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Old 2011-04-29, 09:47 PM   #46
aarons
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It sounds like the injury might have made you nervous about jumping hard, especially if you hurt yourself by missing the pedal and falling forward onto your hands. You'll have to learn to trust that second foot to land on the pedal. Street unicyclist talk about "committing" to the trick, meaning they don't let fear make them tentative. I think it's the same on a 36. You'll have to work up to it until you can commit to the jump.
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Old 2011-05-02, 02:17 AM   #47
Flyjeffva
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Thanks for the replies and encouragement.

I think I am over the hump. The night after I made my post about not being able to mount, I nailed one! Now I seem to have gotten back to the level in my video.

Yesterday morning, I nailed my first mount and commenced a 16.5 mile ride - my longest ever. I did start getting seat soreness after about 10 miles, but found that leaning into the handle bar helped considerably.

I did have my first UPD after 13.7 miles. I was tired and came up to a street crossing (I was on a bike path). A car was comming and apeared he would not stop so I slowed. Then the car did stop and I accelerated and the bump at the edge of the road did me in. I landed on my feet but did not catch the uni : (

I took advantage of the break for some water and a 3-4 minute rest. The break eliminated the saddle soreness and I was able to totally enjoy my last couple miles back.

Next, I would like to learn to idle. I can idle pretty will on the 24, but not the 36. Do most of you 36 riders know how to idle and how long did it take to learn?
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Old 2011-05-02, 11:03 AM   #48
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I can't really idle my 36. When I need to stop and wait for some reason (e.g. to cross a street) I stand with the cranks horizontal and do very small hops to keep balance. The further apart I can manage to keep the hops the less tiring this is.
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Old 2011-05-02, 01:38 PM   #49
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Interesting David. I have seen this on videos, but never tried it. I will have to give it a shot.

How long can you maintain that? How often do you hop?
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Old 2011-05-02, 05:45 PM   #50
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I can sort of idle with long (150mm) cranks, but it takes way too much energy, it's really hard, and doesn't look elegant. It's like idling in super-slow-mo, and you have to push really hard with one leg, (tiring it out) and not with the other.

Hopping is fine if it's a short period: I find I can usually still-stand for about 4 to 15 seconds between each hop, and if I have to wait five hops I'm not bothered at all. It gets quite tiring if it's for an entire light cycle though (not really sure how long that is), and I usually dismount if it's going to be that long. My time-between-hops improved for maybe the first couple months I did this, and I don' think it's gotten any better in the two years since. Frustrating. Maybe one day I'll have a breakthrough.

I'm wondering how many people just do straight-up still-stands without hopping on their 36ers? Seems like some people could go forever on their wide-tired 20s... I never learned to still-stand on a smaller wheel, so maybe I should go back and learn?

My preferred stop technique is holding onto a sign or pole or something, but that's obviously not always possible.
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Old 2011-05-02, 07:05 PM   #51
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Yep, the longest I've hopped in place is maybe a minute. The scenario I had in mind was waiting for a hole in traffic rather than waiting at a light. For a long wait I'd also dismount if there wasn't anything to hang on to.
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Old 2011-09-03, 01:04 AM   #52
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My Nimbus Impulse turned 550 miles the other day. I have the dual hold 137/165 cranks. My entire riding experience before today was with 165 length. Today, I decided to try the 137 length for the first time.

WOW! What an experience. First off, my average speed (total time) on my normal weekend 8 mile ride was slower (longer). I sure felt the potential to spin faster, but I did not have confidence to do it. As my spin speed increased, I felt I might loose my balance. My peak speed with 137 was 12.5 mph. I have hit 14.9 with 165.

Another sensation was the need to increase the seat height. With the shorter crank length, I did not feel like I was getting adaquate extension of my legs. I think tomorrow I will rise my seat an inch and try again. I expect it will take some time to get used to the smaller cranks and build my speed. Hopefully I will do it with few if any UPD's.

Who else has experience with shortening cranks on their 36'ers?
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Old 2011-09-03, 06:27 AM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyjeffva View Post
My Nimbus Impulse turned 550 miles the other day. I have the dual hold 137/165 cranks. My entire riding experience before today was with 165 length. Today, I decided to try the 137 length for the first time.


Another sensation was the need to increase the seat height. With the shorter crank length, I did not feel like I was getting adaquate extension of my legs. I think tomorrow I will rise my seat an inch and try again. I expect it will take some time to get used to the smaller cranks and build my speed. Hopefully I will do it with few if any UPD's.
I have shortened cranks and like 125 mm. If you shorten the cranks you need to raise the seat to keep the same inseam height. If you shorten them from 165 to 137, then the peddle is 28 mm higher and you need to raise the seat 28 mm to compensate.

Scott
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Old 2011-09-03, 06:38 AM   #54
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It takes a bit of time to get used to a new crank size, especially when going down. I think you will be happy with 137mm once you get used to it. it is a great length for general riding around.

Like Scott said, you need to raise your seat when you change pedal holes. If you would have raised the seat when you changed your pedal position you would have felt more stable at speed.

Talking about speed, hitting 14.9 mph with 165s is pretty impressive, well done sir!
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Old 2011-09-04, 12:30 AM   #55
Flyjeffva
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Thanks Eric, I did raise the seat before my 8 mile ride today and I did feel in better control. I still do not feel confident to spin faster, but I will stay with the 137 length for a while and see how it goes.

I've pretty well given up on free mounting on level ground. I was fairly consistent freemounting on a slight down grade with the 165 crank. I am guessing that the shroter crank and higher seat will make that more difficult. For my recent 137 rides, I didn't even try freemounting. Just started on the post.
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Old 2011-09-12, 05:26 PM   #56
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I've also been using 137/165 cranks on my 36" for the past 6 months and have come to really like the 137mm length for most of my riding. Now switching to the 165mm position for off-road use gives a big boost in control and makes the uni feel like a smaller wheel. Mounting @137mm does require more effort after spending a while at the 165mm length. I also change my seat height when changing positions (a quick release collar makes this, uh, quick).
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Old 2011-09-13, 04:52 AM   #57
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Rethinking

I had all but decided to sell the 36er after two big crashes. But NurseBen talked me off the ledge and I decided to give it another try. I just needed to reset my expectations and slow everything down for a while.

The big wheel can gain speed surprisingly quickly and I was trying to ride well beyond my own abilities when each of the big crashes happened. So I decided to slow everything down a lot and just take it easy and not expect much. I also spent time learning the muni and gaining both skills and strength. These transferred nicely to the 36er. I took a short 1 mile ride the other night and it was by far the best I have had yet on the big wheel and it gave me a lot of confidence and desire to continue learning.

I am riding a Nimbus Titan with 170 cranks. I also have 150 cranks but have never ridden with them. My longest ride was 13 miles, but it was several months ago and I felt out of control and beyond my abilities for most of the ride. I also commuted to work one day, 7 miles each way. This was also a difficult ride, well beyond my abilities as I fought road camber, sidewalks, and various obstacles the whole ride both ways.

This was when one of the big crashes happened. Somehow I picked up a long twig from a tree in the spokes and it hit the back of my leg several times and felt like a bird pecking at me. I looked down to see what was going on and the next thing I knew I was on the ground! I cam off the back and my wrist guards saved me. I landed hard on my left buttock but miraculously did no real damage. I was able to work the day and was able to get back on and ride home. But I have not made another attempt at commuting.

I tried another 10 mile ride (along a paved river path, the same one I did the 13 miler on) and at one point got going way too fast and could not retard the speed. I don't know what caused it but after a couple attempts to slow down I decided I had to bail. I was going too fast to run it out so down I went. Again the wrist guards saved me a visit to the hospital, but I got pretty banged up. I didn't wear my knee pads that ride and paid the price, plus a good bump on my hip and shoulder and some sore collar bones for several weeks. Again I was very lucky not to have been hurt a lot worse. I just got way ahead of my abilities. Sometimes I wonder about myself!

That was early in May. Since then it has been hanging in the garage and I was on the verge of putting up for sale on the trading post. But I am going to give it another try, this time with a big focus on slow and steady and consistent riding.

Sorry for the long post. Hope it was at least entertaining . I just have one question. At 6'3" the long cranks work fine, but I wonder if I should switch to the 150's now or wait a while. I am open to experiences and opinions.

Thanks in advance for the help. This is a good thread!
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Old 2011-09-13, 01:50 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by NotSoYoungOne View Post
I just have one question. At 6'3" the long cranks work fine, but I wonder if I should switch to the 150's now or wait a while.
In general 150s will make it easier to spin faster and require more effort to slow the wheel's momentum. If you're comfortable enough with 170s to start wondering if the longer cranks are slowing you down then you're probably ready to try the 150s. Reading your post I get the impression that this isn't quite the case.

On the other hand, if you want to speed up your learning curve you might try switching to 150s now and practicing in controlled areas. Once you get the hang of mounting and riding you could switch back to 170s and you'll likely feel a huge boost in control and confidence.
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Old 2011-09-13, 09:32 PM   #59
Flyjeffva
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I have put 45 miles on 6 rides with my Impulse since switching form 165 to 137mm crank length.

My "aggressive" cruising speed on the flats with 137 is now about the same as 165. (12.5 mph) I expect that will improve further over time.

The biggest issue for me with the shorter cranks continues to be down hills. Especially the transition from flat to down. I totally lack confidence and compensate by slowing way down. Flat to down transitions where I used to maintain 12 mph on the 165 cranks, I now slow down to about 8 mph in order to maintain confident control. On down hills, I occasionally get that whoa! I'm going to loose it! feeling, but so far, no UPD's on the 137 cranks.

NoSoYoungOne - based on my experience, if you switch to shorter cranks (remember to raise your seat), it will reduce your sense of control. Slowing down helps a lot. I would appear to have a higher sense of self preservation (fear) than you do. I have never gone so fast that I could not slow down.

Last edited by Flyjeffva; 2011-09-13 at 09:35 PM.
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Old 2011-09-14, 04:53 AM   #60
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Quote:
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I would appear to have a higher sense of self preservation (fear) than you do. I have never gone so fast that I could not slow down.
Well, I don't think that is the case. I have never been 'daring', and have typically been over-cautious compared to others. But with the 36er I guess I just over estimated my abilities.

The second crash really surprised me because I really don't know what caused my speed to increase so quickly. I was 7.5 miles into a 10 mile ride and I guess I lost focus. I must have been on more of a downhill grade than I noticed and before I knew it I was moving way too fast.

So I think I typically have a high sense of self preservation, and it is especially keen now whenever I get on the big wheel!!

I think I will stick with the 170's for a few more rides, then I may try the experiment suggested by davidp. I am really going to take a deliberate approach this time! But I feel good about it and am glad I did not sell it before giving it another chance.

Thanks for the input. I will post again after a few rides and report my progress.
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