The Handlebars have go to go!

Well, I tried, but I just could not get used to having handlebars (Nimbus Shadow) on my 29. Took 'em off yesterday for a ride and had more fun than I’ve had in a long time on that uni. I just find that they get in the way more than they help. If you are interested in trying a set, look for mine appearing in the classifieds forum shortly. They are, except for a scratch or two, in perfect shape.

How long are you riding?

How confident are you riding and holding onto the front handle/bumper?

i used to flail my arms around in the beginning, then i tried to let them hang in a more relaxed position on my sides (the left shoulder always wants to be first), no i get more and more used to using the front handle (first on uphills, now more and more during my ride).

I’d really like to try suche a handlebar.



turning with bars

My coker is the first I’ve ridden with bars. At first, as soon as I touched them I was loosing it. Now I ride with my left hand on full time and touching my right for short bits. My question is: How to work corners, as in: I turn left just fine with left hand on bar. Can hardly turn right with left hand on tho.
When I get confident enough to ride with both hands on, will I remove one hand and steer with the other hand the direction I’m going? Left hand, left turn, Right hand, right turn. Just with one hand I am using less energy riding.

I really didnt like bars for ages … then during the unicon I put them on and made myself use them!!!

Now I love them!! wouldnt ride a big uni without them, I even have aerobars on my 36

Totally converted :slight_smile:

I have tried the KH Tbar two different times on a 36er, the last time I used it extensively for off road riding. Though it works okay, for muni it is not as good as a single grab bar because grabbing on one side tends to place my hand too far outside the seat center.

I think the way Turtle runs his T Bar is probably about the best compromise if you want both a single and doible handle; he has a mtb grip in the center with the t bar portion extended. But for me, where I only use my 36er for muni, the double handle was really only going to be useful for long road rides, which I don’t do, so I also took mine off.

If I did a long road tour then I’d probably put it back on.

Using the bar instantly took the fishtail-wobble out of my ride. I was blaming the crank Q-factor for the high speed wobble. Everybody said inexperience was causing it. I agree, I’m new to 36ers, but on the road the bars definately help me.

I have a Shadow handle set on my 36 and a KH handle on my 29.

I found with the Nimbus Shadow that the T bar at the back did more harm than good. I also cut the front T bar fairly short. I now find it makes my riding smoother and faster.

It does take some getting used to.

If you have it too long, or too much weight on it (heavy lights, brackets etc) then it can mess up the steering.

I think handlebars are at their best on geared unicycles. Riding my geared 36" after the handle broke, I was surprised at the loss of leverage to keep the wheel in place beneath me as I changed power levels in the stroke.

But I got used to having a handlebar on my ungeared 36", on which it’s a boon to take some pressure off the seat. But a big or long handlebar is best for straight line cruising, and not so good if you’re making lots of turns. For example, MUni riders like Kris Holm use very short, close-in handles for riding that involves more maneuvering.

So far I only have handlebars on my two 36ers. I haven’t felt much of a need for one on any of my other unis, but if I went on longer rides on those, I’d want one.

I used to ride with a handle on my 29-er- got very used to it and found it very useful for extra torque on hills and for safety when going fast on roads and unstable surfaces.

But, it is one extra thing to add weight and it does make the unicycle more unwieldy when carrying, and, I did find myself getting very dependant on it.

So I took it off, got re-used to riding without it, and now ride handle-less.

Handles are very useful, but in no way essential for general riding- it comes down to choice, some experienced riders use handles, some don’t.

Certainly, in terms of sheer performance (speed etc), I’m pretty sure that’s a tad lower without the handle, but I think the rides tend to be more fun without it.

If you were an experienced uni rider getting his first 36 would you get bars for road riding? What kind and why? What’s the advantage? I’m looking at the oracle.

Yes. Shadow. To relieve crotch pressure for serious distance riding.

My geared 36er (the crown jewel of unicycles) prevents me from purchasing a 36" Oracle (already own a 26" Oracle MUni) but if I were to get one tomorrow it would have a steel (not aluminum) hub and a “The Todd” tire so I might consider a KH T-bar touring handle as it would be devoted to Coker MUni. Next purchase? The new Oregon is calling my name as well. Stop trying to make me buy more unicycles!

To the OP: My left (braking) hand rarely leaves the handlebar. When I started, I did not use the handlebar and just ignored it imagining it was not there. By design my first 36er Nimbus Impulse (sold) was equipped with a Shadow HandleBar so it was not designed to be ridden handle-bar-less. Eventually you will be learn to keep both hands on the bar which will square your shoulders to improve cadence without all the wobble.

No. I am an experienced rider who’s just got my first 36- a quax without a handle. I posted earlier in this thread why I don’t use handles anymore.

I do still have a handle and could put it on the 36, but certainly not while I’m in the learning phase with it. Plus, when learning, the 36 is getting a few drops, which wouldn’t be good for the handle.

Handles are good for road riding- i always felt that having a handle enabled me to ‘feel’ the road in a way that I can’t with a handleless setup- I also felt more secure gripping the handle, which is good when riding in traffic.

In the end though, I just prefered the simplicity of a handleless setup, and, though like others have said, I’d got dependant on the handle, after a few rides I adapted and didn’t miss it anymore.

Having said that, i think road riding on 36-ers is a scenario where having a handle makes a lot of sense: though I’d suggest leaving it off for the learning phase till you can ride the big wheel comfortably.

Isn’t the oracle hub cromo?

I’m not too concerned with a long learning period. I’ve tried a 36 and I didn’t find it too hard to adjust coming fro my 29. I free mounted it after a few tries. I took a few falls goin up a hill.

So how do the bars take the pressure off the crotch? Mainly this is not for long distance, it’s for a 7mile commute each way on bike trails, some sidewalks and a fire road. After 4 miles or so on my 29 I start to feel it in my crotch, but not terribly, and I never have pain after. God bless the kh seat.

That’s also interesting about it helping wheel wobble which I notice when I start getting tired.

It has taken me longer to get used to a handle on the 29 than it did on the 36.

The 36 is more stable, both vertically and side to side. It took me a few miles and I found I was using the handlebars most of the time except for very slow manouvreing or very steep hills.

After a few rides, I found that I was able to bank into tight corners in a way that I couldn’t before I fitted the bars - steering more like a bicyle and less jerkily.

The 29 is less stable and generally twitchier. It also tends to get taken onto rougher surfaces. I find the bars come into their own at fairly high speed, and I tend not to use them on really rough surfaces. I can now turn the 29 “like a bike” with both hands on the bars, most of the time.

On the plus side, the bars make me feel more focussed and smooth and I go faster for longer.

On the minus side, being focussed, smooth and fast can mean I miss the scenery, the sunsets, the wildlife. There is something more relaxed and “invovled” about riding “old style” without the bars.

On the plus side again, if nothing else, the bars are a great place to mount lights for night riding. I am not a big fan of head torches for road users

No. It’s aluminum.

It seems for my purposes, the Oracle 36 with

Since I am doing relatively shorter distances, 7 miles at a time and need some manauvarability, seems like the right choice. I am getting the Oracle 36 with the KH seat.

Some maneuverability? I thought 29" unicycle has better maneuverability but you gain more speed with 36". Right? The smaller the more maneuverable but less speed.

Please post photos and your report when ever you decide to get Oracles 36" :slight_smile:

I have rode my Nimbus 29" Touring on road and now I am having hard time to decide whether I should go for KH29 or Oracles 29" for off road. Maybe I should go for 36" anyhow :smiley:


On this subject…

I just installed my KH T bar to my 29er and took it for a spin…or more like TRIED to take it for a spin. I couldn’t ride more than 10 feet with the thing on! I wasn’t even trying to hold onto it, I was just trying to stay balanced! I felt like I was learning how to ride a unicycle all over again (and I probably looked like it from afar, too). I also noticed that when I was able to ride more than a few rotations, the unicycle was really fast, and as a result I could not dismount from the back; I could only fly forward off the thing. I think I had more UPDs today with the T Bar than I have in the past couple of months without. Maybe it’s because the unicycle is now front-heavy?

Is this normal for one’s first time using a handlebar? Arms flailing, tire going everywhere but straight, flying off the front? Maybe the handlebar isn’t for me. I’ll try it again tomorrow, but I just wanted to hear about your experiences.

I’d say get one as an experiment, not as a matter-of-course. I’m into my second year riding 36" and do a mix of road and light muni with a few medium drops off the local landscaping - none of which would benefit from having a handle. I would be interested to try a few different designs but don’t expect I’d use it full-time.

Yeah, it’s normal. The uni’s going to balance a ‘bit’ differently with the new weight on the frame. Your body will also need to learn how to balance without using your arms (since they’ll be on the bar).

Keep at it. Like everything on a unicycle (and everything else in life, I’ve found), it’s going to take some practice.

That said, in my experience, handle bars aren’t for everyone, or every situation. On the road, a handle bar is mandatory for me, but on my Muni, I ended up taking mine off. I found I climbed better in certain situations without the bar, and prefer handling technical sections without one.