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Fastest speed on a unicycle

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  • #61
    Speed (mph), Name, Location, Unicycle, Crank size
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    29-ish, Christian Hoverath, ungeared Coker, (more info needed)
    26.1 mph, Corbin Dunn, Los Gatos CA USA, Geared KH36, 150mm
    24.2 mph, Lars Lottrup, Nivĺ Denmark, Nimbus 36, 114mm
    23.5 mph, David Stone, Lobster, 29" Schlumpf, 125mm
    22.9 MPH, Scott Wilton, Madison WI USA, Nimbus 36, 114mm
    22.6 mph, Spencer Owen, Nottingham UK, Schlumpf 29, 127mm
    22-ish, John Foss, 45" Unicycle Factory Big Wheel (28 pounds), 6.5" cranks
    21.75 mph (35.0 kmh) Geoff Houghton, Ashland, Oregon, USA Florian Green 36" with Schlumpf, 165mm
    21.1 mph, Řivind Stuan, Trondheim Norway, Nimbus 36, 125mm
    20.2 mph, Samuel Farmer, West Sussex England, Qu-ax 36, 114mm
    19.9 MPH, Peripatet, Jacksonville FL USA, KH36, 125mm
    17.8 mph, Steve Relles, Delmar NY US, Radial 36er, 125mm
    17. mph, Rob Northcott, Somewhere on Dartmoor, Mongrel 36er, 145mm
    12.8MPH BrianP, Ocala FL US, KH24 w 150s

    Looks like I won the "Longest Cranks" category. Woo Hoo!
    I measured my Wheel TA circumfrence as 2870 mm. Anybody else get the same?
    I'm operating under the assumption that all of these cycle computer measurements are a little bit inflated (mine is no exception) because of the inherent wiggle in the unicycle's path. These are not point A to point B speeds. The difference between a unicycle's path and a straight line is like the difference between the path my dog takes and the line I walk when we're out on walkies. It sure would be fun to ride an actual speed trap.

    Geoff
    monocycle monstrosity

    Mustn't sleep! Clowns will eat me!

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    • #62
      PS Welcome back Chuck. Been wondering where you've been.
      monocycle monstrosity

      Mustn't sleep! Clowns will eat me!

      Comment


      • #63
        Interesting post!

        My fastest speed reached on the Coker was at Unicon 10km in Denmark last summer. 31,68km/t. With 110mm Cranks.

        My top speed on a training ride at tarmac is around 27km/t. But I have no problem to ride in a speed 24-25km/t in many hours on the flat.

        With 150mm cranks I spin in 22-23km/t in hours on flat with 150mm Cranks on gravel. But that is not recommended. You easy get knee injuries and back problems.

        I am sure it is good to have a high top speed, but I have not that fast twinkle muscles. :-(
        www.unijuul.com

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        • #64
          Originally posted by unijuul View Post
          My fastest speed reached on the Coker was at Unicon 10km in Denmark last summer. 31,68km/t. With 110mm Cranks.

          My top speed on a training ride at tarmac is around 27km/t. But I have no problem to ride in a speed 24-25km/t in many hours on the flat.
          I am really starting to doubt my speed reading of 33+km/t ... need to do more testing this summer. For me around 22km/t is a comfortable cruising speed on the N36/125mm.

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          • #65
            Originally posted by unijuul View Post
            With 150mm cranks I spin in 22-23km/t in hours on flat with 150mm Cranks on gravel. But that is not recommended. You easy get knee injuries and back problems.
            I'm a "long cranks" fan (usually 145s) and ride at very similar speeds (13-14mph is my comfortable speed) on a mix of easy xc/gravel and road. My knees hurt if I use shorter cranks, rather than the other way round.

            I've always been a relatively fast spinner on a bike, with 170s, so 145s really don't feel "long" to me at all. In fact, 125s feel really silly and inefficient. Apart from extreme top speeds (which is what this thread is about, I know!), I don't understand the unicyclists' obsession with really short cranks.

            My sprint speed (usually 16mph, highest ever 17mph) is only a bit higher than my normal riding speed - perhaps shorter cranks may help spin a bit more, but I think most of it is down to confidence and bravery.

            Rob
            "Hedgehogs - why can't they just share the hedge?" (Dan Antopolski)

            "I would absolutely recommend a 29er to anyone who didn't prefer a larger or small wheel." (Mikefule)

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            • #66
              SAM! You've hit 26 MPH with 114 cranks and a gearless hub?!? In all but the most exceptional situations, you'd be outrunning me on my geared unicycle. I rarely ever get above 25mph. It's just scary as hell! :-] You are the nutter!! I think you're a much more talented Coker rider than I am, Sam. I NEED that geared hub to go anywhere. I could never dream of spinning as fast as that. :-)
              Uni to work to eat to live to uni to work to...!

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              • #67
                Speed and Cadence

                Here are plots of cadence for speeds up to 30 mph and the equivalent in km/h for unicycles from 20 inch nominal wheel diameter up to 36 inch geared. Actual wheel diameters will differ somewhat. Those higher speeds are most impressive
                Attached Files
                +++++++++
                Bob
                Riding for fun and Unicycle Training.xls

                Comment


                • #68
                  That's a nice chart. It says that my max ungeared speed (20.6mph) should allow me to go just about 30mph on my geared uni. Somehow, I don't see that happening...but the idea is nice.

                  ---Nathan

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    Originally posted by olduniman View Post
                    Here are plots of cadence for speeds up to 30 mph and the equivalent in km/h for unicycles from 20 inch nominal wheel diameter up to 36 inch geared. Actual wheel diameters will differ somewhat. Those higher speeds are most impressive
                    Pretty graphs. The ungeared high speeds are often OVER 200 rpm, (believe it or not!), so could we see that same graph up to maybe 300rpm (though I'm not sure that's physically possible)?
                    steveyo
                    ...like having your own personal rollercoaster...

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

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      Speed and Cadence Equations

                      Originally posted by steveyo View Post
                      Pretty graphs. The ungeared high speeds are often OVER 200 rpm, (believe it or not!), so could we see that same graph up to maybe 300rpm (though I'm not sure that's physically possible)?
                      Yes, I can do that, but for more accurate calculations you might like to use the equations here. Instead of the nominal diameter you would presumably use your actual diameter determined by measurement of the tire circumference.

                      Would you still like the graphs?

                      I am amazed by the high cadences. My best on a 29 uni is a mere 123 rpm with 127 mm cranks and I average just over 90 rpm. It must be my size 13 feet.
                      Attached Files
                      +++++++++
                      Bob
                      Riding for fun and Unicycle Training.xls

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        Originally posted by nathan View Post
                        That's a nice chart. It says that my max ungeared speed (20.6mph) should allow me to go just about 30mph on my geared uni. Somehow, I don't see that happening...but the idea is nice.

                        ---Nathan
                        I can see it happening. If you were to use the same cranks size(110mm I am guessing?) and weren't scared of falling.

                        Geared 36 + short cranks + high cadence + slight downhill = 30mph is possible. It would just take a crazy person to do it. I have hardly tried out cranks smaller than 150mm on the geared 36, but maybe if I had some 110mm cranks and some knee/wrist/ protection...I would see what some of my speeds could be.

                        I think another thing to add to that variable list is a good brake for security purposes. My brake is still not set up ideally for me to trust using it when going 20-30mph.
                        -James

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                        • #72
                          Bob, in order to ride at a higher cadence, the easiest way is to use shorter cranks. For instance, with a 29er, you'll find that 100mm cranks feel MUCH smoother and faster than 127mm. I haven't tried shorter than that on a 29 because I normally ride a 36. But I use down to 100mm on my ungeared 36, so the equivalent for your uni might be 89mm cranks. I strongly recommend you do some experiments!

                          ---Nathan

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                          • #73
                            The graph does point out what I've already noted elsewhere, which is that we need higher gears to really hit our top speeds. If the fastest GUni 36er riders are reaching the high 20s (MPH) in speed, they are spinning at over 150rpm, possibly as high as 180rpm. That's just too fast; at that speed you're no longer able to put additional power into the pedals. Multiply the gearing by 1.5 and reduce the cadence to 100rpm, and you'll have more headroom for speed.

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                            • #74
                              Originally posted by tholub View Post
                              The graph does point out what I've already noted elsewhere, which is that we need higher gears to really hit our top speeds. If the fastest GUni 36er riders are reaching the high 20s (MPH) in speed, they are spinning at over 150rpm, possibly as high as 180rpm. That's just too fast; at that speed you're no longer able to put additional power into the pedals. Multiply the gearing by 1.5 and reduce the cadence to 100rpm, and you'll have more headroom for speed.
                              The fastest I ever gone ~23 (which I've achieved with 114mm cranks this year and 89mm last year) is ~210 cadence. The most amazing thing is Sam's 26.7 mph, which is 249rpm!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
                              Last edited by scotthue; 2009-06-10, 10:23 PM.

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                Originally posted by nathan View Post
                                That's a nice chart. It says that my max ungeared speed (20.6mph) should allow me to go just about 30mph on my geared uni.
                                Well, that's almost exactly what you get from riding a hub with a 1.5 gear ratio too


                                Originally posted by scotthue View Post
                                The most amazing thing is Sam's 26.7 mph, which is 249rpm!
                                Well, considering that Sam smashed the 24 hour world record last year, the most amazing thing isn't the cadence, it's Sam!

                                STM

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