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Old 2018-08-02, 09:55 PM   #16
Chiliagon
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Setonix, don’t you have 165mm cranks on the Hatchet? I remember reading that you found the Hatchet to “eats energy”, the 165mm might be better and you could try them on the 36er.
I just did a search about the Hatchet and came across some posts you made, I’m thinking about getting one for winter snow.
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Old 2018-08-03, 10:16 AM   #17
Setonix
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Originally Posted by Chiliagon View Post
Setonix, don’t you have 165mm cranks on the Hatchet? I remember reading that you found the Hatchet to “eats energy”, the 165mm might be better and you could try them on the 36er.
I just did a search about the Hatchet and came across some posts you made, I’m thinking about getting one for winter snow.
Hi Chiliagon, my hatchet has 150mm cranks. It is a 26" uni and I don't see any added value in riding it with 165mm cranks. I've so far only experimented with riding shorter cranks and even though 140mms are comfy on flat, I find them a pain when having to climb. I tried those on the 29" and 32" unis.
I ride the Hatchet not so often, but occasionally just because it looks cool. I'm not sure if it is the seat or the wide wheel, but I end up sitting half on the seat, like when riding with road camber. Haven't tried with another seat yet.
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Old 2018-08-03, 02:06 PM   #18
Mikefule
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Most bikes have cranks around 170 mm. The wheels are around 27 – 28 inches. Bottom gear on a road bike may be something like a 1:1.5 ratio, meaning that in bottom gear you are driving the equivalent of a wheel of around 43 inches. (Much lower on a mountain bike, somewhat higher on a bike designed for time trials.)

Point is that a 26 inch wheel is equivalent to a very low bottom gear on a road bike — in fact, a gear where the rear cog is slightly bigger than the front cog.

Therefore it should not be difficult to get a unicycle up any hill that you could ride a bike up. The uni may be slightly less efficient (more tiring) but in simple terms of power to weight ratio, you should be able to take a 26 inch uni up anything that you can ride a road bike up. (I'm not counting the sort of short steep hill that you can get up on a bike with momentum but would struggle to pedal up.)

For comparison, our biggest and longest 2 local hills are a challenge on either of my bikes (a so-called "gravel bike" and a fixie), but I have ridden up them on my 36 with 150mm cranks.

The answer to riding a unicycle uphill is a lot to do with practice, technique, and stamina, and little to do with longer cranks. Indeed, within certain common sense limits, short cranks can be easier. If you think of being on a stepping machine at the gym, longer cranks mean you are going up taller steps. There's less resistance, but it's a bigger, clumsier movement.

I have always found that the place longer cranks really come into their own is not going up the hill, but coming back down. I don't use a brake, and it is very dangerous to let a big-wheeled uni run away with you on a descent.
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Old 2018-08-04, 03:37 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by finnspin View Post
I don't think stepping one "cranksize" (step smaller than 15mm) down creates an issue that could not be solved by a reasonable amount of practice, unless you are frequently riding hills that are right at the limit of what's possible. Likewise, stepping a cranksize up will not help you much more than a reasonable amount of practice will.

One learns so quick, that I don't put much weight on most peoples stories of succes after changing equipment. No offense intended to anyone, but I've experienced so many occasions where something that is hard the first time becomes easy the second time, without setup changes. One tends to remember the times where the setup was changed more often though.
When you are learning usually the next ride is better then the previous, but a change in setup can still affect your riding. For a learner it can speed up the learning process. For example, after switching from the regular Velo saddle that came with my first uni to a KH Fusion One, my riding suddenly felt a lot more comfortable, which in turn boosted my confidence and my ability to make progress. I've tried the old saddle again out of curiosity and it does hinder my riding.

Another example, the grips on my trials bike. Everybody recommends using grips as thin as possible, but I have long fingers and would get very painful hand flappers if I rode for more than an hour. I used these grips for years and never knew better. After switching to thicker grips, contrary to everyone's advice, the flappers stopped. Now I can ride until I'm exhausted, and my hands don't hurt at all.
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Old 2018-08-04, 11:56 AM   #20
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Today was the 3rd Satuday in a row since I decided to be able to ride my 36" again. During the week I have to spend time with my kid after work and when we then do ride, I ride a 26" as I can go slow enough, when my daughter goes slow, and fast enough, when she decides she has too much energy.
First I went to my newly found old parking lot to see if I can mount the uni easy enough and after 3 mounts, decided to go to the forest where I rode 20.15km. I only had to mount two times, and decided it was better to keep riding than to take a break. Riding the 36" is actually very comfortable and I felt with some training I should be able to get a good speed out of it. I did between 17-18 kph.
It takes about 1-5 tries for me to mount, so I don't see the need to buy longer cranks anymore, also riding uphill was well doable. The only thing I forgot to put on my uni were handle bars, which make riding much more comfy.
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Old 2018-08-05, 09:09 AM   #21
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165s are way to long for 36ers. I agree with the comment that if 150s are too tough for you go for a 29er.

Years riding a 36 I have found 137s to be ideal and most versatile, but it takes some time and practice to get used to riding up steep hills and mounting. In fact lately I've been having some issues mounting when I didn't before. Probably because I am getting old.

But generally I almost never move to my 150 holes on my 36 unless I know I'll be mounting and dismounting a lot or going on some rough off road.
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Old 2018-08-05, 10:49 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kahunacohen View Post
165s are way to long for 36ers. I agree with the comment that if 150s are too tough for you go for a 29er.

Years riding a 36 I have found 137s to be ideal and most versatile, but it takes some time and practice to get used to riding up steep hills and mounting. In fact lately I've been having some issues mounting when I didn't before. Probably because I am getting old.

But generally I almost never move to my 150 holes on my 36 unless I know I'll be mounting and dismounting a lot or going on some rough off road.
Old at 45? Sheesh! Whippersnapper.

If you can spin longer cranks, you retain the leverage when you need it for ascents and descents. If you rely on shorter cranks, yes, you can spin faster, but the leverage simply isn't there.

I rode all 3 of my 36ers on 150s for many years. Recently I've been on 125s. Slightly faster and smoother, but I have to be more careful on descents.

Everyone needs to find their own balance according to experience, needs and taste. Someone like Aspenmike who does (used to do?) 3 mountain passes before breakfast probably needs long cranks. Someone who teararses about on the flat may ride on very short ones. As I tend to mix road and off road on the same ride, I go for medium to medium-long.
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Old 2018-08-05, 06:42 PM   #23
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Actually I think I'm riding 127s on the 36....150/127. But I rarely ride the 150s. On the 27.5 on technical offroad and steep hills I ride the 150s
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