Help me build a tough street unicycle

Help me build a tough street unicycle

Post by Animatio » Sat, 09 Mar 2002 07:47:38


All,

OK, I just got my Hunter in, and its great for off-road, though I need
for my seat to come in, and I need more experience. Its a blast,
though.

However, since 95% of my riding is going to be street, it is time to at
least start looking at building a street unicycle.

Here are my issues:

I weight 240 lbs.

I want to just be able to ride around my neighborhood, and possibly
other neighborhoods as well. I live in Mississippi, but I still have
some pretty decent hills where I am at.

I want to be able to do drops up to a foot, maybe. But curbs (<8 inches)
is fine for a while. I want to have the unicycle be strong enough to
handle idling, hopping up curbs, still stands, hopping in place, and
other things relating to basic "getting around", but I want to be able
to be rough on the cycle as I learn.

I *think* I prefer 26" for being able to go just a little faster, but
I'm not sure.

I have ridden Tommy's SemCycle 26" and its smooth, so I'm looking at the
Sem, Sem XL, or Sem XLW maybe.

What hub / crank combination should I get?

What tire speed to I need?

What rim will handle my needs (weight plus hopping and dropping)?

What good, flat street tires exist for unicycles, and should I go for a
wide one? What is the widest?

Which would be better for my needs, 24" or 26"? Which of the above
questions will this answer force me into? What are the pros and cons of
each?

What kind of seat should I get? Miyata air seat? And can somebody
explain the wilder bracket thing, or does that even apply to a street
cycle?

I want a tough little booger that I can ride hard, learn on, and
enjoy.

I know some of these may be answered in my off-road post from before,
but I wanted to start asking anew.

Maybe after I pay out money for my taxes, I will be in a position to
buy, depending on where I'm at. So, I'm looking now.

Thanks in advance,

Lewis

--
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Lewis W Beard

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Help me build a tough street unicycle

Post by harpe » Sat, 09 Mar 2002 08:38:59

I still think you could do all of the things you want on your United
trainer ... even with Sophie on your back.

I have owned a cheap 24" Zephyr for about four years. It was the only
one I owned until a few months ago. I weigh in at 180, the same as two
90 pound weaklings. I learned to do all of the things you mentioned and
more on that Zephyr. If your United breaks, you'll know what needs
attention. The guys that are busting wheels and cranks and axles are
jumping off of more than just curbs. I have the same potential energy at
12" that you have at 9"...they're both curb heights. Of course I am
agile like a cat and land like a butterfly taking nectar from a lilly.

You've come a long way fast, Lewis. Keep up the good work and keep
looking to the future.

--
harper - Greg Harper: Frequent Faller (oops)

                -Greg Harper

(now able to meet the pavement at 1.5 times normal speed)
"It takes twice the man to ride half the bike."

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Help me build a tough street unicycle

Post by David Straitjacke » Sat, 09 Mar 2002 10:45:03

harper said..
^snip^
'Of course I am agile like a cat and land like a butterfly taking nectar
from a lilly'

Funny, I always seem to land like a cat taking nectar from a lily.

David

 
 
 

Help me build a tough street unicycle

Post by john_child » Sat, 09 Mar 2002 17:13:13

I think you know the drill.  Splurge on the wheel.  Skimp on the frame
if you need to control costs.  The problem with street riding is that
ledges, big curbs, and stairs are too tempting.  You're gonna want to
hop up them or ride down them so beefy cranks are a must for a ***
street uni and a big guy.

A 26" wheel with a street friendly tire would be great.  With 160, 150,
or 145 cranks the wheel would pedal nicely for some good street riding.
A 26" wheel is fast enough to keep you from feeling like a hamster on an
undersized wheel.  I used to cruise around on my 26" Pashely with 150
cranks.  It worked well.  A 26" wheel is the best compromise for hard
street riding.  A 24" is too small.  With a 28" you are limited in tire
selection for fattish 2" tires.

I think the DM ATU would be the ultimate urban street uni.  If the DM
ATU still comes with the flat crown that would be even better.  Put a
26" slick on it and it would eat up the sidewalks, curbs, stairs,
ledges, potholes, and everything else.  The Dyno Fireball 26x2.25 slick
tire would be the bomb.  The 26" Dyno tire is easier to get ahold of
than the fat 24" version, I still see the 26" Dyno in local shops.  The
Ritchey Mobey Bite 26x2.1 also would be a good tire.

Profile has the most choices for crank size.  The DM only comes in 150,
170 or 175.  With Profile you can get 145, 150, 160, 170, and 175.  The
DM ATU with the Profile hub and 145 cranks would be awesome.  I think
unicycle.com would be willing to swap hubs on the DM.

I hope you don't start holding up convenience stores to support you
unicycle habit.

john_childs

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Help me build a tough street unicycle

Post by Johnny » Sat, 09 Mar 2002 18:32:13

 Lewis,

  I'm going to build another 24" uni, for the street.  If you can afford
it, get the Profile hub.  I'm building mine with a 36-hole Suzue hub and a
Sun Doublewide rim, and some steel 150mm cranks.  The weak link seems to be
the rim.  The single-walled rim on my 26" Sem XL bent quickly with minimal
drops and hops, so I'm getting the widest (and one of the toughest as an
added coincidental bonus) rim I can to fit a 24x3" tire.  The only reason
I'm not doing the Profile hub on that one is because I just don't have the
money.  

  My suggestion to you would be to get a Sem XLW with a Sun Mammoth rim and
Suzue hub.  I hear the hubs are strong, and if it breaks you know that the
type of riding you do requires a Profile hub.  If the cranks bend, you can
always drop the cash on some good cranks to bolt to the Suzue hub.  Just
make sure to press them on well.  

Harper's advice to run your United until it breaks is good, as well.  You
can always lace up a tougher rim when you bend the flimsy stock rim.  If
you want a 26" though, it may not fit the frame.  

  If you're looking to ride some distance stuff, you may want to look at a
28".  I'm thinking about putting one together.  I hear they're great for
relatively long rides because of the large wheel, but they're not as
cumbersome as a Coker.  I don't have any saddle time in a 28", and very
little on a Coker, so others with more experience will be able to elaborate
on that better.

John



Quote:

> All,

> OK, I just got my Hunter in, and its great for off-road, though I need
> for my seat to come in, and I need more experience. Its a blast,
> though.

> However, since 95% of my riding is going to be street, it is time to at
> least start looking at building a street unicycle.

 
 
 

Help me build a tough street unicycle

Post by Joe Marshal » Sat, 09 Mar 2002 21:22:29

Hi there,

I've just built myself up a speedy little street / muni racing unicycle,
which could possibly fit most of your needs, although I'm probably going to
disagree with every else who said 26" wheel, long 150 cranks or whatever.

What I've got:-

700c wheel (which is sometimes incorrectly I think called 28" - 28" is a
different size you can't get any more)
made from:-
Mavic T261 tandem/touring rim (48 hole, pretty wide)
Suzue Hub(48 hole)
lots of spokes (bog standard stainless ones) built 4 cross

Nimbus II 28" frame - this is fat enough for a really really monster tyre on
your 700c wheel, which the original Nimbus 28" wasn't. It seems pretty solid
and has nice friendly bearing holders.

110 Bicycle euro cranks, imitation wellgo pedals, possibly soon to have
zefal half toeclips

Now as for tyre selection for this, there's a great selection of skinny
tyres and hybrid tyres up to about 40mm wide (1.6 inches), but also there
are now 29" mountain bike tyres, which are based on the same rim size and
superfat cross tyres, eg the bottom one on this page and the IRC 29er tyres
(not up on their website yet, contact your nearest gary fisher dealer for
them)http://www.cambriabike.com/tires/cyclocross.htm

I've got a plain miyata seat, consensus seems to be get an airseat if you
can be bothered.

The whole setup (with a 38mm hybrid tyre) weighs a less than my Pashley 26"
(with Nokian tyre) partly because of the big difference in tyre weight and
is almost as fast as my Coker.

If you wanted to make this stronger, you could:-

a) use a heavier stronger rim, eg. Sun Rhyno 700c, other fat tandem rims
b) use fat spokes
c) get the super duper profile hub,
I wouldn't do this personally as it limits the spoke count and crank length
and and a 145 / 150 cranked 700c wheel is well slow. But then I'm spoilt by
the coker as far as speed goes, so maybe you might not find it so slow. I
also wanted the same hub as my 26" wheel so that I can switch them in the
frame.

d) get someone to make you a frame

If you really want the ultimate super duper unicycle, I hear Dave Mariner
(www.unicycle.co.uk) made some bigger wheeled unicycles for people, if one
was to persuade him to make a 700c wheel with big clearance and the same
crankset as the dm atu that'd be pretty solid. I'd guess DM can do custom
models internationally although that might push the cost up. Again I'm not
sure if his splined cranks come in short sizes or not.

Given that lots of my riding is getting to places, I'm probably a bit more
fussy about speed than most, if you're not fussy about speed, or you want to
do some urban stuff, stairs etc. you might be better with the 26" wheel
profile hub things people are talking about.

Joe

 
 
 

Help me build a tough street unicycle

Post by rhyslin » Sat, 09 Mar 2002 23:09:17

Quote:

> *Hi there,

> I've just built myself up a speedy little street / muni racing
> unicycle...

> *snip*

> What I've got:-

> 700c wheel (which is sometimes incorrectly I think called 28" - 28" is
> a
> different size you can't get any more)
> made from:-
> Mavic T261 tandem/touring rim (48 hole, pretty wide)
> Suzue Hub(48 hole)
> lots of spokes (bog standard stainless ones) built 4 cross

> *snip*

> 110 Bicycle euro cranks, imitation wellgo pedals, possibly soon to
> have
> zefal half toeclips

> *snip*

> The whole setup (with a 38mm hybrid tyre) weighs a less than my
> Pashley 26"
> (with Nokian tyre) partly because of the big difference in tyre weight
> and
> is almost as fast as my Coker.
> *

Joe,

I'd love to here reviews on how this performs; as fun as off road
Cokering is, this set up must be more manageable.    Besides off road
handling, I'd like to know how it impacts your distance rides- more or
less energy expended pushing this smaller, lighter wheel?   How much
slower would you say your cruzing and top speeds are?   Are those 110
Bicycle Euro cranks a bit short for off-road?

Check out this link on the hole 700c thang:

'700c just as bogus!' (http://www.sheldonbrown.com/tire_sizing.html)

and

'More of the Same' (http://tinyurl.com/1dh)

Looks like we 'should' refer to the actual rim at beed, not a volume
convention that once applied racing tires.

;)

Christopher

--
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Help me build a tough street unicycle

Post by Animatio » Sat, 09 Mar 2002 23:23:10

Harper,

Quote:

> *If your United breaks, you'll know what needs attention.*

Actually, I am already getting there. After taking my United off-road
once or twice, it now creaks / squeaks when I ride. Also, somehow I have
managed to strip out the Miyata seat post, so that I can't clamp down on
it anymore. So, effectively, as of this moment, I don't have a street
unicycle, because the post is so loose that just the act of mounting it
twists the seat, mush less pedaling it. The Hunter I dont like for
street, so I have my old Schwinn but I can tell it can't really handle
my weight, in part because of the tire (I may invest in the wheelset
replacement). Also, the Schwinn seat doesn't seem tall enough.

So, at least for now, I can't ride. *sniff* I discovered it just last
night, after making this post initially. I am hoping that maybe Chris
will be able to look closer and tell me solutions, but who knows?

Quote:
> *I am agile like a cat and land like a butterfly taking nectar from a
> lilly.*

Thanks for the visual. I didn't know butterflies fell off of
unicycles.

:)

As for coming a long way ... you should see Tommy. Then again, he has a
daughter to compete with. He is already hopping, spinning, and other
cool stuff, and he started when I did. :) Then again, he has been
cycling bikes all his life, so he takes to the whole thing pretty
naturally.

Still, I'm happy with my progress ... I'm just sad I can't really ride
right now. I was pissed last night ... I was all set to ride for at
least an hour ... after 10 minutes of the seat twisting constantly, I
quit.

Maybe I could use my uni as an ultimate wheel. For about 20 feet, i was
balancing only using my feet on the pedals .... the seat was somewhere,
but it wasn't offering any support, because it had slipped (the post)
and fallen way down below where my crotch could actually sit on it. :)
haha!

Oh, and to everybody else, yes I read your comments and I will think
about my options. Thanks! I kinda want a 26", so I think I will do that.
Later down the line, I'll get a 28", maybe in the fall.

Lewis

--
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Lewis W Beard

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Help me build a tough street unicycle

Post by Joe Marshal » Sat, 09 Mar 2002 23:59:01


Quote:
> > The whole setup (with a 38mm hybrid tyre) weighs a less than my
> > Pashley 26"
> > (with Nokian tyre) partly because of the big difference in tyre weight
> > and
> > is almost as fast as my Coker.
> > *

> Joe,

> I'd love to here reviews on how this performs; as fun as off road
> Cokering is, this set up must be more manageable.    Besides off road
> handling, I'd like to know how it impacts your distance rides- more or
> less energy expended pushing this smaller, lighter wheel?   How much
> slower would you say your cruzing and top speeds are?   Are those 110
> Bicycle Euro cranks a bit short for off-road?

At the moment it's slower than the coker still, although this might be me
not being used to high cadences, because if I could move my legs at the same
speed as I am on the coker (150mm cranks) I'd be going at about the same
speed. I'm going to commute on it for a bit to get used to the cranks.

It's great fun on road, I haven't had a chance to ride off road yet, indeed
I don't have an offroad tyre for it yet, so any tests are going to be
somewhat biased by the hybrid tyre. I think more energy than the coker
because it doesn't roll over everything, but idling is easy and you can do
twist turns on the spot with relatively no effort compared with the coker,
still standing seems a bit easier on the short cranks too.

Joe

 
 
 

Help me build a tough street unicycle

Post by Joe Marshal » Sat, 09 Mar 2002 23:59:03


Quote:
> Check out this link on the hole 700c thang:

> '700c just as bogus!' (http://www.sheldonbrown.com/tire_sizing.html)

> and

> 'More of the Same' (http://tinyurl.com/1dh)

> Looks like we 'should' refer to the actual rim at beed, not a volume
> convention that once applied racing tires.

I know they're all don't have much to do with the size of the rim / rim tyre
combination, but 700C is better than 28"/29"/27" because they can all mean
different things to different people, whereas 700C is a standard size which
means the same to everyone.

Joe

 
 
 

Help me build a tough street unicycle

Post by Animatio » Sun, 10 Mar 2002 00:18:03

All,

OK, I'm deciding on some things now, and I have a couple of specific
questions to add to this, to guide me along my way.

I am going to go with a 26" rim, tire, and frame. I am considering the
SemCycle XLW, mainly because I have ridden on that frame before and I
liked it. Also, it is "wide" supposedly.

1) What is the widest tire the Sem XLW can accommodate?

2) Are there any other good *wide* street unicycle frames I should
consider instead of the Sem XLW?

[ I don't want to spend huge cash on the KH, Hunter, or DM frames in the
off-road section (the Pashley is reasonable but I don't know how wide it
is). ]

3) What are some good, wide (2.1+) street tires to be considering?
Obviously, this is impacted by question #1 (and maybe #2).

4) Which makes more sense for my weight (240) and the purpose of the
cycle (street riding, maybe rough at times): the Sun Doublewide or the
Sun Mammoth?

[ I notice both come in 26" whereas the Sun BFR didn't seem to, at least
on unicycle.com in the parts section of the catalog. ]

Thanks for helping with these (and maybe more later) 4 questions.

Lewis

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Lewis W Beard

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Help me build a tough street unicycle

Post by Maxfield » Sun, 10 Mar 2002 00:25:29

How easy is it to swap wheels in and out of your Hunter frame? That's my
solution with my Telford. I swap between
1.  a Monty wheel with 150 cranks,
2. a 26 inch Sun Mammoth with a Gazz Jr, and175 cranks,
3.  a 700c with Continental Top Touring 48 tire and 150 cranks.

My 700c is strong but light weight, and the top touring tire gives a lot of
cushion.

David Maxfield
Bainbridge Island, WA

 
 
 

Help me build a tough street unicycle

Post by rhyslin » Sun, 10 Mar 2002 00:23:06

Quote:

> *
> I know they're all don't have much to do with the size of the rim /
> rim tyre
> combination, but 700C is better than 28"/29"/27" because they can all
> mean
> different things to different people, whereas 700C is a standard size
> which
> means the same to everyone.
> *

The 700c is a standard LABEL, -it is no longer a standard size, being
applied to a wide range of closely related sizes... and is thus no
better than the 28"/29"/27" label.   Why no use ACTUAL sizes?

Christopher

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Help me build a tough street unicycle

Post by Animatio » Sun, 10 Mar 2002 00:56:30

Quote:

> *How easy is it to swap wheels in and out of your Hunter frame?
> *

David,

I don't really see that as a solution for me. For one thing, I want to
be able to just "pick up and go". Also, I like having a different
unicycle for each occasion. In addition to this, I am lazy when it comes
to things that use tools (I view having to unscrew the nut on the
brackets as tool use, thats how much I hate using tools).

Anyway, I want to build the very best wheel for me for each situation.
The frame I am likely to get it only $55 (Sem XLW) and the seat done as
an air conversion is $99, but the wheel and parts will be $500 or so.
So, I say, why not just spend $150 more and have 2 unicycles?

I guess I have got the unicycling bug bad. I'm irked I can't ride right
now ... well, at least not in comfort. I could ride the hunter on-road
with that horrible United seat. :)

Lewis

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Help me build a tough street unicycle

Post by Joe Marshal » Sun, 10 Mar 2002 01:31:05


Quote:

> The 700c is a standard LABEL, -it is no longer a standard size, being
> applied to a wide range of closely related sizes... and is thus no
> better than the 28"/29"/27" label.   Why no use ACTUAL sizes?

no 700c is always 632mm bead diameter. 700c tyres will always fit on 700c
rims which is the important thing. The rim itself may be a bit wider or
narrower, but the bead seat is in the same place.

Joe