Unicyclist Community

Go Back   Unicyclist Community > Unicycling Discussion > General Unicycling Discussions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 2014-10-15, 03:29 AM   #1
sacherjj
Unicyclist
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Central and Southern Indiana, USA
Posts: 55
Learning Unicycle for Big Guy

I'm 6'5" guy that is pretty fat. I'm 320 and slowly decreasing. We recently bought a cheap Sun unicycle for testing some pedal to electrical power measurement. I couldn't help but try it out.

What I learned is that Sun makes a nice firm freewheel hub. Which isn't helpful on a unicycle as you commit forward and pedal without moving the wheel. Landed on my feet, but barely. This was after an hour of so of messing around. I just almost started to get it.

It is weird that working on non-solar power generation for rain forest folks would turn into a desire to learn how to ride a unicycle.

I took a job at a non-profit to work on projects that can help people, but it has made money very tight. So I don't want to spend tons of money without knowing that I'll enjoy it. But I don't want to by something that I'll break. So I've been reading a bunch of Uni stuff over a week.

Here is where I need advice. The problem I had with the Sun is just a completely cheap, poorly built hub that seems to be pressed in, not the cotterless cranks. While I know that non-ISIS cranks might not last as long with my weight, I don't know how long.

I've been debating the 20" vs 24". From what I've been reading, 20" is easier to learn on. And I would think that I would eventually want 26" for road and trail riding, so a 24" seems like a waste. Also, we have some warehouse space where I could ride inside in winter at lunch. It seems like a 20" would be more maneuverable inside.

So I'm browsing all around UDC and narrowed down to a few.

Club 20" Freestyle (will I break this?) $135
Torker LX 20" (seems like it isn't worth it to go CX, but out of stock) $156
Nimbus II 20" (most expensive, but ISIS) $250
Nimbus II 24" (only $20 more) $270

I'd love to have the Club work for me for a few months. If so, I could see getting a 26" Nimbus Mountain and slick tire for both grass and dirt trail and road. However, if I go with Nimbus II now, I probably need to go 24", because I'm not going to be able to free up enough for another expensive wheel.

Any advice?
sacherjj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2014-10-15, 07:16 AM   #2
joshpit2003
Unicyclist
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 26
a lot of us learned on junk unicycles.
... and a lot of us moved on to something better once it broke.

If a 26" MUni is what you are working towards,
then my advice would be:

Ride your junk Uni till it breaks.
Then buy a 26" (bomb-proof) MUni when it does.

Your weight isn't likely to make 'em any less bomb-proof... as your skills progress (and you start doing crazier stuff with your MUni) your weight is sure to go down.

(also: depending on your location: you can find a plethora of junk Unis on craigslist, so maybe go through 2 junkers before forking out the $ for a decent one, your call)

Last edited by joshpit2003; 2014-10-15 at 07:17 AM.
joshpit2003 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2014-10-15, 12:09 PM   #3
jcdoherty
Unicyclist
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 70
I agree with Joshpit2003, as long as your only riding on the road, no hopping or jumping, a cheap one off craigslist is the way to go even at your size it should do fine as a learner.

Has the Sun uni been repurposed into the power project yet? if not just ride it until you get the hang of it and then move up, probably only take a couple/few weeks.

Welcome to the forum.

Jim
jcdoherty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2014-10-15, 12:25 PM   #4
sacherjj
Unicyclist
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Central and Southern Indiana, USA
Posts: 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcdoherty View Post
I agree with Joshpit2003, as long as your only riding on the road, no hopping or jumping, a cheap one off craigslist is the way to go even at your size it should do fine as a learner.

Has the Sun uni been repurposed into the power project yet? if not just ride it until you get the hang of it and then move up, probably only take a couple/few weeks.

Welcome to the forum.

Jim
The Sun is broken. The pedals freewheel with a little bit of force around the wheel. So when I try to ride it, I either get motion of the wheel with pedal movement or not. It chooses when. From reading about the Suns, this is a common problem due to cheap pressed fit manufacturing of the hubs.
sacherjj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2014-10-15, 12:34 PM   #5
Vertigo
Unicyclist
 
Vertigo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Seattle
Posts: 702
I learned on a 24" Sun Classic five months ago. It wasn't expensive but it's held up fine. Lately I've been riding between 4 - 8 miles daily. Soon I'll be moving up to a 29" wheel not because there is anything wrong with the Sun, I just want to go a bit faster.

I think with your height a 24" or even a 26" would be fine for learning. I'm only 5'5".

Good luck.

PS, I did buy a KH seat for the Sun once I could stay on and ride around.
Vertigo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2014-10-15, 01:11 PM   #6
Vertigo
Unicyclist
 
Vertigo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Seattle
Posts: 702
Quote:
Originally Posted by sacherjj View Post
The Sun is broken. The pedals freewheel with a little bit of force around the wheel. So when I try to ride it, I either get motion of the wheel with pedal movement or not. It chooses when. From reading about the Suns, this is a common problem due to cheap pressed fit manufacturing of the hubs.
Wow was it an older model? I bought a new one and it's fine. I've ridden a Club and also have an old 20" Torker LX. The Club didn't seem much different than the Sun (just the seat and flat crown). I don't ride the Torker much because I like to ride for distance.

Sounds like you need a uni with an ISIS hub. The Sun probably wasn't made to accommodate people in your weight range.
Vertigo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2014-10-15, 01:43 PM   #7
sacherjj
Unicyclist
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Central and Southern Indiana, USA
Posts: 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vertigo View Post
Wow was it an older model? I bought a new one and it's fine. I've ridden a Club and also have an old 20" Torker LX. The Club didn't seem much different than the Sun (just the seat and flat crown). I don't ride the Torker much because I like to ride for distance.

Sounds like you need a uni with an ISIS hub. The Sun probably wasn't made to accommodate people in your weight range.
Brand new Sun Classic 20".

I'm thinking that I might just bite the bullet and go 26" ISIS and deal with the extra learning curve. I've always been annoyed by cheap tools that make you spend more money in the end when you buy the good tool anyway.
sacherjj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2014-10-15, 01:44 PM   #8
jtrops
Unicyclist
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Longmont, Colorado
Age: 49
Posts: 2,239
I don't think anyone needs a splined hub on a learner regardless of weight. This sounds like poor quality control on the part of whoever made the hub. I built a wheel on a Sun hub for a student who is about the same weight as the OP, and he destroyed the rim, but the hub was fine. That was a 20", but I'm pretty sure they don't have different hubs unless you get one of the top end Suns with ISIS.

All things being equal having had suns, and a club in my hands and riding both I would say they are both decent learners, but that the UDC Club is a better built uni. The hub is better, and the saddle is much more comfortable. Those two things are worth the price bump.

As for size, unless you want to learn tricks I would say a 24 would be a good learner. In the beginning any unicycle will seem next to impossible to ride, and so 20 or 24 won't make a difference. You're tall so the 24 may be a little less squirly for you. 20 is good for inside mostly because it won't go as fast, or as far in a limited space. If your indoor space is decently big you might do as well with a 24.
__________________
"A properly ridden unicycle is like an object in orbit: constantly falling but never landing." -Diogenes
jtrops is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2014-10-15, 02:37 PM   #9
pierrox
Unicyclist
 
pierrox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Between Paris, Grenoble, NY and NC
Age: 46
Posts: 951
Quote:
Originally Posted by sacherjj View Post
I've always been annoyed by cheap tools that make you spend more money in the end when you buy the good tool anyway.
As my grand mother used to say: "I can't afford to buy cheap stuff".
pierrox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2014-10-15, 08:23 PM   #10
LargeEddie
Measure once, trim to fit
 
LargeEddie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Greensboro, NC
Age: 56
Posts: 1,385
"That's easy. Take it back and get a more expensive one. The expensive ones always fit better, honey." --Julie's dad in Valley Girl.

I've ridden around a lot on a 24" Sun Classic, although not as far as Vertigo has on hers I'm sure! Mine was used and broken when I got it but I fixed it and have had no trouble since. Pierrox rode it for a couple of hours back in August and I'll bet he put more strain on it than the OP did on his as we raced up hills, me on a home-built wheel with an even cheaper eBay hub.

Look around this site and you'll find lots of reports of Schlumpf and Kris Holm products breaking. It's easy to grab the "cheap crap broke" narrative and not look any further when you didn't pay a huge amount. Usually that's not it.

Get something you'll like and want to ride and take care of, pay what you can afford and feel like you want to invest. Manufacturing defects, assembly mistakes, etc, can happen at any price point, and a Sun ought to be up to the task notwithstanding failures that can happen with any brand, but it's your money.

Last edited by LargeEddie; 2014-10-15 at 08:24 PM.
LargeEddie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2014-10-15, 10:21 PM   #11
sacherjj
Unicyclist
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Central and Southern Indiana, USA
Posts: 55
I looked closer at the Sun to see if the hub is fixable. The flanges are both sheared off at the welds that attach to the middle of the hub. Looks like the welds were laid 80-90% on the center portion of the hub and barely captured the flanges.

I understand that cost doesn't always equate to value, but it usually does to a certain extent. While it is possible to find defects at every level of manufacturing (unless they take 100% testing seriously), there are generally fewer with a brand that takes pride in their reputation for a solid product. So you pay partially for a name and partially for their extra effort to not tarnish that name.
sacherjj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2014-10-15, 11:16 PM   #12
LargeEddie
Measure once, trim to fit
 
LargeEddie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Greensboro, NC
Age: 56
Posts: 1,385
Just as often the premium brands use exotic materials and novel construction methods. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't. Generic products are conservative and tend to have fewer problems in that area. Anyone can get hit with bad welds, defective materials, user negligence, etc. Problems with parts from high-end unicycle brands are far from uncommon.

But like I said it's your money. Spend it how you want to.

Last edited by LargeEddie; 2014-10-15 at 11:17 PM.
LargeEddie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2014-10-15, 11:53 PM   #13
Vertigo
Unicyclist
 
Vertigo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Seattle
Posts: 702
Sorry you got a bad one. Seems like you haven't had it long. Can you take it back? I got mine at my LBS and would certainly take it back if I had the same problems you did. He use to carry Torkers but said they're harder to get in stock.

Hopefully you'll have a better experience with your next one. If you plan on continuing to learn and ride then go ahead and buy a Nimbus II. I think UDC will stand behind their products. I hope so because my next one is a Nimbus.
Vertigo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2014-10-16, 12:08 AM   #14
LargeEddie
Measure once, trim to fit
 
LargeEddie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Greensboro, NC
Age: 56
Posts: 1,385
Vertigo is a nicer person than I am. But +1 for what she said, and just as nicely too.
LargeEddie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2014-10-16, 12:46 AM   #15
song
Unicyclist
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: New York City
Posts: 822
Quote:
Originally Posted by sacherjj View Post
I looked closer at the Sun to see if the hub is fixable. The flanges are both sheared off at the welds that attach to the middle of the hub. Looks like the welds were laid 80-90% on the center portion of the hub and barely captured the flanges.
Sounds like you might be able to fix it if you know how to weld.

A new Nimbus (or used, but they're hard to find) would be better, though. That's Unicycle.com's brand. I don't work for UDC, and in fact have posted at length about a defective component they sold me, but it was a different brand (Kris Holm). I did meet a girl once who said her trials Nimbus had a creaky hub, but only after two years of hopping, and I know a big guy who has a new Nimbus Oracle 36 that makes noise, but in general my experience has been that Nimbus unicycles are extremely strong, comfortable and high-quality. Apparently they are not the choice of world champions, but for anyone else, including advanced riders, they are more than adequate.
song is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
big, guy, learning, unicycle


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
[Wanted North America] 12" uni for a little guy mboulanger Trading Post 3 2013-08-28 08:03 PM
36er for a short guy, possible? gorgescrambler General Unicycling Discussions 17 2013-02-08 01:10 PM
Which unicycle for a tall/big rider chaugsby General Unicycling Discussions 15 2012-06-09 09:28 PM
French guy is looking for an hosting in NYC before NAUCC Una Just Conversation & Introduce Yourself 5 2011-05-03 08:15 PM


All times are GMT. The time now is 12:22 AM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright © 2001-2016 Gilby
You Rated this Thread:
Page generated in 0.07552 seconds with 10 queries