Monday, March 8, 2010

Need For Speed

Yesterday I rode a few miles in the neighborhood on my 26" Nimbus. As usual, I really wanted to go faster than it would allow.

For unicycles, there are two primary ways to go faster.
Choice one: Ride a bigger wheel.
Unicycle frames are built to handle a certain wheel size. Typical sizes are 12", 16", 20", 24", 26", 29", and 36".
- 12" and 16" are typically for kids.
- 20" are often used for trials and street.
- I have a 24" and 26", which are often used for muni.
- 29" are used for muni or road.
- 36" is pretty much for road.

Obviously a bigger wheel makes you go faster, as for each pedal rotation your wheel travels its circumference.
Unfortunately unicycles are expensive.

Choice two: Geared hub.
Another option is a geared hub. Currently there is only one real choice for this: The Schlumpf hub. It allows you to ride as normal, or shift to a higher gear. The wheel will then travel 1.5 rotations for each pedal rotation. Of course, the wheel size is an important factor still. A 24" wheel will ride like a 36". A 26" wheel will ride like a 39". Sort of. Bigger wheels ride more smoothly, so the ride isn't really the same.
Unfortunately Schlumpf hubs are crazy expensive.
That seems insane but they sound like a lot of fun.

I haven't decided what I really want. I need to ride my 26" on the trails to see if I like that size better than 24". It would be cool to have one of those with a Schlumpf hub.
But it would also be a lot of fun to ride a 36" in the neighborhood or on bike paths. Or may a 29" or 36" with a Schlumpf.

It will be some time before I can ride the 26" on the trails, so I won't be making any decisions for a while.


  1. I dunno about all that noise... But I suggest you get or make this (or some version of it) to get gearing into your Muni... I mean after all are you not an engineer?

    Cut and paste

  2. If you learn how to ride a uni, I'll build that.

    Who is more manly on a tandem unicycle, the one in front or back. I don't think standard tandem rules apply.

  3. Mybe you should get some shorter cranks for the extra speed, its alot cheaper than a Schlumpf hub or a good quality unicycle.

    Then if you feel like you still dont have enough speed then buy a bigger wheel or a Schlumpf hub.

    Also some people on the unicyclist forums suggest that people should have tried out a variety of sized wheels before heavily investing in a Schlumpf.

    Anyway thats just my advice.

    I hope you find a good solution to getting the extra speed!