Another beginner, first freestyle unicycle?

Well, I happened into a thrift store and saw two 16" unicycles for sale. I’m 46 and figured it would be fun to learn with my 16yo daughter, and also a great way for me to exercise and lose some weight (I’ve lost 30 pounds already).

I’m a long time street skateboarder but I can’t afford the injuries anymore, so freestyle unicycling is a perfect challenge. I can do it in a smaller space, no ramps required, and not going to annoy the neighbors with noise.

Took me about 3 hours now and I am up and mostly riding. I can free start and today I learned a “leg around” mount which is pretty cool. I can’t idle, but I am working on it. I’m really just interested in flat land freestyle. I actually need to hide that I am learning it because my daughter is getting pissed that she hasn’t gotten it figured out yet.

So the little 16" kids unicycle is crying for mercy under my 200lb body and I’m afraid it’s going to break (the cheap rim) and actually injure me lol.

My birthday is coming up in June and I’m going to tell my unimpressed wife I want a unicycle. I think I should get a 20", with 114mm cranks since I will be riding around the neighborhood and stopping to practice tricks. I am only 5’4.

What do you think?

My choices in order of price:

Diamond Back LX (Torker ?)
Nimbus II
Nimbus Eclipse

Would the diamond or Numbus II survive side mounts, bunny hops, tire hops etc? I do not expect to be doing jumps, just flatland, tire hops, 90 spins, etc.

I can’t really afford the Nimbus Eclipse… at least I don’t think I can justify it at this point, but if the others are not up to the task then I’ll have to find a way to spring for it.

Thank you

I recommend buying a used 24" or 26" Torker. Try craigslist; found many uni this way. You’ll find after riding slightly bigger uni that your 20" will become easier to mount and ride. It’s always tricky to introduce others in unicycle if they are not motivated. My 10yr old took awhile to ride (3months) his 20" uni. Once he realize how much attention he was getting; I didn’t have to ask him to practice anymore. Lastly, make sure your seat is high enough: I find most beginners have them too low! When your foot at 6’clock position; your knee should be “slightly bent”. Good luck :slight_smile:

Hi thanks for the reply. Could you explain why the 24" or 26" would be better? I’m not suggesting otherwise, I’d just like to understand why it’s a better choice for me so I understand what I’m looking for.


The idea is that riding a larger wheel will make the smaller wheel easier, and there’s some truth to that. But you don’t even have the smaller (20") wheel yet, so that might be a bit premature. Of course you can peruse Craigslist and eBay for 20" unicycles as well. You could save a ton of money! Worst case, you get something that breaks after a while, and then move on to the new stuff.

Will those unicycles you listed hold up? Yes, just fine. Hopping can wear down a square taper (non-ISIS) axle eventually, but it’ll take a long time unless you’re really pounding on it. I’ve never had a Freestyle uni with anything but a square taper axle (unless you count my earliest ones, which were Schwinns with cotter pins). The trick that has the most potential for damage is hopping on the wheel. Done badly, it can bend your frame or damage your wheel. This is more or less true regardless of the hardware; it’s just something you have to be careful with.

FWIW, I learned my early Freestyle skills on a 24", and later switched to a 20". Most people were using 24" in those days, but most tricks tend to be easier on a smaller, lighter wheel. Not all, but for whatever reason, almost everybody uses a 20" for Freestyle now, and 19" or 20" for Flatland. Flatland didn’t exist back when people were just using 24". :slight_smile:

I sense that you will be dropping off gutters before too long. I think you should be looking at something with ISIS cranks.

You can save heaps by waiting for the right second hand uni. Unicycles have very low resale value but most of what is usually available are junk.

I don’t know what it is like where you are but the common crappy ones keep getting advertised until the seller gives up. Once in a while something nice comes along at a much the same price as the junk.

I bought my Qu-Ax Profi for $50 and I saw another one go for the same price about a year or so later. They are an excellent Freestyle uni. Double wall rim, ISIS hub, 48 spokes, virtually indestructible wheel. I crossed it with my Qu-Ax Luxus to make a very robust 20 inch road uni and a shiny indoor freestyle with the square crown Profi frame, after rebuilding the lighter Luxus wheel with stainless steel spokes.

But I also have a Torker LX24. It is a good uni for what it is meant to do but don’t do anything rough with it.

Thanks for the suggestions.

Qu-Ax Profi looks very nice, and the price is reasonable until I figure in the shipping.

Right now I think the Torker LX seems like the best deal for me for a beginner freestyle uni. I’ll keep watching ebay and craigslist for awhile.

John, that’s kind of optimistic. A ton of pennies is worth over $3600 and I don’t think he’s going to be saving that much on a Craigslist purchase.

I always recommend that people who can already ride get a 24" unicycle. It’s the first wheel size that can easily be ridden above walking speed and is still nimble enough for most skill development.

My 16" has 100mm cranks. When I switch to a 20" with 100mm cranks will it be harder to ride?

Probably not because 16" are actually pretty hard to ride as the wheel is sooooo small.

Okay. Let me change it to saving an AWWSOME amount of money.

I knew you’d like that. :smiley:

I agree that a 24" is a great all-around uni. If I could only have one, it would probably be one of those.

I think it will be AWWSOMER. It may feel a little sluggish, but 100mm isn’t particularly short for 20", and you’ll be going faster. It will make learning some types of tricks harder, but other types of tricks easier.

I ended up with a 20" diamond back (torker lx). Very happy with it. It’s small enough to carry around easily, and big enough that it’s a bit easier to ride than the 16". Still very exhausting though… I try to relax and stay “light” on the pedals which helps. Raised my seat up until my lower knee is just slightly bent… also helped.

I’m learning to ride on a brick road which is full of dips and humps… less wear on the tire and more challenging. Now I can ride over most bumps and down slopes.

Surprised at just how sore I am even a couple days later! My legs are getting crazy muscle in new places.

I may still get a 24" just for riding around.


yes I am a newbie here. My name is Jonathan smith and provide professional content writing services.