My G26 Journal

I’d like to open a thread to record all the things I think worth sharing when riding my newly built G26, from the perspective of someone new to the Schlumpf hub.

Mods: please let me know if this is too much fragmentation.

:star: I know there are several threads/megathreads about the Schlumpf hub, I’d be happy to move my posts to one of the general discussion threads.

Day -240

I started unicycling from July, 2022. I’m a slow learner, it took me about 15 hours to be able to ride unassisted; but I ride a lot. Currently (February 2023) I commute daily on a KH26 (/w Schlumpf hub), and occasionally ride longer distance on an Oracle 36.

Day -30

I had the opportunity to get a Gen4 (M08xx) Schlumpf hub, so I decided to build a wheel around it. See this post for details.
I read many topics about the Schlumpf hub in our forum, grabbed the impression that it’s a sophisticated device that’s quite difficult to master.

Day 0

The wheel is built, I got it set up on my KH26. An instant fit, not much trouble.

Day 1

Tried to ride on low gear: same as fixed mode, no problem at all.

Tried to freemount on high gear: NO WAY… at all. Not today.

Tried to ride on high gear, with assisted mount: it feels very hard in the beginning. When I push the pedal, the wheel does not respond instantly as in fixed mode, instead there is a slight delay. This is rather counter-intuitive, took me several attempts to finally get it running. The delay effect is more significant when accelerating (or decelerating), but when riding in a constant speed, it’s less bothering.
Riding on high gear is quite funky. I got many of the old terrifying feelings back, dated back to when I started to learn unicycling. Legs are stressed, I couldn’t have my butt sit tight. I was too afraid to grab the handle bar. The speed is like a 36er, but the wheel feels much heavier, and it’s way less stable than a 36er. When dismounting the wheel has so much inertia that it almost fly away from my hand. After several UPDs, the ride is slowly becoming more manageable.

Riding on low gear after that is funny: I just can’t ride it. Not after a few attempts. My legs are used to the high gear, now they put too much force on the pedals, which leads to an instant UPD. This is also a thing that I have to overcome before I can actually shift from high gear to low gear on the fly.

Shifting seems difficult. I can’t ride one footer, and my studded pedals are very grippy, it’s hard to move my feet. That being said, I had an accidental shift which ended up with a UPD. Will try this another day.

Rode back home on high gear, got 15.2km/h on average. Not very fast by my standard, as I can ride as fast in fixed mode (with crazy cadence tho), but surely I’ll get better.

Oops, I haven’t realized my pedals are still on the 127mm holes until I got home. Guess the 150mm holes will give me a smoother learning curve. Will change them next time.

That’s all for day 1! I’ll get back if I have more progress.


Great write up - love seeing more geared experience crop up here! And looking forward to hearing more about your progress and learning from it too.

150s will make a huge difference.

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Day 3

I moved the pedals to the 150mm crank holes - they are indeed a game changer! On one hand, muscle memory is really a interesting thing, I have to re-adapt to the longer cranks even in low gear; on the other hand it really made the high gear much more accessible. I can now freemount in high gear. The unicycle now rides much alike my 36er (with 125mm cranks).

After a short practice, I went for a 10km ride in the downtown, in high gear only. Traffic is heavy, a lot of red lights. I think this is where a G26 really outshines a 36er. It’s as fast, while having a lower profile and better agility. It was a good ride, not very fast (12.5 km/h avg.), but it proved I can now have the high gear under control.

I tried to practice shifting but it seemed I was wearing wrong shoes. The heels were too soft that they can’t really press the shifting buttons. After the ride I realized I’ve lost one of the buttons, and oh boy they are so expensive!


Day 6

Since I’m still waiting for the shift button to arrive, I’m riding on high gear only these days. I’m getting better on the high gear with 150mm cranks, although I still have a lot of failures when freemounting.

I think it’d be interesting to make a comparison between my high-gear 26" and 36". I rode them on the same 3km commute route:

KH26 High Gear Oracle 36
Cranks 150mm 125mm
Gear Ratio 1:1.5 1:1
Avg. Speed (km/h) 15.6 14.8
Avg. Heart Rate 142 153
Mounting Difficulty ★★☆☆☆ ★★★☆☆
Riding Difficulty ★★★★☆ ★★☆☆☆
Control Difficulty ★★☆☆☆ ★★★☆☆
Fatigue ★★★☆☆ ★★☆☆☆
Second Glances ★★★☆☆ ★★★★★

One thing I find rather intriguing is, although I ride faster and feel more tired on the G26, I’m actually having a higher heart rate on the 36er. Of course this is a one-time sampling comparison with many variables uncontrolled (e.g. traffic). I’ll try to make more scientific comparisons in the future when I’m more familiar with the gears.


I love this comparison example format!

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Yes, that is an excellent way to convey the comparisons. Thank you!

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Thanks for this journal @hillin, I’m really interested in it as I also have a g26 that I’m only slowly getting familiar with, and you’ve already overtaken me in experience and confidence in high gear, after a fraction of the time!
Part of my problem is very little g26 riding time, but what you’re doing that I haven’t is learning to ride the high gear as a separate uni, rather than treating the high gear as an overdrive. For me it’s been about riding 1:1 until I’m on a stretch where there’s room and flatness up ahead to get into overdrive, then spending ages trying to get the button to press, and loving the occasional times when eventually I do and then don’t UPD immediately. So far I have only tried to downshift a couple of times, and never successfully.
Inspired by you and some exchanges with @mindbalance I’m now going to try to learn to freemount and ride the high gear uni as a separate machine, and come back to shifting when I’m more familiar with the whole experience.
So thank you, and I now know which uni I’m taking away with me on a break I have in a week’s time!


Riding on high gear is like you’ve got a brand new unicycle, don’t miss this chance!

Based on my limited experience, downshifting is particularly difficult. When I switch from a 36er to a 20er, I need a minute to rewire my brain, otherwise I can’t even make one successful pedal. Downshifting feels exactly the same.

Day 19

Things haven’t been going very well lately. I had an injury while riding my 36er, so I had to take a break until today. But now that I’m back on my unicycle, I’ve noticed that the 150mm cranks are too long for me. I have small feet and had to ride with the tips to reach the shift buttons, which is obviously not a good idea. So I switched to a pair of 137mm cranks which seem to be a good compromise between 150mm (too long) and 125mm (too hard to control).

Riding and mounting with the 137mm cranks was noticeably more challenging, but I was able to manage after a few minutes of practice. Shifting on the fly is still impossible. For starters, my shoes (Five Ten Freerider) have an extremely grippy sole that makes it difficult to reposition my feet while riding, given I’m still not familiar with riding one footer. The few times I attempted to hit the shifting button, was followed by immediate UPD because of loss of balance or simply panic. Guess I still have a long way to go!


Interesting you do entire rides in high gear, not something I’ve considered at all. Being that the hub’s most prominent feature is allowing you to shift on the go. I can’t mount in high gear either, only tried it a few times and always failed. Never moved from a standstill in high gear off a support either as it almost always ends in a UPD for me.

I’ve only had experience riding a G36 and I’ve always shifted multiple times during a ride both up/down. I currently use short cranks at 125mm but I wonder if I should go back to 150’s and try doing entire rides in high gear. Still some hills would be impossible to ride in high gear so switching just seems the normal thing to do and 150’s are just too long when you need to use low gear.

I’ve always thought of low and high gear being circles with poor overlap between them. The fastest speeds in low gear are hard to maintain while the slowest speed in high gear is similarly hard to do. I’ve sort of gotten around this with shorter cranks to improve the overlap.

Glad to hear you’re enjoying it and I look forward to hearing you progress.


Day 29

I finally managed to upshift on the go successfully for a few times today. As I’m quite familiar with the high gear now, it was actually easier than I thought. When the gears engage, it feels a little bit abrupt but quite controllable. For me the most critical thing is to have a good foot position. When my feet is on the right spot, I can shift in a few revolutions. 137mm is really the shortest crank to both positioning my feet ideally and be able to reach the shift button; so I may eventually go back to 125mm.

Downshifting feels a tad more scary, I’ll still need to work on it. Anyways, being able to upshift is already a great improvement. Let’s see how helpful it would be to my daily commute!


It’s great reading your journal.

And what you’ve said here chimed in nicely with my ride today.

For context I don’t get to ride that often so my warm up to feel OK in high gear takes around 30 mins.

Secondly I think my head/brain is in the way of my geared riding for a while too. But then the worries subside and the muscles take over.

I’ve long been focusing on being super happy in high gear more than shifting up. I’m lucky enough to have Terez (my wife) who is happy to help me mount and will run alongside when in starting out. This helps a lot especially with a G36.

Today’s experience feels very similar to what you’ve said as I was initially feeling cautious and over-thinking the process.

Timid shifting is a no-go in my view :rotating_light: It both caused an on-my-back fall - I was too slow and cautious during the crank freewheel moment, and of course this experience compounded my timidity and “worry” approach.

So today I took a break from trying to shift when I was feeling timid, and just enjoyed high gear.

On the ride back, after a break and deciding to go into 1:1 for a bit - I then felt I was relaxed enough to try again.

But what was key was I focused on the feelings I’d recently had from riding in high - with a forward focused position and clear aim to keep my pedalling fluid and even. They were just in the right position and knew I had it.

The shift happened so easily and required little movement or heel twist. It just clicked and with a mini-jolt I was in the high gear.

When it is this easy and fluid, it’s such a liberating and glorious feeling.


This is totally true! Although it still takes great effort and many attempts for me to shift, I can feel that it’s actually supposed to be a very easy thing to do, you just need to hit the button at the right spot on the right time. The more precise you do it, the more expected the response will be, and in no time you find yourself naturally at another gear. Guess I still need to practise a lot to improve my precision and accuracy.

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Replying here to the above.

I think Moments could be easier as from what I can see the Q factor seems less and the angle is more in a line rather than with the swoop of the Spirits.

I think this could mean that accidental downshifts are more likely with Moments and that Spirits are where they (Kris and Florian) worked to make a crank that was good for shifting - when you want it, but not when you don’t.

My ability to shift up is probably less than yours from what you’ve said - as I can be an over-thinker and have some mental blocks creep in. But yesterday’s shift was very nice because it felt effortless - and so while I think it can be tricky to get the positioning right and be able to click the button, when you do get those things right - the button should move with ease and pretty simple just change gear.

I know that 95% of the difficult I experience is self imposed - as in all the timidity and worry blocking the simplicity of the action itself.

I’m sure you know that some favour a heel shift or an ankle shift. (Clicking sharply with heel, or side sliding / pressing via the ankle).

I think I’m using a mixture, but it did dawn on me that for it to work and not be impactful to my left to right balance, I need the action to take place while peddling and be more of a contraction inwards rather than thinking “twist” / “heel kick”. If I think about those approaches I find it can mess with my balance control.

You are a pizza slicer, cutting cleaning forwards and precisely - a tough olive or piece of sweetcorn isn’t going to bother you as you’re focused… shifting is like pressing down harder to cut the pizza, nothing more.

If you’re able to feel the button passing your shoe or ankle as you pedal round, and then kind of go: 1, 2, Three-Press! - that’s how my shift yesterday went. It was part of pedalling and nothing more.


Thank you very much for sharing your experience.

Maybe they have Schlumpf in mind when designing it, but I think the Spirits cranks are designed like such so it makes clearance for the brake caliper. I definitely love the design, on my other (Nimbus) unis I occasionally hit the crank shoulders when pedaling, that’s a good UDP formula!

I wish I could do heel shift, but it definitely requires great precision and balance control. I imagine it could be done if one can ride one-footer fluently, but I’m still very far away from that. For now I mostly shift with my ankle, but that’s a little bit awkward (especially on the Spirits cranks I think). I have to twist my foot to an unnatural angle, and still have to do the “kick” thing on the right time. Scratching the button, or “inward-contraction” barely work for me; and when it does, most of the time it misaligns with my expectation and there goes another UPD.


Day 100

Things are progressing slowly. I can upshift within a few revs, if I get my feet at a good position. Normally when it does, it goes smoothly without a UPD. The catch here is, it’s rather hard to correctly place my feet. Again I have a pair of small feet, even on a pair of 137mm cranks, I have to put the tip on the pedal to get a good shifting position; but controlled feet movement is still challenging to me - until yesterday. I changed my pedals to a real flat one, no pins, no bumps, purely flat, with only a layer of sand paper for some grip.

This pair of cheap pedals instantly become a game changer. Although they provide much less grip than those with pins, and I did slip one time or two when pedaling hard, I take it as the price because now I can reposition my feet at will, and the shifting is much easier.


I really struggled with foot placement and adjustments until I tried one foot riding. Still a long ways to go to become proficient in one foot riding but a benefit of practicing is my foot placement is now much easier, if not effortless. Dedicating some time to it might yield benefits for your shifting.


I definitely will! I’m just having too many excuses not to atm…

btw I had a few occasional snappy shifts these days. It feels so good when it happens, it’s like the uni resonates with you at that very moment.

Shoes with hard soles such as fiveten help a lot with gear shifting.

And it’s also harder to shift with a pedal that doesn’t grip well.
Several times I thought I had a problem with my hub, but it was the pedals that weren’t gripping.


I started this thread on non pinned pedals and info on some I have tried. It didn’t really get much attention but I think it can help any rider struggling with getting their feet situated after mounting. I like the grippy rubber aposed to sand paper. Good luck.

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