Advice, please: touring handle for 36


I have a Nimbus 36 which I am using more for road riding than for cross country these days, so I’m thinking of getting a touring handle.

There seem to be two options:

The KH handle, which only goes with a 2009 or later KH seat. (All of my seats, including the one I bought brand new in 2010 are pre-2009!) Apparently the difference is that the later seats have bolts where the earlier ones have nuts.

The Nimbus handle set. This is a much more elaborate looking set up, and more expensive.

There is a difference in price. It would be cheaper to buy the KH handle and a new KH seat than to buy the Nimbus set up. That would leave me with a KH seat spare, which I could slip onto one of my other unis.

However, within common sense limits, price isn’t the main deciding factor. I can afford the Nimbus set up if it really is better.

One thing that confuses me about the Nimbus set up is the extra T handle at the back. I can imagine some benefits, but I wonder if it gets in the way in mounts and (worse) UPDs.

I have ridden unicycles for many years - various sizes from 20" to 36" and I’m good for an hour or more without a dismount. However, I have never used anything other than the standard front-of-seat handle before.

Any advice or guidance, please?

Thanks awfully.

The Nimbus is probably good for road riding, because it’s longer and supposedly more solid. That said, I use a KH Tbar on my 36, but I extended it by putting in a Nimbus t-bar (bought as a spare part for the Impulse handle, then inserted into the KH Tbar mount). I don’t have trouble with the KH setup moving, on either my 36er or 29er.

As for the rear portion of the Nimbus, I think most people just take it out unless they’re using it to support a bag. I ran a Coker pi-bar handle as a rear rack on my 36er for a while, and it didn’t cause me any problems (it ends up pointing down while you’re mounting, so no interference).

One thing you might consider is whether you want a new saddle. If the KH setup + new saddle is less expensive, that might be a good deal. And if the KH isn’t long enough for you, UDC sells the longer handlebar portion of the Impulse handle, that can be used to extend the length of the KH setup.

I don’t think you’d go wrong with either choice.

edit: P.S., I’m tall with monkey arms, so length of the handle might not be as much of an issue for you, depending on your proportions.

I have a 36" setup with the Shadow handle, and a 29" with the T-bar. Both are flexible enough in setup to work for a range of riding but my experience is that the Shadow handle seems better suited to road/distance use, and the T-bar to to XC/Muni.

I have never installed the rear T-bar on the Shadow handle, but instead cut the curved bar short and left the straight bar long. There are some pictures of my initial setup in this post.

Having never gotten into riding long distances on road with the 36", the short handle sees the most use though recently I have flipped it so the bend is down:

This setup preserves the plastic grab handle so it can be used in situations where a closer hand position is more effective (mounting, hopping, etc).

The KH T-bar on my 29" is setup for XC/Muni use in Turtle’s style. The plastic grab handle is replaced by gripping the tube of the T-bar. The bar ends are far enough away to provide support when cruising. Overall this is my favorite setup and works well for me on trails and on the road.


Thanks for taking the trouble to reply in such detail.

Mike, I have used the T Bar for two different 36ers, on and off road, it works and is fairly durable and highly adjustable. It has some flex, but it’s not that bad.

The only Nimbus handle I have experience with is mounted on Bert’s 29er that he uses for muni. He seems to like it, but two times I have ridden with him and it has loosened up, so I’m not sure if that’s a common problem, but apparently tightening the T Bar requires removing the seat. The upside is that you have the rear bar in case you want to hang some gear or rest a hand, also by making the seat independent of the T bar, the seat is not taking as much torsion.

The other bar that looks promising is the Coker, it is mounted from the seat post, has a primary pivot, but no extension. I have not seen one in person.

Also consider setting up a T bar using a Stoker Tandem Bicycle Stem, I’ve seen some nice ones done by other forum users.

I’m “rebuilding” my KH so that it’s mounted directly to the seat, so no more pivot, just extension. I’m doing this to get the T closer to the seat and to reduce flex.

Although not catering to Mikefule’s original question, in regards to Nurse Ben…

The Coker Pi Bar mounts to a 25.4 mm seat post (I don’t believe the KH 36 runs with this seat post diameter, but the Nimbus may. I could be mistaken, I don’t know the dimensions that the Nimbus uses)

I’ve been using it on my Coker for several months now. I absolutely love it. The Pi frame is extremely sturdy and is still in original form despite numerous hard falls to pavement, at 15mph speeds. I feel comfortable putting much of my weight on it and I know it will support me. In general it’s a very solid, reliable option.

However, unless you modify it in some way, you’ll be riding in a more upright position than with the Shadow handle. I like it better this way, but it’s a matter of personal preference.

I got the nimbus shadow handle some time back and it’s a good solid set-up: I stopped using handles though as i prefer the simplicity of a no-handle setup, plus, once you use them for any length of time they tend to be a hard habit to break :slight_smile:

Like Ben says though-

adjusting/tightening it does indeed involve removing the seat- that really p*ssed me off! Having paid quite a lot of money for this, at the time, new and supposedly well thought and handle, it just struck me as a real flaw in the ‘design’.

I think if I were getting another handle, I’d be inclined to look at one of the ones that bolt onto the seat post, rather than the seat.

Then it wouldn’t matter which years saddle version you had, wouldn’t require a saddle stiffening plate, and, best of all, wouldn’t require taking off the saddle if the thing got a bit loose.

More re pi-bar: I found I rubbed my legs on it (it’s design is inherently wider than the other two), and it’s waaaaay too short for me. However, I agree it’s a very solid handlebar, and great if it fits you. My son is using it on his muni, and it does not bother his legs even though he’s a lot smaller than me. Also, and it does fit on (at least some) Nimbus seat posts.

If the coker pi-bar were about an inch narrower and 12" longer, it would be perfect for me too. :roll_eyes:

I presume you’re looking at the newer Nimbus handle (the “shadow”, I think?). I’ve not tried that but I have got two of the original T7 handles and have generally found that the rear T shaped piece is not a problem - in fact I’ve never really had a problem with the handle catching me on UPDs at all, I just seemed to be thrown clear quite cleanly.

The original T7s did have sharp corners on the front section and those could hurt you if you fell awkwardly on them, which only happened to me once whilst trying to hop the 36er up a very steep slope.

Generally, in the same way that the uni almost always magically gets out of your way during a UPD, the bars seem to also. Occasionally you’ll be unlucky but it seems to be the exception rather than the rule!

My two cents: I ride with an old T7.

They do have sharp corners at first, but those get rounded off after a few UPDs :slight_smile:

The rear part of the frame doesn’t get in the way at all during mounting, and it’s great for protecting the seat - it hits the ground instead of the plastic bumper. It’s also perfect for pushing the uni around; just grab the bar, and you can push it without a problem.

I ride distance in a city, so I don’t know how it’d be for proper touring…but it works great for what I do. Plenty comfortable, and it’s great for accelerating, and keeping control over bumps/drops.

Thank you everyone. I have now ordered the Nimbus handle set.