Hey, Unicycling in South Africa is quite a new Oddity so I’m a bit clueless…
We are doing a race on a Nimbus 36" called the 94.7 challenge, thus 94.7 km…
I did a 40km race yesterday( not dismounting once), I had an awesome dash to the finish line, this one old, “grannypa” , he surely couldn’t live with himself if a Uni beat him! HAHA he won though, with the crowd cheering and him laughing I crossed the Finish line in 2h30!!!,and felt good except for my butt,
I just have a few questions:
What is the best way to handle hills, stand up or what??
Downhills damn they are more difficult than the hills what to do??!!
What can I do to make my butt not hurt so much… like the correct shorts and pants etc??? Or lubes!!!
Having a good seat. Most distance riders seem to prefer the Kris Holm Fusion Freeride saddle. It has a channel in the middle and does not curve as much up front as some saddles.
Having a handlebar. You can make your own (do a search on the forums), or simply buy the T7 handle on unicycle dot com. This allows you to have another point of contact to take some pressure off your crotch.
Riding more so you get used to your saddle and eventually the soreness won’t be an issue.
To answer your other questions…
When riding up hill, standing off the saddle is good because it gives your crotch a break. I usually stand up, lean forward, and pull up on my handlebar.
When riding downhill, I usually tuck my body in so my head goes forward and I move my hips backward, so I am kind of tucking with my head forward, while leaning back at the same time if that makes sense at all.
Something that will really help with the downhills is a brake. Getting a nice set of magura hydraulic brakes that you can press on slightly when going down steep hills really takes the pressure off your legs and knees.
–One last thought that may help with soreness…what size cranks do you have? If you are running longer cranks, you tend to wobble and bounce around a bit more and that may contribute to saddle soreness. If you haven’t already, try running some 125mm cranks instead of the standard 150mm ones.
Yes, if you aren’t using some kind of cycling shorts you’re a masochist. All those bicyclists were probably wearing them. Then you can look into different seats, but none is perfect and your favorite may not be everyone else’s.
The most important way to keep your crotch from catching on fire in a race is to try to take breaks if you can. Many of us rode without a dismount in the Marathon (42km) race at Unicon in July. Yeah, the last 10k were very unpleasant in the crotch area! Even stopping for 30 seconds can make a huge difference. You just have to consider if you need that 30 seconds to make a difference in your expectations of finishing time.
Also you can try to ride off the seat, though this seems less effective than a brief stop. Stand up for 30-sec. to a minute at a time and see how that works for you. Also shifting around on the seat can help, but mostly it just delays the inevitable. Believe me I was shifting around constantly toward the end of that 42k!
I think the standing up rule is similar to what it is for bikes. In other words, if you can handle the grade seated, it takes less energy and you’ll be more efficient if you can stay seated. But once it goes beyond a certain angle (you’ll know after a while), or if you want more speed, it’s time to stand up and crank. Ride more hills, and you’ll get a good idea of when you need to stand up and when to try not to.
Look into adding a brake. Adding a brake to a stock old Coker, for example, is not that complicated. Mine is held on with automotive hose clamps and it works great. You can probably order exact parts for your Nimbus or build something up with local bike (and/or car) parts. A brake will not only save your knees, but also your energy on those downhills.
Covered above. Also, having a handlebar or handle that you can put some weight on makes a big difference. That’s part of why bikes are less hard on the crotch; in a proper road-biking position, about 40% of your weight is supposed to be on the handlebars. That’s less weight on the seat! I don’t put nearly that amount of weight on my handlebars, but any amount of leaning on them takes pressure off the crotch.
I’m sure I replied to this post yesterday, but where has my reply gone?? To repeat just the short of it:
Not so odd. There are more riders in SA.
That, and longer cranks.
Add a brake, or (again) longer cranks.
Both hills issues would also benefit from practicing.
b. a good seat, like KH Freeride against numbness if that is the issue.
c. cycling shorts. Re chafing: long enough ‘sleeves’ on your shorts, so that you don’t rub the seat. Re numbness: NO padding is better, especially when combined with the freeride seat.
EDIT: oops, my earlier reply was on Just Conversation…