28" Unicycles - Opinions Please

Does any one have experience with either of these? Opinions, reviews, etc, please!

Semcycle XL 28-inch Standard:

Semcycle XL Lite 700c (28-inch) with Kovachi Wheel

(If you’re using Unicyclist.com and prefer to post in the Reviews forums I’ll check there, too.)

Many thanks,
Raphael Lasar
Matawan, NJ

When a Kovachi wheel is available, you should go for it. Note the photo on the “regular” 28" page is apparently of a 24" model, so it’s going to look a little different.

I like how both descriptions make reference to racing, as there’s no racing for 28" wheels. Yet. There should be though…

Your quote about the clowns was interesting. However there are two major “castes” that are lower down, at least in the Ringling show, to which that quote most applies today: Showgirls, and Roustabouts.

Showgirls, last I heard, were lower paid than the clowns, and “pay-day is weigh day” according to an RBBB movie from the 80s. Since the showgirl costumes cost more than the girls make in several months, if their weight changes too much to fit the costume, they are replaced.

Roustabouts do the most physical labor, work during the entire show plus before and after, and I’m sure they’re the lowest paid.

In European and Russian-style circus, the clown has much higher status.

I’d definitely prefer to go for the Kovachi wheel, but assuming that the $79 is an issue, is the model without it a durable machine which, given that I’m not doing lot’s of riding on rough terrain, I can expect to last a while?

Thanks again,
Raphael Lasar
Matawan, NJ


Ah rats. I was all prepared to give opinions since I’m enamored of my 28" of late. However you are asking about 2 other models.

Well, I’ll review the one I got anyway, maybe it will be useful. It did have a Kovachi wheel:


I got the Nanoraptor tire and relatively short cranks. I love it. The cycle is VERY lightl EXTREMELY light. I got the Miyata air conversion also because that was all there was at the time. It is a great cycle. I occasionally go too fast on it, get scared, and jump off. When that happens, the mass of the cycle is so low that I can just jump off and grab it trivially … it really is so easy to grab. The Nanoraptor tire really makes it a fun distance ride. I rode it all day at the Vicksburg National Military Park. I guess it was 1o miles or more? Thats the longest commute I have made, unfortunately. The good thing is it made me really dig this cycle. It was comfortable to ride for extended periods and its a lot of fun.

So, not a technical review really, just a relation of satisfaction.


Don’t rule out the Yuni:

Sometimes I wish I had the wider Yuni fork so I could slip in a fat 26 inch wheel and go off road more.

I ride my semcycle XL lite 700c 10 miles everyday, and also to and from classes. Its a wonderful investment if you’re into long distance road riding. My favorite thing to do is go downtown and race the bike couriers down there (they’re pretty slow). I’m thinking about starting my own unicycle courier service for the Richmond bank district, I could have a slogan like, “Half the bike, half the price!” The wheel is small enough (compared to a Coker) to be quite manuverable in crowds and heavy traffic. With 5 inch cranks it can be quite a work-out too, though it climbs hills very well.

I guess the Kovachi wheel is nice, I mean I’ve had no problems with it in the 800 or so miles I’ve ridden it since last summer. But I assume that road riding puts a lot less stress on the wheel than off-road riding, which might better require a super well built wheel.

The redstorm tire has lasted well so far, though it’s alittle worn on one side from idling at stop ights. High pressure tires definately feel different. Definately helps with speed, though you gotta watch out for gravel and such on the road since it will burst much easier than a low pressure one. I went through 3 tubes the first week I owned it.

If for no other reason get it for the miyata saddle, unless you already have one, especially with an air cushion. For some reason the semcycle frame seems to fit my miyata seatpost alot tighter than my united frame. It takes quite some twisting to get it on and off.

I can’t tell from the picture of the standard semcycle XL if it has the narrower or wider frame. I guess I like the narrow frame better. I keep saying “I guess” cause I don’t have anything to compare it to.

Lately my 10 mile run has averaged 48 to 50 minutes, which equates to around 12 mph. I haven’t tried the standard XL, so I’m not sure how fast it is.

But there you go, I love my XL lite, it does the job quite well.

Yes, you get the Kovachi wheel, and a Miyata seat. The cheaper version will probably hold up fine under your stated use, but if you really intend to go distances, you should consider a seat with a handle, or an add-on handle to take some of the weight off. I wouldn’t want to do it on a no-name, or even a Viscount seat…

Meant to read ‘no USA sanctioned racing’, of course. I had the pleasure of watching Jacinto on the 29" Blueshift (geared up to 43+) blow past the Cokering Josue -until he plowed into a chair layed across the track and sudenly became a runner. Sweet!


I’d opt for a wider frame like the XLW or Yuni rather than the narrow XL. The wider frame will allow you to switch to a fatter road tire later. The XL frame locks you into the skinny side of things.

Re: 28" Unicycles - Opinions Please

johnfoss <johnfoss.ir8cb@timelimit.unicyclist.com> wrote:

> I like how both descriptions make reference to racing, as there’s no
> racing for 28" wheels. Yet. There should be though…

There is the unlimited 10K at Unicon.


Paul Selwood
paul@vimes.u-net.com http://www.vimes.u-net.com