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Fastest speed on a unicycle

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  • #31
    I don't have a very fast max speed, but I do have a pretty good average. I guesstimate my max is probably mid-high 30's (km/hr), although back in 2005 I was much faster downhill than I am now, probably up to ~40km/hr. I know that because one of the riders was riding really really slowly and assured me he were doing 30km/h on his cyclecomputer. This was on an Unguni 36"/110's.

    Fastest I've ever seen anyone go downhill is Arne at RTL. I think he definitely had the fastest MAX speed of anyone at RTL. He went past our team like we were standing still. It would have been in the mid-40's.
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    • #32
      And forgot to add, the fastest I've ever seen anyone go downhill on an Unguni was probably Dustin Schaap flying past us on his 36" Unguni/90mm cranks in the Marathon at Unicon 13. It would have been well over 40km/hr.
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      • #33
        Originally posted by GizmoDuck View Post
        And forgot to add, the fastest I've ever seen anyone go downhill on an Unguni was probably Dustin Schaap flying past us on his 36" Unguni/90mm cranks in the Marathon at Unicon 13. It would have been well over 40km/hr.
        i believe dustins fastet speed on unicon 13 was 39.7 on his speedo

        there is a picture of him showing it somewhere

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        • #34
          Originally posted by GizmoDuck View Post
          Fastest I've ever seen anyone go downhill is Arne at RTL. I think he definitely had the fastest MAX speed of anyone at RTL. He went past our team like we were standing still. It would have been in the mid-40's.
          IIRC Arne said 46.5kph/28.9mph. Is that the right number? Maybe it was 46.0? The all time highest speed I know of was Christian Hoverath on a ungeared 36 at 47kph/29.2mph. This was years ago (2001 on EUT) and only documented by his cyclometer at the time. It still sounds incredible now even though some geared riders are going nearly that fast.

          I learned long ago not to try for speed records. I am really happy now cruising at 20-22mph on my geared 36. I went 20.6 back in 2003 on my ungeared but it felt scary and right at the edge. Now, it's casual.

          ---Nathan

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          • #35
            Originally posted by nathan View Post
            IIRC Arne said 46.5kph/28.9mph. Is that the right number? Maybe it was 46.0? The all time highest speed I know of was Christian Hoverath on a ungeared 36 at 47kph/29.2mph. This was years ago (2001 on EUT) and only documented by his cyclometer at the time. It still sounds incredible now even though some geared riders are going nearly that fast.

            I learned long ago not to try for speed records. I am really happy now cruising at 20-22mph on my geared 36. I went 20.6 back in 2003 on my ungeared but it felt scary and right at the edge. Now, it's casual.

            ---Nathan
            Max speeds might be fun, but I never pay much attention to them. It's the avg speed that counts. No point being able to hit 40km/hr downhill if you can't sustain 25-30km/hr for an extended period, or if you have to walk up a hill.

            It would be nice to see Christian racing again....someone get him to Unicon XV! He'll love the course.
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            • #36
              Ok, that's for smooth paved roads; Now let's get some top Coker MUni speeds on rough terrain..not easy XC! Whole different ballgame there.
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              • #37
                Originally posted by David_Stone View Post
                Foss, you're nuts for going that fast on that thing! Wow.
                Thanks for adding me to the list! Crazy yes; that was a different time; a different century. When I had two intact collar bones too. In those days we revved our 24" wheels up to crazy speeds because that was the only race in town (and only once a year at that). I could hit 17.5 on the 24" (with 125mm cranks!); why not a lot faster on a 45" wheel?

                But today, or last year actually, hitting 18 mph is pretty scary on the Coker with short cranks, and my long-term average is probably more like 14.5 or so.

                "Burst" speeds aren't particularly meaningful. All of us have probably hit some pretty high speeds in emergency situations; such as when we've gotten too far forward while riding fast. But what does it mean? More meaningful is being able to hold a high sprinting speed over some kind of fixed distance. The IHPVA uses 200 meters, which should work for us.

                To be accurate, it has to be a timed distance ride, as Tom said. Cyclometers and GPS can both give bogus maximum speed numbers, so none of that can be trusted for momentary speeds. If you device has a setting to take the average of, say, any ten revolutions, that would be more meaningful.

                So to compare accurately, we should do a 200m speed trap, which the rider must ride in both directions within one hour (to eliminate wind advantage). That's how they used to do it for land speed records (motor vehicles) anyway.

                Not that I doubt the numbers being posted. I've seen most of those guys ride!
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                • #38
                  I have a hard time believing someone approached 30mph on an ungeared 36er...I am sure Christian is an amazing rider, but sometimes cycle computers mess up...I guess I would have to see it to believe it. I am with Ken though, high speeds don't really matter unless you can average it for a while. It is kind of hard to prove these things too as cycle computers and gps units are not perfect.

                  When I think of the fastest speed on a unicycle, I think of Arne's highest speed on his geared 36 with 125s. I think it is what Ken listed above.

                  As for me, I have a hard time believing my own top speed, and even though my gps says I have gone higher, the highest speed I trust based on graph info is 25.7mph on my geared 36 with 150mm cranks. I would like to do more testing with multiple ways of measuring speed at some point.
                  -James

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by siafirede View Post
                    I am with Ken though, high speeds don't really matter unless you can average it for a while.
                    Depends.

                    This sounds much like the debates we had on my college track team about who was a "better" runner: the sprinters who had faster top speeds or us distance junkies who could do it long enough to actually get somewhere.


                    Sure, top end dash speed may not mean anything or be particularly practical, but that's not why we care about it. It's just a cool brass ring to grab for. Like building a car with just a bit more horsepower than your buddy's, a truck with slightly bigger tires, or a girlfriend with bigger chesticles. These things aren't practical except in contrived scenarios, but damn, they're cool.

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Peripatet View Post
                      Depends.
                      It's just a cool brass ring to grab for. Like building a car with just a bit more horsepower than your buddy's, a truck with slightly bigger tires, or a girlfriend with bigger chesticles. These things aren't practical except in contrived scenarios, but damn, they're cool.
                      I think I have to see a girlfriend with chesticles first before I decide if they're cool.
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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Peripatet View Post
                        Sure, top end dash speed may not mean anything or be particularly practical, but that's not why we care about it. It's just a cool brass ring to grab for.
                        But that's a specific racing event (100m or longer variations), with a specific distance. A short race, but not a mere burst. I used 200m above because that's what IHPVA uses.

                        I like sprint races too. My favorite track race to watch (on unicycles or other) is definitely the 100!
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                        • #42
                          I remember that after my brother told me about Christian's speedy ride down that hill (where he apparently hit over 29 mph), I gave it a lot of thought. At that time, I was riding a Coker (ungeared of course -- this was BF, or before Florian) with 110s, which were crazy considering my particular commute (traffic, pedestrian areas, etc -- you old timers will remember my scary stories).

                          I could hit 22 mph on that ungeared Coker of mine. I reasoned that as fast as I was pedaling, Christian would have to go about 40% faster, and it did seem impossible, but then I reasoned that I was just not as well balanced or fast as he was. He had youth on his side, and he is a much better unicyclist (level 10, etc). So I figured that he was able to focus his energy on riding fast rather than on keeping from tilting sideways. He also had a lot more chutzpah than I do (another quality often assoc'ed with the young), so he could let loose those horses of his.
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                          • #43
                            I do not go fast on a unicycle, but it is an interesting thread.

                            What about accomplished gliders going down a big hill? I assume one could hit high speeds with enough daring (or idiocy). Are there any speed records for gliding rather than pedaling?

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                            • #44
                              I think 30mph is within reach by the right people.

                              The bad part about ungeared unicycles, are that its mainly older people who have established jobs and careers and can take out a couple thousand dollars for a uni. Where as the younger crowd 18-22 arent so lucky with being able to spend money like that.

                              If we all could afford geared unis easier, all the younger daredevils would be posting up some nice numbers im sure.

                              I dont have a speed, cause all my cokering has been rather casual lately. But top-speeds are fun to discuss and have. No one really cares that they arent fully what matters. Its all for the fun and having benchmarks.

                              Heck, go to a computer forum and benchmarks are a huge discussion. FPS in games, even though the difference from 300fps and 299fps arent noticeable, definitely mean something, even in real-world applications it makes no difference. =p

                              Sorry for the tangent. Keep posting the numbers. Pictures and video would be sweet, but I trust all you guys here.
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                              • #45
                                I hope gliding counts...


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