The story so far: -
I live in Sheffield=big hills, I love my 24x3 muni with 150mm cranks so much that I use it on the streets/communting- it works well especially on the hills, though it’s a little slow.
My 29-er with 125 cranks is good for roads, though I feel that roads are not the best place for a unicycle to be; on the pavement it’s ok but, though I like the smaller turning circle and lack of ‘wobble’ with the 125’s, I don’t like the lack of control.
Despite intending to try different cranks on both wheels for the past year, I’ve not gotten round to it cos I hate changing cranks around and don’t like spoiling a good ride by having to adjust to a new set up.
But last night I forced my hand by switching the 125’s onto the muni and the 150’s onto the 29-er.
Today I embarked on the 29-er with 150 cranks and took an instant dislike, the big wheel had lost its smooth wobble free action, and the crank turning circle was ungainly.
Admittedly, my effort was pathetic, I went once round the block and then went home.
Then back out with the 125 muni, expecting very little other than another quick return home.
However, I found it to be a very nice set up and ended up riding for an hour.
Within minutes I’d adjusted and, at times, the 125’s felt little different to the 150’s. On the streets I felt no particuclar loss of control, and had no problems with some mild ‘muni’ of going up and down the odd road side grass hill verge.
Also found myself riding much as I did with the muni in 150 mode, hip twisting sharp corners, jumping off curbs etc; basically felt very comfortable, safe and enjoyed the ride.
It was difficult to say how much faster, if at all, it was with the shorter cranks; I have a problem judging speed, for example, the extra speed of a 29-er with 125’s was never apparent to me till I switched back to the muni.
I think there’s an effect where you get a contrast of actual speed with ‘apparent speed’ i.e. on the 150 muni I can really spin the pedals cos I’m so used to riding it and often feel as though I’m bombing along.
Whereas, with the 29-er/125, despite the fact that my actual speed is greater, it often feels that I’m going slow because I never feel confident/inclined to spin the cranks like on the muni.
Despite the lower control of the 29-er with 125’s, it seems to be a necessary ‘other side of the coin’ to its more charming attributes of a smooth, dignified ride.
Whilst the 150’s would open up its muni potential, and make the steep hills more do-able, I’d be inclined to just get a muni out instead.
It’s become apparent that my discomfort with the 29-er is not so much to do with the cranks as with the wheel, and also its height.
i.e. a problem whilst on the muni, regardless of crank length, is something that you can generally step out of; whereas, on a 29-er, it’s more of a jump from a height.
As for the muni 24X3, my respect has gone up once again; as a good all round general purpose (for outdoors anyway) uni, it has got to be near the top- good for muni, streets, hills and great with either 125’s and 150’s.
In fairness I do need to have a longer ride with the 29/150 to fully assess it’s merits.
My only problem now is that I suspect I’ll be wanting the 125’s to use on the 29-er as a road machine, but my muni is going to be reluctant to relinquish them!
Maybe I should try my 110’s on the muni?