1st post; Never ridden a Uni; Got some Q's.

First of all let me just say how happy I am to have found this site. :slight_smile: I’m sure it will be a wealth of information.

So here’s the deal: I’m 6’5" (34" inseam) and range between 235 & 250lbs, depending on how close to Thanksgiving or Christmas it is.
I’ve never, ever, ever ridden a unicycle. I do ride a short wheel-base recumbent bicycle, so I’m somewhat familiar with odd looking and handling cycling devices, and being laughed at. :stuck_out_tongue:

Due to a back injury I sustained 12 years ago, I do not plan on jumping or stunting (ever), but instead would like something suited to paved streets and very mild, fairly level, dirt paths. I’d like to cover some distance.

I really like the looks of the 36" wheel design, but I’d imagine (& from what I’ve read) it’s not the best size to start out on, even with my extreme height.

From what I’ve found in my searches, it seems a 24" is a good starting point for most, but will it be large enough to fit me comfortably, and can I get one that isn’t a trail model with a fat, low pressure tire?
Would a 29" be a bad idea?

I also have a couple of definition questions. 1) What does MUNI mean, and 2) what is a “Coker”?

Sorry to dump so many questions into a single post, but I like to save bandwidth when I can (just doing my part). :smiley:

-Tim(bo)

Welcome. I recommend a 24" for starting out at your tallness. It’s a very versatile wheel size.

One of these should be fine for you. You don’t need an ISIS hub unless you plan on jumping curbs or beyond. Order it with the 300mm seat post and that’ll probably be long enough.

MUni = Mountain Unicycling
Coker = Coker Tire Co. They also happen to make 36" unicycles, but now you can get 36ers in other brands as well.

I agree with John’s advice on choosing a 24" for learning. Once you’re comfortable with the basics you could get a 36" and the 24" would still be useful for learning new skills (idling, riding backwards, etc). I just wanted to note that I’m 6’ and max out the 300mm post on the Club 24" due to the 127mm cranks it comes with. You may want a longer seat post or longer cranks or both in order to increase the saddle to pedal distance.

Thanks for the tips and definitions, guys.

Saddle to pedal distance is critical for me due to my lower back injury. I need to keep my legs as straight as possible (or practical) to reduce lower back strain. Closed riding positions don’t work for me, that’s why I ride a recumbent bicycle. I’m wide open on that thing. :sunglasses:

I should also add that while I’m not sure how this latest idea will pan out, I don’t mind spending a little more money to get something I can grow into, rather than something I’ll quickly grow out of and have to replace.

When I bought my first banjo, the guy at the shop recommended a cheaper model to start with, but I said “no dice”, I wanted something I could grow into. I didn’t buy a $3,000.00 Gibson (then), but I did get $1,500.00 Ibanez, and 14 years later I still have it. :wink:

-T

Welcome.

Most people learn on a 20" but that would probably be too small for you. A 24" would be good.

Some people have learned on 36" wheels, but it not the best way - especially if you have a back injury as during the learning phase there is a lot of stepping off the front. You don’t fall often, but you can jar your back if you land flat footed, and it’s a long way down from a 36".

“Coker” is the generic term for a 36" tyred unicycle because the Coker Tire Co. was for a time the only manufacturer of a 36" pneumatic cycle tyre. There are now three (?) other brands, but in some quarters the name has stuck. (A bit like all cola drinks are called “Coke”, all vacuum cleaners are called “Hoovers”, and all ballpoint pens are called “Biros”.)

Your choices are 20, 24, 26, 29 and 36 inches. The bigger wheels are faster, both in terms of top speed and cruising, and once you can ride, a bigger wheel is smoother and easier. Smaller wheels are more portable, easier to store and more versatile.

If you take to it, you’ll end up with one of each anyway, but I’d go for the 34 first if I were a big galoot. (Unfortunately, I am only a small galoot.:()

Thanks, Mike, the “get-offs” or flat-foot landings are definitely something I’m concerned about. :frowning:
Too many falls can easily add up to a sore back, or worse, a slipped disc.
I haven’t had one of those in 12 years and that would be no fun at all.

-T

They are? Never heard of a Biros. Perhaps it is a UK thing.

I would advise getting a 26inch instead.
24 is bit small for someone 6’.

My 2cents… :roll_eyes:

Uh Oh, I’m 6’5".

I didn’t know there was a 26". :thinking: Why not just get a 29 then? :stuck_out_tongue:

Since you seem committed and are the type of person to start out with good equipment, I’d suggest getting the 36" unicycle you ultimately want then you can install 24" wheel in the frame to make it easier while learning.

Any one with more experience on 36ers have an opinion on this?

For what it’s worth I did pretty well teaching my 6’9" brother to ride on a 20" unicycle with a 400mm seat post.

P.S. What kind of recumbent do you ride?

That’s an interesting idea.

I’ve got an HP Velotechnik “Street Machine” Gt.
It’s a SWB/USS 26/20 w/full suspension and hydraulic brakes. Very comfy. :sunglasses:

I learned on a 29, so it’s not undoable. (I’m ~6’0", 220 lbs)
There were plenty of jarring steps down, but I also get those when I misjudge the terrain on a 24.

Hi Tim, I’m in a similar situation to you, only 5’11 and 250 lbs right now. I went with the Torker LX 24", figure it’s a good trainer and for the price, 1/2 of what I would spend on a Nimbus MUni 24". I’m not into stunts or jumping off picnic tables or oddball stuff like that, just riding on pavement and on dirt paths / dirt trails around the area. Nothing Extreme, as I’ve got too many issues to deal with without giving the hospitals more of the little money I get after the Tax Collectors get their portion.

I would recommend possibly going with the 24" or a 26" with a tall seatpost to start. Also I had a thread going about other stuff needed, lots of folks recommend good gloves, a helmet, and shin guards, as learning can be a bit painful with a UnPlanned Dismount (UPD)

I would be leary of Niagara Cycle, I’ve been waiting to hear from them for a week, still haven’t heard anything other tan getting an answering machine or automated e-mail stating that they received my e-mail. Best bet is probably go to Unicycle.com, they are higher on shipping and price, but looks like more reputable than the other place I’m having a nightmare with.

Welcome to the forum and good luck.

Thanks, Matt. I’ve got the helmet and gloves part covered, and I might even be able to dig up some knee/shin guards.

Finding the proper size is really my main issue (an issue I encounter in everything I do) right now. Buying a 36 and swapping out a smaller wheel sounds like an interesting idea. I assume the wheels are interchangeable?

I found a friend with a 24 he hasn’t used in a while, so I might get a free demo to use instead of plunking down the money for a trainer. :sunglasses:

I’ve never seen the convenience of having one frame and multiple wheels. With quick-release bearing holders this might be less of a hassle, but if you’re not duplicating your cranks and pedals it’s still a bunch of work to switch. Stick with the 24" to start. You can easily learn all the basic moves (idling, backward, free mount, wheel walk, any other tricks you care to try). These are still doable on larger wheels but it gets more cumbersome.

When you graduate to the Coker you’ll still have the 24 for brushing up on your skills, easy fitting into the car, or loaning out to friends so they can learn to ride too!

I used to have a DeFelice recumbent. My wife has a Raans. Banjo? Funny you should mention those. The creators of Unicycle.com also created Banjo.com. :slight_smile:

Since the 300mm seat post sounds like it may be too short, I’d recommend you start by giving Unicycle.com a call and see what they have to fit you. Or if you know welders, it’s easy to add on some tubing to make a post of any size. Semcycle offer a 400mm seat post but I would also call them before ordering, to make sure stuff is in stock, and that it will fit the cycle you want.

Thanks, John, I was going to call Unicycle.com and ask some questions. :sunglasses:

Speaking of seat posts, does anyone make a suspension seat post, or a suspension fork for a unicycle?

Just curious.

You can use a bicycle suspension seat post (matching the diameter needed by your frame) and attach a rail adapter between it and your saddle. The exact adapter you need will depend on the make of the saddle.

I just checked prices. It looks like I can get the 24 for about $125, but the equivalent 26 starts at $320. :thinking:
(I’m sure there’s differences in cranks, hubs, rims and such).

That’s actually well within my comfort zone, but why bother paying an additional $195 when they’re so similar?

Thanks for the link, David. I used to have a mountain bike with a suspension seat post, and it was pretty nice for smoothing out the smaller bumps.

Yup.

And welcome to unicycling.:slight_smile:

Tim, I have had a cheap CyclyPro 24" for the last 18 years. It has cotter cranks that are still tight. I am 6’2" and weigh 235lbs. At this weight I could crush this thing very easy. I only ride streets and some grass. I just got a used 29" Nimbus from the trading post here. I think the 24" size with an extended seat post would be great. After the initial learning process get a big wheel.
I also have a recumbent. It as a Vision R40. I like speed so I put a Sram Duel Drive hub. I can maintain about 30mph on flat ground. I need a chain ring. My big ring is 52 tooth.
Someday I would like a Schlumph hub for my unicycle.