Schlumpf Question

Why take on so many complications when it’s so much fun to ride a simple unicycle?

1 Like

Why ask the question? I personally read a small amount of judgement here.

I like simple unicycles too.

Have you ever ridden a geared wheel?

1 Like

It’s faster so you can cover more distance with your beloved unicycle. Any other question? :smiley:


You do have a point the best thing about unicycles is their simplicity. If speed is really important you may as well ride a bike. Even with a schlumpf it takes a lot of skill to ride one safely and efficiently and even then you will still lag behind bikes.

In saying that though it is quite the thrill to ride one at high speeds and much like learning to ride a basic unicycle you do improve every time you ride it. So it can be very rewarding riding them and it really blows peoples minds when they ask about it and you tell them it has gears.


I think I replied before in a knee jerk and churlish way.

I’m more centred now to perhaps provide a meaningful response. I second all that others have already said - but can add it’s like this:

A bicyclist walks into a bar and sees a unicyclist with his trusty 36er. He asks: “Why ride that?”

The unicyclist says: “For the feeling of being on a big wheel, for the challenge, because I can.”

Bicyclist responds: “But it’s surely not as useful or efficient as using a bike to go from A to B?”

Unicyclist replies: “Yes totally, but I’m out here with this for the FUN - I ride my bike when I HAVE to. ”

The guy with the bike finishes his expresso and then pedals off with a nod to the 36er madman.

After finishing his protein bar and taking some water the unicyclist freemounts his simple wheel and sets off in the same direction as the bike-guy, with a steady pace.

About 10 minutes go by and the unicyclist sees the bicyclist stopped by a bench - he is trying to fix the bike’s derailleur. He stops and helps him fix it.

Freemounting back up he continues his 36er ride, and the bike guy relieved cycles past with a working bike.

— So why write this little story? Complexity is part of life and part of the choices we make. I love the fact unicycles are simple, but I think there are tinkerers among us who enjoy problem solving - both with the hardware of fixed and geared unicycles - and the complexity that comes with riding them.

Just look at the freewheeling side of things if you need convincing!

Yes people like to make things complicated, but until you’ve experienced the ride, it’s not possible to say keeping things simple is the best approach. Both approaches to what one does with their free time / passion are fine and then it is a case of live and let live.

If I take my G29er out and it breaks and I can’t ride, that’s all part of my life choice to risk that.

As for why I ride a geared wheel. It’s not speed, or anything that tangible. It’s just one weird exhilarating feeling. It really is a TRIPPY experience. And in this way it isn’t that different from the joy you get from riding a unicycle.

When I first learnt I had the weird feeling the globe was rolling underneath me when I was walking. This was from the new experience of one-wheelin’ - it was magical and addictive.

The shift up to trying geared riding was the same. You get hooked and the price is complexity - but complexity isn’t necessarily a bad thing. So long as you embrace the full experience, problems, falls, frustrations and ALL.



You speak to me from the soul. I can’t understand it either. Thousands of euros/dollars are spent on a simple vehicle that causes nothing but problems and needs a lot of maintenance. Spent a lot of money and still not spoked the wheel and faced problems that are not necessary. You could buy a whole fleet of great unicycles for that money. The advantage of unicycles would actually be that they are very simple, cheap and low-maintenance sports equipment. The development seems to be going in the direction of expensive and complicated. That’s not what the sport is about at all. It seems to me like the car owners. There are also those who buy (lease) a super expensive car as a status symbol. This now seems to be the case with unicycles as well.

Don’t underestimate how complicated a ‘simple’ unicycle can be. Have you ever looked into how complicated rim building and rim technology can be? Even just reading about different spoke types can be surprisingly complex. Don’t even get started on frame alloys or saddle builds.

All I’m saying is that, yeah, I get that a Schlumpf is seemingly super complicated - but so are many other pieces of cycling tech. And if you rock a modern unicycle, you have some of them.

And I’d say that if you ride a ‘simple’ unicycle long enough - you are sure to eventually want some bells-and-whistles. Seat handles, brakes, cosmetics, etc.


The background of my question is that two years ago i switched from a full-suspension geared mountain bike to a rigid singlespeed mtb and rediscovered the pure fun of cycling that i had as a child.

1 Like

I don’t think that a Schlumpf hub has the potential to be a status symbol because you can hardly impress anyone or only a few people with it.

1 Like

Let’s add another element: today, we went for a ride with my girlfriend for about 50 km. She loves riding her road bike, I love riding my unicycle(s). Without a gearbox, I wouldn’t have been able to follow here at 25+ km/h. With my Schlumpf hub, I was able to go at a pretty decent speed and we both had a lot of fun.
Sometimes, you encounter some issues, that’s right. But most of the times, there’s no issue and riding such a beast is amazing!

BTW, let’s be clear: that’s not because some people love to ride geared and complicated unis that other people should be forbidden to ride simple unis. Everyone likes different things and that’s OK :slight_smile:


Now I keep picturing a unicycle riding rapper with some humongous gold necklaces and a Schlumpf pendant hanging from one of them :grin:

The idea of something like a G29 actually seems more appealing to me than say a 36er which seems just a little too large, harder to stow, etc.
Seems like a G29 could be a more flexible platform that offers sort of the best of both worlds.
I personally can’t justify the cost versus reward ratio for one though, at least now.

I am however appreciative that there are people who are willing to make and buy schlumpfs however because if it wasn’t for them they wouldn’t exist!

I am also appreciative of folks like @mindbalance who share their trials, triumphs, and tribulations so others have a better idea of what they would in for if they were to venture down the Schlumpf path, as well as the gotchas and lessons learned they share, so the rest of us may benefit from them. I’m sure their investments, ideas, and feedback also pave the way for potentially better Schlumpf revisions in the future someday as well.


All I need is a beat thats super bumpin’, and for you you, to back it up and Schlumpf it.

1 Like

I think the „ Schlumpf path“ is a dead end street, no matter how many people are on this path

You seem angry. Everyone on here is nice. Go out and ride - you’ll feel better :slight_smile:


Maybe for you it would be. For me it probably is too, I don’t particularily feel a need to get a Schlumpf hub myself. I don’t enjoy going fast on unicycles, if I want to go on a long ride I like riding a bike, there is really not a big application for it.
But others want to go fast on a unicycle and go on long rides and I think it’s impossible to argue that there is any alternatives to gears for them. The argument that riding a simple unicycle is so much fun doesn’t hold either, because fun is subjective. I think for some it is the opposite of a dead end - it keeps unicycling enjoyable which they might quit otherwise.


That’s a great fundamental point about unicycle and simplicity. However, that’s a simple answer for a simple application There are many people who just like the challenge to do something and then move onto the next activity. Tried it, conquered it, next…

If that’s the type of unicyclist, then you probably won’t be in this unicycle forum. Why? Why waste time typing or thumbing about something you already done. Next.
Unless? There’s more…

Not enough just to ride, right?
a.) You wanna learn to ride over “anything”
b.) You got the need for speed.
c.) You want to learn tricks, jumps,…etc.

For me, I just like doing some flat land mounting tricks, ride off road, or challenging uphills. I have no desire for speed(flat) or down mountains.

Now the unicyclists that go for speed with schlumps and clip on pedals really scare me, because you need to have a strong sense of “invincibility/never going to fall” to push for more performance.
Especially, the unicyclists who have injured themselves, recovered, but go back to it.
Madness. Rock and roll.

Personally, I have severely injured myself at 0 mph from falling straight down into the unicycle. I don’t like the feeling of “picking up speed” riding downhill, but prefer the “negative workout” of using your own legs for brakes.

Anyways, this philosphy of simplicity = one wheel is a little bit wrong.
It’s really Complexity = one wheel + physics of stability(6 degrees of freedom: xyz, rotation in xyz).
The simplist form of human motion would be just sitting down on ice and just sliding on your butt. However, that just isn’t philosophically inspiring regarding simplicity, though.



I mean I don’t ride one but if I did I’d probably just say that LOL


I mean, why take on so many complications when it’s so much fun to go jogging? After all a unicycle is not that much faster.


unicycle has its unique kind of fun. So does a unicycle with a Schlumpf. So does a bike. So does a drifting trike. So does a motorcycle. So does a go-kart. They all have different degrees of complexity and different kind of fun.


I agree with the previous comments. I have always perceived the unicycle as a complex machine.

Sometimes, I meet people interested in unicycle, who see first its simple and practical aspect (to carry). But they are people who have never practiced. In general, I tell them that it is better to leave aside the practical aspect to concentrate on the fun, the sensations and the progression. These are the elements that are for me the source of motivation. If we only see the simple and practical aspect, we quickly give up unicycling.

I approached the learning of the schlumpf hub as the learning :

  • a big wheel
  • short cranks
  • a handlebar
  • the brake
  • the freewheel
  • cilpless pedals
  • hydration with an aero bottle
  • a new mount / trick

In fact, learning a new mechanical element is a lot like learning a new trick.


Simply riding a unicycle isn’t truly the fun part for me. Mostly the challenge and adrenaline of particular trails is. I like a small wheel for those, but there are still often long stretches of flat trail that are on the boring side with a small wheel. The schlumpf makes those stretches more exciting and gets me to where I want to be sooner. Though sometimes too soon! I need to catch my breath!
It serves a purpose at a cost. If they were cheaper and easier, sure that would be even better.