XC Course specification, race configuration.

This discussion has an associated proposal. View Proposal Details here.

Comments about this discussion:


As the history of last two Unicons show, the XC courses were too difficult to ride the whole length even by the top riders. 

I mentioned this problem in discussion "Passing walking riders ...", but there is not a place for this discussion. 

In my opinion the course shall be rideable for most of riders because it is unicycle race, not walking race. My opinion to the XC course in San Sebastian is that it was too difficult in either downhill and uphill sections. It might be very true to say that DH finals were easier than downhill rocky section in XC race. Also, the uphill parts were very difficult to ride. It was much efficient to walk uphill instead of riding it. Difficult downhill parts and walking uphills are favoring DH riders. This is not the shape of XC trail that I would like to see in the future. 

@Patricia... "I don't think that the courses should be easier. The main places that people (particularly the top riders) walk courses are long uphills where it is easier to sustain a steady pace by walking."

Long uphills shall not be excuse for walking it. (5B.5.3 The Cross Country race is an off-road distance race that challenges a rider’s fitness and ability to ride fast on rough terrain). 
If the participants cannot ride uphills (or choose walking instead of riding) than it is a sign that course is too difficult. 

I would suggest that course shall consist of long but gently uphills instead of short and steep ones. It would be nice to have technical difficulties on uphills but if it is already steep, or long it might turn to walking. Instead, it is better to choose forestry road but rideable. 

@Patricia: "have a rideable course is great but it's basically impossible to find a completely rideable course without it being too easy"

I will clarify what I mean rideable.
Rideable is when rider can ride whole distance. He/she may dismount accidentally, but repeating the section shall not be a problem.
The course is too easy when riders do not fall.

With the huge number of participants it is difficult to find course rideable for most and not too easy for top riders therefore I suggest to run qualifications and more difficult finals but still rideable for top riders. 

I understand that it is difficult to find perfect trail. If we use Muni Difficulty Scale (UXC) it is better to select 2pts easier trail instead of 2pts more difficult one.

A.  "5D.1.3 ...A Cross Country race should be at least 10 km or longer, depending on available terrain,
trails and schedule time..." 

The schedule should adjust to race, not a race to schedule.

I would add sentence that the best riders shall finish race in time above specified time, for example 1 hour.

B.   "5D.1.3 ...
A minimum score of 20 points is recommended. Courses with scores below
15 points should be labeled “beginner XC” for clarity..."

I like the idea with scale difficulty but there is no evidence that the scale works good. Was the scale derived from any science or research? 
For example: Road trail of 40km, ascent 500m and max slope 10% gives 20 points UXC but it does not seem to be good enough for XC race.

It would be nice to compare scores on other trails, but the XC trails from UNIOEC or Unicon 18 were not rated yet. 
XC Elite at UNICON 17 has 21 points UXC, which in my opinion is maximum what we want in XC races.


i agree when you say "the course shall be rideable for most of riders because it is unicycle race, not walking race". 

But as long as the geared unicycles are in the same categorie as ungeared the courses should be very difficult to not favoring the geared ones.

I don't agree that "Difficult downhill parts and walking uphills are favoring DH riders. " Martin is not a DH Rider and was second in Spain just behind Florian until they got lost. And Martin won the XC in Mt Tremblant what even was a very difficult terrain. 






Course shall be not profitable for Schlumpf users, but it doesn't mean difficult. It is enough to make it curvy. If we talk about Unicon - World Champs - than course must be difficult but not too difficult that "everybody" has to walk. 

Paul, please do not compare results from San Sebastian as they are completely nonsense. Maybe Martin does not claim to be DH rider but he did the rocky part pretty well comparing DH riders who walk it.


Yes I reached first the confusing intersection at the bottom of the downhill, thanks to the uphill preceding it in which I had taken some small advance. On this intersection I fell so Florian took the lead but on a wrong direction and then I told him to get back, we did it but then got lost.


Anyway I agree Florian had a clear advantage on me on technical downhill, on the first rocky downhill he took more than 60m on me in less than 30 seconds, he went really far... I then had to catch up on flat and uphill section where I apparently had an advantage. So we both had an advantage on some sections. In Montreal, DH riders were not given any advantage on other riders because they wasn't any really steep and technical downhill. So may be the race was at there disadvantage...


At the end, for me it is normal that the profiles vary from a Unicon to another, as long as it doesn't advantage always the same kind of riders. So I think such technical downhills should not be excluded, as well as steep/technical uphills. I think organizers should provide a technical race by considering what they have at their disposal.


Of course, races like XC of Sweden (2008) should be excluded. It was mainly flat, way too short and the start was an apocalypse. The rating of race with points could be used to avoid that to happen again.


If we want to decrease the advantage that can have a UH rider on a DH rider or vice versa, we must make races longer. Then a 30s advance or more taken by a rider in a specific section can be caught up by other riders more easily. So I agree with setting the races to minimum 1h for top riders. In fact, and I think this is also the opinion of the majority of XC riders, XC races should be much longer than 1h or 10km.


I also totally think a world champion XC race should be longer than 1hour or 10km. I was very disappointed when they decided to cut 1/3 of the original track in Spain as we were supposed to do what we did plus one more loop of the first section.


@Martin Charrier: "Of course, races like XC of Sweden (2008) should be excluded. It was mainly flat, way too short and the start was an apocalypse."I love your quote! Yes, that race lead to most of the current description we have for how to run XC and Muni races. At the same time, it is a reminder to us of the difficulties of getting some venues for big unicycle events. I don't know the details, but I believe that venue was secured very late in the planning for Unicon XIV. You know it was a problem if they had to bus us to a different country to find a location for Muni! That ski resort was well suited for the other events that were held there, but simply didn't have a workable route to use for an XC race. They decided to offer one anyway rather than disappoint people, but they probably should have left it out.

Future uni competitions may end up in similar situations, which is why we must be careful in what we absolutely require, rather than what we recommend, strongly recommend, prioritize, etc. Our requirements should be a wish-list of what we consider would make a great course, but should then provide a series of fall-backs in case the perfect course isn't available.


I totally agree that having a well marked course is of greatest importance. Volunteers should guide the way at confusing intersections and judges should look over technical sections. Good suggestion also regarding the communication if there is a late change to the route.

We could require an official orientating ride if the course is changed in the last 24h before the race, but otherwise I think it is too much effort and time consuming.


Woops, wrong thread, please ignore my last comment. 

I agree with Maksym that the unrideable uphill sections should be avoided. I guess this would be worth a recommendation in the rulebook. Still, technical section (also a few on the uphills, like Martin said) are a good thing in my opinion.

Regarding the difficulty rating: The UXC rating does not differentiate between technical difficulty on the uphills and downhills, it only uses the average difficulty. Here is my rating of the UNIOEC track: https://muni-scale.info/#/trails/22/ If somebody has a GPS track from Unicon 18, I could rate it as well. I only have a recording from training but as you know it was not the final route. Suggestions on improving the scale are always welcome!

I would also love to have longer races. 10 km courses, even if very technical like the last years, take much less than 1 hour for top riders. Maybe we could require 15 km?

Qualifications & Expert finals would be nice, but they should not be on the same day to get a little bit of rest in between. I can see that this would be difficult to organize.

Good point, John, regarding requirements/recommendations. In my opinion, I think it is important that certain requirements regarding courses are fulfilled, but I can see that this is increasingly difficult to achieve in certain locations. The solution would be that if the terrain/logistics don't allow for suitable muni championships, they should be held separately. For example, next year's European championships will be in the rather flat Netherlands and it's clear that the courses won't satisfy our standards. Maksym proposed to have separate muni championships in Poland/Czech Republic, something which I would fully support (any update on this?).


Ben, I have gps data from the elite xc race in Spain. It's from my Garmin watch. What's the best way to get that to you?


Thanks, Patricia, for sending me the GPS track of the Unicon 18 XC track. I uploaded it to the muni difficulty scale website and gave it a personal rating: https://muni-scale.info/#/trails/26/

Like the Unicon 17 and UNIOEC 2015 track, it is close to 20 points. All of these tracks were pretty technical but very short. The radar chart on the site nicely shows the point distribution. Maybe if we require tracks of 15 km length, we would at least get more than 10 km unlike at these events...

Ideally, the organizers or muni director upload and rate the track in advance so that every rider knows what to expect and what equipment to bring.


Response to Ben:
@Ben: "Maksym proposed to have separate muni championships in Poland/Czech Republic, something which I would fully support (any update on this?)"

There was several conditions set during European Committee meeting stating:
1. The Netherlands have priority for organizing Muni Chamipinships as they were first.
2. DH and XC Chamipionships should not be separated among events.

Since Netherlands uphold organizing XC race, Poland will not organize DH race.

We thought on organizing DH race separately. Our available courses for DH I would rate 7/10 points, while a XC courses reach 10/10 points. Muni championships in Poland/Czech republic would be a great opportunity to ride awesome XC, thus organizing only DH would be very inappropriate. 


Based on the results from Unicon17, Unicon18 and UNIOEC, the average speed of fastest riders is accordingly: 12.3 kmph ; 12.8 kmph ; 15.8 kmph. 

First two had a lot of unrideable sections, thus the average speed was lower. The UNIOEC level of difficulty was OK but the race was too short to test endurance. The distance 9,5 km took only 36 minutes to ride. If it was 15 km long, the average speed would slightly drop and rider would finish the race in time above 1 hour but still without guarantee. 

I am ready to accept 15km as a minimum requirement for world and continental championships. 

If we look on XC UCI Championships we would see best times oscillating around 1h30min. Maybe it is not correct to compare MTB with Muni but the true is that human body reacts similar to efforts lasting specified amount of time. On efforts longer than 1 hour competitor needs special training, diet during the race or control of peace during race. 

I would love to see requirement for the distance 20 +- 5km, which means minimum 15km, and maximum 25km,  but also clearly suggests that ideal course is 20km long and gives wide (10km) range for selecting appropriate trail in the event area.

With the average speeds set on three above mentioned events the completion time for distance 20km would be between: 1h16min to 1h37min. 


  1. I love what you are suggesting Maksym!


@Maksym Thanks for the update on the European championships. Sad that there won't be a DH competition - thanks for trying, though!

Regarding XC courses, I really like aiming for a 1h30 duration similar to XCO in MTB racing. 15 km - 25 km seems to be a good range to achieve that.



I agree with this duration, but would like it to be a rule for Unicon. I don't think this is necessarily a realistic distance for all competitions. I know of several places where NAUCC has been held where this distance would not really be achievable without doing multiple loops where there would be serious problems with bottlenecks and passing.


I am happy to see good support to push 15-25km distance in XC :)

Looking closer to Muni Difficulty Scale.

First of all:
I was confused with Score Radar Chart. It states: "Each dot in the graph represents the percentage of the maximum possible score for one category. The area of the graph represents the total score." I was thinking how authors of the calculator come with the order of this graph, not necessarily because:
The score is not calculated as area on the graph but as an algebraic sum of scored points. Now the things looks more simply.

The total score of trail increases together with distance. Thus minimum points (20 at the moment) should be changed as well.

I have studied three XC races: Unicon 17, Unicon 18 and UNIOEC 
Muni difficulty scale shows: 21, 22, 19 points respectively.

I increased the distance of each race to obtain estimated time of completion by the fastest rider 1h15min (with actual average speed).
Resulted distances: 15,5 km, 16km, 20km
and resulted ascent: 651m, 835m, 744m

In both Unicons the uphills were too difficult to ride, thus I reduced average difficulty scale by half point in each case. I feel that UNIOEC was OK in terms of walking, thus no change applied.
Both maximum slope uphill and maximum difficulty scale remain the same.

The scores for such virtually changed trails are as follow: 25, 27, 24.

Based on this results I suggest change of minimum score for trail to 24 points.

How about this changes:
"D.1.3 Cross Country

A Cross Country race should be at least 10 km or longer, depending on available terrain,


trails and schedule time. A distance of Cross Country race at Unicons should be between 15-25km, considering that the fastest rider should not finish the race in time below 1 hour.

The overall course difficulty must be rated with the Unicycle

XC Scale. If multiple laps need to be completed, then the whole distance is the basis for

the rating. A minimum score of 20 24 points is recommended. Courses with scores below

15 20 points should be labeled “beginner XC” for clarity. If only shorter trails are available,

riders can be required to complete two or more laps of the course.

Courses must be clearly marked, so that riders can easily see where to go. Very dangerous

sections should be secured (for example by removing sharp stones/branches from areas

where riders are likely to fall/run into due to the physics of the course).

Downhill and Cross Country courses must be rated in advance by two people using the

appropriate IUF Muni Difficulty Scale (see the IUF publication and online calculator).

Ratings and their underlying data must be published at least seven days prior to the



I like Maksym!


Yeah, that's right, the area of the graph on the muni difficulty scale website is not mathematically identical to the rating, but just a visual indication (larger shaded area ~ higher score). Maybe the wording on the website should be changed slightly.

I like increasing the minimum score to go with the longer distance. That makes perfect sense to me. A value of 24 seems good.


@ Maksym: If we look on XC UCI Championships we would see best times oscillating around 1h30min. Maybe it is not correct to compare MTB with Muni but the true is that human body reacts similar to efforts lasting specified amount of time. On efforts longer than 1 hour competitor needs special training, diet during the race or control of peace during race.

I agree completely. It needs special training, there are other requirements on the body, you need control during race and you need more regeneration time afterwards.

I think it is a great idea to make a long muni distance, similar to the marathon at the end of each unicon. I would prefer to let the distance for the "normal" XC round about 10 km and create a XC marathon about 30km. It should be at the end of an event, because afterwards you need regeneration time.

In the totality and variety of the unicon it is enough, if the XC is about 10 km with a high requirement for the technical riding.

If you change the distance for the "regular" XC to 25km, then you will have less participants. And the top Muni rider have to choose, what parts of Muni competitions they will do. 

A XC as you want to have is a extreme challenge and effort for the body. From a sports physiological point of view, it is ineffective and unhealthy to compete after a competition of this kind within a week.






Maksym, people seem to agree in general about the longer XC competition at International Competitions. Can you turn this into a proposal?


as you can see in my posting in the discussion of "Separate Gearing" i don't agree with longer and not so technical XC. In my eyes more people love technical XC than long XC. Comparing with UCI MTB in my eyes is not really fitting. the level there is much more higher. Florians sister and brother compete as Profi in UCI. i don't think that any Muni-Rider trains so much, not even the half. i suggest to separate like they do in Austrian Championship:

Limited: Munis up to 29 ungeared. Distance 10-15 km

Unlimited: 36 and geared: distance 15-30 km


in my eyes the best solution because fair for everyone.




The point is to make recommendations for XC to be easier only on the uphills due to extent of walking on past events. 
I think, we all agree and love that courses are difficult and wants too keep it like it is and even more hard by adding extra racing time (distance).

Less difficult uphills should just be rideable but not "Schlumpfable". It will not bring geared unicyclist in front anyway.

Good that Florian is profi in UCI, but could you tell me if he was able to ride whole distance in past 2 Unicons? 


I have been at the uphill section of the XC in spain as a spectator. There were two riders who ride up the first time and no one the second time.

The riders of our club liked this course (apart from the difficulties of marking..). They want to have a appealing technical challenge and not the double the lenght.

So I agree with the suggestion of Paul: 10 km for standard and 30 km for the more than 29 and geared one.

Then everybody can compete with like-minded people and no one has a disadvantage.


"Long and gentle uphills" instead of "gently". Otherwise, looks good!



@Maksym: "...we wants to bring XC race out from "kindergarten" to big ligue."

This is a good approach. I think we need to reach a certain level in this discipline(actually in all muni disciplines). Regarding the distance, I would rather look at the time than on the lenght. I watch the races of MTB World Cup and these races last between 1h and 1 1/2h and at these races are only top athletes. So if we make XC races between 20km and 30km we would reach a time over 2h and that is too much in my opinion. So if we make the races longer, I would go towards that duration(between 1h and 1 1/4h). For example at the Salzkammergut Trophy I need 1:15h for 22,1km and the course there is quite easy to ride, a typical marathon course, not a XC course. In my opinion it depends always on the course. If the course is easy and not very technical, then it's no problem if there are more kilometers to complete. But if the course is exhausting and technically, I would choose a shorter distance.


Due to the fact that organizer cannot predict the time of completion unless he has available top rider, setting limits in the distance is more appropriate and measurable.

Proposed distance 20 km was taken from the statistical speeds at last two Unicons and Unioec, given that the completion the course for the top riders should oscilate around 1h30min.  "With the average speeds set on three above mentioned events the completion time for distance 20km would be between: 1h16min to 1h37min."

Window +-5 km is to help organizer with selection of proper tracks. It there are more technical challenging than they can go shorter, i.e. 15km minimum.

Stefan, lets take a look on your race time in Salzkammergut. Based on your average speed, your results on 15, 20 or 25km would be as follow:
51min, 1h8min, 1h25min. 

I know that this is easy race. With proposed distance 20km you would finish in 8 minutes above lower acceptable limit (1hour).
If the race was 25km your time will still be below 1h30min. It means that there is a lot of space to make this race more difficult.

In this particular race the only requirement for distance 15-25 km would not work good if the organizer decide to make the race 15km long, because you would finish below 1 hour. But, In our proposal we also put requirement to the difficulty, which require the organizer to choose the trail which is without profits for Schlumpf. With more difficult trail we should expect best rider to complete in time above 1 hour. 

But what if organizer select difficult trail in the upper distance limit - 25km. It would be hard race with the best times reaching 2 hours, but in my opinion still acceptable. The problem is due to the wide window - 10km. We could go to narrower window, like 6km, for example 18km+-3km, but it would significantly reduce the choices for selection proper track. 
In the proposal it is also mentioned the expected time of completion -1h30min, and minimum 1hour. It will help organizer to select proper distance in case, that experienced race director is able to estimate the completion time. 


The description is shaping up well, and doesn't try to force hosts out of having the race due to too many requirements. Check the word "foremost" in the current proposal; change to "for most".

Keep in mind that going for a 1.5 hour ride time by elite riders would require the course to be open for many times more than that if all riders are to finish. I think the time differentials between the fastest and slowest riders will be a lot greater than in a Road Marathon due to terrain, but I guess that depends on the amount of elevation change (in each type of race).


This is a good aspect of John. I looked at the results of the XC in Spain and saw that the difference between the first and the last is around a hour. So when we are going to increase the distance of the XC races, the difference between the first and the last becomes greater and I fear that this can be a problem.

I read the suggestion of Paul in the other discussion "separate gearing in XC" and I think that this system could work well. Also in the MTB sector we see this system. In the discipline XC are short an technical courses and in the discipline Marathon are long and flowly courses. So I think this is a system that could work also for Muni.


I don't think the extra time would be an issue and if it is then you could always set a cut off time limit kind of like they do for the marathon/10km. For example; say the Spain XC course was longer, like 2 full laps instead of 1, then all you would have to do is say that after 2 hours everyone has to stop once they cross the start/finish line even if they only completed one lap.

As for Paul's other discussion in the other topic, I'll reply to that more there but just a quick note that if we were to add two separate courses, a shorter and longer one, then regarding time issues, this would actually increase the time quite significantly as then there would be two races to organize and one of them being super long.


What do you think about the following proposal?

Instead of making two separate categories, we could make another discipline. So we would have five Muni disciplines, Downhill, Uphill, Cross Country, Cyclocross and Marathon

  • At the Marathon I would suggest a longer distance (between 20km - 30km). If it´s difficult to find an appropriate course for this race, it´s also possible to use the XC course for it and make two or more laps there. In addition, I would make no restrictions on the unicycle, everyone should take the unicyle he want, with the setup that is the best for one, whether with or without gear, 27,5", 29" or 36". Just like the road marathon.
  • At the Cross Country I would leave the layout and the distance of the courses as before. In my opinion it´s important that the whole course is rideable, at least for the best riders.

I think the good thing about this proposal is that we have fair conditions at the XC race (concerning the gear) and we don´t have to make two categories. Furthermore the geared riders but also others have a special race where they can use their gear. Important is that the Marathon race and the XC race are on two different days, because in this case everyone can participate at the XC, even those who participate at the Marathon. (Because I think those who normally ride the XC race with a geared unicycle have also a normal unicycle without gear and so it shouldn´t be a problem.) As you can see from the previous comments, people seem to agree in general about longer races. Mainly in the comments by Maksym, Ben, Martin, etc. (all riders with gear) I have seen that. But I think as Paul has already said, that not all are for longer distances and with this system we have both, a normal XC, where probably the majority will take part and a Marathon for those who prefer long distances. The negative thing about this proposal is certainly the extra effort, but I think it would be a sensible solution. This system would be particularly important for international events like Unicon.

So far to my suggestion. What do you think of it?


Stefan, I like your proposal of an additional muni category (Muni Marathon) that is independent of XC. I for sure (and I guess many others) would love to compete in both, so I prefer it very much over having XC with 2 exclusive categories. As you said, the concern is about the extra effort for the host. Regional or national competitions will very likely not be able to run both XC and Marathon competitions. So, similar to Cyclocross it would probably be a Unicon only thing. In any case, the rules would be easy to write because we can just copy those from XC and only adapt the distance & difficulty rating.

I just hope that the hosts can find the extra time to fit it into the schedule. So ideally, there would be DH qualification, DH final, XC, Marathon, Cyclocross, Uphill. Every competition takes about half a day, but XC, Marathon & Cyclocross should be on different days in order to give time to relax. So about 4 days of competitions plus extra days for practice (which we want plenty of). Well, Unicons last about 10 days. So if muni is just running parallel with all other competitions it should work in theory.

With such a tight schedule, maybe it's also time for dedicated muni world championships as a separate event, in locations where there is good terrain for muni and plenty of time for all competitions. Unicons maybe only with unofficial DH + XC competitions but with more emphasis on convention aspects (group rides, fun competitions, etc.). Just brainstorming ;)


I also like this idea but I think it makes the schedule very difficult for the hosts. I was a part of making the schedule for this past Unicon and fitting everything in was quite a challenge. I think the only way to make room for a muni marathon would be for it to overlap with other events. This would make it harder to encourage participation and there would be fewer spectators. It would also be difficult to space out all of the muni and road events so that athletes have time for their legs to recover in between events. For instance, you would have to take Ben's suggestions of 4 days of muni competitions plus a day for the 10k and a day for the marathon (there is a lot of crossover between competitors in road and muni). So that's 6 days of competitions. 


I am potentially okay with this idea as a Unicon only event and as a suggested but not required event. This would allow hosts to try to have it but if their schedule or venues don't permit it, they wouldn't be forced to have it. I definitely prefer having this event to splitting up XC into categories. I agree with Stefan that you then don't really feel like you know who the "real world champion" is.


I absolutely agree with you Patricia. As I said before, the extra effort to organize and to make the schedule are a disadvantage of my suggestion. But in my opinion it always depends on the event. As Ben has already said, Cross Country, Cyclocross and Marathon should be on different days. The Downhill competition with the Qualification and the Finals takes also a day. But we can do the Uphill competition together with Cross Country as in Canada or at the UNIOEC. So we would need a day less, if it is limited in time.


I love the idea of adding another muni race! But if we did it would have to be substantially longer than the XC to truly make it a different race and if we were to call it muni marathon than it should be 42km. If this was added I would still want the xc to be longer than it currently is. I'm pretty certain no world MTB xc races are finished in 40 minutes. 


Completely correct. Important is that as many as possible, especially the riders with gear express their opinion about the length of the Marathon. But as you have already said, if we call it Marathon than it should be 42km.

I think the duration of the Cross Country race depents allways on the course. From my point of view the relationship between difficulty and duration at the XC in Montreal was ok. But in the past races I have seen that the organizers have tried to make the course more difficult, so that the riders with gear have no advantage. So when we introduce the Marathon race, we don´t have to make the XC any more difficult. The only prerequisite is that the whole course is rideable. In this case we can make the XC race longer (around 1 hour maybe).


In Montreal we had 4 days of transportation to Mont-Tremblant; 2 days of competitions and 2 days of practice. That cost us around 28 000$ CAD in travel expense and 5 000$ CAD  for the mountain itself (so cheap!). Add technical and logistical material, timing (6 000$ CAD), medals, etc. and you have a budget of a little more than 10 000$ CAD per Muni day outside of Montréal.

This was the particular situation of Montreal where we had to transport the riders "quite far" from the main hall. Other host could be more successful in cutting down the Muni budget for those events that generally requires to move the riders outside of the city.

So my only problem with adding an other event that requires to transport the riders is that some Unicon budget are quite tight and adding a new Muni day outside of Montreal would have been a financial struggle.

So in my opinion, just making XC much longer (lets say 1h-1h30) for elite is a compromise both in budget, scheduling and race quality.




I agree with Benoit and am happy with a 1h-1h30 race for XC as a compromise. I am quite skeptical about the ability to add another (even longer) muni race to Unicon for both schedule and budget reasons.


Sorry to come late to the discussion. I'll just say a few things.

- I love the idea behind this proposal.  In the last two unicons, XC has become a DH race with uphill walks.  It should be about endurance and fitness, which means rideable uphills.  An XC course should have flow and rhythm- you don't want to punctuate it with stops/walks/dismounts.

- the proposal regarding course length is good. At UNICON XV, we had the idea that XC needed to be over 1hr for top riders (previous XC's ranged from 10-20min), I think this extends it to what we had in mind for the future, which is approx 1hr30min.  Enough to test the best riders, not so long it becomes difficult for the organiser.  

- If you went for a recreational XC MUni ride, you go riding for at least 1- 1.5hrs, you don't ride around for 10-20min, so it also reflects what XC Muni riders do outside of competition.

- Whilst I agree that 'time' is a better gauge of ideal length than 'distance', the 20+/- 5km in ~1hr30min ensures that we have a course which will be roughly correct in duration, and won't be so technical it becomes an off-road trials course. 

- I see a few comments about the course being 'rideable for top riders'.  What does this mean for uphill?  Just about anything could be rideable for a top rider if they take long enough, but if it was so steep/slow that it's quicker to walk or you save energy by walking, this has the same effect of making the course choppy and breaking the riding rhythm- ie becomes a DH race with uphill walking.  

- for the reason above, I think uphills need to be rideable at a good speed because this tests power and endurance; not strength and/or walking ability.

-  if we add the Marathon as an optional event, there is no need to make it 42.2km. The specified distance meaningless in an off-road event (you can't compare courses or world records), it's only a rough guide for the organisers as to how long the race needs to be.  

- In mountainbiking, their definition for the XC marathon is between 60-160km.  http://tinyurl.com/jhc53b4

- my personal view is that an XC Marathon should be between 3.30-6hrs for the top riders.  It's no point running an event that is only slightly longer than the standard XC event.  It could be an optional event, or even a stand alone event outside of UNICON.- 

- regarding gears- I think the discussion should be about separating categories (even if the outcomes are the same, or an ungeared rider is faster than a geared), or not at all.

If you start prescribing to the organisers that a course should have NO advantage between geared/ungeared, then you can end up with the organisers interpreting to mean three things. They will either:

1) make the course so technical you can't use high gear


2) make the course so fast that you can't use low gear. So an ungeared 36" is as fast as a geared 26"


3) so choppy with ups/downs/stops/starts that changing gears will be no advantage or slow you down.

With all due respects to previous UNICON organisers, who did (1)- I found that the XC became so technical it became a DH race with uphill walking (which I think is the impetus behind this proposal).

- You could leave the ''Unlimited" XC to mean any choice of geared hub/crank length/wheel size.  If you look at the results of previous Unicons XCs- there isn't a lot separating geared and ungeared riders- often having ungeared is an advantage.  People select what they are comfortable with, and choosing the correct unicycle is part of race strategy.

The reasons to have a standard class in in XC are not entirely the same as in road racing.

--> in road racing, you are not competitive in the unlimited unless you have a geared 36", or even an ungeared 36". For riders travelling from far away, it is nice to have a standardised wheel size that is easy to travel with (ie 700c standard and 24" standard).  Whereas in MUni, a 29" geared is still compact enough to travel with.

--> In Muni, because there are many wheel size combinations- 29"/27.5"/26"/24", you can only separate geared and ungeared.






Ken, thanks for your insights! I agree that an XC marathon doesn't need to be exactly 42.2 km. 3.5-6 hrs sounds good to me - would make it very different compared to normal XC. So, while not necessarily a main event, I think it would be interesting to add it to the rulebook as an optional event.


Indeed, 42.2 should not determine marathon distance in Muni. It shall be based on expected time of completion. For me, marathon time shall be 3-5hours. 
I think 1.5 hours is Normal, 3-5hours (Marathon) is Long, 5+ (Ultramarathon) UltraLong. 
Anyway, I do not like idea of Muni Marathon as required event during busy Unicons. It can be optional, but time for relax should be strongly considered.

I like Ken comment:"..uphills need to be rideable at a good speed because this tests power and endurance; not strength and/or walking ability."
I think it is worth considering as an update in proposal.

What about "Uphill sections should not exclude technical difficulties but remain rideable in a good speed foremost." ?


Ken and Maksym are right.

Muni marathon must have a maximun time distance to marathon...10 days is a really short time for all events....


Thanks for agreeing me!

We have to quantify what 'riding at a good speed' actually means. 

That is too vague for the rulebook, but I used it to get my point across.


I called for votes on Gabriele's proposal since the committee will be over very soon and Maksym's proposal depends on its outcome. What we discussed at the very end about category names (Normal/Advanced/Sport...) is not yet addressed there, but I think Maksym can easily include it in his proposal.


The Proposal for separate gearing unicycles failed. For fair conditions I would like to keep sentence: "Course should not be profitable for using geared unicycles."

Ken Looi suggested adding: "riding at a good speed at uphills" but it is difficult to define this. I thnik that :"Preferred are long and gentle uphills rather than short and steep ones." is with similar meaning.

In proposal it is written Elite Cross Country and Beginners, but actually those categories are not definied in any part of regulations. 


I made statistics comparing times of 3 first male and female at Unicon 17, Unioec and Unicon 18.

Average completion time of top female was 37% (U17), 26% (UNIOEC), 18%(Unicon18) longer than top male times.

U17 was the hardest trail so the big difference. Unioec was lighter with elevation loss, so less difference. Unicon 18 statistics are unreliable (top male and female get lost).

I think that we can assume that female completion times are roughly 30% longer. In this case 1h30min trail for man would be 1h57min for female. 

There were voices that female wants same racing trail as male, but expected completion time of 2 hours might be a problem. 
There is not so many female representatives in this discussion so we have to be careful  with proposal. Paul was against longer distances and he probably still hold his opinion. Patricia, what do you think? 

Regarding categories:
The host is not requred to create more categories beside top level category, but if do so, the names should have clear meaning. I think we should made some naming standards. That was in the past:
UNICON 17 - Beginners, Advanced, Expert
UNIOEC - Regular, Extreme (but on the result list extreme was called expert)
UNICON 18 - Beginners, Elite (but on the result list Elite was called expert)

I suggest:
Beginners, Regular , Expert. (If there are qualifications during expert run, than finalist can be called Elite). 

EVERYBODY, Please comment with your thoughts regarding distance for male / female and categories naming. So we can proceed with voting on something that most would agree.


First of all I want to say that I'm very disappointed with the outcome of the proposal for separate gearing unicycles. I think the proposal which Gabriele has written is a good compromise for both, the ungeared and the geared riders. With this result we have now the same situation as before. But now it is how it is, the majority voted against.

I can only say that I don't want to participate in cross country races, where geared riders are in the advantage. Because I really not want to lose positions to riders, who beat me only with the help of their gear. And I think I'm not the only one with this attitude.


Regarding the course, I find the course for both men and women must be the same. I would set the distance so that the fastest men need maximum an hour. Therefore, the fastest women need about 10-15min longer, always depending on the course.



Regarding the categories, I agree with your suggestion Maksym.


Regarding the naming of the categories, I'm not opposed to changing them, but I think if we do change them so something new there should be a good reason and it should be consistent with other disciplines.  I've personally seen the term beginner/advanced/expert used most frequently for muni (unicon17 and the past several NAUCC's), so if many people now know what those mean changing them may cause some confusion/questions for the first few events.  Looking through the rule book here are categories that are mentioned:

Artistic Freestyle: Novice/Intermediate/Expert

Flatland: Advanced/Expert

Muni: only mentions beginner


Additionally there is a general definition for Expert, so the term Expert should probably be preferred over Elite.  If possible, I think it'd be nice to use the same terms for all of the disciplines, but if not, I would say use either Novice/Intermediate/Expert or Novice/Advanced/Expert for muni to avoid introducing yet another term (Regular, Sport, etc).


I like terminology from Freestyle: Novice , Intermediate , Expert sounds good for me. Although, "beginners" sound better and has already rooted in muni.

The word "intermediate" clearly suggest that it is not highest category, while "advanced" can be interpreted as the highest.

It was actually an issue after Unicon17 when my brother received gold medal in Advanced category. People thought that he received the highest award, while I got "only" bronze (in Expert).


I also agree that intermediate is better than advanced. I also prefer novice over beginners but that one isn't a big deal to me.


I'm also fine with the Beginner/Intermediate/Expert. Novice works too.

In the discussion about separating geared/ungeared there were some good suggestions regarding course lengths. I think the best would be:

Beginner 5-10 km

Intermediate 10-15 km

Expert 15-25 km (this is what Maksym originally suggested to get races of 1h30)


Regarding the female distances, I have so far not seen female expert riders asking for different courses. In MTB XC world cup the female riders often have 6 loops when the male have 7 if I remember correctly. It is questionable whether something similar is feasible for muni from an organizational point of view. Short loops, which would allow for such a fine graduation, are dangerous because the track could get very crowded with a diverse rider level. Something like 3 or 4 loops is more realistic for muni. In this case, I think that the female experts would also prefer the full amount (but please correct me if I'm wrong!).


Would be good to have some female input from here but from my experience and from several discussions with female riders in Muni I can confirm what Bens say, they prefer to ride exactly what the male riders do. There was some ideas to do female Downhill tracks / Muni tracks and the female riders hate that idea totaly (which is logic from my point of view). Even there is no female Marathon / female 100k race :) THere is simply no difference beside the biological differences whicxh are respected by doing seperate categories. From the endurance aspect I never see any diference between male and female riders / sportsmen. The ditances sounds also fine for me.


It is not nice to see that the majority don´t want to have the same conditions for all, now everybody is forced to ride a Schlumpf. But it is like it is.

So again to the XC: In my opinion there is no change necessary. The existing rule says:"A Cross Country race should be at least 10 km or longer, depending on available terrain, trails and schedule time." So it is the decision of the host to configure the course in such a way that it fits to the local possibilities. They are allowed to make the course longer.

And again to the duration. I think 45 min are enough. If you look to other sports, like Biathlon ( there you need endurance, power and technic like in Muni): The sprint (male 10 km, female 7,5,km) has a duration of 22-28 minutes, depending on the course. The long distance (20km male, 15km female) has a duration of 38 -51 minutes. The biathlete have a abundance of races. The long distance is rare and the long distance has a duration round about 45 minutes. And if they have this long run (Einzel 45min!) in a place, then they have a day off between the next.

For a course with the duration of 1,5 hours for the best ones, the women need already much longer and the broad centre zone likewise. If we look to the best 30 male, then the 30. would need 2 hours minimum. The physical effort is not meaningful with unicon in the abundance and succession of competitions

Our riders are not happy with a duration of 1 and a half hour for the best. Our riders won´t like such a course. And me, as the responsible trainer, I won´t force my young and elite riders to go for such a race within the unicon.

If you have a competition, which takes 1 and a half hour to two hours, you need one week recovery period at leastEverything else is unhealthy and irresponsible. In Germany we call it "Sportler verheizen". If the Munisport is to be taken seriously, the rules must remain responsible

Let the triad of the Muni (DH, UH, XC) exist in such a way as it isAnd offer a special Muni Marathon when it is possible.

The name of the categories is not important. It is just the name. 



A proposal is a result of a longer discussion and usually the discussion leads to a clear direction how a proposal will pass and how not. Once a proposal is made it is still possible to adjust it and then finaly people vote and the majoritiy should be treated respectfull. A proposal don't fail because people are not nice, it fails usually because a majoritiy of very skilled people in that discipline think that this change is not leading in the right direction.

But now to the topic here. So far I never ever heard from a rider in XC races "this race was to long"! I often heard "this race was to short" or "this track was not good for XC as it was to easy or to hard". Most people compare XC Muni with XC MTB and they use 25 - 40k for regular XC races and 400 to >100k for XC Marathons. For sure a race like that should placed well in the schedule like 42K is also placed well.

Those short XC races we often see are often done by many riders because they are short but they are always disliked by the "real" XC race loving people. Several Downhill riders for example usually dont like long XC or hard uphill races as their focus is not in endurance, their focus is an the challange of downhill. You find the similar situation in MTB sport, some are more the speed junkies but hate endurance while others love the endurance and don't like the downhill challange that much. Only some are on Top level in both disciplines.

Thats also why I dont like an over all Muni champion becuase it can often be a rider who is not Top Level in all three disciplines. The disciplines are to different from each other and I don't think X/C should be short just to make it possible for Downhill riders to do it. If they love X/C races, they have the power to do a long one, if they don't like it, they shouldnt do it. 

Beside this it should be taken in consideration that in MTB they also use sometime a max time limit which can help in the Expert class to keep a limit of 60 or 90 minutes for all riders.


may be a compromise could be:

- proposal a lap 5-10k 

- riders can choose to ride 1,2 or 3-4 laps

- to avoid jealousy in naming perhaps lets call fast XC, extended XC and challange XC or so





Jogi, riding on laps may significantly interfere between top and lapped riders, especially on single trail parts.

@Olaf: "..it should be taken in consideration that in MTB they also use sometime a max time limit which can help in the Expert class to keep a limit of 60 or 90 minutes for all riders."

I am not sure that I understand you correctly. Do you mean like this example: Race 20 km long, time limit set to 2h. So the riders who do not feel to comoplete in below 2 hours do not attempt. ???

Regarding distances: 

I would shorten distances in lower categories: 

Beginner 3-8km
Intermediate 8-15km
Expert 15-25 km 

That's only distance specification. What about difficulties and Muni Difficulty Scale rating?

Beginner - maximum 15 points
Intermediate - ??? (15-21)
Expert - minimum 24 points 

If we just fill gap by giving 15-24 points for Intermediate it could end more technical as Expert due to losing points in shorter distance. Reducing higher limit by 4 points (equivalent of 5km shortage) gives 15-20 points. It sounds good for me and it is  the same as gap in present rules. We could rise lower limit by few points but then the selection of fitting course might significantly shrink. 
The race director should understand that technical difficulties should not decrease (might be steady or increase) from Beginner via Intermediate towards Expert.  



@Maksym: the MTB rules use the time limit only in lap races like we have it in Cyclocross. As they go for 25 to 40k tracks, I can imagine that its pretty hard for them to find such long tracks so lap races seems to happen often and therefore they invent the time rule which say as many laps as possible inner 60 / 90 minutes. As a host can also run into trouble to find a 15k and longer track, I thought it could make sense to adopt this option in case of the need for lap races. For sure in a lap race only riders from one category should be in a race at the same time to prevent chaos. In MTB I read that they often use very short laps like 1,5 to 2,5k and then the time rule makes a lot of sense as some riders will make significant more laps in the time limit then others. I hope this explain it better


Well said Maksym and O.schl. I agree with both of your last couple of posts. The cutoff time is a nice way to prevent races from taking 3+ hours...pretty certain they have something like this for the marathon and even the 10k. If the xc course is just one long single trail (no laps) you could still have a cutoff point at the halfway point with a judge stopping all riders who haven't passed that point by 90 minutes. 


Race on shorter laps not only bring advantage of finding proper trails but also is more spectacular for audience. This is worth consideration! If the trail allows hassle free overtaking than I would give it a go. The laps should not be too short either and include variety of technical difficulties. 

Estimated number of laps should provide that distance fulfill minimum score (Muni Dificulty Scale) requirements, then time limit should be adjusted accordingly.


@Jamey: "The cutoff time is a nice way to prevent races from taking 3+ hours...pretty certain they have something like this for the marathon and even the 10k. If the xc course is just one long single trail (no laps) you could still have a cutoff point at the halfway point with a judge stopping all riders who haven't passed that point by 90 minutes. "

I fully agree with you.

Below working example from real race:


XC race was held on two different laps
First Lap was expected to complete in 1 hour. Cut off time after 1 lap was set to 2 hours. Competitors finishing this First Lap in time above 2 hour were not allowed to enter lap number 2.
Second Lap was expected to complete in 1.5 hour. 
It took around 2h27min for best rider and 4h30min for last rider. 

This system can be also utilized in race not containing laps by establishing control points (ig buffets).


Just for some background with the naming: at NAUCC we have recently started using elite instead of advanced because we also award the top three best riders overall as expert riders so it was confusing if the category was also called expert. There was confusion because riders who received an age group medal in the expert category thought they were also being classified as expert riders which was incorrect. So although I understand that it's nice to use expert for consistency I think we should leave the wording flexible so other competitions besides Unicon can choose names that make sense for them. 


As for females and males having the same courses: I think we should leave this flexible. For example at NAUCC 2015 the course for the elites had two sections. The first part was longer but not technical and the second half was shorter and much more technical. The organizers (of which I was one) decided to have the elite males complete both the first and second parts. However, we decided to have the elite females complete just the second part. We made this decision because there were many females who were going to choose not to do elite because they were daunted by the distance. By just doing the second part we were able to convince many more females who rightfully belonged in elite to do the race without compromising the results. The best muni rider still won because they did the technical part. I understand that this is a specific situation but I think it was the best choice for that competition and I hope the rules continue to allow situations like this. 



when slow riders leave after one lap and medium riders after two fast riders wont have to overtake much riders...


I have revised proposal. 

Please check it and write comments.


To show the minimum of fairness, the proposal should replace “Course should not be profitable for using geared unicycles” with “Course must not be profitable for using geared unicycles. If this is not possible, geared unicycles must be awarded separately”. This is the minimum of respect you should show to the ungeared elite.

My opinion to the failure of proposal 48: I didn’t expect the failure and I’m very disappointed. The proposal didn’t provide fixed separated categories, but only if the course does overtly favour geared vs. ungeared. Therefore in my eyes the proposal was perfect, because disadvantaging nobody, but guaranteeing fair conditions. I hope I’m wrong, but my opinion is, to find 100-%-rideable courses that are not favouring Schlumpf is only theoretical. Therefore writing “Course should not be profitable for using geared unicycles” are only empty words for me. I can’t see no logic in your considerations: You’re going to penalize dismounts on the finish-line, but allow to compete geared together with ungeared in courses like UNIOEC. How much is the advantage of a dismount at the finish-line: I think less than -1 second, in the worst case no advantage but a disadvantage +1 sec. The advantage at UNIOEC for the Elite Geared is 1,5 minutes against Elite Ungeared. So, I really do not understand your thinking. Please don’t misunderstand me. I agree with the finish line rule. But I will never agree with your opinion about Geared/Ungeared. At the risk of sounding immodest, nobody in this committee has as much experience regarding Geared vs. Ungeared in Muni as we (Villanders) have.


@ Olaf: “A proposal is a result of a longer discussion and usually the discussion leads to a clear direction how a proposal will pass and how not. Once a proposal is made it is still possible to adjust it and then finaly people vote and the majoritiy should be treated respectfull. A proposal don't fail because people are not nice, it fails usually because a majoritiy of very skilled people in that discipline think that this change is not leading in the right direction.

21 voting members in this committee. 11 owners of Schlumpf. 2 Elite Ungeared (I am not elite). Gerald seems to be not active? Do you think the result would be the same if all XC-Elite would vote?



To show the minimum of respect to elite ungeared, please replace “Course should not be profitable for using geared unicycles” with “Course must not be profitable for using geared unicycles. If this is not possible, geared unicycles must be awarded separately”.


Ben, I know it's late. Can I open a new discussion? Florian suggested to change 5B.5.6.2 Dismounts: Downhill. He suggested to manage the time penalty without countdown but by adding the time penalty. In situations where more riders come together to a very difficult section, the referees have problems with the countdown, if more than one falls. moreover man-made countdowns are not precisely.


By the way: Regarding privat videos I agree with John. In Muni private videos can help. It should be to the referees judgement or directors judgement if considering a privat video or not. Sorry that I write this here, the other discussion is already closed.




@ paul :21 voting members in this committee. 11 owners of Schlumpf. 2 Elite Ungeared (I am not elite). Gerald seems to be not active? Do you think the result would be the same if all XC-Elite would vote?


i think decision was not made by owning a schlumpf hub, but to lead XC in a fast, spectator fascinating future. when we think into future we should end in riding significant faster than running a track.

so in my opinion we have to rule a way that makes this sport faster and faster and not to try penalty speed.

that was the base of my decision. 


I have edit Maksym's proposal as a native speaker. It was not my intent to change the rules, only to correct the text.

Note: profitable in english only makes sense when talking about money. Thus I have edited the relevant sentence to:
"The course should be chosen such that geared riders do not have an undue advantage."

I did not add anything that Paul suggested because that is an additional edit. Maksym can add that text to his proposal if he sees fit.


Jogi, I have a schlumpf but did not use it in the XC race in Spain. Simply a comment.


@Paul: “Course must not be profitable for using geared unicycles. If this is not possible, geared unicycles must be awarded separately

We cannot require ("must") because it could be impossible to find proper course in host area. If it is impossible and course favors geared riders than we come to the same case covered in recently failed proposal: "Separate gearing in XC".

 "...If the course is favouring geared unicycles, the recommended categories are:
- Ungeared: Ungeared unicycles. No restrictions on wheel size, cranks and pedals.
- Unlimited: No restrictions on wheel size, cranks, pedals and gearing. ..."

I cannot include the phrase that Paul suggest because it has already met disapproval in voting. I respect majority. 

The main intention of this proposal is to increase racing times in XC Elite races. 
The existing rulebook does not specify course in terms of limiting geared unicycles, but in respect of fairness the proposal contain the phrase:
 "The course should be chosen such that geared riders do not have an undue advantage".

Above phrase is limiting geared unicycles (softly with "should"). Some geared unicyclists may like to vote against that but I hope they understand it as a compromise, and focus mostly on a distance, time and difficulty specification.

Thanks Scott for necessary corrections. I agree with your wording.
In my opinion the proposal should be joint work of all committee members, so please help me with final wordings. I am open for any suggestions, and I look on others opinions / past comments before revising.

Looking on existing section: 5D.1.3

1. The first paragraph is the subject of change under this discussion and worked proposal.

2. The second paragraph: "Courses must be clearly marked..." goes to separate section: "Route signaling" as per recent voting.

3. The third paragraph: "Downhill and Cross Country courses must be rated in advance by two people using the appropriate IUF Muni Difficulty Scale (see the IUF publication and online calculator). Ratings and their underlying data must be published at least seven days prior to the event.
I think it should be moved to section: Communication. And be required only at Unicons and Continental Championships.

I suggest that in present proposal we vote for changing only First Paragraph. Second is already moved, third can be moved without voting (I believe).

Proposal covers requirements for distance and categories at Unicon and Continental Championships. Should it be arranged in different subsection? If present arrangement of sections in proposal is not correct please suggest corrections. Or this is not so important and can me changed after voting?


I do not see much of the feedback regarding categories. Beside Elite category there was not much of discussion on other categories. Please either write that you agree or comment with constructive suggestions. I would like to push proposal for voting but first I want to see positive feedback or apply necessary changes.



Paul, thanks for your motivation - for me, it's fine if you open a new discussion about DH dismounts. However, I think Scott should decide since he knows how much time other sub-committees still need or if there are external deadlines we need to follow.

Regarding the failed proposal, I'm not surprised about the outcome. My informal straw poll on this topic showed 2:5 when Gabriele still decided to go for it and now the official outcome is 5:9. Please keep in mind that 67% of voting members need to vote in favor of a proposal to make it pass.

Regarding courses *must* or *should* not be favoring geared - I definitely agree with the intention, Paul! However, I think *must* is a bit dangerous. I can imagine that even on a course like in Montreal, some people could claim geared is favored. How do you prove it before the race that this is not the case? This could potentially make it necessary for all future competitions to have separate categories and would thus introduce the proposal, which just clearly failed, via this backdoor. However, it's up for Maksym to decide.


Maksym, thanks for your comments. An exact restructuring of the new and old text can be done after the committee ends and does not require voting, it is simply organizing the rulebook more clearly. I will keep your suggestions in mind when I do that structure.

Paul, here is my response regarding your suggestion from Florian: I can see both reasons for and against the rule in my mind. This suggests to me that there may need to be some discussion and I don't think there is enough time for this. Also, as long as the downhill course and organization is good, at least the top riders should not have this issue. (The time gap should be enough, and the riders should start in the approximate correct order, such that they should not overlap too much. Also, for most dismounts/remounts, the penalty should not be required, riders will hopefully follow the rules as much as possible.)


@Maksym: Yes, let's focus on the first paragraph. Regarding the categories, what you sent me recently looked good:


Beginner 3-10 km
Intermediate 8-15 km
Expert 15-25 km

Difficulty scale ratings:

Beginner - maximum 15 points
Intermediate - 15-21
Expert - minimum 24 points


I agree that the main focus should be the increased length of the Expert category. If there would be disagreement about the other categories (feedback please!), they can be adapted to make as many as possible happy (at least I don't have a strong opinion on these categories).



I agree with the above Maksym except that expert should be replaced with Elite. 


Jamey, if you re-read my revision, you will see that the change to Elite has already been done.


@jogi: did proposal 48 penalty speed?



not really, but a few years ago we had the same discussion about 24" / 26" and before that about crank lenght and i am very happy that we never penalty any munis.... may be thats why we do not muni with 20" 145mm cranks today....

every technical innovation will develope this sport by time....so we should use it.


@ Jogi: The main problems here are the great difference and the price. For example a wheel costs around 200€, cranks cost around 70€ and the difference between the sizes is minimal in terms of the price and the advantage of a larger one. But the Schlumpf costs 1.490€ and there is a big difference to a normal wheel. So if the Schlumpf would cost 200€, it would not be a problem. But I am not ready to pay 1.490€ for a Schlumpf only for a XC race and I think the majority of the Muni rider have the same opinion. Therefore, Jogi you can not compare the discussions about the gear with the other discussions.

The next problem is the increasing length of the Expert races. The longer the races become, the greater the advantage of the geared riders. Because it is nearly impossible to find a course where you can never use the gear. So now everybody is forced to ride a Schlumpf to be at the front. I think we are developing in the wrong direction here.

I completely agree with Gabriele´s statement, it is not nice to see that the majority in this Committee don´t want to have the same conditions for all. 


A top of the line muni costs around $1000USD, a muni with a Schlumpf is about $2500USD. If anyone is serious about muni and think it's a huge advantage I really don't think it's a big deal for them to come up with the extra money (fundraising or working a bit longer, harder or getting an extra job, etc.). If we compare it to mountain biking, $2500 is nothing...some bikes cost well over $10,000 and I doubt people are complaining that there should be a separate category for "expensive" bikes. We have already voted on if people want to have separate categories for geared/ungeared and the results were that the majority didn't so now we must move on.

I created a new thread to find out what unicycles people rode for the top riders for muni at past Unicons so please fill in any details you have here: http://www.unicyclist.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1679705#post1679705 This way we will have a list in case we want to bring this up in 2 years in the next committee.


I know that Schlumpf is expensive, but it brought XC racing to another (higher) level. Instead restricting it and creating categories that would divide elite riders, it might be better to start thinking how to support elite riders who are not able to buy one for themselves.

Coming back to the proposal. 
I am disappointed on Paul's attitude. You claim to have best Muni Club with plenty kids, and we can say so without any doubts. But why do not you express your thoughts on proposed categories which greatly concern beginner and advanced riders. Do you have in club only elite riders?

What I write in proposal is an effect on studies of past rules and adjusting them to changes in required distances. I have some experience with younger riders but I believe that there are still more competent people. Please, stay active and at least say your opinion on categories. After voting, it will be to late to say that "..
it is not nice to see that the majority in this Committee" ...

Another thing is that being coach in the best club does not mean that your opinion must be accepted by others. Most of our community do not belong to any clubs, and their opinions shall be equally respected.

@Stefan:  The longer the races become, the greater the advantage of the geared riders. Because it is nearly impossible to find a course where you can never use the gear. 

But it is possible to do 2 or 3 laps of course that do not bring undue advantage of geared riders. Making one lap more in Montral or San Sebastian will satisfy distance requirements without bringing Schlumpf riders in front. But somebody can say that course in San Sebastian was favoring Schlumpf. If so, it does not matter if it is 1 lap or 2.

In case the host plan to run race on several laps, it would be nice to have this rule:

To keep high level among competitors in Elite category, shorten overall time of competition and reduce possibility on laping slower riders, it is allowed to set time limits for completing selected parts of the course. Time limits should be equal to 200% of expected time for fastest riders.


For the next days, I will be without internet access. I will try my best to connect somehow and check your opinions. At the beginning of next week I will call for votes!!


Fact is that the majority of the XC participants will never buy a gear, so there will be always unequal conditions with this rule. So I fear that in the future a lot of good riders will not want to participate in the Elite race and I find that is a pity. I know that the decision about the gear has already fallen. But as Paul has already said, a large part of this committee are owner of a gear and so it was almost clear that the decision will be so (just my opinion). But I just want to tell you that the majority of the XC participants are against the gear and this is not considered here.

But I see that I am one of the only ones in this committee with this opinion and therefore I am not going to comment on it. I only hope that the XC race does not suffer from this rule.


“Another thing is that being coach in the best club does not mean that your opinion must be accepted by others. Most of our community do not belong to any clubs, and their opinions shall be equally respected.

Sorry, Maksym, this was not my intention! It is not true, that I don’t respect your opinions. Remember the penalty seconds at the finish line: I think 10s is too much, 2s is enough! Anyway, I agreed with 10s. And regarding the dismounts in Uphill: my opinion still is that the best point to remount is the first body/feet contact! Anyhow I agreed with “the point of the wheel”.  As well regarding Category-names and distances I’m very flexible, and that was the reason, why I didn’t comment on this since now. Here is my opinion about (your) categories and distances:

Main categories:
1. Novice Beginner - distance 3-10 3-7 km, max 15 points Unicycle XC Scale
2. Intermediate - distance 8-15 8-13 km, 16-21 points Unicycle XC Scale
3. Elite - distance 15-25 14-20 km, minimum 24 points Unicycle XC Scale, suggested to last 1h30min minimum 1 h for fastest riders.
4. Marathon - longer than 30 km, suggested to last 3-5 hours for fastest riders.

The elite and intermediate categories with subcategories Male and Female are required to be run. Other categories are run on the host discretion.

The Elite Cross Country course should be designed such that the fastest rider completes the race in about 1 hour 30 minutes, but never less than 1 hour. The course should be chosen such that geared riders do not have an undue advantage. Unrideable sections should be avoided to prevent riders from walking however uphill sections may include technical difficulties. Long and gentle uphills are preferred over short and steep ones. If only shorter trails are available, riders can be required to complete multiple laps of the course.

I would replace Novice with Beginner, because it’s the very first time I heart Novice, and I think Beginner is more popular in Muni. But I’m really not expert in languages (Scott once said to me that my English sounds more German than English). I would fix the distances for the categories so that they don’t overlap with another category: Beginner 3-7 (instead of 3-10), and Intermediate 8–13…… I agree with increasing distance in Elite but I would not double. I think it’s enough to make a smaller step, and await how it works. We can increase again in two years. I think the required categories for UNICONS and Continental Championships should not only be Elite, but also Intermediate, because increasing the distances many competitors will sign in for Intermediate instead of Elite. Regarding Beginners: I think this is the task of smaller local competitions. What is an “undue” advantage? See example below! I would delete the phrase: “Long and gentle uphills…..” I think it’s enough to require “no unrideable sections”. I think, it’s better to not elaborate the rule too much.



Above I wrote “your categories…”. Do you remember?: My favoured categories and distances still are: (copied from the discussion “separate gearing”)

Three categories:

- Beginners Intermediate: ca. 5 - 10 km (no gear allowed; no restrictions about wheel sizes, cranks, pedals, tires)

- Elite Ungeared: 15 km (+/- 3) no restrictions about wheel sizes, cranks, pedals, tires

- Elite Unlimited: 25 km (+/-5) No restrictions at all.

(distances are only examples)

I would prefer a difference in length between Elite Ungeared and Unlimited because:

- courses should consist not only of technical but also of many flowing sections, so that Schlumpf can be used for what it is made: for Speed. Spectators should see the speed difference! Therefor the geared riders would finish faster the same distance, so distance should be longer, moreover to satisfy the two kinds of endurance racers: short endurance (most of young/ungeared riders) long endurance (most of mature/geared riders).


Regarding categories and distances I’m flexible. So, you can see, that I respect your opinions!


But regarding the fairness on courses that are favouring Schlumpf I will never agree with you and I’m sorry, that I continue to spoil the mood. But since the proposal has failed I wake up in the morning thinking: “This rule is not fair!”. And this goes on the hole day. Every day. The only way to quieten me, is to exit me from the committee (I hope you won’t do so!). The advantage of being in a club is to have always much comparison between riders and material. Here is the example regarding “undue advantage”: Lukas Huber and Michael Rabensteiner are equal in XC. The always have close finishes in Italian Championship. Sometimes Lukas is better and sometimes Michael. The courses in Italian Championship are 99% rideable and lightly favouring Schlumpf. For example XC course Villanders (8 km) is advantaging Schlumpf ca. 40 sec. So, every Muni Director would say: There’s no undue advantage. Michael is owner of Schlumpf and therefor he would always win against Lukas. It is not possible to catch up, even though there are only 40 sec to catch up. If you are fighting for 30th pace, this is no problem. But if you are fighting for podium, this is really not fair. In 2013 Michael used Schlumpf and won against Lukas. But he was not happy about this victory. And Lukas was very disappointed. The same situation between Florian and Stevie, and Vera and Laura. To lose because of fitness is no problem, but to lose because of unfair conditions hurts, especially when you have trained a whole lot. With the new course specifications I expect courses like we already have in Italian Championship: lightly favouring Schlumpf. For such courses I suggest to separate, otherwise we force everyone to buy Schlumpf. And this is not the right way! We do not force everyone to buy Schlumpf in Road as well. So, why should we do this in Muni? You’re talking about bringing the sport to a higher/faster level by buying Schlumpf. So, we must do as well in Road!??



@ Jamey: I saw the thread. Really good idea! Can you add also the females? I note that most of you are only thinking on male. Rules should consider both genders! I will create an account soon and fill in the details.


I didn't add females as the time difference between the top 10 females were so huge but you are more than likely to add them to the list if you want. :)


@ Jamey: Ok. I will try.




@ Maksym: sorry, I forgot this:

In case the host plan to run race on several laps, it would be nice to have this rule:

To keep high level among competitors in Elite category, shorten overall time of competition and reduce possibility on laping slower riders, it is allowed to set time limits for completing selected parts of the course. Time limits should be equal to 200% of expected time for fastest riders.


I think this is a really good suggestion!


The reasons I suggested overlapping distances is to have wider spectrum of available courses. While there is another requirement with points, it is not possible that begginers would have longer course in simmilar terrain than intemediate. So, basically, in the same are with simmilar characteristics of trail the courses cannot overlapp, and beginners will have always shorter course.

Regarding: To keep high level among competitors in Elite category, shorten overall time of competition and reduce possibility on laping slower riders, it is allowed to set time limits for completing selected parts of the course. Time limits should be equal to 200% of expected time for fastest riders.

I studied statistics from last Unicon and 200% seems to not work good. In well over 100 competitors, only 3-5 would be disqualified. Lapping would also be very likely. The rule needs more more tough limit, like 150%.


I think 150 % could be good:


XC Elite male: 56 finisher. 150 % = 38 finisher and 18 DQ

XC Elite female: 11 finisher. 150 % = 9 finisher and 2 DQ




XC ELITE MALE: 48 finisher. 150 % = 30 finisher and 18 DQ

XC ELITE FEMALE: 18 finisher. 150 % = 17 finisher and 1 DQ



XC ELITE MALE: 154 finisher. 150 % = 68 finisher and 86 DQ

XC ELITE FEMALE: 40 finisher. 150 % = 27 finisher and 13 DQ


But how complicated is it to manage that for the timing people?


guess 150% should be fine, but the riders should not be disqualified but rated in the order they finish their lap behind the finalists.


Having a cut off time like this is not a problem for the organizers. They simply do the math after the race. The problem I see is that the competitors don't know the cut off time before the race starts and that is not fair. In all the races I've been in (as an organizer or a competitor) the cutoff time was announced well before the race and riders could choose to change categories based on that. For example, if I've pre-ridden the Elite course and I know that the cutoff time is 2 hours then I will know whether or not I will be able to finish in time of if I would be better off switching to the Advanced course. 

In my opinion a cutoff time is used only to make the event a reasonable length of time so that it is feasible in the competition schedule and budget for the competition. It is not a method to DQ slow riders. 

If we are giving the recommendation that the top elite riders race for about 1h30 then we could also give a recommendation for a cutoff time. I think there should be some text like "If a cutoff time is going to be used it should be no less than 150% of the time expected for the top male and female riders respectively. If a cutoff time is going to be used it needs to be announced before the day of the race and riders must be allowed to change categories for a period of time after the cutoff time is announced."


The math after the race is simple. but counting the laps of everyone maybe could be more difficult, especially if the riders are coming in groups!


I agree with Jogi, to not dq the people but rate them in order they finish.


I also agree with the recommendation about the cutoff time.


I like Patricia's text about the cutoff time.

Additionally, maybe it would be nice to have the following alternative to a cutoff time: "When a rider is lapped, he/she can finish the lap but then has to quit the race. After the race, the riders are ranked by 1) laps completed and 2) finish time." Which method is best probably depends on how many laps there are and how long they are. If the course has many short laps, this "lapped" rule would help to avoid too much traffic. On the other hand, if there are just 2 loops, a cutoff time would be preferable.



@ Ben: good proposal


but to make it easyer for the overtaken rider it would be helpful that espencially the first rider shout "overlaped" and overlaped riders must let pass all riders who overlap him easily 


@Jogi: 150% should be fine, but the riders should not be disqualified but rated in the order they finish their lap behind the finalists

I meant that riders should be requested to leave the course on the check point when the cut off time is reached. It is to prevent lapping, by fastest, leading riders. They shall be ranked, based on the time/distance.

They simply do the math after the race

No, as you said later, the cut off times must be set before race. The main point for cut off time is to stop riders from continuing their race.

@Ben:When a rider is lapped, he/she can finish the lap but then has to quit the race

I disagree,
It is difficult to find who is lapped.  For example: the fastest rider can be lost on the course, get back and start overtaking much slower riders. It is also impossible to judge with our poor judging system.

XC course should be far away from Cyclocross. The number of laps should be minimized. I would say, 2 laps is OK, 3 laps is on the limit. In Elite category, the difficulty of the trail is quite high. Overtaking is already difficult, but overtaking much slower (lapped) riders can be also dangerous. 

With 150% cut off time, the 2 lap course should not be problematic, but with 3 laps course, the slower riders will be probably lapped by fastest ones.

Another problem may occur if there is high number of laps. For example, 10 laps and more. On the total distance of 20 km, some riders would like to start slowly, and keep moderate, constant speed to the finish. They can be lapped by hot start riders who may loose power later, and in some case not even complete the course. 


What about following? :

Multiple lap courses are allowed. However, if the course does not allow for easy and safe overtaking, the race director shall ensure that lapping probability will be close to zero.


It is allowed to set cut off time for completing selected parts of the course. Cut off time should be no less than 150% of the time expected for the top male and female riders respectively. If a cutoff time is going to be used, its specific rules needs to be announced before the day of the race and riders must be allowed to change categories for a period of time after the cutoff time is announced.

I added "specific" rules. This should contain: cut off times at checkpoints, rules for ranking or disqualification, requests to clear the trail, or possible continuation out of the ranking.


Look to the results of Union 17 and Unicon 18:


            Unicon 17 time(hh:mm:ss)           % to first male time(hh:mm:ss) % to first female % to first male 1 Martin Charrier 00:46:49 100 1 Laura Baumgartner 01:01:10 100 131 2 Florian Rabensteiner 00:47:27 101 2 Vera Hofer 01:06:23 109 142 3 Maksym Siegienczuk 00:49:30 106 3 Tina Pötz 01:08:41 112 147 4 Ben Soja 00:49:37 106 4 Lisa Ploner 01:15:36 124 161 5 Jakob Flansbury 00:49:43 106 5 Stephanie Dietze 01:16:12 125 163 6 Scott Wilton 00:52:45 113 6 Jana Lehnert 01:17:53 127 166 7 Jamey Mossengren 00:53:29 114 7 Meike Brattinger 01:23:43 137 179 8 Gerald Rosenkranz 00:54:22 116 8 Patricia Wilton 01:23:44 137 179 9 Jakub Rulf 00:54:22 116 9 Lena Linden 01:31:50 150 196 10 Lukas Huber 00:55:03 118 10 Nadine Wegner 01:33:47 153 200 11 David weichenberger 00:55:10 118 11 Jennifer Rinker 01:37:32 159 208 12 Lasse von Magius 00:55:47 119 13 Stefan Rabensteiner 00:56:06 120 14 Christian Arnim 00:57:05 122 15 Benno Lang 00:58:04 124 16 Christian Hörner 00:59:02 126 17 Daniel Pötz 00:59:18 127 18 Jean-Francois Chartrand 00:59:26 127 19 Markus Pröglhof 00:59:31 127 20 Lucian Mathes 00:59:38 127 21 Simon Vonmetz 00:59:47 128 22 Tom Trevor 00:59:51 128 23 Ivan Pliger 01:01:35 132 24 Martin Reichstam 01:01:42 132 25 Ken Looi 01:02:03 133 26 Paul Baumgartner 01:02:20 133 27 Günter Pötz 01:02:46 134 28 Lucas Clegg 01:02:53 134 29 Dave Krack 01:03:31 136 30 Paul Sergent 01:03:35 136



Unicon 18      time (hh:mm:ss) % to first male       time (hh:mm:ss) % to first female % to first male 1 Ben Soja 00:39:51 100 1 Laura Baumgartner 00:47:06 100 118 2 Lukas Huber 00:42:16 106 2 Anna-Maria Perkmann 00:49:23 105 124 3 Stefan Rabensteiner 00:42:43 107 3 Rebekka Wiedener 00:50:39 108 127 4 Martin Charrier 00:43:39 110 4 Sarah Baumgartner 00:51:31 109 129 5 Benno Lang 00:43:44 110 5 Vera Hofer 00:53:36 114 135 6 Maksym Siegienczuk 00:45:35 114 6 Nadia Perkmann 00:54:03 115 136 7 Jakob Flansberry 00:45:44 115 7 Johanna Pitscheider 00:55:07 117 138 8 Christian Hörner 00:46:10 116 8 Katrine Jensen 00:56:03 119 141 9 Martin Reichstam 00:46:25 116 9 Nadia Rabensteiner 00:56:29 120 142 10 Paul Baumgartner 00:46:51 118 10 Sophie Gasser 00:58:22 124 146 11 Michael Rabensteiner 00:47:47 120 11 Benita Auernhammer 01:00:40 129 152 12 Scott Wilton 00:48:19 121 12 Zoe Hebinger 01:03:07 134 158 13 Johannes Bamkirchner 00:48:25 121 13 Ronja Bushuven 01:03:51 136 160 14 Corbin Dunn 00:48:45 122 14 Patricia Wilton 01:04:05 136 161 15 Souryan Dubois 00:48:48 122 15 Emma Kvist 01:04:55 138 163 16 Paul Scheer 00:48:58 123 16 Cornelia Panozzo 01:05:10 138 164 17 Jakub Rulf 00:50:09 126 17 Jana Tenambergen 01:06:15 141 166 18 Matteo Mamino 00:50:12 126 18 Anna Schubert 01:06:16 141 166 19 Franck Hallay 00:50:17 126 19 Henriette Höhne 01:06:49 142 168 20 David Weichenberger 00:50:39 127 20 Nadine Wegner 01:06:51 142 168 21 Stanislav Matveev 00:50:50 128 21 Anais Hebinger 01:07:30 143 169 22 Ivan Gil 00:50:54 128 22 Stephanie Dietze 01:08:07 145 171 23 Alain Schaal 00:50:59 128 23 Sandra Rabanser 01:08:46 146 173 24 Jamey Mossengren 00:51:13 129 24 Katja Butterweck 01:08:53 146 173 25 Paul Sergent 00:51:41 130 25 Lisa Ploner 01:09:15 147 174 26 Stefan Brunner 0:51:58 130 26 Ginevra Borghi 01:09:36 148 175 27 Markus Pröglhof 00:52:31 132 27 Valentina Rupp 01:10:11 149 176 28 Gert-Jan de Vleeschouwer 00:52:58 133 28 Lena Gabbert 01:11:16 151 179 29 Elias Mair 00:53:01 133 29 Sofia Sedelnikova 01:13:00 155 183 30 Leopold Treitler 00:53:13 134 30 Belinda Bebst 01:13:04 155 183


As I understand is the cutoff-time of 150% not the same for male and female, so there will be more slower female riders.

Example1: You have a heat starting with 25 top male riders, 10 minutes later 25 (or11) top female riders, 5 minutes later the next 25 male riders. This second heat of male riders will get a lot of problems with overtaking the females, because they are much faster than most of female riders. (Unicon 17: the 26. had a time of 1:02:20, plus 5 minutes is 1:07:20, so there are just 2 female riders faster, he would have to overtake all others. Unicon 18: the 26. had a time of 0:51:58, plus 5 minutes is 0:56:58, so there are just 9 female riders faster, he would have to overtake all others.)

Example 2: If you have two or more laps, the first male heat will also get problems, because they have to overtake a lot of female riders.(Unicon 17, imagine two laps: the 5. female starts with her heat 10 minutes after the male and needs 38min for first lap, then she will finish he first lap in 48 minutes, first male needs 46 minutes for both laps, so he has to overtake all women from the first heat except 4)

As longer the course, as more difficulties you will get. The differences in time between male and female become larger.

Apart of the difficulties in judging and accomplishment, I think it is not very helpful to set a cut-off-time. If you set it at 150% to the best male rider, then you won´t have many female riders (3 at unicon17, 10 at unicon18). If you set the the cut-off-time at 150% to the best female rider, you will get the problems like in the examples.

Furthermore I think that everybody who need 200% of the best time (male) should be allowed to finish the competition.




Sorry, the program doesn't´t like my table. I will try it again later.



Good point Gabrielle, 
With heat starts it could be very difficult to enforce cut off time with fairness to all riders, but still possible in post processing (do the math after the race). At Unicons there are mostly heat starts but in other events there might be mass start (for example: UNIOEC), and cut offs can significantly reduce workload of organizers. 

What I suggest is to add this rule to general XC recommendations (not under requirements for UNICONS). The race director should understand the problems the heat start can bring, and it is up to his decision how he arrange course, starting order and cut offs if needed.


I think that we can look to Road Racing rules for a good template for what we might want to muni.


From: 4D.13 Optional Race-End Cut-Off Time

It may be necessary to have a maximum time limit for long races, to keep events on schedule. When this is planned in advance, it must be advertised as early as possible, so attending riders will know of the limit. Additionally, at the discretion of the Racing Director, a race cut-off time may be set on the day of or during an event. The purpose of this is to allow things to move on if all but a few slow racers are still on the course. These cut-offs need not be announced in advance. At the cut-off time, any racers who have not finished will be listed as incomplete (no time recorded, or same cut-off time recorded for all). Optionally, if there is no more than one person on the course per age category and awards are at stake, they can be given the following place in the finishing order. But if each participating age category has had finishers for all available awards (no awards at stake), there is no need to wait.


Thanks to Paul's comment regarding distances  I revised proposal.

I changed Novice to Beginners as this is suggested by Paul. This name is already rooted in Muni, and for other looks like either Novice and Beginners is OK.
Beginners distance is shortened to 3-7km
Intemediate distance is shortened to 7-13km

Paul suggested shorter distance for Elite, this will shorten the completion time by fastest riders. Paul's mind did not changed since beginning of the discussion but looks like majority wants longer distance. I keep 15-25km in proposal.

Regarding cut off times, I suggest separate voting.

Soon, I will call for votes.



I agree that cut-off times don't need to go into this proposal, especially since there have been quite a few different ideas in this thread. Now there won't be time for a separate proposal, but the hosts can always introduce cut-off times at their discretion even if not specified in the rulebook. Therefore, I would say let's see how the next competitions work out and then discuss it in the next round of the committee.

Personally, I don't expect a huge change since the minimum distance is only raised from 10 km to 15 km. And even for the first time, there will be a maximum distance.

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