No Longer A 36" Uni Virgin

I bought a used 36" Coker a few days ago. Its like new. I wasn’t planning on buying one now, but I couldn’t pass it up.

I love it! I wish I bought one sooner.

I’m probably repeating what other Threads have discussed, but I’m very excited about having a 36" uni. It’s a very smooth ride. A more relaxed ride than my 26". I was surprised how relaxed. Not Easier To Mount.

Before buying it, I did a test ride with 125 mm cranks and I thought it would be super hard to ride, it wasn’t.

I put 170 mm cranks on it to help me with mounting.

Sorry, I’m rambling.

Any thoughts or suggestions will be helpful.

Congratulations on the purchase, I think you’ll love it!

Yup, those 170s will make it easy to mount, and you’ll have plenty of control, but you’ll want the shorter cranks for longer rides. Practice mounting with the 125s, and you’ll get it after a while. It may take a while (it did for me), but you’ll be glad in the long run.

I’m loving it so far.

Did you practice with 150s before the 125s?

Darn, makes me want a break my virginity too:p

I have a 26" wonder if I should experience the 29" or skip to 36"…?

Break your virginity. Go for the 36".

The 36" rides smooth and it seems to me that you make less balance adjustments. After riding my 36" for two days I rode my 26" and I couldn’t believe how much balancing I had to do.

It was a big decision for me. Since getting back into unicycle my goal was to get a 36". If your goal is a 36" then skip the 29".

I hope this helps.

Yes, it came with 150s. I switched to 125s after a few months, but I missed the control, and my legs weren’t strong enough then to feel comfortable. So I switched to 140s for a while, which was a good compromise for me, and then switched back to the125s a few weeks ago. I guess I’ve built up my leg strength somewhat since before, because I like them now, and don’t feel much loss of control. (But free mounts are still “iffy.”)

Cool, that’s what I thought. There is always experimenting different options with each unicycle.

As I was coming from a 24" and 26" was the biggest uni I had ever ridden, I ordered 127/150 duals on mine. So yes, I used the 150s for getting used to it, but was surprized that I wanted to switch to the the 127s afer just a few days. Except for free mounting I did great with the 127s and had no problems handling or on downhills (with the disc brake). I switched back to the 150s for a little light XC and then “learned” the static free mount on the 150s but 3-4 rides later it still wasn’t so solid on the 127s (for me the main difference is the extra saddle height with the shorter cranks.It makes such a difference with the seat up so high!). Then last week I learned the rolling mount on 127s… (the seat height doens’t seem to be such a big factor as with the static mount) for my last 2 rides I was over 50% success with the rolling mount and I hope I don’t regress.

I guess if you don’t have dual cranks then it’s not so easy to switch back and forth, in which case I’d say yeah, keep the long cranks until you either get comfortable free mounting or are so annoyed spinning the long pedals…

For now the 170’s are fine. I like the control, but I can see changing crank sizes relatively soon. I’ve found the static mount brings my body up and I lose the center of gravity, if that makes sense. So, I’m grabbing the tire to help with my mount and it seems to be working.

I hope to do the rolling mount some day. I know there are a lot of threads about the rolling mount. Any suggestions on getting started.

I SUGGEST that you PRACTISE on the grass. On your first few attemts, step over the uni and land in front of the uni, on your feet. This will give you more confidence for when you decide to actually mount the uni.
When mounting jump up rather than forward. Jumping forward will cause you to go over the top.
When walking up to the uni TRY not to crouch.

Hope this helps

All about progressions

I purchased my KH almost 18 months ago. I started out with 150s. I tested 165s but found there was a fair amount of wobble.

For the first year I pretty much stayed with the 150s. I learned to do a rolling mount first; then the jump mount. I recently learned the static mount, which in the beginning seemed impossible. To get the static mount I discovered that if I find a slope steep enough I could mount it.

Since the beginning of the year I’ve been swapping between 150, 135 and 125s. Every time the cranks get shorter it takes some time to adjust the timing. The good news is that once you get adjusted to the shorter crank, going to a longer crank “seems” much easier.

Personally, I think the progressions rely more on neurological training then physical. Sure, you can get a real good burn on a decent hill on a 36. But if you don’t have the brain trained to ride the upslope a UPD will result. Not from muscle fatigue, but from leaving the balance envelope and not knowing how to recover.

I have not tried 110s on my 36er yet… The 125s still have room for improvement and the gain of going to 110s does not out weigh the sense of security I like when I’m riding on familiar cranks.

As already pointed out, every time you go SHORTER on the cranks, the seat must go up. Mounts are more challenging for the seat height alone. But the real issue with mounting with shorter cranks is the increased neurological demand to maintian your balance AND create the forward momentum to get the big wheel rolling.

Once the wheel is moving, staying on it is the easy part (did I just say that?)…

I took my 29er out for a ride yesterday, also on 125s. The first couple of miles felt a little wobbly as I had to readjust my timing… most of my riding is on the 36.

I also feel the T-bar on the 36 is required equipment. When I first started riding with the T-bar I had a heck of a time free-mounting. I just seemed like that bar was in my way. Fortunately I got past that non-sense.

It was also unnatural to put two hands on the tbar. After a while though my balance/technique improved to the point that now I almost always have both hands on the T-bar.

Hills make the T-bar worth their weight in gold. I find that if I can keep both hands on the t-bar I will have better power for the climb. If the hill is too steep and I go to a single hand on the tbar it is to help me with balance at the slowing speed, not power. Power is lost when two hands are not on the handle.

Ultimately, it all comes down to improving your technique, which for me takes months of slow, imperceptible progress. As technique improves, so does the quality of the rides.

There’s a separate thread devoted entirely to 36er free mounting… for me it is still the wild card. Some days it is no problem, then out of the blue, it’s as if I got the “shanks” (a golf term where the player has no idea where the ball is going to go… but it’s not up the fairway). Free mounting the 36er is still a head game. Probably always will be.

Never thought about jumping over the uni to get use to how the mount will feel.

I’m to chicken to learn the rolling mount before the static mount, but I may try a couple times.

As for the T-bar, I had one on my 26" but I didn’t use it very much. I’ll have to try again on my 36" when I get better at riding it.

I agree with you about slow progress. I’ve learned, being patient and taking my time is the best way to improve. When I’m not patient a UPD happens. Which means my neurological training was not sufficient. By the way, great term.

The way I mount big wheeled unicycles is something in between a rolling and static mount. Technically, a rolling mount is one in which the wheel keeps rolling forward. But that’s harder to do, especially with a large wheel. But a static mount is very awkward to do with a 36" (or larger) wheel because that roll-back is hard to control, and switching from backward to forward with such a sluggish wheel is difficult, and not too graceful.

My method is to take a step or two forward, basically until my mounting pedal is coming up from the bottom, and then give a small jump up, while the wheel has stopped, while I roll up onto the top. And slightly past the top for the mount to work. Then you start pedaling only when you get to there, and I sometimes add a little hop to correct for crookedness but maybe that’s something to skip until later. This gives a much more graceful mount, once you get the hang of it, and is much more impressive to the pedestrians and drivers around you.

Enjoy your large wheeling! I remember the first time I rode a Coker for any meaningful distance. My first rides on one were around parking lots and such, but that’s not what those 36" wheels are good at. Turning is not their forte. Then I borrowed one, to race in the 10k race at the USA Convention in Toronto (2001). Wheeeee! The thing is made to cruise in a straight line! By the time I’d reached the turnaround point in that race, I was sold. Not that I didn’t already have a big wheel – I’d had a 45" hard-tire wheel from The Unicycle Factory 1982. But it’s a totally different ride. Hard tires are only good if you can’t get an air tire; let’s just put it that way. :slight_smile:

I do as John does.

I rode with 150s for a few weeks, then switched to the 127 holes. I’ve only been on the 150 holes once again in the year I’ve owned the 36.

I probably make ~90 to 95% of my mounts.

The 127mm holes are a great compromise between leverage and speed. I love that length for the 36. I have a lot of hills on my commute.

The mounting will come with practice. Also freestyle/flatland on a 19 will help with mounting a 36 believe it or not. The confidence you gain doing those kinds of tricks helps with everything I find.

Anyway, welcome to the club!

If I think about it, another way to improve mounting on a 36" is to practice riding super-slow, and also mounting while going slow. Of course you’re going slow when mounting, but if you try to slow down the process, it will improve your sense of being “centered” when you get on, so you won’t need to make such big adjustments to ride away in a straight line. I have definitely continued to improve on the mounting, and now am over 90% on mounts in high gear.

John, I tried your rolling/static mount and found that it wasn’t as hard as I thought. I wasn’t able to ride away yet, but I was able to mount the unicycle and jump off. Also, I could feel the momentum you get from this mount. Just stopping the unicycle for that split second made a huge difference in how I perceived the mount.

Kahunacohen, our winter was really bad so I started working on the skill levels and found that I improved my riding. Now my goal for the winter is to work on my skills.

Awesome. I really do find that freestyle/flatland/trials skills help with muni and with handling a 36.

I just got my first 36er in over 42 years of riding. I thought that I would just jump up on it. It took 2 tries, once i remembered the above advice. I was trying to go too fast. That big inertia wheel doesn’t necessarily like changing directions.

Anyway, it is a blast to ride. Now my 10 mile ride will be faster and/or turn into a 20 mile ride.

Kelly O’