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jason
2003-03-10, 09:51 PM
Greetings,

Here is a short review of the KH24 produced in Taiwan. The one I purchased has been slightly modified from the stock version. Here's what I purchased.

KH24 made in Taiwan
KH Velo saddle (stock)
170 mm Cranks (stock)
Magura Break (option)
Break lever extender (upgrade)
Gazzaloddi 24x3 tire (upgrade)
Mosh Sealed Pin pedals (upgrade)


First, I should tell you about my riding history to help put into perspective this review.

I am 36 years old.
I have been riding for less than a year.
I started on a 24" United (learner model)
I've mostly ridden a trials Yuni to Muni with my son.
I primarily ride off-road on flat, somewhat technical trails.

[ Note: My son is 6 years old and has a 16" uni. I thought the 20" trials uni with it's slower gearing would help make our rides more compatible. ]

I decided it was time to step up from my trials uni to a "big boy" mountain unicycle, so I climbed out of the sandbox and purchased a KH24 from unicycle.com. I called them on the telephone to place the order and to request the options and upgrades- except for the pedals which I purchased at a local shop. They mounted the break (cut down the cable length for me), added the lever extender and the Gazz tire. They had no problem complying with my requests and it was an easy purchase to make.

After the unicycle arrived I removed the parts from the box and I noticed some chips and scratches on the frame. I also noticed the metal flanges that cover the bearings were wrinkled and damaged on both side (L and R). I believe most of this was shipping damage because the seat post was not wrapped in any packing material. It must have flopped around in the box scratching anything in it's path. I called unicycle.com and they immediately sent me a brand new replacement frame and new flanges- no questions asked. They also included a completed UPS shipping label to return the damaged parts at no cost to me. If you have ever had a question about the service provided by unicycle.com, forget about it now. They're a fantastic, customer oriented business and will take very good care of you! I really can't say enough good things about them.

My first impression when I pulled the wheel with the massive Gazz tire out of the box was, "holy crap!" I've never seen a tire quite like it and was immediately intimidated. I laughed nervously for a moment while I contemplated what I had gotten myself into.

I assembled the Muni, which consisted of adding the saddle and pedals. I was still recovering from a non-unicycle related injury so I couldn't ride yet, but I mounted it in our family room anyway. With the saddle in it's lowest position I couldn't reach the pedals (I'm 5' 10" tall (about 178 cm)). So the first task was to cut down the seat post. I did this carefully (several inches) and was finally able to test ride. BTW the frame allows for a lot of vertical adjustment of the seat post. I can lower the saddle quite low or have it quite high if I desire. Also worth mentioning is that the portion of the frame that holds the seat post has a solid bottom where it attaches to the crown of the frame, so you can't lower the seat post down into your tire.

My first ride...

I freemounted on the first attempt and rode down my street for a moment. The first thing I noticed was that my thigh was hitting the break lever extender because it protruded so far out from underneath the saddle. I removed it and will need to cut and grind it down later (which I believe is a common practice).

The second thing that happened was that my heel was hitting the protrusion from the crank arm where it screws into the hub. It's a strange design and I had read about riders who smacked their ankles on the protrusion while performing trials tricks, but never a heel problem. Anyway, I started to get used to it somewhat but continued to bump against it after my freemounts (prior to adjusting my feet) causing me several upd's. I examined my shoes, the cranks and the pedals. I compared the stock Wellgo pedals to my Mosh sealed pedals. My observations were that the heel on my hiking shoes is wide, and that the Mosh pedals are longer, wider and have more aggressive pins than the Wellgo pedals. They're generally bigger so I replaced the stock Wellgo pedals with my Mosh ones and shazaam, the problem was solved!

I went for an extended ride around the block. Riding the KH24 was my first unicycle ride in about 5 weeks. It was a pleasant way to begin riding. :) During my test drive I accelerated rapidly and darted from left to right seeing how far I could lean the KH24 over. I also did some hopping (180 hop twists). I have now ridden the KH24 four times.

Here are my initial impressions.

1) The uni is very maneuverable and handles well. I generally feel comfortable riding it and the 170mm cranks did not require getting used to.

2) I can get up to full speed very quickly. I thought this would be more difficult due to the added rolling resistance of the Gazz tire, but the ratio of crank length to wheel diameter makes riding very pleasant.

3) I cannot stop suddenly when going full speed like I can on my trials Yuni. I need a couple of rotations to slow the wheel down. I believe this is mainly due to the rolling momentum of the "big wheel".

4) I can pretty much hop as well on the KH24 as I can on my trials Yuni. This was very surprising to me. I don't know if it can be attributed to the bouncy Gazz tire or if a stock KH24 Duro tire will give the same result- but I like it!

4) The saddle is quite comfortable. I used an air saddle previously and they're comparable (the air saddle may be just a little more comfortable). The KH Velo Muni handle is great too. I like the handle a lot more than the Miyata but I wish the outside edge had slightly thicker plastic. The handle allows much room for my fingers and feels rigid. I don't think an air saddle conversion will be necessary but I may try one someday.

5) I can do nice rolling hops on the KH24 which is a lot fun on the Muni trail. When I come across bumps, small hills and pot holes I can spring out of them at a good rate of speed. I was never really able to do this on my trials Yuni.

6) Another surprise was that I can have compatible rides with King Muni-Man (my six year old). I can ride very slowly and maintain my balance quite well at the same time. I rode with the little fella yesterday and the ride went well.

7) The KH24 is a public attraction. Yesterday while letting King Muni-Man have a rest on the trail, several nature hikers stopped to ask questions about riding unicycles in general and particularly on trails and ice. They seemed to be attracted to the KH24 which really is a massive beast of a unicycle! As my son and I started our ride on the trail a gentleman made the coment, "Like father like son. I guess that what it takes to ride one of those things."

8) Because I had to replace the frame and flanges, I had an opportunity to disassemble and reassemble the KH24. Field repairs or adjustments will be very easy to perform and require having only a couple of tools. You can take everything apart with three alen keys and a pedal wrench. How great is that! The splined cranks came off with no effort after removing the main alen bolt and loosening the other. Maintenance will be a breeze.

In conclusion I just want to say the the KH24 is a solid, well built piece of hardware. Unlike the Yuni frame, the KH24 frame (well, both of them I've seen) were perfectly straight and lined up exactly with the bearings during assembly. If I didn't know any better, I wouldn't think the KH24 was a Taiwanese production unicycle, but a precisely hand built uni instead.

It's my belief that unless you're in the top 10% of mountain unicyclists, the KH24.tw will exceed your expectations and out perform your skills. You really can't go wrong with this unicycle and it's price is outstanding!

I give it two thumbs up!


Cheers,

Jason

jason
2003-03-11, 04:27 AM
I weighed the Uni for you Jagur- 19 lbs. I'm not sure how accurate my scale is. I weighed myself three times without the uni and three while holding it and then subtracted the difference. My scale came up with same numbers all six times so it must be close.

john_childs
2003-03-11, 05:46 AM
Bathroom scales are not that accurate. Take it to a local bike shop and hang it on their scale (but brush the mud and dirt off first). The bike shop scale will be more accurate. With the brake on it I'm guessing it should be in the 17 point something pound range unless the seatpost and saddle weigh more than I suspect. 19 pounds seems like too much.

Unispin
2003-03-11, 06:37 AM
don't suppose ya know the spoke length of the alex and KH hub.......

jagur
2003-03-11, 08:09 AM
Originally posted by jason
I weighed the Uni for you Jagur- 19 lbs.thanx.

GizmoDuck
2003-03-11, 08:41 AM
I've had a KH24' for about a 3-4wks now. Pretty much the same spec as Jason with a Magura HS33 but with the stock Duro tyre and the original wellgo pedals.

The weight was about 7kg with my bathroom scales which is accurate +/- 0.5-1.0kg. So I guess that works out as about 16-17lbs. This is with a cut down post and seat tube

Anyway- my thoughts on the KH24'

The good:
*It's got a sexy paint job- nice and shiny and black.
*It's bouncy: with low pressure I can bounce and jump a fair bit higher than any of my other MUNi's
*It looks cool
*Kris Holm designed it
*Kris Holm (presumably) has one, although probably the Pro version?
*The brakes are great for really steep loose terrain
*The tyres hook up well. Great for riding down stairs
*I haven't done any big drops on it yet but the axle looks pretty beefy

The bad:
*The KH24 is heavy. In fact I could consider it quite a good boat anchor.
*The Alex DX32 wheel that came with my KH24 is pretty badly built. In fact it was wobbling from side to side when it came out of the box. No big deal- easy fixed at the LBS.
*The velo seat bolts are spinning :mad:

The weird:
*I'm short. The KH24 had to be butchered down with a pipe cutter on the seat tube and on the seat post.
*Creaky cranks. I'm assuming that this will disappear with grease on the splines but I'm too lazy to go the the LBS to have this done. Maybe this weekend.
*No problems with that sticking out bit on the cranks so far.
*It's gathering dust in my cycle shed. Why? because I have a love affair with my YUni 29'er- it's so fast and fun to ride that it's all I'm riding at the moment.


Well, on the whole it is a pretty good unicycle for the price. A couple of upgrades to maybe lighten it a bit and it would be a great trials/technical terrain MUni. For x-country unicycling I find it a bit slow with the 24' wheel (go for a 29'er) but it would be a great MUni to sift around in if you're not going any great distance.

I give it a 7.5/10

The KH24' in action:

john_childs
2003-03-11, 09:09 AM
Originally posted by GizmoDuck
*I'm short. The KH24 had to be butchered down with a pipe cutter on the seat tube and on the seat post.
You actually had to cut down the seat tube on the frame?

The seat tube on the Taiwanese frame must be longer than the seat tube on the Pro version. On my KH Pro the seat tube extends about 4.5" (110mm) above the crown.

The short seat tube means that I had to be careful when cutting down the seatpost to fit me. There wasn't a lot of fudge room given the minimum seatpost insertion length (70 mm). I only had a 4 cm window to work in and I wanted to get it right so that I'd still be able to adjust my seat up and down at least 2 cm. I also wanted to get it right because I was cutting a $75 (USD) Thomson seatpost and didn't want to cut it too short and have to start over with a new post.

So given a reasonable minimum seatpost insertion length there isn't a lot of extra adjustment room on the KH Pro frame.

jagur
2003-03-11, 05:10 PM
Originally posted by john_childs
[B]The seat tube on the Taiwanese frame must be longer than the seat tube on the Pro version. On my KH Pro the seat tube extends about 4.5" (110mm) above the crown.the legs are also longer on the Taiwan version.

GizmoDuck
2003-03-11, 08:13 PM
Originally posted by john_childs

You actually had to cut down the seat tube on the frame?

The seat tube on the Taiwanese frame must be longer than the seat tube on the Pro version. On my KH Pro the seat tube extends about 4.5" (110mm) above the crown.

The short seat tube means that I had to be careful when cutting down the seatpost to fit me. There wasn't a lot of fudge room given the minimum seatpost insertion length (70 mm). I only had a 4 cm window to work in and I wanted to get it right so that I'd still be able to adjust my seat up and down at least 2 cm. I also wanted to get it right because I was cutting a $75 (USD) Thomson seatpost and didn't want to cut it too short and have to start over with a new post.

So given a reasonable minimum seatpost insertion length there isn't a lot of extra adjustment room on the KH Pro frame.

Yeah, but it's because of that extra stump on the seatpost where you mount the brake. That's fairly low down. If you use a regular bicycle seatpost + something like a wilder bracket to put the brake on then I don't think there is a need to cut it down.

david.dan
2003-05-10, 04:39 AM
Hello,
I'm pretty new to the word of unicycling. I bought a cheap uni from a bike shop a while ago, and I've beaten it to death. The peddles keep falling off and stuff. I just ordered a KH 24... I can not wait to get it!