Been out with my kh24 a couple of times doing xc on smooth and wide trails. I know, it is not where the kh24 belongs. But before I buy a 29er I’d like to know how you (who have the experience) value the difference: How much more enjoyable will my xc-rides be with the bigger wheel on a scale from 1–5?
Well, the brand does make a bit of difference… unless I’m only allowed to talk about my Schlumpf in low gear mode in this thread
Basically though, 29ers have been my favorite all purpose unicycle for about 2 years now. I spent 9 months without a car last year, and my Nimbus 29 was not only my daily commuting vehicle, it was my only form of non-public transport.
These days my Schlumpf is used for commuting (typically 16 miles per day through Central London), and for touring on. I’ve used it for muni too, although have to admit that is not where it’s stong point lies for me (I keep meaning to get around to rebuilding the Nimbus for muni though).
About the only regular unicycling that I don’t use the 29er for is playing hockey.
I have been riding a 24" for about 2 years now. I just unpackaged my 29er last Thursday. It has been on exactly ONE street ride and TWO muni ride. A Phlegm can attest to I am not a powerful rider but here was my experience.
I felt my skills dropped a couple of notches on the muni ride. I felt tipsy at times (although the speed was a rush). The slower response time took a little getting used to. Being unable to slow down on descents when the speed built up a little too much tested the axiom “Don’t ride faster than you can run” (I am installing my brake tomorrow). I was a little disappointed with the 2.2 inch tire, I felt a lot of rim (I’ll run more pressure next time), while the bigger tire smoothed out some of the bumps the tire did not seem to provide cushion.
Now for the positives. What a Freaking Rush to go fast!! IT seems to just beg you to turn those pedals over. I am running 150mm cranks, due to my lack of fitness. But, still WHEEEEE.
Overall I would rate my 29er experience (all Three rides of it) as a 4.5 out of 5
I have a variety of unicycles. I find the 29 is the most versatile. I do distance and some light cross country.
My favourite unicycle is the N36 - it just feels so goood to ride. But I like my 29s for anything hilly, anything off road and anything more urban (lots of pavements). If I’m going somewhere new and don’t know what the riding will be like, for preference I will take the 29. I have much more control over it than the 36er and there’s far less distance to fall when I come flying off, hands first.
To me it is kind of like the difference between driving a rolls royce (the 36") and driving something like a pergeot 205 (the 29"). The 36" is pure quality to ride and every time I ride it I want to just ride it more and more. The 29er is nippy and fun (and not so high off the ground to fall off) and more versatile.
There is a current thread related to 29er speeds on a different part of this forum but to me it’s a difference between averaging at 8 mph (29er) and 10 mph (36") - I’m not a fast rider.
I have ridden 30 miles in one ride on my 36" and about 10 on my 29er.
Oh and finally, I think they are not mutually exclusive - get the 29er first and learn about riding on a big wheel and get the 36" when you’ve had a bit of practice and are ready to really go distances.
These are my thoughts but other people have other opinions.
On a scale of 1-5, I’d say a 5!!! I love riding my 29" Sun (or is it 28"? whatever). It literally rides itself. People scoff when I claim that it rides itself, but it’s true! I just sit on top! It is like gliding through a vat of buttery smooth goodness. I’ve got 150 cranks on it now, but I think it is better with 127s. I don’t think I’d like cranks shorter than 127, it gets a little twitchy as it is.
Anyway it is a total P.O.S. unicycle compared to, say, a KH29, but it has been super reliable and trouble free (but I don’t do any drops with it, just a hop or two ). I’d have to say it was the best $100 that I’ve ever spent.
I also have a 24" with a fat tire and the difference between that and the 29 is really remarkable. I’d hesitate to ride the 24 for any distance (I use it mainly for winter in-door gym riding), but the 29 is perfect for just about any distance (3 mile rides are nothing, piece of cake). The most I’ve ridden is about 15 miles, which is nothing compared to the gladiators on this forum.
I use my Yuni 29" with Big Apple tire mostly for street riding around the neighborhood. I do not ride on busy roads. Sometimes I ride it in town but stay mostly on the sidewalks. It originally had 125mm cranks but I changed to 150mm cranks for better control getting over rough sidewalks and up/down driveways.
I use a 26" with 170mm cranks for off-road (MUni) riding.
I am not a real strong rider ( ) so these cranks work well for me.
I have a Nimbus 29er and it’s my second unicycle (the other has a 24 inch wheel). The 29er is definately my favorite of the two. I ride distances on roads almost exclusively. Started off with 127 mm cranks, and switched to 114 mm cranks about 5 months ago. The shorter cranks made such a big difference that now, I’m debating on getting either 89s or 102s. I usually ride 5 miles at a time. My longest ride was a little over 30 miles. My Garmin GPS indicates I average a little over 8 MPH on my rides and can easily get over 12 mph if the road surface is good. Mounting is pretty easy and I love the fact that I’m not so high up in case of a UPD.
I’ve considered getting a 36er, and even bought parts to start making one. But I’ve been thoroughly disappointed in the wheel production problems, tire selection issues, expense, etc. Maybe one day I’ll get the glamorous new Coker when it comes out, but for now the 29er makes for truly a great ride and I can throw it into the car without any hassles. I rate it a 5 out of 5. Maybe after I put even shorter cranks on it, I’ll rate it a 6 out of 5.
There’s plenty for me left to master on my 29er. I want to get better at hopping (can only manage an inch or so), riding up curbs, leaning more on the turns, riding with SIF, wheel walking, etc. In many ways, it’s still more unicycle that I can handle. It’s a great mode of transportation.