UDC 36er with Airfoil rim

Since Monday, I’ve been riding a new UDC 36er with the following specs:

  • Qu-Ax slick tire (standard)
  • Standard UDC frame
  • Stainless steel spokes (standard, I think…)
  • 152mm Pro-wheel cranks (a seven quid upgrade)
  • Blue wellgo pedals (think this might have been an upgrade too)
  • Blue UDC gel seat
  • Airfoil rim (the most expensive customisation)
  • 29er tube (kindly installed for me by Roger in place of the Coker tube)

My first impressions:

I expected this unicycle to be a beast. My previous big wheel was a Nimbus 29er, and when I got that I found it took a long time to feel really comfortable controlling that huge mass compared to my little old 20". To my surprise, the 36er really doesn’t seem any harder to ride, feeling at least as nimble as the 29er. I’ve not had any problems with road crown, threading between bollards, etc, is going fine so far too.

The speed is a substantial increase: so far I’ve hit 15.6mph and felt quite stable. The highest I got without UPD on my 29er was 13.6mph. The speeds I achieve seem to be more consistently high, and I’m comfortably managing 10-11mph on my commute, including a few traffic lights and a really steep humpback bridge (the bridge is also easier, partly due to higher speed of approach, presumably).

The Nimbus Gel saddle is compact, comfortable, and nice-looking as always but I had to tighten up a few bolts when it first arrived.

Overall, it’s an amazing machine, it’s really quite practical as a bike replacement and a very very satisfying ride. I’m quite glad I decided to get the best wheelset I could afford, even though it was quite expensive with all the upgrades. I wouldn’t want to ride a 29er round town or on the open road anymore, so my Nimbus will be converted to an XC muni.

The huge wheel (and great speed) really turns heads, and it looks great.

I’d really recommend a configuration like this for someone who wants a large-wheel commuting uni. I suspect that with the airfoil rim it’ll also be very good for light XC muni, also.

Very very happy :slight_smile:

This sounds very familiar. :slight_smile:

Cathy

Actually, I always had the feeling that a Coker might be a bit on the large side. But having got myself one, I’m becoming pretty convinced that for commuting / touring / generally swooping about / XC rides the 36" wheel is some kind of sweet spot.

Nb. although it resembles one, there are no coker components in my unicycle. For this reason, it’s called “Pepsi” :wink:

I felt the same about my 36er (a stock Radial 360), just from the speed increase. In my case the 36er’s weight was noticeably more than my KH29, which has lighter components. But now I look forward to a 36er upgrade…

Groan.

I agree. I just want to ride and ride.

(PS I call mine semi coker cos some of it is and some of it isn’t).

Cathy

is the airfoil rim still available on the UDC coker becaues I don’t see it

I don’t think so.

I bought from UDC UK, so things are probably different, but…

When I bought the 36er (a UDC 36er, sometimes called the Radial 360 I believe) they were out of stock. Roger was able to build me one from parts, charging just 15 pounds extra for the wheel build - I just had the airfoil added when they built the wheel.

If UDC is the US is similar, I imagine you’ll be able to e-mail them and ask for a custom build with an airfoil rim.

I didn’t know UDC built wheels.

UDC in the UK do build wheels (for a fee). I don’t know about other UDCs… Certainly, getting a wheel built was a “custom” job, so it wasn’t explicitly marked on their site. If you want to get a custom job from your local UDC, best idea is probably to phone or e-mail and ask them if they can do it, how quickly, and what it’ll cost.

It only took a few days extra to get the build done here (and most of that involved sorting out the spec for the uni, Roger built the wheel itself very quickly).

it doesn’t ‘feel like a coker’ until you ride it with 127mm cranks

if you are unimpressed with it’s speed, shortne the cranks (and lengthen the stopping distance)

anything under 127 you’ll need half toe clips. As i’m finding out, jsut coz at high speed it’s hard to keep your footing correct and maintain it.

i’ve never even thought of using them for 110’s, or 40’s

do your pedals have big enough platforms?

I would really enjoy having a traveling uni, I know of plenty of bike trials that I would like to find the end to, and it would just be so much more fun on a uni.

-Justin

Haha, I think the 40mm cranks might be a bit short for me (I bought TWNR primarily to see Brian riding that!) but I’ll probably try shorter cranks at some stage. I have occasional problems with putting force on my bent knees though, so the 150s are quite comfy while I get used to it. I actually hit 17mph today according to my cyclometer - I’m not sure I want to go much faster than that on a uni :wink: (although I probably will anyway!)

I love having the 36er for general riding - the daily ride to / from work, going out for a blast in the afternoon to clear my head, on road, (limited) off road. It’s a really amazing machine and fantastic fun. I can’t get enough of it!

Me too, me too.

I rode my 29er XC yesterday for the first time since getting my semi-coker. It seemed so small and light. It was good fun to ride again for a one off and I felt that having ridden the coker so much and so often my riding had improved on the 29er as well.

Cathy

That’s really interesting - the Nimbus 29er always felt terribly heavy and large to me. Having got used to the 36er, I’ve been expecting the 29er will seem tiny and nimble. When it gets back from the friend who’s borrowing it, I’m intending to put long cranks and maybe a knobbly tyre on it, it take it offroad.

The interesting thing was that moving up to the 36" didn’t seem that different - it didn’t feel much more unwieldy than the 29er did. I guess it’s partly because the gear ratio is almost the same, whereas going from my 20" to the 29" was a big jump in leverage!

Anyone who thinks their trials unicycle is too heavy should ride a coker for a couple of weeks, then

I agree about the 36er not seeming that different to the 29er when I started to ride it, but going back to the 29er, it feels like a 24" or something and so light (I haven’t got the airfoil rim yet so my semi-coker may be heavier than your 36"). Anyway, I’ll be interested to hear how you find it.

I’ve got long cranks and a knobbly tyre on my 29er and use it for off road.

Cathy

My 36er has a 29er tube stretched onto it, and the airfoil, so it’s a bit lighter than a stock coker (and, importantly, weight is saved at the outermost point on the wheel where it makes most difference to the moment of inertia). OTOH, the slick tyre is a bit heavier than the standard coker one.

My inspiration for making an XC Nimbus 29er was actually your setup - I think it’s a great idea. Really UDC should offer it as an option, it’s like a budget KH29XC. I’ve bought some 150mm and 170mm cranks so I can try some really crazy stuff on it when I get it back!

Did you find idling easier on the 29er after the coker?

Yes. Although I haven’t tried idling on the coker. When I did try idling on the 29er on Sunday, it felt more like idling on the 20" than it had done before. Does that make sense?

In fact, after riding the coker so much recently the 29er just felt like a 24" had previously felt. I felt I had much more control over the 29er as well. It rode really well over sand, gravel and grass. My new Bontranger tyre was fantasitc. Definately UDC should sell it as an option. I would go for: Nimbus gel saddle, 140 (or 150) cranks, Bontranger 29" tyre (rather than Kenda Klaw).

So for me, I just need the nimbus gel seat.

Cathy