24 versus 26

I am going to buy a new muni but i cant decide on the wheel size. i have a 20 inch trials which i dont like its hard to climb hillson rough terrrain and hop. What are the advantages of a 24 inch tire over a 26 how do they differ and what are the charectoristics :thinking:

There’s a very small difference. the 26 will go a teensy bit faster, however from what I’ve read the difference in the two tires is miniscule and more preference than anything. The total extra rollout gained is like 8% or something like that. I would go with whatever option is most appealing.

I’m not sure what you mean by hard, but a bigger wheel will generally take even more muscle to climb uphill.

I dunno, I find that hills are much harder on my 20" trials… I think it’s the crank length…

20" trials with short cranks?
Maybe its because its so heavy and the tire got so much grip->resistance

The difference isn’t that large. A 26" will be moderately faster, and roll over obstacles moderately better. A 24" will be moderately lighter, moderately easier to control, and moderately better at hopping. I’ve ridden quite a bit on both, and there is very little difference in terms of what kinds of trails I’m able to ride. More people ride 24" than 26".

I’ve been told that it’s easier to find fat 24" tires than it is to find fat 26" ones.

This is a regular question, and you will find much advice by spending some time searching the forum.

However, the answer is not a simple one. 24 or 26? That’s like asking, “Which is the best gear to use on my bicycle?”

The difference in “roll out” is 2/24 or 1/12 which is around 8%. That means at a given rpm, you will go around 8% faster on a 26. That’s less than a mile an hour difference in most circumstances.

But there are other variables. The bigger wheel rolls over things better, meaning it is less likely to get bogged down in undergrowth, sand or mud. So you can not only go a bit faster, but you can keep your speed up more eailiy, and the combined effect is to be quite a lot faster over a journey.

On the other hand, if you want to hop, jump or drop, or if your style of riding involves lots of slow manoeuvring, sharp turns and so on, then the smaller wheel will be lighter, stronger and more manoeuvreable. And with this style of riding, speed is not usually an issue.

Then there are variables like crank length (at least as important as wheel diameter for speed and hill climbing) and tyre section, profile and tread.

The answer then is one of emphasis:

If your riding could be described as “vertical” then maybe a 24.

If your riding could be described as “horizontal” then maybe a 26 - or even a 29.

26 is an easy size for tyres. Certainly over here, most mountain bikes and hybrids have 26 inch wheels. 24 inch tyres are less common, in my experience. That said, both sizes can be bought from the usual on line unicycle suppliers.

You could even get a stock trials tire for a 26"

26" tyres are easier to get. For example, gazz 3.0x24" is relatively rare except at unicycle shops, whereas the 26"x3" one is easy to get from any shop that sells downhill stuff, The Surly enodmorph is only in 26" currently etc.

Basically, there’s loads more tyres and rims in 26" because almost all bike tyres are made in 26" and only a few are made in the strange 24" size.


yea besides being 8% faster and able to roll over things a bit easier, i think a 24" is still better for muni. The only thing i like about the 26" is u can get so many different tires than u can a 24".

But still a 24" has a smaller “hooped” rim making it stronger and a they are also lighter in general. Id say go with a 24" unless ur into less technical terrain and more “trail” type riding.

I have a 26" muni. You will probably be happier with a 24", since the 24" is more manuverable and lighter than the 26". I like the higher top end speed of my 26", but I do have to work harder to swing that extra rubber around. When you are threading a very tight, twisty line through obstacles on a downhill you will appreciate the manuverability.


I’m one of the crazy people who has both a 24 and a 26. The 26 is great for faster cross country type stuff and with practise it’s not bad for climbing. The 24 tends to get used more when I am doing serious climbing or really technical stuff.

As for speed I tend to change cranks frequently but the 26 is faster as I never go longer than 140’s and as long as the hills are not too big I can cope at that the 24 only ever has 165’s on so is much slower but great for climbing.

Thing to remember though is that a 26 with a 3" tyre is the same diameter as a 28 or only slightly smaller than a 29 so it’s a choice then of 26 or 700c. I personally love my 26 and ride it nearly every day (I use it for commuting) but I don’t think I could do some of the muni I do on it.

Try riding one of each is the best advice though. My wife can’t stand riding the 26 but quite likes the 24. Personal preferance will always be the best way to make a decision.