Advice for road uni: 29 vs 36 for learning rider

I would appreciate any help deciding between a 29 and 36 wheel for road riding. I’m fairly new to unicycling, have been riding a 26" Nimbus with a 2.5" hookworm tire and would like something bigger to ride longer distances on.

I am 6’2", 195 lbs, have ridden 3.5 miles on my 26 with 6 UPDs, and live in a moderately hilly area outside of Philadelphia and riding mostly sidewalks.

It seems like the 29" would give me more control/manueverability as I develop my riding skills, but I wonder if once I do I might be wishing I had the 36. Maybe the best option is 36 with longer cranks?

Sorry I know this question has been posed in various forms on previous threads (did my homework). Seemed though that most prior responders rode flat areas mostly.


I was in the same boat. I ended up going from a nimbus 26 to a KH29. A few months after that I wished that I had gone with the 36, as the 26 and 29 were very similar.

Still don’t have a 36. :frowning: though the 29er is getting more and more muni duty.

Definitely not saying the 29er is a bad size, just saying that if you already have a 26 that the 29er isn’t that significant of a jump. You might get more bang for your buck from just shortening your cranks on the 26.

You’ll have your 26 to hone skills, so I say go 36er if you want to do distance.

A 29 is only about 11.5% bigger and therefore faster than a 26.
(29/26 = 1.115)

29 is a wonderful size for road and easy trails leading right up to cross country and even some pretty tough Muni.

26 is a wonderful size for Muni.

36 is capable of some serious cross country work, but it is at it’s very best on roads and easy trails.

If you know you did exactly 6 UPDs on a 3.5 mile ride, you have the necessary level of commitment (read “obsession”) to get very good on a 36.

As an all rounder, 29 is small, versatile, portable, and storable, with a wide range of tyres. But it is not a 36.

36ers rule! They are so much fun and they cruise fast, don’t let the big wheel scare you, it’s actually quite friendly one you get rolling.

And yeah, the 29" is very close to a 26", so it would be a nice change in the very short term, but soon you’d be wanting more.

I went from riding 20 & 24 in uni’s to a 36 thinking that if I got a 29 I would just want a 36 anyway.

As it turns out I now have a 29 as well, and for myself being a shorter person it is much more versatile for the riding that I do. (mostly in town rides on all types of surfaces & grades / slopes) The 36 for me was a beast to mount & manouver and was over all not an enjoyable experience.

Based on you height (as long as you don’t have really short legs) you will likely not have too big a problem mounting so it may be the way for you to go.

Keep in mind regardles of what size uni you are on now the 36 is a big step up and will require some new skills and patience in order to get comfortable on it.

Longer cranks, 150mm & up will make it more manageble especialy in the learning stages.

If possible try to borrow a 36er & see what you think.

Thanks for all of the great comments and advice. I think I am going to go with the 36"- @Nurse Ben- yes, I do fear the big wheel a little- appreciate the encouragement! I suspect if given the time, money, and health of my legs and bones, I would have every size!

@Mikefule- I agree with the obsession comment!

Now if I can just figure out which one to get…


Hey i’m new to this website and I don’t really know how to use it but I have a question thats similar to this one. I’m 13 years old with an inseam length of 28 inches (thats with shoes) and I am about 5 feet tall. I have been riding for about a year but I am really tired of my standard 16 inch unicycle its too slow. I want something bigger but I’m not sure how big of a wheel I should get or what kind I just want something that I can cruise around town on not for tricks or anything just something fast.

Welcome Heatherj.

I have a 29" inseam with a size 8 foot (male) I usually like to have my seat height set at 32". (seat to top of bottom pedal)

My 36" uni has the seat post all the way down & I can reach the 150mm pedals with a slight stretch. I usually use the 125mm setting for greater comfort.

My 29 has about 3" of seat post showing with the seat set at 32" for the 150mm pedals.

I would suggest that the 29 would be at the top of your comfort zone however there are shorter individuals than yourself riding the 36 and doing just fine on it.

If at all possible try to have someone lend you a 36 so that you can try it. Check out uni clubs in your area of residence. If one exists, a member there will likely be more than happy to help out.

Now if I can just figure out which one to get…

Get the KH 36.

I really love my Impulse but it seems that UDC no longer sell them :frowning:

Also keep in mind that you might grow some in the next few years.

Get the KH 36.

It’s not clear to me why the KH36 over the Nimbus Oracle 36. Looking at the UK UDC website, the Oracle is listed as 7.5kg vs. 8kg for the KH36 (weight not listed on the US UDC website for the Oracle yet). Oracle comes with disc breaks (breaks not included on the KH). Am I missing something?

It’s not clear to me why the KH36 over the Nimbus Oracle 36. Looking at the UK UDC website, the Oracle is listed as 7.5kg vs. 8kg for the KH36 (weight not listed on the US UDC website for the Oracle yet). Oracle comes with disc breaks (breaks not included on the KH). Am I missing something?

I’m not familiar with the Oracle, its options or price line and have never rode one, so any research that you’ve done will be to your favor in the end. Always try to use reviews that have been done by someone who has ridden, owns or has owned both models.

I’m a big fan of KH uni’s and own four of them (as well as other makes) and every time I get on one of my KH’s I can feel the difference in quality.

In the earlier days of 36er’s, frame flexing in different makes of uni’s was one of the main issues that people complained about. The KH 36 does not flex & this is a huge bonus when you’re opporating a wheel as large as this.

Do your research. Its your cash & you will be the one riding it.

Have fun selecting & riding. :slight_smile:

The KH and Oracle 36ers share parts, same rim, spokes, tire, tube.

The KH and Oracle frame are very similar in materials and construction, so not enough difference to warrant picking one over the other; they are made in the same factory.

The Oracle uses an extra wide 125mm spaced hub, which is 25mm wider than a KH hub. The pedals spacing that results is close to the same as the KH when you use the stock zero Q Venture cranks. The nice thing about a wider hub is you can choose to go narrow (stock) or wider by running KH cranks; this is what I do.

The Oracle comes with a hub mounted rotor which I strongly believe is superior to a crank mounted rotor, also note that the KH does not come with a brake standard.

Neither uni comes with a touring handle standard.

The KH does come with an adjustable seat post and a more comfortable seat, but these upgrades are available with the Oracle for ~$50.