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Old 2019-10-20, 01:18 AM   #1
HiMo
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Recommendations for new unicycle

I am 56 years old. Learned to ride a unicycle as a child. I have an ancient 20" Sears unicycle ... maybe 45 years old. It has a broken pedal and bend pedal shaft. I cleaned it up, replaced the tire, and hopped on to ride ... 10 years since the last time I rode!

BUT ... I'm thinking I'd like to upgrade to something decent for riding around the neighborhood. Not for tricks. Reasonable price. A comfortable seat! Any recommendations?
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Old 2019-10-20, 03:54 AM   #2
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For how long or how far are you thinking of riding in a session? What will be the riding surface and terrain?

"Comfortable seat" depends as much on the shape of your derriere as it does on the saddle.
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Old 2019-10-20, 04:25 AM   #3
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HiMo,
I was in the same about the same place as you a couple of years ago. After 50 years of not riding I wanted something for road riding in the neighborhood and an occasional longer road or smooth trail trip. I first got a 36" Coker and have since upgraded to a 36" Nimbus. Road riding has been great fun.

Most modern saddles are way better then the saddles available when I was a kid but still one size/model does not work for all.
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Old 2019-10-20, 04:34 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiMo View Post
Not for tricks.
Welcome to the forum! Not sure what you mean by tricks. I learned idling, backwards riding, hopping, riding off curbs, seat-in-front...on my 20". I think of them more as techniques, rather than tricks. If you enjoyed learning how to unicycle in the first place, you might enjoy learning those techniques, and for that there is nothing better than a 19/20".
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Old 2019-10-21, 01:06 AM   #5
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Got a used one on Facebook Marketplace

I did a quick search of Facebook Marketplace, and easily found a bunch of 20" options. I picked up a 20" used Sun Flat Top today. Much easier to ride than that old Sears. I figure that's a good start. I'm going to see how I feel about riding it, and then consider buying a 24" or 29" if I stick with it.

The sad truth is that as a kid, as much as I rode my unicycle around the neighborhood and for school events, I did NOT learn how to ride backwards. I need to work on that.

In answer to some of your questions: My goal here would be to ride paved routes in my neighborhood. I had to stop running this year because of knee issues, and I have realized that unicycling is another low impact alternative!! I also ride an enormous recumbent tandem trike with my disabled son, and I recently acquired my father's ElliptiGO.

So one, two, or three wheels, I enjoy riding!
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Old 2019-10-21, 01:08 AM   #6
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Quote:
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I first got a 36" Coker and have since upgraded to a 36" Nimbus. Road riding has been great fun.
Was it very hard to get used to the 36? How tall are you? I'm 5' 6"
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Old 2019-10-21, 03:01 AM   #7
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Was it very hard to get used to the 36? How tall are you? I'm 5' 6"
I was a mediocre rider as a kid and riding a 36er was not difficult with just a little time to get used to how a larger wheel behaves. Free mounting normally seems to be the hardest thing on a 36" and that took more time. I normally use a running/rolling mount where may forward travel is converted in to vertical motion to boost me up. I'm about 5' 11". A shorter person with shorter inseam will have a lower seat but still it will take some effort to get good at mounting.
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Old 2019-10-21, 05:56 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by JimT View Post
Most modern saddles are way better then the saddles available when I was a kid but still one size/model does not work for all.
Yes, your Sears probably came with a curved, rectangular Messenger saddle (or worse), which is pretty primitive by today's standards. The perfect saddle doesn't exist (yet), but they're a lot better, as you may have already learned with your new Sun.
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiMo View Post
I figure that's a good start. I'm going to see how I feel about riding it, and then consider buying a 24" or 29" if I stick with it.
20" wheels are great for learning, and learning tricks/techniques. Like going backward. But for going places, not so great. I would skip the 24" and go straight to 29" to cover some ground.

If you learned how to idle, you have a lot of riding backward covered; you just have to keep going. If not, work on idling first, or at the same time; the two are mutually reinforcing.

I also ride an enormous recumbent tandem trike with my disabled son...[/QUOTE]That sounds very cool. I know a guy in the Santa Cruz area who custom built one for his son who's partially paralyzed. It's a tank of a bike with the son recumbent in front, and him basically on the back end of a mountain bike. But they can ride it on trails, and I know them from riding with them on the famous Rob's Ride.

Welcome back to unicycling! I'm also 56, but I started riding regularly 40 years ago, and haven't stopped...
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Old 2019-10-21, 01:51 PM   #9
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Free mounting normally seems to be the hardest thing on a 36" and that took more time.
Any particular reason why 36" over 29"? I'm thinking for me 29" would probably be at little more comfortable.

Also ... is there any forum where folks sell used 29" or 36" unicycles? I know 20" are everywhere, but I can see the larger ones are harder to find.
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Old 2019-10-21, 02:32 PM   #10
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I know a guy in the Santa Cruz area who custom built one for his son who's partially paralyzed. It's a tank of a bike with the son recumbent in front, and him basically on the back end of a mountain bike. [/QUOTE]

My TerraTrike Tandem Rover is something like 10' long and at least 70lbs. (I tried to upload a photo and it is TOO MUCH TROUBLE to attach anything to this thread.) Anyway, the person in front controls all the steering and brakes while the "stoker" in back pedals independently. This is a perfect activity for me to do with my son, given all his various physical issues.
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Old 2019-10-21, 03:15 PM   #11
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I would skip the 24" and go straight to 29" to cover some ground.

If you learned how to idle, you have a lot of riding backward covered; you just have to keep going. If not, work on idling first, or at the same time; the two are mutually reinforcing.
If I have an opportunity to get a used Kris Holm 29" MUni -- which is more than what I need, but is priced at an affordable $300 and from photos looks to be in good shape -- should I take advantage of it?

I did NOT learn to idle, BUT I have found that these days there are plenty of instructive videos to help me along. Wow, it's easier to learn now than in the days before BetaMax, VHS, DVD, and You Tube!
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Old 2019-10-21, 03:33 PM   #12
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Any particular reason why 36" over 29"? I'm thinking for me 29" would probably be at little more comfortable.

Also ... is there any forum where folks sell used 29" or 36" unicycles? I know 20" are everywhere, but I can see the larger ones are harder to find.
The 36" is in a class of its own. About 25% faster the a 29" at the same cadence, about 50% more of a challenge to ride/mount and 100% more fun! I picked up a cheap second hand 29" last summer and it is a nice relaxed ride but I still like the 36" better.

Not nearly as many 36ers come up for sale, just have to watch craigslist, Ebay and such. It seems that even used they are not that cheap. New they run from $450 to over $1000. My fist old Coker I bought for $200.
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Old 2019-10-21, 08:57 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiMo View Post
Any particular reason why 36" over 29"? I'm thinking for me 29" would probably be at little more comfortable.

Also ... is there any forum where folks sell used 29" or 36" unicycles? I know 20" are everywhere, but I can see the larger ones are harder to find.
I find 36" really hard to mount without help, the step up is just a bit too much but I can freemount a 29", it's just like a larger/faster 26er.

Look on Facebook groups for a 36er. 29" unis rarely get sold second hand, so think about buying a brand new one.
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Old 2019-10-22, 02:49 PM   #14
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I would not recommend to anyone to go from a 20" to a 36". It's not practical
to do many things, such as manuever around traffic of pedestrians. But it is good if you're going long distances without traffic.
I'd suggest a good quality 24" or 26", maybe a NIMBUS.

Last edited by mrfixit; 2019-10-22 at 02:50 PM.
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Old 2019-10-22, 03:36 PM   #15
HiMo
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I'd suggest a good quality 24" or 26", maybe a NIMBUS.
Been doing more research, called Unicycle.com for some guidance. They also suggest 26".

I am heading out to a nearby bicycle shop where they have a Raleigh 26" so I can get a better idea of size. They also have a 36" (just for the sake of comparison)

My guess is I will get a Nimbus II 26" -- after discussing ideas, seems like for my purposes at this point I do not need a MUni. I'll let you know what I think after I look at the Raleigh.
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