The easy solution there is to sabotage at least one of your competitors’ unicycles.
I suppose that’s worthy advice, but in this case part of the question is what setup to use. First we have to determine that.
For me, the Switzerland Unicon Marathon was a question of whether I could finish. I rode the last 3/4ths of the race not being sure. On the previous two days I had ridden down the so-called “Normal” Muni Downhill course. That’s 1000m of downhill with no brakes–ouch! My knees were toast. I finished the Marathon, on my borrowed 29er Schlumpf, but not fast. I stopped once to assist another forums member who had crashed (Enweeler? Something like that; a young Dutch man), and then stopped farther along to alert the course officials of where he was. And I stopped several other times to “take pictures”…
Always sage advice from Bungeejoe. I have been doing some of that lately with my Road riding, but that’s topic for some other thread.
So. looks like you have a 32" with “stuck” 150mm cranks, and a 36" with a choice of crank length. You are worried about being able to freemount the 36" mid-race, especially when tired. 150mm is only a good Road racing size if your course has lots of big, steep hills. On a 36". The typical size crank people used for Ride The Lobster was probably 125, which works on all but the steepest of hills, and still allows more speed.
I don’t know how much time you have to prepare, but my recommendation is to try 125s on the 36". They will seem scary at first, but if you stick with them, you’ll be able to ride anything you could on your longer cranks (except really steep hills). If you want to really push this idea, get a pair of shorter cranks, like 110s, and then ride with those. Not necessarily for the race, but to help make you comfortable riding (and mounting) with the 125s.
Work on the freemounts. Best way to mount a 36" is with a semi-rolling mount; the wheel stops while you jump and rotate up to the top, then continues when you get up there. Practice it when you’re tired. If you can do it when you’re tired, you can do it during a race.
For me, 125 is still considered long for Road riding on an ungeared 36". I used that size for Ride The Lobster because the courses had plenty of hills, but on my local bike path, my favorite size was 114.
From what little I know of the Netherlands, it’s pretty flat. I have been there, 36 years ago. Sem Abrahams let me try his 43" Rickshaw Wheel unicycle. I couldn’t understand why it took me so many times to get on it! I had a 45" wheel at home. Oh, because I found out it had 114mm cranks on it! But that heavy, industrial strength wheel with it’s overbuilt steel rim was fine on the level pavement once you got it going.
So give the 36" a chance. With 125s. If you get confident with the mounts, you’re going to love it!
Dutch trying to be cheap again… It costs 3 Eurocents to do that trick properly, although one of the usually can be used again.
But all is not lost: remove the opposite side crank bolt. Take a punch and hammer, and punch the coin back through where it came from. Take a small pick, (like a dentist pick) or something similar to remove anything that is stuck in the threads. Now, you can either: very carefully screw in your crank bolt, (using lots of oil, and being hypercautious to not crossthread it), or take it to a bike store and have them chase the threads with a tap. Get a proper ISIS bearing puller, or atleast the little steel insert thing while you are there.
If you managed to really destroy the steel threads with a copper coin (I doubt that), there is always the possibility of drilling it out to M15. (Unless your hub is M15 already).
Or did you damage both the threads in the hub and the crank? In that case, you can usually still get the cranks of by riding it without the bolt for a while. Which is why:
Ok I decided to drill through the coin until the hole was big enough to put in an Allen key and managed to get it out. The threading of the bolt was not damaged, only of the crank. I could ask an LBS to take off the cranks, as they are much more technical than me. Im into software not hardware
This weekend I will give the 36" a chance again just with 150mm. Just to see how much faster I will be with only the bigger wheel size. Compared to the times from last years event, I wasn’t even the slowest had I competed with the 32" then.
I brought the 32 to the LBS to take off the cranks and decided to ride 20km on the 36". Before the trip I decided to practice mounting and I ended up not hopping high enough. I sorta freefloated in the air sitting on the seat but feet beside the pedals. Then fell sideways on my hand and hip, which hurt quite a lot. Nevertheless rode 20km after that. With the 36" I could ride 17.4 km/h. Certainly faster than 32, but I think it is more comfy to ride the 32.
I was soo silly. I got the uni back from the LBS and he managed to get off the cranks, but he told me to grease the threading and crank connection and not to screw the bolts in too tight, so what did I do. I was so happy to have it back and without looking put the first crank on… on the wrong side, which I noticed when screwing in the pedal. So it had to come off again, but… it was stuck again. I was already thinking of having to go back to the LBS and feel all embarrassed for doing something so silly. Then I reckoned, I could try taking it off with two 2-euro cent coins, but coins are just too weak and now I have 2 more bent coins. Then during dinner I got the idea of finding a washer which should be stronger, but instead I found the perfect nut, which fit right in the crank hole and was very thick and strong and flop the crank came off. Now I put on the 140mm cranks and didn’t screw in the bolts too tightly.
Coming days I can focus on mounting with the shorter cranks. Going down to 125mm cranks, which I do have, is impossible for me to mount, but I also find that on inclines they hurt my knees.
With your unicycle-crank-luck, you probably won’t have to decide which uni to ride. It’ll just be whichever uni isn’t broken on race day;)
I participated in the danish 10km last year and finished as 6 of 7, 2nd last, but I did set a personal record. Just over 30mins on a 36.
The top 2 were in the 24min range. This year I know to aim for a PR somewhere under 30min and maybe 5th place instead of 6th:)
If it’s your first competition aim to finish and maybe beat your own record:)
Also have you tried the wheel grab mount? It’s the reason why I’m reluctant to install my handlebar:)
yeah it will be my first race actually. 10km is easy enough to finish. Today after work I took the 32" for a spin and expected the mounting to be more difficult with the 140mm, but it is practically the same as 150, so no problem at all. I had a feeling I could make good speed, but I onlly rode about 3km.
Where in DK do you live? I used to live just north of Aarhus in Hadsten and even though I moved back to Holland, I still visit DK 4 times a year for work. I always bring a uni to ride in the forest near there.
I’ve never mastered the wheelgrab mount, because I felt like I would tumble off forwards. The static mount works best for me.
My great great grandfather was born in Anslet about 15 km NNE of Haderslev. His father came from Vonsild just south of Kolding and his mother’s family were originally from Tvilho in Aastrup parish to the west of Kolding
My gggf left for Australia just before he would have been conscripted into the Prussian army and never saw his family again.
cool such a small world. So the Danish language is in your blood, passed on through DNA
As I wrote my reply, I didn’t see JohnIbs details, but I can see it was right there. Haderslev is not around the corner from Aarhus.
I need your foresight about my first race. It will be a 10km XC standard (aka not competitive) in Italy. I own a hunirex half dismantled (I rode it 6 months ago last time) and a 29" KH with 125… I’ll ride the 29" as I feel more confident… will I be the last? Will I be the only one riding an ungeared 29"?
Today I went for another run with the 32". This time with 140mm cranks and I was 4-5 minutes faster on the 10km than last time. I even UPD-ed close to the end, because something creaked and I looked down to my feet, which resulted in loss of balance. I had a good speed, but I could run out of it. The creak was because the crank bolt had loosened. Hopefully it won’t do that during the race. Even with the UPD I made a better time than 2 weeks ago.
My trip is about 20km. Also there is about 90 metre height difference. On the way back though, my legs were very tired and I had to stop a few times. With the slightly shorter cranks I mostly feel the muscles above the knees and I could more easily keep both hands on the T-bar. If I can keep this up every weekend, I should be able to make a good time for the run in May.
My Vet is in Anslet, well my dogs Vet to be specific
And my wife takes care of the elderly in Vonsild.
I suspect alot has changed in vonsild since your gggf left, though Anslet is such a small town it might be recognizable still:)