24muni and 26 muni roll over question

So I ride a 24 freestyle, I can’t hop yet, and I mainly do distance riding. Considering the really bad pavements and roads (nyc) I have decided to get a muni.

the roll over threshold of the 24 on a freestyle tire really sucked as I was finding my self dismounting to just walk over a 1.5 inch to 2 inch bump thats unavoidable, however I have only been riding for about a month… Within the month I am able to climb, downhill, and ride 5+ miles on a single session.

The main deciding factor I have right now on which size to get is based on the roll over.

I want to get a 24 muni to stay nimble, but would get a 26 if it means roll over is no different on a 24 muni tire vs a 24 freestyle tire.

So ultimately, would a 24 muni tire(24x3) allow me to roll over 1.5inch-2inch bumps better? or would it be similar?

(the freestyle tire is set at 60psi btw.)

Well the 26 will roll over bumps better. I started my muni days with a 24 and now a 26 is my favorite. But I’m glad I started with the 24 in riding muni.

Yes the 24"x3" tire will roll over that bump easier but mainly because you will not be running 65 psi in the tire. I would recommend a 26" simple for the increased rolling speed and the greater tire selection.

Advice, I’m full of it:

  • Buy a mUni tire for the 24" but don't bother with the 26".
  • Practice riding on grass; this'll help you learn to deal with more rolling resistance.
  • If you don't already, practice holding onto the grab handle with one hand, then the other. You'll suck at it at first; this allows you to create a coupling between you and the unicycle, making it harder for you to get knocked off when you hit a bump.
  • If you're riding 5 miles, it sounds like you're putting lots of weight in the seat, which is generally good. Try practicing standing up more, however, putting more weight on the pedals; this'll allow you to more effectively power over bumps.

Congratulations on your amazing progress. If I had to suggest another unicycle, it would be a trials 19"/20". I learned the most technique on this size, and I was able to apply that technique to larger wheels.

For distance, you may want to consider a 29er. It will roll over bumps better than a 24 or a 26. Tons of tire choices. If you’re doing road riding, you probably don’t need a muni tire, even if the roads are quite bad. You should be able to tackle bumps on your current 24 though, and a different wheel, while it may help won’t solidify your technique. Only practice will do that.

The real answer to distance riding is to get a 36. Many people are hesitant about it, but if it’s in your budget, it’s the easiest thing to ride. Mounting can cause some issues for people, but that’s overcome with practice as well.

Somebody may also bring up that 29ers and smaller are more maneuverable, but I disagree with that. They rely on different riding styles, but I still used my 36 on a crowded campus, and weaving through busy city streets and it is just fine. Fast? Attention grabbing? Questionably legal? Sure.

I understand the bad pavement. ; P I’m in the snow belt of Michigan. Sorta sucked when I first got here, but it’s just an adjustment.

Very grateful for the info gents. Ty. If anyone else wants to chime in please do!

Bigger wheels and fatter tires will give you more ability to roll over obstacles. When I was new to MUni I got a 26x3 and just plowed over everything. It was an awesome feeling.

First I would look into the options with your current unicycle, Is there room for a bigger tire? Even a 2.5 can make quite a difference over a 2.0

If you were going to spend the money to get another unicycle to better roll over objects though i would strongly suggest you look at a slightly bigger wheel. 26, 29, and even 650B will have better tire selection better rollover and paradoxically actually be lighter than a 24x3. I would love to try out some of the new “mid-fat” tires in those sizes.

How tall are you? A 24x3" will roll over obstacles much better than a narrower tire but possibly not as easily as a 26x3" tire. However, as a shorter rider (5’8") I feel that I only started making significant progress in technical riding after I started riding a 24x3" over the last year. Before that I rode a 26x3" for five years. Everyone’s different but on this issue I always wonder the relative size of the rider. There are also a lot of.26" riders who started on 24" but recommend the 26" without knowing what their development would have been if they started with a 26".

hey if 5’ 8" is short than I guess I’m really short, I am 5’ 6". The 24 was great but I wish it was easier to decide. I hate how this is one of those things that you just have to try it out for yourself, well at least to me that’s how it feels.

I’ve been doing nothing but reading past threads about the 24vs26 topic.
Everytime I think I can make my decision the next comment of information totally throws me back in a limbo.

The CST Cyclops in 24x2.4" is a really fun and versatile tire and it’s super cheap, as in less than $20 including shipping. I’ve got one on the stock rim on a Sun Classic and it’s a kick to ride. It’s way lighter and rolls much better on pavement than a true knobby off-road tire.

I think you’ll find that the bumps and transitions you run into are less of a problem as you get more experience. But the way to get more experience is to ride a lot, and you’ll ride farther if you aren’t getting bucked off and having to re-mount every few blocks.

If you use your uni to ride around town, I find that a 29" is the ultimate New York uni. It’s faster, yet very maneuverable.
I would get a cheap 24 tire as L.E. suggested, and save for a 29".

I was in the same boat a year ago when I started riding muni. There is no right answer. Everyone is different and the trails we ride are all different. Some of the trails I ride are very tight, through the woods single track and a 29 will wear you out. A have few trails where it’s really open and a 24 will wear you out and you need a 29. As I said earlier, I started off with a 24 and I’m happy I did. Now favorite is a 26. But that’s because my skills have improved. If you can fit a muni tire on your 24 go ahead and do that for now. Once you figure out the best size muni then you will have the big debate on which cranks are the best size. And once again it will depend on you, your terrain and your skills. I’m 5’9 and I like a 26 with 150/127 cranks, My 24 has 150 cranks, My 29 has 165/137

A Muni can be a bit overkill (heavy) for city riding, but it really depends on how you want to ride. A typical Freestyle tire, being relatively skinny (by outdoor unicycle riding standards), has to run high pressure to keep from bottoming out on potholes and such. This makes for a harsher ride and higher difficulty level in rolling over things, as you have noticed.

You mentioned a 24x3" tire, which would be a huge departure from what you’re used to. It’s all about tire volume. the fatter the tire, the lower you can run the pressure, and hence the better rollover and bump-eating qualities. A 24x3" tire is close to the same diameter as a 26" “typical” mountain bike tire. If you get a 26x3" tire (make sure the uni can fit it), it’ll again be bigger, close to 29", and heavier.

Very different. It’s all about volume and air pressure. You don’t really need a Muni tire for city riding, unless you occasionally want to stray off into the mud somewhere. That’s a lot of tire to carry around. I’d recommend a fat “cruiser” tire, like the kind you see on beach cruiser bikes. These are still heavy, but should be lighter than a dirt tire because they leave out all the knobs. On Unicycle.com they have a cool-looking Kenda Flame tire, at 3" wide, which is still probably heavy but looks cool.

This is where 26" is an advantage over 24"; tire choice. You have zillions of choices in 26", and waaay less in 24". If your goal is to cover distances, in the City, I recommend 26", or possibly 29". For 29" you can get the Schwalbe Big Apple (that’s appropriate!) tire at 2.0", which is an excellent tire for pavement. If I wanted a NYC cruising cycle, I’d get a 29" with that tire. And I have ridden in NYC before, though always on a 24" Freestyle but we didn’t have all these choices in the 80s. I also rode a 45" hard-tire big wheel, but that’s off-topic.

The Schwalbe, or another not-so-heavy tire will give you better volume, but still be lighter and quicker than any dirt or super-fat tires. Don’t let your being a beginner push you into a cycle you might not enjoy as much as your skills improve. But if you think you’d prefer an easier cruise on a heavier wheel, consider that Kenda Flame tire on whichever size wheel it comes (24 and 26, I believe).

Not sure how you can disagree with a 29" being smaller, or more maneuverable for that matter. I think what you’re saying is that a 36" can be quite maneuverable if you want it to be. This is true, but it’s always going to be quite a bit more sluggish than a wheel that is smaller and lighter. This is true for any up-sizing you do, assuming the weight and tire type is proportional. What you don’t get in Michigan so much is crowded sidewalks (okay, maybe on campus). In NYC I had a lot of fun zooming down crowded sidewalks on my 24" back in the day; something I probably wouldn’t do nowadays. At least not as fast. :slight_smile:

Resv, if you can, go ride with the NY Unicycle Club and see if you can try out some different wheel sizes. Ride them over some bumps, make some turns to get a feel for them and it can help you decide. Also remember that your skills are going to keep improving. Especially if you keep riding on NYC streets and sidewalks! Plus you’ll get even more opinions from the owners of those unicycles. :stuck_out_tongue:

Smaller yes, but there’s nothing really changing the maneuverability other than weight and gear ratio. The 36 is definitely heavy, but I would venture to guess if you had a heavy 26 Muni with short cranks, and a light 36er with long cranks (comparable weights and gear ratios) they would also compare in low speed maneuverability. (this sounds like an experiment for a rainy day) Sometimes the 36 just takes a little more force. O:-) Sluggish may be a good word for it, but I think it’s more a matter of setup and not something inherent with the wheel size. I suppose I get a little defensive about the 36 sometimes. I will be the first to admit I’m biased towards them, and advocate them whenever possible. : P Still holding out for that 1.5" 36er tire/rim if you’re listening unicycle.com!!

I’ve only just moved to Michigan about a year and a half ago. I miss the heavy foot traffic. Used to live in Atlanta, where I could weave through ants marching any time I wanted. Those were great times! I remember riding New Orleans one time during St. Patrick’s Day. Dodging/slipping on beads, hopping from sidewalk to road and back again. Super fun. I dunno how I would feel in NYC. I’ve been there on foot during Macy’s, and I would love to ride it, but I would be constantly afraid of getting a ticket. Got any pics of riding in New York?

Be ready for the autosteer down the camber when you move to a wider tyre on pavement. The extent of it varies depending on the type of tyre and my impression is that it is generally worse for slicks. It can be a real struggle for a while.

I love my KH26 which rides well on rough pavement. The handling over rough is way better than my narrower 24 inch. I still love the 24 for its maneuverability in tight situations and control down steep slopes.

I also have just bought a KH 29. Love the speed, stability and rollover but I can’t go down such steep hills so well because I have not fitted the brake yet.

I think another factor is the location of the weight, i.e. in a bigger circle, which means it takes more force to move it around. I’m sure there’s a physics word to describe that, but hopefully you know what I mean.

I to love my 36er. These days it’s the uni I ride the most (followed by my Muni; everything else is waay after those). But those wheels are definitely best at zooming in a straight line, and not nearly as good at doing slaloms or quick course corrections. Those, of course, are proportional as wheel size goes down (all other things being equal, such as tires). You can slalom through a loose crowd on a 36, but it would be a lot riskier than the same crowd on a 24".

Or even better, if you’re going to go that way, make the 1.5" on a 42" rim pleeeeze!

Based on your descriptions, you’d probably have a blast riding around NYC. Along with busy streets (and sidewalks), its’ also the first place I ever rode on solid rock. That was in Central Park, just outside the Children’s Zoo. Tickets? Not sure what they would be for. I think that mostly happens to people who ride daily, and are more likely to encounter bored cops.

I don’t have any great pics handy, but here’s my 1983 Holiday card, which I posted online with a bunch of others way back when the Web was a lot smaller. It’s me on my 24" Miyata in the Park!


Moment of inertia. : )

That’s a fair point.

Man can only dream. I could probably just barely fit a 42. I tried to get in contact with semcycle at one time about their 43, but man, a true pneumatic tire on a wheel that big, that’s still light enough to ride. Mmmmm (maybe Kris is hearing our plea?! lol)

That’s awesome!!

I’m 5’ 5 1/4 if I round up and I’m not short. The rest of you are abnormally tall!

As far as the comment about more auto steer with a wider tyre goes (I haven’t quite worked out how to quote yet!), I actually feel it less on my 24" muni with a 3" Duro than I did with a 2.5" hookworm. I think tyre pressure and profile shape have more impact than the actual width. This may or may not be true but it’s been my experience.

When on a camber, the tread is forced to twist and runs parallel with the motion while it is in contact with the road. This distortion causes sideways thrusts. Several factors influence the extent and effect of this force.

Slicks grip the road strongly and continuously. Consequently there is very little opportunity to let go of the distortion. Knobby tyres and block treads let go of this stress as the contact moves from one knob or block to the next.

A wider tyre is able to distort further before the tread lifts off the road, increasing the thrust.

A more flexible tyre carcass is able to twist more easily so the side thrust is less for the same displacement.

Higher pressure reduces the amount of tyre on the road, shortens the length of the contact patch and how far its is displaced sideways during the contact with the road. This reduces the force.

The turning moment of the force is magnified by leverage due to the distance between the point where the tyre first contacts the road and the virtual steering axis of the uni. This distance is larger on a larger diameter tyre. The leverage distance can be shortened by causing the uni to lean backwards by moving the upper body forwards. Handlebars overcome this turning moment so are often recommended for big wheels on camber.

The Hookworm is a grooved slick with a very rigid carcass so it is notorious for strong side thrust on cambered surfaces in the larger diameters and widths. The bigger sizes really aren’t good on cambered tarmac at all. They are often recommended as a crossover between muni and road but I find they are not much good at either surface. I use one on my 20 inch but its small diameter and narrow width put it below the problem threshold.