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Earlier this year I rode in an organized 100K with about 3600’ of climbing. Not a huge ride but definitely a day’s work for me. I can’t get over the fact that on the way I passed more than one person riding a unicycle. They looked to have been built on 29er wheels, although I didn’t get a close look tires, drivetrains, or brakes. Seems like they had to be direct drive; isn’t that part of keeping your balance on one wheel?

One unicyclist I passed was a good 30 miles into the ride, beyond a 1/4 mile section of 10% grade followed by a 1/2 mile downhill. I kept wondering, “How does this guy climb or descend on that thing?” I guess it's possible he walked the grades, but in that case he'd have walked almost as much as he rolled. I should have asked, but I didn't want to be the 100th person bugging him with the same questions.

In another case I saw the unicyclist had a two-wheeled partner on whom he could lean at stoplights so he didn’t have to dismount. Maybe the others had partners also. But I doubt there was any leaning or towing while the team was in motion.
 

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I've seen them mountain biking too. WTF?
 

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I've seen them out and about around here on both road and MTB routes. From watching them it appears they climb leaned way forward, and descend leaned way back.
 

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I've ridden one... It's like surfing or juggling, once you get it, once you defy your brain wiring and make the leap, they are very cool and very controlled. I can't imagine MTB or serious miles though... That's crazy and pretty damn cool. You keep yourself upright and balanced with your pedal resistance, forward or backward. I don't think that made sense... Hard to explain. I'd love to play with one more.
 

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I rep'd you for admitting that it took 30 miles to overtake a unicycle. Good for you, admitting this is the first step. We will be here for you any time you need some support.
 

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They looked to have been built on 29er wheels, although I didn’t get a close look tires, drivetrains, or brakes.
For long distances, many unicyclists use a 36-inch wheel. Drivetrain? Direct drive. Some have brakes, but not all.
 
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