29" or 36" for mild commuting???

Looks like wide agreement that the 36 is the uni of choice of commuting as well as for gentle off road.

I go with my 29" only if I’m traveling with a small car trunk or limited space.

I haven’t noticed these reactions … specific to 29".

I have from time to time felt that on a 29, I blend in and get treated more like a bicyclist, and on a 36, I stand out, and sometimes get silly/unpredictable reactions. It is a rare effect, but one that I feel I have noticed.

Maybe it’s cultural. On the whole, I have had fewer reactions of any kind since I moved to a more rural location.

The UK roads are a bit of a battle ground for cyclists - often because there are a lot of irresponsible cyclists who get us all a bad name.

It’s a tough call in my case I guess, because there are stretches where a 36 would shine, but also some points where I would need maneuverability.

So, given the description of my commute above, and the fact that I can’t currently afford both a road/29 wheelset AND a 36, which would you get?

So, I tried a Coker this morning for the first time. I think the cranks were 137s or maybe 125s, I couldn’t tell. It actually wasn’t as difficult to maneuver around as I thought, and not has hard to mount either. I did rolling mounts either flat or downhill though. I didn’t try uphill.

I fell a few times, a few times when trying to idle (not really falls, more like purposeful bailouts) and once when trying to mount uphill.

I think the commute would be better on a 36. Once I switched to my 29, it felt like a tiny wheel, and I felt like commuting on it would be tedious.

I’m glad this has been bumped as it may help me with my decision. I was swinging more toward a 26" for general mooching around town, the odd trail and maybe a bit of muni but now I’m thinking people are right about me going for a 29" and then I could use it for my commute occasionally.
This is the route I currently drive (having sold my mountain bike and road bike) though I now would only be travelling to and from the number 4 marker, would it be doable on a 29" regularly? http://www.endomondo.com/workouts/39355369

Definitely not a 26 for that. A 29 or 36. As has been said before, the 29 is probably the most versatile unicycle size. The only thing you can’t do with it (really) is trials/street.

I’d say if I had to have one machine, it would probably be the 24 or 29, with an edge to the 29 because it’s a lot more fun.

Holy thread revival! Say Hello 2004!!

Things haven’t changed much, this thought sums up my experience to a T.

On a 36er I can smoke over terrain that bounces my 29er off it’s line, hands down a 36" wheel is the master of flow at speed.

I only ride the 29 for tech terrain, muddy stuff, tight/rooty/rocky, what some would call reall muni. The 36 is for everything else, XC, moderate difficulty trails, double track, faster terrain. Wy ride slwo when you can ride fast :slight_smile:

I can’t see owning one uni, but if I had to give one up it would probably be the 36, no wait, the 29, awww, it’s just too close to call. I would say a geared 29er would be the best all around, but I become a saaad panda just thinking about giving up my 36er :frowning:

Start with a 29, see how it goes, if you find yourself wanting a bigger wheel, then trade for one or buy a second uni.

I have a 29. It’s yours :slight_smile: I just don’t have a narrow enough of a rim on it to ride the tire I want to use.

I know nobody can make this decision for me, but my funds are limited, and this might help someone else make this decision in the future.

I detailed my commute above, and after riding a 36 a little this Sunday (not my commute, just rode someone’s around a bit), am a little concerned about the few spots. In particular there’s a largish hill that ends at a light, and requires crossing the street not at the light. I guess I could always jump off, but then I’d have to mount it going up hill.

Does anybody use both a 29 and a 36 for road riding/commuting? I guess another option is just commuting on the knobby tire a few times and see how it feels. If it gets tiring spinning too much, that’s a sign I’d be happier with a 36.

That sounds like the most reasonable option.

So, I commuted with my 29 muni both ways to work–14miles (KH 29 with disc brakes). I am on the 125mm crank holes. It took 50 mins-one way. Only about 5-10 mins slower than my bike (and I bike hard). I guess the few traffic lights equalize things a bit.

It was really fun and a good workout. Like I said no major hills a few short steep ones that required getting off my seat and standing on the pedals. As I said there are some long, flat stretches. There are some spots which required manuvarability. For example a tight turn from a bike path to a side walk, and from a road crossing to an island to another sidewalk. I did have to dismount a few times. I am very comfortable free-mounting the 29. I do a running mount.

I didn’t feel like I was overspinning too much, but on some of the flat stretches there were times I was wishing for a 36. It’s a tough call. I’d like to either get a custom road 29 with a thin, light rim, or an Oracle 36. It’s hard to compare because I don’t have a 36 to try the commute with and either way would be a commitment of some $. Can anyone with both setups (a custom road 29 and a 36) give some input?

OK. I’ve done three round-trip commutes on the 29. I was about to build up a road 29 like Unigeezer’s, but am starting to think I’d do better with a 36. Today I found myself feeling like the 29 was a small wheel and I was just spinning, spinning. I am running 125mm cranks.

I am going to assume that you get used to a 36 after a bit and it becomes easier to maneuver, even if a few tight spots.

I have a pair of 165/137s lying around, so was thinking of getting a custom black Oracle 36 with no cranks, using the 165/137s and seeing how I like the 137s. I imagine I might want to go shorter at some point, but then again I do have a few spots where I need to make some sharp turns and I do have a few short, steep hills…

Here’s one 36er advantage I discovered last night:
I was REALLY tired and facing my 10:30 PM return commute–almost scrapped the ride in favor of the train. Instead, I decided I’d just take it easy and do the unicycling equivalent of a light spinning workout–the sort of thing I’d do on a bike when I’m too tired for an agressive workout. The technique is just a very relaxed, upright, low-resistance spinning motion, almost just letting the weight of your legs move the pedals. It took me 20 minutes longer than normal, but I was completely comfortable the whole way! What I thought would be a hideous ordeal turned out to be a hugely enjoyable ride! Leaving my office, I hit my first free mount attempt and didn’t come off the wheel until I was home–a perfect, laid-back 14-mile door-to-door session. Had I been on the 29er, I don’t think the advantage I gained from relaxing would have been nearly as great; the massive wheel carries you along with less effort, and soaks up road imperfections like a champ. Very fun! :wink:

When I hit the few spots with steep hills on my 29 on my commute I stand up on the 29, even if there are some tight turns on those hills. How is that kind of thing on a 36? Do you get pretty used to it, like I did on my 29?

And yes, I am finding that in the morning I am fine on the 29. In the afternoon, when I am a bit more tired, I find myself getting a bit tired of having to constantly concentrate (even if just a little) on spinning and going over some of the bigger bumps I have on the bike trail. The trail has some roots that have picked up the pavement.


Now there is a 32er available would that be the perfect choice between a 29 and a 36??

@alan: avalable? like as a whole uni?

not quite yet… but it should be at some point … for now its easy to build one from parts :slight_smile:

A 32" production uni? I see that Ben built one, but I don’t see one on UDC.

Regardless, the thing that’s stopping me from getting the 36 right now is managing up a few pretty steep (but short) hills on my commute. How steep and for how long is it doable (moderately comfortable) to ride uphill for short distances on the 36? With the 29 I get out of the saddle, stand up on the pedals and at the same time am able to turn relatively tightly. Is this doable on the 36 with some practice?

If you’re at your limit with the 29-er, you won’t be able to manage it on a 36-er: the things considerably heavier which means it’ll be harder to get it up the hill.

Unless you put on longer cranks of course.

Other option is, if the hills are infrequent, just walk up them.

I’m in the process of learning the 36-er, and I find I’m much more accepting of things that I wouldn’t do on my usual 26-er, such as using lamp posts to mount, or walking up hills etc.

As far as I’m concerned, learning the 36-er is a fairly serious endeavour, so I’m not going to feel any shame in doing things to make it easier :slight_smile:

I live in sheffield, which has extreme hills that affect many of my unicycling choices, and have been a major factor in my reluctance to get a 36-er up to now. Now I have got a 36-er, how it copes with hills, and, how it can be modified to cope with hills, are things I’m actively working on. so you may be interested in looking at the thread, which is here-

I have a road 29 (same rim/tire as Terry) and a 36. When riding more for transportation than sport, unless I had a reason to want the smaller wheel when I got to wherever I was going, I would not think twice about taking the 36 over the 29 for any ride over 2 miles. I regularly do a 1.25 mile (each way) trip where bringing either wheel inside with me is no problem and so the 36 gets ridden much more. Even on a short trip the 29 can feel like it’s a lot of spinning.

The 36 will take some getting used to - I found 137mm cranks to be a good all around length but I started with longer ones (160mm). The larger wheel will absorb bumps in the path with less effort but you’ll still want to pay attention.