat, I have a combination of 6 mtb’s and road bikes and one motorized dirtbike and they seldom get ridden. I find myself spending more and more time on my MUni!!!

I think this arises from the fact that in a dynamic sport, you can’t get the maximum fun unless you push yourself to the limit, and you can’t push yourself to the limit unless you are pushing the equipment at least in the direction of the limit.

So, you get better equipment, and what was impossible becomes difficult, what was difficult becomes moderate, and what was moderate becomes easy. And in a dynamic sport, what is easy is boring, what is moderate is frustrating…

And you end up having to go further and further afield looking for challenges.

On a bicycle, the addition of numerous gears, click stop gear selection, disc brakes, front and rear suspension, and so on, makes a real difference to how much a given rider can achieve on that bike. Simply: a ‘better’ bike makes a given rider find a given obstacle easier.

On a unicycle, most changes in specification are related to strength, lightness and durability, rather than direct enhancement of performance. Making your cranks less likely to snap or slip does not make it easier for you to ride up the hill; a lighter frame might be nice, but it won’t stop the wheel tripping over a root or kerb.

There is something ‘pure’ about a unicycle - the minimum number of components and moving parts (pace u/w and BC wheel owners!) and the challenge is there for the rider. It’s immediate. You don’t have to travel so far just to compensate for the expensive improvements in the equipment.

If you wanted to, you could choose to opt out of the equipment fetishism which has infected bicycling in the last 15 years or so. We used to ride off road on 27 x 1 1/4 rims, 36 spokes (per wheel!), 12 gears, no suspension. We had every bit as much fun, and didn’t need to travel as far or build the big ramps. Today, some people have gone further, and now ride single speeds, or even fixed wheel bicycles.

Others seemingly enjoy the complexity and cost - presumably seeing it as a validation of their intellect and financial independence…:wink:

Same here. The bikes are gathering dust. I just sold off my road bike (the proceeds of which are financing a custom Coker). There’s three more mountain bikes in the garage and I’m wondering which to sell next.
Bikes- down to three
Unicycles- six, the Coker will make seven.

Glad to see I’m not the only one whose mtn bike is gathering dust. I started uni’ing last July and just came to a dead stop in terms of biking. Eventually I put the bike into storage and the uni stable started to fill. Now I have spent more $$'s on the uni’s than I did buying the bike but with three fine wheels on the rack in the dining room and one tucked away for parts or for a visiting rider, I feel ready for any kind of riding.

So without a doubt the mtn bike has been squeezed right out of the house by the 29’er, MUni and Monty trials… sorry Rocky Mountain Hammer, my deepest apologies, but I just find the uni’ing so much more fun, challenging and infinitely more satisfying. :smiley:


Re: MTB vs Uni

although i am not a “mountain” biker

i feel your pain

I’m a bike trials rider… and i go through parts left and right… as well as frames…

And the stupid trials market is very small jacking the prices waaaaaayyyy up…


Re: MTB vs Uni

>And the stupid trials market is very small jacking the prices
>waaaaaayyyy up…

sounds like unicycling.


I’ve just finished a 24hr solo race. Not a single mechanical on my MUni. And I believe the same goes with our 24hr MUni team and our 12hr solo guys. But there were plenty of broken chains, squeeky brakes, crunchy gears and broken bikes amongst the MTB crews:D .

Having said that I never want to see my unicycles again!!! They’re going to be locked away for a good many months.

Race report and pics to follow in the next day or so.

I can hardly walk :frowning:


Say it ain’t so!!! :astonished:

Actually, I read your report. Sounds like you had a terrific race. Great publicity.:slight_smile:


That’s what every addict says after an overdose. Just wait a while, you’ll be Jonesing soon enough. :smiley:

I doubt you’ll stay off it a week. Oh, but you did it solo - better make that a week after you can walk!

Great ride - congratulations!


Ok, I was just kidding. But I will be doing my first MTB race this weekend on TWO wheels not one, for the first time in months.

For me personally the uni will never replace my mtn bike, that being said I have still fallin in love with my one wheeled beast!
Plus I injured my wrist about 4 weeks ago in a mtn biking incident and have not been able to ride as of yet. However I have been able to ride the uni this entire time so I am grateful I took up the sport.

I never owned a mountain bike. I’ve thought of buying one, but it would get very little use. The bike that I have, and use for riding to work, is a hybrid. Perfect for commuting, as it’s about 1/3 mountain and 2/3 road bike, and I have a little bit of dirt on my ride. But it’s terrible on “fun” trails, with its skinny tires.

One of the last times I used a bike on trails was when scouting trails at Northstar for the second MUni Weekend (97). Brett Bymaster and I cruised the trails on bikes for half the day, covering lots more ground, then we rode the unicycles in the afternoon.

I would be tempted to use one again to scout trails at Rockville Hills Park and along the Downieville Downhill, in preparation for MUni Weekend this year. I want to make sure I know where to send people, and have accurate maps.

Mountain bikes go fast. They can fly through the air. You can coast. It’s not the same as mountain unicycling and isn’t supposed to be. One does not duplicate the other.

But I know that if I had one I’d hardly ever use it. It would probably get used most for non-unicyclists to ride along with me when I take them on the trails…

I jsut thought I’d bump this up again.

I’d really like a dirt bike. I’d enjoy the thrill of a bit more of air between me and the ground. Good ones are just too expensive for me. A DH/Freeride full suspension bike would also be nice, but I’d probably kill myself with one of those. Speeding down the hill too much and hitting a tree. And they cost even more.

I currently have a MTB bike with a crappy suspension fork. I’d like to change that fork too. It also has a steel frame so it’s pretty heavy too. But I like riding it a lot more because it’s slippery and you don’t have to drive fast to get the same thrill.

Still, there’s probably more mileage on my MUni. It’s a lot easier to get a good thrill on an uni. I tried riding down about 10 stairs. I leaned a bit too much forward and fell without my uni. I almost slipped and was afraid of breaking my spine. In the end I luckily landed on my feet and the uni soon followed me. Steep downhills can really give you a thrill too.