29" or 36" for road cruising

My largest Uni is a 24" and I am starting to dream about my next purchase of a larger unit.

I was curious as to how different riding a 29 vs. a 35 incher is. My primary use would be street cruising, not Muni etc.

What are some of the pros’s and cons comparing the two? thanks :smiley:

There’s lots of other discussion of this on prior threads and posts. Try reading through the 29er and 36er discussion threads.

I think the general consensus is that for primarily road use, as you’ve stated, 36 is better. Faster and more stable. I have both a 29 and 36, and once I got comfortable on the 36 I stopped using my 29 on the road. Possible exceptions would be if you’ll be travelling a lot with the uni or doing a lot of riding in crowds of pedestrians.

36 all the way. unless you’re cruising heavily populated sidewalks all the time. Even then, I’d probably still choose a larger wheel and just go slower O:-) but I’m rebellious


I had a KH 36 and it was just a bit too big for me at 5’8". I sold it, got a 29" and love the “new” wheel much better. However, I don’t keep pace with the 36" riders, at least not yet. I’ll switch the pedals to the 125mm position and see if that helps.

  1. For fitting in the car, bus, small apartment, 29. If you’re Tom Holub, 29" Schlumpf. :slight_smile:

I would begin with a 29" and when I am familiar with it grade up with a nice little Schlumpf :slight_smile:

Is the mounting that much harder on a 36?

Is the speed much faster on the 36 if you get cranks that can handle the hills?

Yes, mounting is much harder on a 36". I am 5’7" and getting onto a 36" is a challenge. I can do it reliably, but it has taken a while. By contrast, I find mounting a 29" easy.

Yes, a 36" goes faster than a 29" and the feel of the ride is different. My 29" feels like an oversized 24". The 36" develops a lot more momentum and feels much more substantial.

Both of them are fun. If you are mainly into road riding and distance, then a 36" is probably what you will own eventually. The only down side, other than mounting, is it is a pain to transport.


Mounting is definitely harder on a 36. I know multiple people who’ve been riding for years who still aren’t comfortable mounting.

You can get a 29er up to speeds similar to a 36 by using shorter cranks. A good rider on a 29er with 110s will keep up with a typical 36er rider on longer cranks. But for long distances, riding a 29er with short cranks sucks; as a general rule, endurance is more a factor of pedal revolutions than it is distance, and you have a lot more pedal revolutions on the 29er.

Unless it’s geared, as Foss notes.

A 36 is great for distance cruising. Put 110 cranks on it and you can go really fast. The 36 is pretty maneuverable once you get the hang of it (even with the 110s). Mounting a 36 can get tedious if you have to do it frequently, so a 29 would be better if your rides involve a lot of stop and go that requires lots of dismounting and mounting. I have both and prefer the 36 for riding bike paths or roads.

I tried a 36 and didn’t get on with it. I changed it for a 29" KH and I love it, I can put a off road tyre on it if I want, or a road tyre.

I did a Duathlon even a couple of years ago on it and it was great. On the event I did a 13 mile run off road over hills then did the 18 mile cycle. I was able to freemount even when my legs were tired and I know there is no way I would of managed the 36.

A lot of people love 36 unicycles it just wasn’t for me, I would rather take a bit more time and enjoy my 29er. For me I wasn’t very fast on the 36 anyway.

Can you get a shot of a 36 to try?

My 29er only gets used by others…

I climb the same hills with a 36. Heart rate usually becomes my limiter.



1 Like

Great videos Joe.

You are a very brave man using clipless pedals on a 36!

That was some hill climb on your trip and a very big distance as well.

Even though I didn’t get on with a 36, I still think they look great when you see them in action.

BB to AP - what a lovely little document. Give your wife a hug, I think she did a super job!
I’m heading east from SF on one wheel in late May. A bicycling friend in the bay area is worried that the Sierra-Nevada’s will be too tough for a uni - you showed him! You’ve given me more confidence too - tough but do-able.
My Schlumpf is back from the spa too!

36 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 36


The footage from above you then continuing as you round the switchback with the background view is just perfect.

wow O.o gotta ask, what was the point of the 110s? I would have put some cheap 125s or even 150s on there for such steep climbs, it may have been much faster. Props though : ) I like the 114s but wouldn’t go much smaller than that.

Yeah I was mighty impressed when I heard those were 110’s.

Yeah, 110s with clipless pedals and no handlebar. I guess the clipless pedals may give him more torque, but he is still amazing.


Some great advice thanks. Sounds like the 29 would be a substantial next step from my 24. I need to improve my freemounting skills, so it sound like I won’t be ready for the 36 incher for a while. I like the fact that I have something to set my sights on for the future!