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Old 2018-05-23, 01:25 AM   #2176
Kwikkash
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strategy for high gear

So, I just received my new G36 from Silva. I only had a few minutes to try it out tonight. I can see it will take a little time to get it.... I'm fairly comfortable on my un-geared 36. I could not even take off in High gear on the G36. Not even one pedal. how do most get started ? Whats a good strategy ? Jeff C
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Old 2018-05-23, 02:35 AM   #2177
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It is very difficult to mount a G36 in high gear. Mount in low gear and get up to about 8 mph and shift to high gear. It will take some practice.
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Old 2018-05-23, 03:56 AM   #2178
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I usually start in low gear as high gear 36 is hard to ride slow. A running jump mount works if you want to start in high gear.
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Old 2018-05-23, 04:36 AM   #2179
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rrurban View Post
My opinion is that shifting into high gear is best done at 8-10 mph. Any slower and the 1/4 rev it takes to engage can cause a UPD.
I used to also experience those moments of "unintentional coasting" when shifting, but have mostly eliminated it by remembering to keep the pedals turning when shifting. When I hit the button and then waited for the other gear to kick in, I often found myself coasting, which feels great if you're perfectly balanced for it, but otherwise is a little too exciting for me on a 36". Try keeping the pedals moving forward (if you aren't already).
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Originally Posted by Piece Maker View Post
I've no idea how you hit 32km/h on an ungeared 29er because I can just about hit 20mph on the geared 29er with a very fast setup...
I used to be able to hit 17.5mph on my 24", so 20mph/32km/h sounds pretty reachable on a 29". It just takes the practice of learning a fast spin, and lots of confidence in yourself. In recent years I can't seem to pedal as fast... it's like a little red light goes on in my brain and throws a damper on my cadence. Maybe I just need to ride smaller wheels more...

So for Tony, if you can do 32km/h ungeared, you should reasonably expect to reach at least 40km/h if you have the guts. It's scary once you get well past a speed you can run out of. What you should not expect is to go 1.55 times faster (the ratio of the Schlumpf high gear). You have less control when pushing the gear, and you'll be pushing more air out of the way, so you won't get a proportional benefit. What you will get is the ability to go relatively comfortably at pretty high speeds, while pedaling a lot slower.
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Originally Posted by DirtyPuddle View Post
So what's the current state of Schlumpf hubs? They don't seem to be for sale anywhere. Have they been discontinued?
If things haven't changed, it's because of the cyclical production of the hubs. Batches are completed on an irregular basis, probably based on lulls in orders for Schlumpf's more profitable items. So we don't know when the next batch will be done, or how many to expect in that batch. This is why most online vendors don't offer them as a regular item; because you never know when they'll be in stock. And once they are, the ones that aren't already earmarked may get snapped up like tickets for a Beyonce concert.
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Originally Posted by Kwikkash View Post
I could not even take off in High gear on the G36. Not even one pedal. how do most get started ?
Learn to crawl before you walk. Starting off in high gear on a 36" is kind of like learning to ride a unicycle on an ungeared 36". Not the best approach. Truly the best way to learn to shift a Schlumpf is by riding one with a smaller wheel. Let me guess if you have one of those available to you? Probably not. If you do, ask nicely and you've got a great stepping stone there.

More likely, you're going to have to gut it out. You're comfortable riding your 36", which is good. Sketchy as it may feel, it may be easier to learn to shift while riding than to ride away from a stationary object in high gear. Or maybe to have a spotter (or two) to help you get going. The shift, once you finally hit it, is very jarring. It's like being suddenly teleported onto a different unicycle. And on a 36, if you're going really slow it will again be really hard to "tip-toe" into the high gear. You want a minimum of 8mph or 13km/h for making your shift. It's like suddenly switching to a 54" wheel, with all the weight and inertia that would go with such a beast.

In my case, I didn't have to learn this from scratch. In my early days of riding I put large sprockets on top of giraffe unicycles and rode with a 48:28 ratio, which I did eventually learn to free-mount. A couple of years after that I got to play with a 20" regular uni that had been geared up to 40" (2:1) with chains inside the frame and an inner/outer axle. Very sluggish to ride! Then in the late 90s I got to ride the Harper prototype geared hub on a couple of occasions. But I don't think that one had shift-on-the-fly either, just experience at riding a geared-up wheel. Then around 2005 I got to try out a 29" Schlumpf, and in 2006 to compete for a chance to win one at Unicon XIII, by riding a little out-and-back race course that required several shifts, under the watchful eye of Florian Schlumpf himself! Then, in 2008 I did possibly half of my riding in Ride The Lobster on geared 29ers belonging to my teammates. And lastly, in early 2010 I again used a borrowed Schlumpf 29" at Unicon XV in New Zealand to race in the 10k and the Marathon, which included about 2000' of climbing, so lots of shifting experience there. And yes, that was the race where the wind bitch-slapped me off the uni!

I guess what I'm trying to say with all that is that even with all that background experience, shifting a 36" Schlumpf is still a formidable challenge; one I still haven't perfected for myself. Part of my slowness may be that I have a big handle sticking out the front, which was custom powercoated, so I don't want to break it, which makes me more hesitant to "just go for it" on shifts. If you have a handle on there, consider removing it until you work out the shifting. Then if you just drill yourself on it, forcing yourself to shift up and back down rather than just waiting until you have to, I think you'll learn it a lot faster than I did.
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Last edited by johnfoss; 2018-05-23 at 04:49 AM.
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Old 2018-05-24, 02:12 AM   #2180
Kwikkash
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fun

So, This is gonna be exciting. I'll just get rolling and start looking for the shifter. Fun. I'll share the progress. Thanks for the input. Jeff C
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Old 2018-06-02, 02:59 AM   #2181
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Originally Posted by Kwikkash View Post
So, This is gonna be exciting. I'll just get rolling and start looking for the shifter. Fun. I'll share the progress. Thanks for the input. Jeff C
Initially I found shifting hard getting the exact timing until I just visualised it as 3 o'clock being the right time to pop my heel in. While trying to get the timing initially I was doing heaps of missed strikes where it wouldn't shift. It seems so obvious now to just wait til the cranks are parallel to the ground but at the time it felt difficult. When the front shifting crank is at 3 o'clock your foot will be in the perfect position to strike, no need to look.
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Old 2018-06-02, 11:47 AM   #2182
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so far so good

I have been taking small steps. I took a ride on the bike path in first gear with my regular handlebar set up. I just wanted to ride it. And at one point, I could not help but try to take off in high gear. It took several attempts on a slight down hill grade just to get rolling at all, and dropped it a couple times. It feels so different. I did not get up to speed to keep it rolling but I did get a feel of what to expect.
Then, I went home and made some serious effort to work it out. I took the handlebars off. That was great advice. One less thing to worry about, and I was. I could see Cleary that they would get destroyed in the early stages of shifting. Next, I got up against a wall/fence and found the shift buttons with my heels. No need to look down. I also experienced the "freewheel" effect for a split second. That is an interesting feeling. Gotta keep the pedals moving when shifting, great advice. I have still not got up to a good speed to keep riding in high gear. I would guess I have been trying my shift at 4 or 5 MPH. Just testing the water. trying to keep my UPD as graceful as possible. I think the 8 mph is right on.
I have not been out for several days. I'm ready to get serious now. Great Tips. Jeff C
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Old 2018-06-02, 06:16 PM   #2183
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progress

I just had the best practice session. I went to the local high school parking lot and spent some time shifting on the fly. This was the perfect place. Was fun. Took a few minutes to get the nerve to shift. Then I went for it. I had all my gear on, helmet/wrist guards/elbow and knee/shin guards. It was hot. I came off a bunch. Lost count. At first I started trying to shift at a little too low of a speed. As I got up to a more realistic speed the shift started to come together. I made a lot of attempts. I made the shift up several times. I did shift up and then back down successfully on two runs. I was exhausted That was fun. Jeff C
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Old 2018-06-03, 06:51 AM   #2184
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I remember those days clearly (last year). I had only learned to unicycle 9 months earlier when I plunged head first into the Schlumpf challenge. I'd go back and do it again in a second! The excitement is incredible isn't it? Just wait until you're shifting on the fly and can knock out 20 mph in high gear. You're gonna love this. Keep practicing, get the feel of riding in high gear first and the shifting and confidence will come faster
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Old 2018-06-03, 07:25 AM   #2185
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The more posts there are in this thread the more I want a G36. One day...
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Old 2018-06-03, 01:45 PM   #2186
Kwikkash
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seemed impossible

rob, Yes, very exciting. And I will admit that I was having the feeling that shifting on the fly may be "impossible". I had not spent much time at this point, but.... after just a little time, I was thinking I may have got in over my head on this one. Yesterday morning practice really got me on track. I'm gonna stay on it. I want to ride and shift. Jeff C
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Old 2018-06-03, 03:06 PM   #2187
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Changed the cranks to 127 on my G29, instead of 137mm. Amazing how 10mm makes a difference (insert that's what she said joke here)!
It's much more enjoyable in low gear as it's a sweet spot in town. I was expecting it to be super harder and different in high gear and I realized it was not. Should have changed earlier!

Weird thing is that when I push the silver button frankly, the gold one sticks out and doesn't return to its normal position. I must have something sticky along the shifting rod, I hope it's nothing more serious. Didn't have this with the 137mm cranks.

Now I have to practice shifting because I'm still chickening a lot...
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Old 2018-06-04, 05:36 AM   #2188
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Changed the cranks to 127 on my G29, instead of 137mm. Amazing how 10mm makes a difference (insert that's what she said joke here)!
It's much more enjoyable in low gear as it's a sweet spot in town. I was expecting it to be super harder and different in high gear and I realized it was not.

Weird thing is that when I push the silver button frankly, the gold one sticks out and doesn't return to its normal position. I must have something sticky along the shifting rod, I hope it's nothing more serious. Didn't have this with the 137mm cranks.

Now I have to practice shifting because I'm still chickening a lot...
I agree 127s make a big difference. I learned on 150s for control on my g29 but the 127s are better once you get the hang of riding in high gear and shifting.
Regarding your buttons, push in a button and then put the thin side of a credit card over the button, it should be flush with the button and the cranks. Shifting is easier when they're flush. Also check that your cranks are tight. FYI, loose cranks can cause freewheeling when shifting, I learned this the hard way
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Old 2018-06-04, 09:00 AM   #2189
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Thanks Rob!
It clicked in my brain yesterday: I had swapped the right and left crank bolts. Not that they are different (not to the eye for sure), so I swapped them again and the button shifts perfectly. Strange but hey, it works!
And yep, always tightened to the recommended torque with the special fancy wrench! Those hubs are real divas!
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Old 2018-06-19, 01:40 PM   #2190
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So I'm borrowing a Schlumpf (M5 generation) right now and although generally it's all good, the bearings are a little on the gritty side.

Now on any other unicycle I'd replace them (and I generally do every couple of years) but on the Schlumpf that's not such an easy option.

The hub's well oiled up and the bearing protectors have been all properly cleaned up and glued back on (they had been loose for some time - I've made sure the frame's not rubbing now), but I'm wondering whether there is anything that can be done aside from waiting for them to fail eventually and send the whole hub to the Switzerland for a spa day (/month).
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