MUni discussion thread

It’s fun for like the first time unless it’s super super technical but It gets boring cause its really slow.

Go for it. I’ve done a bit of muni on a 20"er with really long cranks and it was pretty fun. Nothing like a Muni but it was still great.
I know lots of people who do 20" muni too.

Interesting, thanks for the quick replies. Unicycling is too addicting. I will make a post after I try Muni out on my trials.

Another quick question…
To prevent dirt and crud and snow/water from coming into the hole in the frame (right above the tire around the crown…I am not sure what it is called) is covering it with a layer of duct tape or a plastic cap a good idea? Or is this not necessary?

Thanks

-Connor

Not necessary, but not a bad idea either. It might prevent corrosion but I don’t think that is generally a problem.

Okay, cool. Thanks.

Muni Written Tips

I was searching through some old e-mails I sent to myself and found this from Andrew Carter’s now defunct Unicycletips.com site:

Also from Andrew’s site:
Trials and Northshore contruction tutorials

Sorry, not all eddited from my file:o

Muni Written Tips

Precise Steering

One method of steering precisely in muni is to hold the seat with one hand and ‘lead’ with the other hand. To go roughly straight ahead hold the leading hand out in front pointing to where you want to go. To turn left (when right hand is leading) cross it over to the left in front of your body. To turn right (again, right hand leading), swing the arm out wide to the right. This method is most effective when you’ve got some speed up, but not much is required. Your legs can act in a similar way to help steer the unicycle.
Andrew Carter

Rolling Out Of Drops

Most of the principles mentioned in the video tutorial on dropping to flat can be transferred over to the field of muni, however there are some key differences. Firstly, when dropping in a muni scenario you will either be landing on a downwards slope and be forced to roll out of the drop, or choose to roll out to continue a flowing line. Either way, when doing drops in muni you are required to continue rolling after the landing rather than just rolling for half a revolution as you might in a trials scenario. Therefore you will have to lean forward slightly more and, depending on the rest of the line you’re taking, maybe not bend over quite so far on impact.

In mountain unicycling, the types of drops can vary greatly. In some case you can afford to line up your pedals to your preferred orientation by riding on a diagonal. If the trail doesn’t allow for this, there are two other approaches you can take. For small drops you may be able to land with your pedals in any orientation easily enough. For bigger drops this becomes more difficult, however you will have more time in which to rotate your wheel in mid air until your reach your preferred pedal orientation. The other approach is to get your rolling hops up to the level where you can hop the distance of a complete pedal stroke. This way you will be able to jump before you reach the edge of the drop if your pedals wouldn’t have been lined up correctly had you continued to roll it. This method is limited to only some types of drops where the run-up to the drop is reasonably flat and smooth.

Remember: - Extent the body before impact so that when you land you will have more time and room in which to absorb the impact more successfully. - Pivot at the hips and allow your upper body to fold forwards. - Practise rotating your wheel in mid air to find your preferred pedal orientation - Practise long rolling hops so you can lauch before the edge of the drop (when your pedals are correctly lined up). - Almost always roll out instantly on impact to tranfer the force and make your line more flowing.
Andrew Carter

Cross Country MUni Training/Motivation
The most important thing about muni training is to know why you’re doing it.

This might be:
You feel slow when you ride with other people and you want to get faster.
You want to ride in a specific event and do well.
Simply that you like getting fitter and faster.
Once you know why you’re doing it, try and push yourself to do some regular training.
Anonymous

Mental Training
For endurance events and long distance muni, mental training is important, otherwise however fit you are, you’ll give up.
Actually do the training If you’re doing a regular training ride working up to something, it’s important not to let outside factors stop you. Always go out on a ride, even if the weather is rubbish, or you’re really hungover. It’ll be great once you’re riding, it’s just starting out that is hard. I’ve been on amazing rides in blizzards, hailstorms, thick fog and when very very hungover. I find it useful to always plan to go on a ride at least a day or two before the ride and then just have a rule that you’re going whatever.

Press gang your friends If you have friends of similar fitness level, try and convince them to train with you, having someone else relying on you turning up is a great help. If you’re training really hard, try and find a fat lazy mountain biker to ride with, them riding normal speed will probably be pretty fast for you, but they won’t get bored like a fit mountain biker would.

Enter events Entering other events is the best mental training for a race that you can do. Just riding along is a very different thing to riding off a start line with hundreds of other riders all hyped up. Enter shorter events, for example a 12hr before a 24hr, or local cross country races. You need to learn how hard you can push yourself and how not to go too fast and run out of energy part way.

Night riding If you’re training for something involving night riding, get your lights and get used to riding with them on proper terrain. There’s a lot to night riding that you can’t really learn any other way, even if you have really really expensive lights that make night look like day. Night riding is weird as hell and will do your head in until you get the hang of it.

Do the distance For a long event, try and do training rides up to at least 50% of the distance you’re intending to cover. If you’ve decided you’re going to do 50 miles on a particular day, then unless something serious happens, do the 50 miles, don’t let yourself give up half way. If you give up lots during training, you’ll have problems with the real event. Anonymous

Physical Training
Physical training isn’t just about fitness training. However, you do need to be fit. I’m not going to write about this, there are a million books and websites about fitness training, intervals etc. for mountain bikers, it all applies to muni riding too. I won’t bother talking about it here. The only thing I will say is that commuting to work is an easy way to improve your fitness.

As well as fitness training, you need to minimize the effort that your riding takes. There are loads of ways you can do this.
Technical skills In most cases, the more you can ride over and the less you fall off, the better. Being able to hop higher usually means it takes less effort for lower hops. Being able to ride straight over roots and drop offs rather than hopping them is useful. Riding fast leaning turns is pretty vital for switchbacks, berms and winding singletrack.

Momentum Learn to keep your momentum going when riding fast. Practice by riding long sections of trail with quite easy obstacles and try to keep a constant speed over the whole section. Try not to lose speed on roots or log drops and keep the wheel spinning no matter what. Don’t hop unless you really have to. On undulating trails, keep powering your legs to keep speed up on the uphills. Turn your legs in circles rather than pushing down with one foot then the other. Anticipate obstacles and put a bit more power in before you hit them so you don’t slow down.

Learn to crash The worst thing that can happen to you in a race or a seriously long ride is a big crash. Learn to roll out of crashes so that if it does happen you can keep in the event. Practice this by riding somewhere with soft grass/sand by the trail and repeatedly falling off onto it.

Learn your limits Learn what you can ride over without hurting yourself and respect your limits. Learn how fast you can ride without a big chance of seriously crashing. If you’re training for a timed event, learn how steep an uphill has to get, or how techical it has to be before you’re better off running it.

Use a brake This makes downhills take less effort and lets you ride down steeper stuff without getting off. I don’t ride with one so I can’t say much more about them. If you’re going for a really good time in an event, you might want one.

Improve your leg strength Riding lots is a good way to do this. This helps you smoothly roll uphills that you couldn’t do before and is really useful for your momentum. You can train for this specifically by riding up hills until you fall off and then trying to mount and ride up more and repeating until you get to the top. Anonymous

Effective Braking
Please note: The following tip was written with only about 10 minutes of real experience using a brake on a muni ride.

When braking on steep slopes: Try to have at least 3 fingers (including your thumb) firmly gripping the seat during a technical and steep descent. Generally speaking you should be standing up and will therefore need to be able to apply pressure to the seat at any angle while braking with your remaining fingers. Consider this when setting up your brake lever.

Apart from obviously increasing your braking power, on steep technical descents brakes allow you to regulate your pedal motion and focus more of your energy and concentration on maintaining your sideways balance and your chosen line. They also even out the pedal strokes so that you don’t slipe nearly as easily. Without a brake you’re more likely to apply too much braking force suddenly and have the wheel slip out from underneath you.

Make sure that if you need to hop at any stage during the descent you can release the pressure on the brakes. If you don’t, you’ll most likely find yourself throwing your weight too far forward and falling.

When braking on a long, gradual slope: This is where a brake ca nreally save you a lot of energy. It’s very important in this scenario that your rim is adequately true. If your rim is bent, you’re more likely to lose balance when braking on a gradual slope, plus you will have to really focus on maintaining your balance when you could otherwise be relaxing and saving your energy and concentration for the upcoming climb.
Andrew Carter

Finding Trails
Most muni is done on mountain biking trails of some kind or another. Finding good trails near you is not always obvious, here are a few ideas that might help.
Destination Trails In a lot of places, there are destination trails, like at Coed y Brenin in the UK, Moab in the US, Morzine & Verbier in the Alps. These are easy to find out about, but usually take a long time to get to.

Local legally built trails However, you almost certainly don’t need to travel to your nearest destination trail to find good riding. More and more nowadays there are small local trailbuilding projects who have permission to make trail networks for mountain biking. These are usually pretty good places for muni. Also, as most of this stuff is built by volunteers, getting involved in the trailbuilding is a good way to find out about local trails and get into the local riding scene.

Public access land and rights of way In the UK at least, there’s a lot of land that is publicly accessible to some extent, such as a lot of forestry commission land. Often riding on track in this land is permitted, or at least tolerated. Also, in the UK, we have a vast system of rights of way over land, which are paths across land that are open to the public. Legally you can definately ride on anything that is a public bridleway. You can also get away with riding on footpaths as long as you don’t take the piss by being a danger to pedestrians or something. Riding on footpaths is probably against the law, but is only a civil offence, so only the landowner will ever do anything to you for it. If you’re in the UK, buy an ordnance survey map of your area and learn how to use it, all bridleways and footpaths are marked. It’s worth exploring to find out which ones are good. Look at the contours on the map that show you how steep things are, steep bridleways and footpaths are often fun to ride.

Illegally built/found trails In a lot of places, there are trails that just seem to have happened, or have been built by people without permission from the landowner, usually on land that is pretty neglected, or open to the public. The way to find out about these is by knowing local riders. Local bike clubs, bike shops and internet biking websites are good places to find people who ride in your area. Be aware that people will often not tell you the locations of trails unless they know you, because they want to keep the number of users down, so that the trails don’t get found out. This is especially true for illegal north shore trails, which usually get cut down if the landowner finds out.
It’s often fun to find these by going out riding in popular areas and just looking for lots of tyre trails heading off main tracks, or by talking to people out riding.
Anonymous

Controlling Speed In Descents
For the lack of good trails, many people practice Muni trials on any piece of steep or rocky terrain, where pulling up is unnecessary. Cleaning long technical Muni runs is all about limiting speed and making adjustements. It was instructional to watch a bunch of very skilled Muni riders tackle Saddle Rock (difficult) during Cal Muni Weekend. Most every fall was due to the Muni picking up too much speed for the rider to adjust direction when the rocks demanded so. Too much speed and you have to simply follow the fall line till you get bucked off. As improbable as it seems, being able to pause for a split second, in the middle of steep hard stuff, is an invaluble technique in regaining control and choosing the right line, as opposed to being forced by velocity and gravity to just charge till ejection.
vivalargo of unicyclist.com

Continued:

Kris Holm Questions & Answers
Note: Referals to clips taken from this video.
I’m having trouble keeping control of the brake down the bumpy stuff and also grabbing the brake after doing a drop which might flow into more steep rutty stuff. Are you always on the brake for this sort of thing or does grabbing at it just come with a bit a practise? �In the stuff in this video I didn’t actually use the brake much. I seem to use it more on smoother steep terrain mostly, or sometimes continuous sections of bumpy terrain. Also I use the brake more on drops with steep transitions that you need to slow down on before a corner. The most important time on the Shore that I use a brake is when it’s slippery. The Shore gets incredibly slippery in the winter, and the continuous braking action of a brake, compared to intermittent pedal braking, means that you are less likely to punch the wheel out of traction. This includes some downhill log rides around here, when they get slippery.� Kris Holm

Do you have much experience with the 145mm cranks and brake muni setup? That’s what I’m running now but I’m considering purchasing an extra set of cranks for more control. Is it likely to make much of a difference? Would 170’s suit best? �I ride with 165mm cranks right now. I like these better than 170’s but I don’t think I’d want to go shorter than that for steep riding. Maybe 160’s but I’ve never tried that.� Kris Holm

There’s a clip in the video I’ve mentioned where you do a drop from a structure then bounce/roll out of it gapping a few times over what seems to be a stream of water. Two things: how far in advance are you thinking here, and also do you have any tips to learning that great technique of not only landing but gapping with the less comfortable pedal orientation? �For bumpy stuff I sort of think in terms of downhill rolling hops for just about everything. Note- this doesn’t necessarily mean that my wheel leaves the ground. It just means that your body is sucking up the bumps as they happen, to try to make things more fluid. Good pedal awareness is really important, at least to think about 1 to 2 pedal revolutions ahead of yourself. In slippery terrain this includes timing your pedals, where possible, to be in the power braking position when you are on a short section of grippier terrrain. Being comfortable landing drops with either foot back is really key, as is linking together mini drops. It’s like rock climbing in that I plan sequences to link between rests, or in the case of riding, easier sections.� Kris Holm

http://www.unicyclist.com/index.php?page=gallery&g2_view=core.ShowItem&g2_itemId=129442&g2_page=2

kris_body_amour_testing.wmv
In Kris body armour test.wmv

I faceplant onto a hard slope (OK that’s not what I want to show!) but then try again. In the successful run I use downhill rolling hops to adjust my pedal position to the correct orientation to hit the next bump and prepare for the following one."
Kris Holm

kris_jump.wmv
“In kris_jump.wmv I am riding on a North Shore structure with several down-ramp options. My goal was to jump over the normal downramp and instead land on a second dirt transition to riders left. The takeoff was a bumpy ladder bridge (not visible in the vid) where the only takeoff point was about 1 metre back from the edge. The main issues were:
Setting up at correct pedal position for the takeoff (a smooth patch on the bumpy ladderbridge).
Leaning forward the correct amount to keep horizontal momentum for the gap and hit the correct landing location (ie clear the rocks at the top of the transition).
Also leaning forward enough so reduce force on the rear foot when landing, so that I would naturally roll out of the transition, but not so far forward that I would pogo-stick onto my face.
Using my left (free) arm for a little extra force. Note that my left arm snaps up on the takeoff and back down as I do a stomach crunch to get my wheel up. This happens naturally but seems to help with balance and body orientation.”
Kris Holm

runout.wmv

“In runout.wmv I lose my balance as I come out onto a short steep slope, and then correct with a quick rolling hop into the grass, over-compensating slightly so that I can hop back onto the trail as soon as possible. At the bottom of the slope is a small ditch, and a rolling hop makes it easier to clear this instead of trying to roll through the bottom of it.”
Kris Holm

Traction, what’s that? Haha even the heaviest CLAY mud didn’t stop me this morning! I missed the last 2 days due to a heavy downpour, so as soon as the rain stopped, I hit the trail, mud & all! First time in two years I’ve gone more tha 2 days without MUni-ing! The witdrawl feeling is terrible!:stuck_out_tongue:

Btw, the added 2 pounds of mud really made the climb back up an extra challenge! Kinda like joggers who carry those hand weights. :slight_smile:

gotta love mud! snow is just as good though :stuck_out_tongue:

yea, that rain sucked

then on thursday, we got even more kinda out of the blue

that didnt stop me from riding at home (and my coker at school!) :smiley:

Pinned pedals.
How the heck have I been riding the trails without them all of this time??? They are GREAT!!!

The pedals in combination with my 661’s helped me ride so much more confidently today. I wish it hadn’t gotten cold and dark. I so want to go back out.

I went out to the Toboggan hill today and did a bunch of runs with my MUni and tried out my new 24" wheelset I got from Evan. I had a lot of fun going down on my 26 but not so much on the 24.

Maybe I will like a 24" wheel better once spring comes around.

Here is a bit more of a write-up if you are interested.

edit: I too once thought that odyssey twisted plastics were great, now I would not touch that petal for MUni. Grip is good.

Mudy Friday Here in Israel

Steven and I went riding on Friday morning. Once agian Israel is notorious for sticky clay like mud. Attached are some pictures of our KH24s. during the early part of the ride.
Yes, the Odesseys suck when they get wet. I am using Bontrager Big Earl Pedals and Steven is using Xpedos. I will upgrade to the Xpedos also when the Bontragers die. Otherwise our MUnis are Stock.

Unicorn

Mud1 (Custom size).jpg

Mud2 (600 x 480).jpg

Mud3 (Custom size).jpg

Dude, how do you actually manage to ride with that much mud caught on the frame ? Must be a fair amount of fun when you bail though :slight_smile:

Please Help

Hey everyone, I’m new to uni and im looking to buy a new one as my learner machine will no doubt break as i get more advanced. I am wanting a uni that will be reasonably good as a commuter with the strength and manuverability to be able to do small jumps and drops. I was thinking of going for the Nimbus 26" ISIS Muni and just wanted to hear some other people suggestions before finalising my decision. If i get this one i would be upgrading it to KH Moments and either Snafu or JC pedals. Don’t have alot of choice of unis or parts living in Aussieland.

http://www.unicycle.au.com/View.php?action=ProductDetail&Code=Nim26ISISmuni

What do you all think? :thinking:

Don’t know whether to go for 150 or 165mm Moments either. :thinking:

I had thought about a 29" but from what i’ve read so far i think it will be slightly too big and maybe not strong enough for what i want as i may also want to go offroad (can’t quite afford a KH).

The Nimbus 26" ISIS MUni looks like the ideal MUni to me, I am a big fan of the 26" size. I used to ride 170s and loved them but switched to 150s earlier this winter and doubt that I will go back. I feel I actually have more control going down hills with the 150s and can almost climb the stuff I did last year with the 170s.

The snafu pedals are heavy but the JC pedals are heavier, both have lots of grip, I am riding snafus on my unis.

Cool thanks Sas!

What are the pros/cons of having shorter/longer cranks? Like i said i’m only a newbie at this.

shorter cranks vs longer cranks

Pros: I can pedal more smoothly with shorter cranks and things are less “jerky”
I can go a bit faster before loosing control

cons: I had more torque with the longer cranks and could power up slopes a little bit better.
the longer cranks also gave me a bit more control when going really slow and hopping.

edit: I did not like 150s on my 26 when I first got it but now prefer them. It might make sense to get the unicycle with the cheeper 170s then when you you get better or break them switch to 150s.

One last question before i order. I just noticed the KH fusion freeride saddle and wondered whether it would be worth upgrading to that also as it is only a couple of dollars extra. Is it alot more comfortable for longer rides than the standard saddle or not much difference. I assume it fits.

Thanks for all your help Sas. Made my decision so much easier.