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Old 2017-04-10, 08:24 AM   #16
UniDreamerFR
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Originally Posted by Engineer on a Unicycle View Post
So one big lesson to report: Don't try to ride a 36er with the seat too low!!!

I bought a lightly used one from a friend locally, who is a bit shorter. Did some math and concluded that the 200mm post on it would just barely work. Only on the subway ride to the river path discovered it was actually a 125mm post and already as high as it could go. But hey, when you've planned to ride a unicycle, you ride the unicycle you brought.

Or at least try to...

Riding too short a seat meant I was lifting out of it constantly, and that gave me no control over the huge wheel - I had one attempt launching from a fence where I managed 15 feet.

If I hadn't tried a different 36er the previous weekend and enjoyed it, I might well have given up thought I wasn't ready for a big wheel.

But today after sacrificing the post from my 26er to careful measurement and the hacksaw, I took it back out... and rode 23 miles.

Both my 26 and 36 have 125mm cranks, so I just measured from the axle to the top of the seatpost on the 26 and reproduced that on the 36. I started with it about a half inch lower but quickly decided that wasn't quite right, and raised it to what is likely all but exactly what I had on the 26.

Of course now I can't free mount it, but one problem at a time...
The other lesson could be : there is no reason to put anything shorter than 150s on a 36er unless you have an experience of hundreds if not thousands of miles on a 36er AND you are 80% of the time above 14-15 mph.
If in the contrary you are 80% of the time in the 0-13mph range everything will be easier, and more efficient with 145s-150s cranks.
You'll have stronger accelerations, higher torque, better control, less chances of developing knee pains, easier mounts, easier slow down, and you'll have the possibility to ride off road.

125's, and shorter cranks are like having a car with only the 4th and 5th gears, it's good for riding at 90mph on the highway but it's an awfull gear ratio for everything else.

The seat height (distance top of the seat->top of the low pedal) must be higher than what you'd use for a trial 19er of course, but not too high neither, so that you can absorb the bumps and holes on the floor/trail.
I'd say a 36er with 150s and a muni style seat height is the perfect do everything combination.

I have a 36x145 and a g36x150, I use to ride (road, bikepaths, town, XC and Muni) with my girlfriend, her on a mountainbike, me on the 36x145 and I never feel slow, I can accelerate way faster than with 125s, freemount is super easy (for a 36er) and have tones of controle while being able to keep up with her. If y want to ride on the 16-20mph range I will use my g36 but then she won't be able to keep up with me .

With a too high seat height i'd see myself catapulted at each hole/bump.

And of course I have a long handlebar on both my 36ers, it's definitely a "must have"
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Old 2017-04-10, 09:53 AM   #17
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Hi unidreamer do you prefer your kh tbar or Qu-ax q handle . Thanks David
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Old 2017-04-10, 03:09 PM   #18
Engineer on a Unicycle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UniDreamerFR View Post
The other lesson could be : there is no reason to put anything shorter than 150s on a 36er unless you have an experience of hundreds if not thousands of miles on a 36er AND you are 80% of the time above 14-15 mph.
I hear the logic in what you are saying, but around here people don't consider 125's on a 36er at all unusual - many are on shorter; the other used one I was offered came with 110's.

Trying to scare up a pair of 150s try is a thought - I think the coker that I tried and free mounted a week ago and as a result decided this was within my capability probably had those. But it's a fair chunk of change to get them in something solid just to experiment, and people seem to say the cheap steel ones flex too much for a big wheel (otherwise I'd consider borrowing them off my disused Torker 20")

Haven't hit serious hills yet, and wasn't really finding controlling the wheel a problem once I had the seat set to give meaningful thigh contact... I actually kind of liked having some force to work against - often unicycles feel like having to pedal air at high cadence, so even if I wasn't often going faster than I would on the 26er, the body mechanics were better. So for right now it would be mostly a mounting thing.

I keep imagining a shoe with a 3 inch platform that would fold out and then collapse out of the way the instant you take your weight off it - when I'd find a curb like that I was set to go.
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Old 2017-04-10, 07:23 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UniDreamerFR View Post
The other lesson could be : there is no reason to put anything shorter than 150s on a 36er unless you have an experience of hundreds if not thousands of miles on a 36er AND you are 80% of the time above 14-15 mph.
If in the contrary you are 80% of the time in the 0-13mph range everything will be easier, and more efficient with 145s-150s cranks.
You'll have stronger accelerations, higher torque, better control, less chances of developing knee pains, easier mounts, easier slow down, and you'll have the possibility to ride off road.

125's, and shorter cranks are like having a car with only the 4th and 5th gears, it's good for riding at 90mph on the highway but it's an awfull gear ratio for everything else.
I don't ride terribly fast on my 36er, but unless I'm doing off road or steep hills, the 125s are best for me. I started with 138s, and they were good for learning, but when I got my 125's, it was almost instantly obvious that it was a better choice. It was a much smoother ride with much less fatigue and crotch pain. For me, less fatigue and crotch pain for distance riding is going to win out every time.

There is a guy locally that rides 50 miles on his KH 36er with 150 cranks, and he loves it, so obviously it's different for different people. I love using the 150 cranks for anything but distance. It feels like cheating after using the 125s, but after riding any kind of a distance, it starts getting pretty uncomfortable for me.

I also like your car analogy, but I think it's a bit extreme. For me it's more like the difference between starting in 2nd gear as opposed to 1st, which is totally doable, unlike starting in 4th or 5th. Just like the shorter cranks, it's certainly different letting out the clutch in 2nd gear and requires a bit more finesse, but it's well within the limits of what is practical.

Regarding your preference for the 150s, it could be that you're just in better shape than me, and maybe your saddle area is more accustomed to long rides? I'm also short at 5' 6" with a 29" inseam, so maybe that has something to do with it.
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Old 2017-04-10, 08:49 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thumper uni View Post
Hi unidreamer do you prefer your kh tbar or Qu-ax q handle . Thanks David
I like both for different reasons.
-Q-handle : since I filed the T part so that my thighs don't rub against it anymore I really appreciate it on my ungeared 36er.
Its loop shape, the foam and its stiffness are very comfortable.

-Kh Tbar : I have the Kh fixation kit, but for my G36 I had to buy a nimbus bar cause my kh bars have been cut for former unicycles and are too short for this project now, the nimbus bar is very similar to the kh bar, but the T part is a bit larger (15cm).
This handlebar is more customizable, you can put all sorts of bar-ends and you can put the brake lever far away if you want, which is a bit more complicated to do with a Q-handle.
The only down side is the fixing system that is not very stiff.
Since I use a long set up on my G36, the bolts often get loose enough to let the bar lift more than how I set it up, so I'm trying to find a DIY system to fix it to the seatpost/frame neck as well.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Engineer on a Unicycle View Post
I hear the logic in what you are saying, but around here people don't consider 125's on a 36er at all unusual - many are on shorter; the other used one I was offered came with 110's.

Trying to scare up a pair of 150s try is a thought - I think the coker that I tried and free mounted a week ago and as a result decided this was within my capability probably had those. But it's a fair chunk of change to get them in something solid just to experiment, and people seem to say the cheap steel ones flex too much for a big wheel (otherwise I'd consider borrowing them off my disused Torker 20")

Haven't hit serious hills yet, and wasn't really finding controlling the wheel a problem once I had the seat set to give meaningful thigh contact... I actually kind of liked having some force to work against - often unicycles feel like having to pedal air at high cadence, so even if I wasn't often going faster than I would on the 26er, the body mechanics were better. So for right now it would be mostly a mounting thing.

I keep imagining a shoe with a 3 inch platform that would fold out and then collapse out of the way the instant you take your weight off it - when I'd find a curb like that I was set to go.
Yes 125, 117s, 110 are not unusual, I still try to figure out the reason.
I personally ride the loops I used to ride with my smaller wheels, which are often complicated and varied, I couldn't do it on my 36er with 125's or even with 137s, so I put some 150's and discovered how agile and reactive was the 36er with those cranks.
More than that I also discovered that with 150/145s I was able to reach speeds I never managed to go with shorter cranks (my max speed with 125 was around 13.75mph , with 145's it's around 27km/h=17 mph) , but I admit I will burn more energy if I try to keep my speed above 13/14 mph for a very long time, at least in theory, lets say my legs are doing larger movements than if I was using short cranks.

So I guess most people are riding their 36er on clear and rather flat roads for very long rides or at higher speeds.
If not, I just don't really understand.
I know the comparison is biased because bikes have speeds, but you'll never see bikes with 100mm cranks, right?
150's are still way shorter than bikes cranks, and on a 36er (which is a BIG wheel! ) at around 13mph the pedaling cadence is not so high.
Though, the real advantage of having 150s is for all the situations in which you are in the 0-13 mph range, which in my case are very numerous.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradford View Post
I don't ride terribly fast on my 36er, but unless I'm doing off road or steep hills, the 125s are best for me. I started with 138s, and they were good for learning, but when I got my 125's, it was almost instantly obvious that it was a better choice. It was a much smoother ride with much less fatigue and crotch pain. For me, less fatigue and crotch pain for distance riding is going to win out every time.

There is a guy locally that rides 50 miles on his KH 36er with 150 cranks, and he loves it, so obviously it's different for different people. I love using the 150 cranks for anything but distance. It feels like cheating after using the 125s, but after riding any kind of a distance, it starts getting pretty uncomfortable for me.

I also like your car analogy, but I think it's a bit extreme. For me it's more like the difference between starting in 2nd gear as opposed to 1st, which is totally doable, unlike starting in 4th or 5th. Just like the shorter cranks, it's certainly different letting out the clutch in 2nd gear and requires a bit more finesse, but it's well within the limits of what is practical.

Regarding your preference for the 150s, it could be that you're just in better shape than me, and maybe your saddle area is more accustomed to long rides? I'm also short at 5' 6" with a 29" inseam, so maybe that has something to do with it.
Maybe I have been hard with 4th and 5th gear, but my feeling is a good 3th gear for 125.
The fact is I wasn't going faster than 21/22 km/h with 125's although I can reach 127km/h with 145's (for a sprint).

Anyway, I am the lucky owner of a geared 36er which has the best of the two worlds : long cranks to have tones of control for the 0-13 mph range, but the potential to keep up with bikes (15-20mph) without pedaling like a clown. (but the adrenaline shot is guaranteed ! )
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Old 2017-04-10, 09:04 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UniDreamerFR View Post

Anyway, I am the lucky owner of a geared 36er which has the best of the two worlds : long cranks to have tones of control for the 0-13 mph range, but the potential to keep up with bikes (15-20mph) without pedaling like a clown. (but the adrenaline shot is guaranteed ! )
That's all you, man! I have no interest in keeping up with bikes. You're insane! (But I totally respect that.) If I had the money, I might like a geared 26er, but no way would I want G36. With the way you ride, I don't doubt that you would want longer cranks for control. My 36er rides could probably be considered "leisurely" compared to yours. I'm just happy to get out and do the distance. Hell, I'm just happy to get out at all on some days!
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Old 2017-04-10, 09:53 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UniDreamerFr
The fact is I wasn't going faster than 21/22 km/h with 125's although I can reach 127km/h with 145's (for a sprint).
ooops, I meant 27km

Quote:
If I had the money, I might like a geared 26er, but no way would I want G36
Indeed I fell a lot with the G26, and sometimes very badly.
The G29 was more stable. never had a cruising fall (few shifting falls)
I only have 3 rides with the G36 so far, but it feels even more stable than the G29, so I'm not sure whose geared wheel size is the most dangerous.

I'm not going to ride at 30mph though, even if I could, which is not the case, it would scare the hell out of me.
20 mph is probably a speed target that I can reach, but the real pleasure of the second gear is probably somewhere between 13 ans 16 mph with a relaxed pedaling cadence.
But I admit overtaking bikers that were laughing at my missing wheel in the first place has no price!
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Old 2017-04-10, 10:27 PM   #23
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I'll admit a certain desire to have gotten a geared 29 instead of the 36er, but one could probably buy 3 if not 4 basic 36ers for the price of a geared anything. And riding the big wheel was something I wanted to do, especially after getting on one last weekend proved it within my capability.

My recollection of the threads about the ride the lobster event was that for the serious distance folks a geared 36 had two useful speeds but the geared 29s were only usable in high. As a far more casual unicyclist, the idea of having a 29 sized wheel for hills, travel, and easier mounting that could go into a higher gear for long flats is tempting... and maybe someday it will happen.
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Old 2017-04-11, 08:57 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Engineer on a Unicycle View Post
I'll admit a certain desire to have gotten a geared 29 instead of the 36er, but one could probably buy 3 if not 4 basic 36ers for the price of a geared anything. And riding the big wheel was something I wanted to do, especially after getting on one last weekend proved it within my capability.

My recollection of the threads about the ride the lobster event was that for the serious distance folks a geared 36 had two useful speeds but the geared 29s were only usable in high. As a far more casual unicyclist, the idea of having a 29 sized wheel for hills, travel, and easier mounting that could go into a higher gear for long flats is tempting... and maybe someday it will happen.
you may be reassured to know that eventually I preferred my non-geared 36x150 over my G29+ x 137.
Even if I could go faster with the G29 in high gear, my average speeds were the same, but after few rides on the 36er when I tried back the G29 it didn't bring me any pleasure, any feeling, it was like riding a toy.
In comparison to the 36er, The 29 in 1:1 seems too slow, only good for steep uphills, and the lack of inertia (compared to the big wheel) is weird.
in high gear it's faster, but it doesn't feel so much faster than the 36er, while it's less stable.

A 29er in high gear is about one 36er + 1/4 of a 36er
So you are just 1/4 faster but you have to concentrate more because it doesn't behave exactly as if it was a 45er, and since the wheel has less inertia and its geometry is different, it doesn't roll over floor irregularities as well as a 36" wheel, and it doesn't bring the same "rolls royce" feeling that the 36er does.


I like both my 36x145 and my G36x150.

-The first is lighter, simpler, it doesn't have the "slope" of a geared hub, it can't accidentally shift up after a bump or a misplaced foot, has zero chance to freewheel, and you can still keep up with random bikes or do muni.

-The second has a second gear that turns it into a 55" uni (which nearly behaves as if it was a real 55" uni) which gives it a second dimension.
You can go way faster if you want, or just cruise in high gear with a bike-like pedaling cadence
It simply has two effectives gears, and it's nearly as easy to freemount and to handle as a 29er because of the long cranks, and you can also do some muni (but I won't do some downhill muni with it).
I'd say the second gear is the ice on the cake.
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Old 2017-04-11, 09:13 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Engineer on a Unicycle View Post
I bought a lightly used one from a friend locally, who is a bit shorter.
That's great!
Now doing Brooklyn bridge to Coney Island is going to be like a walk in the park!
Well done.

Pascal (UniDr) is a big fan of 150mm cranks, and it makes total sense from his point of view. But I wouldn't rule out the 125mm totally. The riding conditions are very different. UniDr is often in the forest (woods), on light trail. Also, the roads here are narrower with more unpredictable traffic, and there's often lights at most crossroads. And I'm not even mentioning the side walks which are narrow, with camber, and are very busy in some areas, or dented and full of holes in others. Meanwhile, NYC is a relatively flat city, has wide roads, wide side walks, and when you have a cycle lane, it looks like a highway here. And the traffic flows way faster.

I'm still happy I was on 150mm on the 36" I rode when we last met - it made getting on easier, and riding onto and off of the sidewalk was a breeze. But if I was riding NYC more often, I'd probably end up with 125 on a 36" and make it a distance machine. I'd keep a 29"/125mm (or 110) on the side for city riding, as this one has the huge advantage of being easy to freemount in any circonstances.
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Old 2017-04-11, 11:26 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by UniDreamerFR View Post
I like both for different reasons.
-Q-handle : since I filed the T part so that my thighs don't rub against it anymore I really appreciate it on my ungeared 36er.
Its loop shape, the foam and its stiffness are very comfortable.

-Kh Tbar : I have the Kh fixation kit, but for my G36 I had to buy a nimbus bar cause my kh bars have been cut for former unicycles and are too short for this project now, the nimbus bar is very similar to the kh bar, but the T part is a bit larger (15cm).
This handlebar is more customizable, you can put all sorts of bar-ends and you can put the brake lever far away if you want, which is a bit more complicated to do with a Q-handle.
The only down side is the fixing system that is not very stiff.
Since I use a long set up on my G36, the bolts often get loose enough to let the bar lift more than how I set it up, so I'm trying to find a DIY system to fix it to the seatpost/frame neck as well.




Yes 125, 117s, 110 are not unusual, I still try to figure out the reason.
I personally ride the loops I used to ride with my smaller wheels, which are often complicated and varied, I couldn't do it on my 36er with 125's or even with 137s, so I put some 150's and discovered how agile and reactive was the 36er with those cranks.
More than that I also discovered that with 150/145s I was able to reach speeds I never managed to go with shorter cranks (my max speed with 125 was around 13.75mph , with 145's it's around 27km/h=17 mph) , but I admit I will burn more energy if I try to keep my speed above 13/14 mph for a very long time, at least in theory, lets say my legs are doing larger movements than if I was using short cranks.

So I guess most people are riding their 36er on clear and rather flat roads for very long rides or at higher speeds.
If not, I just don't really understand.
I know the comparison is biased because bikes have speeds, but you'll never see bikes with 100mm cranks, right?
150's are still way shorter than bikes cranks, and on a 36er (which is a BIG wheel! ) at around 13mph the pedaling cadence is not so high.
Though, the real advantage of having 150s is for all the situations in which you are in the 0-13 mph range, which in my case are very numerous.




Maybe I have been hard with 4th and 5th gear, but my feeling is a good 3th gear for 125.
The fact is I wasn't going faster than 21/22 km/h with 125's although I can reach 127km/h with 145's (for a sprint).

Anyway, I am the lucky owner of a geared 36er which has the best of the two worlds : long cranks to have tones of control for the 0-13 mph range, but the potential to keep up with bikes (15-20mph) without pedaling like a clown. (but the adrenaline shot is guaranteed ! )
Thanks unidreamer what is the main Uni shop in Paris I will be there in September and would like to get a handle bar .
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Old 2017-04-12, 10:20 AM   #27
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Thanks unidreamer what is the main Uni shop in Paris I will be there in September and would like to get a handle bar .
I don't think that there is any "main" Uni shop in Paris.
The only shop I know is PassePasse but it's more a juggling shop and on their web site
they don't have any handlebar.

You'd better order it through internet.
If you want the Q-handle, it's better to directly contact Qu-ax on their fb to order the very last version (2017) of it, but maybe udc uk or usa already have it?
if you go with the kh handlebar, you'll have no issue to order it through the web I guess.
Maybe you can have it second hand here as well.

Edit: By the way, every thuesday there is a nocturnal ride, 20h30 fontaine des innocents, Chatelet. (I used to go there but can't anymore).
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- Qu-ax 36" + nightrider +Q-handle+ cable rim brake
- kh 29" + knard 29x3+ kh Tbar + HS33
- Qu-ax trial 19"
-24"&26" wheels and forks and spare stuffs.

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Old 2017-04-12, 12:10 PM   #28
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Yes unfortunately there is no uni shop in Paris.
The closest is http://www.monocycle.fr/ run by freestyle champion Pierre-Yves Billette but it's not exactly a shop, it's more a one-man operation, though you can visit if you warn him ahead.
The uni-mecca is http://www.CDK.fr but the shop is based in Lyon. If you happen to visit that town, totally worth visiting. Romain runs the uni shop and you can be like a kid in a toy shop there!

Last edited by pierrox; 2017-04-12 at 12:11 PM. Reason: typos
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Old 2017-04-12, 06:31 PM   #29
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100-125s for >10km road with no huge climbs

Quote:
Originally Posted by UniDreamerFR View Post
The other lesson could be : there is no reason to put anything shorter than 150s on a 36er unless you have an experience of hundreds if not thousands of miles on a 36er AND you are 80% of the time above 14-15 mph.
If in the contrary you are 80% of the time in the 0-13mph range everything will be easier, and more efficient with 145s-150s cranks.
You'll have stronger accelerations, higher torque, better control, less chances of developing knee pains, easier mounts, easier slow down, and you'll have the possibility to ride off road.
Each rider has his own preferences, but after commuting for 3 years around 3 days/week for 15kmx2, I tried lots of cranks lengths (started with 150s, tried 125s, then 114s, then 100s). I eventually settled on the 114s as the best compromise between speed/comfort and slow-speed maneuverablity.

As to the heuristc above, I'd pretty much agree but modify it a bit: if you're mostly riding above 12mph (19km/h) with not so much slow-speed manuervering, then 100-125s are faster and more comfortable. Yes, you sit higher and mounting is harder and slow-speed is much harder, but it's a function of rider ability as well as the type of route.

I recently switched jobs and have about a 1.5km commute so I ride mostly the 29+ with 150s and play a little with some jumps and idiling (shorter cranks would save me like maybe 30 seconds as really the only time-limiting factor is the traffic lights as I don't have any cruising section).

I still have the 114s on the 36 but am considering changing to the 125/150 duals as I don't do long road rides so often (more 36er muni for which the 150s or 137s are preferably).

The bike analogy is irrelevant as bikes don't need to consider short cranks as they have gears. I can also say after riding shorter cranks for a while both cruising and climbing grades up to maybe 10% are actually easier with 125s then with 150s. Only when it's steeper and/or technical so you have to switch to "crank-and-pause" and "funky chicken" are the longer cranks better. I was really surprized when I put the 150s on and was both slower AND less relaxed and less ease for climbing compared to the 114s or 125s. But I was also really used to riding shorter cranks as I was doing >100km/week.

For me if you're riding over 10km on mostly road with no huge climbs, then 100-125s is the way to go if you have the skill and strength (but you have to work up to it). For shorter rides the longer cranks are just way more fun for slow-speed and playing around (I can almost idle on the 36 with 150s but I can hardly imagine it with 100s -- probably someone can do it though -- but it's **WAY** harder). Also hopping at a light is way harder. On the 36er with 150s I can hop for 30 seconds waiting for a light and then start up and go. With the 114s I could usually manage to hop, but fell probably half the time transitioning to riding when starting up (again, more practice and it is certainly doable).
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Last edited by MUCFreerider; 2017-04-12 at 06:34 PM.
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Old 2017-04-12, 07:13 PM   #30
Engineer on a Unicycle
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I was pretty comfortable riding the 125's even on my first serious outing with my 36er, and I really liked how I came back in after 23 miles, which is just a few short of the furthest I ever took the 26er, feeling both less dead overall and far less saddle sore.

But yes, getting on is a challenge. Last night I was able to free mount it several times on level ground and with only a half liter of water in my pack, guessing maybe one success per six tries. I remember when the 26er was like that... and also how much harder it gets on a hill or when tired, so that is a concern.

Around here the river paths are flat (except way up under the George Washington Bridge) and have lots of fences, light posts, and 3 inch boost curbs to resort to. But central park has hills, no aids that are reachable from where they'd like cycles to be, and precious few even disregarding that.

Kind of hoping that maybe the coker with 150's that I tried first will be at the club meeting again this weekend, if so I'll get a chance to compare what those cranks do to mounting.

Are people who prefer shorter cranks relying on a rolling mount technique? Or just better at consistently jumping up there? Or just better at balancing, and able to save the many times I'd get up, but not manage to get moving.
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