32" Oracle

I captured some video of me making the points below, but the quality was bad, so I’m opting to type it. I also captured some video of size comparisons between the wheels that you can find here:

Working my way down the unicycle, top to bottom, here are some thoughts:

Saddle:
Nimbus gel Some discussions here. Basically I think the saddle is underwhelming. This isn’t a dealbreaker, however.

Seatpost: Standard round seatpost, the aluminum one is light, I like the markings on the back so you can adjust between riders easily by knowing your number. The 32 is taller, and it still comes with a 300mm seatpost standard. You may (if you’re short like me) need to cut it down, so be prepared for that when ordering. Take it to a bike shop, or grab a pipe cutter and a large file at a hardware store.

Clamp: I’m not a huge fan of quick releases on unicycle clamps. I once tried tightening and old version of this quick release from the bolt side and heard a loud POP followed by the smell of smoke. Don’t tighten it with a wrench I guess. A bolt on clamp is preferred in my book, and my fiance who rides it has trouble tightening the double clamp enough to stop the saddle from twisting. It’s not a terrible clamp, but I expect it to be rock solid if it’s a double-bolt clamp, and this one sadly isn’t in my experience. I kinda wish it came with an either-or interface for bolts and quick release.

Frame: I picked up the non-disc version of the Oracle up, but the addition of a brake tab is a very welcome one. All the welds are spot on, and the cable routing is a very nice touch as well. There isn’t much to say here, and that’s a good thing. The seat-tube is thicker walled than a KH seat tube, thus you have to use a 32mm clamp, and a 25.4mm seat post… beefy… I’m OK with that. Some people want more seat tube for adjustment, some people want less because they’re short. I think it’s about right for this size wheel.

Hub: Nimbus makes great hubs. My nightrider from 2009 has a similar ISIS hub, and it’s a rock. This one is the same from the looks of it. There is less flange cut away on the new one, so it should be even more durable. The one-piece disc hub without pressed flanges is a very welcome change. No chance of creaking, just nice and solid. The KH hub and the nimbus hub, to me at least, feel practically the same in durability at this point.

Cranks: Ventures get a lot of slack sometimes. I think they’re right at home on a road wheel. Careful threading the pedals when you take them on and off and you’re fine. The 138s are a great beginner size for this wheel. You could eventually work your way down to 100 or 110mm cranks pretty easily in order to keep up with your inevitable 36er riding buddies. ; P I opted for the dual hole cranks (117/138) for this wheel. See the overall section below for more details.

Pedals: Basic, but dang if I don’t like these pedals. I’m a fan of plastic pedals. They’re light, durable, and practically disposable at their price point. I’ve never had a problem with the pins, and they provide good, but maybe not excellent grip. This, like the saddle, is a personal preference. I like 'em, but wish they came in different colors to match the oracle theme color.

Rim: The Dominator II should be a familiar rim to most people in the unicycle world. This is a really solid, thick, double-walled rim that has served the 24-29" mountain wheels very well. I don’t know the specifics of the differences between the stealth 2 rim and the Dominator rim, but they look only very slight. I don’t see any issues here, and for what it is, it’s pretty light, and it’s the right width for the tire.

Tire/Tube: The nightrider is arguably the go-to standard of the 36er crowd, and for good reason. I would have no problem taking it off-road, despite it’s smooth-ish appearance. It’s a bit like the birm master tire for the 24". It’s a do-it-all, and it works well. I commute on the snow with mine in the winter. : ) The foss tube is going to be a personal preference, and you’ll hear stories that are bad and stories that are good, It’s just different. If you had an issue with the 32 tube, just drop a 29 or 29+ tube in the wheel. There’s really no reason to get a 32" specific tube as they are very close in size.

Overall:
This size rides how you think it may, somewhere in between a 29 and a 36. My fiance calls it a “chibi 36” because it has the ride quality of a 36er, and that unique “road-ness” to the feel of it. It’s also MUCH more nimble, to the point I would feel pretty at home on a mountain trail with it. Strangely, I feel like this is a cheap alternative to a geared Muni due to that. Picking the right size wheel for what you want to do can be complex if you have nothing to go by. Personally I think this is a good wheel for someone doing a little bit of road riding, a lot of sidewalk cruising, maybe some fire-roads, and an occasional session of single track/XC. I think a 29er can also serve this purpose, but it does not cruise as easily and effortlessly.

Due to the nature of the wheel, I highly recommend dual hole cranks, whether that be for swapping between mountain or road, or, if you only ride on the road and this is your first wheel, as a way to gain more speed once your comfortable with the wheel and road riding in general.

The 32" wheel is a slam dunk, and a great addition to the unicycle world. Perhaps not toootally necessary. Maybe a 33" (one inch closer to a 36, and one inch farther from a 29) would have made the difference between the 29 and the 32 a little more noticeable. If you’re on a budget, I would stick with the 29er and you’ll have the added benefit of being able to service most anything on it at your local bike shop. If you’re looking to get into big wheels, but are intimidated by the 36, then you’re probably still reading this review, and I can tell you that YES! This wheel is made specifically for you!

Ride safe out there!

Nice review, thanks.

I liked the Youtube video also! :slight_smile:

Nice review and nifty video!

Those pedals are available in other colours, just not the Nimbus branded ones. The model to search for is Wellgo B108. There are probably other rebranded versions too (like KH), but the original Wellgos are pretty cheap.

wellgo_b108.jpg

O_O Where have these been all my life… I may have to go stock up on a couple! Those are really awesome. Thanks! : )

Nice review and video. Thanks a lot. :slight_smile:

Just watched your video… You seem to go the fastest on the 32’ :smiley:

It definitely accelerates a lot faster than a 36, but the top end cruising speed is noticeably slower. Could be I was cranking faster than a “cruising” speed, or just that I didn’t have a very good run up on the 36. I can definitely tell from the short rides I’ve done on it that it’s noticeably slower. Still though I wouldn’t hesitate to use it for short commutes or runs around town. : ) I usually ride 110-125s on the 36 to keep up with traffic and don’t feel comfy riding the 32 on the roads as much due to the lack of speed. It’s just about perfect as a top-end sidewalk cruiser though.

My fiance hasn’t ridden it much since she got it. :stuck_out_tongue: I took her out the other day for a ride. It’s a pretty fun wheel size. Feels like a good “city” wheel where you’ll want to hop up and down curbs and have ultimate maneuverability while still keeping speed. I’m still a 36er rider at heart. O:-)