26” or 27.5”

26” vs 27.5”. Is there really a big difference between the 2.

I’m quite new. Been learning on a generic 20” garage find. I’m looking for a unicycle for dirt roads more than pavement(that’s at home) though I’d be taking it to town a bit as well. Would like to be able to work my skill level into some of the easier bike trails we have around here.

I dream of hitting hard muni trails in the future, but realistically will find myself on dirt roads and hilly terrain more than anything.

I have read a lot and it’s been suggested 26” or 27.5” will work. So does it matter? Any real difference in feel between the 2?

I’m only 5’5” if that matters.

Thanks

I recently made the same decision. I chose the 27.5 mostly based on availability. I’m not sure where you’re located, but here in the states, unicycle.com is out of stock on virtually all their munis with the exception of the base models which don’t include a 27.5 option. Renegade Juggling on the other hand had a 27.5" version of the higher end Quax RGB model available, but no 26" models. I went with the Quax based on a fairly attractive price, lower weight and what is arguably a better crank and axle. The 27.5" wheel size doesn’t seem overly large to me, but I’m a newcomer to this as well and I’m also a fairly big guy at 6’1", so my experience may not be yours.

And for what it’s worth, I’ve had a good customer experience with both UDC and RJ. My daughter has the 24" Nimbus muni and its a solid well built product. IMO, the Quax RGB is nicer, but its also more expensive. I always go for the cheapest shipping option, but everything I’ve ordered from UDC arrived in less than a week, even when I ordered from the UK! RJ got my unicycle to me in about 3 days.

I have got a 27.5 URC (Mad4One) muni and I’m very happy with it. I’m also 5’5. Get one with 2 or 3 hole cranks. I was initially leaning towards a 26, but was convinced to get the 27.5 because of tyre options, plus the places I thought I would ride would be more free flowing trail.

I would also think, it you want to learn hopping skills (which is good to have if you want to muni imo), it’s a skill that’s a lot easier to learn on a 20 or 24”.
Some (most) noname unis will eventually break if you try to hop on them, so it is worth keeping an eye out for a 20 or 24” upgrade.

I have a KH24 too that I picked up second hand. It’s also good to ride particularly if it’s in twisty turny places like single track forest trails. It’s nimble and easier to manoeuvre.

Thanks for the info. I’ve been leaning towards the 27.5”. I get a little nervous about it being the bigger one and me being on the smaller size. But it’ll be a long time until I start to get technical. I’m thinking the bigger tire will help cruising dirt roads.

I’ve also been thinking it’s be fun to get a 19” trials uni for just that reason. Something tougher to hop on and beat up. Plus the kids can grow into it. I bought the 7 year old a no name 16” but he lost interest pretty fast. Maybe when he get’s older a 19” will be waiting for him.

The 19” trials is a good choice. Great to learn skills on. Very portable for anywhere and good to take on bush trails when you are going with walkers!

My inseam is 77cm/30”, assuming your inseam is similar then for a 27.5” uni you’ll have no problems with it. If it’s under 72cm/28”, you may find you must have your seat post the whole way down, particularly on ~150mm cranks.

25 mm between 26" and 27.5" (Tire sizing follows a different kind of math than normal people…)

I don’t find the difference in feel between 27.5" big, and especially in non technical terrain. There will be no real noticable difference for someone going from a 20" going to a 27.5" or a 26". If buying new, I’d recommend a 27.5" over 26", just because 26" is slowly being pushed off the bike market.

5.5" is too short for any unicycle known to me, so I assume you mean 5’5"… Which doesn’t matter in this case.

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Thanks for the advise and the size catch.

Thanks for the info.
Now to figure out which one.

Nimbus oracle
Mad4one
Or qu-ax

Are there others I don’t know about?

KH.

Right. I didn’t list it. But I kind of ruled them out for price.

There is a nice 26er at a good price right here in the trading post. I ride a 26er 29er and recently a 32. I love my 26er it just fits me like a glove, easy to mount and I generally use it for light trails of 3 to 8 miles. Check that uni out could be a great place to start.

Hi Dan,
Welcome to the forum and unicycle world.

So you want to upgrade from a 20"
Just a few thoughts from my experience before “deciding” and shopping.

I would highly recommend that you network/find other unicyclists and borrow/try a 24" and 26/27.5 before you spend $500+. Try it before you buy it

a.) Bigger wheel size and crank length combinations are going to be a real adjustment moving up from a 20". When I went from 20" & 125mm cranks to a 24"/150mm…there was a few weeks where I felt like a beginner, again. Took me about 6 months before I felt more confident on the bigger unicycle. I even bought replacement cranks to 125mm during this uncomfortable stage. It takes more overall physical manipulation to control a bigger/heavier unicycle. Adjusting to the feel and timing of a longer crank is a skill to master. Also the few extra height = more painful ankle sprain if you fall wrong way.

b.) Learning basic tricks like free mounting, drops, bunny hopping and idling was hard. I had to go back to the smaller unicycle. A bigger wheel was more fun to ride…but “can’t learn new tricks on it”. However, I have actually learned backwards and do SIF tricks on my 24", but I cannot imagine being able to do this on the next larger size.

c.) Maneuverability was not easy. The same thing with learning new tricks, issue. Doing tight turns while trying to balance over rocks and bumps, even harder.

d.) Falling down. Yup, just because you can ride a 20" on a flat street won’t help you off road. It’s a new skill, again. Expect to fall down a lot. From a 26" the force of impact is compounded not including twisting and flipping as you fall.

I don’t mean to scare or discourage your progress(but falling down is scary and adjusting to new unicycles is not instant). There’s a reason why so many unicyclists just upgrade from 20" to 24", instead of quantum leap to 20" to 27.5" or 36". However, if you have the skill level to do so…go for it. I’m sure those “experts” who have done this, will be writing back with their opinions.

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For me, the hardest thing to adjust to is the difference in crank length. I’ve got 170’s on my 36er and I can climb pretty well with those, but the “little” 137s on my 27.5 just don’t want to spin for me when I try and climb, despite having a lower “gear ratio”. I think it must be decades of bicycling with longer cranks having ingrained themselves into muscle memory.

Yep, what @slamdance said above is all true :slight_smile:

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I disagree. When buying a 24" you are very likely to have to buy a 27,5" in the future. 24" is heavy and slow, and you don’t roll over obstacles so easy. 27,5 is the size you are looking for the riding you have in mind. (26" is dead in the Mountainbike world and therefore you don’t find many good tires, that’s the reason I upgraded from 26" to 27,5").
If you want to learn tricks on the 27,5" it is definitely hard, but your 20" will do for the beginning and than you can adapt those on the bigger wheel.
I went from 20" to 26" and then to 36" and a friend of mine recently from 20" straight to 29". It is possible and for no point of time any of us wanted a 24". Make a higher jump in sizes is definitely worth it since you will have your dream size immediately and you will not have to buy unnecessary Unicycles.

Your point of view is completely fine and valid too, has the benefit of never having the option to use a 24 so you’d ride a 27.5 more frequently, only thing is his 20" is a no name and I don’t recommend learning to hop on a no-name uni.
A trials uni could be good, or a solid 24.

A lot of the issue of the 24 being heavy is the tyre. A duro leopard is very heavy. Just use a lighter tyre :slight_smile:

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Since it is a no name uni, it doesn’t hurt the purse so much if it breaks, so you might ride it as long it holds and then decide if you need also a good 20" uni or if the bigger muni is enough.

I’ve had the thought that down the road I may get a decent trials 19" to have to play with. It’d work better with my dirt driveway. But that’s a future idea. At the moment I’d like to get a nice unicycle and I don’t have the budget to buy more than one. That’s why I’m thinking of getting the muni that I’d like to be using for my big purchase. I still have a 20" to play with and practice on. If it breaks, there are loads of generic $30 -$50 generics on craigslist. A lot of torkers, sun, and no-namers.

It’s hard to find a uni now. Unycycle.com is out. Qu-ax can’ ship for some reason(maybe co-vid issues). The Qu-ax on renegade aren’t quite sold with the options I’d like. I’m leaning towards the mad4one 27.5".

Though really, I’m thinking I need to jump on the 26er that @Bug72 keeps talking about. Maybe then I’d have money left over to get a decent trails one as well.

This is a pretty oldschool view of 24" unicycles. There are lightweight components and parts for 24" wheels. You don’t have to use a 3" Duro Wildlife Leopard!

Personally even though I have a KH24 (that was originally a technical MUni) I view it as a better street/park/fun machine with something like a Holly Roller rather than the best choice for offroad these days. A 26" or 27.5" with a modern tyre is likely to fair far better in a lot of the situations that people would have historically purchased a 24" MUni for, but I still like throwing the smaller wheel around on hard-packed ground.

24" is a great size for kids too, and you’d be surprised how fast some people can go on them!

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