29er vs 36er


I’ve decided for next unicycle I want a bigger wheeled one over a giraffe.

Anyway, I want a unicycle for road, offroad, (basicly a bit of everything).

I want a unicycle that is:

  • Fast
  • Can go on road and offroad
  • Not too difficult to ride.

So I’d go for either a 29 Qu-Ax ‘Muni’ for a 29er or a Qu-Ax Lexus 36er for a 36.

What would you recomend and why?


My understanding is Qu-Ax’s are pretty heavy, so I wouldn’t have one.
I’ve seen the Nimbus Nightfox (36 inch ) go off road and on the highway, plus it’s extremely adjustable for inseam length, it’s also supposedly lighter as well. Were it me, I would skip the Qu-Ax and go Nimbus (I’m currently learning to ride on a “Club” (Nimbus) with a 24 inch wheel myself and once I learn to ride well enough, I will upgrade to a Nimbus Nightfox 36 inch.

I have a 36" Qu-ax luxus and although it can handle minor off road situations like dirt paths i would prefer a 29 " muni for more advanced stuff.

I ride a 29er nimbus for muni and road+getting around.

It may not be as good as smaller wheels for muni, but if you are good enough you can do a lot on a 29er; I wish I had a smaller muni but muni is still fun for me on 29er. Probably depends on what type of muni you want to accomplish.

At the moment I don’t care for going much faster than 10mph around campus. If I have to, I ride my bike.
When I do go on rides on the road, the 29er is slow and I wish I had a 36er, but a 29er with short cranks can still be pretty fast.

The reason why I thought of the Qu-ax is because it is £90 cheaper, and at my age money is quite tight. Maybe when I’m older, but at the moment I want the biggest bang for my buck.

I wouldn’t worry about weight. Qu-Ax makes a solid and reliable product that I would have no problem riding. Pretty bomb-proof unicycles, similar to Nimbus’s steel line.

There was a time when this would have been more cut-and-dry for me. Right now I ride a 36er for Muni much of the time, and a 29er Guni on the road.

OTOH, I loved my Nimbus Titan, and it will definitely handle off road riding (look up Fugsworth on here). But I love the 29er for road riding because it climbs quite a bit better than the 36 at the cost of some speed on the down (unless it’s a Guni :p).

Tough choice, I say get both.

Seriously though, if I could do it all over again, I’d probably just hang onto the Titan, or build an Oracle that was a bit more road oriented then my current one. Luxus would be a great uni, though if you could swing it, you might look at the Titan. I only say that because I’ve seen what it’ll do.

weight of the frame is not really an issue. I have nothing to compare it with but the wheel requires some energy to spin up or down when using short cranks. I did end up replacing the cranks, seat post and saddle though. I also added a t-bar and a rim brake. So in the end you might want to factor these things into the price from the start.

The qu-ax 36er comes with a strictly road tire where the titan has a multi use tire. I don’t have a 29er and haven’t taken my 36er off road so I can’t help you there.

If this helps sway your decision, I’ll chuck my pennies in. I have both the Qu-ax 29er and 36er. The 36er isn’t great for off-road, the tyre is FAR too slick (It’s basically just smooth with a few grooves cut in to chuck water out). Obviously not a problem if you don’t mind shelling out for a Nightrider/Todd, but by then you might as well just buy a 36er with a Nightrider already on it. That being said, I ride it on the bike tracks that are usually covered in mud and horse crap, and don’t slip.

The 29er is a great li’l machine, and honestly I love it. Obviously not as fast as a 36" for the road, but it’s REALLY controllable and basically works for everything as long as you don’t need it to go 20mph or ride down a terrifying DH trail. BUT, put shorter cranks on it. 145’s on a 29er are complete overkill unless you’re a pure MUni addict. I’m not sold on the Karma tyre either, I replaced that with a Halo Twin Rail, which is smooth for the road but works great for easy-medium trails too. I’m actually planning to put the Karma tyre back on (along with the 145 cranks) and use it purely for MUni, as the 36er is the road machine now though… :smiley:

The steel frames of any manufactuerer are heavy. But the aluminium frames of Qu-Ax are as light as the others …

Searching for the holy grail of unicycles, a combination of speed, control and on-off road capabilities? It doesn’t exist. Everything is a compromise. This is why most dedicated unicyclists own several unis.

The closest thing to an all-purpose unicycle, IMO, is a 20" street/trials unicycle. You can practice skills, mounts, ride on trails, jump (and do all those things closer to the ground). But it’s slow and it doesn’t roll well over big obstacles.

If you go with a 36", you’ll be able to roll over big obstacles and ride fast, but you will compromise a heck of a lot of other things: I know that UniGeezer has demonstrated awesome skills on a 36", but he is the exception and not the rule. The hills in my neighborhood are steep, and I would end up walking a lot if I had a 36".

If you’re doing an even amount of road and MUni, and the trails are not too technical or steep, then go with a 29", and you can change the tire.

However, 26" MUni is currently the most popular size; it’s a decent compromise between control and roll-over-ability. If you’re currently riding something smaller, a 26" may be a more gentle change.

I have been unicycling for less than a year; I would like to ride faster, as well. However, my problem with speed has less to do with the size of the wheel and more to do with cadence. I’d rather build cadence on a smaller wheel with greater torque…than by losing control and risking a face-plant on a 36".

Maybe I’m just a big chicken. 36" scares me.

hard decision

Just under a year ago I had the same choices (after a 24" with the 3" Duro). As most have said, you can’t have the best for both.

In my case, I got the Oracle 36 which is awesome for the road. In the first months I couldn’t think about riding it offroad, but last fall I started gradually, and now I really enjoy it for light XC. see here: http://www.unicyclist.com/forums/showthread.php?t=115796&highlight=transitioning

In short,

  • a 36er is perfect for riding fast on the road (i'm down to 125 cranks and even tried the 100m cranks a few times) and easily average 18-19km/h for my 16km commute. Offroad it is a beast and hard to tame, but a lot of fun.
  • a imagine that a 29er should be really great for XC and then OK on the road.

Especialy for learning, I am very happy with my decision, but i wish I had both…

36 is not so easy to learn

oh, i missed this! For me the upgrade from the 24" was a pretty big step. I would say I am very daring and even I was pretty intimidated by the big wheel at first.

Yeah, learning can be pretty scary, but it gets better and better. The big wheel has a lot of momentum and is big AND you sit up so high, meaning that you have a long way to fall. I had an uncontrolled dismount on the 36 on a pretty steep offorad downhill recently where the 36 somehow got stuck between my legs and I was completely out of control and flew a ways between trees and rocks. That was scary too! but also fun :smiley:

Yeah, something about the 36er thats so unique and at times uncontrollable fun, especially down hills muni:D
That rush of near injury is such a blast.
“Whoa that was close!! Now lemme try that again!!”

For off-road, 36ers feel SERIOUSLY unsafe, because of the extra height and all that stuff. But on-road, 36ers feel SERIOUSLY safe… because of the extra height! :smiley: drivers notice you far more when you’re 8ft tall!

Nah, you get used the height:p
Im sure its the same with the giraffe, given enough practice,
Of which Iam so itching to get one soon.

It’s more like 7’.

It depends on how tall you are. I just measured and I’m 7’6" on my 36er. Call it 7’, call it 8’. The point is the same, you are really freaking tall.

Yeah but it feels like 8 :sunglasses:

It’s probably not even 7 for me as I’m only 5’11 with my boots on. 125mm cranks are 5", soo assuming my leg is fully-extended from saddle to pedal, I’m only 13" off the ground (which isn’t true at all, I always ride with a slight bend in my knee). So I guess it’s a bit below 7! :smiley:

Weird really. I feel like I absolutely tower over bike riders when I ride the 36er (and even the 29er). I guess their crouched-over position takes a lot of their height away!

They’re crouched over, and their seats are closer to the ground, too, because bike seat tubes are angled. I was reminded of this yesterday riding on a great purpose-built trail system for mountain bikes, where I hit my head on branches probably four times.

That was on a 29er, and man, a 29er set up with a real MUni tire like the Hans Dampf can be an amazing MUni machine. If you want to do real MUni, definitely go with the 29er over the 36; the 36 can be fun on trails, but it’ll never be good at gnarly stuff.