new uni...should I get a Sem?

Hey everybody,

I’m a new unicyclist who traded a set of used juggling clubs for a new Savage
unicycle (the kind you can get from an ordinary bike shop, which is why many
beginners probably have these), and taught myself to ride in the past three
weeks. I’m not a good unicyclist yet, but even so I’ve come to the conclusion
that the people responsible for designing Savage unicycles have never ridden a
unicycle themselves. You probably all know this, but here’s the list of
problems I’ve had:

  1. The metal seat guards do absolutely nothing to protect the seat - they’d
    need to be set out from the seat aome to help there.
  2. The quick-release seat post adjustment seems to the innocent bystander to be
    a plus (all the bicycles have them now, why not unicycles?). Unfortunately,
    the average male weightlifter couldn’t tighten it enough to keep the seat
    from twisting when the uni falls - a common occurence for new unicyclers.
  3. The seat is mounted onto the seat post with a single bolt parallel to the
    axle, which can be adjusted. Again, to the innocent bystander this seems to
    be a benefit - more adjustments, better comfort, right? Wrong. Keeping this
    bolt tight is also a problem, and with the seat tilting to different angles
    it becomes hard to ride.
  4. I guess no unicycle seat is as confortable as a La-Z-boy, but this seat is
    exceedingly uncomfortable. This could also be due partly to the fact that I
    am a beginner, and thus do more side to side “tacking” than more experienced
    unicyclists, but the front of the seat seems to be too wide. I get a lot of
    chafing on my inner thighs from the pedaling motion, and its really quite
    painful after 30-45 min of riding.
  5. To protect the seat, one of the first things I taught myself was how to
    catch the unicycle when I fell. Unfortunately, the bumper gaurds are mounted
    on bolts, since they’re metal, and they started tearing up my fingers. I’ve
    started taping them to get around that.

So all of this comes down to a warning - Savage unicycles suck. I couldn’t hate
mine more even if it had a really abrasive personality. And I’m also creeping
ever closer to shelling out the $180 for a Sem
XL. Can’t afford any of the more expensive Miyata’s or Sems. What do you guys
think? Is it worth the money, or will I be dissatisfied with this one too?

I guess the Savage is kind of like the Jugglebug of Unicycles. Except Jugglebug
makes unicycles too… Jugglebug seems to pride itself on making the crappiest
props of anyone.

Thanks, Luke

Re: [new uni…should I get a Sem?]

I think you’ll be pretty happy with a sem XL. There are a couple of other
alternatives too.

There are unicycles out there available from bike shops which are a definite
step up from the savage. Notice that all your complaints pretty much center
around the seat (my first seat was a savage, I feel your pain:-) There is a
similar no-name model to the savage out there except it has a Viscount seat
(read MUCH more comfortable). You could buy one of these no-namers or simply buy
a new seat post, a decent quick release and a viscount seat (all available from
http://www.unicyclesource.com/ ). This is a relatively cheap upgrade which will
make a world of difference.

In the mean time you may like to do some of the following.

-Set the metal crash bars out further. To do this loosen the bolts where they
are attached, push the bar out and tighten the bolts again. This is a temporary
solution and will need to be repeated fairly often.

-Replace the quick release. In my experience the quick releases that come with
unicycles are crappier than anything you can buy. A $5 quick release is
usually a vast improvement. You want one that tightens with a hinge arm rather
than by turning.

-Find some nuts with circular dome tops. These save your fingers quite nicely.
If the bolt is long you will need to put another nut or washer on first as
obviously a covered nut can’t screw in very far!

Luke Currano <lcurrano@glue.umd.edu> wrote: Hey everybody,

I’m a new unicyclist who traded a set of used juggling clubs for a new Savage
unicycle (the kind you can get from an ordinary bike shop, which is why many
beginners probably have these), and taught myself to ride in the past three
weeks. I’m not a good unicyclist yet, but even so I’ve come to the conclusion
that the people responsible for designing Savage unicycles have never ridden a
unicycle themselves. You probably all know this, but here’s the list of
problems I’ve had:

  1. The metal seat guards do absolutely nothing to protect the seat - they’d
    need to be set out from the seat aome to help there.
  2. The quick-release seat post adjustment seems to the innocent bystander to be
    a plus (all the bicycles have them now, why not unicycles?). Unfortunately,
    the average male weightlifter couldn’t tighten it enough to keep the seat
    from twisting when the uni falls - a common occurence for new unicyclers.
  3. The seat is mounted onto the seat post with a single bolt parallel to the
    axle, which can be adjusted. Again, to the innocent bystander this seems to
    be a benefit - more adjustments, better comfort, right? Wrong. Keeping this
    bolt tight is also a problem, and with the seat tilting to different angles
    it becomes hard to ride.
  4. I guess no unicycle seat is as confortable as a La-Z-boy, but this seat is
    exceedingly uncomfortable. This could also be due partly to the fact that I
    am a beginner, and thus do more side to side “tacking” than more experienced
    unicyclists, but the front of the seat seems to be too wide. I get a lot of
    chafing on my inner thighs from the pedaling motion, and its really quite
    painful after 30-45 min of riding.
  5. To protect the seat, one of the first things I taught myself was how to
    catch the unicycle when I fell. Unfortunately, the bumper gaurds are mounted
    on bolts, since they’re metal, and they started tearing up my fingers. I’ve
    started taping them to get around that.

So all of this comes down to a warning - Savage unicycles suck. I couldn’t hate
mine more even if it had a really abrasive personality. And I’m also creeping
ever closer to shelling out the $180 for a Sem
XL. Can’t afford any of the more expensive Miyata’s or Sems. What do you guys
think? Is it worth the money, or will I be dissatisfied with this one too?

I guess the Savage is kind of like the Jugglebug of Unicycles. Except Jugglebug
makes unicycles too… Jugglebug seems to pride itself on making the crappiest
props of anyone.

Thanks, Luke

o o Peter Bier o O o Juggler, unicyclist and mathematician.
o/|\o peter_bier@usa.net


Get free email and a permanent address at http://www.netaddress.com/?N=1

RE: new uni…should I get a Sem?

> been riding 3-4 weeks, I was constantly re-tightening bolts., etc. but now (on
> the same uni) I never need to – everything about your unicycling technique
> will become more and more refined, and you become much less harsh on the cycle
> as a result… in every way. Not just whether it drops or is caught, but even
> how much weight you have on your pedals vs the seat… as you progress you
> will find you are able to relax your legs more and take strain off the cranks
> (and knees).

Everything he says is true, and good advice.

But I’ve been riding 20 years, and the Savage seats still suck! Bad design can’t
be cured by improved riding technique.

The sick thing is that virtually the same seats have been available since the
70’s. The metal bumpers were added in the 80’s, but from a design standpoint
it’s just sticking bubble gum to bailing wire. Those seats are much too wide in
front (especially for kids), and can’t handle drops. Other seats have annoying
bolts in the bottom so I won’t go there. At least those Savage seats have a good
“handle” to grip in their hollow underside.

The other main weak point on the Savage is the lollipop bearing. If you have the
kind where the bolts come in from the side, and are screwed into the round frame
tubing with little surface contact, that’s the bad kind.

The other components on your unicycle are probably similar to what you would
find on other Taiwan unicycles, including the Sem XL. With care, they will
hold up well.

But those seats… ! I’d splurge and get a Miyata (seat, if you can’t afford
the rest of it).

Stay on top, John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone http://www.unicycling.com

“Riding a unicycle has NOTHING to do with physics.” - Quentin Hilpert, engineer,
reminding beginning adults to stop analyzing and ride!

Re: new uni…should I get a Sem?

many of those unicycles are made by the same company so they’re all sort of the
same. Also consider a Schwinn - they’re darn near indestructible. and
unicycle.com is carrying them now. Brian Berlin

Luke Currano <lcurrano@glue.umd.edu> wrote in message
news:393FED4A.B678811@glue.umd.edu
> Hey everybody,
>
> I’m a new unicyclist who traded a set of used juggling clubs for a new Savage
> unicycle (the kind you can get from an ordinary bike shop, which is why many
> beginners probably have these), and taught myself to ride in the past three
> weeks. I’m not a good unicyclist yet, but even so I’ve come to the conclusion
> that the people responsible for designing Savage unicycles have never ridden a
> unicycle themselves. You probably all know this, but here’s the list of
> problems I’ve had:
>
> 1. The metal seat guards do absolutely nothing to protect the seat - they’d
> need to be set out from the seat aome to help there.
> 2. The quick-release seat post adjustment seems to the innocent bystander to
> be a plus (all the bicycles have them now, why not unicycles?).
> Unfortunately, the average male weightlifter couldn’t tighten it enough to
> keep the seat from twisting when the uni falls - a common occurence for
> new unicyclers.
> 3. The seat is mounted onto the seat post with a single bolt parallel to the
> axle, which can be adjusted. Again, to the innocent bystander this seems
> to be a benefit - more adjustments, better comfort, right? Wrong. Keeping
> this bolt tight is also a problem, and with the seat tilting to different
> angles it becomes hard to ride.
> 4. I guess no unicycle seat is as confortable as a La-Z-boy, but this seat is
> exceedingly uncomfortable. This could also be due partly to the fact that
> I am a beginner, and thus do more side to side “tacking” than more
> experienced unicyclists, but the front of the seat seems to be too wide. I
> get a lot of chafing on my inner thighs from the pedaling motion, and its
> really quite painful after 30-45 min of riding.
> 5. To protect the seat, one of the first things I taught myself was how to
> catch the unicycle when I fell. Unfortunately, the bumper gaurds are
> mounted on bolts, since they’re metal, and they started tearing up my
> fingers. I’ve started taping them to get around that.
>
> So all of this comes down to a warning - Savage unicycles suck. I couldn’t
> hate mine more even if it had a really abrasive personality. And I’m also
> creeping ever closer to shelling out the $180 for a Sem
> XL. Can’t afford any of the more expensive Miyata’s or Sems. What do you guys
> think? Is it worth the money, or will I be dissatisfied with this one
> too?
>
> I guess the Savage is kind of like the Jugglebug of Unicycles. Except
> Jugglebug makes unicycles too… Jugglebug seems to pride itself on making the
> crappiest props of anyone.
>
> Thanks, Luke

Re: new uni…should I get a Sem?

Nah,

I suggest that the gear you’ve got is perfectly adequate (unless it is
absolutely constantly malfunctioning!)

I’ve only been riding for 3 months, so similar experiences and issues to those
you have listed are recent memories to me. I found that when I had been riding
3-4 weeks, I was constantly re-tightening bolts., etc. but now (on the same uni)
I never need to – everything about your unicycling technique will become more
and more refined, and you become much less harsh on the cycle as a result… in
every way. Not just whether it drops or is caught, but even how much weight you
have on your pedals vs the seat… as you progress you will find you are able to
relax your legs more and take strain off the cranks (and knees).

I, too, found that my fingers took a bit of a beating from the bolts under the
seat (a friend of mine put tape over those bolts, on his uni), but as I said
everything constantly becomes more and more refined as you progress, this will
include becoming more deft and controlled with your dismount + seat grab. In a
few weeks, your riding will be refined enough for the things that now trouble
(like seat-twisting) to be virtually a thing of the past!

I do recommend taping the ends of the seat – I’ve found it still very
occasionally gets dropped. Taped seat ends are good for when someone else asks
to try!!! :slight_smile:

I have an el-cheapo (not one of the “big name”) brands, and it will be a long
while before I feel I have “outgrown” it. And now that I am beyond the stage of
giving it a total battering with each practise session, I don’t think it is
going to fall to bits in a hurry either.

Regards,

Cazz

> Hey everybody,
>
> I’m a new unicyclist who traded a set of used juggling clubs for a new Savage
> unicycle (the kind you can get from an ordinary bike shop, which is why many
> beginners probably have these), and taught myself to ride in the past three
> weeks. I’m not a good unicyclist yet, but even so I’ve come to the conclusion
> that the people responsible for designing Savage unicycles have never ridden a
> unicycle themselves. You probably all know this, but here’s the list of
> problems I’ve had:
>
> 1. The metal seat guards do absolutely nothing to protect the seat - they’d
> need to be set out from the seat aome to help there.
> 2. The quick-release seat post adjustment seems to the innocent bystander to
> be a plus (all the bicycles have them now, why not unicycles?).
> Unfortunately, the average male weightlifter couldn’t tighten it enough to
> keep the seat from twisting when the uni falls - a common occurence for
> new unicyclers.
> 3. The seat is mounted onto the seat post with a single bolt parallel to the
> axle, which can be adjusted. Again, to the innocent bystander this seems
> to be a benefit - more adjustments, better comfort, right? Wrong. Keeping
> this bolt tight is also a problem, and with the seat tilting to different
> angles it becomes hard to ride.
> 4. I guess no unicycle seat is as confortable as a La-Z-boy, but this seat is
> exceedingly uncomfortable. This could also be due partly to the fact that
> I am a beginner, and thus do more side to side “tacking” than more
> experienced unicyclists, but the front of the seat seems to be too wide. I
> get a lot of chafing on my inner thighs from the pedaling motion, and its
> really quite painful after 30-45 min of riding.
> 5. To protect the seat, one of the first things I taught myself was how to
> catch the unicycle when I fell. Unfortunately, the bumper gaurds are
> mounted on bolts, since they’re metal, and they started tearing up my
> fingers. I’ve started taping them to get around that.
>
> So all of this comes down to a warning - Savage unicycles suck. I couldn’t
> hate mine more even if it had a really abrasive personality. And I’m also
> creeping ever closer to shelling out the $180 for a Sem
> XL. Can’t afford any of the more expensive Miyata’s or Sems. What do you guys
> think? Is it worth the money, or will I be dissatisfied with this one
> too?
>
> I guess the Savage is kind of like the Jugglebug of Unicycles. Except
> Jugglebug makes unicycles too… Jugglebug seems to pride itself on making the
> crappiest props of anyone.
>
> Thanks, Luke

Re: new uni…should I get a Sem?

On Thu, 08 Jun 2000, Luke Currano wrote:

>I’m a new unicyclist who traded a set of used juggling clubs for a new Savage
>unicycle (the kind you can get from an ordinary bike shop, which is why many
>beginners probably have these), and taught myself to ride in the past three
>weeks. I’m not a good unicyclist yet, but even so I’ve come to the conclusion
>that the people responsible for designing Savage unicycles have never ridden a
>unicycle themselves. You probably all know this, but here’s the list of
>problems I’ve had:

Yeah, I have one of those too. Mine was monikered “Summit” but it’s the
same beastie.

>1. The metal seat guards do absolutely nothing to protect the seat - they’d
> need to be set out from the seat aome to help there.

Yep! And after they’ve hit the ground a few times, they get rough and further
scar up your hands when trying to catch the seat.

What I did on mine was take a hand towel and tape it over the entire seat
assembly (crash bars included) while I was learning. A couple of layers of duct
tape around the ends kept it in place pretty securely and it kept the seat from
getting totally ripped up as I clumbsily learned.

After I took the towel off (when crashes were less frequent), I cut a piece of
automotive fuel hose (rubber reinforced with cloth fiber) to fit over the
crash bars and used zip ties to hold it on. This arrangement has worked really
well, and the unicycle is over a year old now and I’m still riding on the
original seat.

>2. The quick-release seat post adjustment seems to the innocent bystander to
> be a plus (all the bicycles have them now, why not unicycles?).
> Unfortunately, the average male weightlifter couldn’t tighten it enough to
> keep the seat from twisting when the uni falls - a common occurence for new
> unicyclers.
>3. The seat is mounted onto the seat post with a single bolt parallel to the
> axle, which can be adjusted. Again, to the innocent bystander this seems to
> be a benefit - more adjustments, better comfort, right? Wrong. Keeping this
> bolt tight is also a problem, and with the seat tilting to different angles
> it becomes hard to ride.

I had that problem too, but over time, with repeated tightenings, it finally
seemed to stick. I haven’t had to mess with the seat end bolts in probably
9-10 months.

I even use the quick release adjustment now when I let other people try my
unicycle. Makes it easy for them to give it a quick go, since I’m fairly tall
and keep my seat high.

>4. I guess no unicycle seat is as confortable as a La-Z-boy, but this seat is
> exceedingly uncomfortable. This could also be due partly to the fact that I
> am a beginner, and thus do more side to side “tacking” than more
> experienced unicyclists, but the front of the seat seems to be too wide. I
> get a lot of chafing on my inner thighs from the pedaling motion, and its
> really quite painful after 30-45 min of riding.

You’ll love it when those nifty crash bars are bent outward a bit (from being
dropped) and grab your thigh as you dismount. Ouch!

>5. To protect the seat, one of the first things I taught myself was how to
> catch the unicycle when I fell. Unfortunately, the bumper gaurds are
> mounted on bolts, since they’re metal, and they started tearing up my
> fingers. I’ve started taping them to get around that.

Wear gloves while you’re learning. It helps to keep your hands from getting torn
up on other things you grab for support too…

>So all of this comes down to a warning - Savage unicycles suck. I couldn’t hate
>mine more even if it had a really abrasive personality.

I’m not that hard on mine. It’s been ok for what I got it for, to try something
new. Now that I’ve found how much I enjoy unicycling, I want to upgrade it. I’ll
probably keep the Savage/Summit to let friends try, since it’s easy to adjust
the seat height.

>And I’m also creeping ever closer to shelling out the $180 for a Sem
>XL. Can’t afford any of the more expensive Miyata’s or Sems. What do you guys
> think? Is it worth the money, or will I be dissatisfied with this one too?

Can’t answer that one. I did get a Coker for Christmas and it’s been fun. I
haven’t been as pleased with the Viscount seat as I’d hoped though. It’s shape
is about a million times better, comfort wise, but it seems harder and hurts me
from underneath after awhile. Plus, the front of it doesn’t extend far enough
forward for me to be able to grab it for seating adjustments, or when riding
over something rough. This has been inconvenient. As much as the Summit seat is
uncomfortable at times, it offers a really good handle to grip while you’re
riding, making quick adjustments very easy.

I’ll probably go for a Miyata when I get another smaller unicycle. I’ve been
debating between another 24" or a 20" for some time now. Since I don’t have any
funds for it, I have plenty of time to think about it.

Good luck on your decision!

Greg

Re: new uni…should I get a Sem?

i wouldnt go for a sem cause they bend easily id get a miyata instead

Re: new uni…should I get a Sem?

I say go for it. I’ve had my Sem Deluxe for 2 years now and I love it. Going
from a Savage will be like driving a Geo Metro and then moving up to a Cadillac.
You won’t be sorry you upgraded.

-Mike UniChef.com www.unichef.com unichef@unichef.com

----- Original Message -----

Sent: Monday, June 12, 2000 11:32 PM Subject: Re: new uni…should I get a Sem?

> On Thu, 08 Jun 2000, Luke Currano wrote:
>
>
> >And I’m also creeping ever closer to shelling out the $180 for a Sem
> >XL. Can’t afford any of the more expensive Miyata’s or Sems. What do you
> > guys think? Is it worth the money, or will I be dissatisfied with this
> > one too?