Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

If a multi geared hub were available, would that make the 36" wheel obsolete?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • If a multi geared hub were available, would that make the 36" wheel obsolete?

    Tholub suggested in the General Schlumpf thread that he felt the 36" wheel was nothing more than a gimmick, that if unicycles could be geared more like a bicycle, that this wheel size would lose favor. Now these are not Tom's exact words, it was the impression I got from reading his posts, but it does bring up an interesting question:

    Why do people ride 36ers?

    Is it a gimmick as Tom suggested or is there more to it?

    I'll start:

    I ride a 36" wheel because it is more stable at speed than a smaller wheel.
    I ride a 36" wheel because it smooths out rough terrain better than a smaller wheel.
    I ride a 36" wheel because I feel safer due to having more time/distance to land from a UPD.
    I ride a 36" wheel because it's fun to ride big wheels!
    Last edited by Nurse Ben; 2012-10-26, 10:47 PM.
    I dream of hamsters and elderberries

  • #2
    The 36 is my favorite. I have slept in the saddle on it and woke up still in my lane. It's my favorite uni for juggling. I like the ride. For me it's the limousine.
    You cannot teach a man anything, you can only help him find it within himself....



    ...

    Comment


    • #3
      The 36 is fast, and I think(I may be wrong) but riding a unicycle with to many gears, would be sketchy, almost like a free wheel. I don't think the 36 will ever really be obsolete.
      http://www.youtube.com/user/unicycle...e=results_main -J

      Comment


      • #4
        I think as you've stated there are a few reasons
        For riding a 36er
        For each rider each has different weightings

        They are bigger and have a big visual impact. And from what I've read they're also lots of fun to ride

        (I'm right now in the process of ordering my first 36)

        But for some riders the main reason for the 36 is to go faster. For these riders a more versatile gearing system and a smaller wheel would kill their need for a
        36

        I think even with the perfect gearing some 36ers would sell. Probably not as many as now. But some people would still want to try

        I am buying a geared 36 to go further, and faster and for the challenge Of riding a big wheel

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Fatlazypig View Post
          I think even with the perfect gearing some 36ers would sell. Probably not as many as now. But some people would still want to try
          Some 36er bikes sell, but it's an incredibly small proportion even of the high end bike market.

          I'm fairly convinced the stability at speed thing is simply down to the weight at the rim. Make the rim/tyre of a geared smaller wheel just as heavy and it will be just as stable (there is no advantage to the weight being further away from the centre in a larger wheel, as that is exactly cancelled out by the larger wheel rotating slower). Strangely if you offer the option of a heavier wheel to users of smaller wheels I don't think many will take it.
          Unicycling: great for your thighs.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Nurse Ben View Post
            I ride a 36" wheel because it is more stable at speed than a smaller wheel.
            This is precisely why I'm a proponent of geared 36ers. Stability! Riding a 36er in high gear feels almost natural. Kris himself suggested "learning to Schlumpf" on a 36er and, having done just that, I can see why. It's not that difficult. I'm far from a highly skilled rider but riding a 36er in 1:1 mode can get boring. The gear provides a much needed challenge. The downside is that a UPD at speed (plant your foot at 15mph) almost certainly results in a major injury.

            Understanding that this thread was not intended for us crazy geared 36 folks, I can see a day, should my hub require spa time (perish the thought), I'd convert my 36er to fixed and put the geared hub in my beloved KH29. The only problem is, the mountain bike trails around here are far from XC and I'm never in a hurry when I'm in the woods. Then again, I'm still too slow to participate in mountain bike "races" but every time they have a "bring your kids mountain biking day" you can bet I'm there.

            On the topic of a multi geared hub, there are no hills (and I live in Kentucky) that I cannot climb on my 36er with 137mm cranks so (mind you this is just for road riding) I would have little use for a stepped down gear. And, given the stability of a 36er, the 1:1.5 is not "too big" of a step up for me. Also, heel shifting is fine. I don't need a thumb shifter. The thing is darn near perfect as is. I know I love mine!

            Knock on wood, I don't break my leg tomorrow.
            Knock twice, (and add another vial of grease) my hub does not fail any time soon.
            Last edited by DavidHood; 2012-10-27, 12:34 AM.
            My greatest fear is that, when I die, my wife will sell all my unicycles for what I told her they cost.

            Comment


            • #7
              The 36 momentum rules. Love the banked circles, and zig-zaging along the rail trail. You can ride a unicycle, but I prefer flying a 36.

              Also the is height is cool. I'm short, 5 foot 7 inches. So being what, 6-7? feet tall on that 36 wheel is a trip.

              And yeah, cruising along at a slow canter is way cooler than spinning by on a little wheel.

              Had a Geared 24" (36" equivalent) , hardly gave it a chance, I was so quickly drawn back to the 36". The real deal.

              Bigger is better.
              Last edited by Chrashing; 2012-10-27, 01:17 AM.
              Regards,
              Ken

              Unicycles are flying machines!

              24", 28", 32", and 36" KH frame based mutts.
              26" inexpensive travel.

              Comment


              • #8
                I don't think gearing will make the 36" wheel obsolete. In fact, I think that the desire for a 40" or 44" wheel with a pneumatic tire is probably much greater, although less easy to realize, than a multi-geared unicycle.
                Last edited by harper; 2012-10-27, 01:54 AM.
                -Greg Harper

                Nipples...do you ever have enough?

                Change is good. Bills are better.

                Comment


                • #9
                  You have to ask why it would be a gimmick?

                  700c or 26" or other wheel size- why are they not gimmicks? You can gear them down or up just the same as a 36" wheelsize. Did gears make the 700c wheel obsolete?

                  I think the 'gimmick' tag is there because of the variety of (or lack of) wheels/tyres available. People thought 29" mountainbikes were gimmicks not that long ago...there used to be only one or two companies that made them, and there was only a handful of rims/tyre combinations.

                  If we had more types of 36" wheels and tyres, to suit different types of riders or terrain...then I think it's a perfectly good wheelsize. Bigger wheels roll over things better- they smooth out little bumps. They have more angular momentum, so feels more stable.
                  Adventure Unicyclist

                  Alps 2 Ocean


                  Unistan: The Uzbekistan Unicycle Tour

                  Induni: The India Unicycle Tour

                  Monguni: The Mongolia Unicycle Tour

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by GizmoDuck View Post
                    You have to ask why it would be a gimmick?

                    700c or 26" or other wheel size- why are they not gimmicks? You can gear them down or up just the same as a 36" wheelsize. Did gears make the 700c wheel obsolete?
                    No, because the 700c wheel size (or something near it like 26" or 650b) is something near an ideal compromise of weight, rolling resistance, and manageability. Bikes could have settled on 20" wheels, or 24", or 36", or 44"; when you have good gearing the wheel size is very flexible. They settled on 26-27" because that's what works best. If unicycles had the luxury of good gearing, we would find the same thing.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by tholub View Post
                      They settled on 26-27" because that's what works best. If unicycles had the luxury of good gearing, we would find the same thing.
                      We probably wouldn't settle on the same wheel size because stability on a unicycle is so much different than on a bike, especially when a gearing system on a unicycle pulls on the frame.

                      Since we're talking about having the luxury of good gearing here, meaning that we could have many up or down gears, the best wheel size is going to be the one where you are most comfortable riding it in 1 to 1 mode on most of the trail you ride, since 1 to 1 is the most stable.
                      Gilby

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by tholub View Post
                        No, because the 700c wheel size (or something near it like 26" or 650b) is something near an ideal compromise of weight, rolling resistance, and manageability. Bikes could have settled on 20" wheels, or 24", or 36", or 44"; when you have good gearing the wheel size is very flexible. They settled on 26-27" because that's what works best. If unicycles had the luxury of good gearing, we would find the same thing.
                        But settled and compromised according to whom? Did they test rolling resistance on a road bikes before settling on an industry standard? and why should it be a different size to cars or motorbikes? You'd want low rolling resistance on other vehicles too. Why is it the same 'industry standard' when materials are vastly different to 100yrs ago? Surely you could argue for a bigger wheel size on a road bike, now that we have more advanced materials and better production techniques?

                        Why is 700c an 'ideal compromise' for road bikes and 26" for mountainbikes, and 20" for BMX? A unicycle is at least as different to a road bike, as a BMX/Mountainbike is to a road bike. Why should the 'ideal' for a unicycle be 700c? I'm not arguing whether it is or isn't, but it seems that we have an anchoring bias.

                        I think the idea of what is 'ideal' has more to do with what we are accustomed to. 700c wheels were around as a road bike standard before I was born, before you were born, and it's what we're used to. But I doubt it was anything more than a something plucked out of thin air when the bicycle industry decided on making a 'standard'.
                        Last edited by GizmoDuck; 2012-10-27, 04:56 AM.
                        Adventure Unicyclist

                        Alps 2 Ocean


                        Unistan: The Uzbekistan Unicycle Tour

                        Induni: The India Unicycle Tour

                        Monguni: The Mongolia Unicycle Tour

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The 36" wheel will never be obsolete. Neither will any other wheel size. In unicycling, at least. Only a tiny fraction of unicycles are ridden as "practical" machines. Everyone else rides them for fun.

                          Originally posted by aracer View Post
                          Some 36er bikes sell, but it's an incredibly small proportion even of the high end bike market.
                          If I understand the history correctly, Coker Tire, the originator of today's 36" spec., originally made them for the Coker Monster bike. It was a cruiser bike with 36" wheels. They didn't sell well and are long gone now, but the unicycles live on.

                          Again, most buyers of 36" unicycles are probably using them as novelty cycles, I think. That's why they come with heavy, super-durable tires. If the majority of the 36" market were road riders, we'd have had a lighter wheel years ago.

                          Originally posted by tholub View Post
                          ...when you have good gearing the wheel size is very flexible. They settled on 26-27" because that's what works best. If unicycles had the luxury of good gearing, we would find the same thing.
                          That's an assumption. What works best on a two-wheeler is not necessarily the same on a one-wheeler. Where we don't have that second wheel for stability, perhaps some rotational mass helps instead. But not too much.

                          Originally posted by Gilby View Post
                          ...the best wheel size is going to be the one where you are most comfortable riding it in 1 to 1 mode on most of the trail you ride, since 1 to 1 is the most stable.
                          You said trail. The requirements for trail riding are going to be different than for pavement so the end result of wheel size might also be different.

                          Unlike bikes, I don't think unicycling is going to settle on a solid set of "best" wheel sizes. The best size might vary with each application. Like Road riding for fun might have a different "best" wheel size than Road Racing.
                          John Foss
                          www.unicycling.com

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

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by tholub View Post
                            No, because the 700c wheel size (or something near it like 26" or 650b) is something near an ideal compromise of weight, rolling resistance, and manageability. Bikes could have settled on 20" wheels, or 24", or 36", or 44"; when you have good gearing the wheel size is very flexible. They settled on 26-27" because that's what works best. If unicycles had the luxury of good gearing, we would find the same thing.
                            ???

                            With bicycles, 29-ers are getting more and more common. BMX is massive, with 20" wheels.

                            I've never owned a 36" uni, and don't plan to: but I have been on this forum for over a decade, and, from what I've read on it, 36-ers will always be around.

                            Fact is, and that's clear from some of the posts on this thread, not all 36" riders have the big wheel just for the speed: the stability, extra height, looks and 'feel' of the 36-er are the appeal for many, and none of those can be replicated by a geared hub.

                            Then you have to factor in those riders who, like me, have zero interest in getting a geared hub, because they ride unicycles in the first place because of the purity and mechanical simplicity, and don't want such gadgets on their unis, and, don't want the hassle of dealing with them if/when they fail and need expensive repairs.
                            "You can't outrun Death forever.
                            But you can make the Bastard work for it."

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

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by johnfoss View Post

                              Again, most buyers of 36" unicycles are probably using them as novelty cycles, I think. That's why they come with heavy, super-durable tires. If the majority of the 36" market were road riders, we'd have had a lighter wheel years ago.
                              ??

                              It's very apparent from many posts on this board that many 36" unicycle riders do not view them as 'novelty cycles'- specifically those from riders keeping logs of their many weekly hours on cokers, pushing the limits of their endurance and fitness.

                              Also, the many posts of riders who have broken bones in UPDs who, when healed, immediately get on their 36-ers and continue riding.

                              And then there are the cross-continental rides on 36-ers.... (many of which are now done on geared 36-ers, but, in the past, were on standard 36-ers)
                              "You can't outrun Death forever.
                              But you can make the Bastard work for it."

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

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X