Semcycle details

From: (Darwin Teague)

>I just got a “catalog” with semcycles in it. Could someone please explain how
>this flexible frame works?

The frame is based upon the Schwinn design, and is made out of two pressed
pieces of thick sheet steel. This design allows the saddle to twist side to
side, moreso on the Semcycle than on the stiffer Schwinns. On Schwinns this was
usually a drawback because the twisting would contribute to the wear and tear on
the bearings. This is not true on the Semcycle, whose bearings are held tightly
in place and are of high quality.

Theoretically, the flexing of the seat will cut down on leg friction against the
sides of the seat, which could indeed reduce saddle soreness. Unfortunately, you
still weigh the same, and there is no extra give in the up and down direction.

>I’d appreciate input on the differences between the Semcycle and the XL.

I don’t have time for a detailed explanation, but the Semcycle is intended for
the serious unicyclist. Though I’m not a big fan of it’s (old style; no bumpers)
Schwinn type seat, which doesn’t hold up well to dropping, the rest of the cycle
is ultra strong, especially in the axle and crank arm area. In the first few
years, the Semcycle had a radical spoke design; radial. A radial wheel is very
stiff against downward forces (hopping) and side forces, but very weak against
rotational forces (starting, stopping, idling). Spokes required constant
tightening to keep from breaking. Today’s Semcycle has an unusual cross-one
pattern, which is a compromise between the radial design, and the cross-three or
four of other unicycles.

The XL is based upon one of the many Taiwan-style platforms, with lower cost
parts throughout, but a cut above most of the Taiwan cycles you find in shops.
If you plan on heavy or long-term riding, get the Semcycle.

One of these days, Al Hemminger or someone at Semcycle will get access to this
mailing list, and I’m sure we’ll be hearing from them, if only to disagree with
what I’m saying. It would be useful for them to join us here!

>Lastly, how much difference is there between a 24" and a 26"? I think I’d like
>the 26", but would it be much harder to turn, etc than a 24"? I don’t imagine
>that I’ll ever get into the advanced stuff…

The 26" will be much better for covering distances. It’s main drawback in
relation to the 24" is it won’t react as quickly when you want to stop, rock, or
make quick corrections to your riding.

Also, if you ever want to join us at a National Unicycle Convention or World
UNICON, you will need a 24" wheel to race with us. Don’t worry about winning;
most of our races participate just for fun.

Happy riding!

John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone

P.S. If you get the 26" please tell us about it; price, waiting time, and how
do you like riding it. It’s mainly intended for the German indoor market,
but others want it too.