Nimbus 32 oracle

Has anyone had a chance to ride the Oracle 32 inch yet? Thinking about getting it for my wife and need some review action!

For What?

Not that I’ve actually ridden one, but it should be risk-free in terms of quality. The Oracle is proven, the Nightrider tire is proven, and even the 32" format has had enough early adopters who have tried it with good results that I think it’s a safe bet, and probably a great choice for a smaller rider.

I think my question would be how she plans to use it. If you plan to both jump on a uni, you comfortable on a 36 and her comfortable on a 32, isn’t she inherently about 10% slower than you, getting frustrated trying to keep up?

What’s the natural speed difference between a 32 and a 36?

My fiancé got one recently to ride road with me. I’m working on a full review. Like he said, it’s risk free, unless you’re worried about the wheel size vs others in terms of speed

I got mine and had a short 10km ride with it. Very easy to handle at 22km/h. Will ride it with shorter cranks than 125 to compare. One issue on my frame, I informed Roger, don’t know if specific to my frame or common to whole production batch. I don’t like the saddle, too babana shape and not compatible with KH T-bar

The diameter/radius has a linear relationship with the circumference. So at the same cadence it’s exactly 32:36, which means the 32" wheel reaches about 88.9% of the velocity of the 36" wheel.

That said, the difference is not as great as you might think. I found that my maximum cadence on the 36" is lower than on 26" so that the top speeds are not that different. I think I have a natural inhibition that keeps me from going much faster than I can run out of a UPD.

and it dépends on crank length as well

Great wheel size.

I built a 32" wheel and installed it in my 36" KH frame. So I don’t actually have an oracle, but I do have the wheel.

I have to say, I absolutely love my 32. Compared to the 36 it is MUCH easier to mount. Right now I’m running 125mm cranks and I’m having no issues with various mounts, even when on a slight incline or gravel.

As was pointed out already, my cadence and confidence on the 32 is higher than the 36er so the top speed difference is nominal. In fact, even though I’ve been riding a 36er for about 4 years, I routinely set PRs on the 32 that were previously set on the 36.

One of my constant issues with the 36 is road camber… it tends to pull downhill. I have not had any issues with road camber on the 32.

Road camber was the main reason I went from a nimbus 36 tire to the Todd at least a couple of years ago.

I just did a 38 mile trail ride (XC, not single track) with 2400’ of elevation (yesterday) and again, I set a PR on an 18 mile stretch of that ride.

I’m not sure I’ll ever go back to the 36" wheel size. I’m not that good of a rider that I even benefit from the increased size.

So would you say the 32" is better than the 36" because it is easier to mount and the 29" inch because it goes faster?

Yesterday I just changed the cranks to 150mm again on the 29". Had been riding with 127mm for several months, and even though it was slower, it made it super easy to mount.
Maybe when the time comes I will also buy the 32". Gotta have all wheel sizes right.

I’d like to add that I built up a 32" wheel for my 36er frame with a Kent wheel and the experience was nothing short of absolutely amazing.

I love the wheel size. It’s nimble but has plenty of rollover ability.

I’m keeping mine through the season and if I still like it it’ll be off to the powder coaters this winter to be cemented into my collection with a custom paint job.

Do you use it for a 36er muni replacement, or is it a road machine? (Or both?)

I considered ordering a custom 32" frame for 100mm bearings, so that I could fit my Schlumpf in it one day.
But is there any good reason for having 32" frame instead of using 36" one?

Muni.

Anymore the road is for my bike (sadly).

A 32" frame would be better if one happened to be a little too short for a 36’r, since the frame legs are slightly shorter.
I have my 32" wheel in a KH36 frame, and the only ones that notice the mis-match are the experienced riders. It’s an older frame with Magura mounts, so I had to make adapters to make the brake pads meet the rim properly.
I like it and ride it all the time. Road riding only. (I rode it XC once, on Rob’s Ride, but that was the only time.)
How it compares to a 36" for speed is kind of subjective. I’m a slow rider, so I tend to lag behind no matter what (even fast riders on smaller wheels are faster than me). I have a Schlumpf hub, so I can speed up if I want, and I can keep up with a slow-to-moderate-speed bike (i.e., my wife) on the flats. But when I ride with my friend Tim Lovasen with his 36", he kindly waits for me. But he’s a pretty strong rider. So I think it really depends on the individual. If you run shorts cranks and have a fast cadence, you’ll keep up with most 36’rs, IMHO. (And I think this size makes a very good candidate for a geared hub.)

Overall I think its main benefit is the handling and maneuverability, compared to the 36". I think it’s similar to the 29" in this regard.

Cheers! :slight_smile:

The biggest reason for me to have 32" is that I have uni wardrobe and it is not deep enough for 36", but it should fit 32" :wink:

http://unicyclist.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1670057#post1670057 A quick review.

Here’s a size comparison video I made. I was going to put the review itself in the video too… but as you can see I don’t own good video equipment.

2 Likes

I’ve finally built the 32" uni and I’ve collected my short experience on my blog:

wow 35km/h on the G32, that is fast.
I’m on my 5th ride on the G36 but am still working on having big enough balls to let me lean forward enough to go at 30km/h and beyond.

On my very first test ride I hit 30.7 km/h but I’m so scared to have a upd at theses speeds that I think I restrain myself.
To go faster I have to put my balance point a bit further forward, so that I “feel” myself falling forward, then it becomes easy enough to pedal faster and to hit t he 30km/h barrier.

I often hit about 29km/h, but there’s always something that prevents me from going faster, like front wind, false flat, or just the fear, but I progressively learn to trust this geared giant unicycle, I find that it behaves in a more natural and predictable way in high gear that when my geared hub was on smaller wheels (G26, G26+, Then G29+).
Like you I only have one schlumpf hub.

Of course I have 150s cranks on the G36, what crank size do you have on your G32?

There is something about this 30km/h that blocks. I can quite often hit the speed around 30 for a moment, but going more is possible just in very good conditions.
And regarding cranks, while 32 was ungeared I used first 140 and then switched to 127 and now geared I’m on 150 and already after a few rides thinking about getting something bit shorter.

Speaking from almost zero 32" riding experience (I rode LanceB’s hot-rod 32" around a bit–very nice!), my impression is that though it’s smaller than 36", it’s closer in “girth” to a more normal bike wheel. In other words,
lighter! It probably handles very differently because it’s not so overbuilt.
At least that’s what I hope it would be…

I think it’s your brain. Going beyond your ability to run out of a dismount, and then passing the next “milestone” in velocity, i.e. 30 km/h or 20 mph, it’s a challenge. At least that’s my excuse. :slight_smile:

When I was in my 20s I didn’t think twice about cranking my old 45" Big Wheel up to 22-23 mph for short distances. Now I guess I’m older.

Martin Charrier uses to take his G32 when the marathon track is not flat.
Since he does that under 1h30 that makes an average speed in the 28-30 km/h.
I don’t know how him and all the unlimited to marathon riders do manage to keep this kind of speed during 42 km, it would kill me way before the arrival :roll_eyes:

For the G32 I guess 137s sounds good, I had 137s on my G29, but I don’t know how much heavier is the 32" wheel.
if I’m not wrong Scott Wilton has got some 137’s on his G36, and clipless pedals, he won the UNICON 17 marathon race, but the shorter the cranks are the harder to accelerate it is, so unless you have his bionic legs, maybe 137 are a bit hard on a G36, but as fine on a G32 as 150s on a G36 I guess.

Fear is clearly the limiting factor, I guess my handlebar setting was a bit too low making the “exaggerated perpetual forward fall position” (needed to make the higher pedaling cadence possible) a bit too scary.

after 37km I set the nose of my bar-ends loop 1 inch higher to test it but had a flat at this exact moment…

Also I notice a difference between my G36 and my ungeared 36er.
at equal cranks length I find my G36 a bit harder to accelerate, to ride fast and to climb (I mean in 1:1) compared to my ungeared.
Do you feel the same John?
I noticed the same phenomenon on my previous gunis but was expecting this phenomenon to decrease with the big wheel thanks to the extra momentum.

Don’t know if it comes from the hub (for exemple external bearings of the geared hub don’t spin as easily as a bearings of a fixed hub, not to mention all the other bearings involved inside the schlumpf), or if it comes from the extra weight, or maybe both.