# Speed on a 24" Unicycle...?

What is a average speed on a 24" Unicycle?

What is a really fast speed on a 24" Unicycle?

I ride a 24" Schwinn Uni! --chirokid–

Re: Speed on a 24" Unicycle…?

I ride a Schwinn 24" also and I’ve been clocked doing 3 donuts an hour.

Raphael Lasar
Matawan, NJ

There are lots of variables, including the type of tyre and the length of cranks. John Foss said on an earlier thread that he once hit 16mph (? I’m writing from memory) on a 24 with 125mm cranks.

Some time ago, I tried my 24 with a variety of cranks including 89, 102, 110, 125 and 150mm. I found 102s or 110s to be the fastest, but I never really worked at the 89s. I found I was hitting speeds of up to 14 mph or so, but only averaging about 8mph over a long ride. With effort, in ideal circumstances, I was able to average nearly 10mph for a couple of miles.

About a year later (give or take) I’ve done a lot of speed and distance work on the Coker, and raised my fitness level a bit (although it’s fallen off over the last few weeks as I’ve hardly been riding due to injury) and I reckon I could better those figures on a 24 now.

For comparison, my top speed on a Coker, with 150mm cranks, is 15mph, and I can cover 12.5 - 13 miles in an hour. That’s at age 40, so I guess that anyone in their teens or twenties would be 25% faster, at least.

To convert miles per hour to kmh, multiply by 1.609.

Re: Speed on a 24" Unicycle…?

chirokid wrote:
> What is a average speed on a 24" Unicycle?
>
> What is a really fast speed on a 24" Unicycle?

Well, unicycles are direct drive, so cadence correlates perfectly with
velocity if you stay on the damn ground. Assuming a genuine ridden
circumference of pi x 24", roughly 75.4", then a reasonable cadence like 90
revs/minute is 75.4" x 90 revs/minute x 60 minutes/hour x 1 foot/12 inches x
1 mile/5280 feet equals roughly 6.43 miles/hour.

A bigger wheel or faster cadence would, of course, be faster.

Knowledge is power.
Power corrupts.
Study hard. Be evil.

Re: Speed on a 24" Unicycle…?

From the News and announcements page …

“Christian Hoverath …800 metres in 02.06.34 minutes…”

that’s just under 15mph!

Leo White

Scott Kurland wrote…

“Well, unicycles are direct drive, so cadence correlates perfectly with
velocity if you stay on the damn ground. Assuming a genuine ridden
circumference of pi x 24”, roughly 75.4", then a reasonable cadence like 90
revs/minute is 75.4" x 90 revs/minute x 60 minutes/hour x 1 foot/12 inches x
1 mile/5280 feet equals roughly 6.43 miles/hour."

I know that you have plenty of experience, Scott, but do you really consider 90 revs/minute a reasonable cadence on a uni? Even though bicyclists consider 100 revs/minute a fast cadence, i find that unicyclists exceed that on a regular basis. If you apply that formula to Christian’s record run…granted, that is an extreme case…then figure a legal 24" wheel…you come up with a cadence slightly above 230 revs/minute!

Re: Speed on a 24" Unicycle…?

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Chuck Webb wrote:
> Scott Kurland wrote…
>
> “Well, unicycles are direct drive, so cadence correlates perfectly
> with
> velocity if you stay on the damn ground. Assuming a genuine ridden
> circumference of pi x 24”, roughly 75.4", then a reasonable cadence
> like 90
> revs/minute is 75.4" x 90 revs/minute x 60 minutes/hour x 1 foot/12
> inches x
> 1 mile/5280 feet equals roughly 6.43 miles/hour."
>
> I know that you have plenty of experience, Scott, but do you really
> consider 90 revs/minute a reasonable cadence on a uni?

Well, I have plenty of experience on a Coker. I think it’s a reasonable
cadence on a Coker and on a bicycle, but I’ve never ridden a 24" unicycle,
so I really don’t know what a sensible cadence would be on one.

> Even though
> bicyclists consider 100 revs/minute a fast cadence, i find that
> unicyclists exceed that on a regular basis. If you apply that formula
> to Christian’s record run…granted, that is an extreme case…then
> figure a legal 24" wheel…you come up with a cadence slightly above
> 230 revs/minute!

Actually I came up with 210. He went 15 mph, right? Anyway, a world record
sprint is so very not a reasonable cadence. Half that, maybe?

Knowledge is power.
Power corrupts.
Study hard. Be evil.

After putting the math to some of my own rides, i think you’re probably about right, Scott. My average speeds on the coker and the 29er only work out to a cadence of about 100 - 110 on a good day. I think that would translate to about 6 - 7 mph on a 24". Guess i won’t be setting any world records soon!

Thanks
Chuck

24" speed…

Thanks Guys, I had no idea of good or fast speeds. That gives me something to shoot for.

But, just like Mikefule, I also am 40 yrs. old, so I might have to be realistic about very high speeds. Maybe I’ll just shoot for the 800 meters in 2.20 instead.

Joking aside, does anyone know if that was on a 400 meter track, or a straight course? --chirokid–

Speeding on a 24" Unicycle

There was two questions posed, what is an average speed, and what is a really fast speed.

I think a world record answers the second question quite nicely, Scott do you disagree that a world record is a reasonable cadence for a really fast speed?

I have never measured speed with a speedometer, except for having a car drive beside me and call out their speed and I’ve forgotten the results. I’d say an average speed for relaxed riding is similar to a fast jogging speed, and a really fast speed is the same as fully fledged running, I don’t think I can get up to sprinting speed without being flung off. I have cranks from a 20" on my 24x1.75" Unicycle and that goes pretty fast if I have the seat up a decent height. With the seat down low (I have it that way so other people can learn on it) I get tired faster and I can not maintain as much speed. It’s more comfortable to ride with your legs straightish especially when going flat out.

I can go reasonably fast going off-road and downhill on a 24x3" with 170mm cranks, but on pavement it gets a bit sluggish and just cruises. I have the seat low on the MUni for extra hopping potential, maximum speed is not my main focus on that Unicycle.

My best is 21.9km/h on my muni (24" x 3", 145mm cranks). I have no idea what I average, but it’s much slower.

Andrew

My rough calculations show I’ve hit around 140rpm on the Coker on 150s. On that basis, a smaller wheel and shorter cranks should produce a faster maximum cadence.

Very briefly, on a 24 with 102s, I think I’ve hit around 210rpm.

100rpm is NOT a fast cadence for a bicyclist who is riding for top speed over a short distance. It would be a fairly comfortable cadence for a fit cyclist trying to cover long distance fast.

Once on my 24" torker, I hit the speed of light and got caught in a time vortex for a brief time and i instantly aged 100 years and wound up in scandinavia.

Which… you know… can suck.

Re: Speed on a 24" Unicycle…?

Rowan wrote:
> chirokid wrote:
>> *What is a average speed on a 24" Unicycle?
>>
>> What is a really fast speed on a 24" Unicycle? *
>
> There was two questions posed, what is an average speed, and what is a
> really fast speed.
>> -Originally posted by Scott Kurland-
>> He went 15 mph, right? Anyway, a world record
>> sprint is so very not a reasonable cadence. Half that, maybe?

> I think a world record answers the second question quite nicely, Scott

> do you disagree that a world record is a reasonable cadence for a
> really fast speed?

Nope. Good point.

Knowledge is power.
Power corrupts.
Study hard. Be evil.

Re: 24" speed…

I did a couple of 800m races here in Switzerland. I race in the over 40 category. The best 40+ guy usually rides the 800m in 2:28.
If you’ve never done 800m before and you’re over 40, then a time under 3 minutes is fast!

The 2:06 world record was on a 400m track course.

Yesterday, I went on a 10km road training trip with my 8 year old son. We wanted to check how fast he can ride this distance on his 20" uni.
He did it in 45:12. That’s 13.27km/h or 8.25m/h on a 20" with 114mm cranks

Cheers,
Franz

I’ve been riding my 24x3 at lunchtime recently. I usually do a couple of miles of single/double track. I’ve been averaging 5mph. Last Friday I rode off the edge of the map and ended up doing an extra 3 miles or so on road/cinder track but my average didn’t change. The last mile and a bit was all uphill, though.

The max speed on my computer seems to mess up quite regularly and read some ‘way too high’ number (I think it is the UPDs). When it does read a sensible figure it is around 8 to 10 mph.

I’ve got pretty long cranks and I’m aiming for staying on rather than going fast.

thanx for that xwonka
this thread was getting waaay to technically serious for my liking

So that was YOU!
Seing someone zooming by at the speed of light I assumed it was Harper.
I thought it didn’t look like blueshift

Stop by Copenhagen next time it happens

Morten

Doing speed before riding a 24" Unicycle

When I saw the name of this thread I initially thought it was referring to taking illicit substances before riding (such as the US airforce pilots are required to take before important sorties). Upon closer inspection it seems to be talking about distance vs time rather than stuff you snort, ingest or smoke. I’ve never done speed/methamphetamines and Unicycled, it would probably be similar to drinking lots of energy drinks except not as legal. I’d say a few people would have tried it to enhance their performance in races. Gizmoduck broke the long distance 24 hour record, and works for a hospital. Suspicious? He slept for a bit so it is unlikely he was on speed from the start. It would suck if they introduced drug testing before Unicycling events.

A good “normal” speed on a 24" would depend on what’s a comfortable cadence for you. 90-100 should be comfortable numbers. Based on the previous posts, you can take whatever cadence you like and convert it into mph or kph.

Off the top of my head, I think when a 24" was my main wheel size, a comfortable cruising speed was about double that of walking–around 6 mph.

My best personal speed ever recorded is 17.5 mph, with 127mm cranks. I’m sure I could have (at the time) hit a higher number with shorter cranks. But 125 is the minimum length for track racing, so that’s what I used. I’m sure riders have exceeded at least 18 mph since then. With a pair of 89mm or other short cranks, it should be possible to hit 20 mph.

I don’t know what the cadence is at those speeds, but it’s a lot. Basically, the limiting factor in sprinting is the fastest speed you can pedal, with a slight amount of reserve to keep you on if you get too far forward. So the more you practice, the closer you can get to your absolute maximum pedaling speed and still be in enough control to complete the 100 meters. For the longer races you need to set a lower cadence to complete the distance, so the factors there are different.