24 or 26 or ?

Rank beginner. Older man. True inseam=31. 5’ 9". 169 lb. Small farming community, middle of Tx. To be used for paved roads, dirt farm roads, tractor tracks. Estimate 1+ hr per day use after learning; seven days a week as weather permits (retired).

** Can a 31 inseam handle all sizes of unicycles? **

I will only be able to buy one inexpensive uni to use forever. (Not cheap, poor.) No shops nearby to gaze or guess on my own and 'am relying on your collective knowledge base to steer me right.

I realize that I couldn’t afford a 29 or 36, even if I could ride them or learn on them. A 19/20 may be a bit cheaper and easier to learn on but for actual street use, repeatedly, I’m guessing 24 or 26 is the way to go. (???)

Any advice appreciated. Tks in advance.

By the way, this is for hard exercise recommended by my doctor to get me somewhat back in shape one year after major oral/cheek cancer surgery/chemo/radiation. The doctor’s teenage sons ride unis so this was one of her suggestions.

Most people suggest learning on a 20 or 24, but in my opinion a 26 is a more versatile size, especially if you are going to be doing much riding on the road. As a bonus it is also the cheapest size to get replacement parts for (rims, spokes, tires, tubes).

Just a suggestion but you could ask your doc what her kids ride and what they would suggest. You never know they might have a loaner laying around they are willing to lend you.

And yah you are plenty tall enough for all the standard unicycle sizes up to and including 36ers.

IMHO Get on 2nd hand 20" for learning then one 26" (strong and inexpensive like steel frame quax or nimbus or 2nd hand KH). Sell the 20" once you’re ok with th 26" in order to keep only one :sunglasses:

I’ve got in lot of expansive purchace as beginner but after excitation times 26" are most used ans simple & strong uni’s are probably quite enough for most of user. Joy of having the nicest or coolest or most expansive uni taken appart (I was in so I don’t blame :o ).

26" will give you more chance to change tire without the need of internet…

You might look for a starter on Craigslist. One like this would be good ->

26" would be a good all around unicycle but I’m not sure how hard it would be to learn on one that size. I started with 24".

Good Luck.

I’ll also recommend 26" as a one-and-only size. One of the other plusses is that you’ll have a vast choice of tires if/when you need a replacement.

Yes, you can learn on a 26". Every size seems impossible when you’re learning so don’t let it bother you.


If you have to get one unicycle, I’d suggest the Nimbus 26" Mountain Unicycle. Tried and true, upgradable, bomb-proof. Or, the less expensive Nimbus II 26". Both are ISIS crank compatible, which gives you a lot of crank choices. UDC (unicycle.com) gives you the choice of crank arms. My advice to beginners is to start with longer cranks; the extra leverage will help them in the awkward learning stage. I use 165mm cranks on my 26" mountain unicycle, but I live in a hilly place. 150mm might be a good place to start, then later on you could spend a bit more money on a shorter set of cranks.

In the meantime, ask your doctor if his/her kids have an extra 20" you could borrow for learning.

Welcome to the forum. Thanks for taking your doctor’s advice. Unicycling is fun, intense exercise. Keep us posted on your progress!

You don’t have to be in a rural area for that to be the case! Stores that have a good selection of unicycles barely exist anywhere. There was one in New York City, but it’s gone now- due to skyrocketing rent, I assume.

Anyway, a unicycle with an ISIS hub is worth the extra money and will spare you the expense of buying replacement parts. Anything up to a 29 is relatively easy to find tires for at any bike shop or Wal-Mart, though a 26 is easiest and offers the broadest selection. I believe that learning to ride is best done on a 20," but other people disagree. It definitely sounds like you’ll be wanting a larger wheel than that once you get going, though, as you’ll have some distances to cover.

San Marcos, TX has a unicycle football league. Their games are on Sunday, and I’ve heard that members and affiliates get some sort of discount on unicycles from somewhere.

Here ya go: from the Austin craigslist, brand new Sun 20" for $75.


Suns are good unis, great for learners. Some people even use them for muni (but not usually 20s). When you get to where you are going longer distances, sell it and get a 26" Nimbus, as has been recommended. Keep your eye on the Forum Trading Post for a good deal on a used 26’r. That’s where I got mine.
Good luck and welcome to the forum. Post pictures.

The unicycle that I paid the least for was a 24" Sun from a second-hand store. After fixing the damage from a prior owner’s mistreatment, it’s a perfectly good rider now. So I’m down with Sun too.

Btw, that unicycle with a fat CTX Cyclops tire ($14 plus shipping, not pricey) is a blast to ride around the neighborhood. The extra diameter from the tire helps a lot and my average speed isn’t much different from what I do on my 26" and 29" unicycles. So if you find a good deal on a 24", don’t pass it up because of that. It’s fast enough to have fun for sure and an mph or two doesn’t really matter if you’re by yourself. Anyway it’ll be a while before you ride well enough for it to matter–or it was for me at least. Good luck!

(And no matter how little money you have, don’t leave out a helmet and wrist protection, at the very least.)

just to chime in with my 2 cents. I purchased a Nimbus II 26" and could not be happier with it. I wanted the extra strength since I’m 6’ tall and weigh 230lb. I have been riding 1 month after a 30 year break. I originally learned on a 20" and can say that the first week or so on the 26" was a bit scary as it seemed I was so much higher off the ground. I plan to pick up a 20" Torker LX on craigslist to add variety to my workout. I have had back pain in the past and was looking for something fun to get a workout and build my core (I hate going to the gym).