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  • Can you identify this unicycle?

    Hi. I am a newbe having just started learning to ride a few months ago at the age of 55, weight of 220 and height of 6'3". I am hooked for sure. Am a Michigander teaching English in Harbin, China where there seem to be very few unicycle riders. My goal is to be the first to ride across the Songhua River when it ices over.
    First, can anyone identify the unicycle I am using in the photos. I think it came from Taiwan or southern china. It is the only one I could find in Harbin and has held up really well considering my current ineptitude.




    Second, the seatpost seems a bit short so I could get a local to weld a bit of something in there to lengthen it. When I ride my legs get exhausted at 50 meters (I know, not sitting down, all my weight on my feet) but when I do sit down I feel like my legs are too bent to have any power. It feels like the seat should be an inch or so higher. My question: do you have more or less control when you ride with the seat lower? Or, what is the optimum seat height?

    Thanks for any input. I really like this site. Lots of good stuff here.

  • #2
    It's a standard local make that probably got some inspiration from the major unicycle makers judging from the textured seatpost and handle. The chinese on the post reads 'Rider' which could probably translate to Knight as well (Knight rider, har har).

    To your other question - more control with your legs outstretched (ie higher post). Optimally, your legs should be slightly bent. It's really a personal preference I realise. I'm very used to an almost 45 degree angle on smaller wheels but I know of people who like a 10 degree bend. As long as your weight is on the seat and you feel comfortable, don't worry so much about what's 'correct'.

    Oh and by the way, if you want a larger wheel, we do ship to the rest of Asia (see my nick)
    -------------------------------
    Team-Uni:: Unicycle Shop and Workshops
    http://www.team-uni.com

    Colorfully Constipated Stories
    http://www.ipooprainbows.com

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    • #3
      Don't know whether you learn to read Chinese in China.

      There are many "knight" unicycles sold in the online "taobao" shop.

      Here is one of them.
      http://store.taobao.com/shop/view_sh...7db05a56dc.htm

      I didn't try one but "knight" is the newest brand and with the best quality in China possibly. Your unicycle is the beginner model called "discovery". There are an Aluminium unicycle (20"/24") and a 700c unicycle of the same brand sold there. Very inexpensive and only <600 RMB (~<90 USD). There are also other models according to someone (19 models. including 33", 36" 45", carbon, monocycle. I really don't know whether they are sold anywhere in the world.)

      You can find some Chinese unicyclists/unicycle clubs in:
      http://www.chinaunicycle.com/forum/

      By the way, a higher seat will definitely force you to put your weight on the seat and save your legs. Once, I tried to set the seat half inch higher than my legs. It forces me to put all my weight on the seat.

      I could ride only 50m half year ago and last Sunday I can ride 27km. But I still can't idle....

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      • #4
        Originally posted by danlunche View Post
        Hi. I am a newbe having just started learning to ride a few months ago at the age of 55, weight of 220 and height of 6'3". I am hooked for sure. Am a Michigander teaching English in Harbin, China where there seem to be very few unicycle riders. My goal is to be the first to ride across the Songhua River when it ices over.
        First, can anyone identify the unicycle I am using in the photos. I think it came from Taiwan or southern china. It is the only one I could find in Harbin and has held up really well considering my current ineptitude
        One thing to note; generally the notch in the frame where the seat post goes in is oriented towards the back of the unicycle; you have it oriented towards the front on yours. That in itself is not a problem, but you should make sure that your seat hasn't gotten twisted around, because what does matter is which side the pedals are on. Make sure your right pedal is on the right side, otherwise the pedals will unscrew and damage your cranks.

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        • #5
          Keep in mind, a unicycle on ice has a very small amount of surface area on the ground, so make sure your ice isn't "iffy". Having a bike ride in front of you will not guarantee your safety either, as its weight is spread over two spots. And, uh, make sure you can dismount *gently*.

          Your unicycle looks like it has the Miyata saddle (now made in China), which were the best you could get before KH came along. For best results on an icy river crossing, consider a larger wheel. It'll roll over the bumps better. In the absence of snow, a large expanse of ice is probably like riding on flat rock. Mostly smooth, but any bumps will be very unforgiving.

          If you can feel your seat being too low, you probably need *a lot* of inches to bring it up to a proper height for casual riding. If you're 6'-3", it looks like you might need another 6" so don't skimp on the seatpost mod. You can always cut some off. For best results on a custom modification, have them cut the post off at the plate, and add tubing at the top. This keeps you from having to worry about exact tubing size. Just make sure they reattach the seat plate with a really good weld. Or they can use a larger piece of tubing to sleeve over the existing tubing, leaving the "proper" part for attaching to the rest of the cycle.

          For regular riding on flat surfaces, a general rule of thumb is to have your leg almost all the way straight when your heel is on the pedal. This gives you a light bend with the balls of your feet on the pedals, which is the normal position for riding. That kind of seat height is good for general riding, Freestyle and distance riding, but you'll want a lower (or much lower) seat for some other types of riding, such as rough terrain, Trials, etc.
          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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          • #6
            thanks fluxusmaximus. I checked your website and when I get ready to upgrade Ill send you an order. And I do seem to feel more control when I raise the seat but Im out of seatpost now. Thanks for the info, good stuff.
            By the way, the textured seat handle isnt texture. Im a beginner.
            I do have another question: how do I measure the length of the crank, from the center of the holes or from end to end?

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            • #7
              Thanks unicyclo. I appreciate the links. I dont read chinese (am learning but slow going) but I have lots of students who are happy to help me. Sounds like there are lots of options for unicycles available here, thats encouraging. Very motivating for me to hear you can do 27k now. I wont be doing longer trips anytime soon as winter is coming and its a bear in northern china but I am working on idling in my kitchen.

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              • #8
                thanks tholub, you are right, I have it backwards and have turned it around. But I still seem to be going in the same direction. (I knew about unthreading the pedals and thought I had it right - just a momentary lapse of consciousness on my part).

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                • #9
                  thanks johnfoss for the info. What about putting screws through the tire to grip the ice, I think I saw that someone had done that somewhere. I am going to mod the seatpost and see what happens. My seat seems real comfortable and I have really beat this unicycle up and it seems in great shape so am very happy I have it to learn on.
                  Have enjoyed reading your posts on this site.

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                  • #10
                    Dan,
                    Your username is "unicycle" in Cantonese, is that right? In mandarin, as I understand it, I would spell it something like "Doo lun churr" (Beijing accent).

                    When someone mentioned texture, I think they were talking about your seat post. The texture is very good for keeping the seat from twisting, especially with a quick-release clamp. The texture on your seat handle tells us you ride outdoors.

                    Cranks are measured center to center. Common sizes are 110, 114, 125, 140. 125mm is good for general/beginner/rough terrain riding, but maybe a little long for other stuff.

                    You can make a studded tire for the winter, but it's overkill unless you plan to spend a lot of time ice-riding. The studs (screws) tend to wear down pretty fast. Unless your ice is super smooth and fresh, you should have a decent grip on it, just don't get fancy and no sudden moves! Here's an old picture of me on really slippery ice. If it's like that, go for the studs. Otherwise you'll have a lot more fun with a tire like what you've got on there. I have a few years of Michigan winter as my experience.
                    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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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by danlunche View Post
                      Thanks unicyclo. I appreciate the links. I dont read chinese (am learning but slow going) but I have lots of students who are happy to help me. Sounds like there are lots of options for unicycles available here, thats encouraging. Very motivating for me to hear you can do 27k now. I wont be doing longer trips anytime soon as winter is coming and its a bear in northern china but I am working on idling in my kitchen.
                      Danlunche,

                      No, there are not many options available in China. The quality of other brands is quite poor and you can forget them. And only 3 "knight" models are sold online. The other 16 models are only on a list but I never find it anywhere in the world so far.


                      See the list here. Again in Chinese.

                      http://www.chinaunicycle.com/forum/v...&extra=&page=1

                      By the way, what is the width of the Songhua River you want to ride across?

                      Johnfoss, you know both Cantonese & Mandarin!! I even didn't aware that "danlunche" is in Cantonese, my mother language...

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                      • #12
                        @Johnfoss. Thanks for the information on ice and the crank measurements.
                        Yeah, he mentioned texture on the the post and the seat so I just clarified the seat texture which Im sure he knew anyway.
                        By the way, I had the post extended by a welder today and it really gives me more control.
                        As to dan1 lun2 che1, that is an alternative for dulunche which both are mandarin. dan and du both mean single, lun is wheel and che is vehicle. I asked a student today and according to him they are both used for unicycle. I didnt ask him if dan is also cantonese which he wouldnt know anyway, but the online dictionary shows it to be mandarin for sure - so am a little confused but will stick with danlunche. I am in the north of china.
                        Cool picture of you on ice. The ice here over the river is traversed daily by vehicles so it is a mixture of ice and snow and wont be as smooth as the ice you were on (but still can be deadly as I have walked and fell down on it many times.) But I have to try.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by unicyclo View Post
                          Danlunche,

                          No, there are not many options available in China. The quality of other brands is quite poor and you can forget them. And only 3 "knight" models are sold online. The other 16 models are only on a list but I never find it anywhere in the world so far.


                          See the list here. Again in Chinese.

                          http://www.chinaunicycle.com/forum/v...&extra=&page=1

                          By the way, what is the width of the Songhua River you want to ride across?

                          Johnfoss, you know both Cantonese & Mandarin!! I even didn't aware that "danlunche" is in Cantonese, my mother language...
                          Thanks unicyclo. I think this model will keep me busy for a while anyway and it is fun trying to track stuff down here. I really, really love china; the people are interesting, the students are wonderful (they love being around old people like me) and the life is never dull.
                          The Songhua is only about 3/4 mile wide near Harbin but its the idea of establishing precedence that tickles me. "I done it first."
                          I went to Hong Kong a few years ago. Stayed in a hostel downtown near the harbor. Love the city. Traveled by rail from Shenzhen.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by johnfoss View Post
                            Dan,
                            Your username is "unicycle" in Cantonese, is that right? In mandarin, as I understand it, I would spell it something like "Doo lun churr" (Beijing accent).
                            John, dan lun che is unicycle in chinese - I'm more chinese than you are

                            It's the first time I hear of du lun che though... that's how you spell it in standard hanyu pinyin.
                            -------------------------------
                            Team-Uni:: Unicycle Shop and Workshops
                            http://www.team-uni.com

                            Colorfully Constipated Stories
                            http://www.ipooprainbows.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              @fluxusmaximus - funny I got the danlunche from the online dictionary but couldn't find dulunche in it, but in the attached photo are the characters that came on the unicycle box which I have been told is "dulunche". I was told the first two characters are a Knight on a horse, the third character is "du" (meaning only, alone, unique) then "lun" (meaning wheel) and I recognize the last character as "che" (vehicle). Right? And my student friend recognized both words. mabey its a northern china thing.
                              Last edited by danlunche; 2009-10-24, 07:26 PM.

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