a unicycle for a small child?

The cast on my grandson’s broken arm (swing set accident. He was trying to see how far he could jump.) should be ready to come off by the time he turns 4 years old in a few weeks.
He’s been riding a bicycle for just about a year. He can ride no handed, ride with his feet on the seat, and just recently started popping wheelies.

I’m thinking about getting him a unicycle this coming holiday season.
Do they make solidly constructed unicycles that would fit a rather smallish four year old (12 inch?)?

Is it something his parents could commonly find in the Denver area where they live or would I probably have to order on line?

I rode a unicycle, self taught, as a child back in the 60s but I can understand the benefits of some sort of instruction for the child or at least seeing other unicyclists. Is there a school for learning how to ride or unicycle social clubs in the greater Denver Colorado area that I can refer his parents to?

Thanks,
Penel

Penel,

These are the 2 most obvious good sources on-line:

http://www.unicycle.com/Welcome.asp

http://www.seriousjuggling.com/unicycles.htm

You won’t find anything that small at a bike shop. The smallest you would find would be a 16 inch wheel. That would probably be too big. Call these 2 places and tell them what the kid’s inseam measurement is. Not measured for pants, but measured from crotch to floor with shoes on. That’s the bottom line for fitting a person to a unicycle.

Good Luck!

My daughter started to unicycle as a 6 year old. She rode a 16" jugglebug. It’s actually a nice little uni. My guess is that a 4 year old would need to go all the way down to a 12", but, who knows?

We live southwest of Denver. If you want him to try out the 16", I’m sure we can work something out.

There is a pretty active unicycling club in Boulder, and a bunch of us in Conifer who ride, but the Conifer group isn’t organized in any way…

Good luck!

I live in Longmont and two of the bike shops in town stock 12" Sun uni’s. Actually I just remembered that one of the shops closed this year, so that would make one shop in town that stocks that size.

It’s probably worth it to call a local bike shop, and if they don’t have one in stock they could get one for sure.

Thanks everyone. Its great to know we’ve got some options for the kid.

the smallest ive seen is the 12’’ sun,

http://www.jugglingstore.com/store/detail.aspx?ID=434

here is a link to one.

I got the 12" Sun for my 2 sons in hope that they would learn on it. I found that the seat was too high even after cutting down the seat post. I ended up removing the seat clamp and cutting the seat tube down a bit. You’ll also need to cut a groove at the top of the seat tube so that the seat clamp will work. With these changes, it was small enough for my boys to try to ride. They never were able to learn to ride it. Eventually I purchased a Torker 16" and one of my sons was able to learn to ride that.

The problem with the 12" is that it is almost impossible to make any turns on it because the pedals will hit the ground. It would be good if the child really wants to give it a try as they may be able to learn to ride straght with it.

Knowing what I do now, if I were to do it again, I would wait until my child was tall enough to learn on the 16" and skip the 12". I believe that the 16" is much easier to learn on than the 12" it is also a much nicer uni.

Best of luck either way.

Thank you for posting this. I’d hadn’t considered the pedals being so close to the ground during turning that they’d scrape. I can see how that could frustrate a kid.

I know when I was a child and I aspired to do something and my parents bought me a lesser quality version of something to do (like a guitar with action so high that would be a better used as a cheese cutter) it I was endlessly frustrated.

My gut feeling, especially since he’s been riding a two wheeler since shortly turning 3, is that the skills he’ll need for riding a uni will come quickly. Perhaps I let him continue with just the bicycle for a year or two but send him (and his parents) videos of people riding unicycles?

Watching the shorts of the uni videos sort of leads me to think some sort of gymnastics or Aikido lessons to help the kid learn how to fall properly might be a good idea as well, especially since the broken arm from the swing set adventure.

On a phone call from my son I’ve learned that my grandson is so bored with life with a cast on his arm he’s resorted to watching tv. He just might watch/absorb like a sponge the videos.