I want to do another century soon, and for my next one I want to try it on my ungeared 29er! I’ve been pondering the pros & cons about doing it on a smaller wheel, especially ungeared. What I feel would be the pros are: much less weight, more control and maneuverability, and much easier to mount later in the ride when you legs are getting tired.
The cons would be that an ungeared 29er covers a lot less ground per revolution vs the 36er. That’s really the only negative I can think of, and if I’m not in a big hurry, it might be a very enjoyable ride. I was also thinking of getting 102mm cranks to give me more efficiency in spinning and a bit more speed, and also swap over my KH t-bar from my 36er.
I just love the feel of my 29er and I think I should be able to do a century mostly problem-free. Any thoughts, or replies from anyone who has done a century on an ungeared 29er?
Not sure. I haven’t tried 102’s yet, but I plan to order some. For a century, I think that size would be better suited for the 29er than the 36er, where anything shorter than 110mm–for me at least–could/would be counter productive, and require possible more physical output to maintain the same speed as the 110’s, especially in headwinds and uphill.
Since the century course I’m planning will be mostly on flat, I think the 102’s would be the optimum choice on the 29er, but I’ll have to try them to be sure. I’ve tried 110’s and they seem ok, but I still feel there’s a bit too much leg movement, but they are perfect on my 36er. I’m also wondering if I would be better served using a smoother road-type tire, like the big apple, rather than the wtb stout, which is best suited for xc riding.
Well, the course I rode and will ride again, doesn’t really lend itself to fast riding, specifically, the last 40 miles or so, where you have to contend with traffic, stop signals, no bike lanes, and crowded beach bike paths.
My in-saddle time was about 9:48 for 104 miles, but there was significant time lost for broken spokes, filming my ride, and the aforementioned last 30-40 miles. I was unsupported and solo, but I wasn’t going for speed; this was my first century and so I just wanted to finish and get a good feel for the whole experience.
I’ve never been a “distance” guy. 99% of my riding has been MUni from for the last 4+ years. So I really wanted to pace myself, since it was my first really long ride, but I do think I could get do the 100:10:1 thing on a different, less congested course. It’s just not my top priority at the moment. And for much of the ride, I was having so much fun…I didn’t want it to end!
PS: I’d want to make darn sure that 100mm cranks would be the right size, (couldn’t find 102 isis) as they don’t seem to make any dual holed cranks that short, like 100/110, etc.
I was checking out more road-type 29er tires, and saw that udc has this. In the very short description it states that it’s a replacement for the numbus 29er. Doesn’t mention whether it’s compatible with the KH 29er. But if it’s a 29er size, shouldn’t it fit the KH?
The big apple 29er comes in 2.35 width, but UDC only carries the 2.0 width. Would there be an advantage to the wider big apple on a 29er, for long distance riding?
29er just means using a fat tire on a 700c (622mm) rim. Any decent bike shop should have a number of options for fat road tires. The only problem is that unicycles have much wider rims than bikes, so you can’t go with a tire that is too narrow. (Rim width compatibility chart for bikes, I think someone posted one that goes wider for unicycles.) I think you’ll want one with the least tread you can find. On pavement tread just makes noise and slows you down. The wider tire will give you more suspension for a “cushier” ride. Which width is faster depends on how smooth the pavement is. Anything in the 2 to 2.5 inch range should be fine. (Note: I haven’t gotten to ride a 29er uni yet… this is based on lots of bicycling plus riding on several 20 and 24 inch unis.)
What is your reasoning for this? Do you mean for distance riding on a 29er specifically, or just any uni-riding at all? Just curious why. Wouldn’t the extra .35 width make the ride more Cushy since it would have more volume, and take bumps and uneven road conditions better? I would also think that it would not add a significant amount of weight.
Thanks for the replies! Good stuff to know and think about.
I just got off the phone with Josh at UDC. The news is that THIS will be the 29er tire for road/distance riding. He says that the tires are on order but cold not yet give a definite arrival date. He also said he greatly prefers it to the big apple. It’s also much lighter at only 690g. (1.5 lbs)
Thanks Mario! That sounds quite interesting, and I will have to try that. Thanks!
Well, this will be my second century, albeit on a non-traditional, smaller, non-geared wheel. Not sure how many people (if any) have done a century on an ungeared 29er, but I’d be interested in hearing from anyone who has! But then again, I’m sure someone, somewhere has likely done a one-day century on an even smaller ungeared wheel, like a 24 or even a 20! I won’t be doing that anytime soon, haha! I’ll draw the line, at 29!
But I do indeed plan on doing the STP 202 mile route in the near future, with the goal of doing it in 24 hours or less. I just have to get car support! I don’t want to get run down by a drunk driver at 3am! :o
I don’t know about the pain part, but the extra 13,000 revolutions sounds like quite a lot. What I was going to say is that all that extra pedaling will have an impact on your joints. You’re definitely going to need to train for a lot more revolutions.
I recommend you get out and do some long rides on a 29" on the same type of terrain you plan for your century route. If it’s a flat route, 102 is probably longer than you want. I used 102s for 29" racing (100m and 1500m), and it worked fine for that. I also used 102s on a Coker for the Marathon race in Denmark, and did really well. That course had only small rises in it.
So consider 89mm cranks also, and start stocking up on the glucosamine!
Yeah, 89mm sounds like a good compromise between Mario’s 75’s and the 100’s. To put the extra revs another way, it would be the equivalent of riding 125 miles on my 36er, or 75 miles on the 36er would be the same revs as 100 miles on the 29er. Yep, dat be a lot more spinnin’!
Edit: These seem to be the only choice for 89’s. The other thing is that the KH 29er hub, like the KH 36er hub, is narrow (not like the “super wide” we see a lot on the others) and so the q-factor on the moment cranks are kinda necessary. The 89’s are zero Q, so I wonder if that will be a problem.
Narrow should not be a problem unless you know your body doesn’t like it. Some of the top racers have “gone narrow” in an attempt to maximize things. For long distance riding I would think it an improvement if anything, but if you have a problem with a narrow setup it may be different for you.
I took my 29er out for a ride yesterday, after installing the KH Handle and shorter cranks from my (now unrideable) KH 36er, and got a shock not 5 minutes into my ride! Earlier, I had cleaned up the 29er since it was caked with weeks of dirt from the trails.
I sprayed a generous portion of Armor All on the stout tire…BIG mistake! A fair amount of it must’ve seeped into the bead area of the tire, and later when I was riding it, a part of the tire just blew off the rim! I didn’t know what had happened at the time, except that all of a sudden my wheel/tire seized against the brakes and I went flying off!
I thought maybe the brakes just seized up somehow, but as soon as I saw the tire I knew why it had happened. I went back home, deflated the tire, cleaned it with soapy water, and inflated again. Problem solved. The partial blow off from the rim did throw the wheel out of true though.