Unicycle speeds at Wikipedia???

I was just ready this article on unicycles at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unicycle

About half way down the page it has a section on “speed”

seems a bit on the high side to me… I’m riding a 26" with less than one year experience (not up to max speed yet). I do about 5-6mph average speed and have hit 7mph twice… according to their chart (below) I should be doing average speed of about 8-9mph which seems high.

Wheel Size / Avg / High
20" 5mph 9mph
24" 7mph 12mph
29" 10mph 17mph
36" 11mph 28mph

it does say “citation needed” (needs references to a reliable source) so…

Crank length would make a difference.

If you replaced mph with km/h the lower range would be attainable, but the upper range would be hard for even the elite riders to maintain for extended periods.

A good average for me when I was training for Ride The Lobster was 18.5 km/h on a 36er.

11mph average for a 36er is about right for a good rider (I usually do anywhere between 9 and 11 for a full ride, whereas there’s a couple of people I follow on Strava who can keep up a 11-13mph average) but the 28mph high speed sounds a bit wrong! :astonished:

I fixed it. I removed the high column because except for the 36er category there isn’t really any data for that which means someone just made those values up.

I switched the average speed category to medium speed and lowered the values to 4, 6, 8 and 10. I suppose I could make a poll about it but these seemed quite a bit more reasonable than the originals.

Get data from the the last UNICON to determine the typical racing speed.

Good idea! Although I’m not sure how helpful that would be with only 1 or 2 wheel sizes.

Those original speeds were fine and I suggest you revert your changes because you have no authoritative figures. Moreover you have not even looked for data that is available.

Novices are often surprised by the speeds even a reasonably good rider can achieve. And utterly in disbelief of expert levels.

On my 26 with a 2.15 inch tyre (hardly an ideal racing tyre) on the road, I can cruise easily at 12 kph (7.5 mph). When I work at it, I average over 15 kph (9 mph) for ten kilometres. On short bursts I can exceed 20 kph (12.5 mph). Those figures would be consistent with the original Wikipedia values and I am certainly no elite rider.

Take note that the ten kilometre World Record for a “Standard Unicycle” (in this case, 24.3 inch maximum tyre diameter and 125 mm cranks) is about 28 minutes which is considerably faster than the Wikipedia figure for a 24 inch.

To put that in perspective, it is a cadence of about 180.

It’s Wikipedia man, feel free to change it back if you would like.

Someone named Dennis Bratland deleted the section after I modified it anyway.

How many wheel sizes does NASCAR use? In other words, the data is extremely helpful within the context of the respective sport. We have four main wheel sizes in unicycle racing:
20" - Mostly used by kids 10 and under
24" - Track, and people who don’t have something bigger for the 10k
29" - The low end of “unlimited” for longer Road races
36" - Biggest size commonly available
Add Schlumpf to complicate things, but also gives you additional comparitive wheel sizes (which should always be used in context; a 54" wheel does not handle like a 36" with Schlumpf)

Was he being a brat? Or maybe that’s just where he lives… :stuck_out_tongue:

Those averages are for obstacle-free courses, I guess. Traffic lights ruin your averages. E.g. my 36" cruising speed is 17-18 km/h, my average is 14 km/h, because I have a lot of traffic lights and construction on my way.

On a well-paved bicycle path the cruising speed goes up to 20 km/h.

On the 26" my cruising speed was ~15 km/h, around 17 km/h on a well-paved bicycle path. My top speeds were in the range between 20 and 21 km/h or up to 24 km/h downhill (I only went that far at the end of a decline). My 26" is equipped with 115 mm cranks, I used to ride 100 mm, which feels faster, but according to the cycle computer it isn’t. So I went back to 115 mm for the additional control.

But are those speeds on flat terrain or with hills. Here in Denmark there are hills everywhere. For me it is impossible to ride even 5 km without riding up hills. Last weekend I managed 12km in 1 hour on a 29inch. Then again I’m a relative beginner with only 4 months of experience.

As you build up your muscles and refine your technique you will find that hills don’t make such a lot of difference to your speed until they get quite steep.

Those figures don’t include climbing. Slight inclines can feel a little better, because the contact patch moves forward, which feels like you have more control and you dare to go faster.

I’m much slower on steep inclines, where I basically find a rhythm that works and stick with it.

Well, the high column was quite accurate according to this thread:

For the average speed there exists a not so well structured thread here but you could also calculate some values from unicon results. To me the original values from wikipedia looked OK because even I can sustain those speeds and I am by no means a fast long distance rider :wink:

I just saw that my 26" top speed was only ~22.5 km/h. Sorry about that.