26" GUNI advice please

I’ve really taken to this Unicycle sport/hobby and in the 18 months I’ve being doing it I’ve really not touched some of my previous interests & hobbies…therefore I’m going to have a clear out of old kit and invest in what I will consider my ultimate unicycle…a 26" Geared Uni.

I’ve read loads of the old threads but I’d appreciate some assistance in the specification.

What I want to replicate and improve on is the performance of my KH29, I really like this uni however on proper Muni it’s a little big and on tracks and the road it’s just a little slow (although I love the ride height). I’m using 125/150 cranks and change them often to suit the terrain. The leg pressure at these lengths is good with hill climbing on the rough to a good standard (for me) and a comfortable tarmac flat cruising speed of around 8 to 10 mph. The longest ride in a day I’ve done is 22 miles over a mixture of cycle tracks and road, I would like to up this a bit.

I have a 24" that I don’t really use/like anymore (although I use it for tech stuff) and I don’t do enough road work to want to get a 36"…so I reckon a 26" Guni is the way forward.

So the questions are (in no particular order):

• Backlash - Is this noticeable? Does it detract from riding pleasure?
• Maintenance - How onerous is it? I love the simplicity of a Unicycle and am worrying about over complicating things.
• Frame - Standard KH 26"? Or is there something better?
• Hub - KH or Slumph (?)…or are they the same? I want the newest/strongest etc.
• Rim - What is the widest (I don’t care about the weight).
• Cranks - What combination of 2 hole will give me similar leg pressure in the high and low gears compared to my 125/150 on 29"? (Is this a daft comparison??).
• Brake - I would like a brake, will it suite the frame & rim?
• How do you buy one? Are they made to order?
• From where in the UK? I don’t mind assembling but do not want to get involved in getting a wheel set built.
• Does anybody out there regret getting a Geared Uni?
• Is anybody going to BUC at Stockton (UK) with one I could look at?

To conclude, basically I know absolutely nothing about geared Unicycles so would appreciate any feedback (including pictures), positive or negative.

It’s noticeable but not a big deal. I’ve ridden non-geared unicycles which had more slop than the Schlumpf.

The official maintenance schedule isn’t onerous; just put in some oil every couple of months. But the overall mechanical complexity is much higher than an ungeared unicycle; you have to be a lot more sensitive to issues like proper bolt torque. And the Schlumpf mechanisms have not been particularly reliable, especially compared to a standard unicycle hub (which will basically never fail, except at the tapers).

Definitely a KH.

You want the MUni version, which is branded as KH but made by Schlumpf.

Surly Large Marge.

I’d probably go with 125/150 for a 26". In 125/geared mode, it’ll be significantly faster than your 29er; in 150/ungeared mode, it’ll be a significantly better MUni than your 29er.

I think you might have to jigger it a bit to get brakes on the Large Marge, but it should be doable.

If you want the Large Marge rim, you’ll probably need to put it together yourself. You can have a local bike shop build the wheel for you.

I use mine (geared 29) all the time. I do worry about its reliability, but it’s my most versatile uni. At UNICON I competed in the 10k, marathon, XC, uphill and downhill races all on the same unicycle.

You basically just want a KH26 with a KH/Schlumpf geared muni hub. There isn’t really much choice in hubs (muni or road versions), and the only frame that it is easy to fit in is the KH.

You can fit a brake to it.

The KH rim is the widest sensible 26" rim (there is the surly one which is wider, but then a)you need a silly wide frame and b)it makes your unicycle feel like a useless tank).

You buy it from unicycle.com UK http://www.unicycle.co.uk (phone them up) They’re the only people I know of who import the hubs.

Backlash is noticeable at first, but doesn’t really matter when riding in high gear. In low gear it is just like a normal uni.

Maintenance is more than with a normal uni, but only in terms of it being a little bit more of a pain to put new cranks on. If you don’t mess with the cranks / break cranks, then you don’t need to maintain it (oh, except you are supposed to put a bit of oil/grease in the oil hole once a year - 2 minute job).


You can use the Large Marge rim in the KH frame, if you’re using a 3" tire. You only need a super-wide frame if you’re also using the Endomorph tire.

But personally, I agree with Joe: go with the KH rim.

The major missing factor here is the tire. Different tires can make a unicycle a completely different machine.

Are you planning on using a 26X3 or something smaller, in the 2.3-2.5 range? For a geared 26 I would seriously consider a lighter weight setup as you will notice the weight even more when geared.

If you want to replicate and improve on the feel of your 29er I think I would stay away from 3" tires, especially if you are planning on riding on many roads or hard surfaces.

I like the idea of wide rims to go with wide tires but I think the KH rim is about prefect width for a tire in the 2.3-2.5" range. If you are not bombing down mountains and doing big drops you could get away with using a Try-All rim, same width but lighter than the KH rim.

Anyone put a Geared hub on a Conundrum frame? It fits KH hubs just fine…any word on whether a schlumpf hub will work?

I am going to get a second KH/Schlumpf hub and put it in a geared 26" as well.

I would use 150/125 cranks, that seems like a good size for the geared 26.

Rim: I will be either getting a KH 26" rim or the nimbus rim - The only reason I was considering the nimbus rim was bc I don’t know how keen I am on having the rim cut outs on the KH freeride rim…seems like it makes it more prone to flats. Then again, almost everyone has the cut outs on their freeride uni rims now, so maybe it isn’t really an issue? Does anyone have any insight on this?

As Tom and Joe have stated, you will not notice the slight play in the hub after a few rides. Maintenance is not an issue, it will just take a few rides to get the cranks set and you need to be sure you have the right torque on the frame bolts and everything, but once you get it set…you hardly need to maintain it at all. It does become less simple and less care-free than an ungeared uni, but having that high gear is amazing and well worth it. Although maintenance is never really an issue - you will be more paranoid with the unicycle as it is a lot more expensive than an ungeared uni so you will be more afraid to leave it somewhere or lock it up outside or to do hardcore freeriding.

I don’t really regret it–it served me quite well at RTL, but I did sell it afterwards. Here are some reasons:

  • There were still problems with the bearings failing--around here it seems we're averaging around 1,000 miles before they fall apart. I don't know if this has been fixed.
  • It's expensive to ship back and forth to fix it, and it's a pain to unbuild/rebuild the wheel.
  • It required detailed maintenance every ride, whereas ungeared unicycles hardly ever need maintenance other than airing up the tire. Low maintenance things are more my style.
  • I'm just as happy unicycling more slowly. I don't really need to exceed 20 mph, and I don't have to fear as high speed of a UPD.
  • There are plenty of fun rides around here on a single speed, so having such different ratios for a single ride is not really necessary for my enjoyment.

Well, I’m too lazy to multiquote now but here’s my advice:

  • The geared 26 is a great choice, probably the best you could make for various reasons…

  • You can also check out the German UDC for the hub, the Large Marge rim and most things you might need. They are usually very quick. It might be more expensive than the UK one, though. But chances are they have what Roger doesn’t have on stock. They could also build it all up for you.

  • As far as I know there are currently four possible frames compatible to Schlumpf’s muni hub: KH26 first edition for tires up to 2.5", KH26 second edition for tires up to 3" (my choice), Surly 26" (available at the German site), and finally your most expensive option Triton Titan, titanium frame with brake mounts for 24", 26" and 29" wheels on one frame. It’s wide enough for the Surly Endomorph tire as well… But it costs €450, available through www.ridetriton.com

  • For the rim I chose the TryAll 26"x47mm one, because it is the lightest one in that size. It has served me well combined with the 26x3 Gazzaloddi tire. KH is supposed to be a little stronger but heavier as well. The Large Marge would be overkill IMHO.

  • I love my 26x3 Gazzaloddi a lot. I couldn’t be bothered changing tires unless there’s absolutely no way around it. It is a PITA…

  • Maintenance and reliability are definitely some of the disadvantages so far. I have been sending my hubs back and forth a lot and it always seems to take ages until they come back… I’m waiting for the replacement for the hub from my KH26 since more than 6 weeks again now. Bummer. But it seems that the newer generation will be more solid with the beefed up bearings. As has been mentioned one has to be careful with putting the right amount of torque on the axle bolts. I tighten them about after every other ride just to make sure they won’t loosen too much. I didn’t use loctite though. But you have to have two torque wrenches for the maintenance, one for low torque (5-6 Nm) for the bearing housings and one for the axle bolts (I don’t tighten those more than 40Nm because 55Nm ruins them).

  • Anyways I love this setup and miss it a lot now. There’s no going back to ungeared for me.

  • For cranks I got KH 150/125 but I mostly use the 150 setting. 165 would be good for really steep things, I guess.

  • One should also be careful with mud because it can mess up things…

Here’s a picture of my 26er. I actually stripped the frame now and shortened the T-bar, which is great too, btw.

I may be bringing one to BUC and it may be in a Triton frame, even if I don’t there’ll be at least one there you’ll be able to try!
As for hub buying options, you can also buy direct from Schlumpf.
If you’re going to get it built-up professionally, use UDC UK (or MUnicycle.com) as they’ve plenty of experience with this exact job and can help out with after-service to some extent, unlike your LBS which will also probably cost you more.

just a few pics from my new baby.
I am really surprised how fast you can go with it and I have no problems with 26" in technical sections.

I am the proud owner of a 24" guni. I went for the slightly smaller wheel size because i wanted to be able to have 2 usable gears on tech trails. I think that in a larger wheel the second gear would only be usable on fireroads and flatter trails. If i do for some reason want to cover longer distances i have the dual hole cranks and can run at 125mms to get some more efficiency.

Don’t go with the LM rim, the KH or try all is more than adequate. Get a brake- i am a massive fan of them and once you learn to use them properly it makes long sustained DH as well as massively tech DH so much more controllable. That also means getting a spooner (or making one yourself), and from personal experience i would suggest getting steel braided maguras. Busting your brake line is a PITA and getting it repaired and bleeding them is a hassle. The extra speed (and thus distances) you will be covering also means you might like to get a handle. The new KH seat and t bar is your best off the shelf combo atm so keep that in mind when you are getting a saddle.

Some other basic things that can massively improve your riding experience (irrespective of your dream uni) include- get some proper cycling nicks, get a good set of Shoes (the 5:10 karver is a great shoe for Geared Munis).

Hope your project goes well,

Great replys everybody, thanks.

As I run a 2.5 tyre on my 29" at the moment and like the feel of it I think I’ll stick with that sort of tyre size (I’ve got a 3" on my 24 & it does look good!).

Definately going to look at the Triton frame, although I reckon the KH is great and would be good enough (…although if I’m really building my ultimate…??).

Good pionts about the the rest of the kit as well.

Seems like I know enough to get planning!!!

i agree with napalm mark about the LM rim, but for heavier riders like me (90KG), its better to ride a LM than to change rims after every drop higher 3 feet:(
furthermore makes the LM really huge sized 3" tires:) (…but I also enjoyed the endomorph tire at my Koxx Monster rim)

Regarding Schlumpf hubs…

Is that a fact? Is there a next generation Schlumpf that will have stronger/better bearings?

Has this been talked about elsewhere on the forums? I’d like to know more.

Yes, I actually have one of the new ones on my KH36. So far it’s going strong. But I’ve only had it for a few months now. I’m waiting for the replacement for my other Schlumpf now.

I too have one of the “beefed up KH/Schlumpf Hubs”. My first was over a year ago and I had issues with the bearings after only 20 miles of road riding (an issue that has been well documented on this forum). After a few months of waiting, I got my totally new hub from Florian and this thing is way stronger and has held up quite well under some harsh conditions! Then again there is no way I ride nearly as much as most folks on this forum; right now perhaps once a week (I’m hoping to change that soon!). Still, if you’re someone who’s been on the fence about getting one because of the issues of the past; no reason to hesitate anymore IMHO. Get one!

For me, I love my KH/Schlumpf in my KH24". I went that way because I’d already heavily invested in the 24" a few years ago (before there were a lot of 26" options, it’s amazing how quickly our sport is changing!). I also have a 26" that is non-guni but I can tell that I didn’t notice a significant difference between the two in non-geared mode. That makes me hopeful, because I realize the writing is on the wall with the 24" MUni as there are fewer and fewer tire choices available these days. Still I’ve got a stockpile of 24x3" tires so I’ll be good for a while (especially as infrequently as I ride!).

I’ve done it…

After much to’ing & fro’ing about wether-or-not to get one I’ve finaly taken the plunge and got one on order…

It’s a KH 26", 47mm rim, Dura 3" tyre, etc, etc.

I’m going to use my spare 150 cranks, or would I be better swopping over to my 150/125 ones? Does anybody actually change the position? I do on my 29" depending on the terrain but I figure I wont with the geared hub…although I haven’t a clue!!!

Thanks for all the advice (although it led me down the path of temptation!!!)

I think you won’t regret it. Until now I’ve been running the 150/125 dual moments on my 26" Guni. But I’m thinking about replacing them with some 150mm Nimbus Ventures to save some weight. I haven’t been using the short crank setting much anyways.

I’ve used 150mm and 165mm cranks on my 26er (right now I’m using the 150s mainly because they’re the only ISIS cranks I have available to use). While I like the 150s, I think I’ll probably end up putting some 165s on there eventually as I had more difficulty doing some natural trials lines with the 150s and I didn’t quite feel as in control on the steep downhills. Of course the later could be solved by putting a brake on the setup (probably not going to happen until I upgrade to a KH26 in the far future). I’m also thinking that 165s with the KH/GUni on a 26er might make for a smoother ride in high gear. All things considered, if a 24" with 150mm cranks is roughly like a 26" with 165mm cranks, I’d go with the 165mm cranks as my 24" set up feels just about right both in low/high gear. I’m thinking a 26" with 150mm cranks might take quite a bit more effort to ride in high gear, especially on more difficult terrain. It would seem like trying to ride in high gear on my 24" with 135mm cranks and I think that might be pretty difficult; require a lot of leg strength! Then again perhaps there are subtle enough differenced between a 24" and 26" that blows all this out of the water? Try the 150s and go from there! Have fun!