Thank You Dave Stockton! (36/54)

Today was Christmas.

I got home to a nice big box, which has my brand-new 36" wheel. Firstly, I’d like to acknowledge David for his incredible wheel build. I can’t imagine someone putting more care and precision into a wheel. On top of that, his professionalism was top-notch. I HIGHLY recommend doing business with him.

…oh yeah, and this was built with my Harper hub. I rigged my hunter frame to work with the hub, but I’ll probably see about having a more professional conversion done. I put some bike euro 170’s on it.

So now, I am a card-carrying member of the geared-coker club.

Firstly, I’d like to remind everyone that I originally got this hub packaged in the form of a 26/39er. I have to be honest. I really didn’t like it very much in that form. It was just too twitchy and not much fun to ride. I hate to admit that, but I just never got comfortable riding it.

…so tonight, I put about 45 minutes into riding my new steed. I had a hard time mounting it at first. Let me tell you, the sooner you get it up to about 7-8 mph, the better chance you have of staying on it. However, once up to speed, this thing cruises. It’s MUCH less twitchy than its smaller incarnation. I don’t have a cycle computer on it yet, but i can see being very comfortable cruising at 15 mph on this puppy. All without spinning like a madman. I’m not planning on testing it’s limits (well…not yet)…but if anyone in the bay area wants to :-). I took it up a couple minor hills, and it was harder, but still managable. Anything remotely steep is probably out of the question.I think I’m really going to enjoy this.

Florin, if you’re reading this, you might consider building a 36. If it was on-the-fly shiftable, this would be the ideal touring uni (except for the weight, which is substantial, but I bet a schlumpf is lighter).

Sounds sweet, I have a couple of questions…

Did you notice a change in the amount you feel the “slop” with the bigger wheel? I would expect it to feel amplified…

Are you using a brake?

How solid does the drivetrain feel? Solid is maybe not the best word here, but its the one I’m gonna use. What I mean though is “Do you think you can break it?” Often on cheaper bikes I have to hold back on climbs because the drivetrain feels like it is going to die. I would almost expect a similar feeling coming from the innards of the hub…

Welcome to the club, cousin.

Knowing what I now know about geared unicycles, I’d say that a geared Coker would be suitable mainly for people who haven’t got a lot of “street” (or sidewalk) riding to do. With my Schlumpf, there is no way I’m going to idle at high gear (45"), so there is even less than no way a person would idle a geared Coker! Given the type of riding I do, I’d get a geared Coker only for exercise (as opposed to commuting).

It must feel pretty amazing once you get going. But it’s hard enough mounting a 45" wheel (and I also have a 46" uni with a hard rubber tire – it’s hard to mount, too). I can only imagine how difficult it must be to get that thing going. Wow.

And like you said, steep uphills would be impossible for the most part. Downhills, OTOH, would be “too” possible, so I hope you have a brake or a good insurance policy.

Sounds like we can expect some interesting details. Please keep us informed with updates! And definitely get a computer on that thing!

I’m glad you like it, Mike. It was a pleasure working with you. Actually the wheels are just an excuse to play with big cardboard boxes again.

Given David Stone’s “impossibility claim”, I’m sure we’ll see Mr. UW idling his by the end of the summer :wink:

I tried to idle Harper’s gypsy 24" (which hub was that, now?) in 1.5 mode when it was here on the East Coast and didn’t succeed, but I thought that a couple of hours more and I would have been able.

Mike decided to wait and get his wheel (with the powdercoated rim) with the machined braking track (first one, Mike!), so I imagine he’s brake-bound.

Re: Thank You Dave Stockton! (36/54)

A 36" schlumpf is available, though currently you can only get the frame and hub (you’d have to build your own wheel).

The slop feels exactly the same as it did on a smaller wheel. The slop doesn’t really affect the way the wheel reacts, it just feels like your crankarms are just barely starting to get loose. (which is why you should check them regularly since it’s hard to tell when they actually ARE getting loose)

…not using a brake yet, although that’s part of the plan (once I fix that leak in my wallet).

The drivetrain feels very solid, which I know doesn’t really answer your question. It doesn’t “feel” like I can break it, although I’m a little concerned since it’s sibling suffered a failure a few months back. I do know that internally geared hubs have been around for at least five decades (for bikes), and I think those hold up just fine.

Thanks David! I think this would be a fine commuter. …you just have to be a tad bit more careful. I think sidewalk riding probably isn’t the best idea. Idling is pretty much out of the question, although the technique I use at stop lights most of the time is the “stand-still with corrective hops” method. I haven’t tested this yet on a GUNI. It DOES feel amazing. I expected it to be harder and scarier.

I don’t think mounting is going to be that bad. I was having a hard time at first, but at the end of my 45 minute test last night, I was having pretty good luck. It’s probably easier than you’re 46" because of the height.

Thanks Dave! …and that IS a big box.

I’d be interested in seeing if anyone can idle a GUni. I used to think idling a coker would be impossible, but now I’m fairly profecient at it.

I’d glad you got the rim machined. It’s really beautiful! I’m very impressed with the quality. I’m sure I’ll like it even more when I actually put a brake on it.

Re: Re: Thank You Dave Stockton! (36/54)

Nah! I’d just send it to David.

Idling a guni

Regarding what my pal Stockton wrote about idling:
There is little point to idling a shiftable guni in high gear – just downshift into the low gear. In the case of Harper’s uni.5, I tested the first (24") version and found it easier to idle or ride one-footed on than my Coker. It took a few minutes’ practice (and a bit of bravery). I know that Roger Davies can pretty much do anything he likes on his Coker (wheelwalking included).
But even on my Coker, it makes little sense to idle since, as Mike points out, still-standing is easier and more practical. That’s what I’d do if I had to stop at a light while riding his geared up Coker. Idling a wheel with an effective size nearing 8’ per half-rev really doesn’t make sense, and it would be hard as hell. Unless you had cranks 2’ long.

Regarding cranks size:
170s are ok. That’s 7", right? I would probably opt for 7" and then consider going down in half-inch increments till hitting 6", but I don’t think I’d ever go shorter than that. It depends on the terrain. On my Coker, I was using 110s till I realized that I could have much more control without giving up commute speed if I went to 125s.

9" cranks wouldn’t be a bad idea!

Re: Idling a guni

170mm is actually about 6.7". I think I’m going to stay there for a while. There’s no need for short cranks since you really don’t have to spin, and you NEED the torque. I think it’s also easier to mount with longer cranks.

I think 9" (229mm) cranks would be a bit much unless you’re very tall.