20" vs. 24" cycle

Hi–I’m a juggler who’s never ridden a unicycle but I’ve decided I’m quite
interested in doing so at this point. I’ve heard a 20" wheel is preferable
for tricks and easier to learn on than a 24" wheel, but that the 24" is
better for traveling and still appropriate for doing tricks. I intend to
attack this seriously and don’t want a “beginner’s” cycle (I’d like to
avoid having to buy a beginner model and then sell it eventually). What
makes the most sense? I plan to do some juggling and tricks with it as
well as some exercise (cross training?) on it (I’m a veteran
runner/marathoner). Any input/advice is much appreciated. Finally, what
are the preferred brands for a decent unicycle if I’d be willing to spend
up to $250 (US).

Thanks in advance–Dave

Dave-

If you want to do everything with one unicycle and you never want to sell your unicycle or buy another one (fat chance) look into a 24" Semcycle ($165 or so) or a Miyata Standard 24" ($250 or so). The shipping will add $20 or so.

I say 24" because you say you want to do everything with one unicycle. Commuting any distance on a 20" is impractical. You can learn on a 24" wheel and it won’t be that much more difficult unless you’re only 4’6" tall. You will be able to learn plenty of skills on a 24" wheel.

My honest recommendation is buy a cheap, Taiwanese unicycle for $75-$100 and see if you like it. If you like it alot, like many of the people who will be responding to you, the unicycle you choose as your second one may have to fit requirements that you do not now anticipate. Maybe you won’t be able to live without a giraffe. Maybe you’ll want to do MUni or trials with a really, really rugged frame. Maybe you’ll want a big wheel to commute fast. Maybe, god help us all, you won’t like unicycling and will only be out a small amount of cash.

You will not find a unicycle with everything. You unforutnately have to
either make some choices, or buy several.

Personally, I highly favor a 20" for tricks and juggling on. Also, if
you’re into performing, being able to make more pedal rotations before you
run out of stage is a plus. As for juggling, though, I don’t think it
makes much difference, I found it easier to learn on a 20" because the
idling frequency comes closer to your juggling frequency.

As for going any distances, I wouldn’t bother with the 20". I regularly
ride mine 1 to 2 miles at a time, but that’s only for the purpose of
getting from my apartment to somewhere to practice. I wouldn’t care to go
much farther than that.

As for brands to chose from, um, lots are available. I own a Semcycle XL,
and love it. It’s got a flat crown, and takes as much abuse as my
freestyle (and even some trials) skill can push out. A great many people
love Miyata, since I don’t own one myself, I won’t give a review.

jeff lutkus

> Hi–I’m a juggler who’s never ridden a unicycle but I’ve decided I’m
> quite interested in doing so at this point. I’ve heard a 20" wheel is
> preferable for tricks and easier to learn on than a 24" wheel, but that
> the 24" is better for traveling and still appropriate for doing tricks.
> I intend to attack this seriously and don’t want a “beginner’s” cycle
> (I’d like to avoid having to buy a beginner model and then sell it
> eventually). What makes the most sense? I plan to do some juggling and
> tricks with it as well as some exercise (cross training?) on it (I’m a
> veteran runner/marathoner). Any input/advice is much appreciated.
> Finally, what are the preferred brands for a decent unicycle if I’d be
> willing to spend up to $250 (US).
>
> Thanks in advance–Dave
>
_________________________________________________________________________-
__
> rec.sport.unicycling mailing list -
> www.unicycling.org/mailman/listinfo/rsu

Sent via the Unicyclist Community - http://Unicyclist.com

Juggling and tricks versus exercise: If you want everything in one size,
I’d say choose the 24". It is adequate for learning and for skills
development, as well as for riding some distance (especially if the focus
is on exercise as opposed to getting somewhere). Alternatively, buy a 20"
for learning to ride, and to combine with juggling and stage shows. Buy a
28" or larger (and more expensive) wheel unicycle later for more fun on
the exercise/distance part.

Klaas Bil

On Wed, 16 Jan 2002 22:52:51 GMT, Dave/Cheryl Chandler
<dcjzsc@ulster.net> wrote:

>Hi–I’m a juggler who’s never ridden a unicycle but I’ve decided I’m
>quite interested in doing so at this point. I’ve heard a 20" wheel is
>preferable for tricks and easier to learn on than a 24" wheel, but that
>the 24" is better for traveling and still appropriate for doing tricks. I
>intend to attack this seriously and don’t want a “beginner’s” cycle (I’d
>like to avoid having to buy a beginner model and then sell it
>eventually). What makes the most sense? I plan to do some juggling and
>tricks with it as well as some exercise (cross training?) on it (I’m a
>veteran runner/marathoner). Any input/advice is much appreciated.
>Finally, what are the preferred brands for a decent unicycle if I’d be
>willing to spend up to $250 (US).
>
>Thanks in advance–Dave


“To trigger/fool/saturate/overload Echelon, the following has been picked
automagically from a database:” “ladylove, OTAN, EODN”

I learnt on someone else’s 24", then bought myself a 20". I used to ride
it along the lanes to nearby villages and found it ok for that, although I
never took the 24" along the lanes. I’d say 20" is ok for transport if
you’re doing it primarily for the enjoyment of travelling places, rather
than (for example) uni-ing to work. And if the route involves many
corners, the smaller wheel is more maneuverable…

Got uni-y friends/uni group/someone you can borrow from? If you can borrow
a uni(s) to learn on you might be able to get an idea of what you prefer
before you buy. Just my 2p-worth…

“Dave/Cheryl Chandler” <dcjzsc@ulster.net> wrote in message
news:3C4603BB.F36531F5@ulster.net
> Hi–I’m a juggler who’s never ridden a unicycle but I’ve decided I’m
> quite interested in doing so at this point. I’ve heard a 20" wheel is
> preferable for tricks and easier to learn on than a 24" wheel, but that
> the 24" is better for traveling and still appropriate for doing tricks.

it definitely depends on your height. i’m only 5 ft, and i don’t konw if i would be tall enough for anything bigger than 20".

I’m sure you could ride at least a 24". If you have to, you can always cut some of the seat post off.

Ben

I would say you definitely could ride larger wheels than 20". Who do you
think would ride 36" Cokers otherwise?

Klaas Bil

On Mon, 21 Jan 2002 21:15:14 +0000 (UTC), rebecca
<forum.member@unicyclist.com> wrote:

>it definitely depends on your height. i’m only 5 ft, and i don’t konw if
>i would be tall enough for anything bigger than 20".
>
>
>
>
>–
>rebecca Posted via the Unicyclist Community -
>http://unicyclist.com/forums


“To trigger/fool/saturate/overload Echelon, the following has been picked
automagically from a database:” “RFX, Bess, SVN”

“rebecca” <forum.member@unicyclist.com> wrote…
> it definitely depends on your height. i’m only 5 ft, and i don’t konw if
> i would be tall enough for anything bigger than 20".

Roughly (and rather obviously for a maths nut, sorry) :-

Your inside leg measurement (foot-to-saddle, not trouser length)
needs to be

(Wheel Diameter / 2) + (Crank length) + (Distance of seat from wheel)

Assuming a cut-down 4" seatpost. (with a shortish fork) - Typically,
for 24" --> (12) + (6) + (6) = 2’0". Compared to a 28" --> (14) + (6) +
(6) = 2’2"
(i.e. you add 1/2" for every extra wheel inch.)

A 28" wheel looks huge but you sit much higher up.

Just my unscientific $0.02.

Andrew xADF

Out of curiosity, I measured my 28" Pashley (really a 26" frame with 29" tire, 5" cranks and Miyata air seat) from lowest pedal point to seat top, taking into consideration some seat compression when the uni is ridden. With the seat lowered as much as possible, I got a measurement of around 29.5"-30". Is your inseam possibly that long?

If not, you could consider wearing thicker-soled shoes (my sneakers add around 1.5" to my inseam), opt for a seat with a thinner top to bottom profile, or choose the shortest cranks that are practical. I’m sure with some unis you could even cut down the top of the frame an inch or two, replace the seat post clamp, and get a shorter seat post to fit, if needed.

Hope this helps!

-Anne

One sizing option that some riders of the Toronto Unicyclists have chosen is to use a 24" diameter wheel on a 26" frame, allowing you more height between the top of your wheel and the frame. This configuration allows you to mount a wide trials/mtb tire and still have sufficient clearance so that mud/snow that accumulates at the crown of your frame does not bind your tire, thus throwing you into a mud puddle.

A 24" diameter tire on a 24" frame usually will limit the height between the top of your tire and the frame, thus somewhat limiting your tire selection. While you should be Ok with a 2.1" wide tire, a 2.5" or fatter tire may bind.

A 24" diameter tire on a 26" frame will fit riders above approximately 5’ in height. The top tube is higher than a 24" frame. To be sure check your butt to the floor measurement against the uni.

Don_TaiATyahooDOTcoDOTuk, Toronto, Canada