24 and/or 26???

Hi, I learned to ride uni on a cheap trials model a year or so ago which I sold as I wasn’t using it for trials at all, just generally commuting around town when I went to the shops or to fill half an hour.
Now I really want another but want something bigger than a 20 as I like my legs and don’t want to punish them so I was thinking of going 24 which would be a bit more distant friendly and also be good for the odd trail here and there. Then, after reading a few threads on here I’ve started wondering if a 26 would be more suitable so to kind of cover myself for both possibilities I thought I might buy a steel 26 frame with brake mounts and have another set welded on the reverse for a 24 wheel. That way I can start with a 24 and if I feel like moving up a size I don’t have to splash out more money on another frame.
Does this sound like a sensible idea or am I being stupid?
I’m on a bit of a tight budget as I mainly ride bike trials and am in the process of building up a new bike for next years comps so need to be very careful where I spend my money!

I think the dual wheel setup is a hassle, a steel frame is 75 bucks. That is worth the hassle of switching wheels and brakes and whatever. It’s nice to be able to just grab the uni you want to ride and go. I think most people who do the multiple wheel setup end up getting another complete Uni, or just use one size.

If you want just a general Uni for riding around town and riding on trails get a 26 or 29, there is no sense in having a 24 for that.

I think you’re missing my point, I don’t plan on having it so one day I can ride 24 and the next day 26 and mess about changing brakes over.
I mean build up a 24 and have it so that if I want to move to a bigger size then all I need do is buy a new rim and spokes

If you like bike trials, the 24" will probably be more appealing.

Brakes are not really necessary for unicycle trials style riding and are more of an advanced riders tool for doing downhill and extended rides, so probably not worth worrying about right now.

Get a used 24" Nimbus Muni and ride it to death, if you decide you want something for going further, a 29" would be a better bet.

The only reason to ride a 26" for trial is if you are really tall/big, which is akin to people who ride BMX 24" (XL).

Won’t be doing any trials on it, too much of a pussy for that. Reason I’m looking at sticking a brake on is because I live in a very hilly area in the UK, can’t go 5 minutes without finding one!
Would love to pick up a full build but I’m pretty skint so thought I’d build one bit by bit over the next few months to pass some time at work and spread the cost out a bit.

I sortof went thru the same thinking as you, what about future riding & ability growth.
I ended up buying what I thought might be my end result, a 24" Counundrum. I have learned a ton on it and do not regret the purchase one iota. 5 weeks into it, I can see the benefit of a 26 or even a 29. Both of which I thought would be way too big for my future needs but now I’m not so sure. Maybe if I had had that size to start with it would have been too difficult to learn on(which I know isn’t your stage but…) and I wouldn’t have kept riding because it would not have been as much fun as I envisioned.
I think you buy for the now needs. Buy the wheel size you prefer. The tire you like. Brakes? Or not? Etc. There are lots of good used builds out there that others are selling. You’ll get really good at riding what you have. If you end up seeing a need, then you sell and you won’t be out that much.

On a personal note, only being 5 weeks in. I can see that my muni as is makes a not so fun commuter. It has cadence that is way too fast for paved surfaces and it is heavier than snot. But as a muni, it frickin rocks! So it also sortof depends where and how you ride. I have zero interest in tricks(so no 20") and like offroad(24" muni, check!) but often ride paved trails with my kids and for errands(would like a 36" eventually). I also am not a fan of one ride for everything though. I happen to have a fat bike for mud & snow, a road bike for triathlon races, and a fixie for urban assaults and beer runs.
I get the “this thing needs to do everything because of budget” but usually that just ends up meaning it isn’t very good at anything. I wouldn’t stick my road tires on my fat bike and expect it to like it;) if you catch my drift.

Honestly the difference between a 24 and 26 isn’t that big, a lot of their differences can be compensated by crank and tire size. I was missing your point, now I think I see your point. Buy a 26, unless your hills are very steep and rocky (more of a hiking trail than mountain bike singletrack) the 26 should work.

Also if you decide the 26 is too big, you can always run the 24 wheel on the frame. If you buy a 24 then your stuck with 24.


The difference between 24" and 26" is “fine tuning”. The 26 wheel is only about 8% bigger, faster, etc. This is about the same as changing gear by one cog on a sport-style road bike.

The step from 20 to either 24 or 26 is more significant.

If you plan to do steep hills or lots of hopping then the smaller wheel will generally be better. If you’re plannng to flow over varied and uneven ground, the 26 or a 29 would be better.

Swapping 24 and 26 inch wheels in the same frame would not be worth the hassle.