Question for Schlumpf owners

I’m working on the assumption here that if you own (or have spent a
decent amount of time on) a Schlumpf geared uni, that you’ve probably
covered quite a few miles on a Coker too.

Well, my question is, for serious distance riding, of say 100+ miles,
which is your preferred ride? The schlumpf or the Coker?

I know that the Schlumpf in high gear mode should be faster and easier
to control than a Coker, and in low gear mode the Schlumpf must be
better for climbing hills and maneuvering around traffic. However, with
a larger wheel, does the momentum of the Coker make it easier to ride,
and does it roll over uneven roads smoother than a Schlumpf? Assuming
the same saddle is used on both, which is the more comfortable?

I’m planning a high mileage project for next spring, but having never
ridden either of these (well, 10 meters once on a Coker doesn’t really
count!), I’d like as much knowledge as possible before making my mind up
and parting with cash.



You’re assuming that the schlumpf is a 29"? 36" schlumpfs do exist, they give you the easy rolling on the coker and you can put long cranks on for control, and then gear up to still go faster than a standard coker.

Re: Question for Schlumpf owners

“kington99” wrote in message …
> You’re assuming that the schlumpf is a 29"? 36" schlumpfs do exist,
> give you the easy rolling on the coker and you can put long cranks on
> for control, and then gear up to still go faster than a standard

Ah, yes, I forgot to mention that. Yes, it’s the 29" Schlumpf that I’m
thinking of.

I’m not sure if it’s just me, but I tend to think that a 36" Schlumpf
would be too fast. Or am I just a coward? :slight_smile:


They’re both good. You’ve already answered your own questions.

Comfortable ride
Stable especially when bumpy/riding on dirt
Big is beautiful
Simple and bomproof

Schlumpf 29:
Very fast
Easy to travel with- compact
2 gears
Takes more concentration to ride when bumpy

If I was riding 100miles it would depend on the terrain, and what I felt like riding on the day.


For me it totally depends on what ride I am doing. If I am doing a ride like the blackpool ride which is a leasure ride at high speed. Then schlumpf 36. If it is a serious high speed long distance ride, then it is Std 36 with short cranks. :slight_smile:
World record attempt… well lets see. I think std 36 with 80mm cranks will win.


So you’re going for the hour record then Roger?

Well me and Sam have been talking about it. We have a 1k oval that sounds fun… I need to get fit after my arm problem. It has slowed me up a lot. Sam has to also stop falling off.


Re: Question for Schlumpf owners

“rogeratunicycledotcom” wrote in message …
> For me it totally depends on what ride I am doing. If I am doing a
> like the blackpool ride which is a leasure ride at high speed. Then
> schlumpf 36. If it is a serious high speed long distance ride, then
> is Std 36 with short cranks. :slight_smile:

Hmmm… well, on a terrain that’s mainly tarmac (maybe some cycle
paths), with and without hills, and mainly avoiding high traffic areas
such as city centres, then I’m still unsure.

> World record attempt… well lets see. I think std 36 with 80mm
> cranks will win.

Surely for the hour record the Schlumpf with shortish cranks would beat
a Coker hands down? Or am I missing something here?


Absolutely- a 29" Schlumpf on smooth, flat tarmac is faster than a Coker.

I might be wrong but I think there is some sort of unwritten agreement among the Hour Record contenders (Dustin, Patrick, Roger, Sam etc) to do it on fixed wheel unicycles.

And that makes the record more robust. You don’t want to end up 10 or 20yrs down the track and revert to a fixed wheel standard. Like how they disallowed a whole lot of bicycle hour records due to “illegal” bikes, and went back to Eddy Merckx’s (?1960’s) record.

Roger- a 1km course would be great as it would make the curve much less noticeable. But how will you divide it up when you hit the hour? Will you be filming it and then working out your position on the 1km oval at the 60:00:00 mark?

I think a geared 36 with 80’s would win it. If you could pilot the thing.

Simple answer on which is faster over a long distance is almost certainly the Std 36, this is not a guess but from my experience. This is especially the case if there are any corners, bumps or rough points on the track. So much so that even the inner ring on the Manchester Velodrome was not smooth enough for the 36" schlumpf to be faster than the Std 36.

It takes a lot more effort to maintain the balance and fine control that is needed at that speed on a geared unicycle.

World record attempt on geared unicycle… As I say I am not sure if it is faster, but it is allowed. I have discussed this with Sam and he agrees that we should do it together one std and on geared together on the same course. He wants me to do it on the geared unicycle

Timing is easy, you just time to next time point and calculate for the distance. This is allowed by 1 hour records for Guiness as it is not an advantage to the rider.


Roger, have you tried a 29" Schlumpf?

I was about 1-2secs faster per lap (on my 29" Schlumpf) on the circuit I used for my 24hr record. Only did a few laps though, but it seemed to be consistently faster. It is a fairly bumpy circuit so I think if it was smoother and bigger there will be even more of an advantage. That was early this year before I’d ridden very much on the Schlumpf.

I think the 36" Schlumpf is so heavy and highly geared that you have to use longer cranks, which negates a lot of the advantage of the bigger gear.

I’m a chicken and don’t ride as fast as you and Roger. I’m also not as skilled or well conditioned. To me, as the wheel mass increases in proportion to its diameter, so does the stability. I have ridden 24", 29", and 36" tires all on 1.5 geared hubs. I find the 36" to be the most stable and my belief is that this is because of the massive tire. That’s why I find the Big Apple to be preferable over the lighter NanoRaptor on the 29" version, too. To expand the balance envelope I have to go to longer cranks as Ken says but I have long legs and that doesn’t affect me as much as someone with shorter legs. A crank length change for someone with short legs can dramatically change their riding style do to the variation in leg motion during pedaling strokes.

I have also ridden a 24" Schlumpf and a couple of different 29" Schlumpfs both of which have ratios slightly greater than 1.5. I have ridden Pete Perron’s jackshaft stye geared Cokers at ratios of 1.89 and 1.4. The seat height and crank length for other peoples’ unicycles are not set to my preference and an accurate determination of my sense of stability for those machines is not so dependable. Regardless, I find Pete’s 1.4 geared Coker to be the best of the bunch that I have ridden from the standpoint of stability and controlability. His jackshaft design also has no backlash.

Yes I had one for 3 months before the hub had to go back to be repaired, it then got made in to a 36" which I think I prefer.

Interesting what you said about the 29" being faster on testing. My guess is that in the long run the advantage would diminish and then eventually disappear, certainly for me. It did with me when I rode with Sam on the Manchester to Blackpool ride. It was very fast while it was totally smooth, although as soon as we had a corner or any rough ground Sam just pulled away from me. I also tired faster. Although we were going REALLY fast.


I don’t think there’s much difference between my Schlumpf 29 (150mm cranks) and my coker (110mm cranks) in terms of speed.

I’ve ridden 100 miles in a day on both.

The Coker lets you fall asleep a little more which is nice. The Schlumpf lets you ride in 29er mode for a bit if you like. This isn’t much of an advantage for long distance, because when you’re knackered riding in 29er mode just means you have to ride for longer. It’s nice for if you want to ride muni when you get there.

The Schlumpf high gear is not nice on non-smooth off road. It doesn’t like bumps at all. Obviously you’ve got the choice of low gear though.

If I had to ride 100 miles tomorrow, I’d do it on the coker, because that’s whats next to the front door at the moment. If you’d asked me last week, I’d have done it on the Schlumpf, because that was downstairs then.

Overall I’d recommend just buy a coker now, because they’re cheap compared to the Schlumpf, so you’ll have extra money to spend on wasting time riding it places.


They may have such an agreement but there’s no need to split hairs. Just keep track of what type of unicycle was used for any given record, and note which type is the absolute record-holder, and which type has its own record, at a slightly shorter distance. In other words, there’s plenty of room for records on geared and non-geared unicycles. As far as the IUF is concerned, they both fall under the category of “unlimited,” though this may be further refined as unicycles continue to evolve.

I rode Roger’s Schlumpf 36" in the Unicon marathon. I kept it in high gear for basically everything but the hills, but it did slow me down. It rode just fine for me on the dirt track that was the first and last part of the course, but a more bumpy trail would probably slow you down a lot. I was unable to keep up with the second start group in that marathon race, which I probably could have done on a regular Coker. However, I think I was actually riding faster toward the end of the race than I was at the beginning. I did minimal training on the cycle before the race, so I think with more training I could maintain a higher speed than a regular Coker (assuming similar fitness levels between riders). That’s on flat ground; hills would surely have an effect.

I had a ungeared Coker, I now have a 29" and a 36" Schlumpf. I prefer the 36" Schlumpf for my a leasure rides. For the 36" Schlumpf long cranks are good. I used 140 mm cranks and was very unhappy, I changed to 170mm and love it.
I normally ride 20 kph on flat terrain with no wind. I have long legs, so I have no problems with the long cranks. For hills, off road or heavy traffic there is allways the possibility to shift down to 1:1 gear.
I feel very uncomfortable over 25kph, but only because I am afraid of falling. For leasure rides the geared Coker ist best. I use the geared 29" mostly for travelling. It is easy to put into a train or into a plane, but it is about 2 kph slower then the 36". The 36" feels more stable and I love the Coker-feeling. I have a break and it works quite well.

Get a geared Coker and after 1000 km and you will know: it’s the best distance unicycle you can get!!!

Well, reading through the replies so far, it’s kind of shattered my dreams about what a Schlumpf was all about. The concensus seems to be that they’re not noticably faster than a Coker, and that on Real Life™ terrain, they don’t rate that well.

Well, I guess it’s good news… it’s saved me £600 :slight_smile:

Might be back to the drawing board with my high-mileage project then. But thanks for the input guys.


Typical. I was just composing my last reply as you were posting this!

That’s one vote in favour of a Schlumpf for long distance riding.


How about two unis for the space of one? :roll_eyes: