chasing grams

Discussion in 'rec.sport.unicycling' started by Golden Chicken, Jul 25, 2004.

  1. If one wants to make the uni lighter by putting on thin racing tyres,
    will the bike become harder to handle (on paved surface)?
     
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  2. c.critch

    c.critch Guest

  3. Mikefule

    Mikefule Guest

    If you're going to save weight on the uni, then the tyre may be the
    worst place to start.

    I have a Nimbus 28 with the original 700c x 32 mm road tyre, and 110mm
    cranks. It's light, nimble, and great fun to ride, but I think it'd be
    faster over a journey if it had a heavier, fatter 29 inch tyre.

    A heavy tyre (or rim) adds flywheel mass to the wheel. It will make the
    uni slightly harder to acclerate (less responsive, slightly trickier to
    idle) but the converse is that if it's harder to accelerate, it's also
    harder to decelerate, and it will take less notice of minor
    irregularities in the road surface. It will be easier to ride fast.

    One of my pipe dreams is to have a super lightweight 28 with an ultra
    narrow road rim. It'll look good, be fun to ride, but be totally
    impractical on anything but super smooth concrete.
    Rogeratunicycledotukdotcom strongly advised me against the skinny
    lightweight option. (I'll probably still do it one day, though ;o)
    )

    So, for speed, go for a forgiving tyre, rather than a skinny lightweight
    one.

    Now, look at weight generally. Why do you want to save weight on your
    unicycle?

    I weigh approximately 150 pounds. My unicycles weigh less than 10% of
    that. A litre of water weighs about 1.75 pounds, which is over 10% of
    the weight of the unicycle. You can shave grammes off the weight of a
    unicycle, but they are a tiny percentage of the total weight that you
    are trying to propel.

    An experiment was done with bicycles about 20 years ago, and was
    reported over here in the bicycle press. A time trials rider rode 25
    miles, then repeated the ride a few days later in virtually identical
    conditions, but with 3 pounds of lead attached to the frame of his bike.
    It made seconds' difference over the 25 mile - not enough to draw any
    conclusion except that the weight made no appreciable difference.

    Mass resists acceleration and deceleration. Get a heavy wheel, or
    unicycle, moving, and it will be harder to stop. You get the famous
    flywheel effect beloved of Coker riders.

    It is worth saving weight if you're going to hop, drop, jump, or climb,
    but then you would be choosing a tyre appropriate for those activities,
    rather than trying to get a light tyre.


    --
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  4. TonyMelton

    TonyMelton Guest

    The flywheel effect may be great on a Coker, but on a smaller wheel its
    just annoying. I had an old 28" uni with a heavy steel rim, heavyweight
    tyre and thickish tube. It was a pig to ride. One of the easiest ways to
    make your uni lighter is to get a lighter wheelset. By wheelset I mean
    lighter hub, spokes, nipples, rim, tube, rim strip and tyre.

    An ultra skinny road tyre is great if you plan on road and track riding
    only. For other riding it will suck.


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  5. Thanks for some good answers! I should have been a little more elaborate
    though: My thought on chasing grams came from envisioning myself doing a
    longer hike combining unicycling with walking/carrying the uni.

    I agree with you Mikefule that in enhancing (any biking) performance you
    might as well start shaving off weight at other places than on the bike
    itself. Hm, I could start with my belly :)


    GC
     
  6. c.critch wrote:
    > *whats this bike u speak of? *

    Maybe the bike that the tyres have come off?? ;)


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  7. daino149

    daino149 Guest

    one wheeled stallion wrote:
    > * Maybe the bike that the tyres have come off?? ;) *



    In that case, the bike would be much harder to handle. Have you ever
    tried riding a bike without tires?


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