When I bought my 26" Oracle, I opted for the 127/150 cranks arms. I have been on the Oracle now for about 3 weeks. Really liking it, as you might know. I have only used the 150 holes up til now. I was curious yesterday and gave the 127 holes a shot. It was as if I was attempting to mount a bronze statue of a unicycle. I was in the middle of the woods and there was nothing around for an assist, so I switched back to the 150s. Thinking about trying again this weekend, with a friend around for “support.” I am wondering though, if I need to wait a bit. Just from the brief attempt yesterday, it seems like a big difference. the torque needed to getting the wheel going seems much greater than what I’m used to. I’m wondering if I need a little more time and experience. It seems that it might be a little harder to control in the 127 setting. One thought is to pump up the tire and try it on a flat and smooth surface first… Anyway, I would love your thoughts and advice. Thanks!
Yes good idea, pump it up a little more and ride it on smooth surfaces. You just need to get more saddle time and get the distance riding to improve on the shorter cranks then afterwards you can attack the trails and much further improve.
I run 165mm Venture cranks on my 26" Oracle. I’m 6’2" and 200 lbs and there are serious hills in my neighborhood. I’ve experimented with shorter cranks on my mUni, but I kept coming back to the 165mm. I think it’s a good thing you are experimenting. New techniques have frequently been revealed to me as a result of changing my setup, particularly changing my crank length. So experimentation is a good thing, even if you’re not thrilled with the results.
This afternoon I rode 10 miles on my new 20" guni. It was a loop through the Aliso and Wood canyon. I rode most of it in high gear with 137mm cranks. That’s like riding a ~ 30" uni with 137mm cranks. Not so unlike riding your 26" with the 125mm setting. I can feel a little bit of soreness in my legs as a result of having to apply greater force to the pedals to make corrections. When the hills got steep I down-shifted. There’s a certain technique of climbing hills with shorter cranks, involving alternately swinging your upper and low body forward. I was using this technique on moderate hills in high gear.
I’d wait a while, then try the 127mm setting again. I don’t think it’s particularly appropriate for mUni; you might consider using it for a longer, flatter ride. BTW, during the last mile of my ride today, I did a face-plant in high gear; I was going fast and couldn’t provide the necessary impulse to accelerate the wheel. You have to be careful of that with shorter cranks, particularly near the end of long rides when you’re tiring out.
You’d be amazed on how the body will adjust. Just dont expected it to happen overnight, a couple of weeks at best, especially on a good amount of incremental change. I can say that it took me a good half a year going from my familiar 165s to 89s on my 36er. Afterwards , a good couple of months to enjoy the trails and steeper climbs on the 125s/36er. Patience . Just be patient it will happen as muscles develop and muscle memory makes it familiar.
Hmmm, I think I will give myself some more time in the saddle. It isn’t quite natural yet to be on this thing, I still have to think about pretty much everything when I’m riding. When I am totally comfortable, I’ll give the 127s another try. And, that will give my legs some more time to get ready. Anyway, only one change at a time. When I ordered my Oracle, I upgraded the seat to a KH Fusion Freeride, thinking that I wasn’t going to like the stock seat. I was surprised to find the stock seat AND the KH seat in the package. I have held onto the KH seat before sending it back, thinking I would give the Nimbus seat a chance. Now, as it turns out, I need it to make the handlebars work. So, I will switch seats today, adjust…then add the handlebars. The 127s will have to wait until I get used to these changes.
Wow, they make a geared 20"? I guess I have to save more money. That sounds wonderful! Except for the face-plant thing. Ouch!
So, who makes a 20" geared uni?
You can put a geared hub in any size unicycle. The hubs are made by Schlumpf Innovations in Switzerland.
Changing crank lengths can be tough at first. When going to shorter cranks make sure you raise your seat a bit to have nearly the same leg extension at full stroke. The easiest place to learn a new crank size is on a very slight downgrade where you don’t have to push the wheel to keep going but don’t have to hold it back either to avoid picking up speed.
My nimbus unicycles came stock with seat bolts in the 4mm hex variety. I had to do a fair amount of tightening of them over time, leading to them nearly being stripped. I’ve already swapped out the 4mm hex bolts for 5mm hex bolts, which are sold by UDC. The 5mm bolts are way better. I am hoping that UDC starts using them stock.
I suggest ‘not’ over-tightening the seat bolts…but frequently checking the tightness of them after initially installing the new seat. As a newbie, I had some troubles as a result of not checking the tightness of that part of the unicycle. When handlebars are added, the bolts get even more force applied to them.
Regarding my g20, yes, that’s a 19" trials wheel with a Schlumpf hub built into the center. Silva Cycles did the wheel build. I had some initial headaches with the g20, but things seem to be working smoothly, and I had a great, long ride on it yesterday.