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cotter@cae.wisc.edu
1993-04-14, 10:38 PM
Is anybody into unicycle racing? For the last couple of years I have been
unicycle racing at competitions. This last summer a group of us got really into
training for racing, it was our life at times. One of the people who I trained
with, Evelyn (sander@s6.math.umn.edu), mentioned that I should post my unicycle
racing training suggestions. After the summer was over I wrote up all a list of
suggestions that were benificial to unicycle racing (and can be carried over to
other sports). If people are interested I can post the suggestions. Or if
anybody wants tips on how to go fast on a unicycle (besides the obvious of
leaning forward and pedal) I can be some help.

________________________________________________________________________ __
Andy B. Cotter CAE UW - Madison cotter@cae.wisc.edu Application Support

A.D. Williams
1993-04-15, 01:01 AM
Sure- send me the details. I'd like to know what a racing unicycle looks like.
Is it like the racing bicycles? What do you do when your unicycle begins to
wobble due to the pumping of legs?

Derrick

Arthur Chandler
1993-04-15, 01:29 AM
I'm interested in the uni racing suggestions. Pleas post! When yo race, do you
have all the same wheel sizes compete against each other? Seems unfair to pit
a 16" against a 26" -- or even a 20" versus a 24", for that matter.

irvinegr
2006-01-30, 01:13 AM
wow this is an old thread... humm i wonder who won the race??? i guess i will never know

unicyclekid104
2009-03-08, 07:58 AM
can you keep a look out for unicycle racing orginasations for younger kids plz umm thanks

Greasy46
2009-03-08, 04:01 PM
can you keep a look out for unicycle racing orginasations for younger kids plz umm thanks

Being new to this myself...I just noticed.... that your responding to a post that is 16 years old..... He may not be racing anymore! (or perhaps he is really really good by now?)

tholub
2009-03-08, 04:06 PM
Andy Cotter still knows a lot about racing. In RTL he acted as support for Team Venus. I expect he'll also be among the team hosting NAUCC this year in Minneapolis. NAUCC has a million racing age categories.

Biggestbtc
2009-03-09, 07:47 PM
I wonder how many 16-year-old threads never make it past one page...

johnfoss
2009-03-09, 08:25 PM
i wonder who won the race??? i guess i will never knowThe results from the 1993 National Unicycle Meet (http://unicyclingusa.org/naucc/past.html) were not posted online. The earliest set of online results are from 1995 (http://unicyclingusa.org/naucc/1995/results/). Andy beat me in the 100m, which means he was practicing! Also he dominated the 1600m race by a very wide margin.

That's 24" track racing. It's getting a little archaic these days, with all the 29" and 36" unicycles around. But people at the conventions don't seem very interested in stepping up to the next wheel size yet, so they continue to spin those little wheels madly around the track while the rest of us cruise relatively comfortably at equal speeds...

can you keep a look out for unicycle racing orginasations for younger kids plzThat would be the organization. Homepage: http://unicyclingusa.org/

I expect he'll also be among the team hosting NAUCC this year in Minneapolis.He'll probably be one of the main organizers. If not, he's earned his time not having to run things. He created a database application for running unicycle meets and it's been used for many years to track all the racing (and other) data. He's organized rides big and small, including the first "modern" long-distance group unicycle tour, riding the state of Minnesota from bottom to top in 1999. Mind you, this was before Cokers! I think they were on the market, but I don't think any of the riders used one. His Unitours.org web site used to list details on a whole bunch of major tours he organized all around the world.

UniKid2
2009-03-09, 08:33 PM
50 cm's was the highest?

http://unicyclingusa.org/naucc/1995/results/nuc95hh.html

johnfoss
2009-03-09, 10:23 PM
50 cm's was the highest?That was the first-ever high jump competition. I think it was Andy Cotter who put it together as well. Remember, there was no such thing as a Trials unicycle then.

Or Unicycle Trials.

UniKid2
2009-03-09, 10:31 PM
Ha... Brilliant

BoojiBoy
2009-03-10, 02:00 PM
Registration for John Foss' Unicycle History course is open until June. Get your deposits in now.

unicycle6869
2009-03-10, 04:29 PM
Those old high jump results are fun to look at! I got 3rd in my age category with 33 cm...how times have changed.

blueharmony
2010-01-24, 05:26 AM
Where does one get a 24" racing wheel/tire? I showed up at NAUCC 09 and Connie Cotter looked at my 24" muni tire and said "sorry, you can't race in that". Had to borrow one from Grace (thanks again!).

Can one simply modify a bicycle wheel? If so, how?

tholub
2010-01-24, 07:24 AM
Where does one get a 24" racing wheel/tire? I showed up at NAUCC 09 and Connie Cotter looked at my 24" muni tire and said "sorry, you can't race in that". Had to borrow one from Grace (thanks again!).

Can one simply modify a bicycle wheel? If so, how?

You're better off just ignoring the 24" racing events.

But if you insist, the rule is that the outside diameter has to be 618mm or less. Most narrowish 24/507mm tires are fine (2" or smaller width).

GizmoDuck
2010-01-24, 08:04 AM
Where does one get a 24" racing wheel/tire? I showed up at NAUCC 09 and Connie Cotter looked at my 24" muni tire and said "sorry, you can't race in that". Had to borrow one from Grace (thanks again!).

Can one simply modify a bicycle wheel? If so, how?

Qu-ax makes a nice one. I'm getting a 24" Racer this year...looking forward to getting into Std Class racing.

ntappin
2010-01-24, 06:43 PM
Qu-ax makes a nice one. I'm getting a 24" Racer this year...looking forward to getting into Std Class racing.

O man this will be interesting. If you get into standard class racing, we may start seeing a standard class marathon!

GizmoDuck
2010-01-24, 06:54 PM
O man this will be interesting. If you get into standard class racing, we may start seeing a standard class marathon!

What appeals to me is the fact that everyone is on the same unicycle, and it is about how fast you can pedal. There are not many sports where 12yr old girls can beat adult males in.

I'd like to have a go at the Std Class Hour record...just for reference because I hold the current Geared Hour Record.

One of the most impressive things I've seen in unicycling was a 28:22 10km time by Hiroki Shigeno at Unicon 12. From memory some of the Japanese Marathon times are around the 1hr50min mark.

johnfoss
2010-01-24, 08:17 PM
Where does one get a 24" racing wheel/tire? I showed up at NAUCC 09 and Connie Cotter looked at my 24" muni tire and said "sorry, you can't race in that". The 24" racing size is derived from the typical 24" wheels that existed before MUni. All unicycles pretty much used to come with 1.75" tires, and that's still pretty common on non-burly unicycles.

Since you don't want a heavy wheel for racing, the maximum size is based on a general "rounding upward" of those tire sizes. Fatter 24" tires are also fatter in height, which makes their diameter bigger. A 24" Gazzalodi, for example, is almost 26" in diameter. So all you need is probably a less-fat tire.

However, for the serious track racer you can squeeze a really-skinny 26" wheel into the wheelsize spec. UDC and Qu-Ax have both had special track unicycles with 26x1" tires (or similar). I wasn't a fan of such skinny tires myself though, because often we end up racing on some pretty soft tartan track surfaces. I used to have a nice setup with something like a 1 3/8" tire, which had a larger diameter than the Miyata tires (they were under 23.5"). This doesn't matter as much on the short races, but once you start going all the way around the track it makes a difference!

johnfoss
2010-01-24, 08:28 PM
What appeals to me is the fact that everyone is on the same unicycle, and it is about how fast you can pedal.But it's also limited by how fast you can pedal. Those high RPMs are fine for sprint racing, but they start to suck when you want to go more than 400m or so.
I'd like to have a go at the Std Class Hour record.You will develop new muscle tissue along the tops of your quads and the fronts of your shins. Those were the places I used to get sore from lots of training for the mile/1600m. In an hour I think you should be able to do at least 11 or 12 miles, if I remember correctly. We had a 9-mile race in Iowa in 1991 and 96, and I remember doing that in a little under one hour. In fact it was in the 1996 version where I rode together with Dustin Kelm and the OP (Andy Cotter), and we agreed try to cross the finish line exactly next to each other. The finish line officials didn't appreciate that. :)

That was a cinder-covered rail trail. For a serious hour attempt I'm sure you can do it quite a bit faster.
From memory some of the Japanese Marathon times are around the 1hr50min mark.Remember to use caution with some of those Japanese racing times. Some races use the standard 125mm crank length while others allow shorter ones.

I think we should allow shorter cranks for IUF racing. If we can't get people away from the 24" (I've been try to get them interested in 700c for the track), maybe taking away the crank restrictions would stir things up?

GizmoDuck
2010-01-24, 09:01 PM
But it's also limited by how fast you can pedal. Those high RPMs are fine for sprint racing, but they start to suck when you want to go more than 400m or so.


I was thinking of Unitouring on a 24" just to do things the hard way :p


You will develop new muscle tissue along the tops of your quads and the fronts of your shins. Those were the places I used to get sore from lots of training for the mile/1600m.


I don't know about that...I think I need to lose a lot of muscle mass to be competitive in Std Class. The fastest riders are all little kids with skinny legs.


In an hour I think you should be able to do at least 11 or 12 miles, if I remember correctly.

I think I could manage that...but that is no where near as fast as the top Std Class people are doing.


Remember to use caution with some of those Japanese racing times. Some races use the standard 125mm crank length while others allow shorter ones.


I think that's the Std 125/24" time. But I have those results printed off somwhere.


I think we should allow shorter cranks for IUF racing. If we can't get people away from the 24" (I've been try to get them interested in 700c for the track), maybe taking away the crank restrictions would stir things up?

I think it's important that there is a Std Class- one where records can be directly comparable because the unicycle is a constant- ie same cranks and same wheelsize. It would have been nice to have a 700c Std Class, but historical records are all based on the 24". It might be too late or too difficult to adopt a new Std Class. Perhaps the best way to do it would be to have two Std Classes. So maybe a 700c/100mm as the second Std Class.

Rowan
2010-01-24, 09:48 PM
Qu-ax makes a nice one. I'm getting a 24" Racer this year...looking forward to getting into Std Class racing.
Correction: Qu-ax made a nice one and they don't make them any more. At the start of the year I asked local bike shops about 26x1 and 650x23 rims and was unable to source any. The NZ Qu-ax dealer is a bike shop owner who lives in New Plymouth. He told me at the start of the year he would try to get me a racing unicycle as I told him it was very important for me to get it during the year before Unicon. He said he was going to Germany later in the year and he would try to sort it out then. I had also asked Unicycle.com who had said they couldn't get a Qu-ax racing unicycle (3.3kg 26x1). Anyway Robert went to Germany and spoke to Qu-ax who apparently told him they could send one Racing unicycle to NZ in his next order. So a couple of weeks before Unicon I went to the bike shop and asked "is my racing unicycle here yet?". Robert looked on the packing list and said "sorry it doesn't seem to be on the list so it must not be here." I asked a few days later and he still had no reason why it mysteriously vanished, but said "if it makes you feel any better we lost a shipment of Qu-ax hats too". So I wrote to Qu-ax to find out what the heck was going on- they wrote to me and said that the IUF had previously allowed the 650x23c size that they manufactured, but then changed the rules so only the 26x1 model was legal to race- so they were left with only the 650x23c models. That was the size I was asking for cos I was unaware of the rule change, and both models seem to still be advertised on the Qu-ax website (which is very misleading for a customer looking at the website for products that are available). I don't blame them for not wanting to send the other size if it would be illegal for IUF races but if only they had communicated with me instead of allowing the time to pass and become impossible to find a racing uni elsewhere. So- you will be able to buy Racing unicycle parts from Qu-ax in the future but not whole unicycles- if they had told me that I would have bought parts maybe.
The 24" racing size is derived from the typical 24" wheels that existed before MUni. All unicycles pretty much used to come with 1.75" tires, and that's still pretty common on non-burly unicycles.
...
UDC and Qu-Ax have both had special track unicycles with 26x1" tires (or similar). I wasn't a fan of such skinny tires myself though, because often we end up racing on some pretty soft tartan track surfaces. I used to have a nice setup with something like a 1 3/8" tire, which had a larger diameter than the Miyata tires (they were under 23.5").Past tense- had! If there is going to be a standard size- can it not be a standard that can be met by everyone? 24x1.75 does not compare to 26x1- it is way more weight and less diameter. 24x1.75 was all I was able to find for myself before Unicon and I felt a bit cheated to have to ride 23 1/2 inches in a 24" race. If you make a standard with bike parts at least make it parts that bike riders use- not obsolete ones like 26x1. I like the idea of the 700c standard but then you will open up a whole lot of tire choice issues there too I guess- at least there are lots to choose from. At Unicon I heard someone say that 24x2.2 was the biggest 24" tire they could find that was 618mm diameter.
I was thinking of Unitouring on a 24" just to do things the hard way :pGet yourself a 12"! 24" is relatively easy.
I think I need to lose a lot of muscle mass to be competitive in Std Class. The fastest riders are all little kids with skinny legs.I've been thinking that- how unicycling is more about balanced force than brute force. It is interesting how it balances out the riders. I feel like my lack of muscly legs are an advantage for unicycling, although the distance events I've been doing have probably put weight on at the top of my legs. You don't really want big calves to spin fast I reckon.I think it's important that there is a Std Class- one where records can be directly comparable because the unicycle is a constant- ie same cranks and same wheelsize.I thought it was important too until I found out that I couldn't even match the standard size and after that I was much less interested in competing. I was able to borrow some track unicycles at Unicon but it did not compare to having my own one with my own seat height and practising on it to get my muscles used to it. I really wanted to have one in the 10k race cos I did quite well (5th place in my age) on my heavy steel beast but I could have done better I reckon with a lightweight racer. Also if I was a month older I would have improved my placing- the 30+ age group is much slower!

johnfoss
2010-01-25, 12:07 AM
I don't know about that...I think I need to lose a lot of muscle mass to be competitive in Std Class.That might be true if you focused entirely on Std Class racing (yuck), but you'd still need to add some on in those two areas. You pedal so fast your quads get sore from lifting your legs up, and the shins get sore from all the ankling.
I think it's important that there is a Std Class- one where records can be directly comparable because the unicycle is a constant- ie same cranks and same wheelsize.How about lowering it to 100 then?

For 700c, the idea was to establish a new standard, as 24" would not go away, especially for the kids. But I find road riding a lot more interesting, and it's done on much more efficient machines.

...they wrote to me and said that the IUF had previously allowed the 650x23c size that they manufactured, but then changed the rules so only the 26x1 model was legal to race- so they were left with only the 650x23c models. That sounds a bit sketchy. We never lowered the wheel diameter. Most recently we went from 24.333" to 618mm, but that's a straight conversion. We fudged it a little so the numbers for 16", 20" and 24" would all end in 18; makes it much easier to keep track of.

What may have happened could have been one of two things. Some riders competed at earlier events on those 650x23 wheels where the size checking was not as precise. Then at Unicons XIII and XIV they were paying much better attention to wheel size, and had some handy measuring devices to make this easier. Some wheels that measured out okay for people at home were a little bigger, for whatever reason, at Unicon. Don't know if this was temperature, air pressure or just sloppy measuring (by owners or officials). Probably not measuring, as there were Germans and Swiss involved. They have a thing for accuracy!

In any case, pushing your tire size that close to the limit is risky at best! Life used to be simpler; there were less 24" tires on the market, and it was safe to just go by what was printed on the side. But once the fatter tires got popular it was important to set a size limit. 24 1/3" was chosen arbitrarily as it was above any average-width tire's diameter (most were exactly 24" or less). Only after we had gone to a specific maximum tire diameter was it legal to use 26" wheels. But it was always fairly tight fitting those into the size limit...
If there is going to be a standard size- can it not be a standard that can be met by everyone? 24x1.75 does not compare to 26x1- it is way more weight and less diameter. 24x1.75 was all I was able to find for myself before Unicon and I felt a bit cheated to have to ride 23 1/2 inches in a 24" race.It can easily be met by everyone. If you noticed out there on the track, most riders were using tires about the same size as yours, or even smaller. That's what I used to use. For a few years I had my nice 24 x 1 3/8" racer, but it got stolen at Unicon X so I was back to a Miyata tire or similar.
At Unicon I heard someone say that 24x2.2 was the biggest 24" tire they could find that was 618mm diameter.Dangerous advice! One 24x2.2 tire will not be the same size as a different 2.2 tire. As you can read in other threads here, tire dimensions are not that accurate. Even if the width is, the diameter still might not be, so buy your tires carefully! The hard part is figuring out diameter without having an inflated one in front of you. The manufacturers don't tell you, and it's hard to be sure if a tire that's not on a rim will be a different diameter when it is and it's pumped up.

blueharmony
2010-01-25, 02:27 AM
Good discussion... but am I reading this correctly, the required 24" wheelset for racing isn't even on the market? If so that needs fixed. If I'm wrong can someone please provide a link?

Where did everyone obtain their 24" racing wheelsets?

Here is the bigger question for me: many of us can't afford to ship a separate 24" uni just for racing. If I already have a 24" Muni setup can't I buy/make a racing wheelset to fit it? Wouldn't a Muni rim be too wide for the skinnier tire?

GizmoDuck
2010-01-25, 05:42 AM
Good discussion... but am I reading this correctly, the required 24" wheelset for racing isn't even on the market? If so that needs fixed. If I'm wrong can someone please provide a link?


There is no such thing as a 'required' 24" wheelset. The IUF sets a maximum limit of 618mm diameter. Serious obsessive compulsive racing type people try to push their wheelsize as close to the 618mm maximum as possible.

joemarshall
2010-01-25, 12:00 PM
Only after we had gone to a specific maximum tire diameter was it legal to use 26" wheels. But it was always fairly tight fitting those into the size limit...


If it's supposed to be a standard unicycle, why not maximum tyre diameter and fixed standard rim size?

If you fixed to a maximum of modern 24" rim size (507mm bead seat diameter) as well as a maximum diameter, then you'd have something that couldn't be gamed by people spending loads on replacement wheels just to get a bit of an advantage, like the people buying the very narrow 26" wheels & tyres. Surely the whole point of standard classes is that they race a very common unicycle, and people who just have a normal unicycle rather than spending hundreds on extra fancy unicycles shouldn't have a massive disadvantage.

Joe

turtle
2010-01-25, 12:52 PM
when i "restarted" unicycling 4 years ago, i bought a 26" from stefan gauler, switzerland (he was and still is a real good standerd racer) who has a online shop here in switzerland. it came with a mtb rim and a allround tyre. but he sent me also a "racing" tyre, if i wanna join some races one day... i never did. but two weeks ago, my 8 year old son told me, that he wanna participate at unicon XVI (two friends of us had been in NZ, Marc and valentin). i still had the tyre and built the new setup (didn't cost me anything), also with two seatposts and saddles so i can use it too.

johnfoss
2010-01-26, 03:21 AM
If it's supposed to be a standard unicycle, why not maximum tyre diameter and fixed standard rim size?We can't figure out any point to regulating rim size. Whatever the rim size, put a different tire on it and you have a different diameter anyway. It's all about the diameter, hence maximum wheel size. The tire can be as fat (or skinny) as you want, long as it's not over 618mm.

Require a specific tire? Problem is, the same tire is not available to all riders. Plus, the minute we settled on one (probably after months of worldwide debate), it would go out of production. :p

And no, tire companies would not be interested in the fact that a few hundred poeple, worldwide, might be customers. This is the same reason why the skinny "track" unicycles aren't still available. A very limited market.

When we say "standard unicycle" it basically means a fixed gear where you pedal directly on the axle. That is, not a giraffe, not a schlumpf, not a multi-wheeled stack. For Track racing, it's a standard unicycle with wheelsize and crank length restrictions. But now I'm thinking maybe we should do away with the crank restriction, and let the "standard" be the wheel size, with the cranks being part of the variable that is mostly the person powering it.

daretodream
2010-01-26, 09:18 AM
I bought my qu-ax racing uni last year from korea when the australian dollar was quite strong. It wasnt a problem to take a couple of unis to unicon.I had a 29 in my unibag and then the racing uni and a 24 muni wheel fitted easily into one standard suitcase. I did take apart the seat posts and saddles though. I would like to see the 24" standard race size retained. I feel it is important to have a standard racing size and to be able to compare to historical results.

I really liked my racing uni in the lovely gentle breezes of Australia but the winds of Wellington was something else, i'd never experienced riding conditions like it. I really struggled on the light racing uni in those winds and feel it was actually a disadvantage for me having such a lightweight uni in those conditions.

No doubt a better rider wouldn't have had a problem so it just goes to show that the rider is more important than the equipment.LOL.

I will make sure I'm ready for any conditions at the next Unicon. I really hope sizes wont be changed and i dont have to invest in a different uni.

fluxusmaximus
2010-01-26, 09:45 AM
Qu-Ax does still make racing unicycles as far as I know. The better reason for your dealer not stocking them is that there's cost involved in stocking something that people will only use once every 2 years at Unicon and even then it's not like the whole contingent of unicyclists in the country are going to be buying one. Too much effort.

I'd personally like to race with 24s rather than with pimped up big wheels. I don't really like my 29 for racing as it is because it's too small to be efficient and too big to be portable.

Rowan
2010-01-26, 01:20 PM
Qu-Ax does still make racing unicycles as far as I know. The better reason for your dealer not stocking them is that there's cost involved in stocking something that people will only use once every 2 years at Unicon and even then it's not like the whole contingent of unicyclists in the country are going to be buying one. Too much effort.
They actually don't make complete racing unicycles any more- only parts- so now you know! Well maybe cost was their original reason but there was more to it than that in the end. When I first mentioned it I suggested he ordered a whole bunch as I assumed other riders would want to buy them too- and of course they did but they couldn't get them either. On the Qu-ax facebook page they advertised a new racing tire so I commented about the problems I had obtaining one- this is the reply I got:Well, the Race unicycle is a very special item. We have invested a lot of money in this product. Our problem are sometimes the regulations for competitions... At the moment we do not offer a complete Race unicycle, because this is a very, very small market and the riders are individualists. We still find it quite strange to define a wheel-size by measuring the diameter. Means e.g. for a 24" uni-race a 26" unicycle is allowed ... strange, no?

As it was not clear in the beginning, we started with two sizes:...
26x1 (26x559)
650x23 (26x573)

Both should at this time be allowed for unicycle-races. In the meantime the regulations changed and only 26"x1" is allowed.

We have some 650x23 left in stock. 26"x1" is sold out since last year.

Give us some time, maybe we will come back with a new race unicycle in 2011. :)
So maybe they changed their mind because in December I got an email from Egon at Qu-ax saying they would never make a complete race unicycle again. This information was useful to me in understanding their predicament but it made me a bit annoyed at the bike shop for not understanding the importance and communicating with me better (that could have been my fault too for not pressing the issue early enough). This is some of what Egon wrote:
sorry for all the trouble you had with our Race Unicycle. This item cause us a lot of headache in the last years. When we start with this item in 2002 we collect all the information about the regulations for race competition.
To that time most of the competitions took place in Switzerland.
For us, as bike experts, it sounds very strange to measure the perimeter.
For a 24" race a 26" unicycle is allowed ?
As it was not clear we start with two sizes.
26x1 (26x559)
650x23 (26x573)
Both should be allowed for Unicycle Race. In the meantime it change and only 26x1 is allowed. We have some 650x23 left in stock. 26x1 is sold out since last year.
We decided last year to stop all activities for this kind of unicycle, because the market is very very small, and everyone wants to have his individual setup. The second reason, its very difficult to get tyres for this sizes, because most of the manufactures stop this item, as the request
is very small.
We will continue with some parts like forks and hubs, but we never will go
for a complete unicycle in future. So you could say "Maybe Qu-ax will make racing unicycles in the future" based on their contradicting statements.

I think it is healthy for Action Wheels to compete with Unicycle.com- if only the staff would learn how to ride they might make better competition. I have a lot of extra respect for the staff at Unicycle.co.nz because they know how to cater for unicyclists by being unicyclists themselves. Good luck to Qu-ax and their racing unicycle headaches. It would be nice if they updated the Qu-ax.com (http://www.qu-ax.com/en/products/Unicycles/Einrad-Race-571) website though- both racing unicycles still appear available, to cut back on customer headaches.

I don't really like my 29 for racing as it is because it's too small to be efficient and too big to be portable. Efficient is a relative thing- I think 28" or 29" is relatively efficient compared to walking or 24", and definitely portable compared to the 36" for putting in cars and hitch-hiking and stuff.

quax
2010-01-26, 03:22 PM
Hello, we're QU-AX, and would like to make a statement to this discussion ourselves :)

First of all, there has never been so much people asking for our race unicycles since years now. There was next to no demand the last years... It seems Uncion raised this theme again.

I'd like to say something about the two sizes we built and sold:
571 ETRTO - which is our ref: 1600
559 ETRTO - which is our ref: 1601 - or rather was because we have no stocks of this one anymore.

In the beginning, unicycle-track-race was very popular in Switzerland mainly (or at least, this is what we saw from near Germany). They started with a regulation saying 26" rims were ok. Later, they changed to 24", but never really measured the diameter since they were used to measuring rim-sizes.

@ the time we were thinking about making a Race uni, some Swiss guys told us to make the two sizes we finally made: 571 mm ETRTO and 559 ETRTO.

we then made a really - and in our opinion the only - mass production (and in fact you cannot speak of mass though) of a unicycle which was totally designed for race: - small, thin hub with 28 holes and strong axle, aero-rim, aero-frame made of alloy - very light.

At a certain point, where these unis were sold more internationaly, people began measuring diameter and saw that our 1600 was not IUF conform.

By now, 1601 is sold out - we only have 1600 left.

To us as unicycle manufacturers, it is pretty strange to classify a unicycle according to the diameter because this makes you depending on air pressure, tire type/brand (not all 559mm tires are working because manufacturers do not measure the same way), and in fact also rider weight.

We would really think about making a race-uni again if regulations would change to rim-size again - if you would choose 26" / 559 ETRTO for instance this would give a wide choice of rims and tires whilst with the diameter-regulations right now, you only have little choice in rims, tires (wheelchair-ones). This regulation makes such a uni quite hard to built for us because part-choice is very small, and market, too.

A possibility one of our dealers has found is to take a common 24" unicycle, e.g. a Luxus and to put a Schwalbe Big Apple 24"x2,0" tire on it. The dealer was Stefan Gauler and he won 1st place on such a uni at 10km race in the age group 30-44.

By now, I took the 1601 ref of our website, since it was confusing for some people - and we really have none anymore.

Rowan
2010-01-26, 10:03 PM
At a certain point, where these unis were sold more internationaly, people began measuring diameter and saw that our 1600 was not IUF conform.
...
By now, 1601 is sold out - we only have 1600 left.
To us as unicycle manufacturers, it is pretty strange to classify a unicycle according to the diameter because this makes you depending on air pressure, tire type/brand (not all 559mm tires are working because manufacturers do not measure the same way), and in fact also rider weight.
...
By now, I took the 1601 ref of our website, since it was confusing for some people - and we really have none anymore.I am still confused. So you are still selling the 1600's but not for IUF racing? What are you supposed to use them for? Or they do work with some tires and not with others? Do the ones you've got fit some of the time? The IUF standard it needs to conform to is 618mm outer diameter to be 24" +8mm. If they just took away the extra +8mm then all the racing 26"-24" rule bending unicycles could be ruled out and standard 24"s would fit. What a difficult position to be in for a race unicycle seller- when the unicycles are not allowed to race!

quax
2010-01-27, 12:09 AM
I am still confused. So you are still selling the 1600's but not for IUF racing?

Yes, ref 1600 is the only one we have left back from the time were this one was also "allowed" and often used in Switzerland.


What are you supposed to use them for? Or they do work with some tires and not with others? Do the ones you've got fit some of the time?


They were supposed for Switzerland at the time they had been allowed or lets say "tolerated" there. And today of course to all those who would like to race without making official IUF competitions. This is what we have left in stock. That's all - we do not claim that we still sell this size on purpose. It was at the time. But not now anymore.


The IUF standard it needs to conform to is 618mm outer diameter to be 24" +8mm. If they just took away the extra +8mm then all the racing 26"-24" rule bending unicycles could be ruled out and standard 24"s would fit. What a difficult position to be in for a race unicycle seller- when the unicycles are not allowed to race!

sorry, my english is nod as good to understand exactly what you mean with this sentence... what we wanted to say is that it would be more logical if IUF would fix a specific "rim-size" - just like in bicycle sport, too.

On Tour de France for example: nobody cares about outer diameter - rim size is what matters. And if now people claim "then everybody will mount huuuuge tires to make bigger diameters with more than 618 mm" - why don't the guys at Tour de France do - and everybody could mount such a tire as long as he has got the regulated rim-size? The whole bicycle-sport is regulated that way - nobody cares about outer diameter.

--> this would give a wider choice of tires, rims (if rim-size chosen was a more common one).

Rowan
2010-01-27, 12:23 AM
sorry, my english is nod as good to understand exactly what you mean with this sentence... what we wanted to say is that it would be more logical if IUF would fix a specific "rim-size" - just like in bicycle sport, too.

On Tour de France for example: nobody cares about outer diameter - rim size is what matters. And if now people claim "then everybody will mount huuuuge tires to make bigger diameters with more than 618 mm" - why don't the guys at Tour de France do - and everybody could mount such a tire as long as he has got the regulated rim-size? The whole bicycle-sport is regulated that way - nobody cares about outer diameter.

--> this would give a wider choice of tires, rims (if rim-size chosen was a more common one).I think I agree with you in that the tire choices will balance themselves out in the end if you restrict the rim size. Way huge tires will be bigger and heavier and narrow tires will be smaller and lighter. Because unicycling is mostly limited by spinning speed and not so much leg strength the wheel diameter is a bit more important than for bikes and I assume the larger diameter would be faster. It might completely change the event from a bunch of people on skinny track unicycles to the biggest 24"x3" tires they can find. If the skinny ones are faster I wonder if there is any reason to exclude the fat tires from racing- just like they allowed 24x2.5" in the hockey but not the basketball because it would not be an advantage, even though the rules stipulate 618mm maximum diameter.

The more complicated the regulations become the less simple and fun unicycling seems. I guess that is the way of the western world- it gets caught up in red tape.

johnfoss
2010-01-27, 01:24 AM
Efficient is a relative thing- I think 28" or 29" is relatively efficient compared to walking or 24"...The idea of the 700c class was a faster wheel size that would still work in the track. IMHO 36" wheels would not, and are better suited to road riding. 700c could bring more excitement to track racing. Right now it's just pedaling your butt off while going relatively slow.

But outside of speed, for all-around practicality I still love a 24". You can perform, get from place to place, play basketball, hockey or sumo, and still fit it into more conventional luggage.

Welcome Egon! I'm sorry for all your problems with making racing unicycles to conform to the 24 1/3" (618mm) rule. It was certainly never intended to make life difficult for unicycle makers!
In the beginning, unicycle-track-race was very popular in Switzerland mainly (or at least, this is what we saw from near Germany). They started with a regulation saying 26" rims were ok. Later, they changed to 24", but never really measured the diameter since they were used to measuring rim-sizes.I know that in the past (20 years ago and more), 26" wheels were raced in Switzerland. But at some point they switched to the smaller IUF size. I guess so they could race with people from outside of Switzerland?

Historically, unicycles came in two main sizes, which were 20" and 24". There was no need to get specific on wheel diameters beyond the number printed on the side of the rubber (24" maximum). All the unicycles on the market came with 24 x 1.75" tires, so they were all about the same size.

But then MUni became popular, and people started buying all sorts of larger aftermarket tires. This was great for MUni, but led to trouble when people started bringing these unicycles to the track. A 24 x 3" Gazzalodi is more than 25.5" in diameter! Though it may be crap for racing on, it also goes beyond the intent of 24" racing.

So where (and how) to draw the line? One approach, could have been to just go by rim size. This would disallow the 26 x 1 wheels, limiting the people who wanted skinny tires to something with a really small diameter. Something like 23.5" on a wheel similar to what was on the Qu-Ax racers. That would be racing against 25.5" wheels that were heavier. But in short races like the 100m, this is a huge difference.

So what we settled on was an arbitrary number, 24 1/3" (or 618mm), to allow any reasonably-sized 24" tire and not lead to disappointment for people that might have cruiser tires or similar, and not realize they were too big. Also that number was chosen to be reasonably sure no 'normal-width' 24" tires would be excluded. The assumption was/is that some 24 x 1.75" tires measure out above 24". So 24 1/3" was agreed to be a safe margin. People with MUnis are still turned away at the track, and we can probably do a better job of letting people know it's diameter, not rim size, under the current rules.
we then made a really - and in our opinion the only - mass production (and in fact you cannot speak of mass though) of a unicycle which was totally designed for race: - small, thin hub with 28 holes and strong axle, aero-rim, aero-frame made of alloy - very light.Beautiful machines! I would have gotten one if I were still into track racing enough to bring a special uni for it. I love those skinny frames!
At a certain point, where these unis were sold more internationaly, people began measuring diameter and saw that our 1600 was not IUF conform.It was only around Unicon XIII or so that the officials paid close attention to tire size. Before that, we still had mostly a few different tire sizes at the track, and people were less aware of a problem. Though 26 x 1" tires could fit the 618mm size, it was not a guarantee, and people had to find the right size. I fear a few influential riders found the largest possible tire to fit the 618mm spec, then told others about it. But perhaps they measured them in the winter, or otherwise in conditions that did not match a Unicon day in the middle of summer. We were in Switzerland during their hottest days of 2006! So people pushed their equipment too close to the size limit, and I can understand the headaches for Qu-Ax and anyone else selling "track unicycles" that were a tiny bit too big.
To us as unicycle manufacturers, it is pretty strange to classify a unicycle according to the diameter because this makes you depending on air pressure, tire type/brand (not all 559mm tires are working because manufacturers do not measure the same way)...Actually it's the (tire) manufacturers that are the problem. 24" rims come in different widths, but the bead set has to be pretty standardized or tires won't fit on them. But tires are sold by rim size, not diameter. Problem is, we race by diameter. Can we have lightweight 23.5" wheels racing against heavy 25.5" wheels and call them both 24"? If tire manufacturers could put the actual tire measurements on the tire it would help a lot, but they don't. Widths are relative (depends on rim width) but actual diameter doesn't change that much with different rims. Just use the narrowest (should be largest) one. But they don't.
A possibility one of our dealers has found is to take a common 24" unicycle, e.g. a Luxus and to put a Schwalbe Big Apple 24"x2,0" tire on it. The dealer was Stefan Gauler and he won 1st place on such a uni at 10km race in the age group 30-44.I wonder how big that tire measures out? I don't think there was any/much tire measuring going on at Unicon XV, but I don't think a knowledgeable rider like Stefan would bring an outsized tire either. But if it's real close to 618mm it could be a problem a hot day, so measure carefully first!

IUF standard it needs to conform to is 618mm outer diameter to be 24" +8mm. If they just took away the extra +8mm then all the racing 26"-24" rule bending unicycles could be ruled out and standard 24"s would fit.This might be a better way to go. But it wouldn't solve Egon's problem. That size will still allow some 24" tires but not others. The danger (for a manufacturer or rider) in pushing the size limit is if you come too close, and find out later that it's too big. I was one of the people measuring with (and independently measuring) the tire-size tools that were built for Unicon XIII. They were accurate, of course (Switzerland, folks :)).

On Tour de France for example: nobody cares about outer diameter - rim size is what matters. And if now people claim "then everybody will mount huuuuge tires to make bigger diameters with more than 618 mm" - why don't the guys at Tour de France do...Unfortunately the needs of professional road racing has nothing to do with the needs of track unicycle racing. In a 100m race, the Gazzalodi would probably win every time. The skinny tire would be quicker off the line, but the large diameter difference of the Gazz would make up the difference with ease. Track races top out at 800m (not counting the 10k, or any other race a host chooses to add). And the track doesn't have the Alps or Pyrenees on it. :)

The more complicated the regulations become the less simple and fun unicycling seems. New rules usually come from people complaining about the old rules. So we try to make everything specific enough that everybody understands what is required, and don't get disappointed by showing up with the wrong size wheel. Of course this leads to a 100-page rulebook, which nobody reads because it's too big (or it was only finalized a week before Unicon). :(

unikum
2010-01-27, 08:40 AM
I wonder how big that tire measures out? I don't think there was any/much tire measuring going on at Unicon XV, but I don't think a knowledgeable rider like Stefan would bring an outsized tire either. But if it's real close to 618mm it could be a problem a hot day, so measure carefully first!
(

Hello @ all

I hope you understand my bad english.

@John: Yes that's right. I i measure allways the circumference, its more easy an i think i'ts exact. The maximum circumference for 24 1/3 " is ~ 194.1 cm.
I think, a 24x 2.1 tire is narrow from the limit and a good choice.
Unfortunately Schwalbes Big Apple have 2 Sizes : 24x 2.0 and 24x 2.35.
24x 2.35 ist to big. The 24x2.0 have a Circumference ~ 192.0 cm. = ~Diameter 61.1 cm.
The Big Apple is not a typical Race tire, unfortunately heavy, but its a good tire with kevlar inside, reflex - stripes, good rolling and very very good for curve. For me the Best universal- tire if you want make mor then track - races with this uni.
I also use 24x 1 3/8 tires for races in Switzerland- a good choice.

rob.northcott
2010-01-27, 10:08 AM
On Tour de France for example: nobody cares about outer diameter - rim size is what matters. And if now people claim "then everybody will mount huuuuge tires to make bigger diameters with more than 618 mm" - why don't the guys at Tour de France do - and everybody could mount such a tire as long as he has got the regulated rim-size? The whole bicycle-sport is regulated that way - nobody cares about outer diameter.
I think the reason they don't care so much in bike racing is that they don't specify the gear to be used, so the actual gearing of the bike isn't really dependent on the tyre size. The size of tyre chosen has more to do with being big enough to roll efficiently but small enough to be practical and not too heavy. A strong-legged rider can run higher gears, a better spinner will run lower gears.

In unicycle racing where everybody is on direct-drive machines, the wheel/tyre size matters more to keep everybody equal. If geared hubs were allowed, then the exact tyre size would be less important. But unicycle track racing as it stands is a test of who can spin a low gear the fastest, and therefore everybody must have the same gear (i.e. wheel diameter).

Rob

joemarshall
2010-01-27, 11:00 AM
So where (and how) to draw the line? One approach, could have been to just go by rim size. This would disallow the 26 x 1 wheels, limiting the people who wanted skinny tires to something with a really small diameter. Something like 23.5" on a wheel similar to what was on the Qu-Ax racers. That would be racing against 25.5" wheels that were heavier. But in short races like the 100m, this is a huge difference.


But why not rim size *and* tyre diameter. Otherwise the 26x1 wheels have an advantage over the 24" wheels, and there is still an advantage to people with weird non-standard equipment. If you said that, then everyone would know that you need a particular rim, the only thing people could fine tune would be the tyre choice.

Joe

GizmoDuck
2010-01-27, 12:19 PM
But why not rim size *and* tyre diameter. Otherwise the 26x1 wheels have an advantage over the 24" wheels, and there is still an advantage to people with weird non-standard equipment. If you said that, then everyone would know that you need a particular rim, the only thing people could fine tune would be the tyre choice.

Joe

It's much easier for race organisers to just do one measurement We had a little measuring device at Unicon XV- basically if your wheel slots underneath this T-bar, it was race legal. Saves the Tape measures and making sure that it lines up with the axle (and even then, it's difficult because you can never get the tape hard up against the rim because of various things in the way, like pedals and cranks. To measure a rim with any accuracy, you have to take it off the frame and take the tyre off....

I have nothing against people who want to eek out every mm of advantage. If they're obsessive compulsive enough...then it's up to them to get a tyre/rim combo exactly 618mm. Most of us who race won't notice the difference between a wheelsize that is 610mm vs 618mm diameter.

Kinda like people who drill out their rims. We even had a guy who drilled out his plastic KH handle and bumpers at Unicon.

joemarshall
2010-01-27, 01:46 PM
To measure a rim with any accuracy, you have to take it off the frame and take the tyre off....


No you don't. You a) read the writing on the rim, b)read the writing on the tyre, and if that fails, hold a 24" rim next to it and look.

Pretty much all rims have it written on somewhere, although that can wear off. Tyres though, I've never seen a tyre without the ISO numbers on the sidewall which tell you the rim size (I think for 24" 507 is the number you're looking for).

To be honest though, you don't need 'much accuracy' to measure the difference between a 507mm rim, and the 559/571mm rims on the funny racing unicycles - just hold up a 24" rim next to them and it is obvious. It isn't anything like the minor differences that are being measured with the tyre diameter measurement.

Joe

johnfoss
2010-01-27, 07:57 PM
I think, a 24x 2.1 tire is narrow from the limit and a good choice.Caution: never, ever go by numbers marked on the side of a tire, as they aren't exact. Different rims will give you different widths so that number does not guarantee anything. In other words, just any 24 x 2.1" tire might not work. It is much safer to go by specific tire brand and model. Even then, the manufacturer could make changes. A reminder that it's risky to push the wheel size limit...
The 24x2.0 have a Circumference ~ 192.0 cm. = ~Diameter 61.1 cm.I love the Schwalbe Big Apple. The 2.0" is essential for a good ride (for Tom Holub and myself at least) on a Schlumpf. For some reason, the 2.35 is much more sensitive to road camber. So if those measurements are consistent for all Schwalbe Big Apple 24 x 2.0 tires, it should be safe for track racing under the current rules. Heavier yes, but the unicycle is then more suitable for the Wheel Walk, Obstacle and general riding.

I think the reason they don't care so much in bike racing is that they don't specify the gear to be usedDuh. Thanks for pointing out the obvious difference that I overlooked! Our wheel size is their gearing. But the Tour de France would be more like what we call an "Unlimited" race, even though they do have restrictions on the cycles.

But why not rim size *and* tyre diameter. This would clear up some of the problem. You just say '24" rim with maximum tire diameter of 618mm.' The only downside I can think of is all the people who bought or built the skinny 26" wheels for track racing. To be fair to them, implementing a change like that should have many years of notice before it goes into effect.

But we would still have to measure tires, and 24" tires like the Big Apple 2.35 would still be too big so I don't know if it's worth it to suddenly make all those skinny wheels illegal.

Any other opinions on changes we should make for track racing?

GizmoDuck
2010-01-27, 08:55 PM
This would clear up some of the problem. You just say '24" rim with maximum tire diameter of 618mm.' The only downside I can think of is all the people who bought or built the skinny 26" wheels for track racing. To be fair to them, implementing a change like that should have many years of notice before it goes into effect.


I don't see why it matters what size rim someone uses as long as they stay under a specified diameter for the wheel. It's up to the competitor whether they want a big rim, small tyre, or smaller rim, big tyre. And how close they push their limit to the specified 618mm.

daretodream
2010-01-28, 10:54 AM
This would clear up some of the problem. You just say '24" rim with maximum tire diameter of 618mm.' The only downside I can think of is all the people who bought or built the skinny 26" wheels for track racing. To be fair to them, implementing a change like that should have many years of notice before it goes into effect.

But we would still have to measure tires, and 24" tires like the Big Apple 2.35 would still be too big so I don't know if it's worth it to suddenly make all those skinny wheels illegal.

Any other opinions on changes we should make for track racing?[/QUOTE]

Oh good common sense is prevailing.I bought my racing uni for Wellington.I would like to get more than 1 unicons worth use out of it. if a change had to be implemented then A phased in approach would be tolerable.

daretodream
2010-01-28, 10:56 AM
I don't see why it matters what size rim someone uses as long as they stay under a specified diameter for the wheel. It's up to the competitor whether they want a big rim, small tyre, or smaller rim, big tyre. And how close they push their limit to the specified 618mm.

I agree wholeheartedly with this.

GizmoDuck
2010-01-28, 11:40 AM
I agree wholeheartedly with this.

Well, the way I see it, it's a gear size specification. ie minimum 125mm cranks and maximum 618mm wheel diameter.

Why should rim size matter? It would be like saying you can't use splined cranks and have to use square taper.

quax
2010-01-28, 12:03 PM
seen from the manufacturers point of view, defining a rim size without limiting the diameter would be the best choice. Like 559 mm where there is a wide choice of rims and tires.

nobody would have to measure the rim-size a) because it's standardized b) because everybody could put the tire on it he wants to
you would not be dependant from tire-manufacturers - as John mentioned: It depends on rim width and tire manufacturers tolerances if a tire works or not. And in addition to that it depends on air-pressure - and if you would measure with rider on the bike: even from rider weight
why regulate the diameter? If a rim-size is fixed everybody has the same chances because everybody could mount every tire that fits that rim. If anybody really wants to mount a Gazaloddi-tire - everybody else could do so, too - if this is really faster.
think of the fairness aspect if everybody could buy and afford a standardized race/track-unicycle from a big unicycle-supplier (like us) for a reasonable price: there would probably be way more participiants - because buying or building a unicycle conforming the the IUF-rules of 618 mm is a real "science" right now - there is no unicycle "ready to buy" for this, only people who can afford a custom-built unicycle or people who can build it up themselves can participate

if now you'd say we should simply built a unicycle that fits to 618 mm - here the reason why we will probably not try this:

we should then build one, that goes as near to the 618 mm as possible because only then people would buy it. If we would not go that near, people would at least buy and then directly change the tire
if we build one that goes that near to the 618 mm, depending on air pressure (in tire and in the air where customer lives or competes) or if maybe later the tire-manufacturer we choose changes the tire - it could happen, that diameter does not fit to the 618 mm rule...


All in all, we would really like to make a QU-AX Race- Uni MK II - but not as long as rule is made depending on diameter.

GizmoDuck
2010-01-28, 12:35 PM
seen from the manufacturers point of view, defining a rim size without limiting the diameter would be the best choice. Like 559 mm where there is a wide choice of rims and tires.


It depends how close you want to push the limits of the maximum limit. The 618mm size was there to allow many readily available 24" tyres and rims to be used. No one said you have to get exactly 618mm, but the closer you can get the more serious racer types will want to buy that unicycle rim/tyre combination.


b) because everybody could put the tire on it he wants to


But tyre size affects gearing on a unicycle. The skinniest 24" vs the fattest 24" tyre makes a big difference in diameter.


you would not be dependant from tire-manufacturers - as John mentioned: It depends on rim width and tire manufacturers tolerances if a tire works or not. And in addition to that it depends on air-pressure - and if you would measure with rider on the bike: even from rider weight


You're not dependent on tyre manufacturers at all. You pick tyre that will get you comfortably under 618mm. No one said you had to be exactly 618mm, unless you're a serious racer. As a unicycle manufacturer- if you can provide one that is very close to 618mm, then the serious people will want it. Most other people will be able still be able to race on your standard 24" unicycles.


why regulate the diameter? If a rim-size is fixed everybody has the same chances because everybody could mount every tire that fits that rim. If anybody really wants to mount a Gazaloddi-tire - everybody else could do so, too - if this is really faster.


Because it is specifying a standard that is universal not just to one event and one point in time. How do you compare a world record from a few years ago on a skinny 24" tyre, to one in future where they might come up with a ultralightweight tyre that has a enormous diameter?

It doesn't matter for an unlimited event, but for Std Class racing- the diameter and crank lengths are the gear. And the point of standard class racing is so that everyone has a standardised gear ratio.



think of the fairness aspect if everybody could buy and afford a standardized race/track-unicycle from a big unicycle-supplier (like us) for a reasonable price: there would probably be way more participiants - because buying or building a unicycle conforming the the IUF-rules of 618 mm is a real "science" right now - there is no unicycle "ready to buy" for this, only people who can afford a custom-built unicycle or people who can build it up themselves can participate


There is already! I've almost given up trying to get a Std racer that is close to 618mm. I'll get a standard 24" Quax and play around with a few tyres to see what will fit. If there was a readily available racer that skims just under the 618mm mark, then I'd get that, although I suspect a few mm's aren't going to make much difference to my times.



All in all, we would really like to make a QU-AX Race- Uni MK II - but not as long as rule is made depending on diameter.


Then it will be up to the competitor to play around with wheel/rim combinations that will most snugly fit under 618mm. They've been doing it for years...I'm sure someone knows a good combination. I don't think it will be that hard....surely asking some of your racing customers will yield a combination that would work? You already have a very nice frame and narrow hub. So just figure out who's got a 618mm combo rim/tyre and lace that to the Quax racer. I know of a few Swiss riders that spent a long time trying to get a combination that fits so snugly under 618mm that they got upset with an IUF proposal to change the max diameter to 620mm! :)

quax
2010-01-28, 01:09 PM
It depends how close you want to push the limits of the maximum limit. The 618mm size was there to allow many readily available 24" tyres and rims to be used. No one said you have to get exactly 618mm, but the closer you can get the more serious racer types will want to buy that unicycle rim/tyre combination.

Most of the guys who want such a unicycle are very serious - I doubt that there would be lots of people buying one with 4 mm less in diameter


But tyre size affects gearing on a unicycle. The skinniest 24" vs the fattest 24" tyre makes a big difference in diameter.


Yes, that's true - but it would be an opportunity everybody could use because everybody could change through available tires. Wouldn't that standardize itself by the time?


You're not dependent on tyre manufacturers at all. You pick tyre that will get you comfortably under 618mm. No one said you had to be exactly 618mm, unless you're a serious racer. As a unicycle manufacturer- if you can provide one that is very close to 618mm, then the serious people will want it. Most other people will be able still be able to race on your standard 24" unicycles.


As we said - most guys who'd buy such a Uni are "serious racers" And the choice in thin tires and adequate rims that fit to this demand right now is very, very small - and becoming even smaller since e.g. 26"x1" becomes more and more less available.


Because it is specifying a standard that is universal not just to one event and one point in time. How do you compare a world record from a few years ago on a skinny 24" tyre, to one in future where they might come up with a ultralightweight tyre that has a enormous diameter?


Thats true - it would make a new category.


There is already! I've almost given up trying to get a Std racer that is close to 618mm. I'll get a standard 24" Quax and play around with a few tyres to see what will fit. If there was a readily available racer that skims just under the 618mm mark, then I'd get that, although I suspect a few mm's aren't going to make much difference to my times.


Is there really? With aluminium lightweight frame, thin hub, aero rim and thin tire? 3,3 kg like the Race we already did --> means a race-uni which would be used by serious racers? I do not think so.


Then it will be up to the competitor to play around with wheel/rim combinations that will most snugly fit under 618mm. They've been doing it for years...I'm sure someone knows a good combination. I don't think it will be that hard....surely asking some of your racing customers will yield a combination that would work? You already have a very nice frame and narrow hub. So just figure out who's got a 618mm combo rim/tyre and lace that to the Quax racer. I know of a few Swiss riders that spent a long time trying to get a combination that fits so snugly under 618mm that they got upset with an IUF proposal of changing the max diameter to 620mm! :)

Just imagine we would find such a tire - that is available now - and make frames for it, and wheels.
First, Aero-race-rims in 24" are very seldom, second, tires of this size are seldom, too. Then, if in 1 year this tire-manufacturer would not make these tires anymore (because even in bike-business there is very little demand for 24" race tires) - we would have obsolete parts again.

And that's just it - right now, this type of racing is only available for those riders (in your example swiss ones) that spend long time (and money) to built custom unicycles with parts that are rare, not used in bicycles or even completely custom-made. Wouldn't it be great if also people who are not that technical could race, too? Without trying, changing parts, searching parts?

For guys who begin with unicycling or racing in general, all these wheel-sizes are pretty weird:

19" is 20" - Muni
28" with wide tire is a 29" inch - though both are 700c-tires
and 24"-class-racing-unicycles are 26" with thin tires.

But well, I just wanted to post our opinion on this topic and represent why we are currently not making a Race/Track-uni.

Cheers,

David

tholub
2010-01-28, 03:59 PM
I think the idea that we need to keep it a certain diameter so we can compare against previous records is flawed. Track sports regularly compare times originally set on cinder tracks with crappy shoes and baggy clothing to times set on modern tracks with high-tech shoes and Lycra bodysuits. Bicycling also makes very few restrictions on equipment beyond the hour record, and even for the hour record the only real restriction is in frame geometry and aerodynamic equipment.

In the end, it doesn't really matter; 24" racing is a dying sport, and once Kobayashi is done, no one will beat his records, because fast riders aren't interested in riding 24" unicycles anymore. But insisting on making the equipment conform to 1985's view of what unicycle racing should be will just hasten the end.

justtysen
2010-01-28, 04:36 PM
Couldn't you just sell the unicycle without a tire or with the choice between a "safe" tire and one which is very close to 618 but cannot be guaranteed and may require shaving?

Though it's not the easiest for a manufacturer to produce a ready made unicycle for, I think that total outer diameter is the only proper way to regulate the standard class.

johnfoss
2010-01-28, 07:32 PM
I bought my racing uni for Wellington.I would like to get more than 1 unicons worth use out of it....But I thought you bought your racing uni for Wellington? :cool: You are right of course. Notice the "manufacturer" is not on your side. It's better for him if you have to buy another unicycle. Not to dis our manufacturer here, in fact I think it's great we are having this conversation. It's good to know the needs and problems for everyone concerned. For daretodream, he hopes his cool racing unicycle is still good for at least one more Unicon.

Though that alone brings up a question. What's he going to use it for in the intervening two and a half years? All those other track races in Australia? Uh-huh. How many of us really do that activity outside of competitions? Hardly any in my country. We have a big NAUCC every year, and a few smaller, regional events that may or may not include track racing, and that's about it. If I want to ride fast outside of the conventions, which is most of the time, I'll use my Coker, or Schlumpf, or 29" or even my MUni, which has a larger wheel).

Is 24" racing really that interesting, in a world where the 24" wheel size is less and less necessary (and slow)? Yes, it's still a great all-around wheel size, but should it (still) be the main size we race on, now that we have so many faster wheels to choose from?

The 618mm size was there to allow many readily available 24" tyres and rims to be used. No one said you have to get exactly 618mm, but the closer you can get the more serious racer types will want to buy that unicycle rim/tyre combination.Exactly. Though I see quax's point. Having a diameter limit *automatically* creates a problem where people will push this limit and sometimes exceed it.
You're not dependent on tyre manufacturers at all. You pick tyre that will get you comfortably under 618mm. ...if you can provide one that is very close to 618mm, then the serious people will want it. Most other people will be able still be able to race on your standard 24" unicycles.What does Kobayashi ride? In in his case I'm not actually sure. How about all those other super-fast Japanese riders? Aren't most of them on regular Miyata tires? Those tires used to be about 23 3/8" or so (sorry for my inches and fractions). My point is, a few millimeters doesn't mean a thing compared to the athlete turning the wheel. Nobody is going to be able to demonstrate a 3mm difference in tire size on races as short as 800m. Even less on all the other track races.

Equipment weenies like to play with parts and build and rebuild their cycles. I have no problem with that. If they want to bring a unicycle with a 617.5mm wheel, more power to 'em. They just need to be aware of the risk, and be prepared for it to measure 618.5mm on race day due to the unknown variables that can cause this. Meanwhile the girl on the Miyata with the 595mm wheel keeps winning all the races, perhaps because she spent the same amount of time training. :D
It doesn't matter for an unlimited event, but for Std Class racing- the diameter and crank lengths are the gear. And the point of standard class racing is so that everyone has a standardised gear ratio.I'd like to start calling this "Track Racing" as our current rules still tend to refer to it as just "racing" up to and including the title of "World Racing Champion" which is kind of silly if it does not acknowlege all the other types of racing we do. But anyway, yes, Track Racing is based on a set of limitations on the equipment, to level the playing field. Those limitations are wheel size (diameter/circumference) and crank length.
....surely asking some of your racing customers will yield a combination that would work?I fear that may be what led to the slightly-out-of-spec unicycles quax was referring to earlier. But yes, those narrow rims and hubs are really nice, they just need a wheel that doesn't take risks with the tire diameter. Leave that up to individual equipment weenies as a customizing job to make their machines unique to them.

Most of the guys who want such a unicycle are very serious - I doubt that there would be lots of people buying one with 4 mm less in diameterAnd we're talking about how many people in this market? I think it would be the same number if you made a Track unicycle with a slightly smaller wheel. The risk-takers would take it from there. That group is nearly impossible to build whole unicycles for anyway, and a small minority of a tiny market anyway.
...right now, this type of racing is only available for those riders (in your example swiss ones) that spend long time (and money) to built custom unicycles with parts that are rare, not used in bicycles or even completely custom-made.Huh? Again I ask you to look at who is winning "this type of racing" and what they rode. Not to say having really nice equipment isn't cool; it is. Just as a reminder that having a 617.99mm wheel is not a requirement for this sport. Never was. That is only a requirement for riders that are obsessed with their equipment. The same guys who would throw away a pair of 127mm cranks as being too long (the rule is 125 or longer).
But well, I just wanted to post our opinion on this topic and represent why we are currently not making a Race/Track-uni.Thanks David, and we definitely understand here (at least here in this thread). As a manufacturer, making unicycles (or bicycles) to an exact wheel diameter is impossible. the bike industry just isn't geared for that. If anything, my suggestion would be to focus on the 24 x 1 3/8" or similar narrow 24" tires, and either build something around that, or just take another look at the size of that market and not bother. I think UDC already came to a similar conclusion. :)

I think the idea that we need to keep it a certain diameter so we can compare against previous records is flawed.Indeed the reason for the limitations is (WAS) less about previous results and more about keeping the sport accessible. Why 24" and not 26" wheels? Because you would have to make a 26" unicycle. This meant either paying someone at least twice as much for their work, or doing it yourself. So 24" was the size standard. Wheel size sets your gear, not rim size. And crank length? It was a big deal in the early 80s when we went from 5.5" to 5" (140 to 125mm). Many people complained, because all those Schwinns, which was what almost everybody was riding at the time, came with 140mm cranks. Floyd Crandall set the original Guinness 100m record with 140mm cranks and a bent-up old Schwinn. This was in Japan in 1980. Some of his competitors probably had 127mm cranks (not sure when Miyata made the switch); it didn't matter.

What size cranks do 24" unicycles come with now? A glance at UDC USA shows their cheapest 24" comes with 150mm cranks. Same for their "Club" model. The Nimbus, at double the price, has 125s. Torker CX? 152. The Schwinn? Still 140.

Oddly, that's not what I was expecting to see. Cranks got longer?? But there's still a big difference here. Back in the 80s, you either got what they had at the local bike shops or you ordered from places most people didn't know existed. Whole unicycles, that came in boxes from the factory. No choice on the cranks. Now, from the same place I just looked, you can get the following short sizes in square taper: 75, 89, 100, 102, 110, 114. And more than one brand choice for almost every size! Prices range from $15 to $67 per pair.

What's my point? we no longer have to race with the crank size that comes with the unicycle! Time to consider something faster. Why 125? I've raced at Unicon with 102s on my 29". In fact, while riding that wheel I've been passed by little girls riding 24" wheels (http://unicycling.smugmug.com/gallery/235111#9141619_pNVs4) with short cranks.

I think I'll make a bid for shorter cranks on the track. If I can't get people interested in 700c racing, maybe that will work and make the track more interesting again...
...24" racing is a dying sport, and once Kobayashi is done, no one will beat his records, because fast riders aren't interested in riding 24" unicycles anymore.Interesting. I wonder if you would have thought the same about Yuichiro Kato if your first Unicon had been VI, in 1992? My point being that track racing is bigger in Japan than everywhere else put together, possibly times ten. The number of kids in Japan who currently aspire to be like Kobayashi is probably greater than the amount who entered track races at Unicon XV.

But I don't think that's why 24" racing refuses to go away at NAUCC and Unicon, even in the face of newer, more interesting forms of unicycling that we actually do between conventions. The reason track racing remains popular is that it's easy to enter, and possible to medal with minimal training and in events that are very short. Notice how track is popular with hockey and basketball players? That's because they bring 24" unicycles. Outside of Japan it's a pretty small percentage of convention attendees that actively practice track racing, and even fewer that have more than a handful of unicycle races to compete in besides Unicon.

So I don't think track racing will die without help. The best help we can provide might be to find something even better to do with the unicycles we bring to Unicon. And if not that, to allow for shorter cranks and make things interesting, at least for a few years!

tholub
2010-01-28, 08:02 PM
Interesting. I wonder if you would have thought the same about Yuichiro Kato if your first Unicon had been VI, in 1992? My point being that track racing is bigger in Japan than everywhere else put together, possibly times ten. The number of kids in Japan who currently aspire to be like Kobayashi is probably greater than the amount who entered track races at Unicon XV.


In 1992, more or less all unicycles had ungeared 24" (or 20") wheels. Racing meant riding on ungeared 24" wheels, because that's what everyone had. The advent of the Coker changed all that, and now the Schlumpf has changed it further. Outside of Japan, no one who is seriously interested in speed is going to practice riding on 24" unicycles with 125mm cranks, and I expect that even in Japan the practice is going to diminish.

You're obviously right that track races are short and easy to enter, which is why they still have lots of participants at UNICON and NAUCC. But how many people come to UNICON or NAUCC because they really want to compete in track events? A small and dwindling number.

GizmoDuck
2010-01-29, 12:34 AM
Outside of Japan, no one who is seriously interested in speed is going to practice riding on 24" unicycles with 125mm cranks, and I expect that even in Japan the practice is going to diminish.


Outside of unicycling, no one seriously interested in speed would be riding on one wheel. They'd be riding a bike.

Not even that, they'd be driving a car.

Why do people still run? The fastest anyone has ever been able to run is something like just over 2hrs for a Marathon. Running is silly, based on your reasoning.

And like I said earlier...it's all relative to where you live. There are only a few places I know of that actually play unicycle basketball. Is that a dying sport at Unicon? There are certainly more track racers than Uni basketball players. And MUni is not big in Japan.

The point of Unicon is to bring the various Unicycling disciplines together, whether something is concentrated in a few places or widespread.

blueharmony
2010-01-29, 12:49 AM
What's he going to use it for in the intervening two and a half years? All those other track races in Australia? How many of us really do that activity outside of competitions? Hardly any in my country.

This is exactly why I resurected this thread, glad to know I'm not he only one wondering about Track Racing. At NAUCC this year I was somewhat flumuxed by two solid days of racing events on unis that gathered dust the rest of the year.

I'm not putting down track racing, I think it's amazing to watch (and participate in) but I'm a practical guy. My current dilemma is how much should I spend to have a uni around for two days a year. Not only that, but if I decide to put money into it how can I guarantee it won't be obsoleted by IUF/USA rules in a year or two. I don't know the answer...life is full of risks. ;)

tholub
2010-01-29, 12:53 AM
Outside of unicycling, no one seriously interested in speed would be riding on one wheel. They'd be riding a bike.

Not even that, they'd be driving a car.

Why do people still run? The fastest anyone has ever been able to run is something like just over 2hrs for a Marathon. Running is silly, based on your reasoning.


Don't be a dweeb. The unicyclists who are interested in riding fast on a unicycle are doing so on Cokers and Schlumpfs. You didn't try to set the 24-hour record or the hour record for 24" unicycles with 125mm, because it's silly and uninteresting relative to setting the real unicycle speed record.


And like I said earlier...it's all relative to where you live. There are only a few places I know of that actually play unicycle basketball. Is that a dying sport at Unicon? There are certainly more track racers than Uni basketball players. And MUni is not big in Japan.


You keep bringing up unicycle basketball as if you think I believe it's a healthy and vital sport. I love unicycle basketball, but frankly, the tournament at UNICON was symptomatic of a sport which lacks health and vitality. The Revolution came in having never played against another team, and coasted through to the finals with 8 straight easy wins. WOOM beat the Australian team 104-7 in the quarter finals, which means that one of the top 8 teams in the tournament was outclassed to the level that a high school team playing against an NBA team might be. This was my first UNICON, so I don't know if uni basketball has ever been more robust there, but it was clearly not a robust sport in New Zealand.

Coker changed the unicycle market when they introduced The Big One in 1998. My assertion is that, since 1998, fewer people care about 24" racing, fewer people practice for it, and that the number of people who care about it and practice for it will continue to decline.

GizmoDuck
2010-01-29, 01:13 AM
Don't be a dweeb. The unicyclists who are interested in riding fast on a unicycle are doing so on Cokers and Schlumpfs. You didn't try to set the 24-hour record or the hour record for 24" unicycles with 125mm, because it's silly and uninteresting relative to setting the real unicycle speed record.



What's your point? I was going for the unlimited 24hr. Most people would think going around in circles for 24hrs is pretty silly and uninteresting.

I hold the Unlimited hour and I'd like to have a go an the Standard Hour. There is something to be said about having a standard class- everyone on the same equipment, as much as there is a role for having an unlimited class.

Everything is silly when you dissect it down to what it is. Riding on one wheel? Riding on two wheels? Hitting a ball with a stick? Hitting a ball over a net back and forths? Running around after a ball in a paddock?

tholub
2010-01-29, 01:26 AM
Everything is silly when you dissect it down to what it is. Riding on one wheel? Riding on two wheels? Hitting a ball with a stick? Hitting a ball over a net back and forths? Running around after a ball in a paddock?

You didn't address my point, which is that there are fewer people practicing 24" racing, and that there will be still fewer practicing it in the future. That's what I mean when I say the sport is dying. Unicycling as a sport is fairly vital, with new developments and growing participation in many countries. 24" unicycle racing is not.

johnfoss
2010-01-29, 01:26 AM
I hold the Unlimited hour and I'd like to have a go an the Standard Hour.I'll believe you when you go for the Standard 24-hour. :D

I just think 125 is inefficient for any sort of (flat) racing on 24". Shortening the cranks would raise speeds and excitement levels (making it more interesting to watch), and bring new skill challenges to the scene, where the requirements to win will be a little different. The 125 size was based on the practical needs of 1980s unicycles. We need not be limited to that now.

Yes, we had to start a whole new record book, just as we did when we went from racing in yards to racing in meters. There was some degree of unhappiness about that, but people got over it and it's long since forgotten. More like a clean slate to set all new records! Of course they're only really new if they're improvements on the old ones. That didn't happen right away with the switch from 140 to 125 either...

Yes, Tom was right about 1992; I went back too far. But his sentiments are the same as mine as to how much sense it makes to race on such slow unicycles.

GizmoDuck
2010-01-29, 04:59 AM
You didn't address my point, which is that there are fewer people practicing 24" racing, and that there will be still fewer practicing it in the future. That's what I mean when I say the sport is dying. Unicycling as a sport is fairly vital, with new developments and growing participation in many countries. 24" unicycle racing is not.

Because it's lame and I didn't see the need to debate any further when one feels the need to throw off insults.

daretodream
2010-01-30, 03:27 AM
[QUOTE=johnfoss;1327415].... It's good to know the needs and problems for everyone concerned. For daretodream, he hopes his cool racing unicycle is still good for at least one more Unicon.

firstly daretodream is a she not a he.




Though that alone brings up a question. What's he going to use it for in the intervening two and a half years? All those other track races in Australia? Uh-huh. How many of us really do that activity outside of competitions?


Gosh what an amazing question!!!! Although I bought my racing uni specifically to meet the IUF racing rules at Unicon I also knew I would be training and riding on it on a regular basis.Just like I do with all my other unis. I am by no means a serious rider, a fanatical racing particpant.Ive only been riding a unicycle for 2 and a bit years.Unicon xv was my first Unicon and in fact my first ever competition. I must have been extremely fortunate to buy my racing uni when i did last year, maybe i bought the last?lol I just wanted to meet the requirements.A friend and I had looked at building one but it became apparent that we would end up with a better uni for maybe less cost if we just bought it.

I love the racing uni (except in wellingtons strong winds where i felt i was at a disadvantage as i wasnt a good enough rider to ride such a lovely machine in such challenging conditions that i wasnt use too.The racing uni is so lightweight and feels beautiful compared to the other fat tyre unis ive been riding. I have 30km of cycle track in one direction from my home and 45km of cycle track in the other direction. It is perfect for riding even a racing uni on.I will be riding and training on these tracks on a regular basis. Because I want to do better than my times i did in wellington but also because of the sheer enjoyment from riding this uni. All my unis are slightly different and have different feels and purposes,my 20, my 24,my 29, my 36 and my racing 26. Only use my racing uni for competition days? Not a chance!

Hardly any in my country. We have a big NAUCC every year, and a few smaller, regional events that may or may not include track racing, and that's about it. If I want to ride fast outside of the conventions, which is most of the time, I'll use my Coker, or Schlumpf, or 29" or even my MUni, which has a larger wheel).

Is 24" racing really that interesting, in a world where the 24" wheel size is less and less necessary (and slow)? Yes, it's still a great all-around wheel size, but should it (still) be the main size we race on, now that we have so many faster wheels to choose from?


24" racing not interesting? I found it very interesting, exciting ,thrilling. Perhaps you have been involved in this sport so long that you have lost some of the appreciation for it?

I think setting a standard and then competing within the limits of that standard is a good thing and it is good to have the historical record to be able to compare times and achievements in a meaningful way. Technologies will always continue to improve and there will always be a faster better uni on the market.Should we introduce new standards every time this happens?



What's my point? we no longer have to race with the crank size that comes with the unicycle! Time to consider something faster.

Sure consider shorter cranks.but like there is an unlimited and standrard class for the 10km introduce a no limit on crank size race for whatever distance you deem appropriate. But in the interests of historical tradition I feel that the current standards should remain for 24" racing for the events that are currently included.


But I don't think that's why 24" racing refuses to go away at NAUCC and Unicon, even in the face of newer, more interesting forms of unicycling that we actually do between conventions. The reason track racing remains popular is that it's easy to enter, and possible to medal with minimal training and in events that are very short. Notice how track is popular with hockey and basketball players? That's because they bring 24" unicycles. Outside of Japan it's a pretty small percentage of convention attendees that actively practice track racing, and even fewer that have more than a handful of unicycle races to compete in besides Unicon.

You seem to forget that unicycling is still a developing sport in so many countries compared to many other sports. It is not out of lack of interest that there are not many tack and field events to compete in its because the sport has not gone thru the same growth phase yet that it has in japan.It seems illogical to want to kill this discipline when it hasnt even begun to reach anywhere near its full potential

To say that people enter the track and field because its easy to enter and possible to medal with minimal training is an insult to the participants.I entered the competitions for the sheer joy of the competition and the fun and experience.Again its a growing sport and as the sport grows so will the quality of competition.

So I don't think track racing will die without help.

Who wants it to? I absolutely do not!!!

johnfoss
2010-01-31, 07:29 AM
The racing uni is so lightweight and feels beautiful compared to the other fat tyre unis ive been riding. ... I will be riding and training on these tracks on a regular basis. Because I want to do better than my times i did in wellington but also because of the sheer enjoyment from riding this uni. All my unis are slightly different and have different feels and purposes,my 20, my 24,my 29, my 36 and my racing 26.But don't you go/feel a lot faster on the 29 or 36? The heavier wheels are less responsive, but a 36 should beat a 24 every time for any ride of decent length.
24" racing not interesting? I found it very interesting, exciting ,thrilling. Perhaps you have been involved in this sport so long that you have lost some of the appreciation for it?You may have a point there, as it's been 30 years for me. Do I appreciate 24" racing less, or faster forms of unicycling more? Probably both.
Technologies will always continue to improve and there will always be a faster better uni on the market.Should we introduce new standards every time this happens? No, but how about once every 25 years or so? A lot has changed since we went from 140mm cranks to 125s. :)

It is not out of lack of interest that there are not many tack and field events to compete in its because the sport has not gone thru the same growth phase yet that it has in japan.It seems illogical to want to kill this discipline when it hasnt even begun to reach anywhere near its full potentialIt's not going to go through a growth phase like it did in Japan, but that's a long story (special circumstances). But I would not consider it killing the discipline if we shorten the standard crank length.
To say that people enter the track and field because its easy to enter and possible to medal with minimal training is an insult to the participants.Sorry, none intended. I entered a few of those events with minimal (none in the past year) training and medaled easily.

I very much appreciate your opinions on this topic and hope to hear more. Sorry I assumed you were male, it's the overwhelmingly predominant gender around here. We need more like you!

Rowan
2010-01-31, 01:02 PM
It depends how close you want to push the limits of the maximum limit. The 618mm size was there to allow many readily available 24" tyres and rims to be used. No one said you have to get exactly 618mm, but the closer you can get the more serious racer types will want to buy that unicycle rim/tyre combination.So if the 618mm limit was made to allow many readily available standard unicycles to race, and has been found to encourage not readily available unicycles as the best option, why not try and make a rule that makes meeting the standard more universal?
You're not dependent on tyre manufacturers at all. You pick tyre that will get you comfortably under 618mm. No one said you had to be exactly 618mm, unless you're a serious racer. As a unicycle manufacturer- if you can provide one that is very close to 618mm, then the serious people will want it. Most other people will be able still be able to race on your standard 24" unicycles.You make it sound so easy. But I still don't understand why most people should race their 24" unicycles against 26" competitors. Then it will be up to the competitor to play around with wheel/rim combinations that will most snugly fit under 618mm. They've been doing it for years...I'm sure someone knows a good combination. I don't think it will be that hard....surely asking some of your racing customers will yield a combination that would work? You already have a very nice frame and narrow hub. So just figure out who's got a 618mm combo rim/tyre and lace that to the Quax racer. I know of a few Swiss riders that spent a long time trying to get a combination that fits so snugly under 618mm that they got upset with an IUF proposal to change the max diameter to 620mm! :)Just imagine we would find such a tire - that is available now - and make frames for it, and wheels.
First, Aero-race-rims in 24" are very seldom, second, tires of this size are seldom, too. Then, if in 1 year this tire-manufacturer would not make these tires anymore (because even in bike-business there is very little demand for 24" race tires) - we would have obsolete parts again.

And that's just it - right now, this type of racing is only available for those riders (in your example swiss ones) that spend long time (and money) to built custom unicycles with parts that are rare, not used in bicycles or even completely custom-made. Wouldn't it be great if also people who are not that technical could race, too? Without trying, changing parts, searching parts?
Very well said! Just because a few guys will get upset isn't a good reason not to try and make the competitiveness of the track racing sport available to everyone. Why should everyone have to spend a long time getting a good combination? Track racing should measure how athletic you are not how good you are at finding rare parts. I think David has spoken very clearly about this and although it wouldn't solve his current problem of obsolete parts, it could work out better for both the riders and the suppliers if they could use parts that are more readily available.
But don't you go/feel a lot faster on the 29 or 36? The heavier wheels are less responsive, but a 36 should beat a 24 every time for any ride of decent length.
That is not the point of standard racing! Standard racing does not need to be on the fastest unicycle. It is the fastest rider on the standard unicycle: who can push themselves furthest in the balance envelope? One of the things that attracts me about standard racing is the safety aspect- the lack of speed compared to larger wheelsizes- so less limitation through fear of falling. That is why it felt strange to have to wear kneepads and gloves. After seeing a few people skid on their knees it made the rule seem sensible but I would prefer the option to choose like in flatland or freestyle.
The portability of 24" wheels is another good thing for competitions- although 700c is also quite practical.
It's not going to go through a growth phase like it did in Japan, but that's a long story (special circumstances). But I would not consider it killing the discipline if we shorten the standard crank length.It would make it more fun for some of the riders but I think it would be quite a drastic change- it would become that standard is now non-standard. Shorter cranks use different muscles, and I think I like how the 125mm length is midway between short and long cranks, making it ideal for what I think is standard size should be.
At Unicon XV the ride at Makara peak was on the same day as most of the track racing. There wasn't many other MUni events scheduled that were not the MUni races. Some of the fast riders were probably there. It would have been a shame for them to have missed out on Makara, and since I had done it before (but not with all the Unicon people unfortunately) I chose the track races instead. Choosing between two really fun-filled days of activities is not the worst dilemma to be in I guess.

johnfoss
2010-01-31, 06:53 PM
So if the 618mm limit was made to allow many readily available standard unicycles to race, and has been found to encourage not readily available unicycles as the best option, why not try and make a rule that makes meeting the standard more universal?Such as?

As long as we do it based on wheel size (rather than rim size), it will always boil down to picking a number. Not a bigger one, obviously, so how much smaller to go? One possibility is to go to exactly 24", but we don't know how many tires we would suddenly cut off. I wouldn't call that a standard, if we suddenly eliminate all the high-end racing unicycles. That's why we picked 24 1/3" originally.

24" = 609.6mm. Make that 610 for grins. That's a 24" maximum wheel size. Now who's tire doesn't fit? It would be interesting to get a bunch of measurements from people and compare them here.
640 * 3.14159265 = 2 010.6193

Make that a 2011mm circumference for grins, that's the measurment that's probably easiest to make. For track wheel measuring it should probably just be a measuring tape wrapped tightly around the tire. No nonsense with rider weight, roll-outs, etc.

So how big are all of your tires?

Am I in favor of such a change? No, as it would make a whole category of unicycles illegal for the track, those being the ones specifically made for racing on the track. Bad idea. But hearing some measurements for 24" tires might be enlightening.

munimutant
2010-01-31, 07:33 PM
For track wheel measuring it should probably just be a measuring tape wrapped tightly around the tire.

I've been following this thread with interest. Haven't done any uni track racing, just road & mtb, but from an outsider noob POV, it sounds to me like the best solution is (I think) what you currently have -- where the rider needs to roll his/her uni under a metal bar, and if it fits, you're in. This can be done as the participants are walking to the starting line, preventing any cheating by lowering your tire psi for qualifying, then inflating before the race.

Klaas Bil
2010-02-01, 12:26 AM
Even though I'm 56 years old, I'm quite serious about track racing. Lots more people (of all ages) are serious about it, not only in Japan, but also in Germany, Denmark and other countries. Those countries organise regional and national events that include track racing for IUF Standard unicycles. Both Unicon and those smaller competitions involve a lot of training. (Many clubs, at least in Germany, are training almost year-round.) So it's definitely NOT like those specific racing unicycles gather dust in between Unicons!

I for one sincerely hope that the specifications to IUF standard unicycles will NOT change. They have not been constant for 25 years as John Foss suggests, as the change to 618 mm is quite recent. Standard should remain standard for a long time, otherwise it's not standard. This is both a matter of investing in equipment, and a matter of being able to compare with older records. Let me be clear: standard to me means not only tyre outside diameter but also crank length (125 mm).

Oh, and standard class racing is a dying sport? It was probably the biggest event on any unicon (at least the ones I've attended, i.e. 13 14 and 15), in terms of number of participants. And my bet is that the number of standard class racing competitors in Unicon 16 will be higher than ever. It's a thriving sport!

Don't change the standard!

GizmoDuck
2010-02-01, 12:59 AM
Even though I'm 56 years old, I'm quite serious about track racing. Lots more people (of all ages) are serious about it, not only in Japan, but also in Germany, Denmark and other countries. Those countries organise regional and national events that include track racing for IUF Standard unicycles. Both Unicon and those smaller competitions involve a lot of training. (Many clubs, at least in Germany, are training almost year-round.) So it's definitely NOT like those specific racing unicycles gather dust in between Unicons!


Agreed. I know many very serious racers in Europe, not just Japan. They do a lot more training than riders in other disciplines.


I for one sincerely hope that the specifications to IUF standard unicycles will NOT change. They have not been constant for 25 years as John Foss suggests, as the change to 618 mm is quite recent. Standard should remain standard for a long time, otherwise it's not standard.



Sometimes historical standards have been used for so long that it's difficult to change because of this. It means that all the past records no longer can be compared with the most recent. As someone said, it's not about the fastest unicycle, it's about the fastest rider on a standard unicycle.

That doesn't mean it can't or shouldn't be done, but I think it will need to be a big shift in riders who ACTUALLY compete in track racing to come up with another standard.

In bicycling, they have standards too- otherwise you'd be racing a two wheeled HPV recumbent at a Tour De France Time trial or flat stage (those things can cruise at 70-90km/hr).



Oh, and standard class racing is a dying sport? It was probably the biggest event on any unicon (at least the ones I've attended, i.e. 13 14 and 15), in terms of number of participants. And my bet is that the number of standard class racing competitors in Unicon 16 will be higher than ever. It's a thriving sport!


It certainly is one of the biggest if not biggest event in UNICON. Unfortunately, some people define dying sports as ones which they do not participate in, or is not played where they live. The fact it's not done much outside of conventions is because to race on track, you need other people to race with. Plenty of people train for the track, but riding on a track is not the only way to train.

It was fun to watch too, and more accessible for spectators.

*disclaimer: I have never competed at track, and don't intend to. I'd like to do the 10km Std at the next Unicon.

johnfoss
2010-02-01, 06:52 PM
They have not been constant for 25 years as John Foss suggests, as the change to 618 mm is quite recent.The 618mm thing wasn't a change. If anything, it was more of a standardization. We realized that 24" tires were getting way bigger than 24" (Gazzalodi for example) so it became necessary to set an upper limit on tire size. This limit was set to work with "normal width" tires with what we considred a safe margin for decent tires that may have been a bit bigger than the ones we were looking at.

The way people speak of "standard" here, it's as if it is based on a meaningful set of dimensions that must never change. If that's the case, we should probably still be using 5.5" (140mm) cranks because that's what everybody rode back when the general rules of unicycle racing were developed.

Did people complain when we went from 140 to 125? You betcha! Mostly they whined about having to buy crank arms. It was explained that nobody had to buy crank arms, just as today's riders don't have to buy 26 x 1" tires. Some people were also unhappy about moving away from the old speed records, but that's not exactly how it works. Those records remain; but you get to start making new records if/when you exceed the old ones. Complaints about starting a new set of records basically died down before the new cranks were used in races.

So why the change from 140 to 125? Why change the standard? Most of the unicycles concerned were still coming from the factory with 140mm cranks. But some came with 125/127mm cranks. And they were nice, strong alloy cranks. Some people didn't want to replace their nice alloy cranks with bendy steel 140s.

The choice was made to move forward as the unicycle market had changed. Also because the shorter cranks made going places on a 24" wheel more efficient/sensible. In those days people still used one main unicycle for nearly all their riding. The prevalence of 20" wheels for Freestyle took a few years to filter down, though it has its roots in 1980-81 or so. I switched to 20" for Freestyle in 1984, but it was quite frustrating for several months while I got used to the difference. But I used to bring two different 24" unis to the conventions, one set up for track with a skinny tire and 125s, and another that was a great all-around uni with 140s. I liked that one better for the Obstacle Course, basketball, and Sumo.

Anyway, the market has changed quite a bit since 1984 or so. Does anybody want to make track racing a little more efficient by allowing shorter cranks? Really, if you're interested in legacy records just keep riding with the 125s...

Oh, and standard class racing is a dying sport? It was probably the biggest event on any unicon (at least the ones I've attended, i.e. 13 14 and 15), in terms of number of participants.When Unicon started out, it was basically track racing and Freestyle. Though there was a little bit of basketball and a Compulsory Artistic event, that was it. Racing has always been popular because of its low barrier to entry. We have so many track events because they used to all fit within a day. Now they are disproportionate to the other disciplines that have developed over the years, and disproportionate in the amount of awards you can win for relatively minimal effort. One might say they are also disproportionate in terms of the types of riding most people do the rest of the time. But this applies also to basketball, hockey and the road/MUni events, where some riders are heavy trainers while others are entering just for fun, so maybe that's not a bad thing. Long as you don't look at the number of track racers and work from the assumption that all of those people are serious "trackies".

GizmoDuck
2010-02-01, 11:44 PM
The way people speak of "standard" here, it's as if it is based on a meaningful set of dimensions that must never change. If that's the case, we should probably still be using 5.5" (140mm) cranks because that's what everybody rode back when the general rules of unicycle racing were developed.



That's how standards get established- from use. They never start out with any meaningful dimension. Check out the UCI dimensions for a bicycle- how do you think they originated?

They shouldn't be changed every couple of years, although that doesn't mean they shouldn't be changed if there is a good reason for it.



Long as you don't look at the number of track racers and work from the assumption that all of those people are serious "trackies".

That goes with just about every discipline at Unicon- there are serious riders and relatively new riders. The only discipline where this might be less of a case is the artistic freestyle.

GizmoDuck
2010-02-02, 12:04 AM
They shouldn't be changed every couple of years, although that doesn't mean they shouldn't be changed if there is a good reason for it.


Forgot to add, if you changed from a 24" Standard to 28" standard, the only real advantage would be getting easier access to parts (because 28" is a bicycle standard). I doubt it's going to make the riding experience all that much better- you will still have to pedal really really fast with little resistance. For spectators- I doubt it makes any difference whether the top guys do the 100m in 12 secs or in 9 secs.

Eliminating the crank length requirement means that it is no longer a gear size standard, only a wheel standard, which makes it a little meaningless. You may as well race with a Schlumpf hub on a 24". Perhaps in 10yrs when everyone has one it can be debated if track unicycles should be raced with variable gears. But there are plenty of outlets for that already- you can race the 10km unlimited or the Marathon, or MUni even.

By the way, as someone pointed out, many riders who are serious on the track are not active on this thread, or this forum for that matter.

johnfoss
2010-02-02, 01:12 AM
They shouldn't be changed every couple of years, although that doesn't mean they shouldn't be changed if there is a good reason for it.That's the question. It's been about 25 years. The reasons now are much more compelling (to me at least) than they were back then.
Forgot to add, if you changed from a 24" Standard to 28" standard, the only real advantage would be getting easier access to parts...Another advantage would be that you were going faster. That it wouldn't be such an unrealistic form of transportation compared to other unicycles. But the ridership/Rules Committee/market has told us it's not interested in going to bigger wheels at this time.
Eliminating the crank length requirement means that it is no longer a gear size standard...Agreed. How about a 100mm crank standard? That would of course be 100mm and longer. If it works on a Coker (I did the Unicon XIV marathon with 102s) it should be pretty serviceable on 24". And yes I realize they are much shorter races! :rolleyes:

GizmoDuck
2010-02-02, 01:20 AM
Agreed. How about a 100mm crank standard? That would of course be 100mm and longer. If it works on a Coker (I did the Unicon XIV marathon with 102s) it should be pretty serviceable on 24". And yes I realize they are much shorter races! :rolleyes:

In my opinion (and I'm not a track racer), going from 125mm to 100mm on a 24" is meaningless. You might do 100m in 11secs instead oof 12 secs, or the 10km in 28min instead of 29min.

If it was worth going to the trouble of changing a standard that has been in existence for 25yrs, then it should go to at least a 28"/90mm. Even then...I think the actual speed increase is limited- if you were really interested in going as fast as possible on a unicycle, you'd be riding a 36". That's not practical to ride around on a track.

Which brings up the point of what would you achieve? A standard is there for track races. The track races are about the fastest riders on a standard unicycle, not the fastest it's possible to go on a unicycle.

johnfoss
2010-02-03, 03:37 AM
In my opinion (and I'm not a track racer), going from 125mm to 100mm on a 24" is meaningless.Then you wouldn't mind. Good! :D

daretodream
2010-02-03, 10:28 AM
But don't you go/feel a lot faster on the 29 or 36? The heavier wheels are less responsive, but a 36 should beat a 24 every time for any ride of decent length.

of course I can go faster on a 29 or 36. But I enjoy going faster on these unis when riding a decent distance such as 10km minimum. I dont feel i would get much more of a thrill riding these size wheels in track and field events than i currently do for a 24' wheel. the distances are too short.So Why go to a bigger wheel size for short races when little is to be gained excitement wise and meaningful historical comparisons become lost?

[/COLOR]No, but how about once every 25 years or so? A lot has changed since we went from 140mm cranks to 125s. :)

If crank size is to be changed ,rim sizes would have to be seriously looked at in conjunction with this. I feel the two should be changed together and I am not convinced that this is the right point in time to do it or that it should be done at all.

It's not going to go through a growth phase like it did in Japan, but that's a long story (special circumstances). But I would not consider it killing the discipline if we shorten the standard crank length.

Id be really interested in hearing the story of why you believe unicycling will not go thru a similar growth phase in other countries like Japan.


Sorry, none intended. I entered a few of those events with minimal (none in the past year) training and medaled easily.

I daresay your vast experience of 30 years of unicycling and numerous participation in previous unicon events held you in good stead and allowed you to get away with such a good result with minimal training. The next unicon in Italy they are exoecting 2500 participants. Id be really interested to know wether you think you can get such a good result again with the same minimal training?

I very much appreciate your opinions on this topic and hope to hear more. Sorry I assumed you were male, it's the overwhelmingly predominant gender around here. We need more like you!

Apology accepted. I think numbers of Female Unicyclists are growing just like serious interested participants in track and field events. :p