24 vs 26 MUni?

I’m looking to invest in my first muni and am trying to decide between the Nimbus Oracle 24 or 26…I’ve only ridden 20’s before and I’m a bit of a smaller rider (about 5’5-5’6) so I was leaning towards the 24, but I figured I’d try to get some feedback first and see if the 26 might be the better option.


26" tires are much easier to find. A 26 is also better for cruising around, and will roll over obstacles more easily.

If option is your guide then 26 is your ride. At the moment 26 is all about options, thousands of different tires, and rims from which to choose. A 26x2.6 tire can be lighter than a 24x3, and still have about the same volume (a little less, 2.7 is about equal).

If you are doing serious tech MUni there is still a place for 24. Also, if you just cant fit a 26 with 150mm cranks 24 may be the best choice. I have to admit that some of the trails around here feel more comfy with 165mm cranks on my 26, and in that case your saddle will be a half inch lower still.

It should really depend on the terrain you ride. I went through this same thing a few months ago. I ride single track through the woods and the 24 is a better size for me ( 5’10 210lbs ). My 29 wears me out in the sharp turns going through the woods. But the bigger wheel is better in an open terrain.

Not to be too picky, but you just brought a 29er into the discussion. 26 is much easier to manage in tight singletrack than 29. In fact if you go with a slightly narrower tire, like a 2.6/7, a 26 is only an inch taller than 24x3. I agree that on open wider trails 29 is really fun, i just start feeling too high up on my 29 to venture out into tighter quarters.

Thanks for all the responses dudes…didn’t know 26’ was the more common size. As far as the specific terrain I plan on going on…I don’t know. I’ve never ventured off the concrete with my 20’s. This will be my first time trying to ride trails/off-road.


I attended the 2015 Arizona MUni weekend and I was one of the only people with a 26". Practically all the serious riders there had 24" and very few of them were running brakes. The hills around Phoenix represent, I was told, some of the most technical MUni, hence the preponderance of 24" riders. Anyway, I was feeling pretty inadequate on my 26".

My feelings about my 26" have improved recently, after the installation of a lighter tire (replaced the Duro Leopard with a Maxxis Ardent) and the KH t-bar (the stock seat on my Oracle had lost rigidity, even after tightening).

I am a bigger rider, 6’2" and nearly 200 lb. The trails in my neighborhood aren’t as chronically technical as they were in Phoenix, and they are considerably more flowing. So, yes, maybe 26" is right for me.

But I would probably tell someone getting their first MUni to get a 24". As long as there are a few tire choices for 24", things will be all right. Yes, there’ll be more choices for 26" tires, but how many choices do we need?

One of the 24" riders talked about doing trials on the 24". That’s another reason to get a 24". Jerking around a larger uni for trials is harder.

With the exception of Uber technical trails, I would say that a 24 feels too twitchy and lacked any ‘flow’ when I tried it. My old 26 felt much better in that regard, and was still small enough for the really tech. sections.

IMHO, if I was starting someone out on a muni, I’d look a at a 26.

Btw, if you search there are tons of threads on this. There are two eternal questions in life: chicken or the egg, and what wheel size for muni.

Thanks for the input, Killian. I have searched and seen some of the other threads, just wanted to get some more personalized opinions…my biggest worry is that it’ll be more difficult for me to mount a 26’ as opposed to a 24’ (I only ride a 20’ now) because of my height.

5’5-6 is plenty tall enough to mount a 26" - how do you think people manage 36ers! :smiley:

I’m really not sure I see the need for 24" wheels except for REALLY unbelievably difficult terrain, where you’re more or less doing a trials run to overcome it as opposed to actually spinning your wheel over it.

No worries, just saying that it’s also not specific to 24 vs. 26 either. Lots of 29 vs. 36 out there and 26 vs. 29.

If you are a good rider, the 24 v 26 doesn’t matter much. If you are not a good rider, you will always think the one you don’t have will make things better.

I have both and bounce between the both of them hoping for improvement. I wonder what that means?

Nothing beats practice and testing the edges of your limits. The operative word is EDGES.


You’ve just explained why that experience is irrelevant to the OP - serious riders, tech terrain, neither of which is likely to apply to him for the immediate future. The sort of stuff he is likely to be riding on is probably no more technical than what I choose to use a 29er for - though I’m glad I went for a 26 instead when I first rode off road, I’m also happy that I wasn’t on a 24. For more moderate terrain, what you lose with the higher gearing and less agility you more than make up with the ability to roll over things.

You won’t have any problem mounting a 26 with practice.

Goldilocks sat on the 25" Unicycle: “This one is just right!”

Technical MUni may not apply to the OP, but that doesn’t imply that a 26" is a better choice than a 24".

I am suspicious of any forum-advice that is predicated on the “easier is better” principal. Being a unicyclist is a bit masochistic. We are used to struggling. Sometimes struggling makes us better.

Hypothetically, consider two beginning MUnicycling twins. One has a 26", the other has a 24". The 26" rider rolls over things that cause the 24" rider to UPD. The 24" rider will have to develop technique to ride over objects, while the 26" rider relies on a physical property of the 26" to achieve this.

Focusing on outcomes, the 26" rider appears better. Focusing on process rather than outcome, the 24" rider may have to develop more technique to overcome the unevenness of the trail.

Imagine, for the sake of simplicity, that beginning riders ride with both hands in the air, intermediate riders ride with one hand on the seat, and advanced riders ride with both hands on the seat (or applicable bar-end).

The beginner rider maintains a loose coupling with the unicycle, and is more easily knocked off when riding over an obstacle. A bigger tire, which creates less resistance when rolling over objects, and which has more momentum, will help the beginner overcome obstacles.

The more advanced rider, hands on the seat/bar, creates a stiffness between their body and the unicycle; their mass and the mass of the unicycle are more coupled; that unicyclist can “power” over obstacles, using the combined mass of their body and the uni, rather than just the momentum of the unicycle.

The above example is a pretty gross simplification; many of the same techniques and properties of matter apply to both the 24" and 26". But, I wonder if, to the extent that my attempt at logic is successful, beginner MUnicyclists might find a 26" MUni more gratifying than a 24".

No, it simply provides no evidence one way or the other - plenty of other reasons presented in favour of 26.

Ah, so on that basis, if he is going to be doing tech muni he should get a 29er (or maybe even a 36er), probably a geared one? :wink:

Different kinds of struggles

Sorry, I should have clarified what I meant by ‘struggle’. Your quote above refers to the struggle to muscle a big wheel. My previous post referred more to the struggle to learn to roll over objects with a smaller wheel.

I am not advocating struggling in every sense of the word. I put a lighter, thinner tire on my MUni because I did not appreciate struggling with the big, heavy tire. I don’t think a struggle is worthy if you’re too sore to ride the next day, or if you injure yourself in the process of struggling.

The struggle I was trying to articulate…is the struggle to implement the best possible technique while riding. A more experienced rider encouraged me to get the T-bar for my MUni, then practice riding with both hands on the bar ends. He said I’d be a “climbing machine” when I effectively learned to do this. Learning to ride this way was a struggle, but not in the strap-on-the-hernia-belt sense of the word. I was starting to feel the pain of over-use from pulling in my forearms, prior to installing the bar ends (particularly from hill climbing). Now that pain is subsiding, and I am a better climber.

‘Struggle’ is a problematic word…I should have thought of a different word.

Just out of curiosity, what is your thought on brakes? You mentioned earlier that the majority of riders at the ride in Arizona didn’t have brakes on their unis. Would using a brake be staying in the “comfort zone” or not allowing yourself to struggle in a constructive way, such as stopping with just your legs, in your opinion?

Some more experienced riders have more to say on the subject, but I will sum up whatI’ve read from other posters. Brakes:

-Save your knees
-Allow you to ride down hills faster and with more control.
-Help you conserve energy by doing the job your legs would otherwise do…going down hills. The energy savings will allow you to go on longer rides.

I found a good, old thread on brakes:

The thread is kind of funny, because some of the posters end up getting in a pissing war about the topic.

Regarding the Arizona MUni weekend, I didn’t talk to the riders about why they were lacking brakes, but I can guess some of the reasons:

-Downhills were more terraced in the AZ hills, and there were not long patches of steady downhills.
-24" MUni is less in need of a brake than a larger wheel.
-A brake adds weight.
-A brake can be damaged on rocky terrain.

I would have to ride the trails in your neighborhood to know if a brake is necessary for you. I rode MUni two days ago, and there were long stretches of sustained downhill; I applied the brake on the downhills. I have the brake installed on the KH t-bar.

IMHO, get a brake, because then you can learn how to use a brake. Maybe it is less critical on the 24" MUni, but why miss the opportunity to learn how to brake? The Oracle comes stock with a disk brake. My 26" Oracle’s brake was not working optimally for the first few months, the LBS adjusted it, then it worked better. I am still not totally satisfied with the braking power, and I will have to research a more aggressive brake pad.

So, yes, get a brake, but it’s going to take practice learning how to use it.

Hear is my two cents worth. With a conventional mountain bike you have unlimited gear ratios to get you up and down your mountain trails. Thus only need one good MTB. With muni/uni’s you just have your wheel and size cranks to dictate your ratio. This is why most muni riders end up with two to three or more unicycles. Depending on where I’m going I pick my trials uni for the every ten foot steep switch backs with rock drop off turn type DH trails. My 26 oregon for cruisers and snow/ice winter riding. Now I’m in the process of a 24 for middle ground semi technical muni trails and still have fun hopping and jumping around. Just like most riders on this forum you will pick one wheel size and eventually want another. Lol.