Am I too big for a 16?

Alright so I picked up a 16 inch from a local flea market. I’m 5’5" with a 32 inch inseam length. Can I learn on this uni or should I get a bigger one? Also I’m twelve and go through a lot of growth spurts. I have extended the seat fully and it only reaches about two or three inches below my belly button.

My wife is probably smaller than you, and she needs a 20". She could use the 16, but 16" unis are probably harder to ride than a 20. Something seems a bit funny when she tries, and she does better on the 20".

See if you can get your parents to get you a 20". Tell them it’s good excersise. You can have a good one for less than $100 I think. Look at Or wait around on the trading post on this site, 20 learner unis come up quite often I would imagine.

Well, if you already own it, then you might as well give it a shot. You won’t know where the seat adjustment should be until you sit on it and see where your feet meet the pedals. As a beginner, your knee should be a little bent with your foot on the pedal in the “6:00” position (straight down). Find a nearby chainlink fence and work your way along it. (There are plenty of beginner videos on youtube.)
Good luck, and let us know how you fare.


A 16 made things easier for me (mainly for reducing my large fear of falling), until I got the basics. The downsides were I had to get a longer seat post and it was impossible to calmly ride relatively straight. I was violently zig zaging every half rotation (but WAY less terrifying than my 24). After moving on to a 20 then a 24, I could go back to the 16 and calmly ride straight.

Later the 16 was helpful for learning backwards, SIF, & SIB.

Yes, you are too big for a 16" unicycle. As you describe it, the seat is hopelessly low.

I agree with LanceB. The only way to check saddle height accurately ,is the way Lance described,since cranks come in various lengths as do people’s inside leg measurements. When I began learning,I had my saddle set a little lower than full height and then adjusted the saddle upwards as my balance improved.

I suggest that you wear safety gear.

Finally ! The key word for unicycling,I think,is “PATIENCE”

So give it a shot!

You can give it a try, but learning one wheel is hard enough with something that is way to small for you. I was about your height when I learned on an 18" wheel, and that thing was too small for me, so I really can’t imagine learning on a 16"

check craigslist,I got a decent beginners 20" cyclepro for $20bucks like new.20" would fit you perfect.If shipping wasn’t an issue I’d sell it to you for what I paid.shipping would be more than the uni tho.

I’ve only messed around a FEW minutes,but the 20" feels like its going to be easier to learn on than my 24".But the post is maxed,and no way to tell until I put atleast a few hrs in to see which is easier/more comfortable to learn on.I plan on riding the CX24" until I can ride decent and move up or move on.

Definetly try it dude,just wear atleast a helmet.Dont see any reason you couldn’t ride a 16" if a bear can ride one!


+1 for both of those!

The questions is: have bears ever been taught to ride a unicycle?

I learned to ride on a 16" piece of crap. The wheel size was the least of that cycle’s problems, but the seat did go up pretty high. In other words, you can use it, but it’s not the best unicycle for later on.

To the best of my knowledge, no. Chimpanzees and orangutans yes, but I’ve never seen any evidence of a bear riding (and balancing) a unicycle. I have seen a bear ride a bicycle, once. And that Russian bear was really solid at it. The only other “bear cycling” I’ve seen involved at least three wheels. Bears aren’t particularly built to fit unicycles; it might be hard for them to have leverage around the full range of the cranks while having their mass centered above the wheel.

Ha didn’t even notice your name is bear!:smiley: