N00b tries to transition to the 29....hilarity ensues.

OK…before tonight I was happy on the 24. I could freemount easily, ride for miles, turn on a dime, take hills no prob, and even roll over unimproved gravel road. Then I got greedy. I wanted it all. I flew to close to the sun and got burned…I tried to ride the Big Wheel.
My new KH 29 arrived this week so I took it down to the parking garage for a twirl. I figured I’d at least be able to do a few laps. Wrong! At the beginning of what would end up being a 1.5-hour session, I could only ride shaky straight lines. By the end, I was doing multiple laps of the garage, but damn it felt WEIRD! Did I move up too quickly? I guess for now I’ll keep tryiing to acclimate to the biggie…I just hope it won’t be too long before unicycling is fun again. :thinking:

BTW: I gave my 13-yr-old nephew a starter unicycle last week after he’d seen me ride and asked for one. Three days later (!) the little brat was freemounting and riding alongside me, doing after three days what it took me a whole month to do. I didn’t know whether to hug him or throw my water bottle into his spokes! urrrgghh!
Actually, I couldn’t be happier or more proud. I’m also grateful to have someone to ride with regularly. And if he keeps learning at this rate, within a week or so, Ill have also created my own personal coach. Yay! :wink:

The younger they are, the less experience they have. When I say experience, I mean experience hurting themselves. I think one of the big obstacles in learning to ride is confidence, at least it was for me. The older you are, the more “experience” you have hurting yourself, the more you’re going to focus on how much it will hurt if/when you screw it up. Good for him figuring it out in three days, especially to freemount! Glad you have someone to ride with.

I bet you after your next ride, or possibly the one after that, you’ll have that 29 in the bag! I just got my 26" last week after learning on my 20" for four months, first ride was wonky, second ride was a little better, and third ride was pure bliss! I could actually ride somewhere! :smiley:

Hey YooNeeNoob
Congrats on the new 29", and having a riding buddy. :slight_smile: Sounds like you’re gonna have fun :smiley:
I’m wiith ramakenzie, Kiddies seem to pick things up quicker, they’re more fearless :sunglasses:

A 29" requires a different riding style, more speed/faster cadence, less sudden balance adjustment, more centered and “calm”.

Try dropping your seat a bit until you get comfortable, and maybe vary the tire pressure a bit, so higher psi to make it “twitchier” and lower psi to make it less twitchy.

I had the same problem the first time I jumped to a 29", didn’t give it enough time, went back to the 29" a year later and it is now my standard muni/DH ride.

Your next step is a 36er, now there’s some fun!

I was about to say, when I heard the OP call the 29er “the big wheel”, that term is reserved for a 36er.

My experience was different. Of course I do everything ass backwards but I started out on a 36er (well, I should say “restarted” after a 30 year hiatus because I actually “started” on a 20" beater in grade school) so the big wheel was really all I ever knew. Distance touring (on the road) is still my primary discipline but I’ve really taken to MUni as of late. I started with a 26" Oracle and now I have a KH29 which is officially my favorite unicycle to ride right now. There is nothing like coming home after a long 36er ride and grabbing my KH29 for a short trip around the neighborhood sidewalks. It’s just so darn light!

Thanks for the very helpful replies, everyone. I’m definitely gonna stick with the 29 (apologies for the “Big Wheel” heresy) because even when I was wobbling along last night, I could definitely feel the potential for enormous speed gains. Just gotta focus on taming this beast, heh.
–cheers :wink:

When I started up with a 29er I logged about 20 miles before I felt as comfortable on it as I did on the smaller wheels.

Just give it a few more sessions/hours and you won’t want to go back to the slooooooooooow wheels.

Stick with it, it will be fun very soon!

That was a pretty ambitious first ride :smiley:

Second workout went a little better. Had an hour to kill after work, and even though I was tired, I managed to hold to my “little bit of uni every day” rule. During the hour, I actually rode away from about 25% of free mount attempts (yay!). Mounting this thing is actually alot easier than I thought it would be–not all that different from the 24, happily.
Turns still feel odd, but far less so than when I first threw a leg over this whale. Really looking forward to getting the hang of it. Thanks for the encouragment, uni-riders! :wink:

OK, I no longer fear The Whale. ;);):wink: During my third session, freemount success percentage went to over 50% and I figured out how to turn–the technique is weird. Is it my imagination, or am I actually setting up my turns by slightly counter-steering just like on a motorcycle? It seems necessary in order to control the larger mass of the 29" muni wheel. In any case, riding the larger uni is a blast, and the build quality of the KH is impressive. I can’t belive how light / strong this thing is. Tomorrow I’ll head out on the open road for the first time and open up this bomb.
I have a couple of questions, though, if anyone has time…
One of the things I really liked doing on the 24 was tooling around in tight places like parking lots, garages, etc. At this point, it’s hard to imagine throwing the new, huge wheel into tight turns easily, but I’m hoping this ability will come with practice. Any general thoughts on the maneuverability of the 29 muni setup compared with my standard Nimbus 24?
Also, it seems most of the long-time riders have multiple wheels in their stables. I’ve completely stopped riding the 24 while I get accustomed to the 29. It seems that switching back and forth would be confusing to my n00b legs. Does this get easy eventually?

Thanks very much in advance!

Hey YooNeeNoob
Have fun out on the road tomorrow, be carefull you hear :smiley:

I’ve retired my 29" for the time being :(, but I do remember it was easier to manouver than my 24" muni.
It used to take me quite a while to go from one uni size to another but maybe it is easier for those riders with more experience. Could be something to do with seat height on each uni :thinking:

When I ordered my KH29, I separately ordered a BA tire to go with it. The tire showed up first, and looked huge, causing me quite a bit of doubt and building up my fears until the uni arrived.

Then I got to riding the 29er, until it no longer feels big at all.

Same sort of transition process when I got the 36er, although I must admit it still seems pretty big to me.

The 29er now feels very light and incredibly nimble, where smaller wheels just feel twitchy and unstable.

Keep at it, nothing but fun ahead!

Also re switching wheels: the more you do it, the easier the transitions. However, I don’t think it’s a bad idea to just stick with the 29 while you’re getting used to it.

Thx Alucard. I take it, then, that the easier 29 was a regular road tire? If so, are muni tires just inherently tougher to handle?

Seat height: wow. you just reminded me of something that should have been obvious–the height of one’s seat, as measured from the ground, will naturally vary with wheel size, even though seat-to-hub distance should be constant. No wonder my seat felt a tad low. Might have to make an adjustment here.
Thanks! :wink:

Ah…very cool. Thx for confirming my intuitions on this point. :slight_smile:

My 29” has a BA, as now does my 26".
My 24” has a 3" tyre as does my 20" (ycnhtmu’s).
Maybe it is the type of tyre as you say, As I also find it easier to turn on my 26" than my 20" :o :thinking:
When I turn a corner my uni and bum/legs go around in one direction and my torso goes the other, bit like a corkscrew. Looks a bit daft, but I seldom fall off.


…exactly what I needed to hear. Thx TONS! :smiley:

Very grateful for the advice A & U. If I may, here’s one more question:
This KH 29 arrived shod with what seems to me to be a very large muni tire (“tyre,” Alucard, heh.). This thing is quite knobby and would, I’m sure, be perfect for off-road. I plan to ride this thing more or less exclusively on-road. Is this a bad idea? I don’t mind taking time to get used to the knobs, and I kind of like the idea that this thing is ready for anything the road might throw at me, but for my intended purpose–commuting, touring–should I consider more street-friendly rubber?

Thanks gain for all your help!:o

For primarily road use, yes I’d recommend a smoother, narrower tire. Lots of other info on 29er tires in other threads. I think general consensus is that a Schwalbe Big Apple (aka BA) tire in 29x2.0 is a good choice (better than 2.35), and the Marathon Supreme is probably even better (although I’ve been too cheap to get one). I’ve been very happy with the BA 2.0; and it does have enough grip for light gravel use, so good for versatility.