26" 36" seat height

Can someone with 26" and 36" unis measure there seat heights I’m just nervous about getting a 36" and feeling too high , I’m 6.1 and have my seat post way up on my 26" with 125mm cranks . Thanks David

The seat height above the pedal at the lowest point will be the same for a given rider on any uni (ignoring preferences for different riding styles). You should be able to calculate the height on a 36 from your 26 pedal to seat height, the 36 axle height and the crank length.

The axle on my 36 with a Nightrider tyre is 45 cm (~ 18 inches, unsurprisingly) from the ground.

I’m about 177 cm (~5’ 10") tall. The seat on my 36 is about 127 cm (~4’ 2") from the ground with 137 cranks but I would have it a bit higher if the post was long enough. I have bought another post so I can ride with 125s.

It seemed high at first but I quickly got used to it. I had ridden a 29 between the 26 and the 36.

I was free mounting the 36 from my third attempt. It isn’t difficult if you use the one-footed-still-stand technique where you balance the reversing force on the low pedal against the pressure on the saddle. I expect those who use a no-weight-on-the-lower-pedal technique would have a much more difficult time jumping up to the height of a 36.

Find a set of stairs and stand on the second step. Now jump off. Notice that you didn’t hurt anything.
Go for it! :smiley:

Being up high is part of the point of riding a 36 :).

OneTrackMind’s answer is right on, meaning that you can almost exactly extrapolate from the 26" to the 36" as your legs stay the same in relation to the hub and cranks (calculating for different crank lenght of course).

I calculated my effective “height” when riding the 36er with 100mm cranks and I can’t remember exactly, but I think it was 217cm which is 7’2" (I’m 6’1" or 185cm). That is really high, meaning I sometimes have to look at the maximum height for underpasses and parking garages!

So to your original concern about being really high: compared to a 26" it is really high, but you get used to it. When I bought my 36 I had been primarily riding 24" and 20" and had only tried a 29" once for about 10 minutes. So it did feel really high but you get used to it.

The crank length makes a huge difference but starting out on the 36" I would recommend at least 150mm cranks or longer (I started with 165mm cranks, even tried 170s when I started off-road but quickly went to 150s and then gradually shorter). Longer cranks makes riding easier but really makes mounting easier (with shorter cranks you really have to jump or lunge up to mount). But at 6’1" with longer cranks mounting is in my opinion not so initimidating (for someone shorter that’s probably high though). I was free mounting with some success with 165mm cranks within a week I think.

For me riding with 150s did not feel intimidatingly high, but the first time I had 125s on it felt like the seat was SO high (now after 3 years I free-mount over 60% with 114s, either static, jump or rolling mount and well over 90% with 150s; with 100s my mounting is unfortunately more like 40-50%).

Again it takes getting used to and you really do sit up high. After riding the 36, when I get on a bike I feel like a midget, as I’m used to looking down on EVERYONE (at over 7’). When I was first riding with shorter cranks I one time had a near-collision with a bike coming the other direction and swerved to the right and ended up dismounting right on top of a parked bicycle. I literally flew over the back wheel and seat and landed straddling the top tube (luckily it was a Dutch cruiser style bike with low top tube so I didn’t actually hit anything).

I say go for it. It’s a lot of fun :slight_smile: and sitting up high feels really cool (of course you just have to accept that everyone stares and I actually think it’s safer in traffic as car both see you, notice you and give you more space). When I used to ride my 36 every day it felt really weird riding the bike as nobody was staring at me. It felt like the Twilight Zone as suddenly everyone was acting weird, meaning no craning necks and staring and pointing. As strange as it sound, I actually had to get used to that too.

Lots of good advice above. Here’s a simpler take: Going from 26" diameter wheel to 36" diameter wheel, all other things being equal, you go up 5".

It will seem like more, because the wheel is big and heavy. But like they said above, that’s what you wanted! You’re going to like it. After a while, 36" will seem too small…

My seat height on my 26" is 1.15m so I would be adout 15cm higher , I think it would be a fair while before it feels small I have only been riding for about 5 months my 26 feels tall . Thanks for the advice now talk the minister of finance into a 36.

Just start with 150’s, since you ride your 26er with 125 you’ll only have a 4" seat height difference to deal with instead of 5" if you take 125, and it will be easier to manage.

A lot of people prefer 125 (or shorter) over the 150 cause they think long cranks make the 36er slow.
That’s not my experience, I am much faster with 150’s than with 125, my 36er is easier to accelerate, to slow down, to handle, I can ride everywhere with it, I can do muni with it or ride with or keep up with my girlfriend on her mountain bike.

Now I have two 36ers: one fixed 36x145 and one geared 36x150 and I don’t feel like riding my smaller wheels anymore, I’m hooked to the 36" size.
Before I put some 150’s on it, my 36er was collecting dust, now it’s just a joy machine.
The height is part of the trip.

I also strongly recommend to put a handlebar on it.

By the way, I 'm 5’9", so your are 4" taller than me, which gives about 2" longer legs in theory, but your 26er’s seat height is about the same as my g36 !

Even if you use 125mm cranks on your 26er while I use 150’s on my g36 your seat sounds pretty high to me.

I recognize I have rather short legs and I set my saddle’s height rather in the low range for several reasons, but are you sure you’re not setting your 26er’s seat to high?

I do understand your fear then.

Just measured again and it’s 1.15 m I must have giraffe legs my std seat post is just above the max height mark.

Just go for it! As a the rider of a 26" for two years, I remember that being a momentarily intimidating height increase from learning on a 20", but when I finally got a chance to get up on a borrowed 36" this past weekend, it felt simply great. That bigger heavier wheel rides like a dream, and getting off of it worked without thought. Really the only thing that made me nervous was a first encounter with pedal pins - got awkwardly stuck on one while attempting a freemount before finally giving it enough commitment on the third try.

Indeed. There happened to be a 43" wheel present as well, and I figured, “in for a penny, in for a… farthing?” and with the aid of a lamp post… But hopped off fairly quickly, not from the height but from the odd behavior of the narrow solid tire. My initial reaction was to think I needed real experience on a 36" first, though in retrospect that rides like a mid-size unicycle only better, while narrow tires may be a skill of their own?

Yes. Funny thing. I got my 36 recently and on the first ride I just started rear dismounting with barely a thought. I had never been able to rear dismounted any uni in three years of riding 20s to 29s.

I don’t know if it was the slow motion aspect of the 36, intimidation by the handlebar, the flatter saddle, the lower seat height (relative to pedals) than I usually ride or all the above but I felt compelled to do it behind as I slowed.

Rear dismounting makes kinesthetic sense, you just push down to let the rising pedal lift you backwards off the seat and step to the ground with the other foot, catching the saddle handle. It’s as natural as getting off a ladder.

But it is mentally quite odd if you try to think it through, especially as it is all happening out of sight, and the prime opportunity only comes once or twice per revolution.

Everything happening more slowly on the bigger wheel could be why it worked… especially if done without thinking about it.

Yes, that makes sense. However until the 36, all my unis have had lightweight tyres so not much momentum to lift me up.

It has been raining (and flooding) here for weeks, so I have not ridden any unis lately. Now that I understand the process, I am looking forward to trying a rear dismount on the others.

So one big lesson to report: Don’t try to ride a 36er with the seat too low!!!

I bought a lightly used one from a friend locally, who is a bit shorter. Did some math and concluded that the 200mm post on it would just barely work. Only on the subway ride to the river path discovered it was actually a 125mm post and already as high as it could go. But hey, when you’ve planned to ride a unicycle, you ride the unicycle you brought.

Or at least try to…

Riding too short a seat meant I was lifting out of it constantly, and that gave me no control over the huge wheel - I had one attempt launching from a fence where I managed 15 feet.

If I hadn’t tried a different 36er the previous weekend and enjoyed it, I might well have given up thought I wasn’t ready for a big wheel.

But today after sacrificing the post from my 26er to careful measurement and the hacksaw, I took it back out… and rode 23 miles.

Both my 26 and 36 have 125mm cranks, so I just measured from the axle to the top of the seatpost on the 26 and reproduced that on the 36. I started with it about a half inch lower but quickly decided that wasn’t quite right, and raised it to what is likely all but exactly what I had on the 26.

Of course now I can’t free mount it, but one problem at a time…

The other lesson could be : there is no reason to put anything shorter than 150s on a 36er unless you have an experience of hundreds if not thousands of miles on a 36er AND you are 80% of the time above 14-15 mph.
If in the contrary you are 80% of the time in the 0-13mph range everything will be easier, and more efficient with 145s-150s cranks.
You’ll have stronger accelerations, higher torque, better control, less chances of developing knee pains, easier mounts, easier slow down, and you’ll have the possibility to ride off road.

125’s, and shorter cranks are like having a car with only the 4th and 5th gears, it’s good for riding at 90mph on the highway but it’s an awfull gear ratio for everything else.

The seat height (distance top of the seat->top of the low pedal) must be higher than what you’d use for a trial 19er of course, but not too high neither, so that you can absorb the bumps and holes on the floor/trail.
I’d say a 36er with 150s and a muni style seat height is the perfect do everything combination.

I have a 36x145 and a g36x150, I use to ride (road, bikepaths, town, XC and Muni) with my girlfriend, her on a mountainbike, me on the 36x145 and I never feel slow, I can accelerate way faster than with 125s, freemount is super easy (for a 36er) and have tones of controle while being able to keep up with her. If y want to ride on the 16-20mph range I will use my g36 but then she won’t be able to keep up with me :p.

With a too high seat height i’d see myself catapulted at each hole/bump.

And of course I have a long handlebar on both my 36ers, it’s definitely a “must have”

Hi unidreamer do you prefer your kh tbar or Qu-ax q handle . Thanks David

I hear the logic in what you are saying, but around here people don’t consider 125’s on a 36er at all unusual - many are on shorter; the other used one I was offered came with 110’s.

Trying to scare up a pair of 150s try is a thought - I think the coker that I tried and free mounted a week ago and as a result decided this was within my capability probably had those. But it’s a fair chunk of change to get them in something solid just to experiment, and people seem to say the cheap steel ones flex too much for a big wheel (otherwise I’d consider borrowing them off my disused Torker 20")

Haven’t hit serious hills yet, and wasn’t really finding controlling the wheel a problem once I had the seat set to give meaningful thigh contact… I actually kind of liked having some force to work against - often unicycles feel like having to pedal air at high cadence, so even if I wasn’t often going faster than I would on the 26er, the body mechanics were better. So for right now it would be mostly a mounting thing.

I keep imagining a shoe with a 3 inch platform that would fold out and then collapse out of the way the instant you take your weight off it - when I’d find a curb like that I was set to go.

I don’t ride terribly fast on my 36er, but unless I’m doing off road or steep hills, the 125s are best for me. I started with 138s, and they were good for learning, but when I got my 125’s, it was almost instantly obvious that it was a better choice. It was a much smoother ride with much less fatigue and crotch pain. For me, less fatigue and crotch pain for distance riding is going to win out every time.

There is a guy locally that rides 50 miles on his KH 36er with 150 cranks, and he loves it, so obviously it’s different for different people. I love using the 150 cranks for anything but distance. It feels like cheating after using the 125s, but after riding any kind of a distance, it starts getting pretty uncomfortable for me.

I also like your car analogy, but I think it’s a bit extreme. For me it’s more like the difference between starting in 2nd gear as opposed to 1st, which is totally doable, unlike starting in 4th or 5th. Just like the shorter cranks, it’s certainly different letting out the clutch in 2nd gear and requires a bit more finesse, but it’s well within the limits of what is practical.

Regarding your preference for the 150s, it could be that you’re just in better shape than me, and maybe your saddle area is more accustomed to long rides? I’m also short at 5’ 6" with a 29" inseam, so maybe that has something to do with it.

I like both for different reasons.
-Q-handle : since I filed the T part so that my thighs don’t rub against it anymore I really appreciate it on my ungeared 36er.
Its loop shape, the foam and its stiffness are very comfortable.

-Kh Tbar : I have the Kh fixation kit, but for my G36 I had to buy a nimbus bar cause my kh bars have been cut for former unicycles and are too short for this project now, the nimbus bar is very similar to the kh bar, but the T part is a bit larger (15cm).
This handlebar is more customizable, you can put all sorts of bar-ends and you can put the brake lever far away if you want, which is a bit more complicated to do with a Q-handle.
The only down side is the fixing system that is not very stiff.
Since I use a long set up on my G36, the bolts often get loose enough to let the bar lift more than how I set it up, so I’m trying to find a DIY system to fix it to the seatpost/frame neck as well.

Yes 125, 117s, 110 are not unusual, I still try to figure out the reason.
I personally ride the loops I used to ride with my smaller wheels, which are often complicated and varied, I couldn’t do it on my 36er with 125’s or even with 137s, so I put some 150’s and discovered how agile and reactive was the 36er with those cranks.
More than that I also discovered that with 150/145s I was able to reach speeds I never managed to go with shorter cranks (my max speed with 125 was around 13.75mph , with 145’s it’s around 27km/h=17 mph) , but I admit I will burn more energy if I try to keep my speed above 13/14 mph for a very long time, at least in theory, lets say my legs are doing larger movements than if I was using short cranks.

So I guess most people are riding their 36er on clear and rather flat roads for very long rides or at higher speeds.
If not, I just don’t really understand.
I know the comparison is biased because bikes have speeds, but you’ll never see bikes with 100mm cranks, right?
150’s are still way shorter than bikes cranks, and on a 36er (which is a BIG wheel! ) at around 13mph the pedaling cadence is not so high.
Though, the real advantage of having 150s is for all the situations in which you are in the 0-13 mph range, which in my case are very numerous.

Maybe I have been hard with 4th and 5th gear, but my feeling is a good 3th gear for 125.
The fact is I wasn’t going faster than 21/22 km/h with 125’s although I can reach 127km/h with 145’s (for a sprint).

Anyway, I am the lucky owner of a geared 36er which has the best of the two worlds : long cranks to have tones of control for the 0-13 mph range, but the potential to keep up with bikes (15-20mph) without pedaling like a clown. (but the adrenaline shot is guaranteed ! )