Discussion:
Carbon fiber seatbase - Why buy?
(too old to reply)
TheBadger587
2004-07-02 10:35:07 UTC
Permalink
I'm sure they're really nice and all... but what about a CF seat
justifies its cost? would a stiffener plate do the same job?


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Tmornstar
2004-07-02 12:18:26 UTC
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I have found that the CF seat bases are stiff, light and trouble free.
I have many unicycles and if I could I would have a CF on all of them.
The CF seat bases are, most certainly, worth the money - if you can
afford/justify that luxury of having the best.

Tommy


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Robbie
2004-07-02 14:22:39 UTC
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If your a serious unicyclist at a high level of the sport and have the
money you pretty much want the best equipment. Hopping that 1 inch
higher makes you... able to hop 1 inch higher than you previously could?


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bugman
2004-07-03 04:54:33 UTC
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Man, such strong opinions over a seat. I would hate to see you guys
discuss politics.:D


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john_childs
2004-07-02 15:29:08 UTC
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The GB4 stiffener plate is a very good way to strengthen a seat. It
takes a lot of the flex out of the seat when pulling or pushing on the
handle. It also greatly increases the life of the seat.

But the metal stiffener isn't a perfect fix. It's heavy. But more
importantly it doesn't protect the entire seat. The back part of the
seat is still un-reinforced and it's still possible to crack the back
part of the seat. It's also still possible to crack the front half of
the seat even with the stiffener. The stiffener will lengthen the life
of the seat, but will not last as long as the carbon fiber seat base.

The carbon fiber seat base isn't without it's problems. You have to
drill your own holes. It would sure suck to drill the holes off center,
or otherwise mess up, and be left with a $90 unusable seat base. The CF
seat base also is not indestructible. It can still break. Just ask
Ryan Atkins.

The CF seat base is the best thing we've got right now for a strong
durable seat base. It's worth it in the long run, but in the short term
a GB4 stiffener will be a lot easier on the pocketbook.

In another thread someone was asking about how you keep the bolts from
spinning in the CF seat base. The trick is to drill an undersized hole,
then use a small file to file the hole square. Make the square just big
enough to fit a carriage bolt. Presto. No spinning bolts to worry
about. But it sure is a pain filing the holes square by hand.

Some people have gotten creative and mounted a 'T-nut'
(http://tinyurl.com/2gmbs) in the CF base. Then you use a low profile
allen head machine screw up through the bottom of the seat to secure the
handle and seatpost. But I'm not sure how they are able to secure the
T-nut in the carbon fiber. T-nuts are designed to sink in to wood. You
can't get the prongs to sink in to carbon fiber. They must be doing
something tricky.

But yeah, getting the holes and bolts in the carbon fiber base is a
pain.


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Ken Cline
2004-07-02 17:28:29 UTC
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Post by john_childs
Some people have gotten creative and mounted a 'T-nut'
(http://tinyurl.com/2gmbs) in the CF base. Then you use a low profile
allen head machine screw up through the bottom of the seat to secure the
handle and seatpost. But I'm not sure how they are able to secure the
T-nut in the carbon fiber. T-nuts are designed to sink in to wood. You
can't get the prongs to sink in to carbon fiber. They must be doing
something tricky.
I have used a sort of t-nut with small holes instead of prongs (though
not on unicycles) by simply gluing them in place with epoxy.
Presumably the holes are for small nails, but I didn't bother. This
was in a lighter-duty setting than a unicycle seat, but I would still
consider using them for this purpose. Depending on the thickness of
the seat base, I'd consider adding some small screws into or stiff
wire threaded through the base.

Ken
Jester2000
2004-07-02 16:23:05 UTC
Permalink
When I ordered my muni last december, I got a miyata with a GB4
stiffener plate. It was good for me then, but you really notice a
weight difference on somebody else's seat with a CF base. After a
couple months, I was sorry that I didn't put in the extra $60 and get
the CF. (The miyata seatbase was $10, GB4 was $10) Now that I have
upgraded, my Muni is unstoppable. The rigidness and lightness
combination of the CF base cannot be beat.

If you are worried about drilling holes wrong, just spend a long time
drawing the holes on, and figuring out where you want them. The key is:
Have a lot of time when you are drilling your holes. Take your time.
Don't rush.

Later,

Jess


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Tmornstar
2004-07-03 13:29:43 UTC
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I’m enjoying the bantering over something as simple as a unicycle
seat-base. I’m glad there is a place to vent and become so impassioned
over CF verses plastic. Stiff verses flexible, breakable verses
repairable, its all fun. However, the thing that immediately struck me
when I became engrossed with unicycling was the absolutely ridiculous
poor quality of components available. That was only 3 years ago! Since
that time we have had individuals (such as George Barnes and Steve
Howard) and companies like Torker, Bedford and Unicycle.Com step-up to
create and provide some outstanding quality products and services.

The first time that I tried to replace a Miyata handle only to discover
that the bolts were spinning in the seat base my avocation and source of
joy became a source of frustration and contempt for who would produce
and sell (for good money) such a poorly designed product. I even enjoy
the time that I spend working on my unicycles but dealing with design
flaws is not how I, personally, want to spend those precious few, free
moments with my beloved unicycles. For me, and you may be different, it
is worth the extra money to have quality products that are not $40,
disposable pieces of plastic that take a week of down-time to replace.


Tommy


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U-Turn
2004-07-07 17:37:09 UTC
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*you can still get better performance from a stiff seat than a flexy
one. *
Strictly speaking, the true issue is power and energy transfer and
efficiency, not stiffness. If you get back, in a useful way, all/most
of the energy you put into the uni via your hand, then that's what
counts. Stiffness is a side issue.

Stiffness is of primary importance in a wheel where there is a
significant low-clearance interface with the frame, that is, where there
are brakes. Stiffness and strength in a wheel are not synonymous.

In other components, energy transfer, strength, weight, expense,
maintainability, and other major attributes of a cycle must be in
equilibrium with the intended use of the cycle, and that balance will
change with cyclist and ride. Lance Armstrong, with a $7M annual
cycling budget, does not make the same choices we make. However, it is
clear that a super-strong frame that is not heavy is also expensive,
whereas a cheap frame might be light but not strong or durable enough.
There are similar tradeoffs in wheel configuration. For example, a
fatter tire may absorb more bumps, thus saving energy, but also cost
more in energy expenditure for wheel accelerations and hill climbs.

Since we are not doing computer simulations, analyses, or stress tests
the way Lance Armstrong is, we have to rely on feel, the occasional
race, and long-term feelings of satisfaction. My read of these is that
a) everybody likes the CF setup, although Ryan breaks them, b) the GB4
stiffener plate works great, although it would be nice if it were
lighter. Everybody seems to agree that, for extreme use, the Miyata and
standard KH saddles break.

Technical measurements such as measuring amount of deflection are not
useful unless put into a larger, equally technical analysis of the
transfer of energy from the rider to the ground, etc. Also useless are
personal attacks in any direction, from whatever source.

The light stiffener, with 2 coats of clear paint, is 5.1 oz. The
standard GB4 stiffener, untreated, is 9.5 oz.

Ben's comments on the light stiffener were essentially that a) at first
he thought it would be too flexy, and b) after racing with it in the
Toronto 24h Endurance race, he thought it was fine. He may want to add
to or correct that summary. As of our last conversation, he did not
have feedback on the trials installation.


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johnfoss
2004-07-07 18:02:12 UTC
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What we really need are better seat posts. If the job of the seat were
just to support your crotch area (in comfort), it would not have to
weigh much at all. The problem is when we use the front of it as a major
source of leverage. This puts all sorts of stress through the seat, and
the post.

In my day, I broke more posts than seats, though the older Miyata seats
used to split around the rivet holes and go ultra-flexy.

The problem with adding a super-strong seat, of any kind, to an ordinary
post is that you're just moving the problem down to the post. I ripped
the tops off a dozen or more Miyata posts over the years.

Improve the post, and move the handle away from the seat, and you have a
better solution. I would prefer a handle that's part of the post. It
will still move up and down with seat height adjustments, and can even
provide *more* support to the seat above it by having a longer distance
to attach to. Guys who break the back ends of their seats will still
need more reinforcement in them than the rest of us, but if the handle
can be separated, this will solve most of the problems for most
riders.

Designs, please?


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U-Turn
2004-07-07 19:55:55 UTC
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The GB4 seatpost solves the seatpost problem for traditional sizes and
has been available for some time. For other post diameters, the options
are generally limited to setups that involve a rail adapter. However,
there is no reason nowadays for seatpost strength to be a topic for
debate. This change is thanks to George Barnes and unicycle.com. The
chief places for innovation now include developing a lighter seatpost
for traditional sizes without sacrificing strength, and developing
non-rail solutions for larger diameter setups.

Attaching a handle to the seatpost is not a new idea and there are many
people's adaptations posted in this forum and gallery. A major
disadvantage of that approach is the increase of vertical footprint.
This can eliminate one or two wheel sizes for a given rider, depending
on his/her height.

The real solution is to attach the handle to the frame in a
personally-customizable, configurable way.

I have some good ideas along that last line and would like to talk to
someone who is interested in sponsoring a prototype or two.


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TheBadger587
2004-07-07 20:18:03 UTC
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*Man, there is no way anyone could get up from that. I want both posts
in my sig. line!
Sorry, I don't get the picture... *
changinglinks is the baby. get it now?


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offensive. Good day sir!
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johnfoss
2004-07-07 21:20:13 UTC
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*The GB4 seatpost solves the seatpost problem for traditional sizes
and has been available for some time. *
Do you refer to this one?
http://www.unicycle.com/shopping/shopexd.asp?id=608
Surely it is stronger than the stock ones for Miyatas and maybe even
Schwinns, but it is still a flat plate welded to the top of a pipe. No
disrespect to George, but that design will still take a beating from a
seat with a handle way out at the front. If I used one the way I used my
old ones, I know it would break eventually.

BTW, George made me a custom one for my 29er, with two little gussets to
shore up the top of the post. That should make a huge difference in the
life of that post!
*Attaching a handle to the seatpost is not a new idea and there are
many people's adaptations posted in this forum and gallery.*
Yes. In fact I saw my first one at my first unicycle meet, on Randy
Barnes' Schwinn(s) in 1980.
*A major disadvantage of that approach is the increase of vertical
footprint. This can eliminate one or two wheel sizes for a given
rider, depending on his/her height.*
Granted. For a structurally sound design, there is definitely a problem
with freedom to adjust the seat. Though one could use a simple "L"
shaped design, it would not be the most efficent, nor the strongest
possible solution.

I propose to think of the handle-inclusive seat post as the top half of
the unicycle's frame, rather than the mere post we normally think of. An
"L" shaped version could be two pieces of quality frame tubing with a
lug at the joint. That might be better.

I've also thought of a few ways to have the handle be part of the frame
independent of the seat and post. All these would mean a departure from
the normal, simple "fork" design, but might be useful for future
unicycles. Something less one-dimensional than regular forks. I've
especially considered frame ideas like that for road Cokers.


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U-Turn
2004-07-07 22:24:45 UTC
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No disrespect to George...
I agree, I have nothing but respect for George and the way he handles
(npi) himself. We all can learn a lot from his professionalism.

As for the seatposts, I have never heard of one breaking and never
expect to. This is what I have on my Coker with the GBDS handle
prototype.


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Max_Dingemans
2004-07-02 17:51:32 UTC
Permalink
what I like about them is I never have to worry about my seat breaking.
just the seatpost. But Im ok with that. Of course, I got them several
years ago when they were a bit cheaper than they are now. But before
getting my first, I broke (on the back unreinforced section) two miyata
seat bases (japonese made, not chinese) in one week. That's when I knew
I needed something better.

I also have mine imbedded with t-nuts. and it works wonderfully. what
we did, was drill a main hole, and one small hole for one of the prongs.
then we bent the other 3 prongs out of the way, and epoxied the whole
thing in place. Never had a problem with it.


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ChangingLINKS.com
2004-07-03 15:07:32 UTC
Permalink
TMORNSTAR
IT IS WORTH THE EXTRA MONEY TO HAVE QUALITY PRODUCTS THAT ARE NOT $40,
DISPOSABLE PIECES OF PLASTIC THAT TAKE A WEEK OF DOWN-TIME TO REPLACE.

You make it sound like you can break a Miata frame sooo much more easily
than a CF. Oddly, I have never heard complaints about the KH PLASTIC
frame getting destroyed - nor the Miata. We are talking about the
plastic part here - not the aluminum stiffener.
Also, rather than have a week of downtime, you can afford to have an
extra frame and still have $70 left over.

IUNICYCLE
THERE SEEMS TO BE AN INVERSE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN EXPERIENCE AND THE
AMOUNT OF VERBAGE SPEWED FORTH.
You're correct. I went to MOAB, and like many others, I checked out what
Heaton, Holms and Atkins were riding. Can anyone guess how many of them
bitched about not being able to ride with an extra few ounces? Can
anyone tell me how many CF frames they had? What components did these
riders ALL have in common? Did anyone else notice the EXTRA heavy
component on Heaton's setup?
Some times I make excuses too - "ooooh, I can't hop today, my seat is
too heavy."

IUNICYCLE
I THINK THE MENTALITY EXPRESSED FOR 'BREAK AND REPLACE' IS GREAT IF YOU
WORK FOR OR REPRESENT A MASS MARKETER OF CHEAP PRODUCTS, OR MAYBE AUTO
BUMPERS.
You're twisting my words. I am NOT saying that you should break and
replace. That implies that I believe that the frame combined with the
GB4 is MUUUUCH less durable than the CF. You are also implying a myth:
that the CF frame is unbreakable.

TOMBLACKWOOD
Reduced to personal attacks? It makes you look like a clown. Doh!

MAX_DINGEMANS
OH, AND I PERSONALLY CANT STAND THE FLEX IN MIYATA/KH SEATS.
Me either! Just kidding. I laugh as I ponder while I imagine Holms,
Heaton and Atkins saying this in their early days. "I simply can't ride
this thing because it is a few ounces more and I think it flexes."

With responses like these it prompts me to do another post that is more
to the point. See, I believe that some guys are talking out of the side
of their necks. (not all of them.) They sound as though the cost is
justifiable. Lets run some numbers and see if it is. . . .


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ChangingLINKS.com
2004-07-03 15:20:31 UTC
Permalink
Carbon Fiber frame advocates have repeatedly said that carbon fiber
frames are lighter, stronger, stiffer, more durable. I have sincere
doubts that most of them know whether or not the carbon fiber is worth
it's cost.

In other words, if the frame is 4 times the cost, shouldn't it be 4
times as stiff, 4 times as durable, 4 times as light, and 4 times as
strong? Half that? Once we get answers to these direct questions, it
will put the matter to rest:

1. Exactly how much lighter is the carbon fiber base relative to the
Torker LX frame and currently available GB4 stiffener?

2. About* how much more flex happens with a Torker LX frame and GB4
stiffener than a carbon fiber frame? (found by supporting the same
weight from each and measuring the distances).

3. to jagur only who wrote
"a stiffer seat transfers more power and a significant amount at
that."
How much more power is transferred?

4. About how much more weight will a carbon fiber take before breaking
versus a Torker LX supported by a GB4 stiffener?


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iunicycle
2004-07-03 17:26:20 UTC
Permalink
*I have sincere doubts that most of them know whether or not the
carbon fiber is worth it's cost.
*
Can I ask in advance what your criteria is (graph of weight, stiffness,
expected life, etc. to cost)? I would venture to guess that at least a
few here would pay a 10x premium if the relationship to any of these
measurements to cost was linear.

Your basic argument seems to be that other unicyclists' graph should be
the same as yours, otherwise they don't know what they are talking
about.


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Max_Dingemans
2004-07-03 18:14:36 UTC
Permalink
For the record, I'v had one of my CF bases for about 4 years now, and
I'v had to replace the seatpost twice. Now when I got it, the cost was
$56 plus shipping. That's barely more than the price of an extra seat.
Plus maybe 5 for the T-nuts to set it up. Now lets take into account
that nothing other than my post's have broken since getting the CF
base. So I spend ~60 bucks, and have a flex free system (that doesnt
piss me off) and it lasts 4 years, playing ~10 dollars twice to fix the
seatpost. In that same 4 year period, I dont know how many seats I
would have gone through. For arguments sake, lets say 2 a year. I
think it would probably be more than that, but that's ok. So 4 Years,
at 2 seats a year, at 40 bucks a pop, is 8 x 40, $320 dollars. Now,
~$320 vs the ~80 for the cf. I have no problem justifying that.

And yes, Im not taking into account a stiffner. Beacuse I would break
the seats anyways. Infact, I did have a seat with an 1/8th inch
aluminum stiffner. Still broke the seat in the back. the Stiffner ran
the full length of the seat.


The fact seems to me that some people are just willing to play for
better quality components than you are.


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TheBadger587
2004-07-03 18:24:18 UTC
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Post by ChangingLINKS.com
In other words, if the frame is 4 times the cost, shouldn't it be 4
times as stiff, 4 times as durable, 4 times as light, and 4 times as
strong? Half that?
Diminishing returns, man. is a 30 dollar steak in a restaurant 6 times
tastier, 6 times more tender, and 6 times jucier than one you barbecue
yourself? no. it seems to me that the cf seatbase is better in every
regard, and you should really stop whining ASAP.


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rogeratunicycledotcom
2004-07-03 20:52:43 UTC
Permalink
Just a few comments about the CF base.

It is expensive, it is a pain to make and, something people have not
mentioned, it has a limited life span.

The cost is because it is a hand made product, it takes a day to make
each one. The company that makes them are not a fly by night company
and it is due to their skills that we have had so few failures. The
manufacturer is a good friend of mine (I have known him for over 15
years) and although some of you, I am sure would not believe this, but
it is a favor to me that we are getting them done at the relatively low
price we are!

They are a pain to fit because there are so many preferences to fitting.
For instance, there are 4 different Miyata tops with differing pitches
of holes! The cost of CNC'ing in the holes for us would double the cost
at least... would you pay twice as much?

Life span. As with all carbon fibre products they become fatigued will
fail over time. I have heard recommendations from handlebars that they
should not be used after 12 months. I have and used regularly the first
one and it has shown no sign of failing yet. We have had failures,
luckily not very many at all.

Roger


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Tmornstar
2004-07-03 22:10:16 UTC
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Changinglinks.com

Reading your comments I am drawn to recollect some advice my
ex-father-in-law bestowed to me the day I married his daughter. His
advice: “When you are engaged in an argument or debate with her, just
say the five magic words or you'll never get her off your case, You’re
right, you’re absolutely right.” Obviously I didn’t heed his advice,
thus the “ex.” However, I’ve learned my lesson. You’re right, you’re
absolutely right. I’ve had enough of this conversation. Enjoy
yourself.

Smiling politely,
Tommy


--
Tmornstar - Grandmaster 2T

Tommy Thompson
***@memphisunicycleclub.com (No PMs. please)
Memphis Unicycle Club
Please vist our web site:
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GizmoDuck
2004-07-06 07:25:26 UTC
Permalink
*just the humor. ;) *
Am I just being really dim? I just don't get it :(. They don't even
add up. Even if there are two different plastic bases.
229.18g is a good weight saving though, I'd be happy with that. I'm
sure there'd be more with the KH vs KHCF base.

Ken (Weight geek :rolleyes:)

Ok I get it.......it's some sort of cryptic equation isn't it?




--
GizmoDuck - Spin Doctor K

o-kO

"Give man dead fish, and he feed himself for lunch, teach man to catch
fish, and he feed himself for life. Teach man to wheel ride, and he
make friends everywhere, anywhere, and even have lunch at their
place."

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TheBadger587
2004-07-06 10:10:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by TonyMelton
I'll be interested to see what conclusions you draw from these data.
Hey i get it now... it only took me about 4 hours


--
TheBadger587 - Level 4

Well i Guess not the retarded ones... but how could you even say
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offensive. Good day sir!
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TonyMelton
2004-07-06 20:57:33 UTC
Permalink
Oops, what I meant was

Miyata seat base:160.80g
GB Stiffener plate: 270.37g
Miyata seat base + GB Stiffener plate: 431.2g

I was typing very fast as it was the second time I tried to post -the
internet ate my first attempt.


--
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johnfoss
2004-07-06 21:34:45 UTC
Permalink
I know I'm digging a ways back for these quotes, but I haven't looked at
*Not only does that make Tom's time extremely expensive, but it
contrasts the fact that he is on FREE TIME when doing unicycling
related things. An insult to all of our intelligences, I must say.*
My (and Tom's) time is not free. All the hours we work at our jobs is to
"buy" our leisure time. We "spend" this time by not being paid for it.
If Tom and I choose to spend that time riding more and repairing our
cycles less, it is because that's what we choose to do with our time.

This does not mean it's wrong to enjoy doing cycle maintenance. I used
to enjoy that, along with car maintenance. No I prefer to do neither. If
I can spend a little (or maybe a lot) more to cut down on this
maintenance, it's well worth it *to me.* I do not know how much it's
worth to you, and you do not know how much it's worth to me, except by
reading our opinions here.
*Tom forgets you have to drill your own holes to a certain size AND
file those holes - which takes more time than slapping together parts
that already work together.*
How many times? We all seem to agree that one CF base is equal to an
unknown number of seat repairs, but the general consensus seems to be
"many."
*3. Finally, Tom omits the fact that unicycle maintainence is PART OF
THE SPORT. You are going to have to pump up tires, tighten bolts,
change components, shop, dream, design, modify parts of your
unicycle.*
Certainly it is, and this is true with any sport. Our choice to buy more
expensive parts so we can do *less* maintenance is up to us. Again you
seem to miss the point that some of us like maintenance less than
others. This makes the price difference less of a stretch for us.

Some of us believe the parts should not break. There's a difference
between maintenance and replacing parts that break because their design
is not up to the task.

I've been around long enough to see a lot of evolution in unicycles, and
to have been a participant in it. You know why Trials didn't exist when
I first got into unicycling? Because the unicycles would get destroyed
too fast. You would have to like repairing unicycles about 10x more than
riding to have enjoyed it.

Now we are in a time of evolution, with lots of new designs being tossed
around and actually available for us to buy. A CF seat base, even at $80
US, is infinitely more practical than a seat that will break after a few
days' hard riding. In the early 80s, all we had was the breaky seat.
It's nice to have a choice now.
*4. Finally, Tom omits the fact that something CAN go wrong with the
CF frame. For example, those holes that are drilled and filed - well,
they could wear lose (expecially if you have a tendency like me to
over tighten things).
Not gonna happen with 1/4 thick steel - you're more likely to snap the
bolt or strip the threads.*
Huh? Sounds like you're saying a CF frame can/will fail but a 1/4" thick
piece of steel won't. Is that your logic? Both have the potential for
eventual failure.
*john_childs: "A stiff seat meant better acceleration off the line.
And that would mean the difference between winning and losing some
races."
Unicycling is not that serious. Unicycle Racing isn't even an Olympic
sport, (where this type of thing would matter) is it?*
(That quote was me by the way) Is the Natioal Football League's sport
not that serious? You imply that it is. Cool as it is, the Olympics is
not everything.

If little league baseball isn't important, how come it turns parents
into such idiots? It's important to someone.

Any sport you do, *ANY SPORT* is as important to you as you choose it to
be. I chose to save up for many months and travel to the opposite side
of the world to race my unicycle. There I competed in a "Guinness 100m
race." The outcome of that race was determined in the first 10 meters,
and the finish was in the tiniest fraction of a second.

Photo attached. The three guys at the right are all within 1/10 second
of each other. This was one of about 10 heats we did to get the fastest
run possible. All had very similar outcomes.

Anyway, by having a quicker start than the guy next to me (Shigeru
Koike), I was able to be the winner. We rode at exactly the same top
speed, so it was all in the start. BTW, all the guys in that race,
except the one in the back, were riding on what were probably undoctored
Miyata seats and posts. This was before they had handles on the front.
This was 1987, Unicon III.

By winning this race, I got into the Guinness Book for four years. I
used this in my work, when appearing in schools, to encourage kids to go
down to the school library and read.

Even without all of that, it was still important. Our sport has world
championships, and top riders get together from around the world to
compete. Don't belittle them.
*it raises the question about how many unicycling races were lost by a
fraction of a second.*
You are showing your lack of knowledge. Hundreds. At least a dozen at
every NAUCC or Unicon. And the higher-level races, the finals, are
usually the closer ones, of course.
*Need more speed, get more skill, eat a better breakfast, change your
tire pressure, change the tire, have a "good" day - but change the
frame of your seat?*
I'm going to be polite in this whole message except for here.

Idiot.

I can get more skill, I already ate a better breakfast, if I put any
more air my tire would pop, and I had an absolutely bitchin' day. Let's
say I do all of those things. You're saying if Shigeru Koike did the
same, *and* had a super-stiff seat setup he wouldn't get a quicker
start?

Well you might say that. I'm here to correct you. No, it would make a
big effing difference. Thank you very much. Now let's hear some rebuttal
on that from experts.

Think about it: you need a extremely stiff seat, covered by an extremely
CUSHY innertube? That is not logical in anyway whatsoever.[/b]You think about it. You've got the whole seat flex thing upside down. You
keep recommending hanging a weight from the seat for objective "numbers."
Seat flex *downward* isn't the problem. The problem is when you pull up,
as you mentioned in one of your later posts. I want my seat to not flex
when I pull up on it. I want it to be soft when my crotch bounces around
on it. I have exactly that on my DM ATU, with gusseted Miyata air seat.
Works great.

On my carbon MUni, which I used to win some of those awards at Moab, I
have a Miyata air seat on top of a Thudbuster Uni Pivot seat post. Minimal
upward flex, so I can beat all but one or two of the "kids" in two of the
the uphill races. Sure, the engine counts for 99% of that. But we're
talking about the machine here, not the engine.


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--
johnfoss - Walkin' on the edge

John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone
"jfoss" at "unicycling.com"
www.unicycling.com

"Beer me." -- Scot Cooper, at the end of a group ride all the way up and
all the way down Mt. Diablo (3300'), a 20 mile round trip of road and
trail.
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johnfoss
2004-07-06 21:35:28 UTC
Permalink
*I went out today, and pulled up as hard as I could on the handle, and
I honestly didn't "feel" more than 1/2 inch of play (and as I said
before, I am a larger person). ... my primary point is that there
simply was not enough flex to complain about. What comes to mind is
that there are so many other things I would have to consider powering
up a steep slope (like the temp. {it was 90+ degrees} and my heart
rate) than for me to honestly blame seat frame stiffness for a
climbing failure. *
1/2" is a *huge* amount of flex! Realize you are fighting against that
flex with each half revolution of your wheel. The longer the climb, the
worse that flex is for your overall performance. It translates into much
more than the fractional inch somebody else calculated out.

And this flex is the part we're talking about. If it's a race, the guy
next to you is riding in the same high temperature, headwind. or other
conditions that might be present. We're just talking about seat flex
(vs. cost).
[b]1. To measure stiffness, all we have to do is hang a weight
(50-100+ pounds) on the handle and measure the flex with a common
ruler.
[/b]Nope, you need to measure *upward* flex, as mentioned above. This is
measured as the amount of deflection while applying hard pressure on the
pedals. I don't know that hanging a weight from an upside-down unicycle
would be an accurate way to test this, because it doesn't take into
account the other forces involved, between the pedals and the front end
of the seat.
*2. To measure durability, we can simply add more weight, and when the
frame breaks, we can see how much weight it took.*
And this would simulate real-world riding in what way? That would be a
good simulation for a one-time drop, assuming the rider lands with all
his weight on his crotch; nothing else. Materials weaken and break
through repeated stress and shocks. This is a lot harder to simulate,
and the quality of your simulation would be what would need to be judged
in the end.
*I AM willing to donate the $20 bucks to test the GB4/Torker LX combo
- espeically because I know that even after it bends once, I can still
hammer out and use the GB4 stiffener again. *
Yup, just keep bending it back, it'll be stronger every time.

Though it's an advantage here that steel bends instead of shattering,
there is still a limit to how much you can use a steel part after it's
been bent. When it bends, it is also compromised.
*Theory: What I believe that we will find is that we are not going to
see a HUGE difference here. In other words, I believe that if you had
2 identical unicycles (except for the frames) the rider would not be
able to feel the weight difference. *
Here I agree, especially if you compare to a seat with no heavy steel
stiffener in it. The weight difference is the smallest benefit of the
carbon base for performance riding.
*4. Measuring jagur's alleged "power transfer" will be a bit more
difficult. I don't have the math skills to do that one - especially
considering that there is a human element. *
Damn humans, always messing up our clean, simple scientific analysis.
But of course Jagur's power transfer is what you want the stiff seat
for. Not for hanging things from it.
*Sometimes, we WANT things to flex and absorb shocks - because it
would be painful otherwise. Isn't that one reason many of us use 3"
tires with low pressure and KH seats? *
Yes. Even my car has this problem. Why would I want a nice cushy
suspension system if, at the same time, I require my drive shafts to be
as inflexible as possible? I just don't get it.
*Theory: I am thinking "technique" goes much farther here: Set aside
an extra 3 hours to practice climbing to make up for the loss of power
caused by the 1/4 flex. Consider building muscle or endurance levels
to make up for the difference. In otherwords ride more.*
I already "ride more." Do I need to ride more again, or would I at some
point benefit from less seat flex? There is a limit to how much you can
train. Whether you are there or not, you can still get better
performance from a stiff seat than a flexy one. To each his own, of
course. A flexy seat will *not* make for a more comfortable ride, unless
you're sitting way out at the front or back. Most of us tend to sit over
the seat post. If we never grabbed the seat with our hands, seat flex
wouldn't be an issue.
[b]Again, I'd like to know the objective difference between the two
solutions. I realize that some people Think/Perceive/Imagine it to be
"3 times better" (and I accept that) but lets not be afraid to get the
actual numbers.
[/b]Consider component strength in other areas, such as cranks and
axles. People are always going to ask "How high a drop can you do with
it?" Unfortunately this question is meaningless. For example, Kris Holm
can do 60 drops at 6' with no problems. My old roommate Ray Grins can do
one drop of 3' and snap it like a toothpick. Rider technique is part of
the equation.

The same will apply, though much less, in a seat base comparison. The
waters get even more cloudy when you consider the CF bases are hand
made, one at a time. Variations in their construction could make large
differences. These could be unintentional variations, or intentional
ones intended to improve stiffness or reduce weight.

But it seems the only way to really get something objective would be to
destroy a lot of expensive seats. I'm definitely not willing to fund
such a study. Because even if we do, by the time we're done there will
be new variations to the Velo seat design, or the stiffener plates
available for it, etc. We will have to continue making our own
evaluations as to what is the best value *for us.* To do this, we can be
helped by reading the reviews of other riders, but always to bear in
mind that their preferences, and riding technique, are probably not the
same as ours. As long as we remember this, we can get a pretty good
idea.


--
johnfoss - Walkin' on the edge

John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone
"jfoss" at "unicycling.com"
www.unicycling.com

"Beer me." -- Scot Cooper, at the end of a group ride all the way up and
all the way down Mt. Diablo (3300'), a 20 mile round trip of road and
trail.
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jugglerobaby
2004-07-07 05:34:14 UTC
Permalink
CHEER


--
jugglerobaby - Coker OffRoader

Thoes who walk in the Realm of Insanity Know no limits to the Realm of
Reality.
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TheBadger587
2004-07-07 07:56:56 UTC
Permalink
CHEER
I second that. Somebody get changinglinks a bandaid or something to
cover up the viscious beating he just recieved.


--
TheBadger587 - Level 4

Well i Guess not the retarded ones... but how could you even say
something like that? jeez cleveland, there's edgy and then theres
offensive. Good day sir!
-peter griffin
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TheBadger587
2004-07-07 07:57:54 UTC
Permalink
Oh, and by the way...


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--
TheBadger587 - Level 4

Well i Guess not the retarded ones... but how could you even say
something like that? jeez cleveland, there's edgy and then theres
offensive. Good day sir!
-peter griffin
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one wheeled stallion
2004-07-07 09:20:25 UTC
Permalink
Man, there is no way anyone could get up from that. I want both posts in
my sig. line!

Sorry, I don't get the picture...


--
one wheeled stallion - Guerilla Unicyclist

OWS

"I'm going to be polite in this whole message except for here.

Idiot." - John Foss


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jagur
2004-07-07 17:07:30 UTC
Permalink
*Man, there is no way anyone could get up from that. I want both posts
in my sig. line! *
yeah, it was very informative...some of it was recycled from others
posters in the thread though ;)


--
jagur - #3649_all fluff i hear?

---------------------------------------------------
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tomblackwood
2004-07-02 23:00:44 UTC
Permalink
* The key is: Have a lot of time when you are drilling your holes.
Take your time. Don't rush. *
I'd also recommend buying one of those cheap disposable dust masks that
painters and doctors sometimes use, and wear it when you're filing the
round holes square. That process produces a lot of CF dust, which isn't
all that much fun to breathe.


--
tomblackwood - Registered Nurtz

Tailgate at your own risk.....

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Max_Dingemans
2004-07-03 04:57:03 UTC
Permalink
Oh, and I personally cant stand the flex in miyata/KH seats. Im not
talking about below the ass, I mean in the handle.

Edit: Even with a stiffner plate.


--
Max_Dingemans - Hey Look, who's that?

BLAH!
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U-Turn
2004-07-03 13:54:05 UTC
Permalink
I've been working on a lighter stiffener by asking George Barnes to make
me some thin stiffeners, then having them hardened here in CT. I have a
batch here. One such stiffener was put in Ben Plotkin-Swing's 24
Endurance seen in an album 'here'
(http://gallery.unicyclist.com/albuu55). It is a little flexier, but a
lot lighter, and so far has withstood the extra torque of the handle and
of 24-hour endurance racing. Ben also has one on his trials machine.

They are probably going to be available for about $25-30, which reflects
a lot of extra time, trips, shipping, and expense to go through the
extra stages of processing.

I don't have exact weights and weight comparisons yet.

Some advantages:

- much lighter than original stiffener
- probably equally as strong as the original stiffener
- much easier and less risky to install than CF
- half the price of CF (depending on how you calculate it)
- still allows retrofit of existing Sustek saddles
- permits those who like the Miyata saddle shape to have a strong, yet
still light, seat

Disadvantages (?):
- a little flexier than both the heavy plate and the CF
- does not extend back past seatpost adapter bolts (yet)

I'm past the point where I can hand these out for free, but people who
are willing to take a risk with $25-30 + shipping are welcome to contact
me, knowing that there is no warrantee. Of course, you also know that
the batteries will never need replacing!


--
U-Turn - Member of Generation XO

Weep in the dojo... laugh on the battlefield.

'29er Tire Study' (http://u-turn.unicyclist.com/29erTireStudy/)

'Strongest Coker Wheel in the World'
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S_Wallis
2004-07-05 20:09:04 UTC
Permalink
Don’t get your CF information from sports equipment writeups. There are
many variables to composite structure design and any piece of
information taken out of context is very misleading. For instance,
calling carbon fiber “soft” probably came from the following: Diamonds
and graphite both come from the element Carbon. Diamonds are the
hardest mineral known to man and Graphite is one of the softest. Those
statements are true. Carbon fiber is sometimes called Graphite fiber
which causes some confusion. Carbon fiber is nothing like graphite,
they just come from the same place.

We are talking about composite laminate parts here, typically called
“advanced composites” in the industry. Carbon fiber is one type of
fiber used in composite laminate structures. Kevlar(aramid),
fiberglass, Spectra, boron, and other materials are also used, often in
combinations. As Roger pointed out, the fiber orientation is key to
designing composite structures that actually make the best use of the
characteristics of the fibers. If the fibers are oriented in random but
equally distributed directions, or in a balanced layup of 0, 90, and 45
degree oriented fibers, it yields what is referred to as a
quasi-isotropic material. This just means that for all practical
purposes it has equal strength and stiffness in all directions. When a
component is to be loaded differently in different directions, the
fibers can be oriented to handle those loads specifically and eliminate
material where it is not needed. Because of this, you can make
something that is extremely stiff, OR something that can flex in a very
predictable manner, and for many, many cycles. Carbon fiber fishing
rods and Corvette rear leaf springs come to mind. In those two
applications, the fibers are unidirectional running the length of the
parts to give the most flexural strength. In the case of a tubular part
like the toilet paper tube example, this orientation would give both
stiffness and compressive (end to end) strength, but no resistance to
crushing or twisting. To give torsional strength to the tube you would
run some of the fibers helically around the tube from end to end in both
directions. This would also give some “hoop” strength, or resistance to
external or internal pressure. The most hoop strength is obtained by
running the fibers around the tube at 90 degrees to the centerline.
This orientation contributes nothing to the other two types of
loading.

Carbon fiber only fails from flexing if the component is flexing more
than the mechanical limits of the fiber or the resin matrix. If this
happens it means the part is being overloaded for the way it is
constructed. The same applies to any material, though the failure modes
will vary. A pure CF laminate’s failure mode is generally to fracture,
but that can be modified by combining it with other fibers that are less
stiff, and especially those that have very high tensile strength. That
is why whenever possible I combine Kevlar with CF to keep the part
intact in case of extreme overload and failure of the CF and resin
matrix. Also, fiberglass can be combined with CF to provide a “tougher”
part and reduce cost, with some sacrifice in weigh savings or
stiffness.

We haven’t even touched on resin types, component shape, or sandwich
construction. You can see there are many variables. Seat bases and
fishing poles are both great applications for carbon fiber. If a CF
bike frame is flexy or soft, it was designed to be that way, or poorly
designed or built. Don’t try to attach the characteristics of the
component directly to the material, it’s mostly about the design. And
never assess a materials suitability for any application solely on how
it performs in a completely different application.

One more point. More physical conditioning may help more than a stiff
seat, but the point you seem to miss is that if there is an advantage to
a stiff, light seat assembly, it will be added to whatever level of
conditioning or skill you achieve. You don’t trade one for the other.

Okay one more. The œ” of seat flex you mentioned translates to about
83” or 21mm of wheel travel on the ground. That is the “lag” that many
of us think is significant.

Scott


--
S_Wallis - MUni Motivated

"Don't neglect your knees! They're really useful." Words of wisdom from
Cyberbellum

"I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn
how to do it." Pablo Picasso
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one wheeled stallion
2004-07-05 20:42:02 UTC
Permalink
Dang, S_Wallis beat me to it! ;)


--
one wheeled stallion - Guerilla Unicyclist

OWS

"If you're not happy with the curve you could stick the stiffener in a
vise and encourage it to conform with a sledge hammer" -George Barnes


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TonyMelton
2004-07-05 21:48:37 UTC
Permalink
Well Mr Love, Peace and Happiness your wish for quantification has come
true. I happened to have the parts in question and also a balance.

CF base (Miyata shape): 210.92g
Plastic Miyata base: 160.80g
Plastic Miyata base: 270.37g
Plastic Miyata base + Plastic Miyata base: 440.1g

I'll be interested to see what conclusions you draw from these data.


+0|\|y


--
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S_Wallis
2004-07-05 23:41:14 UTC
Permalink
Quoting myself
*Okay one more. The œ” of seat flex you mentioned translates to about
.83” or 21mm of wheel travel on the ground. That is the “lag” that
many of us think is significant.*
I should have said "The œ” of seat flex you mentioned -can translate to
œ” of pedal travel- which is about .83” or 21mm of wheel travel on the
ground for a 24 x 3 /170 muni."

..Meaning of course that if your body goes up the pedal doesn't go down
that amount, and yes that is slightly oversimplified.
And as for measuring the advantage on an incline treadmill, that would
show how it effects climbing effeciency on a smooth incline, but not
technical climbing where you are picking your way up a rocky slope where
the responsiveness is making the difference.

Scott


--
S_Wallis - MUni Motivated

"Don't neglect your knees! They're really useful." Words of wisdom from
Cyberbellum

"I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn
how to do it." Pablo Picasso
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GizmoDuck
2004-07-06 01:38:03 UTC
Permalink
*Well Mr Love, Peace and Happiness your wish for quantification has
come true. I happened to have the parts in question and also a
balance.
CF base (Miyata shape): 210.92g
Plastic Miyata base: 160.80g
Plastic Miyata base: 270.37g
Plastic Miyata base + Plastic Miyata base: 440.1g
I'll be interested to see what conclusions you draw from these data.
+0|\|y *
Huh? :confused:

Thanks for the seatbase and stuff Tony- I like the look of the skinnier
KH CF base better than the Miyata CF base


--
GizmoDuck - Spin Doctor K

o-kO

"Give man dead fish, and he feed himself for lunch, teach man to catch
fish, and he feed himself for life. Teach man to wheel ride, and he
make friends everywhere, anywhere, and even have lunch at their
place."

Old Chinese saying
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TheBadger587
2004-07-06 05:37:35 UTC
Permalink
*CF base (Miyata shape): 210.92g
Plastic Miyata base: 160.80g
Plastic Miyata base: 270.37g
Plastic Miyata base + Plastic Miyata base: 440.1g
*
is this a typo? am i missing something?


--
TheBadger587 - Level 4

Well i Guess not the retarded ones... but how could you even say
something like that? jeez cleveland, there's edgy and then theres
offensive. Good day sir!
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jagur
2004-07-06 05:50:10 UTC
Permalink
*
is this a typo? am i missing something? *
just the humor. ;)


--
jagur - #3649_all fluff i hear?

---------------------------------------------------
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tomblackwood
2004-07-03 06:39:03 UTC
Permalink
*Blah blah spiteful blah blah agressive blah blah hostile blah blah
blah blah blah *
Shoot, ChangingLINKS.com, in the time it took you to type up that whole
diatribe, you could have gone out, etched the plates for your
counterfiet bills, printed the money, ordered the CF base, drilled the
holes, squared them out, and changed your setup over. Or the opposite,
if that's what you were railing against.

See "takeavalium.com" for suggestions on next steps...


--
tomblackwood - Registered Nurtz

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iunicycle
2004-07-03 07:07:52 UTC
Permalink
*Enough said. *
That would be nice!

There seems to be an inverse relationship between experience and the
amount of verbage spewed forth.

I just found out that a few weeks of intense playing of Wff 'N Proof
<http://www.wff-n-proof.com/> can raise your IQ by 20 points, probably
by learnin' 'bout reasoning in the English language.

Personally all I know about carbon fiber is that I adopted a KH muni
with one attached. I kind of like the checkered pattern on the base of
the seat.

Jagur's comments regarding lightness sound good enough for me to
consider the same for my freestyle. How many times has my seat pecked me
on the achilies tendon? Oh, and then I can start practicing side ride,
that must be what is holding me back.

I think the mentality expressed for 'break and replace' is great if you
work for or represent a mass marketer of cheap products, or maybe auto
bumpers. Great unicyclist were not born of cheap equipment. Having the
thought of equipment failure in you mind when you are trying to practice
some cool skill just doesn't work.


--
iunicycle - Old back, new cricks
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ChangingLINKS.com
2004-07-04 00:11:18 UTC
Permalink
FOR THE RECORD, I'V HAD ONE OF MY CF BASES FOR ABOUT 4 YEARS NOW, AND
I'V HAD TO REPLACE THE SEATPOST TWICE. NOW WHEN I GOT IT, THE COST
WAS $56 PLUS SHIPPING.
Great. I appreciate your story here. I feel that you got a value. If I
wasn't worried about the spinning bolt problem (my pet peeve) I would
probably have bought the CF base at that price - just because of the
rumor that it's better.
SO 4 YEARS, AT 2 SEATS A YEAR, AT 40 BUCKS A POP, IS 8 X 40, $320
DOLLARS. NOW, ~$320 VS THE ~80 FOR THE CF. I HAVE NO PROBLEM
JUSTIFYING THAT.
I appreciate you bringing numbers to the discussion. The numbers I
have been looking for have so far been omitted from the thread.
However, your calculation is a bit off. Assuming you really broke 8
seats in 4 years (wow, we should do a thread just to figure out the
max number of seats anyone 1 person has broken) it would be $10 x 8.
$80.
THE FACT SEEMS TO ME THAT SOME PEOPLE ARE JUST WILLING TO PLAY FOR
BETTER QUALITY COMPONENTS THAN YOU ARE.
That theory has been posted twice now, and the opposite is true. I
have the most expensive unicycle in the Austin area - and except for
someone that's rumored to have a Hunter frame - I may have the most
expensive one in Texas. I have NO problem spending the money. I even
buy extra.
But, with my size, weight and strength, I have to make sure that I get
the best value also.
Part of the reason that I put you guys on the line and asked you the
"4 direct questions" is because of my experience taking advice from
this forum. There's guys out there that convinced me to buy certain
products, and then I found that those products did not live up to
their recommendation. So, now, I try to estimate if I am going to get
a value before I buy via mail order and have to ship stuff back. Here
in Austin the reality of various product performance differs from the
"rumor." It always comes back to "what works for you," etc.
One thing that came to mind was that you are annoyed when you feel any
flex in the seat. I appreciate it. I can't tell you how many times I
have forgotten to jump THEN lift. Imagine having that stiff seat when
you pull up with your hand and THEN push down with your feet. OUCH.
The point is that every "benefit" like the alleged "power transfer"
can be seen as a hinderence (getting your arm ripped off).
Something that I have omitted from this thread is MOAB.
Oddly, there were a whole LOT of KH seats there.
In fact, for the awards that I can remember being given out for the
competions - all of those riders had KH seats. To them, this seat flex
(that we have not quantified) didn't prevent them from using a KH seat
to outperform those guys who paid more.
What will trully shed some light on this topic isn't our discussion
back and forth, but rather direct answers to the direct questions that
I asked.
For example, the CF frame may be HALF the weight of the Miata/GB4, BUT
that weight difference *could* be equal to the weight of 8 quarters -
or the weight of the sweat in your shoe - or the weight of a seat post
clamp - or the weight difference between a Gazz 2.6 and 3.0 - or the
weight difference between 145mm cranks and 170mm.
Someone has to know these answers.
Why would pro-CF people make the claim, if they can't back it up with
simple numbers to illustrate the differences?
--
ChangingLINKS.com - member

Wishing you Happiness, Joy and Laughter,
Drew Brown
http://www.ChangingLINKS.com
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ChangingLINKS.com
2004-07-04 00:26:12 UTC
Permalink
-Originally posted by iunicycle -
CAN I ASK IN ADVANCE WHAT YOUR CRITERIA IS (GRAPH OF WEIGHT, STIFFNESS,
EXPECTED LIFE, ETC. TO COST)? I WOULD VENTURE TO GUESS THAT AT LEAST A
FEW HERE WOULD PAY A 10X PREMIUM IF THE RELATIONSHIP TO ANY OF THESE
MEASUREMENTS TO COST WAS LINEAR.
Sure. That's my basic point. I believe some people would be willing to
pay $80 to save an ounce (I'm not mocking, I think this really happens
in the racing bike community). Of course, this ain't the racing bike
community.

YOUR BASIC ARGUMENT SEEMS TO BE THAT OTHER UNICYCLISTS' GRAPH SHOULD BE
THE SAME AS YOURS, OTHERWISE THEY DON'T KNOW WHAT THEY ARE TALKING
ABOUT.
No. My argument comes from experience. RUMOR had it that Profile cranks
where heavy, and I believed the rumor, until I was baffled by the scale.
My basic argument is that there are rumors that are not support by
*known* facts or explainations out there, and I believe it applies to
this issue as well.

Backing up the Claim.
Someone says "it's lighter, stronger, more durable, and stiffer"
I ask "how much?"
If I can't get a direct response, then I can assume that the claimant
simply does not know (what they are talking about) and then I (and
others) can estimate how much credibility they have (and consider that
when I make buying decisions).


--
ChangingLINKS.com - member

Wishing you Happiness, Joy and Laughter,
Drew Brown
http://www.ChangingLINKS.com
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GizmoDuck
2004-07-04 01:17:23 UTC
Permalink
The CF seat is great deal when you consider the prices you're paying for
CF products in any other sport. Just take a look at the cost of carbon
bits on yachts, bikes, Kayak paddles etc etc. I paid twice as much for
my titanium handlebar for my bike as I did for my CF seat. I saved
about 50g on the handlebar! :D

So the rider is the most important part of the unicycle? Of course
he/she is- that holds for any sport. But you won't see cyclists at the
Olympics riding $300 bikes.

Does the CF base make me go faster? Not on it's own, but the weight
adds up when you have weight savings in other areas as well. Try riding
a 10kg Coker Standard Coker vs a 7kg Modified Coker off-road.


--
GizmoDuck - Spin Doctor K

o-kO

"Give man dead fish, and he feed himself for lunch, teach man to catch
fish, and he feed himself for life. Teach man to wheel ride, and he
make friends everywhere, anywhere, and even have lunch at their
place."

Old Chinese saying
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S_Wallis
2004-07-04 15:46:30 UTC
Permalink
*[B]Wishing you Happiness, Joy and Laughter,
Drew Brown
http://www.ChangingLINKS.com
*
You have provided much laughter, thanks.
And your assumtion that you have the most expensive muni in Texas is an
example of how you seem to come to conclusions with way too little
input. I suggest taking some time to ride as much as possible and learn
as much as you can about the sport before forming your convictions about
what is good. Even then, please don't feel the need to convince
everyone else to conform the the doctrine of Drew.

Sincerely,
Scott


--
S_Wallis - MUni Motivated

"Don't neglect your knees! They're really useful." Words of wisdom from
Cyberbellum

"I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn
how to do it." Pablo Picasso
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ChangingLINKS.com
2004-07-04 19:25:30 UTC
Permalink
-S_Wallis-*
And your assumtion that you have the most expensive muni in Texas is an
example of how . . . . .*
I have the most expensive unicycle in the AUSTIN area - and except for
someone that's rumored to have a Hunter frame; - I MAY have the most
expensive one in Texas. /emphasis added.

(QUOTE CONTINUED)
. . . YOU SEEM TO COME TO CONCLUSIONS WITH WAY TOO LITTLE INPUT.
Apparently, I a not going to get much INPUT.
My direction questions have not been answered - yet the personal attacks
are flowing.
Does anyone *really* know how much better the seats are, or is everyone
going to use personal attacks to change the subject?


--
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Wishing you Happiness, Joy and Laughter,
Drew Brown
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S_Wallis
2004-07-04 20:36:06 UTC
Permalink
-S_WALLIS-*
AND YOUR ASSUMTION THAT YOU HAVE THE MOST EXPENSIVE MUNI IN TEXAS IS
AN EXAMPLE OF HOW . . . . .
S_Wallis, did you really read what I wrote? Geez. Here's the quote: "I
have the most expensive unicycle in the AUSTIN area - and except for
someone that's rumored to have a Hunter frame; - I MAY have the most
expensive one in Texas." (Emphasis added. The sentence was worded
incorrectly - it doesn't illustrate the fact that the rumored Hunter
frame is in Austin)
[B](quote continued)
. . . I am not sure that YOU know how much MY unicycle cost either.
How did you get ALL the input?*
Your post gave me the input. You conveyed that a Hunter muni would be
more expensive than yours. I have ridden with the "rumored" Hunter guy
(Profile,CF,Air,Reeder) starting over 2 years ago, and yes he lives in
Austin. Ask the guys that taught you to ride, they know him. And there
are other higher end munis around here.
*
Apparently, I a not going to get much INPUT.
My direction questions have not been answered - yet the personal
attacks are flowing.
Does anyone *really* know how much better the seats are, or is
everyone going to use personal attacks to change the subject?
*
My statements were not meant as personal attacks, just suggestions. I
am sorry if it sounded that way. Considering how outspoken you are I
wouldn't think your feelings would be easily hurt.:)

I think that to most of us it is obvious that you cannot quantify the
advantages of components in this type of application. In my view the
biggest advantage to a rigid seat and handle assembly is in hard
climbing. It is extremely helpful to have the power directly and
completely transmitted to the wheel when doing half-rev climbing in
rough terrain. It is like having a stiff frame on a bike, but it is
more important on a uni where power stroke timing can be so critical.
I would say that alone makes it 3.2687 times better than a flexy
setup.

Scott


--
S_Wallis - MUni Motivated

"Don't neglect your knees! They're really useful." Words of wisdom from
Cyberbellum

"I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn
how to do it." Pablo Picasso
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one wheeled stallion
2004-07-04 20:46:47 UTC
Permalink
I find the CF bases to be very versatile. I have one with a KH handle on
my muni, one with a Kinport handle on my trials and one with a GB handle
on my 29er. I find them simple to deal with- easy to drill and file etc.
I like the stiffness of the saddles for trials, I'm confident it's not
going to snap on me. I much prefer the stiffness of them to my old KH on
my muni, I find pulling hard on it to be much more responsive when pound
up things.

They cost just over £30 here, which I always thought was very
reasonable, considering it's a unicycling product, made from a high
quality substance. CF race cans for motorbikes cost a ridiculous amount,
especially when compared to SS ones.

If you after a recommendation for CF bases, I endorse them for most
types of riding.

This thread has become a bit... intense. We're dicussing the merits of
carbon fibre bases, not politics or anything to get worked up about!!!
Some people like em, some people don't see the point- fair enough, just
stay objective folks!


--
one wheeled stallion - Guerilla Unicyclist

OWS

"If you're not happy with the curve you could stick the stiffener in a
vise and encourage it to conform with a sledge hammer" -George Barnes


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tomblackwood
2004-07-04 21:03:48 UTC
Permalink
*[Does anyone *really* know how much better the seats are, or is
everyone going to use personal attacks to change the subject? I
really want the answers from the pro-CF people.) *
Yes, I really know how much better the seats are. My figure was pretty
close to Scott's of 3.2687 times better. Mine was 3.43, slightly higher,
but I attribute that to slight differences in the underlying math. Scott
is smarter, a better rider, and actually knows how to work with CF. I'd
trust his figures over mine.

That said, I was willing to pay up to slighly more than that ratio
because I was more interested in performance than price. At this point
in the sport's evolution of equipment, I think you need to be prepared
for that. Value is a very personal thing.


--
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ChangingLINKS.com
2004-07-05 01:12:27 UTC
Permalink
1. I'd would like to thank tomblackwood, one wheeled stallion, S_Wallis,
GizmoDuck for the dialogue and input. Unlike with posts by jagur,
iunicycle, Tmornstar I am getting a better idea of the benefits of the
CF frame. I don't mean to sound to "intense" or "hurt" (by personal
attacks) my chief concern is getting an objective comparison between the
GB4 stiffener and the CF frame solutions.

2. I often hear things are "better" but in this community I have found
that it's simply not good enough to make buying decisions. I have to ask
"Why? and How much?"

3. I now know that there is at least one more expensive Uni in the
Austin area. To clear up the confusion about that, I should have simply
said I have the most expensive one that I have seen - and there are
quite a few here. I just wanted to establish that I am not some "cheap
skate" as some posts implied. Now, that has been established.

4. Something that must come into light here is that I am not sure that
the claims that are considering the GB4 stiffener. I went out today, and
pulled up as hard as I could on the handle, and I honestly didn't "feel"
more than 1/2 inch of play (and as I said before, I am a larger person).
I had a secure grip because I was using the awesome Steve Howard handle,
so I could really get my whole hand behind the pulling force. I would
like to take the time to measure the actual flex, but my primary point
is that there simply was not enough flex to complain about. What comes
to mind is that there are so many other things I would have to consider
powering up a steep slope (like the temp. {it was 90+ degrees} and my
heart rate) than for me to honestly blame seat frame stiffness for a
climbing failure.

5. *I think that to most of us it is obvious that you cannot quantify
the advantages of components in this type of application.*
It is definately not obvious to me.

1. To measure stiffness, all we have to do is hang a weight (50-100+
pounds) on the handle and measure the flex with a common ruler. From
there, we can say the CF is X% stiffer. I understand that X will vary to
some extent.

2. To measure durability, we can simply add more weight, and when the
frame breaks, we can see how much weight it took. Now, the pro CF people
are saying "Are you crazy? It's too expensive just to go breaking for
such a stupid number!" That's part of my point, I AM willing to donate
the $20 bucks to test the GB4/Torker LX combo - espeically because I
know that even after it bends once, I can still hammer out and use the
GB4 stiffener again.

While some people fear the seat "snapping" I would bet my health (as in
hang from a GB4 stiffener 20 feet off the ground) that the GB4 stiffener
WILL NOT SNAP. I believe that it would bend, but that it could support
my entire 250 pounds (with gear). Contrarily, we all know what happens
when one "bends" carbon fiber beyond it's threshold from the bike
community. I'd be scared to hang off a cliff supported only by a CF
seat, wouldn't you?

3. To measure weight, we simply need to put the GB4/Torker LX on a
scale, and use the same scale to weigh the CF frame. Easy and objective
(Perhaps that's why they list the weight of the CF frame on
unicycle.com)

Theory: What I believe that we will find is that we are not going to see
a HUGE difference here. In other words, I believe that if you had 2
identical unicycles (except for the frames) the rider would not be able
to feel the weight difference. The point is that there are probably more
economical ways to save weight - like wearing lighter shoes - or shoes
that don't absorb as much sweat as mine do (I wear a size 16 so the
weight is significant - you don't want to get hit with one when it's
full of sweat :) ).

4. Measuring jagur's alleged "power transfer" will be a bit more
difficult. I don't have the math skills to do that one - especially
considering that there is a human element. Sometimes, we WANT things to
flex and absorb shocks - because it would be painful otherwise. Isn't
that one reason many of us use 3" tires with low pressure and KH
seats?

Theory: I am thinking "technique" goes much farther here: Set aside an
extra 3 hours to practice climbing to make up for the loss of power
caused by the 1/4 flex. Consider building muscle or endurance levels to
make up for the difference. In otherwords ride more. Some of the
steepest climbing (at MOAB where you don't have to worry about traction)
was done with KH seats!


Again, I'd like to know the objective difference between the two
solutions. I realize that some people Think/Perceive/Imagine it to be "3
times better" (and I accept that) but lets not be afraid to get the
actual numbers.

I'm guessing that the CF isn't 3 times stiffer, 3 times lighter, and 3
times more durable than the GB4 stiffener/Torker LX combo.


--
ChangingLINKS.com - member

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Drew Brown
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Ken Cline
2004-07-05 05:37:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by ChangingLINKS.com
2. I often hear things are "better" but in this community I have found
that it's simply not good enough to make buying decisions. I have to ask
"Why? and How much?"
To me (and, I suspect, most others), your questions appear as
challenges rather than requests for information. Isn't arguing a
particular position when you don't have a strong rationale exactly
what you are complaining about in the pro-CF folks? I hope you don't
mind my advice: Try to exercise some humility. Make your point once,
then ask questions for clarification. I think we get your point
already :-)
Post by ChangingLINKS.com
4. ... I honestly didn't "feel" more than 1/2 inch of play [with the
GB4 stiffener] ... What comes to mind is that there are so many
other things I would have to consider powering up a steep slope
(like the temp. {it was 90+ degrees} and my heart rate) than for me
to honestly blame seat frame stiffness for a climbing failure.
That's completely reasonable. So is the position that saving weight
and gaining stiffness is worth the cost of a CF seat base. In the big
scheme of things, unicycling is an inexpensive hobby. The most
expensive CF air seat I've heard of is far less expensive than top
bicycle saddles (try $300+) which clearly have benefited from hugely
more design, engineeering, and materials than anything available for
unicycles. I have no personal objection to spending more for a better
design (and shaped CF can clearly offer stiffer lighter bases than
flat steel reinforcement kluges) - especially if spending on uni seats
encourages more and better options in the future.
Post by ChangingLINKS.com
5. *I think that to most of us it is obvious that you cannot quantify
the advantages of components in this type of application.*
It is definately not obvious to me.
How about we put a rider on a steep treadmill in a lab and measure
oxygen consumption. Wouldn't that quantify the difference a stiff
handle makes for climbing?

That's just one suggestion. I could offer others, but I don't think
that will get us anywhere (in particular, I don't have a cheap and
easy method in mind).
Post by ChangingLINKS.com
2. To measure durability, we can simply add more weight, and when the
frame breaks, we can see how much weight it took.
Not so. That measures ultimate breaking strength. You must also
consider repetitive, but smaller forces to understand durability.
Post by ChangingLINKS.com
[the GB4 stiffener] could support my entire 250 pounds (with
gear). Contrarily, we all know what happens when one "bends" carbon
fiber beyond it's threshold from the bike community. I'd be scared
to hang off a cliff supported only by a CF seat, wouldn't you?
I routinely hang from cliffs supported by a loop of 5.5mm cord. A CF
seat base has much more material. I wouldn't hesitate to hang off one
provided the construction had been carefully checked (e.g. epoxy
properly cured and well bonded) and the attachment made securely.
Post by ChangingLINKS.com
4. Sometimes, we WANT things to flex and absorb shocks - because it
would be painful otherwise. Isn't that one reason many of us use 3"
tires with low pressure and KH seats?
I don't buy it. Your suggestion that handle flex might benefit riders
seems unlikely at best.
Post by ChangingLINKS.com
Theory: I am thinking "technique" goes much farther here: Set aside an
extra 3 hours to practice climbing to make up for the loss of power
caused by the 1/4 flex. Consider building muscle or endurance levels to
make up for the difference. In otherwords ride more. Some of the
steepest climbing (at MOAB where you don't have to worry about traction)
was done with KH seats!
Better still, we should just standardize MUnis. The KH24 is cheap and
works well. Let's ban anything better. Since it is good enough for
Moab, anyone who needs to ride harder should just train harder.

Unicycle technology lags way behind bicycle components. To my eye,
saddles are the most glaring example of this. There's plenty of room
for improvement here.
Post by ChangingLINKS.com
Again, I'd like to know the objective difference between the two
solutions. I realize that some people Think/Perceive/Imagine it to be "3
times better" (and I accept that) but lets not be afraid to get the
actual numbers.
I'm guessing that the CF isn't 3 times stiffer, 3 times lighter, and 3
times more durable than the GB4 stiffener/Torker LX combo.
Let's see...

CF is as stiff as steel and weighs 1/5 as much. The CF base design is
superior to a stiffener plate on the principle that thickness opposing
motion (i.e. of the lip around the base) adds stiffness more
efficiently than flat components. Not only that, but the CF replaces
both the stiffener and a floppy plastic seat base with 2/3 the density
of CF.

The KH carbon base weighs 2oz more than the stock 6.6oz plastic frame.
Lets assume a similar comparison holds for the Miyata version. I
don't have one on hand, but assuming the GB4 stiffener is 3"x8"x0.135"
(thickness from Unicycle.com) I figure it weighs 14 ounces. That
means your saddle weighs is 12 ounces heavier.

That's my back of the envelope calcualtion. Even if the CF isn't
stiffer or more durable, it is hard to see who wouldn't want to save
that weight. The real question seems to be whether the extra cost is
worth it, and that's up to the buyer to decide.

Ken
iunicycle
2004-07-05 01:46:27 UTC
Permalink
is everyone going to use personal attacks to change the subject?
...
I really want the answers from the pro-CF people. [/B]
I think personal attacks would require a personality to attack. I was
wondering myself last night if changinglinks.com was human, or if
someone had come up with a clever program that just almost sounded
human, but of course lacked experience, emotion and common sense.

The problem with changinglinks.com's comments are that plenty of
information was given, but s/he somehow wants numbers. I accept the
subjective judgement of the experienced and knowledgable contributors to
this thread. Numbers tell you very little in the abstract. Being able
to assess an assembly in use is much more enlightening to me. Getting
the advice of someone who has tried lots of different unicycle
components is maybe even better than trying out something myself, at
least as a start. At the very least, if they take the time to write
down their advice, I'm not going to say "that just isn't good enough,
please do some destructive testing to see just how stiff you equipment
is."

Personally if I had half the skepticism that changinglinks.com appears
to have I wouldn't even waste my time reading the thread, much less
responding to it. So I must ask the question, "Why is changinglinks.com
wasting his/her time reading the subjective speculations of lesser
unicyclists?"


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ChangingLINKS.com
2004-07-05 02:35:55 UTC
Permalink
iunicycle, I understand that you don't like me or whatever, however your
comments are off-topic to this thread. If your character motivates you
to continue discussing "the attributes of ChangingLINKS", please start a
thread in just conversation or "Trash Receptacle."

I don't mind what you write, just hoping to change where you write it.

Heck, if you like, I'll even reply. Your trolling is too obvious and
(fortunately) somewhat out of place in this forum.


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ChangingLINKS.com
2004-07-05 07:50:13 UTC
Permalink
CARBON FIBER FLEXES - WHEN IT'S NOT ON UNICYCLES?
Still learning about carbon fiber, so I read reviews for CF bike seat
posts, frames, and handlebars (which I feel is more related). On this
forum, the consensus is that carbon fiber is stiffer or has less flex,
but at the LBS and various websites . . . .

http://tinyurl.com/3aexk
Carbon fiber: This is the comfort special, a Godsend for guys with bad
backs. As the "softest" material out there, it has the best shock
absorbency and makes for a great long-distance event bike. The negative
to it is the flex that saves your body fatigue always tends to take
power away when you get out of the saddle. It's still stiff, but it's
certainly not steel, titanium or aluminum. It's a great bike for
lightweight riders and athletes with aches and pains.

http://tinyurl.com/2p677

http://www.wildgoose.com/mtbart2.htm
Thus, a material that was strong in the same "direction" would be
sufficient, as opposed to a material which was able to take extreme
flexing or side deflection. In this case, carbon fiber was probably a
perfect candidate.
If you take carbon fiber and create the same shape as the carboard
center of a roll of paper towels, you will notice that you can push the
object from any end with a great amount of force. You could, for
example, take the carbon fiber tube and place it between you car and
another car. As long as you push in a straight line down the length of
the tube, you can actually push a car with this small carbon fiber tube.
Now take the tube and place it between the cars so you are pushing
towards the center of the tube from the sides. The slightest little
force, and the tube will break like it was made from balsa wood.

There are a lot more reviews that explain weaknesses with carbon
fiber.
1. Most users worry about overtighting the clamps. I tend to overtighten
things myself (recently stripped a seatpost clamp).
If you tighten the bolts too much (or have too much force) will the head
of the bolt crack the CF frame?
2. There seemed to be a lot of comments about scratching the resin.
Apparently, if it's scratched, it may be weakened - and broken.

Ken Cline - thanks for the post, I'll review more closely later.


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Ken Cline
2004-07-05 14:52:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by ChangingLINKS.com
CARBON FIBER FLEXES - WHEN IT'S NOT ON UNICYCLES?
Still learning about carbon fiber, so I read reviews for CF bike seat
posts, frames, and handlebars (which I feel is more related). On this
forum, the consensus is that carbon fiber is stiffer or has less flex,
but at the LBS and various websites . . . .
You're not reading the same websites as I am! But I'm not surprised
there is misunderstanding of materials in the cycling community. The
subject of frame stiffness sometimes becomes as shrowded in hocus
pocus and technobabble as amplifier technology in the audiophile
world.

The thing is, carbon doesn't have much tolerance for elongation, and a
part that flexes is going to stretch the fibers on the outside. For
that reason, carbon parts have to be less flexible than steel in order
to be reliable. The fact that CF seat bases haven't failed is proof
positive that they don't flex perceptibly.

Another way to look at is is this: Ordinary grades of carbon fiber are
as stiff as steel - technically they have about the same modulus of
elasticity. Now, instead of being formed into a 0.135" sheet like
your stiffener, the carbon takes the much stouter shape of a seat base
- both thicker than your steel plate and shape in three dimensions.
Even though the product is really a composite of carbon, glass, and
epoxy, rather than pure CF, it has to be much stiffer.

Ken
Dirtsurfer
2004-07-05 09:16:44 UTC
Permalink
* .... that even after it bends once, I can still hammer out and use
the GB4 stiffener again. *
Bending it back would actually make it weaker (Note, not an engineer or
metalurgist) only to bend or break again. Think of the paperclip when
you repeatedly bend it back and forth.


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rogeratunicycledotcom
2004-07-05 09:59:03 UTC
Permalink
*CARBON FIBER FLEXES - WHEN IT'S NOT ON UNICYCLES?.....
*
Carbon fibre is a composite so it depends on how it is laid out changes
it's characteristics.

You can make a CF tube bend and be flexible... but it will not twist or
you can have it so it twists but does not bend.... or you can mix the
layers and get both these characteristics.

The seats are made to be rigid.... This is where having an expert
manufacturing the seats.

Roger


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jugglerobaby
2004-07-05 10:34:10 UTC
Permalink
I have a cf seat base on my coker if you want to see if i will get it
soon and you can do some of the tests with it. but the CF seat frame
make climbing hills and more importantly slowling down on fast decents
less scarry for me i did not start hitting the 20mph area till i was
using the CF base and when you use a myeata (spelling) sadle you have
probly close to of not more than and inch of flex upwards that i was
always woried would break when i when i went to change out the base i
noticed that there was a tear in te plastic and what near breaking. the
price is hi, but a backpack with a plastice bag in it can be $100
camlbaks but there is varience with in that little example, i would do
jsut fine with a Kh stock seat for most of the stuff i do but my coker
was all the better for having it and i will probly use the gb stiffner
later on for a different uni.

fell free to talk to me later

Nate


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TonyMelton
2004-07-05 10:56:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Max_Dingemans
*
I also have mine imbedded with t-nuts. and it works wonderfully. what
we did, was drill a main hole, and one small hole for one of the
prongs. then we bent the other 3 prongs out of the way, and epoxied
the whole thing in place. Never had a problem with it. *
I also used this method for the 4 seatpost bolts on my CF base. In my
opinion it was not worth the extra trouble to use T-nuts. It took about
4 times as long to get those four T-nuts glued squarely in their holes
as it did to drill and file square the other five holes! Not worth it!


+0|\|y


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thinuniking
2004-07-05 11:16:08 UTC
Permalink
Yeah from what i have read i would get a CF for my kh if i eva broke it
even tho it's more then a new saddle.
Ben


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one wheeled stallion
2004-07-05 11:22:06 UTC
Permalink
I'm getting one of the stiffeners, mentioned by U-Turn in an earlier
post, in my 29er seat, so I shall see how it turns out! Can't wait! :)

One of (if not my only) my major biffs with the CF bases (particularly
when using KH foam) is having to buy a cover too! When I buy a cover for
my KH CF bases, it's £33 for the base + £25 for the cover so about £60
inc. P&P! Still, I'm sure that'll change with the new KH seats and other
advances in saddle tech.


--
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OWS

"If you're not happy with the curve you could stick the stiffener in a
vise and encourage it to conform with a sledge hammer" -George Barnes


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ChangingLINKS.com
2004-07-02 23:15:44 UTC
Permalink
Logically, the CF base has ONE advantages.

Wait, Weight?
I used to chase weight. I thought my Profile cranks were sooo heavy.
I thought my Kris Holm seat was too heavy.
Then I actually WEIGHED the unicycle compared to other unicycles.
According to the scale, my unicycle was at or below the weight of the
ones that "felt" lighter by hand. Seat height or tire pressure changes
will probably help more than one pound of weight. Think about HOW MUCH
weight is actually saved by the CF base. I can put that much weight on
(my body) in a week. Might as well look to save weight in my leg armor,
shoes, socks and - gee toss that water pack as well.
Before buying the 'weight' argument for $90, you may want to just spend
a little time building muscles to handle that whole extra pound!

Stiffy?
So the back of your seat has less chance of cracking. Show of hands, how
many of you with CF bases have previously cracked the BACK of the seat
off downward? Self-preservation issues are raised here. That little bit
of flex (which I haven't felt yet - even though I weight 250 pounds) in
the back of the seat may just help your body and back from getting beat
to death.

Durability?
john_childs raised some valid points about this issue, but he stopped
short on the math.
Think about it . . .
How much does it cost to completely REPLACE a Torker LX frame?
The point is that you can replace the part that breaks for $10.00!!!
Wow.
Oh, and if you are the one individual who breaks a GB4 stiffener AND the
guarantee that is offered does not apply, you can REPLACE the stiffener
for a whopping $10.
Think about this friends . . . . . you can have 4 GB4 stiffeners AND 4
replacement frames for the cost of ONE CF base. Economics highlight the
truth of the matter.
(It could be remotely argued that if your seat fails on the trail, it's
not fun. And, that the LX frame has more chance of failing. For that
remote senerio, it is acceptable to pack a replacement frame :) )

Perception boosts Performance.
The true advantage/benefit of the CF base lies in one word:
Perception.
The owners believe it is DRAMATICALLY lighter, stronger and "cheaper in
the long run." Whether or not they did a detailed comparison or not,
they really believe they have the "best solution."

Perception *can* make you ride better, and hop higher.

P.S. I use the "heavy" Kris Holm foam in my seat also (but if I really
got "weight anal" I could shift to an airseat config).


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Tom Holub
2004-07-03 00:20:48 UTC
Permalink
In article <***@NoEmail.Message.Poster.at.Unicyclist.com>,
ChangingLINKS.com <***@NoEmail.Message.Poster.at.Unicyclist.com> wrote:
)
)Think about this friends . . . . . you can have 4 GB4 stiffeners AND 4
)replacement frames for the cost of ONE CF base. Economics highlight the
)truth of the matter.

What's the value of your time? Perhaps nothing. But my time is worth a
lot, so not having to fix the seat pays for itself, the first time I'd
have to fix the seat.
-Tom
ChangingLINKS.com
2004-07-03 01:21:59 UTC
Permalink
The farther the thread goes the more irrational the argument:

Tom Holub: "not having to fix the seat pays for itself, the first time
I'd
have to fix the seat."

Tom forgot that this is a thread in a RECREATIONAL unicycling forum. The
way I have my seat setup, I can litterally change any part within 5
minutes. Really. 5 minutes.
Not only does that make Tom's time extremely expensive, but it contrasts
the fact that he is on FREE TIME when doing unicycling related things.
Insult to all of our intelligences, I must say. Tom goes on to imply
that having a carbon fiber frame means being "maintainence free." That
is far from the truth:
1. Tom forgets you have to drill your own holes to a certain size AND
file those holes - which takes more time than slapping together parts
that already work together.
2. Tom omits the fact that according to unicycle.com, I'm the only one
who would have matched the Kris Holm foam (specifically) to the carbon
fiber frame/GB4 upgrade. That means a lot of people are running custom
variations (like the air seat) that take much more time to set up.
3. Finally, Tom omits the fact that unicycle maintainence is PART OF THE
SPORT. You are going to have to pump up tires, tighten bolts, change
components, shop, dream, design, modify parts of your unicycle. To say
that taking 5 minutes to replace the seat is burdensome is . . . .
4. Finally, Tom omits the fact that something CAN go wrong with the CF
frame. For example, those holes that are drilled and filed - well, they
could wear lose (expecially if you have a tendency like me to over
tighten things).
Not gonna happen with 1/4 thick steel - you're more likely to snap the
bolt or strip the threads.

Time being Tom's only consideration leaves me to assume the remaining
points were, well, common sense.

john_childs: "A stiff seat meant better acceleration off the line. And
that would mean the difference between winning and losing some races."
Unicycling is not that serious. Unicycle Racing isn't even an Olympic
sport, (where this type of thing would matter) is it? Also, it raises
the question about how many unicycling races were lost by a fraction of
a second. Need more speed, get more skill, eat a better breakfast,
change your tire pressure, change the tire, have a "good" day - but
change the frame of your seat? That is in the same catagory as sanding
the paint off of your unicycle so that it is lighter.

john_childs: "I am not Max or others who have broken the back end of the
seat, but I can see this as being an issue for hardcore Trials riders.
The gusset method can be applied to the back end as well."
It was noted that Ryan broke a CF frame. If he replaced that seat frame
with carbon fiber it will take twice as much time AND more than twice as
much money.

Finally, some unicyclist run "seat post shock absorbers" to dampen
bumps. The minimal flex (which I haven't felt at 250 pounds) is in line
with the use of shock absorbers and lower tire pressure. Think about it:
you need a extremely stiff seat, covered by an extremely CUSHY
innertube? That is not logical in anyway whatsoever. It is like the "pea
under the mattress story (Princess and the Pea). How can you feel the
seat flex under AIR?

Contrarily, ultra stiff seats would be inline with:
1. Not using any padding whatsoever.
2. Using extremely high air pressure in the tire.
3. Not using a seat post shock absorber.

john_childs: "The situation back then was quite different from now. Back
then the CF seat base made a lot of sense. Now is a different story."
Enough said.


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jagur
2004-07-03 04:11:08 UTC
Permalink
*Before buying the 'weight' argument for $90, you may want to just
spend a little time building muscles to handle that whole extra
pound!*
a lighter seat is also better during a UPD. i dont like a heavy seat to
come hammering down into my ankle or pounding my brake lever into the
dirt. lighter is better for more than just the scale.
and the more arrogant you become.
john_childs: "A stiff seat meant better acceleration off the line. And
that would mean the difference between winning and losing some races."
John Foss said that not John Childs.
Think about it: you need a extremely stiff seat, covered by an
extremely CUSHY innertube? That is not logical in anyway whatsoever.
It is like the "pea under the mattress story (Princess and the Pea).
How can you feel the seat flex under AIR?
dude? the seat flexes up as well as down.dont you feel the flex when
you grab the handle and power up some thing? its not about your butt
feeling pea's its about getting power to the pedals. a stiffer seat
transfers more power and a significant amount at that.
john_childs: "The situation back then was quite different from now.
Back then the CF seat base made a lot of sense. Now is a different
story." [enough said].
maybe its enough for a frugle person such as yourself but for those
willing to spend the money... they will soon discover a CF base makes
for a stronger, lighter and more effeciant tool.


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johnfoss
2004-07-03 00:20:07 UTC
Permalink
Dang, what a naysayer!

Yes, you can replace a GB4 stiffener plate for $10. How much time is
involved each time you have to replace it? How much is your time worth?
Cha-ching.

Also, the carbon bases are noticeably stiffer than the plastic/nylon
ones. This will make a difference in performance. Seat flex used to
matter to me mostly for racing. A stiff seat meant better acceleration
off the line. And that would mean the difference between winning and
losing some races.

BUT

I have mostly bypassed the whole carbon seat base thing. I didn't break
seats as much as I broke Miyata posts. A stiff seat would just make me
break the post that much faster. So I had some gusseted posts made that
connected up to the front bumper bolts. Seat is super-rigid, small
weight gain from gusset, seat and post will never break.

I am not Max or others who have broken the back end of the seat, but I
can see this as being an issue for hardcore Trials riders. The gusset
method can be applied to the back end as well.

Even if you have custom welding done, it will still probably work out
cheaper than a carbon seat base.


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iunicycle
2004-07-04 07:00:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tmornstar
*
Reading your comments I am drawn to recollect some advice my
ex-father-in-law bestowed to me the day I married his daughter. His
advice: “When you are engaged in an argument or debate with her, just
say the five magic words or you'll never get her off your case, You’re
right, you’re absolutely right.” *
Second.


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jagur
2004-07-04 07:38:23 UTC
Permalink
*I can't tell you how many times I have forgotten to jump THEN lift.
Imagine having that stiff seat when you pull up with your hand and
THEN push down with your feet. OUCH. The point is that every "benefit"
like the alleged "power transfer" can be seen as a hinderence (getting
your arm ripped off).
*
LOL what a complete bag of arrogance..cinch up that sack, its spilling
out left and right.

your ears are a hinderance if you cant hear.

your eyes are a hinderence if you cant see.

your mouth is a hinderence as it spews forth.

try changingDRINKS.com


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john_childs
2004-07-03 00:33:27 UTC
Permalink
*So the back of your seat has less chance of cracking. Show of hands,
how many of you with CF bases have previously cracked the BACK of the
seat off downward? *
Me! :D

The situation was very different a couple years ago when I got my carbon
fiber seat bases. The GB4 stiffener didn't exist. If you wanted a seat
stiffener you would have to get one custom made and that would end up
costing more than a CF seat base. You also couldn't buy just the
plastic seat base for a Miyata saddle. You would have to buy the entire
saddle. I've still got a box full of Miyata saddle parts from brand new
saddles that I cannibalized to replace the parts that were breaking on
my muni. At about $40 a pop for a new seat, I was spending a lot on
Miyata seats. And to top it off, there wasn't a reliable supply of
seats back then. Miyata saddles got shipped to the US once a year and
when the saddles were gone, they were gone till the next shipment. I
would buy 2 or 3 saddles at a time just so I would have some on hand for
when the inevitably sold out.

The situation back then was quite different from now. Back then the CF
seat base made a lot of sense. Now is a different story. The exchange
rate was also better back then so the CF seat base was somewhere around
the $60 range instead of the $80 range it is now.

CF seat bases are also very good for freestyle riders doing seat busting
skills like side ride.

If someone is looking for a strong and stiff seat the CF base is still
the best option. But the GB4 stiffener gives a good option for those
looking to spend less.


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