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Old 2013-11-16, 03:32 PM   #16
waaalrus
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Today I went on a ride that I used to do every week on my 36" fixed wheel unicycle. I recorded the ride in three segments as recently as early September so I thought this would be a good ride to try out with my very new 36" freewheel. The first segment is 3.7 miles of paved road which turns into a dirt road with about 450 feet of elevation gain. On the fixed wheel I averaged 8.5 MPH and on the freewheel I averaged 7.8 MPH. The second segment is 3.0 miles of a bumpy, rocky dirt road with about 400 feet of elevation gain. I had to walk through steeper portions on both wheels but walked more with the freewheel. I also had significant brake rubbing from wheel flex which turned out to be due to loose bearing caps. I also had some trouble mounting down steep hills (which I improved at over time) and being able to brake sufficiently on steeper declines. I feel with more practice I can improve at both of these. On the fixed wheel I averaged 6.0 MPH and on the freewheel I averaged 5.1 MPH. The third segment is 1.5 miles of mostly downhill. On the fixed wheel I averaged 9.3 MPH and on the freewheel I averaged 7.9 MPH. I feel with more practice that I can get achieve faster speed.
I did this ride on my 26" freewheel yesterday. I made the mistake of not bringing my socket wrench along for the ride after putting on new cranks (100mm) and wasn't able to ride the 3rd segment. My GPS said 7.55 MPH for the first segment which was slightly slower than the 36" freewheel and about 1 MPH slower than the 36" fixed wheel. My GPS said 5.56 MPH for the second segment which was .5 MPH faster than the 36" freewheel and about .5 MPH slower than the 36" fixed wheel. I'm getting considerably faster riding downhill on rocky and bumpy terrain and more importantly it's a lot of fun!
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Old 2013-11-25, 04:46 PM   #17
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I purchased Nurse Ben's 24" freewheel unicycle recently. I had my local bike shop replace the hydraulic Magura MT2 disc brake with the same mechanical disc brake as my 26" freewheel (TRP Spyre) to leverage my experience using and maintaining it and I got it back Friday. I rode it a little bit and tried to bed in the pads and got a couple longer rides on Saturday until I got a flat. I found it to be a great wheel and about what you'd expect. It's a little bit slower pedaling and it's easier to go over bumpy terrain without a UPD. While there's still room for improvement I had significantly fewer UPDs on a trail that's a lot more challenging on my 26". However, it's possible that my new riding style and greater experience played a factor as well. Hopping in general is also easier. Another thing I found interesting was that even though the difference in center of mass from my 26" must be fairly small I can ride down extremely steep sections pretty easily. That's one benefit I see of the freewheel over the fixed wheel, especially for people like me who are uncoordinated. I'm going to keep practicing with the 24" on more technical trails.
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Old 2013-12-12, 02:46 PM   #18
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Johnson Ranch Freewheel POV 12-11-2013

This helmet cam footage will probably only appeal to die hard freewheel fans so I'm posting this video here. It shows a trail I've been riding lately which works better on the 24" and has a short section at the end with the camera mounted to the frame. When my left hand is extended that usually means I'm brake-assisted coasting. I'm planning to work on a more interesting video this weekend.


Last edited by waaalrus; 2013-12-12 at 02:47 PM.
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Old 2013-12-14, 08:44 AM   #19
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A couple more helmet cam videos

Freewheel unicycle speed runs - lessons learned 12-13-2013

Freewheel unicycling Poly Canyon - You are a beast 12-13-2013
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Old 2013-12-14, 10:38 AM   #20
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You are pretty fast
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Old 2013-12-14, 03:44 PM   #21
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You are pretty fast
Thanks! I get decent speed on trails now so when I ride downhill on a smooth sidewalk I feel pretty comfortable. My balance seems fine but I get skittish when I approach speeds where a runout starts to get questionable. In the 2nd run in the video a car came down the road beside me and spooked me. In the third run I didn't think it through properly and I stupidly tried to brake hard so I could get the speedometer sign showing 15 MPH on video. In neither case was I out of control but if I was going much faster I probably would have had to roll. I also came off the back and it was my 24" so it's fairly easy on the ankles. I'm trying to find a place away from cars to do some real speed runs on my 26" (when I get some new cranks) and may need to get some ankle protection for that.

How's your freewheel coming along?
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Old 2013-12-15, 12:30 PM   #22
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Winter is setting in and I'm quite busy at the moment. But the freewheel makes still fun I have to practise coasting without break. With the break it's easy but without it it's a big challenge for me. Were you able to coast on a normal uni before you started freewheeling?
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Old 2013-12-15, 03:59 PM   #23
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Winter is setting in and I'm quite busy at the moment. But the freewheel makes still fun I have to practise coasting without break. With the break it's easy but without it it's a big challenge for me. Were you able to coast on a normal uni before you started freewheeling?
Yes, I was already decent at coasting on a fixed wheel when I got the freewheel:


That's one of the main reasons why I wanted to build one. I think it's easier and more fun to practice coasting on a freewheel unicycle.

I think it's beneficial to keep practicing coasting without the brake but I don't actually do that very much at this time when riding trails (although I do on smooth pavement or sidewalks). I may change that over time but on rough terrain I'm usually only coasting when transitioning between pedaling and brake-assist coasting and between brake taps. One exception is in my latest video at the 56 second mark:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKJs8dgc8UY&t=56

Good luck with your freewheel practice! I'm working to increase my speed, coasting runs, and handling drops and jumps. You can see the result of the last at the very end of the video. I can get a tiny bit of air off a jump and can go over a curb-sized drop.
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Old 2013-12-31, 09:26 PM   #24
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So I'm looking at C.L. and see an old 60's tandem bike I think I need. The next morning I drive down to take a look. While I'm standing there debating if I really needed an old heavyweight I spot what looks like a Coker Wheelmans frame in the pile. I ask about it and some more parts are brought out. When all is said and done I load a 50lb tandem and 3/4 of a Wheelman into the truck. $100 poorer and a head full of ideas, I drive off.
I sawed the 12" wheel forks off (no wheel included) and welded on a 16" fork.
It's a 36 hole freewheel with cottered cranks (don't have any yet). It seems to engage and release ok by hand. May not with real pedal pressure. I originally wanted the Wheelman hub/wheel to make my coaster uni. Pretty much the last thing I expected to find in a scrap bike pile. So now the plan is to see if it's easily repairable, then pull the frame and insert seat and instant uni. At least it sounds good on paper, reality is usually much different
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Old 2013-12-31, 11:26 PM   #25
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So I'm looking at C.L. and see an old 60's tandem bike I think I need. The next morning I drive down to take a look. While I'm standing there debating if I really needed an old heavyweight I spot what looks like a Coker Wheelmans frame in the pile. I ask about it and some more parts are brought out. When all is said and done I load a 50lb tandem and 3/4 of a Wheelman into the truck. $100 poorer and a head full of ideas, I drive off.
I sawed the 12" wheel forks off (no wheel included) and welded on a 16" fork.
It's a 36 hole freewheel with cottered cranks (don't have any yet). It seems to engage and release ok by hand. May not with real pedal pressure. I originally wanted the Wheelman hub/wheel to make my coaster uni. Pretty much the last thing I expected to find in a scrap bike pile. So now the plan is to see if it's easily repairable, then pull the frame and insert seat and instant uni. At least it sounds good on paper, reality is usually much different
It's funny how it's come full circle! I'm curious to see what your process will be for getting the seat on because I'm planning to do something similar in the future.
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Old 2013-12-31, 11:53 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jona View Post
So I'm looking at C.L. and see an old 60's tandem bike I think I need. The next morning I drive down to take a look. While I'm standing there debating if I really needed an old heavyweight I spot what looks like a Coker Wheelmans frame in the pile. I ask about it and some more parts are brought out. When all is said and done I load a 50lb tandem and 3/4 of a Wheelman into the truck. $100 poorer and a head full of ideas, I drive off.
I sawed the 12" wheel forks off (no wheel included) and welded on a 16" fork.
It's a 36 hole freewheel with cottered cranks (don't have any yet). It seems to engage and release ok by hand. May not with real pedal pressure. I originally wanted the Wheelman hub/wheel to make my coaster uni. Pretty much the last thing I expected to find in a scrap bike pile. So now the plan is to see if it's easily repairable, then pull the frame and insert seat and instant uni. At least it sounds good on paper, reality is usually much different
O.o That's awesome!
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Old 2014-02-03, 09:32 PM   #27
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Here are a couple threads from tiMUNIcyle.com from 2007 that I found:
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Old 2014-03-26, 08:37 AM   #28
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Do you still ride your freewheels?

Last week i did a XC tour (about 8km) and it was a lot of fun
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Old 2014-03-26, 02:10 PM   #29
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Do you still ride your freewheels?

Last week i did a XC tour (about 8km) and it was a lot of fun
Awesome! I hope that Spring affords you more opportunities to ride! Yes, for unicycle basketball and ultimate wheel / wheelset riding I ride fixed wheels but otherwise I ride my freewheels. I keep track of my rides on strava and since January I've put in 471 miles (758 km). Some developments over the last few months:
  • I don't ride my 36" freewheel because the brake setup doesn't let me ride as fast as I would like.
  • My D'Brake broke on my 24" freewheel and caused a minor accident. This was when it was attached to a steel frame. I suggest at least visually inspecting this part before rides.
  • I discovered an aluminum frame with the D'Brake doesn't give me a desirable braking environment. It's possible an aluminum frame with a disc tab might work.
  • My preferred braking environment: disc tab, 203mm rotor, sintered disc pads, TRP Spyre caliper, Avid Speed Dial 7 lever.
  • I'm in the process of building a 24" Surly Conundrum fat freewheel unicycle.
  • I'm on the cusp of ordering a 20" 3.8:1 geared drift trike front end to turn into a freewheel unicycle.
  • I went on my first group ride riding a freewheel (3 people).
  • I shot a couple new videos (links below).


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Old 2014-03-26, 03:55 PM   #30
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Is your hub square taper?
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