24" MUni vs. 26" MUni

Disclaimers are for used car salesmen, sketchy pharmaceuticals, weasels and lawyers.

What I’m wondering is the performance of a 24" vs. 26" on really steep stuff. Granted, I should probably get a brake, but sans brake, would one have more control with a smaller or larger wheel? I’m finding there are some sections of my favorite trails I just can’t roll 'cause my 24" gets a bit too squirrely…

Most of the guys who do insanely steep stuff run 24" MUnis, but I don’t think it’s for that reason. The 26" definitely tends to be a little more stable when riding on loose downhills, less likely to be bumped off its line, but it’s also a little harder to control, harder to get it onto that one narrow bit you’re aiming for. The 26" is an extra inch or so off the ground, so pedal hits are somewhat less of a problem, but the 24" is more maneuverable in tight situations.

Really I don’t think the difference is all that large; you can switch back and forth between 24" and 26" and not really adjust your style much, and be able to ride pretty much the same stuff.


Your a F***ING IDIOT
Disclaimer: I’m better than all you, hahaha

FYI, I was just making a point, you might be F***ING SMART.

Please note the smiley, which tells you that it’s a joke. Also, do we really need to go through this again?

The topic of wheel size comparisons seems to be popular right now.

There are two factors to consider when comparing wheel sizes and tires. The first is tire width and the second is wheel diameter. The tire width affects how much cush and impact absorption the tire has. The diameter affects how fast and how maneuverable the wheel will be.

I have both a 24x3 muni and a 26x3 muni. Both have the 3" Gazz tire. I also used to have a Pashley with a 26x2.1 XC tire. I have ridden unicycles with a 26x2.6 Gazz Jr. tire. My 24x3 is a KH Pro with 170mm Profile cranks. My 26x3 is a DM Vortex with 175mm DM splined cranks.

The 24x3 and 26x3 are very similar in how they ride and what you can do with them. The differences are mostly in maneuverability and weight. There is a big difference between a 24x3 and a 26x2.1 XC wheel. There is a very noticeable difference between the 3" wide tires and the 2.6" wide tires and the 2.1" XC tires.

The 24x3 muni is my fun muni. The 26x3 muni is my cruiser muni. The 24x3 gets ridden a lot more than the 26x3 muni because I generally want to have as much fun as possible during a ride.

The main difference between the 26x3 Gazz and the 24x3 Gazz is a slightly different tread pattern on the tire. The 26x3 Gazz has a tread pattern that doesn’t like to turn as much as the 24x3. Combined with the larger diameter of the 26x3 it is more unwieldy to ride when trying to make a sharp turn for something like a switchback or a sharp maneuver to avoid a rock or other obstacle. I need to try a different tire on my 26x3 to try to find a 3" tire that is more maneuverable on the trail.

The other difference between the 24x3 and the 26x3 is that with the 24x3 your pedals are in the stable horizontal position more often. That means that you can make more corrections while riding. That helps to make the 24x3 more manageable especially in terrain where you are trying to maneuver around rocks and roots and doing little hops.

In general the 3" tires allow you to plow in to rocks and roots to get over them. The 2.6" tires don’t have as much give and don’t like to just plow in to rocks and roots. You have to have a little more finesse with the 2.6" tire to get it over rocks and roots. The 2.1" XC style tires don’t like to plow in to rocks and roots at all. You need a lot more finesse to get a 2.1" tire over roots and rocks. You have to do a lot more weaving and look for the smoother line. There is a big difference in riding style between the three tire widths.

The difference in riding feel between a 2.1" XC tire and a 2.6" Gazz Jr. is about as significant as the difference between a 2.6" Gazz Jr. and a 3" Gazz. Going from a 2.1" XC tire to a 2.6" tire is a big change. Going from a 2.6" tire to a 3" tire is a big change.

Your riding style will determine whether a 3", 2.6" or 2.1" tire will be most suitable for you, irregardless of wheel diameter. Trying to compare a 26x3 to a 29er just because they have a similar diameter is silly. You’ll know which one is the right size based on how you are going to ride it and where you are going to ride it.

I can ride my 26x3 everywhere I ride my 24x3. The 26x3 is harder to maneuver and harder to jump with, but it’s up to the task for anything I can do on my 24x3. I’ve ridden elevated skinny logs and done 4.5 foot drops with the 26x3. I would never ride an elevated skinny and do a 3+ foot drop with a 29er, the wheel would not survive for long.

The comparison between the 26x3 and the 29er gets more interesting when considering XC style riding conditions. With XC riding the trail generally has less rocks and roots and the objective is generally speed. For a buff trail the 29er would have the advantage. If the trail is more rocky and rooty then the 26x3 could possibly hold its own because it would be able to plow straight over and straight through the rocks and roots while the 29er would need to slow down and more carefully thread and weave their way through and over the rocks and roots. But a rocky and rooty trail like that is not your typical XC trail.

So tire width comes down to determining your primary riding style. 3" for more aggressive riding, 2.1" for very XC riding, and the 2.6" for something in between.

For roll over there is not much difference between the 24x3 and the 26x3. But there is a big difference in roll over ability between a 20" trials uni and a 24x3 muni. It is difficult to roll over things with the trials uni but easy to roll over the same things with a 24x3 muni.

The age old question: 24" vs. 26" for beginner MUni

I’m going to buy a MUni. For all intents and purposes (I returned my stock Nimbus 24" MUni with 3" Duro to fund my distance habit) it will be my first. My question for you today is, should I get a 24" or a 26" for my first MUni?

It all comes down to where you ride. The Louisville chapter of the Kentucky Mountain B*ike Association builds and maintains miles of flowing single track in my area. None of it is overly technical (some rocks and roots) but multiple elevation changes would not qualify more than 10% as XC for 29er MUni and low ceiling clearance (and common sense) all but rule out riding it on a 36er.

The Nimbus Oracle will be fitted “out of the box” with a disc brake. I’m no mechanic so “out of the box” is important for me. If I go the 24" route, I’m pretty much stuck with the 3" Duro Wildlife tire. If I go the 26" route, I’m sure I could talk Josh into customizing mine with a 26x2.4 Maxis Ardent w/ folding bead like Kris, Terry, and Ben ride. These two cycles would weigh (I’m a weenie) about the same.

I resurrect this old thread (consider yourself lucky I did not reopen this one) because it addresses most of my issues. Roll over ability of the 36er is amazing. Is the roll over ability of the 26x2.4 that much better than a high volume low pressure 24x3?

I have no desire for a 26x3 like the old stock Nimbus MUni much less the 26x3.8 Larry on the Oregon mostly because of the weight (yes I know Larry is surprisingly on the lighter side) but if I’m going to be that high off the ground, I might as well ride a 29er. Too far to fall. I can free mount my longer-cranked 36er but it is nowhere as easy as stepping onto a 24" MUni. Hopefully some of these skills will translate.

As you can probably tell, I’ve all but made up my mind on a stock 24" Oracle. I’m liable to be first in line to buy one of the first ones off the container. Then, when Kris Holm releases his outboard disc brake solution, I will buy his 26" which will be Schlumpf compatible should I decide (not likely) to tear down my geared 36er. Sound like a plan?

Personally I can’t see the point in having a 24 and a 26 - they’re too similar, unless you build one very light for xc, but then it may as well be a 29er (which is better for xc and most bike trails in almost every case).

My 26x3 is easier to ride on rocky stuff than my 29er, but I reckon it’s more to do with the massive flubbery tyre, slightly longer cranks and slightly lower saddle than the wheel size.

When you say your local trails are not suitable for a 29er because of “multiple elevation changes”, do you just mean they’re hilly? Or do you mean lots of big drops and hopping up steps? If it’s the former, a 29 would be fine (just don’t use extremely short cranks), if it’s the latter then you’re probably back to the 24/26 dilemma, in which case unless you’re riding really extreme stuff (where a 24 is marginally better) then a 26 is more flexible because of tyre availability.


So, nice thread you guys have here, ummm someone get up on the wong side of the couch?r

Anyway, I have both sizes (26 x 2.6, 29 x 2.4) AND a 26 x 4 Oregon. I previously rode a 26 x 3 as well. I have ridden a 3" Gazz, 3" Duro, 3" Intense, 2.6 Gazz Jr.

I can ride my 29er for 90% of the riding I do, which is rocky, rooty, and moderatelly steep climbs and descents. There are times when I’d like a a smaller diameter wheel, but that is mostly when I’m riding tighter trails that are more technical, at which time I pull out my 26er.

For me there is no advantage to having a fat tire for technical riding. I no longer feel the need for a 3" tire on a muni, it’s slow and heavy. But, when I do want to go fat, mostly for mud, sand, snow, so low traction environments, that’s when I go to my super fat tire (4") on the Oregon.

I can’t stand riding a 24", it feels like a toy unicycle, it’s too slow and twitchy, I get thrown off my line more than I do if I’m riding a 26 or 29. I rode a 24 muni for two days at New Years and I swore it was the last time I would do it!

I am currently running 135’s on my 29er, 150’s on my 26er and Oregon, all three with brakes.

If you are trying to decide which wheel size works best for you, part of the equation is your skill level, also how big you are, and finally the kind of riding you are doing now. If you are a learner, then your preference will change with time, so you’ll just need to keep an open mind and see where your riding takes you. Two years ago I couldn’t ride a 29er on tech muni, now it’s often my first choice.

The newer tires like the Ardent 2.4/2.6 have the casing and volume to support a wider range of muni use than the skinny tires of a few years ago, which is why many DH mountain bikers ditched the fat tires; even KH is ridding skinny tires now.

Hahahaha, I just noticed the OP thread start date of 2005!

I wondered by Thlub was riding a 29 x 21 :roll_eyes:

Talk about thread resurection…

So onward, I have found that as my experience increases, my preferences change, so whereas when I started riding I fouind a 3" tire was essential for managing technical terrain, now I can do just as well (better?) with a skinnier tire like a 2.4-2.6

I am also running shorter cranks now, down from 170/165 only a year ago to 137/150 now. I don’t know that I could manage getting up and down the same hills with 125’s, but I’m probably going to try :slight_smile:

In terms of my riding style, I have become more agile, so less brutish in riding through obstacles, now I ride up/over/around and so a smaller tire and shorter cranks allow me to be more agile than I am with a heavy fat tire.

I rode the Oregon last night and it is not agile, so I have to use a lot more body english and there are times when I can’t hold a line, but it sure is nice to have a 4" tire for rolling over rocks/roots and going off drops :slight_smile:

lots of hills. no drops bigger than a stair step. roots everywhere because trails are deep in the woods.

I’ve done multiple searches and everyone else seems to agree with you.

Last I heard you preferred 26 x 2.4 for weight (the lighter the better for me) but I can see why you would switch back to 2.6 with a 2.4 available on your 29er

same here in Kentucky

this was my brief experience with a 24" as well. I did enjoy the safety of being able to step right off it and while I’ve never ridden a 26er being 2" higher off the ground can’t make that much difference to elevate that “timber” feeling you get coming off a 36er. I’m old (fully padded and extremely cautious) but my kids are just now getting big enough to take to the trail which is why I’m back in the market.

I’m 5’10" 170lbs. My skill level on the geared 36er is above average riding big distance on the road but I’m definitely a beginner at MUni. Still, I think I might be able to cheat and skip the whole fat, heavy 24" stage of learning and start out on a 26".

As you said, I have been reading too many old threads. Perhaps my question would have been better asked in the “official” MUni Tyre thread. UDC has always just stocked the 3" Duro on the 26" MUni. I hope that changes or I’m going to have to go custom to get an Ardent 26x2.4 with folding bead as it’s beginning to sound like my Oracle will be of the 26" variety.

For a 29er used for muni, I like the Ardent 2.4 better than any tire I have tried, though there are times when I wish it had a little more volume, maybe a 2.6-2.7

I have recently swapped cranks on the 29er to 137’s, went back and forth on this for a few months, tried 145’s, but in the end the 137’s were better for almost everything outside of super steep down or ups. I find that I can climb most anything I rode up with longer cranks, but I need to either approach at a higher speed or crank up slowly and methodically :wink:

The 26er is becoming my in between muni, so when the 29er is too tall and skinny, but the Oregon is too big and fat, the 26er is my go to esp when I’m tooling the local area which is very rocky and rooty; it wears me out on the 29er at times.

I just picked up a few mid fat 26er tires to try out, a Duro Savage 2.6, an Intense 2.35, and an Ardent 2.6 3D; I tried the 2.6 Ardent in a non sticky before and it was only a hair wider than the 2.4, so I’m not sure if this will be any different.

Tire’s can weigh a ton, all of the DH tires are 1500gm or more, and though I’d prefer a lighter tire like the 2.4 Ardent, the Ardent it is a little too light for some stuff, but then the Oregon is sometimes too much (17# muni!!), hence the 26er being my in betweener :slight_smile:

What makes this better is the soon to arrive Nimbus disc hubs, I am so stoked, disc brakes rock!!

I would skip it, you are already comfortable on a big wheel, the 26" will still feel small compared to 36". A 29er is not a bad choice, but it takes time to develop proficiency on that wheel size, so a 26er is a safer bet for devloping muni skills.

I like the sound of mid fat.:slight_smile: Let us know which one you prefer.

I’m convinced. I will now attempt to move this discussion back over to the “official” MUni Tyre Review thread where it belongs. As I move forward with my purchase decisions I’m thinking about building my stable from the ground up. I might get a 26" Oracle in April purpose built (rides like a 24x3") to contrast a future XC 29" Oracle next year.:stuck_out_tongue:

The ageless question. Now that I have my 36 I never use my 29 for road riding. The 29 is my muni, but I am 5’8 and the 29 has always felt a bit big on the trail, esp. uphill. So I am thinking of selling it and getting either a 24 or 26. I don’t muni that much and don’t do super technical, but some pretty rooty steep hills. I am thinking a 26, or would that be so close to a 29 that it wouldn’t be worth the change?

I really dont like the 24 for riding but hopping around and such its great, but for riding on the trails is painfully slow :confused: i would say a 26

My 26" and 24" feel pretty much the same to me; the 24" has a slightly bigger tire (2.6" vs. 2.5") but not hugely so. The 29" feels like an entirely different ride, much klutzier on anything technical, harder to hop, harder to mount on tricky terrain, harder to maneuver, it’s just a different animal. But a lot faster.

I use the 29" for easier XC type trails; people certainly ride tough terrain on 29", but I wouldn’t worry about a 26" being “so close to a 29 that it wouldn’t be worth the change”.

I am thinking I can use my 36 with the 150 holes for easier XC muni. I feel like I have a lot of control with the longer cranks and the 36 so that’s why I am thinking the 29 may be a waste of space at this point (as much as I like the uni).

For those of you with both a 26 and a 29, do you notice much of a difference up hill on rocky, rooty trails between the two, or is it a wash?

I was wondering if anyones jumps a 29 in particular a fat 29 and rides them of drops and jumps because if anyone does im thinking about getting one

I once successfully hopped up maybe 10 fairly high wooden steps near a dock with munimag as my witness. It took a few tries. It’s not easy though, esp for a smaller guy like me, and especially when you are tired. It’s a big wheel for that kind of thing, and you can feel the flex in the rim.

I wouldn’t call it fun to hop on the 29. It’s really not made for that kind of riding. I’ve found the 29 is fun for downhill to flats to some steepish uphills, but once it gets past a certain point in terms of steepness and esp with roots and rocks in the way it’s hard to maintain the momentum. Plenty of people do amazing things on the 29, but it takes perhaps more time to practice than I have time for at this point in my life. I think I’d be better off with a smaller wheel when doing muni.

I was wondering about large drops and skinnes

I think there are some videos of unigeezer doing some pretty large drops on a 29. It’s certainly possible. The KH and Nimbus rims are pretty strong, but again a smaller wheel is obviously meant more for that kind of thing.

Though a 29 is really fun for rolling-oriented riding.

BTW, I fit my 36er with handlebar in the backseat of my Mazda3 (with a carseat and a booster seat). It was tight, but it is certainly possible with the passenger seat pulled up all the way. So, I really see no reason now for using a 29 on almost any kind of road riding, at least the kind I do. That 36 is just so sweet, esp, with the 127mm cranks.