At the age of 41 (bit of a late bloomer) I finally followed a long time dream of mine and learned how to ride. Starting with a very inexpensive 20" uni I bought online it took me a couple weeks to get the hang of the basics. After about 2 months I was riding fairly well and quickly wanted to ride farther and faster. I bought my second uni, a 29" Sun, that has made riding so much more enjoyable. I started to immerse myself in all things uni, trying to learn as much as I could.
In my search I stumbled upon this forum. What an incredible wealth of information, knowledge, and experience all in one place! It wasn’t long before I knew I wanted my next uni to be a 36er. I read your comments and weighed your opinions about everything from different brands to saddles, cranks, tires, tubes, handles, pedals, brakes and more. I wanted to make an educated decision on what would be, for me anyway, a fairly substantial purchase.
After almost 2 months of research I narrowed down my choices to 3 different models: the Oracle 36, the KH36 and the QX Q-Axle 36 Disc. I started pricing them out from several of UDC’s international sites. Still undecided, I stumbled on a great deal on the KH36 from UDC Canada. Perhaps it was a sign, but I just couldn’t pass it up and finally pulled the trigger. I am beyond excited!!
I finally decided to join this forum for the sole purpose of being able to express my gratitude to all of you who have helped educate me and inspire me on my uni journey! Your feedback has been invaluable and since I don’t personally know any other uni riders in my area I really value the community this site provides.
Sorry, this is a bit long. Just wanted you all to know how amazing you are.
I think it is quite daring to buy a good expensive 20" right away. It probably stimulates to get it under control and keep trying. My first uni was a cheap 90EUR thingy from the toy-shop. My second was a 26" which was great for exploring. Though it took some time to learn to freemount it.
You are really making big leaps to wheel size. 20 > 29 > 36. I have an oracle which was only 300-350 EUR if I remember correctly. Cheaper than the 29" oracle I have. I think KH is a bit overpriced and the Nimbus unis are just as adequate. The only thing I hope to one time buy is a slightly lighter 36". It feels very different from a 29" and 32". It feels heavier and slower in mounting and steering. On the other hand it gives you more time to catch your balance.
In any case good luck and lotsa fun with your uni-ing. You will prolly get hooked for a long time like all of us others on the forum as it is a great feeling to ride.
I collected my unis as they came along second-hand. Fortunately they always appeared as I got to the point where I was really ready for them.
Learning on a $10 uni with a terrible saddle and a way too short seat post definitely made it hard but I was still riding two weeks after I took it seriously. Still got that uni but upgraded the saddle and tyre when a girl up the street gave me her wrecked one for parts.
My first QuAx appeared for $60 after a few weeks and what a difference it made. Suddenly I was riding everywhere. Wore out the tyre in two weeks.
It was amazing how convenient that turned out. The seller was 160 km away but I was passing through the area the following weekend not terribly out of my way. He said he was flying out that day so I would have to get there early but my journey went right past the airport at the perfect time to meet up.
I have had these experiences so many times. I needed a saddle for my Torker and a 400 mm seat post for my KH trials. Up comes an add on Gumtree with someone selling exactly those items plus a set of pedals that were very useful.
I had been waiting a while for a 36 and got to the point of thinking I needed to buy a new one. Having yet another blue uni was putting me off. Up comes the Triton with a heap of extras beyond my wildest dreams for less than a new KH36.
I wanted to upgrade my old KH Onza 19. Up comes an Impact Athmos for $75 in the next town. That gorgeous white wheel made a beautiful hybrid with the best bits of the old KH.
The KH27.5 was a few suburbs away from where I finally found my mountain bike the same weekend so was able to pick them up on the same trip.
The QuAx Profi was $50. It appeared when I was going to be riding on stage and thought the rusty spokes on the Luxus didn’t look good. As it turned out I found a set of stainless spokes online and rebuilt the Luxus wheel for the show, fitting it with the white tyre and non-marking white pedals from the Profi. I love the Profi wheel on my street 20.
I try to believe the universe will provide if we know what we want and so often it does. Unis have terrible resale and good ones do come up at very low prices if you know what you are looking for and follow the second hand sites diligently.
I think I just earned too much and as I’m lazy, buying new unis from unicycle.com was the easiest way to go. Just wait a few days twisting my thumbs and ding-dong at the door, there was a new uni to take for a spin the same day.
Nevertheless now that I have a family and a wife that complains I have enough of them, I also look more at parts to buy than whole unis, but… only new parts
Plenty of parts from them for me too. More adventurous as time went on and I customised more. The only wholly new uni was the eRacer. The delivery guy has often commented to my wife about what I am getting this time.
My wife used to ask if I was going to get rid of any each time a new one came but she eventually stopped asking. I was surprised when I told her what I paid for the Triton and she just said whatever. She recons she spends as much on hair, clothes, beauty products, shoes and massages as I do on unicycles.
She does think I have enough of them now though and I can’t think of another one I really want so she is probably right. It is more about the space they take up but I built a big hanging rack in the garage recently which helped a lot.
This is where I’m at right now. With my third on the way, she says “you’re done now, right?” I haven’t really answered that question. I think if I ever get another uni I may need to sacrifice one I have. I would’t be opposed to upgrading one of my lower end ones for something of better quality if the right deal comes along. I love the idea of a hanging rack in the garage!
While moving up sizes gradually and in smaller increments may be more natural and help in the learning process, I had read about a number of people who had made the large jumps in size. No one was really against it, so I figured I would go for it. I knew there would be a learning curve, but I was up for the challenge.
I also figured if I’m going to spend money on something I want it to be a worthwhile purchase. Meaning if I tried going from a 24 to a 26 or from 27.5 to a 29 I might not notice much of a difference and feel it was basically the same as the previous size.
OneTrackMindSounds like you’ve been very blessed and found some amazing deals. I’ve perused our used sites in my area without much success, but haven’t been as diligent as you for sure. All I’ve found was mainly smaller wheels that people gave up on after years of not using. I was in the market for the bigger wheels and I just never saw anything like that, but I’ll definitely be keeping my eyes open from now on!
I have seen a lot of differing opinions about that throughout this forum. While certainly many things hold true to the adage “you get what you pay for” I also think at times you’re paying for a brand name, or at least paying extra. I tend to agree with you on this though. I have no doubts about the quality of all the KH stuff, just not sure it’s always worth the extra cost vs. the alternatives.
The KH was never my top choice. Wasn’t even in the running really, due to the fact I figured I could never afford one. But when I found it marked down on UDC Canada’s website for $400US less than the US website I started to consider it and not long after I caved!
Besides, at my skill level and very limited knowledge and experience, I would probably be extremely happy no matter which 36er I ended up with.