26er with a 3.0 slick tyre vs. 29er


I have a dilemma: I own a lovely 26" Muni, but I’ve just sold my 36er and I’d like a smaller, more manageable unicycle for medium distances on the road. My plan is to get a 29er with short cranks and keep the 26" for Muni with 125/150 cranks.

What I’d like to know is this: is there a significant difference between a 26er with a 26x3.0 tyre and a 29er with a 2.35 tyre? Is it a worthwhile investment to get a 29er, or should I just buy a road tyre?

If there is a difference, is it significant?


26x3.0 is going to feel very sluggish compared to a 29 x 2.x big apple, i’d recommend the 2.0 tire, as most seem to agree it is a better road tire than the 2.35, but I used the 2.35 and didnt have any real issues.

29er with big apple 2.0/2.35 and 110mm cranks or something similar will be a lot smoother and faster on the road than a 26x3.0 or 26 with a muni tire.

As far as I know you’ll be the first to try a 26x3.0 Fireball on a uni. I look forward to hearing how it handles for you. It might be just the ticket.

26x3 is heavy heavy heavy. I think you would be much happier if you went down to something in the 2.0 to 2.5 range. I have a 26x2.5 Hookworm on a wheel I use for cruising around town (with 114mm cranks) and it works great for those shorter rides.

I recently built up a 29 with a 2.1" tire and the whole unicycle is over 2kg lighter than my 26 with 3.0 tire. The weight difference is very noticeable.

The alternative is to try and fit a 29" wheel in your 26" frame… I tried putting my friend’s 29x2.35" on my 26" frame, and it was about 1.5cm from being able to fit. You might succeed with a thinner 29" tyre?

I doubt I’d be able to fit a 29" tyre into the frame; there’s only barely clearance for the 26x3.0 tyre I have on there right now. I suppose it may be possible (and I like the idea) but it could be a moderately expensive mistake…

jtrops: If I do get a slick, I’ll be using the Kenda Flame 3.0 tyre. As the others have said, though, it would be very heavy. I’m concerned about the weight making the uni too cumbersome for quick town, city and road riding.

I’m going on a 25 mile ride with some cyclists (Scouts completing their cycling badge) later this month, so I need the uni to be up to that and able to keep decent speed. From the posts here, it sounds like a 29er would fit the bill better than a 26er. It sounds like the main issue is weight and handling rather than wheel circumference and thus speed – is that right?

Thanks! :slight_smile:

If I was going on a 25 mile ride with bikes I would want a 36’er. The 29 is a versatile size, but it doesn’t begin to be as fast as bikes. Maybe someone in your area will let you borrow a Coker for the ride. If you were around here I’d be happy to lend you mine.