I decided to help Corvin learn to ride a unicycle. In order to do that, I needed to make my unicycle fit him. I cut the post of mine down so it was short enough for him to ride. Of course, that means that I had to get a new one… I had been reading about a guy named Cary who was doing a super long journey on a unicycle. He has done several 100 plus mile days on his unicycle. Part of that he attributed to his huge 36″ wheel for going faster/farther. I decided I would upgrade to a larger wheel myself. Of course, the big wheels cost big money. So I settled on moving up from a 24″ to a 29″ wheel. Running the numbers, if I want to ride longer distances, it will save me 149 revolutions of the wheel per mile that I travel. If I can keep the same rpm, it also means that I’ll go faster. That is the plan anyway.
The box arrived in the mail. It is a 29″ Schwinn retro unicycle. I picked it because of the brand name and color (its blue).
Here it is with the parts laid out on the floor ready to install, it isn’t what I expected. I thought there would be a frame that went around the wheel. Instead there were two pieces of metal that bolt through the seat post.
Putting it together, I thought that the tire may have been messed up, but it turns out that it just needed to be inflated more before it had a correct fit. Once it was all together, I had to try it out. It took a few times of riding to get the seat to a comfortable height. This one is much taller than the 24″ and that took some getting used to. More importantly, I didn’t make the connection till I started riding it that its like being in high gear at all times with the larger wheel. This takes a tole on my knees, but I am getting used to it.
After riding several times, I lost confidence in this unicycle. Each time I pedaled, the frame would squeak. I weigh in around 230 pounds and could not get the seat bolt tight enough. I sent an email to Unicycle.com explaining my disapointment in the design of the unicycle and asked what could be done about. I received a phone call from them the next day to discuss options. They didn’t have people that didn’t like this one as much as me before. However they worked with me to ship out a new frame and return the Schwinn frame, keeping the wheel and seat.
The unicycle is now a combination Schwinn wheel and Torquer frame and doesn’t squeak when I ride it. I’m a very satisfied customer and recommend them for any unicycle purchase!
Time to ride!