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Fastest speed on a unicycle

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  • Originally posted by Killian View Post
    Pics of your rack setup please. How do you get the bag on there?
    Well as it's long past my bed time I'll post more info tomorrow for you (in a different thread and link here to keep this on topic).
    Basically it's a mini cycle rack mounted to the Magura mounts and modified with part of a quick release bottle cage holding it to the frame. The bag's then just a mini rack top bag. I wouldn't recommend that specific one though as it's falling apart after minimal use.
    Last edited by mowcius; 2015-01-22, 01:06 AM.
    "Ride It Baby!"

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    • Apologies, that took me a while. I was too busy playing with my new 32".

      I posted here for you:
      http://www.unicyclist.com/forums/sho...96#post1644396
      "Ride It Baby!"

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      • Very cool, thanks.

        I got the metal to weld mine up tonight finally.
        "I used to watch Highway Patrol whittlin' with my knife..." - NY

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        • I know this is an old thread, but it was the best I could find on the subject of speed tests. I've got an ungeared 36" Oracle with the 100/125/150 cranks. I've mostly been using it with the 100mm cranks, but ran into some trouble last night trying to do some speed. I got up to 16mph according to my GPS app before my wheel started to wobble a lot, which ended with me crashing at the top speed. I only had on a helmet and was on concrete, but I was able to run off a few steps and roll, so incurred no damage to body What I'm interested in is controlling the wheel wobble; I'd like to be able to get up to 20 mph. Any suggestions?

          Thanks,

          Paul

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          • Originally posted by TheOracle View Post
            I know this is an old thread, but it was the best I could find on the subject of speed tests. I've got an ungeared 36" Oracle with the 100/125/150 cranks. I've mostly been using it with the 100mm cranks, but ran into some trouble last night trying to do some speed. I got up to 16mph according to my GPS app before my wheel started to wobble a lot, which ended with me crashing at the top speed. I only had on a helmet and was on concrete, but I was able to run off a few steps and roll, so incurred no damage to body What I'm interested in is controlling the wheel wobble; I'd like to be able to get up to 20 mph. Any suggestions?

            Thanks,

            Paul
            Were you using a handlebar that extended one or both hands well in front of the saddle?

            I've never went as fast as on the speed list but I can ride faster with less wobble with one hand on the handlebar and faster yet with two hands on the handlebar.

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            • A new 10km world record was set recently by french rider Simon - I think he's on this forum, but don't remember his screen name. It's 18 minutes and a few secs. I calculated that this meant an average speed of 33kph. Wonder what his top speed was.

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              • Originally posted by TheOracle View Post
                I'd like to be able to get up to 20 mph. Any suggestions?
                I was not expecting something so bold from a first time poster! Welcome to the forum. Thanks for *not* starting a new thread. I appreciate reading old, resurrected threads. Two suggestions. 1. Wrist guards, elbow pads, knee pads, hip pads, etc. 2. If you don't already ride with two hands on the seat/bar-ends, I suggest you learn that.

                Discovering the source of the wobble could also be helpful. Are you riding on a cambered surface? Is it related to strong/weak, dominant/non-dominant leg issues? Do you have the opportunity to ride at high cadence on a smaller wheel, and does the wobble still happen then?

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                • Good advice above. A cambered surface could make it hard to reach the high RPMs you want, so seek flatter places. Another thing to think about is your spin. Many people, usually on smaller wheels, when they are trying to go faster will hit a speed where their spin gets wonky and they will wobble, or bounce in their seats, and some have trouble getting past this.

                  I'm not an expert on this phenomenon, but I recommend taking it gradually, especially if you're on a big wheel. With the weight of a 36" wheel (even a light one), it should be less inclined to wobble as it goes faster, but the tendency to wobble will never go away. And that's true even if you just spin it while holding the uni in front of you. When you add legs to the equation, that increases the tendency to wobble. I guess what I'm saying is that your wobble may have been worse, at the same RPM, on a smaller wheel.

                  So you have to train your legs/feet to make those circles without the pressures that enhance the natural wobble in the wheel. This comes from just working that spin, and seeking a smooth line at any speed. Try to work your way up to your higher speeds while watching for wobble, and then see if you can make adjustments to reduce it.

                  In bicycling, there is much talk about getting a good spin, because efficiency is everything. Bikes ridden a high RPM can cause riders to have that vertical wobble (bouncing) but don't have to deal with our "traditional unicycle wobble" (side to side) so much. but the bike riders' advice on smoothing out your spin, probably applies here. When the smooth spin breaks down, the ride becomes unstable, which is exactly what you don't want at speeds above your own running speed.

                  The problem with practicing this on a 36" is that your failure point will generally be above running speed, so it's more dangerous to practice. Though it won't be the same thing, you could work on increasing your spin on a smaller wheel. Try 24". That's the size used for Track racing, and allows you to pedal to crazy high RPMs and still be able to run out of it *almost* every time. The smooth spin you may develop will hopefully translate to the larger wheel. Use the same size cranks you'd like to use on the 36" (though it's 125mm max. for Track racing).

                  I used to be very fast on the track, and spent lots of time trying to maximize my speed, especially for the 100m race, which was listed in the Guinness Book back in those days. Once I got a good spin, I ran out of dismounts easily (with very rare exceptions), and that made for a more comfortable way to learn to ride really fast.
                  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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                  • very good advices above and before.
                    I'm not a speedster, but one thing I understood is that my pedaling speed seems limited until I let myself "fall forward" a bit more, increasing the forward unbalance and trying keep it that way magically increases the pedaling speed I can reach.
                    On a bike, let's say a single speed bike, if you want to go faster you have to pedal faster, and you are limited by your legs muscles that struggle against the floor resistance, the relative wind, the camber.
                    it's more relative to you strength than your ability to make very fast spins.
                    But on a unicycle, if you are in balance and are pedaling at a fast but reasonable speed, you' re like on the bike, there is a resistance that prevents your legs from pedaling faster, BUT you can "lighten" the resistance on the pedals by letting yourself lean a bit more forward.
                    Which means you stop trying to accelerate, indeed you decelerate a bit, just enough to let your center of gravity go a bit more in front, and then you can accelerate again.
                    I'm talking about obvious things here, but it took me somme time to figure it out.
                    Then, the real limit is more the fear of falling than your real max pedaling speed.
                    - Geared kh36 + Nightrider Lite + Kh Tbar + HS33
                    - Qu-ax 36" + nightrider +Q-handle+ cable rim brake
                    - kh 29" + knard 29x3+ kh Tbar + HS33
                    - Qu-ax trial 19"
                    -24"&26" wheels and forks and spare stuffs.

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                    • I hit 20.9 mph on my ungeared 36er, which for my age could be a record. It was a pretty scary and surreal experience, and I am very lucky that I didn't fall at that speed!
                      Last edited by MuniAddict; 2019-12-09, 05:50 PM.
                      Happy Birthday Terry! Every year you get cooler, younger and unicyclier!
                      Be our muniprohpet for many years more.
                      -Dani Buron


                      Website
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                      Facebook

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                      • Originally posted by MuniAddict View Post
                        I am very lucky that I didn't fall at that speed!
                        And so are the people around you! Coming off at speed greater than you can run makes you, and the unicycle, ground hugging scud missiles. My worst UPD's are at speed (and not as fast as those mentioned) and just like for sky divers, the ground did break my fall. But hitting some kid at those speeds would be horrific. Practice in a safe place please !

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                        • Originally posted by TheOracle View Post
                          I know this is an old thread, but it was the best I could find on the subject of speed tests. I've got an ungeared 36" Oracle with the 100/125/150 cranks. I've mostly been using it with the 100mm cranks, but ran into some trouble last night trying to do some speed. I got up to 16mph according to my GPS app before my wheel started to wobble a lot, which ended with me crashing at the top speed. I only had on a helmet and was on concrete, but I was able to run off a few steps and roll, so incurred no damage to body What I'm interested in is controlling the wheel wobble; I'd like to be able to get up to 20 mph. Any suggestions?

                          Thanks,

                          Paul
                          Hey Paul, I've got a similar setup and have been riding the 100mm cranks a lot recently, although I've been more concentrating on muni rather than top speed. That being said, I have never experienced that kind of wobble: it sounds like you mean side-to-side as John is alluding to.

                          My few dismounts right around the speed you were at were all from small unseen undulations in the road where my pedals suddenly dropped/raised unexpectedly and threw my balance off. I found that tire pressure is an issue here (I used to inflate my Nightrider tire way high to like 80psi thinking like a road cyclist that high pressure equals high speed). However, I think I go faster and with more control more in the range 40-50psi (actually my control even on the road is probably even better around 30-40psi although I haven't made any measurements is that slows me down significantly of not --- I would guess not for short distance max speed, for >5k probably yes).

                          Beyond that I think it's mostly psychological: both the wobble and the advice from UniDreamerFR about leaning forward. For me the unconscious fear is what's holding me back even though I think my muscles and legs could do a lot more. I think it's not in the "pushing" part, but in unconscious braking. And as UniDreamerFR recommends, I think leaning forward tends to reduce the effect. I guess what I'm saying is that to me it sounds like your wobble might be from unconscious fear at reaching a high speed where you then start unintentionally braking (maybe even suddenly) and this backpressure could then induce a side-wobble.

                          So, check your tire pressure, check your seat height and then stay relaxed and focused and lean forward and pedal nice and smoothly... and wear protective gear and practice.

                          Maybe this will motivate me to try some higher speeds, as I haven't really tried in a few months now... and we can compare notes in the future.
                          36" Nimbus Oracle, VCX 100/125/150, 200mm disc
                          29+ KH, Maxxis DHR II 29x3, 127/150 Spirits
                          Schlumpf (KH29) Duro Crux 29x3.25 137/117 Spirits
                          26" Nimbus, Maxxis DHR IIx2.8, 117/137 Sprt
                          19" Trials Impact Athmos
                          20" Qu-Ax Profi Freestyle, 89mm VCX

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                          • Originally posted by BruceC View Post
                            And so are the people around you! Coming off at speed greater than you can run makes you, and the unicycle, ground hugging scud missiles. My worst UPD's are at speed (and not as fast as those mentioned) and just like for sky divers, the ground did break my fall. But hitting some kid at those speeds would be horrific. Practice in a safe place please !
                            Yep. It was in a large, empty overflow parking lot, but without overflow haha.
                            Last edited by MuniAddict; 2019-12-10, 12:03 AM.
                            Happy Birthday Terry! Every year you get cooler, younger and unicyclier!
                            Be our muniprohpet for many years more.
                            -Dani Buron


                            Website
                            Videos
                            Facebook

                            Comment


                            • Wow, thanks all for the replies! I saw all these posts this morning and went out to test them out this afternoon. Unfortunately, Michigan weather didn't cooperate. I ride in my neighborhood, and the streets had patches of ice, limiting my speed. I did try some of the tips thought. Leaning forward and working on pedaling smoothly helped make riding a lot smoother. I think that jerky pedal movements contributed a lot to that wobble. I think the weather will turn in my favor in the next few days, and I might be able to go out for a few more good rides before speed is over for the season. I need to learn to ride with both hands on the seat handle. I think that will also help smooth things out for me...

                              I wish that I had some place with a few less bumps and hills or "camber" as it was mentioned previously, but alas, Michigan is known for its potholes.

                              Looking back at who posted on this thread, I see that a lot of the major unicyclists with an online presence are here! Terry, I've really enjoyed watching your youtube videos. I saw the one of your speed record; that was sweet. John, I must say that it's rather ironic that you're helping me with the riding of my unicycle. I got it from your website about a month ago, so I find it funny that I bought if from you and then get some tricks from you. I've got Unicycle.com bumper stickers plastered up all over the place...I see that I ordered just too soon though and missed your rewards program. Ohh well

                              Just a little background on me, I'm 17 and have been riding since I got a Torker 20" for Christmas five years back. The reason I upgraded to the Oracle was because it was either that or a bike for college, and because I rode the Torker so hard that the threads inside of both cranks fell out completely. Someone mentioned practicing on a smaller wheel; unfortunately I can't do that anymore I did have some wobble on it though, maybe I was pedaling jerkily on that one as well. Getting late, so thanks for the advice! Toodlepip,

                              Paul

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