Hi all, I got my 29er from Municycle.com the day before last and I was so surprised at how strange it felt to ride! My other unicycles consist of two freestyle unis with 20" wheels and 125mm cranks, a 19" trials uni with 140s and a 24x3 with 170mms. The 29er has 114mm cranks and it took me several attempts to mount it, not being used to the height, crank length or wheel size, having never even seen a 29er before! Here shouldbe a link to my unis if you’re interested.
Finally I got going and took a ride down the street and found stopping and even slowing down really difficult as I tried jamming “the brakes” on and having the wheel carry on without me down the road. Several times. So I took to slowing down more gradually and getting more and more comfortable with it. I even had flies bouncing off my face and which I found strangely enjoyable (until three successive ones hit me in the eyes) as I never thought it would be something I’d experience on a unicycle.
Tried riding my trials uni immediately after andmy legs have apparently forgotten how to use it. Very embarrasing!
I’ll hopefully go for my first man-sized ride soon!
Anyway, I thought I’d share losing my 29er cherry with you all and take my hat off to all coker riders. I’ve read a lot of coker reports on these forums and often thought “surely it can’t be that hard”- now I take it back, I don’t know how you do it and have a huge amount of respect for all those that can!
I’ve had my 29er for two proper rides now, the first a long but straightforward cruise and the second a proper off-road excursion. It’s been blummin’ brilliant so far. Being able to keep up with the bikes (or even go faster than, on some hills) is great, and you can go that much further from the car park than on a 24".
I had my first proper falling-off-faster-than-I-can-run incident on the last ride. Coming down a hill I lost control over a lump, tried to run out of it but couldn’t keep up and nearly dived headlong into a big muddy puddle…
It’s got 125mm cranks on it at the moment; I’m going to try 150s to see if it’s any easier to go up steep bumpy hills with them.
Wait till you try a Coker. You ain’t seen nothin’ yet. I just got my 29er yesterday, and the wheel feels light as a feather compared to the Coker! This is for offroading, as I prepare for the 24 hour race this weekend. My Coker currently has 170s on it. This makes it just barely tolerable on the uphills, good on the downhills, and cruisin’ fast on the flats.
The 29er came with the 160s I asked for. I will experiment with those and probably 150s for this event. It really depends how hilly the course is. It’s supposed to end with a 4-mile climb…
After that, I will start putting shorter cranks on the 29er in preparation for racing it. I may try riding it to work with super-short cranks. I’ll keep you updated on my progress.
Yea, the Coker is an interesting unicycle to come back to after taking a break for like 5 months.
I have been riding my 26x3.0 MUni with 170mm cranks for a while and it was a very different feeling to get back onto the Coker. It took four or five tries to get back into the groove with the 150mm cranks. Mounting the coker and then getting use to the cranks proved difficult.
I’ve been switching back and forth between 125s and 102s on my 29er, and IMO a 29er with 102 cranks and a big apple tire behaves more like a small Coker than anything else. It certainly has some differences, but you get the same feeling MikeFule described recently of shared control with the unicycle.
Incidentally, I’ve decided to use 125s rather than 102s for offroad. I wouldn’t want to go much longer than that, or else it defeats the purpose of the unicycle. If I need a lot of leverage, I’ll take my 24x3.
Each course will call for its own uni-characteristics. How much flat, how much hilly… I ride roads and flatish offroad with 125s. But had dramatically better overall times on our 6.5 mile Tour d’Wolf MB course by switching to 150s. Slower in the flats but could negotiate more of the uphills and downhills remaining in the saddle. Drastically fewer UPDs (and therefore remounts). But then, there are courses around here I’d never attempt with the Niner. Waaaay too steep.
Survey. Think. Adjust and tweek as necessary. Have fun.
I always thought of the 29er as really more like a 24/26" unicycle than a Coker. So I didn’t really have much interest. But I discovered a great use for it. In the last 24 hour race, after I had completed 15 laps on the Coker, I tried one on a 29er with 152mm cranks. It felt great! It is so much lighter and easier to turn than a Coker - and that difference is greatly magnified when you are completely hammered from riding for 15 hours straight!
I don’t think you ever want longer than 152mm (and only that for steep offroad). But it is a great feeling - it goes over obstacles, up steep parts, and cruises on the flat reasonably well.
I’ve also ridden a 29er with 102mm cranks on the road and it is a nice feeling, but I prefer the Coker w/120 to 130mm.
Nathan - If you’ve not yet tried a Big Apple tyre, I’d recommend having another go with that setup (big apple+short cranks). It’s way different to any other 29er/700c tyre I’ve used. I haven’t ridden my coker since I got it.
About crank length, I’d say 114mm isn’t that short if you’re staying on road. Off road 125s are nice. Those crank sizes might not be good instantly, but ride it every day for a bit and you’ll soon get used to the power needed to stop quickly.
Joe, I have tried the Big Apple on the 29er and it is great on the road. My wife has used it quite a bit. I haven’t tried it offroad. I was using a Nanoraptor in that race. I was pleasantly surprised with the 29er in that race, but the previous time I tried a 29er (Nanoraptor and 140mm cranks) was not so great. I was doing a dirt road climb that climbs 2300’ in 4.5 miles and it just was too steep for me. The 24x3 with 170mm cranks is perfect for that ride.
Sounds like I’ll be putting the 150s on my 29er for the 24 hour race this weekend. The tire is a Nanoraptor. The Big Apple is probably not a great offroad tire as it has very low profile tread. I’m sure it’s fine for non-technical riding though. I’ll want to try one later on.
After the 24 hours, the 150s are coming off and I’ll be experimenting with various much shorter lengths. I want to find the best length for a 100m sprint (probably around 125) and a shorter length for the 1500 and my commute to work. That will probably be 102 or shorter. I think I have a pair of 89s, and also a homemade pair of Japanese racing cranks that are 70mm or less. they look like something from a cartoon! With those I’ll be able to go but not stop…
I’ve tried 125mm and 29’er off-road…doesn’t work for me. There’s just no leverage and every bump takes a lot of effort to compensate. I like the 150mm cranks and 29’er for most MUNI rides. Quick and light setup. If the course is less technical I think 150’s and Coker are the way to go.
Nathan- I like the Nanos but having now tried the Moto’s for off-road I don’t think I could go back. The Motoraptors stick to everything like velcro!