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Learning the 36 Inch Wheel

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  • #16
    Thanks mbalmer. 8% is dissapointing as that would greatly limit my rides around here. I want to practice hills and see what I can do.

    Unfortunately........I am going to be off the Coker V2 for a week or so. It has develped a mechanical problem and is going back to the factory to be fixed.

    I will update my hill success / experience when I get it back. In the mean time, any other hill / 36'er experience anyone can share would be great.

    If I can't ride, reading about it on this forum is second best. Thank you all.


    • #17
      This Wheel's On Fire

      Her is a short article to read... ESPN 'This Wheel's On Fire'

      A short video of the 2007 Ride 542 is available at [ame=""]2007 Ride 542-Mt. Baker Hill Climb Video[/ame]

      [ame=""]Bay to Artist Point[/ame]
      You cannot teach a man anything, you can only help him find it within himself....



      • #18
        I would suggest that you get comfortable with the running/rolling mount. It is the easiest mount to do uphill, and once you get comfortable with it you won't over jump, and end up with bruises.

        For all-purpose mounting, however, I would suggest the jump mount. Start with parallel pedals, then jump on to them one foot in front of the other. You want as little time as possible between the jumping of one foot, and the other. It gives you forward momentum, and you begin riding simply by instinct. It's very easy once you do it successfully a few times, and it's difficult to get injured by it. It has a high success rate for most people, and the wheel doesn't typically fall to the side when performing the jump mount.
        Happy cows come from California. Then at one point, PETA got into the mix and claimed that California cows were not happy. Of course, being the animal experts PETA aren't, they were unable to quantify any method of detecting cow happiness. - JF


        • #19
          So far I've found the static mount to be good on flat ground and down hill slopes but useless going up hill. The jump just doesn't generate enough momentum. I've got to start working on the rolling mount. Getting really tired of walking the unicycle down to the bottom of the hill before getting on.


          • #20
            Originally posted by Flyjeffva View Post
            8% is dissapointing as that would greatly limit my rides around here.
            You have some steep hills! I live in Salt Lake and the steepest stuff I have climbed on my roadie is an obscure canyon that gets up to 18%. Most of the big hills here go up to 12% in a few places, but 8% - 10% is pretty darn steep climbing that really get the heart pumpin!

            Originally posted by Flyjeffva View Post
            Unfortunately........I am going to be off the Coker V2 for a week or so. It has develped a mechanical problem and is going back to the factory to be fixed.
            Ouch! What is the nature of the problem? BTW, I really like the design of the V2 frame. Once you get back up and riding I would love to hear how you like it. Hope it is not gone too long...
            If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got.


            • #21
              Originally posted by memyself View Post
              And, if for some reason, you can not freemount after 2 years don't worry, I have a friend that is still trying to freemount after 2 years of 36 riding...
              I still have freemounting problems after 7 years of Coker riding!
              (I probably need a head shrinker help on that one -because I hurt myself badly once while freemounting a 36" I have bouts of failures and I can miss a few dozen tries in a row !!!)
              One Wheel : bear necessity
              (Abuello RodoMancat)


              • #22
                Originally posted by Flyjeffva View Post
                I have decided to stick with the static mount as in my video above.
                I wouldn't really call that a static mount. You can't really do a "proper" static mount on a 36" unless you're really tall. In regular unicycle terms, what your video shows, I would call a partial rollback mount. Problem with that is you not only have to cancel the rollback of the heavy wheel, then you're starting from zero to get it going.

                In my 29 years of big wheel riding I have always used the same kind of mount (unless I wanted to show off or get some variety). This is what I would call a rolling mount. In a textbook rolling mount, the wheel never stops turning. Mine does. But taking a step or two before stepping up onto the wheel makes a big difference. While not using the wheel's momentum to help much, your body's momentum is what makes this mount much easier than a static or rollback mount.

                Take a few steps, then step onto the rear pedal when it's about level. Let the wheel stop while your body goes up, over and slightly ahead of the center of the wheel. Then start pedaling.

                Not that this is easy at first, espcially on a 36". Those wheels are no only heavy, they're large. The greater radius means the weight of that heavy wheel takes more effort to get moving. But if you try to rush things, it usually doesn't work out well. Often an adjustment is needed just before you start to pedal. When I get up there, if I feel like I'm a little bit off to one side or the other (which is usually the case), I will give a slight twist before I start to pedal, so the wheel heads off in a "corrective" direction. I have found that, for me, the key is to not rush this. Even with short cranks, or in high gear and with an awkward handle and backpack, this method works for me almost every time.

                Originally posted by Flyjeffva
                I took the 36er on a road ride yesterday and discovered that I need to learn to ride hills.
                Yes, we all do. As a hill gets steeper, your range of balanced riding, or "balance envelope" gets smaller. In other words, a unicycle is harder to balance when going uphill. Add bumps and it ups the difficulty even more. It's a great way to refine your balance, as every error is exaggerated when you're going uphill.

                Originally posted by wobbling bear View Post
                I still have freemounting problems after 7 years of Coker riding!
                As you said, it's all in your mind. I have a similar problem with shifting my Schlumpf, and riding above running speed. For shifting, I need to focus more on just the shifts. But I always end up taking off, with an emphasis on covering distance. My shift training gets neglected. Spend some focused time on mounting, and try the method above. If you focus on just that, your confidence will be repaired in time.
                John Foss

                "Who is going to argue with a mom who can ride a unicycle?" -- Forums member "HiMo"


                • #23
                  Originally posted by NotSoYoungOne View Post
                  Ouch! What is the nature of the problem?
                  Since you asked.....While I was learning inside, I noticed a looseness in the crank, so I took it to a friend of mine who owns a bike shop and he tightened up the crank bolt on the left crank. Then I took it out for my first road ride and a little over a mile out, it became loose again and so I had to walk back and was not happy. UDC reffered me to Coker and they (can't remember his name right now - I have it written at work) told me to put locktite on the bolt. I did so and went out for another road ride and it came loose again and had to walk back again. Now Coker is sending me a prepaid shipping label for me to send it back for them to fix. I also have a problem where the seat post rattles in the frame. Want them to fix that as well. I guess it will be a week or so until I get back on the V2.

                  Anybody else have problems like this?


                  • #24
                    Congrats on the 36er. I hope you enjoy riding it. I purchased my first 36er a Coker Big One, this past summer and practiced mounting after successfully riding it.
                    What I did was I would mount, ride to the end of my street, purposely get off and not go back home until I managed to mount and ride back. I would do that over and over to both ends of the street for about two nights straight. At first I'd be stuck at one end of the street for sometimes 15 or more minutes, , it worked though and I can mount successfully as long as I ride regularly.
                    I use the rolling mount and found this video helpful (thank you Terry P) [ame=""][/ame] I know for me John Foss is right, I could not manage to do a real static mount, I'm only 5'2" and it's just too big for me to stretch that far.

                    Good luck, have fun and enjoy the 36er, I love riding mine.

                    I agree with Jo
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                    I plan on riding unicycles till I break a hip and then I'll ride a little longer.


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Flyjeffva View Post
                      Anybody else have problems like this?
                      Yes, the left crank on my Big One has the same issue. I finally got the problem under control when I went with blue loctite, rather than the purple I started with. I also rotated the cranks. It still comes loose occasionally, so I monitor it. I also carry a socket wrench with me on long rides, just in case. And I try to avoid hopping. All in all, an annoyance but not a big deal. I've had the Coker for >1.5 years and have put many miles on it.


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by juggleaddict View Post
                        running mount is the way to go. I don't ever feel comfortable with a standard jump mount, and I can't mount uphill with it at all. That being said, I rarely ever miss a running mount.
                        +1. When learning to mount the 36 I found the running mount - or rolling mount? - was my prefered way to get on top of the wheel. Here is a practice video when I was first learning the mount that might be useful as it shows a beginners efforts. This was also before I could ride with both hands holding the handlbar.

                        [ame=""]Practicing mounting the 36er on Vimeo[/ame]
                        1 wheel, 1 day, 100 miles, 64 years...


                        • #27
                          @flyjeffva: It looks like we have similar problems. It is a real pain for me to mout my 36er. I tried static mount, rolling mount - and now ended up (again) with rollback mount.

                          My Problem with static mount is that I always have to do a few hops before riding off (and I fear that my geared hub will not be happy about this in the long run...)
                          And with the rolling mount, I have timing problems.

                          It may sound weird, but the rollback has the highest success rate (for me). It do not need to jump a lot because when I step on the pedal, the seat will just push me up. I find that much less exhausting than doing a static mount.

                          Nevertheless I made 2 short videos last summer. I will add the rollback mount as soon as the weather allows.

                          Here are the videos:
                          [ame=""]YouTube - 36" mount[/ame]
                          [ame=""]YouTube - Rolling Mount 1[/ame]
                          Last edited by hugo; 2011-01-03, 07:59 PM.
                          Marcus | youtube |
                          I ride for fun


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by hugo View Post
                            I always have to do a few hops before riding off
                            Last edited by Flyjeffva; 2011-01-03, 08:40 PM.


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Flyjeffva View Post
                              That is agood question. I don't have an answer.
                              Marcus | youtube |
                              I ride for fun


                              • #30
                                When watching your mounts, the pattern emerges that all of the failed mounts are errors of not getting your body far enough forward. When you do make it up to the top you take a bunch of those little hops that allow you to position the wheel a little bit behind your body's center of mass. This tips you forward which allows you to then accelerate the wheel forward, get the wheel back under you and get going. More practice and the resulting increased confidence will allow you to mount directly to that forward position and cut out the middle step of hopping to reposition the wheel.

                                Flyjeffva, don't be afraid to maximize your control of the wheel. Getting longer cranks could really help. I love to ride on the steep hills where I live. For most of this riding I use 165 mm cranks on my 36" guni. When I'm training for long distances on flats and rolling hills I put on my "short" cranks (152 mm). Although I've never had any mounting problems on my 36, I notice a significant improvement in my ability to climb steep hills (8-10+% grade) when I'm using my 165 cranks. I can only imagine that your mounting will improve more quickly with longer cranks. Your wheel will be more responsive and you will gain confidence more quickly.

                                36" unicyclists (I'm referring to wheel size here, not unicyclist size ) have a tendency to ride with shorter cranks in order to maximize their ability to spin fast. I see no problem with that, but don't let this "shorter-is-better" crank culture interfere with your finding the crank size that best fits your riding and your terrain. Try out a pair of 165 mm cranks and see how you ride. It's not a big investment compared to the time you've spent learning to mount. With all of the steep hills you have around you, you'll benefit from having some long cranks in you quiver. Speaking from experience, a 36" guni with long cranks and a brake is a very versatile and capable vehicle. Maximize your potential and maximize your fun.

                                Hope this helps.

                                monocycle monstrosity

                                Mustn't sleep! Clowns will eat me!