29" or 36" for mild commuting???

Yep, after commuting for a month on the 29, I decided to get a 36. It’s just too tiring spinning so much, especially when most of the ride is on easy straights, though as I said I have a few hills. So I am going to build up a custom Oracle 36.

  • Oracle 36, custom wheel build with black rim instead of the green one
  • KH Spooner brake extender
  • KH T-bar

Not sure about the cranks. I have a pair of 165/137s lying around. Should I start on the 165s? I ride the 29 with 125s with barely a UPD on my 14 mile round-trip and use the 150s for muni. I do have a few hills, so I suspect I will need somewhat longer cranks on the 36, but 165s sound too much. Maybe starting with the 137s would be fine? I could save a bit of weight getting the Venture 2s over my moments right?

Seat/seat post. I could use my seat and seat post from my KH29, but I will probably need to cut down the post for the 36, and I may want to keep that extra length.

Does anybody use the Kris Holm slim saddle for distance rides on the 36, or am I better off with what I have on the 29–the freeride? On bikes, the less padded the better, but of course on a uni a lot more weight is on the saddle.

How about seat post clamps? I heard some people use the non-adjustable ones to save height and weight (I am a bit short at 5’7").

I agree that 165s are long even for a beginning 36 rider. I started with 160s but wanted to ride on dirt ASAP and never rode any long distances on road with them. 150s might be a better starting point. 137s took some getting used to but were soon manageable even on hills and dirt.

I’d get an extra post and keep the KH29 whole. Having more than one uni ready to go is convenient and means you’ll use it more.

I have the KH street on my 36 and like it. I just ordered another for my 29.

My 36 has a quick-release single bolt collar. It’s light and holds tight enough. The quick release collar makes it easy to change seat height when changing crank length (especially nice if you have dual hole cranks and change positions regularly).

David, how does your crotch hold up riding distance (ie > 5 miles) on the 36 with the slim saddle? Do you have experience with the Freeride? I like it fine on my 29. I have a fusion on my trials, but don’t sit on the saddle long enough on the trials to notice it much.

Just to clarify I have the KH Street saddle, the KH Slim has a bit less padding. I also don’t often ride further than 5 miles without getting off. That said, I’ve found the KH street to work pretty well for me. I have a Freeride saddle on my muni and the extra padding in the Freeride can cause more chaffing over a distance. Though in general this isn’t as much of an issue for muni as you get more frequent breaks due to UPDs.

I’m considering an attempt to flatten the base of the street saddle on my KH36 but will attempt it with an older Velo based Coker saddle first.

I’m about ready to pull the trigger on the Oracle 36, custom wheel build in black.

A few questions:

  • Hub. What’s the difference between the Oracle and Oregon hub? Why do some people seem to prefer the Oregon hub? It’s stronger? Is it heavier?

  • Will the spooner extension fit, or do I need the Starfighter?

The Oracle uses an aluminum hub; the Oregon has a steel hub, which is stronger and heavier. If you’re thinking of riding off-road and already having a custom wheel built for the black rim, I’d ask for an Oregon hub too.

The Spooner is picky about brake levers, the Starfighter isn’t. You can make a Spooner fit if you are willing to trim your lever, otherwise get the Starfighter (or go extension-less; I’ve never used either but maybe I don’t know what I’m missing).

i’m not planning on going much off road with it, other than fire trails and the like. So maybe I should stick with the lighter hub.

I have the spooner on my KH29. It’s the only braked uni I have, so I’ve never ridden without one. I love it though.

With the custom wheel build and the other add-ons to the Oracle, like KH seat etc. it looks like the KH36 and Oracle 36 are going to come out equal in price. The difference being that if I got the KH I’d go for the rim brakes since I don’t want an outboard disc. I only have one uni with brakes and it’s the Oracle disc brake, so nothing to compare against.

Would you all go with the Oracle, if price were the same?

Kahunacohen, I too am weighing the pros and cons of the Nimbus 36 (currently on sale) and a KH36. Yes, that neon green rim would have to go and if it was swapped out for the black stealth2 rim I’d go with the Oregon steel axle for strength since I would want my 36 to be muni strong. The wheel build would wipe out the sale price savings.

Comparing value for money the KH has the advantage of overall better quality components that I’d use and not be looking to upgrade immediately. The Nimbus pedals (IMHO) would have to go and I’d pay to upgrade the seat. The KH seat post is a piece of art. The included spirit cranks make the KH disc ready as well as having rim brake braze ons. The Nimbus’ component savings get you a disc brake installed. I have a Brycer rim Magura I could use until I decide if I need/want to go disc.

However, the Nimbus parts are all well above average and more than adequate to make the Oracle a very worthy choice.

I tried just putting together individual components but like you found quickly spent the same as a packaged complete uni.

The spec component on the Nimbus that I think is superior is the Foss inner tube. Add $38 to the price of the KH. Use the original tube as a spare. I like to save rotating weight.

The problem is the two 36’s are very close in value when you make the adjustments which makes the decision so hard.

Although I haven’t made my final choice I did buy a “The Todd” tire this week so I’ll need to get a 36 soon. My choice of tire suggests I’m in the off road group for the majority of my uni riding.

Do you like Blue or Black?


I really do like the idea of the hub-based disk on the Oracle though. I like the idea of being able to use whatever cranks I want, instead of Spirits if I go disc. If I go rim it doesn’t matter.

Does anybody run discs and rim brakes? If so, do you really prefer the discs that much over rims?

Isn’t the Oracle dished? How much does that really affect the strength of the wheel in real life? I plan to use this almost exclusively for commuting on roads and fire trails. I don’t plan to do real muni with it, although I have found that my ideas of what I will use a uni for change quickly once I get it.

I currently run V-brakes on two unis (26 and 36) and a disc brake on one (29). I’m working on moving the others over to disc brakes (external, crank mounted). The V-brakes are cheap and work well enough but the smoothness of the disc makes it more enjoyable to use and worth the expense (which is coming down).

But v brakes are not hydraulic right? Don’t people use hydraulic brakes for the modulation?

People use hydraulic rim brakes on unicycles because V-brakes are hard to fit over 3" tires. Rim brakes on a 36" can rub due to frame and (more so) wheel flex when climbing. V-brakes allow you to adjust the pads further away than Maguras but a disc eliminates that concern completely and give better modulation due to the smaller rotor (rim brakes use the rim as a giant brake rotor - more power but less modulation).

Edit: a bit more on V-brakes vs Maguras: Why Magura rim brakes?

OK then, looks like I should go with the Oracle, given the price-point and the hub-mounted rotor.

commuting goal

I have been practice on Nimbus 29 with 150mm crank for a months. Today I tried with 125mm and its doable but increase difficult with free mounting.

Should I kept practice with 125mm or switch to 137mm crank for better stability?

I rode mostly on street and no steep hill around. My goal to start my commuting to work as much as I can after I feel so confident. It’s only about 5 miles round-trip from home to work place.

If you’ve not got any hills then I reckon if you stick with 125’s, you’ll soon get used to them.

I’ve got a pair of these on my 29-er


currently using the 150 setting as it’s really hilly where I am, but I’m planning to give the 125 setting another go over the next few days.

If you can get a set of those cranks I think you’d find them useful as it’s so much more convenient than swapping in another pair of cranks when you want to try a different length.

Having said that, 137s are potentially a good length for a 29er- I’ve never had the opportunity to try them out, but would like to someday.

I ride a 29 14 miles a day with 125s no problem but I’ve ridden unis for years. It took a little time to adjust to the 29 125 combo, but now I’m fine. Just keep doing it. Do you have brakes?

Thank you onewheeldave and kahunacohen for quickly response.

Yes, that is one I have: dual hole 125/150 crank. I will keep practice with 125mm as you suggested. I also adjusted seatpost an inch up after switch from 150mm to 125mm.

No, I don’t have a brake but am considering to get magura brake from Bryce on this forum someday. As right now I will go pedaling within my pace and should be okay.

Remember that it’s your decision- there’s no ‘right’ length of crank for a 29-er. As you’ve got the dual hole cranks you’re in a very good position to keep switching lengths and seeing the pros and cons of each, before deciding which you prefer.

(and some riders don’t settle on just one length, but switch during the ride according to the terrain)

I only use the 150 hole for muni with hills, otherwise I’m sure the 125 will be fine for you. Just use the 150 until it annoys you then try the 125s. I wouldn’t want to be on 150s on the road even with hills for any amount of time.