I have been unicycling about 2 months, and started with a 20" club. About 2 weeks ago I decided to buy a nicer/bigger wheel. I am pretty short, so I was really scared to go very big, and I was debating between a 24 and a 26. I ended up getting the Oracle 26 (cause it was on sale), and it’s awesome, I love it, what an amazing machine! But I was so afraid of trying to freemount a big wheel, and it’s actually easier than the 20", using the wheel assisted mount. Also went on my first longerish ride today, 4 km, not far by most of your standards, but it the first time going further than the confines of the school yard where I first learned.
Well here’s the deal, I shouldn’t have worried so much about the wheel size. I should have gone straight to the Nightfox (I am too short for any other 36"). The big wheel isn’t that intimidating, I still land on my feet when I fall, and even though I love the 26, it’s pretty slow for distance riding. Now I have to buy another unicycle, though that really isn’t a bad thing, seems like everybody on here eventually owns a small herd of them. Anyway, for others just starting, when you go to get unicycle number 2, don’t let the big wheels scare you too much, even if you are short like me (5’4")
Generally, bigger wheels are easier to ride. It’s the mounting that’s harder, and they can be unwieldy if you have to do a lot of tight turns and changes of speed. But just for riding, they are more stable and easier.
Please don’t say that in front of your 26". You will hurt its feelings. Your 26" wants to ride off-road. Don’t ignore it after you buy a 36". Otherwise, you will miss out on an awesome form of unicycling. Also, please note that beginners get obsessed with riding long distances. It’s possible that, once the novelty of riding arbitrarily long distances wears off, you will appreciate your muni more. Don’t feel bad about buying the 26".
Depends how fast you spin. I found a new enthusiasm for my 26 when I realised I was “slogging” on the 36 with its 137 cranks and still could not quite make it up the steepest hills.
I built another wheel for my KH 26 with a very light weight Maxxis DTH 2.15 foldable bead tyre on a Dominator2 rim (narrower than the original KH). It only weighs 5 kg, goes quite fast with 114 Venture cranks and is small enough to go anywhere while one afternoon I did over 50 kilometres on it.
Every size has its advantages. I swap the original wheel back in when I want a smallish off road wheel or a second muni for my son when we ride trails.
Once you get the bug, n+1 (where n is your current number) becomes the right number of unis for a long time.
I have 18 wheels. Some are second wheels that share a frame. Two are Ultimate Wheels and one is a giraffe. I think I have about the right number now.
I had a KH26 as my second uni and I still use it fairly often. I think the speed is ok and the control is also very nice off-road. And I can mount it 100% of the time, which I can’t with anything bigger than the 29".