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What unicycle will win Ride the Lobster

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  • What unicycle will win Ride the Lobster

    I'm interested in finding out what people think about what unicycles the winners of Ride the Lobster will be riding.

    I think it's nearly cinched that the fastest teams will be on geared wheels, and I'm curious if 29ers or 36ers are going to be faster.

    Of course 36ers are geared higher, but I'm finding that it takes a bit of energy to get the cranks spinning. I'm wondering spinning a higher cadence on a 29er might be faster than mashing it out on a 36er, not to mention the lighter weight. Still, I like the stability of the bigger wheel, and I'm finding it easy to accelerate to high speed on the slightest downhill.

    yeah yeah, its all about the rider, but lets assume all riders are equal and discuss what cycles are going to will this race.

    Of course the results off RTL will settle a lot of arguements.
    ><> Unicycle for (reducing the) Buddha <><

  • #2
    I think it'll be won by short-cranked, non-geared 36ers, with maybe a longer crank or geared 29 for the hillier sections. Since teams are allowed to divide the race however they want, a team could set up their strongest climber and his/her choice of uni for the hilly sections, and allow the spin-meisters the flatter sections.
    Last edited by steveyo; 2007-06-12, 06:42 PM.
    steveyo
    ...like having your own personal rollercoaster...

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    • #3
      Originally posted by mscalisi
      I'm interested in finding out what people think about what unicycles the winners of Ride the Lobster will be riding.

      I think it's nearly cinched that the fastest teams will be on geared wheels, and I'm curious if 29ers or 36ers are going to be faster.

      Of course 36ers are geared higher, but I'm finding that it takes a bit of energy to get the cranks spinning. I'm wondering spinning a higher cadence on a 29er might be faster than mashing it out on a 36er, not to mention the lighter weight. Still, I like the stability of the bigger wheel, and I'm finding it easy to accelerate to high speed on the slightest downhill.

      yeah yeah, its all about the rider, but lets assume all riders are equal and discuss what cycles are going to will this race.

      Of course the results off RTL will settle a lot of arguements.
      Sorry if this comes across as pedantic, but even if we assume all riders are equal it's going to depend somewhat on what they're all equal to, no? Which is to say, whether they prefer to trade off aerobic fitness and spin real fast in a lower gear vs whether they prefer to rely on their strength.

      Strength-oriented riders will presumably prefer the geared 36" solution since they can spin slower. Aerobic rides I guess might prefer a higher cadence (and potentially lower bottom gear for hills) on their geared 29ers...
      Dave: Just a question. What use is a unicyle with no seat? And no pedals!
      Mark: To answer a question with a question: What use is a skateboard?
      Dave: Skateboards have wheels.
      Mark: My wheel has a wheel!

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      • #4
        Originally posted by mark williamson
        Sorry if this comes across as pedantic, but even if we assume all riders are equal it's going to depend somewhat on what they're all equal to, no? Which is to say, whether they prefer to trade off aerobic fitness and spin real fast in a lower gear vs whether they prefer to rely on their strength.

        Strength-oriented riders will presumably prefer the geared 36" solution since they can spin slower. Aerobic rides I guess might prefer a higher cadence (and potentially lower bottom gear for hills) on their geared 29ers...
        Have you ever ridden a geared unicycle? Please keep in mind that nearly all geared unicycles run a 1:1.5 gear ratio, which is as close to nothing in my opinion, strength matters very little, what matters mostly is how fast you can spin without falling off, even on geared unicycles. To actually have benefit of the gears it would have to be 1:3 or something like that.
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        • #5
          Sure, that's a valid point. I guess I'm thinking more of what you'd call a "typical rider". Of course it's easy to point out that it won't be a typical team that wins. I don't know how far into masher territory 54 gear inches is.

          I think non-geared unicycles don't stand a chance on the flats, but may be advantageous on the hills. Still, I'm assuming that people will change cycles based on the terrain of each particular segment. I think even someone who is a spinner will be faster on a geared wheel. 43.5 gear inches would be seen as a fairly low gear on a bike.

          Originally posted by mark williamson
          Sorry if this comes across as pedantic, but even if we assume all riders are equal it's going to depend somewhat on what they're all equal to, no? Which is to say, whether they prefer to trade off aerobic fitness and spin real fast in a lower gear vs whether they prefer to rely on their strength.

          Strength-oriented riders will presumably prefer the geared 36" solution since they can spin slower. Aerobic rides I guess might prefer a higher cadence (and potentially lower bottom gear for hills) on their geared 29ers...
          ><> Unicycle for (reducing the) Buddha <><

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          • #6
            I disagree. On flat land, I cannot spin as fast on a geared 36er as I can on a standard 36er (using 150mm cranks). I'm not even sure its strength, I just feel like I can't get enough leverage to spin fast. ...this may change as I get more experience.

            I think a 36er geared to 108 gear inches would be very difficult to power on anything other than a slope.

            Originally posted by DustinSchaap
            Have you ever ridden a geared unicycle? Please keep in mind that nearly all geared unicycles run a 1:1.5 gear ratio, which is as close to nothing in my opinion, strength matters very little, what matters mostly is how fast you can spin without falling off, even on geared unicycles. To actually have benefit of the gears it would have to be 1:3 or something like that.
            ><> Unicycle for (reducing the) Buddha <><

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            • #7
              Originally posted by mscalisi
              I think non-geared unicycles don't stand a chance on the flats, ...
              Haven't the faster times and speeds measured on a uni been on non-geared unis?

              But I agree, people may bring more than one uni each, for the different sections. Maybe bring several unis for the team to share and just different seat-posts for the different height riders.
              steveyo
              ...like having your own personal rollercoaster...

              - a few uni race write-ups
              - muni and kokopelli uni t-shirts, mugs and stickers

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              • #8
                I am a bit tired of the yes / no discussions about high gear ratio's so let's not go there. I think that fixed wheels will be better than schlumpfs for most of the ride.
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                • #9
                  I'm just interested in peoples experiences, regardless if they're different from mine or not.

                  Originally posted by DustinSchaap
                  I am a bit tired of the yes / no discussions about high gear ratio's so let's not go there. I think that fixed wheels will be better than schlumpfs for most of the ride.
                  ><> Unicycle for (reducing the) Buddha <><

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                  • #10
                    In general, a geared 29 will be faster for a given amount of energy output than a non-geared 36, and a geared 36 will be faster for a given amount of energy output than a geared 29, on anything except uphills; if there were easy access to all the different options, I'd expect geared 36 teams to perform noticeably better than geared 29 teams.

                    However, I think there are more geared 29 than geared 36 unis out there, and since people need to train on their race setup to get maximum speed out of it, it may be a geared 29 that ends up fastest.

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                    • #11
                      i have a lot of experience on a coker, and less on a schlumpf 29.

                      on a road course hours long, there is absolutely NO chance that i could match my coker speed to my schlumpf speed

                      geared unicycles would have the advantage in this race, no doubt about it.

                      you have to picture the whole time you would ride 3+ hours, lets say, for someone on this course, on a given day.

                      roads are incredibly paved these days, even in nova scotia, spinning your cranks fast is all well and good...briefly.

                      A geared 29r who could pedal more COMFORTABLY than a Coker rider pedaling as fast on his short cranks will have the advantage. (let's picture, for this, the same rider, equally experienced on both machines)

                      take into consideration all the hills, etc that one would encounter where one would downshift to tackle them, upshift at the top, then keep going.

                      Providing the teams have equally skilled riders on their machines. the team with 2 gear combinations will win. noo doot aboot it
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                      • #12
                        First, I spoke to Darren at OUI and he said that Brian wouldn't be a good advocate for geared hubs at all, after several high-speed-gear changes led to huge accidents. I was going to train on a 29'er geared and then switch to the geared as a training lead-up to The Lobster, but he cautioned against it, as Schlumph's were unsafe in his estimation.

                        SECOND. I have run 5 full marathons, 5 half marathons and several shorter races in my career. I think that way too much emphasis is being put on the equipment used in this race and not enough on training. THIS RACE IS 800kms. That's 500 miles in USA lingo. Each member of these teams will have to ride 100 miles. I will take 5 WELL TRAINED riders on non-geared 29's over any combination of geared 29's and 36's any day.

                        If even one person on your team can not ride at least 30 miles a day at a reasonable pace, 5 people could beat you on 16's
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Beener
                          First, I spoke to Darren at OUI and he said that Brian wouldn't be a good advocate for geared hubs at all, after several high-speed-gear changes led to huge accidents.
                          Not true. I had ONE accident, it wasn't at high speed, and it was because the square taper crank came undone due to my poor care of it
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by DustinSchaap
                            Have you ever ridden a geared unicycle?
                            No, can't afford one Probably don't need one but would love one anyhow.

                            Please keep in mind that nearly all geared unicycles run a 1:1.5 gear ratio, which is as close to nothing in my opinion, strength matters very little, what matters mostly is how fast you can spin without falling off, even on geared unicycles. To actually have benefit of the gears it would have to be 1:3 or something like that.
                            True but it still comes off to the pushing slightly harder with a geared up vs spinning insanely fast on super short cranks. Maybe it'd be better categorised into "people who like spinning insanely fast" (the "aerobic" in my above comment) vs "people who like spinning a bit less insanely fast" - a 1.5x difference in maximum required cadence is quite significant but they'll both want to be pedalling as fast as they can go.

                            Actually, I was really talking about the difference between people on geared 29ers or the ones on geared 36ers, rather than geared vs not. So how fast you want to spin is surely going to be one of the major differences? Thinking about it, that's only a 43" vs 54" virtual diameter, which is a rather smaller difference in cadence to the geared / non geared case. So it'd still be a case of more or less insanity in cadence rather than strength as such...

                            I guess the thing that'll be interesting (and the reason this thread was created!) is whether the geared 36ers will work well. Folks have been mostly basing gunis around 29ers - presumably for the obvious reason that it's a more practical wheelsize in many ways. But I remember Harper once saying he thought the stability of the 36" wheel should be well suited to a guni - it seems like if you're cranking out a long distance then the 36" guni would be better than the 29" guni for the same reasons a coker is better in the non-geared case (smooth ride, stability, etc). But not having the experience of riding either uni in a geared configuration, this is just my educated guess
                            Dave: Just a question. What use is a unicyle with no seat? And no pedals!
                            Mark: To answer a question with a question: What use is a skateboard?
                            Dave: Skateboards have wheels.
                            Mark: My wheel has a wheel!

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                            • #15
                              If short cranks and crazy-high cadence were more efficient for racing than long cranks, higher gearing and lower cadence, Tour de France riders would be running 110mm cranks, and lower gears, too. The fact that they don't, after 100+ years of equipment refinement, says something about human physiology.

                              Now, the field in Ride the Lobster will be much more radically differentiated in terms of speed and strength than the Tour de France field is, so equipment will make less of a difference. Still, the top three or four teams should be fairly close, and I expect equipment to have an impact there.

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