Race report: Highland Fling (113km MTB event Australia)

Awesome accomplishment! - can’t imagine riding muni that far in one day. I am enjoying my 24 gmuni a lot now that I am getting accustomed to it. Any tips on going tubeless? Your handlebar set-up looks interesting too. How much do you find yourself using one hand instead of two on the handle? Unless the trail is smooth and straight, I find I need one hand free for balance and help in cornering.

onya Mark, awesome!

I was looking for pics of a buddy in the event and came across one of you

Congratulations Mark and great write up.
I was there and did the 56km (on the MTB though).
It was hard work. You did an awesome time for the terrain.

Great job to you and Jamey, sounds like an epic race to do on unicycles.

I am assuming you are still using your geared 24 with 125s right?

Thats an amazing effort, and amazing time! two thumbs up

I grew up in Bundanoon! I would love to visit and ride my hometown some day. I hope you brought you own bottled water :wink:

Thanks guys

@Aspenmike- I am always in awe of your write ups and the amazing scenery and mountains you get to ride. I would love to make it over there some day to go riding in Colorado with you.

@ Tucson Uni- I love my 2 prong handle set up. It is true that for the more technical types of riding and for cornering I use one hand on the handle and the other as a stabiliser. But for climbing in high gear and smashing it along fire roads it is just so good. You can really lock yourself onto the uni and get great amounts of power to the pedals evenly with a good relaxed body position. You should give it a go (all you need is a spare lollypop bearing unicycle frame, an old KH rail adapter, and rail seat post. The design is so good i’m looking for someone to replicate it in Alu for me to cut down on weight.

@ Siafirede- Yep still on the 24" with 125mms. The 125s become even better for climbing once you go tubeless!

@ saam- Bundanoon is a nice little town with some great single track close by so if you do go back make sure you take your muni and drop by the Olde Bike shoppe caffe and pick up a trail map.

Thanks for the comments guys.

Warning: visiting Colorado will make you move here.

some pictures from the race.

Turns out, I still have my old CyclePro uni with said lollypop bearing from, and I have a KH saddle with rails. Taking a quick look at it, looks like the front saddle handle would be in the way. How exactly did you do your set-up? I’m also interested in tips for making the KH24 tubeless.


On closer inspection, looks like you removed the front handle all together.

yep- no need for the front handle once you get the frame on there. It does take a little while to get used to the new hand/braking position but i am just as confident now with this setup as I was with the old one.

It does add a bit of weight- but at least it is not rotational. I would not go back to my old set up (sans- frame as handle). It makes it so much easier to put in long hours in the saddle, get great and even torque to the pedals, and have something to do with your arms when just spinning on easy fire trails.

For a good discussion on tubeless check out this thread from not too long ago


I got the old frame on there, not sure it is ever coming off. I had to whack it on with a hammer. Now I am thinking I should have cut some of the stem off first. It seems like it is sticking out further than you have yours. The bottom of the stem is a couple of inches past the end of the seat (not including the handle). I bought some handlebar tape to finish it off. Hope to give it a run soon.

With mine i cut about an inch off the seat tube so that the first 1.5 inches of the fork sits under the seat base. That way with the brake on the right hand fork arm it can sit nice and close to the front of the seat (not on the curve of the frame where it wont go).

I also run it without the front bumper/hande. That is probably why you struggled getting it on. Get a light weight clamp on there, your brake, some tape and some bar ends (important if you don’t want to impale your legs on it in a really bad UPD) and your good to go. Good luck with it


I actually put the seat handle back on after getting the frame on. I think it was a bear to get on because of all the rust on the inside of the old frame. It is on so tight that no clamp is needed. Wish I had cut it down first, not sure if it is coming off now.

After a fair amount of struggling with it, I decided to leave the frame handle where it is. No brake, because the cable is too short. I haven’t really been using it lately anyway.


Napalm, that is an amazing effort. Can I ask you a naive question? What makes a 24" with 125 cranks better than a 29" with 150 cranks? They have about the same gearing, but, I would have thought the 29" would have the advantage of rolling over rough surfaces better.

BTW, thanks for the inspiration.

@ kiwirichard. Its not a naive question at all. I guess the thing that makes it better is that i have a 24 with 125s. I’ve never ridden a 29er before. If i did not have the schlumpf hub in my 24 then for this type of riding i would be on a 29er. Jamey did the same course as me on his 29er with 125s and coped ok. I think most of ‘what is better’ has to do with the set up you are most comfortable/familiar with.

If your interested my Muni equipment evolution has gone like this.

24x3 with 170s. Was great for really technical dh without a brake but otherwise was slow.

24x3 with 150s. Nice all round ratio for climbing and descending- a good set up while getting fit for climbs and longer rides.

24x3 with 150s and brake. Same as above but increased DH control and a better set up for saving the legs- thus longer rides in the saddle.

24x3 schlumpf with 150s and brake. Now you have a machine capable of some proper xc mileage. Good crank length to start off- pushing high gear requires a different type of fitness to normal muni riding so this length gives you an entry point to get the fitness up.

24x3 schlumpf with 125s and brake. Once i built up the leg muscles this gearing was better for the type of terrain i ride- because of my medium sized feet it also resulted in more effective shifting (foot closer to shifting button with shorter cranks). My climbing did not deteriorate with the shorter cranks and the DH stuff was still ok too.

24x3 schlumpf with 125s, brake and handle. This is my current set up. The handle helps distribute weight on the saddle and provide even torque to the pedals (especially when powering along in high gear). I really like this set up and am very happy with it atm.

One set up i would like to try would be a G26 with 137s but i haven’t found anyone that has one that i can try.

I did a ride on a trail in a nearby wash this morning. I have the new handle set-up with brake and I moved the pedals to the 125 holes. Shifting is a snap at 125. I liked the speed and there is a little less wobbling, which made it possible to use 2 hands occasionally. The trail is moderate technical XC. Things were going great until I had an unintentional downshift when I was cranking along through a slightly downhill, moderately rocky section. It caught me totally off-guard and I didn’t have a chance to run it out. My gloves saved my hands, and the shin/knee guards protected everything but the upper inside of my knees. I ended up with a gash just above my right knee that now has 2 stitches in it. I guess the shifting is a little too easy. I have 661 shin guards, and I am wondering in KH leg armor does a better job of covering the knees. Does anyone else have problem with accidental downshifts at high speed?

Only just saw this post- I’ve not been on the forums much recently.

Good work guys- nice to see you beating a few two wheelers.

How did you find the Schumpf in low vs high gear Mark? Did you do a lot of shifting? Sounds like a very hilly course with more than 2km of elevation.

I’m going to have to start training to keep up with Mark when he comes over for Karapoti next year :astonished:

Just finally had the time to comment on this thread! Thanks Mark for the awesome writeup, now I’ll be able to remember it forever. It was by far one of the hardest things I’ve done in my life but also one of the most rewarding.

For me the race went well except for the last 10-15kms when I just had nothing left. Ended up walking almost everything except for the downhills and flats. I psyched myself out a bit at the halfway point when some people said that Mark had just left the water station. For some reason I thought I could catch him…boy was I wrong! So I kicked it into high but soon after we hit the long pretty flat roads through the hillside and I had no chance especially against his schlumpf. Think I spent way too much energy trying to catch him so on the last leg of the course I was done. Can’t tell you how happy I was to see the finish line!

Overall it was an amazing experience and I might consider doing it again next year but only if I have a schlumpf so then maybe just maybe I have a chance against Mark or anyone else that may enter!