Rider Weight and Uni Choice

All,

Now that I have really been having a lot of fun on my unicycle, I am wanting to expand to having an offroad cycle and a freestyle cycle.

My problem is that I’m 240 lbs in weight, maybe more.

I currently ride a United Trainer with Miyata seat, for Large Adults. It is holding up just fine, but I don’t put much punishment on it, other than my weight. Will it hold up to a little hopping, do you think?

More important, how should I go about buying cycles for freestyle and muni in mind, given my weight? Other than the trainer models, nowhere do I see weight mentioned.

I certainly don’t want to spend $400-800 on a new cycle, or more, only to break it trying to rough it with my weight.

Suggestions? Help? Any other large riders out there?

Lewis

It won’t. I weigh what you do and I’ve bent the rim on my 26" Semcycle
XL beyond truing, and broken a spoke. I think we discussed this in a
previous post. My 20" with Sun Rhyno Lite rim seems to be holding up ok,
though. It has 125mm cranks on it, and they still seem to be straight.
The 26" has 150s on it, and they’re still straight as well, but I haven’t
done really high hops or big drops with it.

If you look at the United muni (
http://www.unicycle.com/shopping/shopexd.asp?id=124 ) it’ll say “suggested
rider weight 160lbs”. ONE SIXTY! You’ll definitely be needing to spend
money on good hardware.

4 of my riding buddies have United trials unis, 3 of them with the
Profile hub. I’ve seen a 160lb rider do repeated 5 and 6-foot drops with
his, and nothing has broken. The Profile hub and cranks have a lifetime
warranty on them, too. Break it, they’ll give you a new one. I’ve ridden
the trials unis, and they are really nice. The long (145mm) cranks make
for easy adjustments when riding, so it’s easier to practice idling and
riding backwards, from what I noticed. Only a few mountain unis have the
Profile hub, and they’re all expensive. The Hunter comes with it, as does
the Profile muni. The DM munis have splined hubs, but I don’t think
they’re Profile hubs. The DM ATU is a little cheaper than a Hunter or
Profile muni. The cranks that come on the Cordy muni have a neat
star-shaped design where the crank meets the hub. Looks like it would be
pretty tough. The Cordy has an aluminum frame, though, I don’t know how
strong it would be. Oh, Kris Holm’s KH24 is equipped with the Profile
hub, as well as the Wilder 6160C.

So, the lowest-priced super-tough uni would be a United trials uni with
profile hub. They’re no good for covering distance, though, because of
the small wheel and long cranks. It shouldn’t have a problem holding up
to your weight, though.

John

Animation wrote:

> All,
>
> Now that I have really been having a lot of fun on my
> unicycle, I am wanting to expand to having an offroad cycle and a
> freestyle cycle.
>
> My problem is that I’m 240 lbs in weight, maybe
> more.
>
> I currently ride a United Trainer with Miyata seat, for Large
> Adults. It is holding up just fine, but I don’t put much punishment on
> it, other than my weight. Will it hold up to a little hopping, do you
> think?
>
> More important, how should I go about buying cycles for
> freestyle and muni in mind, given my weight? Other than the trainer
> models, nowhere do I see weight mentioned.
>
> I certainly don’t want
> to spend $400-800 on a new cycle, or more, only to break it trying to
> rough it with my weight.
>
> Suggestions? Help? Any other large riders
> out there?
>
> Lewis
>
> –
> Animation
> Posted via the Unicyclist Community - http://unicyclist.com/forums

At slightly over half your body weight, I don’t have first hand experience to answer your question, but maybe I can give you some pointers.

  1. Smaller wheel: The smaller the wheel diameter the stronger the wheel, given all other factors are equal. It’s harder to taco a 24" and easier to taco a 26". It’s harder to taco a 20" than a 24". Has anyone at any weight doing any trick tacoed a 16" diameter Monty rim?

  2. Get a stronger, wider rim: The Sun Doublewide or the Avro Zum Eliminator is almost 2 times the width of other rims. This will distribute your weight over a larger width. Also ensure that your rim is double wall, which has more metal structure and therefore more strength. Maybe you can get a triple wall rim.

  3. Stronger spokes: Get the thickest guage spokes you can. The Sem unis come with pretty strong and thick spokes. Are they 12 gauge? Not strong enough? Get motorcycle spokes. Spoke them in a more traditional wheel spoking pattern, and not radial. You might want to consult a reputable bike shop to use a spoking pattern that can handle weight properly.

  4. Get a profile hub and cranks.

  5. Fatter tire: More width, more height, fatter inner tube, more shock absorbtion, better weight distribution. Get a 2.6" wide tire or fatter (depending on your frame).

  6. Frames: Whatever. It may not matter much. They are easily replaced and are cheap compared to your wheel.

  7. Learn to maintain your spokes and ensure your wheel is always true. For fun get a book on wheelbuilding.

You’re lighter than a motorcycle or car. Motorcycle wheels have more torque than you can put out, take more abuse than you can dish out, they are much heavier than you are, and they go faster than you’ll ever ride. Old time cars also used to use spokes for their wheels. So lots of weight on a tire has been done successfully for a long time.

Existing uni technology is there for a price. Your super-uni will also be quite heavy, but I’m sure you can find a suitable mount that you won’t break easily.

Don_TaiATyahooDOTcoDOTuk, Toronto, Canada

Lewis,

I tip the scales at around 280 and started off with the same United Trainer for Large Adults. It held up well for me during the learning phase and before hopping. Once I started hopping, I started bending the standard steel cranks like butter and had to do something else. I decided that I was at the end of what I could do with the United and had to make a move if I was to continue advancing. So, after much discussion with Mark and John at Unicycle.com, I bought the Sem XLW with the Profile setup and have been eternally thankful since. Of course I don’t do extreme drops but I can hop all day and not have an effect on the Profile. I think the uni came in at around $600. But sure beats constantly worrying about bending cranks or breaking hubs.

Bruce

Yoopers,

Thanks for the info! Awesome! That is exactly what I want, then. I had been thinking that for a street cycle, I’d want the Sem with the Profile setup … it is nice to see a real-world example of somebody my weight!

What size tire did you get? 26"?

I appreciate the help,

Lewis

Lewis,

No, I bought a 24" wheel. I wanted something “all around” that would support me yet still let me do skill building. At my size, I look sort of silly on a small 20" wheel. Someday I hope to put a big wheel in the rack specifically to use for distance. The only problem with the Profile set is that the minimum crank size is I think about 5 3/4". I had just gotten use to a set of 5" cranks on my United which I really liked. But now I’m used to the longer cranks again and it’s not a problem. Oh, one more thing, John outfitted the wheel with the BFR rim which gives me more strength and allows me to use a 2.6" knobby for off-road. Nice.

Bruce

Re: Rider Weight and Uni Choice

ya i think it will im 215 or something like that and it works 4 me fine and
mine is from the 60’s or 70’s and i abuse mine