26" for commuter?

I have a 26" muni that I’m considering turning into a commuter. I’ve put some short cranks on it–102s–and it’s quite a different animal now. I’m having some trouble controlling it now, and mounting is a challenge (although I successfully mount about 80% of the time). Anyway, will this thing work acceptably for a 3.5 mile commute, or should I think about getting a 29er instead (the Torker AX is looking good)? Anybody else use a 26 with shorty cranks for commuting?

i ues a 24 with 125 cranks for riding to school and stuff, which is about 6 miles.

i wish i had a 26 with 102’s.

I would rather keep the 26" a MUni and get a 29er, but a 26" with short cranks should be fine for a 3.5 mile commute. If you get a slick tire like the Big Apple it should cruise pretty well on roads, probably nearly as well as a 29er.

I used to commute that distance quite happily on a 20". A 26" should be fine, as long as you’ve got the right cranks for the terrain (102s should be OK for a flat commute) and an appropriate tyre for the surface you’ll be riding on. For road riding I’d go with Tholub’s recommendation of the Schwalbe Big Apple, although I’ve never actually used one.

As it happens, I’m considering buying a 26x2.35 Big Apple myself in order to enhance the road-going capability of my Muni.

I’ve haven’t tried short cranks on a 26 yet but I had 102’s on my 29 for a while, did not like them for downhill at all (I don’t like 125’s on a Coker for the same reason, if all I did was flat I might have a different opinion) and hard to control on fast slowing. Switched to 110’s on the 29 and really like them (I think 110 on a 29 is pretty much the same ratio as the 140’s on my 36).

commuter for sale.

Sounds to me like short cranks on a 26" will be adequate to get you there. For a little while I used to commute about 1.5 miles on a 20" with 102mm cranks, which was slow but comfortable.

I then moved up to a 29er and then a Coker. The bigger the wheel, the more comfortable it is for distance riding (and riding over bumps!). However, a 26" isn’t much smaller than a 29 (especially if you put a larger tyre on it) and is a bit more portable / easily stored.

Bottom line: cranks are cheap and can be reused on other unicycles, so I’d recommend trying shorter cranks and see how you like it. If you decide one day to get a bigger uni, you can do what I did and convert the old commuter to a cross-country muni for a reasonable cost.

I used to ride my old 24 (with a 1.75 tyre) on the road on 102s, and once did 24 miles on it. I ride my 28 (700c x 25mm) on 114s and it is perfectly controllable even cross country. A 26 with a decent tyre (I highly recommend the Holy Roller ) and 114s or 110s should be versatile, smooth and fun. On 125s it will be just a bit slower.

A true 29" is only 11% bigger (faster) than a true 26". That would mean cruising at 10mph on a 29 as opposed to 9 mph on a 26, for example. As my ex wife once said to me in a different context, an extra 3 inches would be ideal, but if you practise lots, you can have an enjoyable ride with what you have. It’ll just take longer to get there.

Thanks for all the input! My LBS has a 26 x 2.5 Maxxis Hookworm that I’ve been eyeing–anybody tried one and have advice? It looks similar to the Big Apple superficially, but I don’t know if it’s good for a road-riding application.

my mate’s got a 24" maxxis hookworm, it just owns for on the road stuff. it craps all over my 2.7 knobby tyre. i love riding the hookworm it’s so nice

the maxis 26 hookwerm is a good tyre, but it on the heavy side for commuting.

26" Commuter

Yes your unicycle will work ok as a commuter. However the shorter the cranks the harder it will be to maintain balance. This is especailly true when mounting and you have not built up speed yet. I would preffer a larger weel and longer cranks in order to have more control and better balance especaily for road riding. I have a Kris Holm 29" with 150mm cranks. I find this a much more comfortable ride than my Onza 24" with shorter cranks. if you have the $530 to get the KH 29 it is worth while. Just think of all the savings on bus/train/taxi fairs or gasoline! You will get better with the shorter cranks with time and practice.


I’ve done this but without the super-short cranks. For that kind of distance it’s just right. Nice that you can play on things too. I’ve used super short cranks too and they’ll make it nice and easy once you get used to them. A 29er will be a little bit smoother but not masses of difference.


I have a 26" muni which I use for my daily commute of about 2 miles.

As I do some off road as a part of my commute I use a muni tyre and 150mm cranks but when I feel like riding the slightly longer route just on the roads I tend to swap my tyre for my 2.5" hookworm and 125mm cranks.

For this sort of ride it is ideal and I can cope quite happily with it.

I have also taken to doing a number of longer rides (8 or 9 miles) on my 26" wheel with the muni tyre and 150’s even on the road so for a 3 mile commute you should be fine.


I use a 26" muni for everything. Ive done 28 miles on it with no problem. 3.5 miles is easy time on a 26". I have 175mm cranks on it because it’s a Muni, so 102’s should be like 100% better for road anyway. So yeah 26" is the way, and that Hook Worm tire should be gr8 also.

ask “Thieum” I think he is using precisely that in the streets of Dakar!
(and I think he does pretty long distances -in this neckbreaking environment:p -!)