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Old 2012-08-20, 10:57 PM   #31
aracer
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Originally Posted by TopHatPlus View Post
Spirit cranks:
-Q factor. They are contoured to seperate the pedals more to allow a more natural riding position, puting less stress on your hips/knees/ankles and giving you more control and smoother ride.
Now that is baloney. There is nothing more natural and less stressful about having your pedals further apart - at least not in general, it might work better for some people. There's a reason bicyclists tend to consider lower Q factor an advantage - and all unicycles have a higher Q factor than the widest bike. There are advantages for unicyclists to wider Q as it gives you a broader base and better control, but it's not a magical answer with no downsides - many of us prefer lower Q.
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Old 2012-08-24, 05:38 PM   #32
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Well, after speaking with Josh at UDC at length, I think I am going to wait until the Oracle 29 comes out in Nov.

I don't want to have every size uni, and I think the 29 will be a more versatile choice for me. With the Oracle, I can use tires down to 1.95, so it could be a great road uni to keep up with my family on bikes (they are not that fast) and a great muni for most of the stuff I will be doing. The inboard disc brakes and AI frame are real selling points for me. I also like the stock tire, 2.5" as opposed to the 3".
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Old 2012-08-24, 07:50 PM   #33
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Now that is baloney. There is nothing more natural and less stressful about having your pedals further apart - at least not in general, it might work better for some people. There's a reason bicyclists tend to consider lower Q factor an advantage - and all unicycles have a higher Q factor than the widest bike. There are advantages for unicyclists to wider Q as it gives you a broader base and better control, but it's not a magical answer with no downsides - many of us prefer lower Q.
Your right on the fact that bicycles do have a lower Q factor but they are 2 totally different systems. I found the Q factor of the Nimbus Ventures vs the Spirit's to be night and day! I have found far less stress on bother my knees, hips, and ankles. Allowing me to have a much more aggressive approach, with smoother pedal strokes and more control.
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Old 2012-08-28, 01:32 PM   #34
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Your right on the fact that bicycles do have a lower Q factor but they are 2 totally different systems. I found the Q factor of the Nimbus Ventures vs the Spirit's to be night and day! I have found far less stress on bother my knees, hips, and ankles. Allowing me to have a much more aggressive approach, with smoother pedal strokes and more control.
So it's better for you - I acknowledged in my previous post that it might have advantages for some people. However you were trying to claim that because wider Q is better for you it would be better for everybody. A bicycle is not a completely different system to a unicycle - not in terms of how you power it. Both involve the same motion of your legs. A motion not completely dissimilar to other even more natural things such as walking and running, which is what we've evolved to do rather than pedal (the natural selection to be optimum unicyclists is way off yet, though it helps that unicycling is sexy ). Check out the lateral spacing of footstrikes when walking or running and have a think about what sort of pedal spacing ought to be more natural...
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Old 2012-08-28, 04:39 PM   #35
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There is nothing more natural and less stressful about having your pedals further apart - at least not in general, it might work better for some people. There's a reason bicyclists tend to consider lower Q factor an advantage - and all unicycles have a higher Q factor than the widest bike. There are advantages for unicyclists to wider Q as it gives you a broader base and better control, but it's not a magical answer with no downsides - many of us prefer lower Q.
It is personal preference, it really depends on factors such as the rider's body type and they kind of riding they do, so folks with narrower hips and road riders might prefer a narrower pedal spacing. I have wide hips, ride 100% off road, so when I got my first extra wide 125mm spaced hub (Oregon) it felt more comfortable and powerful. I liked it so much that I built my 36er on the extra wide hub

I take the extra wide even further by using Moments, so it super extra wide

You can adjust Q factor through cranks too, so even if you have the 100mm spaced hub, you can get Trial cranks and achieve about the same Q as you'd get with Ventures (no Q) on the extra wide hub.

I think it's an interesting practice, to adjust your stance width and see if there is a more comfortable position. Bikers do this by varying bottom bracket width.
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Old 2012-08-29, 05:20 AM   #36
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1.How long do you expect the sem cycle to last doing this kind of riding?
It's hard to predict how much use/abuse metal parts will endure before they break. It depends on so many variables; the biggest of which is probably your riding technique. If you land softly you'll last way longer than someone who doesn't. That said, it's a square taper axle so it won't hold up forever to that kind of use. The original Semcycles, the Deluxe, had the strongest square taper unicycle axle available at that time. It will hold up well.
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2. What is the main difference I will notice between by Sem and a purpose-built Muni?
The biggest difference will come from the tire volume. Semcycle frames, whether the Deluxe or the XL, were made for 1.75" tires, and just won't fit anything much bigger. You therefore have to run much higher pressure, and the trail gets a lot more challenging. My local trails got an awful lot easier to ride when I got my first wide-tired MUni. All the other stuff, like the flexy frame of the Deluxe, are minor compared to the tire limitation.

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3. Will I notice a big weight difference?
You will have to get used to a heavier wheel. It's worth it. The ride will be very different, and yes the seat will be a big improvement as well.


Which one to get? I think you already decided. I'd get the KH, though the Oracle looks pretty nice with it's inboard disk.



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In time you'll want disc brakes...
If you need brakes, disk is definitely the way to go. The question is whether you need brakes. I've been riding MUni as one of my major forms of unicycling for 16 years now, and I still don't have a MUni with a brake. I'm behind the times, but most of my riding works without one. I reeeely could have used one for the Downhill race at Unicon(!) but that's a very once-in-a-while ride for me, not necessarily something to buy for.

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I am 5'8". You don't think a 29 would be too big for me?
Nope. No problem at all.

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There is nothing more natural and less stressful about having your pedals further apart - at least not in general, it might work better for some people.
Narrow is definitely better for high-cadence riding, like Track racing. Makes a fairly big difference. But at the other end of the spectrum, riding with a geared hub has a built-in factor of wanting to protect yourself from accidental shifting. I wouldn't ride my geared 36" without flared cranks. Otherwise I definitely prefer straight cranks and narrow, if wheel strength isn't a major factor.
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Old 2012-08-29, 06:29 AM   #37
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Can anyone tell me how much wider Q factor I'll get when I'll buy new uni with Moments instead of Ventures? Now I have low Q and my knees hurt, so if there is a real difference (at least a few centimetres) and I should pay an extra money. Thanks
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Old 2012-08-29, 11:37 AM   #38
Nurse Ben
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Can anyone tell me how much wider Q factor I'll get when I'll buy new uni with Moments instead of Ventures? Now I have low Q and my knees hurt, so if there is a real difference (at least a few centimetres) and I should pay an extra money. Thanks
Josh at UDC said 5mm, not sure if that's per side or total.

Why do you assume your knee pain is going to worsen with a wider stance?

My knee pain lessened with a wider stance as did the crotch rubbing

If you run Moments now, then you won't notice the difference with Spirits. If you are riding K1 or Ventures, then you will notice the difference.

If you are curious about whether a wider stance would be "good for you", try watching your foot position on your pedals with the current low Q crank. If you find your feet tend to gravitate outward or you ride on the outside of the pedal, it might be that a wider foot position is for you.

Quote:
Narrow is definitely better for high-cadence riding, like Track racing.
No such thjing as definites in this life, other than death Foot position is really a personal choice, each person depending on their body structure will have a different preference.
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Old 2012-08-29, 11:58 AM   #39
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Only 5mm? That's too little even if it's per side
I don't know where is my pain from. I raised my saddle (it helped a lot) and wider Q could by next step
I'm watching my foot position and the result is left foot is OK (whole pedal is under my shoe) but I can see a half of right pedal
But if it's true about those 5mm, there is no reason to buy Moments...

Last edited by flycross; 2012-08-29 at 11:59 AM.
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Old 2012-08-29, 12:44 PM   #40
Nurse Ben
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@ Flycross:

Do you still ride the QuAx Cross 24 with the silver QuAx cranks (145mm?).

The QuAx aluminum cranks should have about the same offset (Q) as the Moments, but I'm not sure if the 145's are the same as the 170's, though they should be as size runs in the same crank are usually held to the same offset.

To help you:

All standard uni hubs have a 100mm bearing spacing, so KH, QuAx, Nimbus.
The Oregon and Impulse Disc have 125mm bearing spacing.
Moments, Spirits, QuAx Chromoly Street, QuAx Aluminum have similar Q
K1 have very little Q
Ventures have ~ zero Q

I can't remember the exact measurements, but I think it's something like 10-12mm for the group that includes Moments, 5mm for the K1, and 1-2mm for the Ventures.

Also keep in mind that running thinner or thicker spacers will change your width.
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Old 2012-08-29, 01:52 PM   #41
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Thanks for infos. Yes, I still ride this uni with 145mm qu-ax cranks and I wanna buy Nimbus Muni 26" with some 150mm cranks.
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Old 2012-08-29, 03:11 PM   #42
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Thanks for infos. Yes, I still ride this uni with 145mm qu-ax cranks and I wanna buy Nimbus Muni 26" with some 150mm cranks.
So if you like the feel you get with your current uni, then you should be able upgrade the Nimbus to Moments or Spirits and you'll be fine.

Just to double check, take a measurement across the wheel from one outside pedal thread to the other outside pedal, then tonight I can measure my Nimbus Muni and KH and let you know how they compare.
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Old 2012-08-29, 03:49 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
No such thjing as definites in this life, other than death Foot position is really a personal choice, each person depending on their body structure will have a different preference.
Granted. I will revise my quote to say that many track racers prefer narrow setups, track-specific unicycles are built to be narrow, and many of the top fastest riders ride narrow. But like everything else, that doesn't mean it works for everybody.
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Old 2012-08-29, 06:09 PM   #44
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> I'm not trying to knock the crank mounted rotors, but they have some issues that really can't be resolved. Sure, they are an easy retrofit, which is really why they are so cool, but there's a reason bikes have them mounted on the hub...

What are the disadvantages to crank mounted discs? Are they more easily damaged since they are outside the wheel? If so, why doesn't Kris Holm offer hubs compatible with discs because of the incompatibility with the geared hub? seems odd since very few people are going to get the geared hub.
Well-designed versions of both crank and hub-mount systems work. It depends on your balance of priorities. Neither system is a merely a retrofit, and both have issues that require resolving (by good materials and design). While all good unicycles take from bike technology, I would never use "because it's used on a bike" as justification for (or against) applying a bike related design on a unicycle. There's a lot more to it than that.

Hub-mount disk systems are familiar technology in the bike world and they place the disk furthest away from the foot. It is easy and clean to install, and looks good. On the negative side, the rotor mount requires a dished wheel and narrower flange spacing that is geometrically weaker for a given hub width. Whether this a problem or not will depend on the rider, the wheel size, and the strength of the rim. In many cases this will not be an issue and I expect the hub-mount approach to be popular just as it is on bikes.

For crank-mount systems I'll comment on the Spirit setup specifically, and why I chose to go this route:

1) Strength-weight ratio. Many riders push the limits of wheel strength, even (or perhaps especially) beginner-intermediate muni riders. This is true for both catastrophic wheel failure and long-term durability. At the same time, weight matters, especially rotational weight in a wheelset. If I added a disk brake system to KH unicycles, I did not want to accept either a compromise in either geometric wheel strength or increased weight. This is particularly the case given that rim brakes do work - braking performance shouldn't come at the expense of riding performance. Spirit cranks allow installation of a disk brake while maintaining the same symmetrical wheel build and wide flange spacing as a standard non-disk hub: in other words, a strong and durable wheel geometry. The crank rotor mount is also very slightly lighter weight than a hub mount (adds just 2 grams to the right crank), although you would never notice a difference in practice.

2) Compatibility. While I'm personally in favor of using a brake, many (actually most) riders choose not to. I also wanted a system both compatible with disk brakes and 100% functional without them.

3) Versatility. From a design perspective, it's helpful if the exact same system can work from 24" to 36", with a single, standard 100 mm hub that works across the entire line (from 20" to 36").

4) Q-factor. Debates on the "best" Q-factor will go on forever. While too wide is undesirable, I do think that "narrow as possible" is too extreme and simplistic. Thousands of riders in the past 7 years, including myself, have found the Q-factor on original Moment cranks with a standard 100 mm hub to be a good balance of priorities: pedaling stance & knee comfort, saddle comfort, avoidance of pedal strikes, and just enough outwards flare to avoid ankle bashing, heel clipping, or accidental shifting on a geared hub. As such I wanted to keep this similar on Spirit cranks.

4) Easy install. With high-end materials (7050 Al cranks) and a spacer between the crank and bearing, Spirit cranks consistently mount at the same position on a standard ISIS hub. This is a requirement for the crank-mount system that must be resolved by good design. Unlike the standard Moment hub, some (resolvable) fit issues do exist with the close tolerances of the geared hub. However, these are issues associated with the geared hub design (that can and will eventually be resolved), not the Spirit cranks or crank-mount setup.

5) Compatibility with the geared hub. The Spirit cranks are the only compatible disk brake setup with a geared hub. For a variety of reasons, the KH/Schlumpf hub design benefits from using the full width of hub for the gearing, so this is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future.

The potential negative of the disk-mount setup is that it appears to place the rotor in a more vulnerable position for clipping the rotor with your foot or ankle while riding. After more than 1.5 years of testing on all kinds of terrain, I have yet to hit the rotor with my foot. I can't even do it if I try to do it. Personally I have not heard reports from anyone else having this issue, either. I'm sure that someone, somewhere, will manage to do this sometime, but generally it appears to be a non-issue. Of course, all bets are off for wipeouts, for either hub or crank-mount systems: getting caught up in a unicycle while wiping out can get you tangled in ways that you'd never otherwise foresee.

In terms of inadvertently bashing the rotor on the ground, I don't think either the hub or crank-mount system is more or less vulnerable, and in both cases it is probably less vulnerable in practice than it appears to be when you look at it. I have tossed my disk brake unicycle hundreds of times now, without damaging the rotor.

I will say that the Spirit cranks were a challenging design project, so I'm pretty relieved that they work well.

Kris

Last edited by danger_uni; 2012-08-29 at 06:16 PM.
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Old 2012-08-29, 06:35 PM   #45
Nurse Ben
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Hey John, I'm just razzing you

I'm glad there are choices, it makes it more fun for gear whores like moi

So Kris, any chance we'll get a narrower waisted seat or something with a different snout? I'd be curious to know if you have been working on a new seat design that would help redistribute the weight so there's less "taint" pressure and rubbing. I do like the Freeride, but a more comfirtable seat, mmm, that would be worth money.
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