Last Saturday (8/22) I did my show at the Klutz store in Palo Alto, CA and then
we headed for the trails. It was Nathan Hoover, Geoffrey Faraghan, Tim Bustos
and John Foss.
My new carbon fiber unicycle was being fixed, so I to bring my junky old “Piece
'O Schwinn” (an old Schwinn with 26" wheel crammed into a frame that’s not quite
big, light or stiff enough). Geoff offered to let me ride his Telford. How could
I turn it down? See the Telford: http://www.sports-psych.com/muni/index.htm
We rode about 1000’ or 1500’ up a long, windy fire road somewhere west of Palo
Alto. As we climbed higher and higher, we were able to stop and pick out
landmarks in the distance. Mt. Tam, Mt. Diablo, the observatory to the South,
the blimp hangars at Moffett Field, the Dumbarton and San Mateo Bridges.
Finally we reached the top, and rode for a short distance on Skyline Drive.
People asked us if we really rode those things on the trail: “No, they get this
dirty riding on asphalt!” “No, we can’t really ride them at all!” “Yes, our cars
are parked at the bottom!”
Then we turned off onto some singletrack that may or may not have been open to
MUnis. It was a beautiful trail, winding through the trees (and shade!), with
lots of switchbacks and sharp corners.
So how about the Telford? All the way up the long climb, I dreaded the moment
when Geoff would ask for his unicycle back and I’d be forced to ride my old
Schwinn. But he didn’t. Finally I said that if he let me ride it most of the
way, I’d be able to get a good feel for it and write a solid review. So yes, now
I’m paying for my ride.
And well worth it! The Telford is very light, stiff and responsive, three things
my Schwinn aren’t. Add to that the Miyata seat with big handle, great for the
trails because the seat gets held a lot. Finally add the suspension seat post.
The post on the Telford flexes up & down at the rear, but is rigid in front. So
when you pull up on the saddle, you’re not pulling your seat post apart. You get
nothing but stiff, rigid control.
And suspension is a boon on a MUni. Though some would argue you lose some of
your control and feel for the trail while gaining some weight, I think the
upside outweighs this. When you’re riding fast on a bumpy trail, hitting a bump
with your foot is at the bottom of the pedal stroke can be bad. The seat drives
upward, and you are launched off the seat. Even if only a fraction of an inch,
it’s enough for your foot to come off the pedal and down you go. With a
suspension post, this doesn’t happen because you don’t get the pile driver
effect pushing you up.
Needless to say, not only does this keep your feet on the pedals better, but
makes a real nice difference in comfort! Remember when you’re going real hard
you might be standing up anyway, but when you want to relax on the level areas,
it’s nice to have a little give in the seat. Ahhhh.
So if you want a serious MUni, this is definitely one of the best choices
currently available. If I hadn’t just bought me a carbon MUni from Roger Davies,
I would already have one of these! My carbon MUni needed to get one of the
joints re-glued, and I wanted an expert to do it, so this meant shipping it all
the way back to England. This reminded me that it can be an advantage to buy
your equipment locally, if possible.
The Telford is precision made, by a guy who seems very concerned with getting
the details right. It fits 26" or 28" wheels with plenty of room for wide tires.
The suspension post is optional.
Geoffrey has made a very large investment in the small production run he is
currently producing. It’s people like him that can drive this sport to new
levels, if we support him by buying his product. So if you really want a nice
MUni, get something that was made specifically for it. Sure it looks funny, but
here are the two main reasons:
- Mountain bike seat posts are designed to work in a seat post at an angle
similar to the Telford.
- High quality bicycle tubing (strong & light) is more readily available
in smaller diameters. So the double fork uses two small tubes instead of
one big one.
Stop riding junk! Talk to Geoff for more details. His email: firstname.lastname@example.org
(don’t ask me what that means)
Stay on top (and dirty), John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone
“I don’t sell unicycles”