24 or 26 for a Newbie?

Excitably progressing along. Can mount on both sides about 90% of time. My current ride is a lawnsale Schwinn that will do for now. I’ve already been told that I can’t replace the tire with anything but a smooth tread. The S-7 thing. And the seatpost will not go high enough. So much for my cheap muni convert. Clearly this is just a temporary ride. So I’ve been researching new munis. Would it be easier for a beginer to be on a 24" or 26"? I’m a believer in the bigger is better concept but should I just wait for future rides? Its a disease I have. Don’t even own a muni and am already planning the next.

The biggest I have rode is a 24" however that being said the difference between a 24" and a 26" will be so little. If bigger is better is your motto then get the 26" cause it won’t be any harder to ride number one. Number two you are open to a lot more wheel options on a 26" seeing as that is standard mtn bike size.


I learned on my friends 26", then bought my own 24". In terms of riding difficulty, there isn’t really much in it.

The 26" is obviously a bit faster, but I find the 24" to be a good balance between speed and agility, if you’re thinking of doing trials stuff as well. Especially if you put on a Gazzalodi (or equivalent) tire.

You seem to be past the hardest bit of the learning curve… so id recommend you to buy something a bit future proof… rather than compromise now and fork out again later.

N e way, just my opinion… no doubt people have there own.

Have fun!


What is the wheelsize of the Schwinn? Regardless, now that you can ride already, wheelsize doesn’t matter too much. Buy the wheelsize that you want to ride in the end. To ease the transition from a small to a larger wheel, you can use long cranks (150 or even 170 mm). They cost a tiny fraction of the uni and as a bonus they are fun to play around with.

Some people will say Coker, or even Coker Coker Coker Coker. But YOU decide!

Klaas Bil

I own a 26" and a 24" (and a 20" and a 36")

having gotten my MUni legs wet on the 26", now riding a 24", I say get the 24". The speed is very similar, but I found I can do more trials with the 24". It’s not only lighter (not noticable) but is more precise. You can pick exactly where you want to hop to, and land there. Not so easy with the 26"

Tire selection…this really doesn’t matter. Mountainbikes have such a large tire selection, because it actually makes a difference in the ride. Not so with unicycles (to an extent, and this is based on my own experiences)

You got ‘Knobby tire’ for off roading, and ‘Not so knobby tire, perhaps even smooth’ for riding on pavement.

I say get the 24", but you’ll certainly be happy with either.

24s are lots more fun.

They are lighter, more nimble, somehow ‘cheekier’.

By contrast, a 26 lumbers.

For hard MUni, a 24 with 150s will go up stuff which will stop a 26 with 150s. 170mm cranks are not to everyone’s liking.

A 24 with 150s will feel (and be) faster than a 26 with 170s.

A 24 is versatile enough to use as a ‘big 20’, or can be cranked to make a ‘small 28’.

Unless you are very tall, I’d say a 24 is the best all round size.

No uni is perfect for every job - that’s why your next will not be your last.

Thank you for the sig, kind sir.

Sounds like you’re currently operating with a Schwinn 20". Also sounds like you are not a beginner, because you can already ride. Big difference! Now you can choose based on how you’d like to ride, rather than what’s easiest to learn on.

For your Schwinn, note that you can get longer seat posts from Unicycle.com, and you can optionally replace the rim and no longer be limited on tire choice. You have 28 spokes, so rim choice is somewhat limited. Or you can go the much longer distance of replacing the entire wheel.

Meanwhile, a 24" is great for mixed riding, like a combination of tricks and transportation. But if you want to go places, meaning riding trails or from A to B, I’d get the 26".

Or one of each, of course… :slight_smile:


I subscribe to the existentialist theory that you only know what you really think when you’re faced with a free choice and you decide…

And I have a flotilla of unicycles: 20,24,26,28 and Coker, and when I just fancy a ride, and I am faced with a free choice and I decide… I think I always choose the 24 in preference to the 26.

And for distance? I’ve done more road miles on the 24 than the 26, and more rides over 10 miles on the 24 than the 26.

I wonder how much is the weight, and how much is the tyre, and how much is just whim. I know the 26 doesn’t feel faster than the 24, even if it is really.

If you’re going to do serious miles and lots of trails, of course, then the bigger the better. Nice big wheel, nice small-medium cranks, a bag full of Snickers, a jug of wine and thou.

Well, not thou, obviously, but you get my drift.

And it should be ‘thee’ anyway, IMHO.

I was faced with a similar decision not too long ago. I had the bigger is better idea in my mind and I was convinced I would get a 26". I was tempted to get a DM Vortex due to the 26" wheel and brake, and the hunter was trying to lure me too. I ended up getting the Wilder 24" since it has the Aluminium frame and I was attracted to it. After reading a few reviews and opinions I am glad I made the choice of 24"x3". I have heard that the best 26" rims are able to be buckled, but a doublewide 24" rim is almost impossible to taco. Durability is something I want in a mountain Unicycle and seemingly the 24" provides it. In the distant future when I am rich I will go all the way in the bigger is better approach and get a 29" or 36" cycle. In a way the 24" still has the bigger concept applied to it in that you can do bigger hops and drops on it.

Very much depends what type of muni riding you want to do.

If you want to do trials style riding, big hopping, dropping etc. and don’t want to get an extra trials uni, then definately get a 24" muni not a 26. If you think you might want to try that sort of thing, again a 24" would be better.

If you want to ride short distances, do big drops and gaps and moves where you’re likely to taco the wheel, then a 24 will be better.

If you want to ride cross country muni and ride long distances on trails used by mountain bikes, then you might be better with a 26.

Personally I’d say for almost every cross country mountain bike trail a 26 is marginally better, but they show their weaknesses when you try to do much more technical riding like north shore stuff, or trials on them.


Sound like my kind of riding!! Do you want to meet up for some MUniing some time Mike?

The jug of wine comment was a slightly bastardized literary reference (The Rubber Yacht of Omar Kayim) (sp?). In real life, I am a model of sobriety and temperance - as are most of us Morris dancers.

(But not a working model, as you will readily surmise.)

But yes, I see you live fairly local, and I’d like to meet up for a MUni ride.

Unicus (Gary) and Onewheeldave (er… Dave) are fairly local. I was hoping to meet up with Onewheeldave at Rother valley CP (SE of Sheffield) on Sun 8th June. Is that too far for you?

Failing that, Mark Wiggins and Alan the plummeting Aardvark are hoping to ride round Rutland Water later this year - but you’ll need a Coker or fast 28/29.

I can highly recommend a 24x3", it’s my favorite uni, good for muni, climbing and communiting in hilly sheffield.

There’s been many posts about the strength benefits of 24 over 26"

I can’t offer much comparisons as I’ve only once tried a 26" (with 170mm cranks) and it seemed ok, but I wasn’t inspired to switch.

Today I switched a 700c wheel with 5" cranks into the frame and had a hideous 1/2 hr ride with multiple UPD’s, a total inability to climb things that’re a breeze on the 24" and, even going fast in a straight line, which is the forte of the 28", I was zig-zagging quite awfuly.
I’m aware that if I used the 28" more, all of these things would improve, but the fact is that the 24x3 is just so good to ride that I see the 28" as wasting time that I could be spending bombing around on the Muni, free to digress upon any passing trail I see.

As for speed, I used to value it (which is why I bought the 28" first), but now I’m not fussed, after all if you want to get somewhere fast a unicycle is not the best choice.

In addition I find that I really like the ‘illusion of speed’ that you get on a Muni- the ultra fast pedal spinning technique that you can acquire on a 24", combined with the control facilited by the 150 cranks and ability to zig-zag through obstacles means that it feels very fast.

Another advantage of the 24’s illusory speed is that its a lot less damaging than the ‘real’ speed of a big wheel/short crank, when you fall off.
Sorry if I strayed off the subject a little with this post but i hope I’ve conveyed what a great set up the 24x3" is.

Add to that the confusion that’s been brought about since we unicyclists started using the 24x3" tires. It fits a 24" rim, but it’s really a 26" tire. I think of them as 26es, because they are similar in size to the average mountain bike/MUni wheel.

A 24x3" tire (like the Gazz) is killer for offroad, but not very good on smooth stuff. If you have a Fireball that’s another story, but those are pretty rare these days. All the 24x3" tires I’ve ever seen are heavy as well. If you’re riding on pavement or other non-rough places, you’ll be dragging lots of dead weight around.

Note: All things being equal, a smaller wheel will be stronger than a bigger one. But if you have a 24" Savage with its “entry level” components, it will probably fold a lot easier than an “average” mountain bike wheel. It all depends on what you’re comparing.

The anecdotal stories of 24" unicycles feeling faster or more fun to ride sound to me more like the rider is used to that uni rather than comparing actual speeds. Crank arms are of course a factor as well, as is the quality of the cycles. If you have a nice, solid Miyata 24" and a clunky homemade 26", of course the Miyata will probably ride nicer.

My 24" is still a great all-around unicycle. I ride it less and less, though, because I’m usually either on trails (different cycle), in a gym (20"), or hopefully riding to work (8 miles). Gone are the days when all you needed was a 24" to compete in every event at the USA Nationals. You still can, but people have gone more specialized. And I still think the days of 24" racing are numbered. I may get interested in track racing again when it moves to a bigger wheel size…