26" or 29" schlumpf for muni?

I can vouch for Tom being a big-wheel maniac. He was mashing it offroad before Ben knew what “muni” meant.


Seriously? 36ers are way too much fun to stop riding just because better gearing comes along. Now there are people discovering 36" MTBs, which is why we are getting a better 36" tire made.

Anyway, I don’t think Gilby was concerned about 36ers. Another point I thought was interesting is that I measured my “26-inch” wheel at 27.5" in diameter (the Continental Trail King 2.4 is a pretty tall tire) and my 29er at 29.25" (WTB Wolverine 2.2). So the difference is under 2" in 1:1 and ~3" when geared up.

You guys are sooo serious, can’t see the joke through the trees :roll_eyes:

Puleeze, what’s new gets old, gear changes, people try differemt things, the world goes round. Tholub was the one who told me, belatedly, that a guni was not what I thought it would be… so I got an interesting experience and it didn’t cost me much more than three hundred dollars :o

I know the OP isn’t interested in 36ers, but what I didn’t find in a 26guni, I did find in a 36 muni…

I think you “no boys” are missing out. I love riding my 36er off road, esp on technical muni, it is amazing how well that big wheel covers ground and bridges obstacles. Yesterday I went out to the local single track and cleaned a 1/4 mile double crux hill covered in loose rock and offcamber ledges. I did it with two rests and no UPDs, quite possibly my best climb up that hill to date on any wheel. Who says a 36er ain’t for muni?!

So you doubt what I say, but then consider how a 3" tire differs from a 2" tire, the larger tire provides more support, more cushion, makes rough terrain easier to ride. Now apply that thinking to the a comparison between a 24" and a 36" wheels: bridging obstacles on a wheel that is 50% taller is like comparing how much higher you could jump if you grew from 6’ tall to 9’ tall.

But what do I know, I’m so new to unicyclin’ I can’t even spell it right, eh Maestro :stuck_out_tongue:

I think we need a Schlumpf with a smaller step up and we need a downgeared hub. I have the cash…

OK, fair enough, there would still be at least as large a percentage of 36" unicycle riders as there are 36" bike riders. (That is, virtually zero but not exactly zero).

I’m sure for $10K or so Florian would custom machine you something.

A smaller high gear on the Schlumpf, and a downgeared hub would both be total market losers. Really the idea of riding a 36" with a hub geared so it can be effectively 29" is absolutely insane. It would be nice to have more than two gears on the Schlumpf but the high gear is still not nearly high enough.

…Then you are going to be waiting for a very long time Ben. I talked to Florian about what is going on with the new hubs when I visited him after the Grischa Muni Challenge to get some bearings replaced. The next gen will be built to address clearance issues with the current batch. The axle will be a bit longer again so those wanting to run a disc don’t have frame-rotor clearance issues, and the hub body is going to be a bit smaller so that there are more generous bearing cap/dust cover tolerances. Extra gears and new gearing ratio’s do not appear to be on the drawing board yet. Expect a fairly long lead time for the new batch of hubs anyhow as there are a lot of existing hubs still to be sold.

I think we are pretty much arguing over a mute point here anyhow. If you get a geared 26" muni and don’t like it- i highly doubt your opinions would be significantly different about the slightly larger 29er. Also, if you end up with a size that is just not working out for your riding style/ trails it is proportionally cheap to buy a new rim, tyre, spokes and frame to change over. Sell your old stuff to recoup your costs and it would be an inexpensive change. I stand by my comments that the 26er is a better option if you hope to use your high gear on moderate-technical singletrack. If you think you will be in low gear for this anyhow- then the 29er would be a better option.


I first had my hub in a 29er and it was not very good for off-road, not many places where that high of a gear was useful, mostly just flat dirt roads or long easy down-hills.

I now have the hub in a 26er and ITS AWESOME. Tons more places on the trail I can gear up. I keep the ungeared 24 around for the more technical trails.


Hey Mark, thanks for the update on the Schlumpf development. Looks like you don’t have to grind done your frame anymore once these are released.

Sounds like the perfect plan!

Another reason that 36-ers won’t go out of use, is that some people will not use geared hubs.

Either because, like me, the essence of a unicycle lies within it’s simplicity, which is why I won’t be using either gears or brakes, or, because they appreciate the relative unbreakability of a ungeared uni.

In the same way people still ride ordinaries (penny-farthings)?

Something with different gearing internals? Multiply that by about 10 I’d have thought - you might just about get customised externals (different axle etc.) for that sort of money.

People do still ride penny farthings :slight_smile:

In fact unicycle.com UK have recently put these together-


Of course, penny farthings are inconveniently large, difficult to ride and potentially quite dangerous- characteristics much less evident on 36-ers, for which reason, i’m guessing 36-ers are definitly here to stay.


Addressing the OP, make your decision on the type of riding you want to be able to do with your Guni. I think the 26 Guni is a better all-around Muni choice. I have never ridden a 29er or 36er off-road, but here is my theory. The negative of a larger wheel is the problem of the “dead spot” in your pedaling cadence. The bigger your wheel and the shorter your cranks, the longer you stay in your “dead spot.” I noticed this even going from a 24 Muni to a 26 Muni - both with 150mm cranks. This makes extremely technical areas much more difficult, where large obstacles (such as roots) are not scattered, but they are back-to-back for extended twisty sections.

Large, mostly. My 29" mini penny is smaller than a bike. My 54" penny is bigger than my car.

Hard to ride, not all, just takes a little adjusting, but is easier to learn than riding a uni.

Dangerous, perhaps, but so is riding a 36er. I’mfalling from this forum recently snapped his tibia and fibula riding his 36er. There’s inherent risks in everything we do.

Back to the OP, Gilby, go the 26" guni option, if I had another hub it would be in a 26" again. you can always use your gen 1 schlumpf if u want a bigger wheel for any muni
style touring, just don’t thrash it too hard. And why you are at it, drink some cherry brandy as well. Haha.

Cheers, dmac

I’m with the pro-26" GUni group. That’s the setup I’m going to upgrade to from my current KH24 GUni sometime soon simply because I believe it will be slightly better than what I currently have; more tire choices, better roll over ability and slightly faster overall. A geared 29" just really would be too much MUni for me and how and where I ride.

Like others have said it all depends on where and how you ride, but at the same time think about what impact having the potential of extended range to your riding will have. My first few years of riding off-road my overall trail system range was fairly small since in the interest of time I couldn’t wander off too far. Also because of my limited range I’d often drive to some trailheads rather than ride. I’d have to chose to ride certain sections of a trail system over others. Suddenly with a geared unicycle I found my overall range, in the same amount of ride time, vastly increased. I could ride to the trail head rather than drive. I could connect up sections of the trail system I never would have thought to link up in the past because the distances were to great in between; would take too long. So my riding interests and style changed when I got my KH-Schlumpf Hub. Be prepared.

About the 36er MUni approach. I’ve done this for years, ever since I got my Coker Big One. Yes it’s fun and there is nothing like riding around in the woods on that monster wheel but for me there are simply far too many disadvantages to make it my “go to” MUni of choice. The whole idea of having a geared unicycle is that I can gear down or gear up as the situation warrants. One area where it’s nice to gear down is when I’m climbing hills, with a 36er you have to take the fixed-gear cyclist approach and are forced to attack the hill or really just grin and bear it grinding your way up slowly. It’s nice to gear down and spin! I still don’t buy the argument that this Huge Wheel is great on technical terrain; at least not for me. I’ve been there and done that enough to realize there are definitely places I don’t want to take the big wheel. The high profile and higher center of gravity is a huge liability on some of the trails I ride. I find being lower to the ground and having that lower center of gravity are far more important than having the increased roll over ability of the big wheel. Lastly, the 36er really lacks “pop”, it is so much heavier and doesn’t maneuver nearly as spry as a smaller wheel does. My riding style isn’t always “tractoring” over everything, I like to rolling hop, I like to stop and side hop over stuff. But I do understand and fully appreciate how fun riding the Big Wheel is off road but it’s not my first choice for MUni, especially technical stuff…

You are quite probably correct, but the dream lives on :wink:

I ride a 29er on 95% of the terrain I ride, everything else is a hike-a-uni and would probably be a hike even with a smaller wheel. So it might be that I ride a 29guni in low gear a good portion of the time here, which is what I do now on a fixed 29er, then when I hit a stretch of gravel or smooth double track like in Bent Creek or DuPont, I gear up. I didn’t like riding the 26guni because I ended up riding a lot in low gear and it was really slow and didn’t bridge terrain the way I like (on a 29er).

At this point, a 29er guni would be mostly for multi day rides where there are stretches of dirt and gravel roads that would be slow and boring on a smaller fixed wheel. The only other option is taking a 36er (or 32er), but in that case I think the percentage of hike-a-uni would go up, which is fine I suppose, I’d need to pick my route more carefully. I agree it’s better to ride slow than it is to hike, but there is a limit.

@ Mark,

Thanks for Schlumpf update, that’s about what I figured, it would be a major remodel to change the hub gearing, so I’m not holding my breath.


I got my 32" wheel back today from Josh at UDC, 4x built on an Oregon hub, 200mm disc, long cranks, going tubeless, will be riding it over the weekend, review to follow. Don’t hate me cuz I have a 32er :wink:

Another huge advantage (at least for me since I’m already tall) is the 26" is lower to the ground than a 29 or 36. I hate branches and overgrown stuff that I always seem to hit. I’ve tried riding my 36 offroad and I end up either cutting my face up, poking my eyes or having to dismount way too much. Of course this wouldn’t me too much of a problem for shorter riders or trails that don’t have much cover or are really well maintained.