Week Two with a 36

A couple of reflections on week two with a 36.

  1. Wowser, my 29 feels tiny. I had to be away for work this week and took my 29 to ride since it was easier to get in the car. It sure felt tiny. Like my 20 used to feel after the 29. It also felt like I was spinning the pedals super fast. I did not expect that.

  2. After more miles (7.75 yesterday, 5.25 today) I’m still amazed at how smooth and stable the 36 is. A friend (non-uni) came over looked at the 36 and asked what was next. “Muni.” Probably sooner than I had thought originally. I do want to wait for the trails to thaw and dry out. And I need to pick a smooth-ish one to start on. But I can definitely see some 36 Muni in the future.

2a) I am riding faster on the 36 with 150 cranks than on the 29 with 125s. I think I could still run out a UPD, but the speed has certainly picked up.

I really like my 36 also. I could barely ride when I got it, but I’m glad I did. Now I can get out of my neighborhood. I’m using 150’s now, they are fine on the street, but a little hard to get going in the grass or on mulch paths. I ordered 137/165’s to use the 165’s in the grass and dirt. Also I ordered a solid post so I could lower the seat a little for off road and the 165’s. Right now I’m at the bottom of the KH adjustable post with 150’s, I’m only 5’8" tall.
The 36 made all the difference in the world for me, it is so much fun.

How long did the 7.75 mile ride take you?

7.75 miles took me 1 hour and 11 minutes. Or so sayeth the Endomondo sports tracker app on my phone. I suppose you could subtract the three or so minutes it took me to get mounted up. But, I’d just say a little over an hour.

I feel like every time I ride the 36 I get faster. I did not feel that way when I first went to the 29er. I have not timed all the rides to see if that is true, but it sure feels that way.

Now, I have to say that I had a first this morning. I was up at 5:30am to go ride in the dark. It was 22 degrees. Rolled the 36 out to the driveway. Turned on the blinkies and my head lamp. And then … I mounted up on the first try and headed off for a five-ish mile ride. After two and a half weeks I managed to mount on the first try and go for a ride. I mentioned in my first post about getting a 36 that I expected it to be a beast to mount. I never expected to hop on the first try after only two and a half weeks and about 27 miles of riding. I love the 36 experience so far. Even this morning when my beard froze.

Great way to start a day indeed.

Congratulations and Greetings


…I learned a 36er lesson the hard way two days ago I was finishing up a 23-miler and facing a short, steep uphill–the crux of the route–and I overestimated the speed I’d need to carry into the hill. So, halfway up, even though I was in a nice groove and handling the steepness no prob, for some odd reason, I continued to accelerate, irrationally fearing that I wouldn’t have enough momentum to finish the climb. I was spinning WAY faster than I needed to, and leaned too far over the wheel, then…SPLAT! I came off over the front a bit faster than I could run. For my trouble, I received a nice scrape on the left knee, torn tights, and I was hobbling a bit for the rest of Sunday. The knee’s almost back to normal today, and I should be able to resume riding tomorrow, but the lesson I learned is this: on the 36er, it’s just not necessary to treat every hill as a sprint; you can actually take your time and do a conventional out-of-the-saddle “stoke” at a slower, more controlled pace, even on the steeper hills. So, this weekend, I’m repeating the course and going for a clean dismount-free ride. :wink:

I noticed the same thing without a fall. I stared a short steep climb and thought I was not going to make it. Rather than hit a point where I could no longer pedal, I just kept going, but slower and standing up off the seat. I can only describe the feeling as being “locked in”. It felt like I was connected to the uni and the uni was connected to the hill and I could just keep going. I think that it must have something to do with the fact that the balance point on the 36 is a little bigger than on other size unis. I thought I was going to fall out the back going too slow and did not. You ran out the front going too fast. And I should say that by “balance point” what I really mean is the few degrees of arc where you stay up. And by bigger I mean that if you measured the arc on a 20 wheel it would be fewer inches, but the same number of degrees on the 36 would be more inches. My physics could be all messed up, but I do know what you mean. Glad you did not get hurt worse. I’m a bit worried about my first serious UPD from the 36. I know it is coming.

Yeah…there seems to be a period of adjustment with any new wheel size. The 36er kinda lulled me into a sense of invulnerability just because it was so stable and easy to ride. The take-away from my UPD is that as easy as the Big Wheel is to ride, it’s not without its own set of peculiarities and requirements, and that these need to be respected during the learning phase.
BTW: knee’s 100% today, so looking forward to jumping back on tomorrow…yipeeee! :smiley:

:astonished: You know, that may be a sign of addiction. Of course I’m right there with you. If it is not icy, I’ll be on the wheel by 5:45 in the morning.

Well, it finally did happen. I had to be out of town last week so I took the 36 with me. I was up in the dark and early riding with a headlamp. I came up a little incline and hit a seam in the pavement parallel to my line of travel. Problem was that one side of the seam was higher than the other and I had not seen it in the dark. Thanks to knee pads and wrist guards I just got a tiny scrape on my back when I rolled. I’m sure it would have been fun to watch with the light flying off my helmet and me going splat-roll. Now I know what it is like to UPD a 36. I guess I don’t need to do it again. :smiley:

yeah…I might start wearing mine. I got back on the uni last Saturday for a very fun, uneventful commute, but I think the extra protective gear is probably a good idea. I bought a nice pair of knee guards last summer, but they’ve just been sitting in the car–time to slip 'em on I guess. Thx!

I don’t usually land that hard, but riding in the dark, cresting a rise it felt like I had no waring and I was just tumbling through space. Unfortunately I have not learned to miss when I fall at the earth. Glad I had the pads.