riding a 29er w/ GB4 handle


I just mounted a GB4 Handle on my 29er and took it for a quick spin. I noticed a real big problem trying to ride steadily when I put both hands on the handle.

Err, when going out for a test run, I was wiggling all over the place trying to ride in a straight line. I had to constantly take one hand off to get my balance back.

Is this normal? Is it possible to ride a 29er with both hands on that handle at the same time for more than a few seconds. :thinking: Arrrgh!

I am starting to wonder if it just belongs on a coker and not a 29er. Is it easier to use the GB4 on a Coker whilst riding with both hands on the handle?


It is the same on a 29er or coker. It just takes time, the smoother you can spin the easier it is to hold on with both hands. Just put in some miles and you will be doing it in no time.

Practice riding with hands in your pockets. It’s the same thing, you wobble with both hands on your handle because you’re using your free arm to balance still.

At least if it’s the same balance-wise as 2 hand holding a normal saddle anyway, which I’d guess it is, it seemed like it on the coker one I briefly tried.



Riding with your hands in your pockets can be hazardous to your face.


And your elbows…

You wont be able to get your hands out in time and then kafwhooomp flat on your face/elbows with nasty roadrash/bruises.

just practice. or put your hands on your hips or thighs. same idea. but seriously that handle is an awesome invention for distance riding. just takes a bit to get comfortable with both hands on it.

Weird, I’ve never thought of that, but now you say it, I can see it’d be harder to land. I’ve ridden much of the way to work with hands in pockets a few times when I’ve forgotten my gloves and got cold hands. I guess the trick is to ride within your limits when you’re practicing silly things like that. If you don’t fall off, it doesn’t hurt. Alternatively cross your arms, put your hands on your sides, put your hands on your head, or just practice with the handle.


I ride with the GB4 handle on my 29er, and it took me a little while getting used to riding with smoothly with it. I find myself only using one hand when I am going off a curb or riding down a steep hill. It just takes practice and experience to use the handles for whatever you are doing, but they do help a lot for long distance.

Re: riding a 29er w/ GB4 handle

There is less leverage compared with the original KH style seat, so if you like using your arms to hold yourself steady and in line (like me) you will wiggle around a lot. It really is designed more to rest your weight on comfortably, rather than being able to yank hard on.

I modified my handle slightly by adding a sawn off bar end to the end of my GB handle. It doesn’t improve the leverage much but it does give you more hand positioning:


Thanks(all) again for the practice advice and the confirmation that it’s doable with some practice.

I currently ride with those Schwinn 140mm cranks that have a high Q factor, not to mention weigh a ton. Is it worth it to change down to some 125mm Bike Euro cranks that I have in my parts bin? The BE’s have a noticebly lower Q factor.

I am really comfy with the 140’s in regards to their length, but also, the cranks are almost to the bearing holders. If I pull them off, and remount them, I think they are going to hit the bearing holder. If that happens, then I have to reorder and …

Ken nice idea with the bar end. I was thinking about how to mount a cross piece there when I was riding. I was thinking about adding a cut piece of PBC plastic piping and taping it inthere, but that looks much nicer.

Anyone got any recs for grips?


Incidentally, I’m loving the new thicker KH handle at the moment. It’s not as good as the GB handle for resting on while riding fast, but with the thicker handle you can get a pretty good grip with both hands and ride in a tuck yet still have a super powerful grip for one handed use if you go offroad or whatever.


Teachndad, I have the 140 Doteks on my ‘urban MUni’ and I find them a nice compromise between 127’s and 150’s. But on my 29’er with the Big Apple I really prefer 127’s. The uni is faster and more nimble with this crank length, I find.

I am really interested in your progress with the handle. I am thinking seriously of a handle for long distance riding on my 29’er as well especially now that I have a BA for the uni.

Is your 29’er KH seat an air seat and are you running a BA as well? What distances do you consider to be ‘long distance’ riding on the 29’er? Does the handle seem to add much weight to the 29’er and any problems with it making the uni feel a little unweildy?

-I would recommend using 125’s, that is what I have been using on my 29er, you get a higher average speed and cruising seems easier.

-The handle doesnt really add much weight, not enough to really effect your riding.

Okay, I will RAR the 140’s with the 125’s.


I am using an older Miyata seat with the plastic base. Inside is a seat stiffener. For the airseat, I just shoved an inner tube inside the actual puke green seat cover with some bubble wrap on top and reclipped the seat cover to the plastic base. It has no air pillow inside to insert the inner tube.

For me long distances would be anything over 10 miles. In reality, a long distance ride would be about 8 miles. I have some overused knees and anything after 5 miles creates pain, but is rideable, but uncomfortable. So, I ride mostly 3 - 5 miles.

The handle I guess weighs about 9 oz. That’s just a real big guess. Call Unicycle.com and have them put one on the scale to check. I agree with Siaferedy that,overall, you don’t notice the added weight at all. It does not make the uni feel unwieldy. If I ride without both hands on the handle, I would never even know it was there. The wiggles (not the kid rock group) I got are from having the center of gravity so close in and from what everyone says, it’s just another thing to practice and have the body get used to.

I am running a Motoraptor on it, not a BIG Apple. I have a uni friend(Hi Al) not far away that has a BA on his newly purchased 29er and I want to try that first before going with the BA. But I am very happy with the Motoraptor. I originally wanted to do fire roads with the 29er, but later found I liked more technical MUni more and have gone that route instead. But tendonitis in the arms has put MUni out of reach for a while, so I took the 29er out of mothballs to ride and cruise the streets and boulevards where I live to get my UNi riding “fix”. I wanted the handle to be used to place my hands to give my arms a position to relax.

I did have one concern and that was if I dump the uni, the handle hits first and that might dent the tubes. I am currenly looking for some light weight bar end caps to put in the tubes of the handle that point up just for that reason.

BTW, directions, if needed for mounting the handle are at George Barnes’ website at GB4MFG.com. Click on the GB4 symbol to get in. But that is with a Miyata style CF base.

Ride on!

Excellent, thanks for the detailed explanations Rod! It is very helpful to me as I am in the process of gearing up, quite literally, for some longer-distance 29’er riding.

Currently I am running the BA that I got as a Xmas gift and riding about 10 - 12 km quite regularly. And that is a comfortable set up though I only have a regular, first vintage, Kh seat with no air conversion or rail adapters. I am wanting to do longer all day or two, three day, 29’er tours so think that a handle would be a very necessary addition in order to allow for shifting pressure points while riding for numerous hours at a time.

But the seat base will be an issuse with the GB handle so I am leaning more towards a design like Dave Stockton and JC’s handles.

I’ll keep the gang posted as I make any progress in setting up my long distance 29’er.