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  • #16
    Glad to read all this and see I'm not the only one struggling. I've had mine for a long time and never quite gotten used to shifting. I did for a while, then I had a proper crash when it went in freewheel like EPU said: the cranks spin without moving the wheel. It cost me a series of nice deep scars on my calf as I didn't fall but stayed on the saddle for a few meters. Ouch. Since then I'm scared to shift.
    After a long time away from this uni, I'm back at it. Getting better in gear but have yet to commit to shift.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by pierrox View Post
      Glad to read all this and see I'm not the only one struggling. I've had mine for a long time and never quite gotten used to shifting. I did for a while, then I had a proper crash when it went in freewheel like EPU said: the cranks spin without moving the wheel. It cost me a series of nice deep scars on my calf as I didn't fall but stayed on the saddle for a few meters. Ouch. Since then I'm scared to shift.
      After a long time away from this uni, I'm back at it. Getting better in gear but have yet to commit to shift.
      I'm scared to shift too. Haha

      I spent an hour or so yesterday mounting using a trash can for support to get used to the feel of that gear. Slowly started getting the feel for it. Once I made it to the end of my court, I experimented with the back pedalling a bit to get my muscles used to the feel. My goal was to finish the day by riding a loop around the street that surrounds my court, which is about 2/3 of a mile. I did it 😁 I felt pretty happy after that. I didn't go super fast, but it was comparable to a med-fast pace if I was in 1:1.

      Not being afraid to let the unicycle fall helps overcome fear. UPDs aren't scary if I'm confident that I can land on my feet.
      Shifting still scares me, so I'm not going to worry about that for a long time.
      A better goal, to me, is to be able to free mount in high gear. I feel like that will be easier. I already noticed that it felt really weird to free mount in lower gear after just using high gear. I actually struggles a bit going back in to 1:1.
      Bottom line is if I can mount in high gear then I don't have to worry too much about going long distance.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by tholub View Post
        Most 36" riders mount in low gear because it's even bigger and more awkward.
        This is absolutely true. But I'm lazy, and I've learned to mount in high gear more consistently than making shifts without going slow...
        You have to slow down before you downshift, at least to some extent. But if you get too slow, downshifting becomes harder.
        For me it's not that the shift is hard when going slow, it's just that if I'm downshifting for a hill, I have to crank from a very slow speed to get going again. I'm gradually learning to shift while going incrementally faster. "Faster" might not be the most accurate word for that though...

        I shift with my heel. I start by positioning my foot so my heel is angled inward (my normal pedaling position has my heels at least half an inch (1.27cm) from the button). Then when I'm ready, I try to give it a solid squeeze into the hub as it comes around. The important part after that is to keep the pedals turning. Most of the time, if the pedals keep turning, the shift is very quick, without any sizeable gap.

        If I let the wheel get too far forward, sometimes I end up coasting when I hit the button. This can work if there isn't too much of a gap, but otherwise this leads me to a dismount. Got to be confident, and try to maintain your riding position, and pedal rotation, through the shift.

        Not only is one-foot riding a good side skill to help with shifting, the much more advanced skill of Coasting is even more useful.

        Note: All of my Schlumpf riding has been on 36" wheels since 2008, and I understand it gets easier as the wheel gets smaller.
        John Foss
        www.unicycling.com

        "Who is going to argue with a mom who can ride a unicycle?" -- Forums member "HiMo"

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        • #19
          I managed 2 loops yesterday. 1.5 miles on my first try. Getting used to it. I had a slightly faster pace this time.

          My pedals are bugging me a lot. I feel like the wiggle room with them is going to wear it down. It's really noticeable in high gear when back pedaling to slow down. It's just one knock when switching to pedal either back or forward. Feels like the gears are just slamming when changing directions. I can't tell if it's the crank arms or the hub itself.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by tacobender5000 View Post
            I managed 2 loops yesterday. 1.5 miles on my first try. Getting used to it. I had a slightly faster pace this time.

            My pedals are bugging me a lot. I feel like the wiggle room with them is going to wear it down. It's really noticeable in high gear when back pedaling to slow down. It's just one knock when switching to pedal either back or forward. Feels like the gears are just slamming when changing directions. I can't tell if it's the crank arms or the hub itself.
            If the tolerances were too tight in the clutch mechanism, it would not consistently click into place during shifting. This, to my understanding, is the main source of "slop" in the Schlumpf mechanism. It takes a lot of getting used to.

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