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Old 2017-09-25, 08:17 PM   #16
Mikefule
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I worked for 35 years and for the last few months I commuted a short distance from where I parked my car. It was mainly cycle path with some short sections of road. I tried 20, 24, 24 muni, 26, 28, 29 and 36, and found the KH29 with 125s was the most versatile. Much smaller than 29 and you get sweaty and you get too many clown comments and jeers, but on the 36, you are vulnerable to every idiot on the path who isn't looking where he's going.
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Old 2017-09-26, 09:32 AM   #17
aracer
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Originally Posted by finnspin View Post
To me, unicycling is a fun sport in all of it's disciplines, but it's a hobby, not a kind of transportation for me.
Clearly it's not the most efficient way to cover ground, but then for most of my journeys a car is also faster than a bike! It depends if that's all you want to do -I quite often use a unicycle for transportation, but then I'm often not all that bothered about being a bit slower. Some advantages over a bike which makes it a better choice for some things - for example if I'm going for a night out in town I tend to put a unicycle in the boot of my car as I can just throw it in rather than having to take wheels off a bike, I ride the uni home when I can't drive. Also if going to the shops a uni is easier as I can carry it around the shops.

I'm also surprised about your comments about texting - I don't very often text when riding a uni, but I can - wouldn't want to try on a bike.
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Old 2017-09-28, 08:18 PM   #18
MUCFreerider
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Quote:
Originally Posted by finnspin View Post
Unicycles suck at commuting. They attract unwanted attention, they require way more concentration to ride than bikes, you can't have a bike rack to put your groceries, they are slow. I can hang with bikes speedwise on a 36", but: I can ride my bike onehanded, drunk and text on my phone in the dark if I want to, (on empty bike paths, not the city of course). That I wouldn't be able to do on a uni.
No argument that bikes are faster and generally more efficient, but I disagree that unicycles are not good (and fun) for commuting. For about 20 years I've commuted primarily by human-powered wheeled transport (bikes and unicycles) for distances of 2km, 4km, 5km, 6km, 9km, 10km, 11km, 14km, 15km, and 19km and in heavy urban settings as well as nice cycle paths in 5 different cities in 2 different continents, and depending on the setting, the unicycle can be a great choice. For close to 3 years I commuted 16kmx2 on a 36 unicycle and that was great!

I agree with aracer that (even though I don't do it frequently), texting on a unicycle is both easier and safer than on a bike, as are other things that require 2 hands. On the other hand, something as simple a tucking in a loose shoelace is relatively easy on a bike (coast, balance and lean over) and almost impossible on a uni.

While for many typical situations a bike is faster and more versatile, especially for transporting lots of stuff, there are some distinct situations in which a uni can be better: going into/through a mixed-pedestrian area is generally less problematic on a unicycle (in Germany you will eventually get a ticket for cycling through pedestrian zones), combining with public transit or parking somewhere with little space (a uni can be leaned against a wall inside a college classroom or in your office).

With the advances in electric bikes, pretty soon you could reasonably argue that it would be inefficient and slow to ride a non-powered bike, but I and I think many others will still frequently prefer a human-powered bike as it's more fun (and simpler with less to break) and the same logic applies to unicycles. For my current 2km commute the time I would save bicycling is so negligible (actually only in that I could sprint to 40km/h to make the traffic light) but the unicycle is way more fun :-)
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Old 2017-09-28, 08:24 PM   #19
MUCFreerider
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Oh, as to the original question: like so many things, it totally depends (on the rider, the distance, etc.)
As someone else already said, for me anything smaller than a 29 is too small for commuting, and even with a larger wheel size, any crank longer than 127 too long for commuting (I used 100s, 114s and 127s on my 36 and 125s on my 29). That being said, 125/127s are generally decent for commuting, but on a 24 I would ideally want 110 or even shorter. But again, are you looking for the optimum (in which case I'd say get a 29") or something that works, in which case 125 is probably workable although 110s would be better.
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Old 2017-09-28, 08:58 PM   #20
UniDreamerFR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MUCFreerider View Post
Oh, as to the original question: like so many things, it totally depends (on the rider, the distance, etc.)
As someone else already said, for me anything smaller than a 29 is too small for commuting, and even with a larger wheel size, any crank longer than 127 too long for commuting (I used 100s, 114s and 127s on my 36 and 125s on my 29). That being said, 125/127s are generally decent for commuting, but on a 24 I would ideally want 110 or even shorter. But again, are you looking for the optimum (in which case I'd say get a 29") or something that works, in which case 125 is probably workable although 110s would be better.
On a 36", I think even 150's are ok for commuting, it's only a matter of taste and technique.
As long as you use the gravity in a certain way to make the pedal stroke super easy, cruising a 12-13mph is ok, and in case you have to do a lot of dismounts/freemount/uphills/slalom between walkers/quick accelerations or decelerations, it's a lot easier with 150's (unless you want to go at 14-15 or faster).
The only downside I can see is at the crotch area, long cranks are said to be more problematic for long rides than short ones.
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Old 2017-10-02, 03:18 AM   #21
johnfoss
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Originally Posted by sketchass arachnofondler View Post
well these aren't really reasons they're not popular, these are BECAUSE they're popular...
Of course my comments were in answer to the question of "Why are bicycles more popular than unicycles". To reinforce the why, I'll add that by far the main reason is that people can ride them. If you've watched peoples' reactions to unicycling, a very large percentage of them instantly remark that they could never do it. Only after that come the questions of speed and practicality...
Quote:
Originally Posted by finnspin View Post
I'd never use anything longer than 125mm for commuting on any wheel I think, but I don't commute.
I concur, with the exception of Schlumpf hub (or other gearing). 150mm seems to be the sweet spot for me with my 36" Schlumpf. But on an ungeared 36, I would consider 125s a little long for any ride that doesn't have a lot of climbing.
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Originally Posted by Mikefule View Post
I tried 20, 24, 24 muni, 26, 28, 29 and 36, and found the KH29 with 125s was the most versatile. Much smaller than 29 and you get sweaty and you get too many clown comments and jeers, but on the 36, you are vulnerable to every idiot on the path who isn't looking where he's going.
All of that makes a lot of sense! I still ride a 36" for my "fitness" rides, but we have a good bike path. Having a common, normal bike bell works great for riders in front of you; the sensible ones just move over without having to look.

But for a more everyday commute, that isn't really long (I used to do an 16-mile round trip commute by uni), 29" sounds like an optimum size if you have to ride near people and/or in an urban environment. I used to race my 29" with 102mm cranks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MUCFreerider View Post
...On the other hand, something as simple a tucking in a loose shoelace is relatively easy on a bike (coast, balance and lean over) and almost impossible on a uni.
If you have a loose shoelace on a uni, you've already made a mistake. Stop and fix it so it can't come loose, and then remember to do this before every ride! Your collarbones will thank you.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MUCFreerider View Post
While for many typical situations a bike is faster and more versatile, especially for transporting lots of stuff, there are some distinct situations in which a uni can be better...
Of course to all of that. But really for most of us, if we commute by unicycle, it's because we really want to commute by unicycle! When I originally started cycle-commuting to my old job with the 16-mile (25.75 km) round trip, I used by bike (yes, I have one, but it hasn't been fully assembled in years). But this was mostly to prepare me for making the trip on my relatively new Coker, to make sure I was up to it. It became an easy ride pretty quickly, and I even did it on some very hot days; I think my record was riding home in a temperature of 108 degrees F (42.2 C)! Sweatty.
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Old 2017-10-02, 10:03 AM   #22
aracer
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Originally Posted by MUCFreerider View Post
That being said, 125/127s are generally decent for commuting, but on a 24 I would ideally want 110 or even shorter. But again, are you looking for the optimum (in which case I'd say get a 29") or something that works, in which case 125 is probably workable although 110s would be better.
Actually, given the discussion on why people use a unicycle for commuting (just because), a different answer occurred to me. Depending on what you want to do and your skills levels, you can do trialsy stuff on a 24, for which you'd want at least 125, though 140 is probably more optimum. Not a huge amount slower than shorter cranks, not even much slower than a 29er, but the potential to have lots more fun. The main reason I sometimes think I need to fill the hole in my fleet - a 20er really does feel a bit slow if I want to get anywhere, but even the 26 is a bit too big and unweildy for hopping around stuff, so a 24 might be nice for short distance transport combined with messing around.
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Old 2017-10-02, 10:09 AM   #23
Mikefule
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Originally Posted by aracer View Post
Actually, given the discussion on why people use a unicycle for commuting (just because), a different answer occurred to me. Depending on what you want to do and your skills levels, you can do trialsy stuff on a 24, for which you'd want at least 125, though 140 is probably more optimum. Not a huge amount slower than shorter cranks, not even much slower than a 29er, but the potential to have lots more fun. The main reason I sometimes think I need to fill the hole in my fleet - a 20er really does feel a bit slow if I want to get anywhere, but even the 26 is a bit too big and unweildy for hopping around stuff, so a 24 might be nice for short distance transport combined with messing around.

Years ago, I went through a phase of riding my early model Nimbus 24 on 102mm cranks. I was younger then, but it felt at the time like it was going like poo off a spade. Great fun.
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Old 2017-10-04, 12:19 AM   #24
johnfoss
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Originally Posted by Mikefule View Post
I was younger then, but it felt at the time like it was going like poo off a spade.
I don't know precisely what is meant by that, but I think it's siggable.
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Old 2017-10-04, 12:33 AM   #25
lightbulbjim
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Originally Posted by johnfoss View Post
I don't know precisely what is meant by that
It felt fast
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Old 2017-10-04, 04:56 AM   #26
Mikefule
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Originally Posted by johnfoss View Post
I don't know precisely what is meant by that, but I think it's siggable.
The conventional expression is "Like Sh** off a shovel." That is a well known expression in the UK.

The poo off a spade version is my own, as is, "like a turd off a trowel."

They mean "very quickly."
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