Unicycle Mt. Evans?

Anyone want to uni mt evans this weekend or sometime soon? Starting in Idaho Springs it would be 6700+ feet of elevation gain from 7,586 to 14,127 feet. I biked from the lodge/fee area last weekend and it was perfect, there are still walls of snow from the plows. I know there is the bike race up Mt. Evans coming up sometime soon as well, but I am debating whether I want to pay the registration or not. It would be cool to get a bunch of unicyclists to do it and have our own competition to see who can get to the top first. It would be well worth flying out for, as Mt. Evans is the absolute best climb in the States, and the highest paved road in America.

Anyway, I know that Mike and Mark have both climbed it before, I have done it on a bike twice now, and I think I might tackle it on the unicycle this weekend. I should probably look towards getting my brakes adjusted for the 28 mile descent (ouch).

I posted these in the pictures of your latest ride thread, looking to replace the bike in the pic with a unicycle:

What Uni would you use? I have not ridden much over the winter and still getting back into it. No way I can make it up right now. Got a 24 and a 36. No breaks on either but it would be a good reason to get breaks for them…

I would most likely use my geared 29er with 150mm cranks. Low gear for the climb, high gear for the descent, and I probably wouldn’t use my brakes much as I am really bad at using them on descents. The other riders that have done this climb (two that I know of) did it on 36ers.

No need for brakes on Evans. It is a pretty gradual descent. I haven’t done it geared up yet, but I getting the new KH 26er from Uncle Remus in the mail tomorrow so I’m pretty psyched to get off road with it. Sunday AM I am definitely riding. If you guys both climb Evans I’d join in.

Cool, I want to try out your KH26er, it is still on my list to buy.

Sunday looks like a bigger chance of storms than Saturday, and the last thing you want is a storm while up on top of mt evans. I’ll see how the weather goes, but I might lean for Saturday instead. Either way I will probably be riding both days if the weather is alright, one day climbing evans and the other day @ buffalo creek.

I will have to pass this time, but we should start to do some group rides sometime. We met with Osmundo last year (?) and it was great.

I have now joined the “mount evans unicycle club”, so far I know that myself, Mike, and Mark have done the ride to the top. Am I missing anyone else?

Brutal wind the last 5 miles of the climb, the ride down sucked, I hate riding down long mountain roads on the unicycle. Cloudy and windy today, but still very awesome =]

6.3mph avg riding up - kind of slow but not bad considering the wind.

Nice pics, and great accomplishment, James! BTW, a simple v-brake would turn that descent from a chore into an easy cruise. Don’t tell Aspen - no-brakes - Mike I said that.

Congrats James, welcome to the club, that is a big ride. Its the last 5 miles that puts that climb into the elite class. Both times I rode it, I was totally immersed in another dimension on that section.

Steveyo; I have no idea what you are talking about. :slight_smile:

this pic is from 06 on the way down of the top few switchbacks

Found this: http://www.gb4mfg.com/mtn/Evans_8-4-04.html

I wonder if GB was the first to summit evans, either way, kind of cool that Mike, GB4, and I all used GB4 bars for mt evans. =]

James, great photos (both bike and uni)! Congratulations on that ride - sounds epic and awesome.

Can you say more about why the descent sucked? If it isn’t steep enough to need brakes, can’t you just sort of relax and let it ride itself? Or was the wind a factor blowing you all over? How would it be on a 36?

Speaking of brakes I recently tested the Nimbus 36 w/hydraulic disc brake. Mmmm, smooth!


nice looking hillclimb, wish I was in striking distance.

Amazing Accomplishment

I love to read these kind of challenges people undertake…and overcome. I know several people in Washington state that are quite pleased to have climbed Mount Rainer which is just over 14,000 feet to summit.

You rode a unicycle up a mountain of similar height. This is impressive

6% gradient for the most part, on that kind of gradient with a 29er in high gear and 150s it is kind of hard to relax as I am already spinning kind of fast. I have never been good at >5% gradient downhills and “floating” as some describe it. I have also never been good at using a rim brake and modulating the braking correctly (or maybe I just never was able to install the brakes properly at the perfect alignment), so I basically hate looong steep descents.

I need someone to see if the way my rim brakes are when I put them on are just not right or if it is just me and my inability to use them properly on long descents.

Once I get that figured out I won’t mind descents as much, but I find them annoying on the unicycle when the gradient is over 4% or so (which I know isnt even all that steep).

I wonder if using a V brake adapter for the magura mounts would feel smoother and be easier for me to use on descents??? Any thoughts on that?

The brake does have to be installed just right. It really makes a difference. It should feel completely smooth and nice in low gear and be very useable in high gear (although for me it takes some concentration and isn’t as easy). I have always used Maguras for my Munis and 36ers and 36 gunis. Keep adjusting till you get it right. Descents like that shouldn’t be that bad.

I recently put a V-brake on my 29" and was a bit apprehensive going into my first test ride. I had read a bunch of accounts saying that the brake takes a lot of practice to be able to use smoothly. On my very first attempt I was pleasantly surprised by how smoothly the V-brake turned a steep downhill into much lower grade. I have not had a UPD using the brake downhill on or off road. I’ve never used a Magura so I’m not sure how easy they are to adjust but I found it simple to setup the V-brake to have easy and smooth modulation, which I assume makes all the difference.

A cable actuated brake also makes it possible to use a friction shifter as a “cruise control” lever for drag braking. You could even add an interrupter lever to the setup to have the best of both. I think something like that would be great for a mountain descent.

Neither the Magura nor the v-brake solves the slight fluctuations associated with rim braking. That is, unless the rim is perfectly uniform, which it never is, the braking isn’t exactly smooth all the way around the wheel. I only suggested v-brake over the Magura because its a bit simpler and cheaper. (I’ve only tried Maguras a few times, on other peoples’ unis.)

I’ve set up my v-brake with the pads not parallel to the rim, but slightly toed-in, so the first contact just drags slightly at the front of the pads, which seems to make them easier to handle. I agree with Nathan that the high-gear braking requires more attention, but high-gear is where I really want the brake.

At some point, I’d love to get a disc brake. Perhaps the Mountainuni guys will sort out the Schlumpf/disc mounting issues, then my only problem will be convincing my powers-that-be of my need to spend another $200 on uni gear.

I have never really had a problem with rim brakes using Maguras, although a slight exception is riding in 54" mode on the geared 36 if it’s bumpy. That took some practice before I could do it. A properly set up brake on a Muni, 29er or non-geared 36 (even with 110mm cranks) should be relatively easy and safe to use.

Besides the MountainUni guys, others are looking at adapting a disc onto a Schlumpfed uni. The future is bright!


That’s one reason I love this sport - we’re in it while it’s developing rapidly.