Greetings; I’m new here. I’m strongly looking into the unicycle as a new way for me to fall down on a frequent basis. I have been scouring the net looking into a good quality noob ride and the new Schwinns have caught my eye. They seem to fit in between the Torker LX and the Nimbus II. On the plus side, they have a gel saddle, rounded crown, steel cranks, and a double wall rim. It is also advertised as being 2lbs lighter than the Torker. The Nimbus is better, of course, but may be overkill for me. I do like as few sharp pointy points as possible because I have never ridden a uni and don’t want to give up a pound of flesh while I am learning. I searched the forums and didn’t see a single reference to the new Schwinns.
My plans for riding are to master the unicycle in about three weeks and win world championship competitions before the new year. Then reality sets in, and I realize I just want to learn to ride without falling down too often, and basics such as free mounting, idling, backing up, and hopping.
Sooooo, has anybody got experience with the new Schwinns?
They are annoying - you can only adjust the seatpost at a limited set of fixed heights. Personally I think either the torker LX, or even one of the cheap pretty coloured unicycles would be just as good. I dunno about the weight mind - don’t know how that is so much lighter? It might just be a dodgy measurement.
The torker lx has a double walled rim, and a CrMo frame. It is probably a better uni than a new retro Schwinn. If you want a Schwinn I would troll craigslist and pick up an old one for >$50. Any more than that and it’s over priced. I picked up a 24" with the blue araya rim, and cotterless cranks for $40 a while back.
Joe, you are spot on about the seat height, I hadn’t thought of that. I stand 6’ 1", 210 pounds and need a seat and post that will adjust to my height and hold my weight without being flimsy.
jtrops, the 2010 Torker is advertised as a single walled rim. http://www.unicycle.com/Shopping/shopexd.asp?id=675 . Did the earlier versions have a double wall? I think with my weight a double walled rim is the way to go, because some day I hope to not suck and be able to do some minor hopping and dropping.
The sharp looking edges at the crown kind of scare me off the Torker. Same goes with the Nimbus. Sure they could be ground down, but that would wreck the paint or chrome. Is the crown an issue for getting bitten during UPD? I’m not a skeerdy cat, I’m just not able to heal as quick as could in my first round of youth.
I’ve never had an issue with the crown on my 24in Nimbus II. They’ve never stabbed me on an UPD before. I used to have a 24in Sun Flat Top, which was a flat crown as well, and that would take chunks out of the back of my knees when I hit the frame, and now 6 mos later I still have these permanent bruises on the inside of my left knee. No such probems with the Nimbus however, because of the way the crown is shaped. Take a look at the two and you will see what I mean. The Sun has a horizontal bar that sits on top of the two vertical pieces (which equals knee death) while the Nimbus has horizontal pieces that connect inside of the vertical parts…if that makes any sense. With a 20in you should be alright either way, but from my experience a Flat Top design on a 24in will destroy your legs.
Thanks Dingo, that is what I need to read. The surgeons have already fixed my left knee cartilage twice and I’m a little gun shy of banging my knees up again, even away from the knee cap. It looks like the Nimbus II might be the best choice for me, unless someone can suggest another option.
I’ve also read some about cranks biting ankles. What gives there? Is it something that I should wear hightop shoes for or is it a design characteristic of a type of crank? I don’t mind occasional minor injuries so if the uni is designed to be stout and relatively free from being a flesh eater, I’m in.
Ordinarily I wouldn’t trust the UDC.US specs, as they have been terrible in the past. It does look like they have changed them though, and so they are probably right. The last specs they had for the lx said that it had steel cranks, and a steel rim both not true. I think they were lazy and copied the CX specs without changing them. It is interesting that they don’t mention the CrMo frame. While it’s true that CrMo is steel, it is not necessarily true the other way.
I have a bone bruise on my ankle which is killing me. I have been shopping for ankle protection. The two main choices seem to be the SixSixOne Ankle Biters or the Protec Soft Ankle Guard. I have had no luck finding the Protec in and Adult size, but I have found a few places that have the SixSixOne Ankle Biters. This have a foot bed that slips under your existing foot bed. I am also going to look into Soccer shin guards that have ankle protection. My next choice would be Hi-Top skate shoes.
I have a Nimbus II frame and I have not had a problem with my knees hitting. But I also added pedal extenders because I was having trouble getting my foot all the way on the pedal and my big calves were rubbing the frame.
I wouldn’t worry about ankle biting cranks. I am pretty sure that the ankle biters were all tubular cranks (Qu-Ax, Torker (DX), old school KH/Onza, etc) none of which are available for a square tapered hub. Most people get the ankle bites trying flips and unispins.
Where you might get a flesh eating part is the pedals. Start off with plastic or wearing shin guards until you have your mounting down pat. Taking a metal spiked pedal in the shin is not overly pleasant when you mess up a mount.
The Schwinns are still based on early 1960s technology. That’s the single-bolt frame with 1" increments and its inherently bendy nature. Other parts have been upgraded, namely the bearing attachments. But beyond that and the much-improved seat, it’s basically the same as it was in 1980. The primary market for Schwinn unicycles is people who had one in the past and go for the brand name. They are much improved over their predecessors, but still retain the flaws inherent in the frame design.
Generally you don’t bang your knees on a unicycle frame, but I’d be cautious of the ones that stick out to the sides. Obviously they don’t work for some people, but if they were generally evil to knees, they wouldn’t still be on the market.
Yes you can get ankle bites on any type of crank. Generally this is only an issue if you have a toes-out walking style. If you walk with your feet straight or toes-in, it shouldn’t be a worry. Only go for the high-tops if you know you walk with a pronounced outward angling of your feet. Otherwise wait and see. I remember clipping my ankles from time to time in the early days, but this was from practicing tricks, not basic riding.
If I were buying a new 24" now, I’d get this one. The splined axle might be overkill, but it leaves much room for future abuse. For regular riding you’re fine with a square taper (regular) hub and a single walled rim.
There are many better unis on the market at similar price points.
Amazing Schwinn hasn’t seen fit to make any improvements of substance given how far the technology has advanced. Even Coker stepped up a bit to that challenge, and Pashley had the good manners to fall on its sword.
The best analogy seems to be from Garrison Keilor: “Lake Wobegon, the little town that time forgot and the decades cannot improve.”
I have a friend who just recently stopped working for Schwinn which is currently a brand of Pacific cycles. He said that they license the schwinn name to UDC for unicycles, and that they don’t have anything else to do with them.
So, I think that the current crop of Schwinn uni’s exists to fill the nostalgia market more than anything.
Thanks for all the insight! I’ll keep in mind the tips you all have shared!
I have long believed that good quality equipment makes the learning curve shorter and easier so I don’t think the Schwinn is in the running anymore.
It looks like it is going to be a Nimbus II or a Black Widow Muni in 24" for me. I need to stew it over a little and figure out which one will get me through the basics and into the next level with the best “fit”. I rode observed trials (motorcycle) for several years and the unicycle seems to be a natural progression of those experiences and skill sets.