I’ve ridden with some really great riders who swear by brake lever extensions of various kinds - Steve Colligan, Kris H, and a few others. I’ve also had a bit of a ride on various unicycles with the lever extender things that people used to have. But until now I’ve never managed to get hold of a lever extension myself.
So anyway, suddenly they are easy to get hold of, so I just got me a Kris Holm Spooner and I got a chance to ride it today on my local trails, and wow, what a difference. Even over a short evening ride (just under 10 miles) the difference is noticeable.
It really lets you brake smoothly and keep in control, even over bumps, through mudslides or when sliding down a slippy rock face. I rode some of the hardest bits I’ve previously ridden, but in control all the way, and also hit some trails I’ve never done before because of their excessive verticality. If you hit a root / drop off things, you never lose control of your braking finger, because it has a solid plate to hold onto.
I find it way better than the previous extensions I’ve tried - although this is the only one I’ve had on my own unicycle. It works great for single finger braking, which is how I brake on anything technical, but also is big enough so you can easily use 2 fingers (possibly even 3) - for those really long descents, when your braking finger gets tired.
In terms of the thing itself - I thought £12 was a bit pricey for a couple of bits of plastic - but now it has turned up, it’s really nicely made, fits perfectly, looks very neat, seems pretty solid. It has four little brass bits for the bolts to go into. Generally it feels like it’s pretty precisely made. In terms of what it does to braking, it’s well worth the spend anyway.
I tried a uni without a spooner and then one with it immediately after at RTL. It puts your hand in a much better position for braking, and makes holding the brake far more natural. Another great KH product! I’m looking forward to getting mine.
I think they’re really nice - much better than the L-shaped extensions. Roger had a bag of them at unicon and I even tested it against my Tektro brake lever to see if it would fit (it would if I ground the end of the lever off slightly). Then he told me the price and it went straight back in his bag - way too pricey for me to be able to justify I’m afraid.
The reason it is so expensive is because it is made of nice plastic, nice bolts, and it was designed to fit both generations of the magura HS33. Although I’ve only tested mine out briefly because of my knee, I love it. Expensive but completely worth it in my opinion.
It does seem like a steep price to pay at first, especially when looking at it - but frankly after using one on Roger’s MUni to ride the downhill at unicon, I can see why you would get one. Definitely worthwhile imo.
“Short”? What would you consider to be “average”, and “long” MUni ride distance? And would you still consider doing a 10 mile MUni ride-every day-still “short”? My typical average MUni ride is 9+ miles with fairly technical terrain, and a nice assortment of drops ranging from 2’-6’ and more, so there’s a lot of challenges along the 9 mile trail, including 1,600 feet of climbing. Just wondering.
I only found out about the Spooner just a week ago and was intrigued by the pix I saw of it. I have used two of Scott Wallis’s curved CF handles and loved them and found them to work very well. But, two of them broke. The spooner looks to be much more durable and i am looking forward to purchasing one. Anything that will make braking easier especially over an extended ride, I am more than willing to buy, even if it appears pricey. I haven’t bought anything for my Muni in over two years. Maybe it’s time for something new.
Just got one for my 24er. It really rocks, using the brake feels so much more natural now. Due to the somewhat high price (20EUR) I only got one so far, but sooner or later I’d like one on the 29er too. Compared to getting schlumpfed it actually is quite affordable.
Too expensive? It’s only $15 US…I don’t think that’s much to ask. I still don’t plan on getting one. I’ve been running a hacked off brake lever extender for 6 years now so I’m pretty used to that setup anyhow.
Haha you crack me up Jerrick! 33 miles on a 20". Lol! Get a frickin REAL MUni already! But I was talking about EVERY day, not once in while, or special events like Moab (MOBE! haha) There is NO way you’re doing 33 miles on a 20" or a real MUni (24"-26") every day. So like I said, 10 miles each and every day is nowhere near “short”. Especially when it’s technical, and not some easy-ass single track, or shuttle rides with no climbing.
I think what it comes down to, even 5 miles a day, or roughly 1 solid hour of technical MUni each day is a heck of a good way to stay fit. I say an hour since you may go back and do a line a few times, or do substantial climbing, so your overall average speed might be only around 5mph.
So if you double that to a 2 hours of hard riding a day, that’s not exactly a walk in the park and short by any stretch.
Oh, and on thread point, while I can see some people would benefit from Spooner, or similar attachment, but having pretty big hands and long fingers, I have no problem at all using the brake lever as it is.
I should have looked to see the price of the spooner before I posted earlier. It’s 20 bucks including shipping. That’s really not too much IMHO for a quality piece of equipment. Look at it this way. I always compare costs to going to the movies. Going to a movie costs about 8 or 9 bucks and in some places even more, and it uses up 2 hours of your time. If I go to 2 films and buy a small popcorn, I have spent more than the Spooner. What’s going to last longer? Riding the heck out of the spooner, or remembering a part of a film?
My first shuttle ride was at NAUCC. So far all my muni is pretty technicle, well, not technical with skinnies, but regular for me, which is drops,s teep down and up and rolling a lot of anything in my way. Single track is kept for the coker.
If I had a good 30-40 mile trail/loop by my house, id do it as much as possable. If it was a bet I would do it everyday, but id need to move somewhere for that. I plan to get a real muni soon. Been thinking of a 26".
WHo knows though, the spooner may make it even better. =p
It’s not about physically not being able to use the brake or anything - I’ve got pianist hands too, and it really works well for me. What it does is gives you a massive wide stable bit on the end of the brake lever, so you can single finger brake really precisely. It means you can use the brake less as a constant braking force on steep things, and alter the amount of braking force really precisely during a descent.
It’s long enough so that if I did it every day, I’d hurt. I muni at most a couple of times a week. But by short, I mean a ride that I don’t take a day out to do, just a local ride, riding for a couple of hours starting from my house. A couple of miles of it are on road to the trails, so I probably only did 7-8 miles of actual off road. I did have a big break too, cos I needed to pick some blackberries to make jam. If I take a day out to do a muni ride, it’s typically at least 15 miles, sometimes 30 or more, depending on who I’m riding with.
9 miles every day is pretty hardcore, especially with a big old climb stuck in it. Our local riding area only has a 60m/200 foot height gain in total, but you tend to ride it 6 or 7 times, going down different trails each time, as it’s pretty steep and short.
Perhaps I should clarify my comment about the price… I didn’t say it was necessarily overpriced as such (yes, it does feel very well-made and like all other unicycle-specific kit it’s probably a smallish production run), I meant it’s too expensive for ME to buy one. I don’t use a brake on my muni, so it would go on the coker. As I’m a fan of longish cranks (usually 145s), I only use the brake on a few steep hills (one in particular on my way to work), so can’t justify £12 for that small amount of use. If it had been £5 I probably would have bought one, but at £12 I have to think “do I really need it?” and the answer is “no”.
If you use a brake a lot for tech muni (I’m mostly a xc rider) then it would be much easier to justify the purchase.