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Learning the 36 Inch Wheel

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  • #61
    Originally posted by NotSoYoungOne View Post

    The second crash really surprised me because I really don't know what caused my speed to increase so quickly. I was 7.5 miles into a 10 mile ride and I guess I lost focus. I must have been on more of a downhill grade than I noticed and before I knew it I was moving way too fast.
    My two crashes were similar to this. I couldn't figure out what I had done wrong. Suddenly (on flat ground) I was going too fast and crashed. One resulted in rib injury and the other just pride injury. I continued both of those rides wondering what I did wrong. I still don't know. It felt out of my control, though that is nonsense. Now I fluctuate between the 125 and 150 cranks on the 36". I don't have fear of falling, but I do not go fast. I tend to cruise about 9 or 10 mph because I want to be able to outrun a UPD. I go a little faster on my 26" Schlumpf because I'm lower to the ground and that helps (at least mentally).

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    • #62
      How/when to use bars on a 36"

      Just got my 36" today. It has handlebars. When and how do I start to use them? I went back to riding on a tennis court to learn and felt compelled to try and hold one bar but it didn't seem helpful. Any advice? Thanks.

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      • #63
        Most riders find that handlebars are helpful for allowing you to put some weight on them (reducing the amount of weight on the saddle), which can be welcome on longer rides. I also find I ride with less side-to-side wobble when I have both hands on the bars.

        Don't feel like you have to use them though. Bungeejoe rides huge distances on his geared 36" without handlebars.

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        • #64
          Thanks David. Now I won't feel obligated to make learning a 36" harder than it already is.

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          • #65
            Originally posted by mountain shooter View Post
            Thanks David. Now I won't feel obligated to make learning a 36" harder than it already is.
            Exactly! My balance is still wide, if that makes sense. As I progress my balance gets narrower, but at this point I can only have one hand on the saddle grip. As soon as I try to grab it with the other hand then I have to let go with the one currently there.

            I made a handle bar for the 36er out of an old 24" round crown frame, but I have taken it off until I am ready. Like you said, no need to make it any harder

            mbalmer--thanks for the comments. I guess there is nothing that hasn't already happened to someone else, and it is good to know that I am not the only one struggling. But it is even better to know that you overcame it!
            If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got.

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            • #66
              The biggest issue for me with the shorter cranks continues to be down hills. Especially the transition from flat to down. I totally lack confidence and compensate by slowing way down. Flat to down transitions where I used to maintain 12 mph on the 165 cranks, I now slow down to about 8 mph in order to maintain confident control. On down hills, I occasionally get that whoa! I'm going to loose it! feeling, but so far, no UPD's on the 137 cranks.
              I'm guessing you don't have brakes. Shorter cranks on downhills are scary unless you're willing and able to let the uni "spin out", but even then you can get going too fast. Brakes allow you to control speed and hence spin rate.

              For instance, I run 170's offroad and can pretty much control the 36er without brakes, but it would be nice to have them to help me hold position. I'm swapping out cranks for 165/135 so I can do some mixed riding and will probably order another set of brakes; only have two sets for three unis. I won't ride hills on 135's without brakes, that's just to scary.

              On my 26 guni I'm running 137's and brakes. I use the brakes religiously, it just wouldn't be possible to handle downhill tech stuff without them. On my 29er I run 160's and brakes. I have ridden the 29er without brakes, and though it's doable, it is hard and at times scary. This past weekend I raced the 29er for five hours, toward the end of which I started getting very tired and my brakes were weak, so I ended up crashed on a downhill when my legs and brakes together were not enough to slow me down.

              Long story short, brakes make up for insufficient pedal control, either form weakness, fatigue, or lack of leverage. Brakes take some "getting used to" but they are well suited for certain applications.

              Talk to Bryce for all your Magura brake needs

              Hey Bryan, aren't you glad you kept the 36er? Now you need a 29er to fill out your stable
              Last edited by Nurse Ben; 2011-09-15, 01:58 PM.
              I dream of hamsters and elderberries

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              • #67
                Hey Ben, I have the Nimbus Impulse, so I have the wonderful hydraulic disk brake that everyone raves about. I use the brake on the down hills, but I still need to build my confidence. I will just keep putting in the miles with 137 cranks until I get comfortable.

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                • #68
                  I just saw this from EinradOpa, nice vid and for those wondering what happens when you crash, here's a good head on view.

                  Looking forward to the Forensic debate

                  [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnTs7Nj9RU8&feature=channel_video_title"]Easy Rider - YouTube[/ame]

                  Cheers

                  James
                  "If something is too hard to do, then it's not worth doing. You just stick that guitar in the closet next to your shortwave radio, your karate outfit and your unicycle and we'll go inside and watch TV."
                  Homer Simpson
                  Haven't got the karate suit

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                  • #69
                    I always thought banjo music would be a good match for 36er riding.
                    -Jrapp

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                    • #70
                      This is me learning to ride the 36 last summer [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgzlRMp4L6k"]P enhjuling - del 4 - YouTube[/ame]
                      UniMyra's YouTube channel

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                      • #71
                        UniMyra,

                        It is nice to see another learner of the same age It takes time to get the feel for the big wheel, and I am still not able to use the handle bar very well yet. Hope you are making good progress! Very nice Nimbus
                        If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got.

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                        • #72
                          Hello NotSoYoungOne,

                          YouTube videos of people riding the 36'er was the reason I got in to unicycling. I got a 24" spring of 2010 to learn, and immediately got hooked. The most challenging for me has been to climb hills. It is difficult but great fun and very satisfying when I make progress. This fall I have tried some Muni as well which I really enjoy. I was surprised to find out how many people over 40 that were unicycling when I discovered this forum.
                          UniMyra's YouTube channel

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                          • #73
                            Originally posted by UniMyra View Post
                            I was surprised to find out how many people over 40 that were unicycling when I discovered this forum.
                            I started in September last year and have done much the same as you, trying several sizes of unicycle and types of riding. I really enjoy the 24" around the neighborhood, and I did some very challenging Muni this spring and summer. I have also done a few kind of "big" rides on the 36er (nothing compared to many others out here on the forum though!).

                            When I first made an account here on the Community I thought it was mostly young people and that there would be few people over 40 (which is why I chose the NotSoYoungOne name), but I was wrong! There are so many riders 40+, 50+, and even 60+ it is impressive.

                            If you want a fun thread for learners go to the Just Conversation forum and look for the Learning Journal thread. Keep posting your progress and I will do the same (here on this thread, on the Learning Journal, etc.). It will be a while before I get back on the 36er but I hope to be on the Muni during the winter.
                            If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got.

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                            • #74
                              Thinking of buying a 36er

                              Hi folks

                              Ive been riding for almost exactly a year and am a total addict why did I wait 51 years to shed a wheel and ride on one not two.

                              Most of the time I ride either a 24 Muni or a 29. Im on the verge of buying a 36 but for some reason have the total jitters. I lay awake last night convinced that Id either never be able to ride it or that Id fly off and kill myself at the first attempt. We are not talking an idle musings here this was the full on 3am sweats.

                              I dont know any one thats got or ridden a 36er indeed Ive never actually seen one in the flesh. Am I just looking for excuses or are those things real killers.

                              Ed
                              Ps any answer that puts me off will be ignored!

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                Originally posted by biged View Post
                                Hi folks

                                Ive been riding for almost exactly a year and am a total addict why did I wait 51 years to shed a wheel and ride on one not two.

                                Most of the time I ride either a 24 Muni or a 29. Im on the verge of buying a 36 but for some reason have the total jitters. I lay awake last night convinced that Id either never be able to ride it or that Id fly off and kill myself at the first attempt. We are not talking an idle musings here this was the full on 3am sweats.

                                I dont know any one thats got or ridden a 36er indeed Ive never actually seen one in the flesh. Am I just looking for excuses or are those things real killers.

                                Ed
                                Ps any answer that puts me off will be ignored!
                                I'd say there are significantly more dangerous than the 20-29" range. I seem to have seen more posts on here reporting broken bones on 36-ers than on the other size wheels.

                                They go faster and, in UPD's, the rider falls from higher, so, clearly, injuries will tend to be worse.

                                Often, in 36er UPDs, the rider hits the ground at a faster speed than they can run.

                                Finally, another injury which seems to be peculier to the 36-er, is where the rider comes off and the 36er does a 'pecking' action- usually the seat will peck the ground, but, occasionally, it hits the riders achilles tendon. I believe at least one person on this board ended up with a severed tendon from that?

                                Of course, serious injuries are in the minority, and, can happen on the smaller wheels- it's just that they're that bit more likely on the bigger wheel.

                                If it's putting you off getting a 36er, you could consider getting a penny farthing for a while- they're really lethal; then back down and go for the safer option of the 36-er unicycle
                                "You can't outrun Death forever.
                                But you can make the Bastard work for it."

                                --MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
                                "Last of The Lancers"
                                AFC 32

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