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View Poll Results: Do you use a touring handle on one of your unicycles?
I do. 16 80.00%
Nope! 4 20.00%
Voters: 20. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 2015-07-29, 06:32 PM   #16
elpuebloUNIdo
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Aliso Viejo, California
Age: 50
Posts: 1,068
Quote:
Originally Posted by FoxxyD View Post
My questions:
  • What's the main intended purpose of the handle? Something to rest your hands on? Something to give more upward leverage in a forward lean? Something to impale bad drivers on?
  • How does one measure the ideal placement of the handle (inches away from saddle, etc)?
Purpose: Whatever push/pull/force you put on the handle translates into an immediate change in the unicycle. Conversely, using your upper body, no hands on the bars, causes there to be a delay in the response of the unicycle. That's a possible reason to use the handle. The amount of upper-body movement necessary to keep the unicycle riding straight, with the bar, is much less than without the bar. So, you are conserving energy.

Placement: If you search the forum, you'll find some literally "way out" or "out there" bar setups (by that I mean setups which protrude waaay out in front). You'd better be confident about rear-dismounting to use a setup such as this. I like the Shadow handle (I have it on my 29"), because it comes with a straight and curved bar. I cut the straight bar short so I could mimic the t-bar setup on my mUni. That leaves the curved bar, more suitable for longer distances. Experimentation with placement seems necessary; it's probably better to start practicing with a shorter setup (better clearance for front-dismounting UPDs), then later on trying the setup longer.

If you're riding 17 mph with the handle, that's a little bit scary. Stay safe!

I use the t-bar setup on my 26" mUni. I have it setup in the short position (no extension forward), with two sets of bar ends, the outer set pointing back towards and under the seat, and the front, inner set pointing outward and slightly upward. I removed the grab handle to allow better access to the outer/rear-facing set of bars. Two sets of bar-ends may seem like over-kill, but I appreciate all the combinations of holding them. My hand-hold on both sets of bars seems pretty ergonomic; my wrists are straight and not bending or twisting significantly. In my neighborhood, mUni is all about hill climbing, and the t-bar has changed my life in this regard.

Here's a forum thread entitled "Post your homemade handlebars here!" You might get some inspiration from looking at it.

http://www.unicyclist.com/forums/showthread.php?t=74685
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Old 2015-07-29, 08:52 PM   #17
aracer
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Worcester, UK
Age: 48
Posts: 1,804
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnfoss View Post
[*]Damping of fore-aft motion when riding in high gear. Applies to riding a Schlumpf on a 36", not necessarily smaller wheel sizes. When I ride a Schlumpf 36" with no handles, I find it very unstable.
Also applies to a Schlumpf 29er for me - seems to help with the narrowing of the balance envelope you get with the Schlumpf. Makes sense that some sort of direct torque control on the frame is useful when the Schlumpf is putting it's torque into the frame.
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Old 2015-07-29, 09:45 PM   #18
lightbulbjim
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Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: NSW, Australia
Age: 33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FoxxyD View Post
  • What's the main intended purpose of the handle? Something to rest your hands on? Something to give more upward leverage in a forward lean? Something to impale bad drivers on?
The handlebar on my 36er is relatively long and pretty much level with the seat, so there's plenty of leverage. As well as spreading load between my seat and hands, I find it acts as something of a control column, like flying a glider.

I'm still working on the banking/turning part of it, but I find that all else remaining equal, pushing forward on it makes me speed up as some clever part of my brain tells my legs "pedal faster or we'll splat!" Similarly, gently reducing the forward/down pressure on the bar has the opposite effect and slows me down in a somewhat-controlled manner.

On my first couple of days using the bar I would out of the blue sometimes find my legs kicking into reverse overdrive while I struggled not to fall off the back of the uni. I figured out I had unweighted the bars too quickly without thinking (repositioning for comfort etc).

Quote:
Originally Posted by FoxxyD View Post
  • How does one measure the ideal placement of the handle (inches away from saddle, etc)?
I think it's the old "keep cutting it shorter until it feels too short then go buy another one" trick
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